Scarlet's Web



"You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be - I had a mother who read to me."

Review: Becoming by Glenn Rolfe

Becoming - Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, Glenn Rolfe, Jason Lynch

Becoming took me back to the horror books of my teens, to the creature features with cheesy covers that my love of horror was built on, and created a feeling of nostalgia that added to my enjoyment of the story.

Whilst I enjoyed the plot it was the characters that made this one. Although it's a pretty short read the characters were well fleshed out and the dynamics between the different characters made them feel real. There was an overall dark atmosphere but I would have liked the horror to have been turned up a touch. Don't get me wrong, there were enough scares and crazy goings on to appeal to most horror lovers, but personally, I would have liked more.

All in all, it was a quick and fun read and it easily held my attention throughout, however, I would have liked to have known more about the lake, what resides there, and the history behind it.

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Review: The Devil's Paintbox by Robin Jarvis

The Devil's Paintbox (The Witching Legacy) - Robin Jarvis


I would like to thank Egmont Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.


The Devil's Paintbox is the second book in The Witching Legacy trilogy by Robin Jarvis. I previously read the first book The Power of the Dark back in March 2016, you can find my review for that here. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but I have to say, I enjoyed the second book much more than the first.


It's been a year since I read the first book and I was surprised by how easily I slipped back into Lil and Verne's world. The writing was wonderfully vivid. The plot was engaging, fast-paced and action packed from beginning to end. It sets the imagination on fire and I could easily see everything clearly in my mind's eye as I read.


The Devil's Paintbox is full of colour, adventure, magic, and imagination, but at the same time it's dark, ominous, and creates a feeling of foreboding. This is the kind of book I would have loved to have read as a child, under the covers with a torch. I could almost feel the excitement and anticipation that young me would have felt, along with the need to turn the pages whilst being apprehensive about what's to come.


Definitely one I would recommend. I didn't want to put the book down, it was a lot of fun and I read it in one sitting. My niece and the kids in my reading group are going to love it.




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Review: The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir - Jennifer Ryan

I would like to thank HarperCollins UK for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.


"It was as if on the edge of manhood he too remembered everything we had shared, that he was the man who was still, in his heart, my little boy, late for school.
And then he was gone."


The Childbury Ladies' Choir is told in diary entry format, jumping back and forth between the diary entries of the different characters. This format took a bit of getting used to, it didn't lend itself well to getting to know the characters as individuals. The characters were initially just names at the top of a diary post, there was nothing there that allowed me to create a mental image of them as a person. I had to differentiate each by their voice and it took reading a good few entries from each individual character before I managed to match those voices to something a little more substantial than just a name.


Once I was able to separate the characters I was then somewhat able to slowly build a mental image of each from the bits of information scattered across all the different diary entries. However, the pieces were a bit too scattered and I couldn't build as clear a picture of each as I would have liked, and as a result, the characters never felt real. I was outside looking in, reading their stories from a distance rather than experiencing them. They were almost strangers, strangers that I knew by little more than their name, and because of this I never found myself becoming immersed in the storyline or characters enough that I reached that point of forgetting I was reading a story.


Despite the above, I did still enjoy the book and I did learn a few things. It was fascinating to get a peek into village life during the war, but I found it easy to put down. I also found myself thinking of other books or TV programs that I have watched that are set during the war, taking what I had read in this book and placing more memorable characters from other stories into their situation, or comparing them, which made me realise just how distant I felt from the characters in the book.


Like I said, I did enjoy it while reading, it was an OK read but not a great read. I'm hesitant to recommend it because if like me, you like to have a clear picture in your mind and want to immerse yourself in the story rather than watch from a distance, then this isn't the book for you.





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42% done with The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown


"I found myself thinking of how as a child I had always wanted to read the books that Father said were too hard for me, not realising yet that understanding a book is not the same as being able to spell out all the words."

Aprils 2017 Canine TBR Challenge, and winner is...


I'm a bit behind with my posting of the 2017 Canine TBR challenge reviews. I just reviewed The Neverending Story which Thorin picked back in January. OK, perhaps I'm more than just a bit behind, lol.


I have still to put up my February one:  Kindred by Octavia Butler (chosen by Enya) and my March one: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (chosen by Mae) but I still have 5 other reviews to post before I can get them so they will hopefully be coming soon.


So, April is almost upon us and it's time for the TBR jar to come out of hiding again - it was in hiding because Thorin likes to choose from the jar a bit too much for my liking and he was forever trying to get to the jar, he thinks it's a great game, lol. Anyway, April brings back around Thorin's turn so I decided to get him to select one for me tonight. As I was fetching the jar for him to choose I was thinking to myself I hope he chooses a smallish book but wouldn't you know it he's only gone and chosen the largest book on my shelves atm and it's a re-read. He has chosen....









