Sunday, November 06, 2016

#Reading Ramblings: October 2016 #Book #Reviews (LBE)

It's time to take a look at what I read during October.

With Halloween happening at the end of the month, I intentionally focussed most of my October reading on mysteries, or books that were creepy, scary, weird, or disturbing (or potentially promised to be, based on their title and/or book description). Not every book I read fell in to one of those catagories, but most did... Just thought I'd warn you.

Anyway, like with last month's post, clicking on the book title or author name will take you to the Goodreads page for whichever it is, where you can find out more information about the book or author in question. Also, like with last month's post, the format I've reviewed may not actually be the format I read the book in, since I don't check that most of the time, so if you go to the book page, don't pay any attention to what format I've reviewed. And, finally, like with last month's post, please bear in mind that I read across multiple genres and age ranges, so you'll want to check if the book is appropriate before you read it, especially where younger readers are involved, and especially given October's main reading theme.

OK, so here's what I read last month:

The IslandThe Island by Victoria Hislop
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, there has obviously been a lot of research done to put this novel together, and it's a fascinating - though heartbreaking - glimpse in to what life must have been like for those suffering from one of the oldest diseases known to mankind before treatment was what it is today. On the other hand, there were many places where the plot seemed to drag, and the addition of the parts based in the present not only seemed pointless, but were also misleading, since they are connected to the rest of the book only by association between characters.

Fairy Tales Revisited on Silvery EarthFairy Tales Revisited on Silvery Earth by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is another well-written and enjoyable read from this author. It's an interesting - though certainly not child friendly - take on the old fairy tales, and a great addition to the series.

Mandrake's PlotMandrake's Plot by Helen Laycock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was an excellent read! It's a fun mystery story with some interesting and unusual characters, as well as a great plot.

The Secret of Platform 13The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is a magical and beautifully written read.

Whispers of Darkness (The Deadwood Hunter, #2)Whispers of Darkness by Rachel M. Raithby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a pretty good read. However, though it was nice seeing the characters relationships developed, I found the first half of the book, which seemed to consist of nothing but that, a bit too slow, and quite frankly would have prefered more of the action I remembered from book one, and less of the intimate moments between Lexia and Linc. The second half, thankfully, was much more interesting, and almost made up for the slow start with the action and surprises the author threw at us in that half of the book.

Holocaust (The Deadwood Hunter, #3)Holocaust by Rachel M. Raithby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a pretty good ending to the trilogy.

Tales of the Peculiar (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #0.5)Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a great addition to the series. The tales are creative and kind of creepy, and the characters in them are interesting.

The Quality of SilenceThe Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For the most part, this was an intense and emotional read, with some beautiful descriptions and a great cast of characters; I especially liked Ruby. The only reason I say, "for the most part," and don't give it the full five stars, is that the way the story switches between being told by Ruby to being from her Mother's point of view at seemingly random points during chapters, made it difficult for me to get in to it properly at first. I got used to it after a while, but my enjoyment of the story would have been improved if there was more obvious warning between viewpoint changes, or the story was only told from one point of view to start with. Also, the constant flashbacks, while useful for getting to know Ruby's Mother better, were another thing that made it difficult for me to get in to the story at first.

The Horror at Camp Jellyjam  (Goosebumps, #33)The Horror at Camp Jellyjam by R.L. Stine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Not the best of the Goosebumps books, that's for sure. There are some parts that could have been done better, especially during the first half of the book, but still a pretty good - and kinda creepy - read.

How I Got My Shrunken Head (Goosebumps, #39)How I Got My Shrunken Head by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this one... It was exactly what a Goosebumps book should be: a little creepy and very weird.

A Night in Terror Tower  (Goosebumps, #27)A Night in Terror Tower by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This story combines some elements of history with the classic elements I love so much from the Goosebumps books, and the result is a frightfully interesting read. Or, perhaps, I should say, "Frightful and interesting," instead?

Thorn in RedThorn in Red by Magaly Guerrero
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a fast paced story, which is perfect for those looking for a quick read, especially if you want a tale that's filled with weirdness and blood. I have to admit though, I was sometimes confused about what was going on, especially during the first half of the story. Still, things made sense by the end, and it was an overall good read.

The Goblin SquadThe Goblin Squad by Jeremy Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an entertaining fantasy read, which will appeal to children and the young at heart. I did find it a little annoying how the author kept refering to the only female character among the main characters as the "pretty friend" of the other characters, or as a "pretty little girl" as though it was essential to constantly remind us that she was a nice looking female character. But other than that, I loved this book.

Norman BloodNorman Blood by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a wonderful addition to the series, which makes for an all round good read. The plot is fascinating and moves at a nice pace, the historical facts are researched well, and the characters are interesting.

Liquorice ShoelaceLiquorice Shoelace by James Field
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read, which is well-written and has an interesting plot. It works well as a story in its own right, but also makes a great addition to the series.

Ghost Beach  (Goosebumps, #22)Ghost Beach by R.L. Stine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was absolutely loving this one... Until the way too sudden ending.

Return of the Mummy (Goosebumps, #23)Return of the Mummy by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A perfect addition to the Goosebumps series, and a great creepy read in general.

Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes (Goosebumps, #34)Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Loved this one! It was a creepy and fun read.

Phantom of the Auditorium (Goosebumps, #24)Phantom of the Auditorium by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was a great read; kind of creepy and quite entertaining.

Vampire Breath (Goosebumps, #49)Vampire Breath by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another great, and kinda creepy, read for fans of the Goosebumps books.