The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

The Neverending Story (A Puffin Book) - Michael Ende


 As part of the TBR Canine Jar Challenge, The Neverending Story was chosen by Thorin. He's in the lead so far.




The Never Ending Story is one of my favourite books from childhood, I read and re-read this book many times and also watched the movie over and over until the tape was basically unplayable. It's been a long time since I last read it and as my hubby bought me a new copy for Christmas I thought, why not? There's no time like the present. My childhood copy is now owned by my daughter along with my original copy of The Hobbit. No chance of me ever seeing those again.


I went into this book with lots of fond memories and I was a bit apprehensive that reading it now would possibly spoil those memories, but I am glad to say that didn't happen. I enjoyed it just as much as I did as a child. I had forgotten how vivid and imaginative the world of Fantastica was. Even now I still felt the same wonder I had as a child at the possibility of being able to physically travel through the world within a book. I have to say, it felt a bit neverending once I moved into the second part of the book. The grown up me found the second half a bit of a slog and somewhat of a flop, just like the second movie.


Reading it for the first time as an adult, I picked up on many things that I had missed as a child. The hidden meanings and messages that had gone over the head of the younger me were there for the older me to dissect and ponder on. I remember as a child always getting frustrated when I was completely immersed in the story and then bam, up pops those dreaded words “But that is another story and shall be told another time.” I remember being desperate to know what became of those stories, I didn't want to move on until I had journeyed to the end of one story. The Adult me sees the cleverness behind the words, all stories are at their heart a neverending story, each could branch off into another, and another, and so on. There's a world of endless possibilities out there, stories waiting to be told.





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Review: People of the Sun by Jason Parent

People of the Sun - Jason  Parent


People of the Sun has everything I love to find in a book. It's a mix of horror, sci-fi, thriller, and dark fantasy, and it ticked all the boxes for me - I'm especially fussy when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy too, so they are not boxes that are easily ticked! It really has something for every reader within its pages. Seriously, is there anything this guy can't put his pen to?


I was totally captivated by the characters, completely immersed in their world, their experiences and their emotions. The world around me ceased to exist while I had the book in my hands. I enjoyed watching the characters grow and change throughout the story. Seeing them become more human and relatable, both for the better and for the worse.


People of the Sun explores what it is to be human, it delves into the good, and the bad, and the effect they have on those around us. It's a sad poignant tale, but at the same time it's tension filled and has plenty of action. I was sad to see the story come to an end. I tried to draw it out. I didn't want to say goodbye. I wanted to savour it and stay with the characters longer, but I failed miserably and ended up reading it in one sitting. I really hope there is more to this story in the future especially after that ending, it killed me.


Highly recommended!





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Review: Sea (The Huntress Trilogy #1) by Sarah Driver

Sea (The Huntress Trilogy) - Sarah Driver


Unfortunately, I couldn't get into this book at all. The writing style wasn't to my taste and the dialect kept pulling me out of the story.


Not my cuppa tea this one.



I've read 29/384 pages of The Fibro Manual

The Fibromanual: A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor - Ginevra Liptan


Finally, someone who gets it!


The author is a doctor who developed fibromyalgia during medical school and has since become an expert in the field. I'm only a few chapters in and already I have a better understanding of my symptoms.


I'm highlighting this book to death. I have a feeling I'm going to need a new highlighter.

Review: We Are Always Watching by Hunter Shea

We Are Always Watching - Hunter Shea

We Are Always Watching is different from what I have come to expect from Hunter Shea. Usually, Shea throws me right into the action pretty early on, but not this time. This time the story built slowly, both in tension and in plot. I thought I had a rough idea what to expect after reading the blurb, turns out I was wrong. We Are Always Watching morphed into something completely different and went down a different path than I was anticipating.


We Are Always Watching was a slow burner. At times it felt like nothing of great importance was happening outside of getting to know the characters, their surroundings, and their general day to day lives - with little tidbits thrown in to whet the appetite for what was to come. For the first half of the book, I thought I knew where the story was going as it was still within the box that is the blurb. Then, almost as if someone had flipped a switch, the box was obliterated. All of a sudden all my expectations were thrown out the window and I was re-analysing what I'd already read. I found myself thinking back and reflecting on everything I'd read up to that point, re-looking at all the events, the sounds, and the clues, from a different angle.


I did enjoy this turn of events, but I have to say that I was also a little disappointed that it wasn't what I was expecting it to be. I'm purposely being very vague here because it would be extremely easy to ruin this book for those who have yet to read it. Once you get to this point in the book things really take off. Before you know it the slow burn is in your rear window and the story hurtles towards the conclusion at breakneck speed.


The character growth was portrayed well and the changing dynamics and tension felt believable, but I have to say, it was the visual aspect that shone for me. I could picture the surroundings and the buildings easily and it added a whole new level to the reading experience.