They Marvel at the StarThey Marvel at the Star by L J Hick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent story, which is a great read in its own right, as well as being a pretty good account of the Battle of Hastings.

The Battles Of HastingsThe Battles Of Hastings by Steph Bennion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was an excellent read! I thought the author's theory on how time travel might work was interesting, and enjoyed exploring the possible alternative ways the Battle of Hastings might have ended.

The Dragon's FireThe Dragon's Fire by Jackie Small
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a beautiful story! It has lovable characters, and a great plot which will show you the value of true friendship.

The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew, #7)The Clue in the Diary by Carolyn Keene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a pretty good read. I enjoyed trying to figure out the clues along with Nancy Drew.

Nancy's Mysterious Letter (Nancy Drew, #8)Nancy's Mysterious Letter by Carolyn Keene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a really good read, which makes an interesting addition to the series.

Please Don't Feed the Vampire! (Give Yourself Goosebumps, #15)Please Don't Feed the Vampire! by R.L. Stine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was both fun and frustrating. It was fun because of the many possible endings, but frustrating because of the constant back and fourth navigation once I'd made my choice each time. Plus, there were a few times when I didn't actually see what the point of making us do the navigation was, since there wasn't an actual choice to make (unless you include continuing to read or not doing so). I'll probably read the others like this, but it will be more out of curiosity because I love the Goosebumps books than anything, because I prefer the traditional Goosebumps book format.

All That Remains of MeAll That Remains of Me by H.S. Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What can I say about this book? It sounded vaguely interesting, so I grabbed it when it was being offered for review on one of the groups I'm a member of. I'm extremely glad I did! This book was more than just interesting... It was excellent! The main characters are likeable and easy to relate to, and it's wonderful to see how their relationship with one another grows throughout the story. The plot is even more interesting than it sounded from the book description, and written in such a way that it's believable. Plus, the descriptions throughout are fantastic, and the story grabs your attention from page one, holding it until the very end.
*NOTE: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact has in no way influenced either my opinion of this book, or the contents of this review.

The Haunted School (Goosebumps, #59)The Haunted School by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was a great read, and is an excellent addition to the series.

Planet of the Lawn Gnomes (Goosebumps Most Wanted, #1)Planet of the Lawn Gnomes by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OK, this one is weird even by Goosebumps standards... Weird in a good way though.

Son of Slappy (Goosebumps Most Wanted, #2)Son of Slappy by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is another weird addition to the series, which is a kinda creepy book. It's weird and creepy in a good way though, if you know what I mean.

How I Met My Monster (Goosebumps Most Wanted, #3)How I Met My Monster by R.L. Stine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I thought some of the scenes in this one were a bit too disturbing, even for a Goosebumps book. Most of the story was excellent, and was the good kind of scary/creepy/weird. But there were a couple of scenes that pet lovers especially may find upsetting.

Frankenstein's Dog (Goosebumps Most Wanted, #4)Frankenstein's Dog by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent, and kinda scary, addition to the series.

Claws! (Goosebumps: Hall Of Horrors, #1)Claws! by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This one will give you goosebumps for sure! Very sensative pet lovers may find it upsetting in places, and someone who has recently lost a pet should probably not read this book. I'm still giving it the full five stars though, because it deserves it for being one of the few Goosebumps books to actually creep me out for real. I mean, I always find the stories kinda creepy, but in this case I actually had to take a second to remind myself it was just a story... That doesn't happen often with any book.

Night of the Giant Everything (Goosebumps: Hall Of Horrors, #2)Night of the Giant Everything by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is a weird and wonderful addition to the Goosebumps stories.

The Five Masks of Dr. Screem (Goosebumps: Hall of Horrors, #3)The Five Masks of Dr. Screem by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is another well-written story, which is weird and kinda creepy, and makes a great addition to any Goosebumps book collection.

Why I Quit Zombie School (Goosebumps: Hall of Horrors, #4)Why I Quit Zombie School by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was a great read... Not one for the squeamish though.

Don't Scream! (Goosebumps: Hall of Horrors, #5)Don't Scream! by R.L. Stine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a pretty good read, but it's not one of my favourite Goosebumps books; interesting concept, but the actual story could do with some improvements, in my opinion.

The Birthday Party of No Return! (Goosebumps: Hall of Horrors, #6)The Birthday Party of No Return! by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is a great read, which alternates between being entertaining and being scary.

Dr. Maniac Will See You Now (Goosebumps Most Wanted, #5)Dr. Maniac Will See You Now by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was more crazy than creepy, but it was an entertaining and enjoyable read, so I'm not complaining.

Boo! Fore!Boo! Fore! by LB Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Like most anthologies, I enjoyed some of the stories more than others. This was a great collection as a whole though, which made a fun read for Hallowe'en.

6 comments:

Jeanie said...

Yikes, you are a reading machine! Can't believe your volume -- how amazing. I bow down in awe!

Victoria Zigler said...

Jeanie:
Thanks. Well, many of them were quite short... The Goosebumps books are only a little over 100 pages, for example. Plus, as I've mentioned in the past, I spend most of my time either reading, writing, or watching movies.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I think you read almost as much in a month as I do in a year! I'm impressed!

Victoria Zigler said...

Danielle:
It's certainly possible, and you wouldn't be the first person to say something along those lines. I know very few people who read as much as I do...

Intense Guy said...

That's a lot of reading! Funny thing - As I read the reviews I was "judging" the book covers. There are a number of them that caught my eye and several I thought looked really nice!

Victoria Zigler said...

Iggy:
That's a good thing. I know they officially say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but it's generally considered a good thing when the covers are appealing enough to make you pay attention to them.