I like when a book surprises me and is something other than what I was expecting it to be. But, We Are Always Watching came to a fork in the road, one turn being one of my favourite horror scenarios, and the other being a lesser liked horror scenario, and it took the lesser turn. Of course, this is in no way a negative thing, it's just my personal preference and I still thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend it.




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I mentioned yesterday that I bought wool when I was out book shopping and told Grim that I would share a picture of it because it's so pretty. It was only £1 per ball and as if that wasn't already a great bargain they were doing a 3 for the price of 2 deal! I ended up buying a dozen balls of the purple.


As you can see from the picture, the shade of purple changes quite a bit depending on how the light hits it.


The sunflower blanket behind it is my current work in progress, it's a crocheted bedspread.

I went in for one book...
I went in for one book...


I went in having promised myself I was only after the one book, maybe two... the second one being for my son.


I need bigger bookshelves.

Review: Exorcist Falls by Jonathan Janz

Exorcist Falls: Includes the novella Exorcist Road - Jonathan Janz

Exorcist Falls continues the story of the Sweet Sixteen Killer first introduced in Janz's earlier novella Exorcist Road. I first read Exorcist Road back in 2014 and loved it so much that it made my best of 2014 list. Exorcist Road is included within Exorcist Falls and I re-read it so that the story was fresh in my mind and, I have to say, I enjoyed it just as much second time around.


Exorcist Falls was a great read and I enjoyed it, but not to the same extent that I did Exorcist Road. There are more characters in this one and I think perhaps one or two of them missed the mark for me. There were two in particular that I wasn't feeling at all, their characters felt off and seemed to be a little inconsistent throughout. I struggled with Liz in particular, her character felt like a shell and I couldn't see through the cracks to the person inside. She didn't feel solid or fleshed out enough for me to be able to connect to her. The male characters outshone her in every way.


Father Crowder is by far the most memorable character in the book, his character was well written and fleshed out. I saw into the furthest corners of his mind and I got to experience his inner thoughts and struggles. In fact, all but one of the male characters were well fleshed out, consistent, and felt like real people which is why I think I was so disappointed that Liz didn't. In a cast of mostly all male characters, she was the one that I should have been able to connect to the easiest, both as a mother and as a female.


Possession is one of my favourite topics in horror and Exorcist Falls didn't disappoint. There were many scenes that had me turning the pages desperate to know what happens next, but at the same time not wanting to because it was so visual and horrifying. The cringe factor was real with this one. You know when you're watching a horror movie and it reaches that point where you're cringing and covering your eyes, but at the same time still desperate to see what's happening? I found myself doing that during one particular scene while reading, only to remember I was reading and how ridiculous it was to cover my eyes cause now I couldn't see the words. I just couldn't help myself.


I had a lot of fun with this book and it's one I would definitely recommend. I just hope there is more to this story, especially after that ending... I need more!




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Algernon Blackwood - Ancient Sorceries


Timid commuter, Arthur Vezin becomes too enchanted with a sleepy and strange French town and its people to leave.

He's slowly drawn more and more into their realm of secrets and talk of ancient memories...and is struck by how the people there resemble cats, both in looks and behaviour...


Algernon Blackwood's dark tale read in 4-parts by Philip Madoc.

Review: The Good People by Hannah Kent

The Good People - Hannah Kent


I would like to thank Picador for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.


The Good People is an engaging, emotional, and at times an uncomfortable read. It's beautifully written and pulls the reader into a world that oozes atmosphere and superstition. I really enjoyed it. I felt like I was there, that I knew these people and was a part of their world. A world that was so easily pictured, right down to the smallest of leaves on the trees, the ripples on the water, and the smells in the air. I could see everything clearly as I read. The characters felt real to me. I felt their pain, I lived, hoped, dreamed, and struggled alongside them.


I particularly loved the lore and superstition surrounding the faeries. The belief that illness, bad crop yields, and animals not producing were because of the faeries being angered, and the way daily rituals were carried out to protect harvests, households, families, and to keep food on the table, totally captivated me. I have fond memories of my grandparents doing similar things for the "wee folk". I remember as a child making small trinkets and gifts to leave around the farm for the wee folk, pouring fresh milk from the goats into a bowl on the doorstep, and also leaving out honey and oatcakes. I did the same with my own children when they were growing up, they used to leave gifts for the faeries under the tree in the garden.


Definitely, one I would recommend. I will be reading more from this author in the near future.




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It's 3am, do I go to bed or do I start Jason Parent's new book...

People of the Sun - Jason  Parent


Who am I kidding, I've been itching to read this since I got it. Sleep can wait!

Currently reading

Artemis by Andy Weir
Time of Blood (The Witching Legacy) by Robin Jarvis
It by Stephen King
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The Fibromanual: A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor by Ginevra Liptan
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