Book Review | Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

hex-book-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: Hex
AUTHOR: Thomas Olde Heuvelt (translated from the Dutch by Nancy Forest-Flier
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2016
GENRE: Thriller, Paranormal Horror
PAGE COUNT: 384


Hex is terrifying for reasons you wouldn’t expect.  Chronicling a small town’s descent into a hell of their own making, it brings humanity’s deeply buried darkness to the surface.  

Present day Black Spring is under the curse of a 17th century witch with eyes and mouth sewn shut.  To ward off Kathryn’s wrath, the town hides the haunting from outsiders, masquerading fear as folksy tradition.  While most of the townspeople play their part for the greater good, a gang of teen fundamentalists takes a joke too far and incites Kathryn’s revenge.  Soon Black Spring’s fragile façade of law and order is shattered forever. Continue reading

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Book Review | The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

the-call-book-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: The Call
AUTHOR: Peadar Ó Guilín
PUBLISHER: David Fickling Books
RELEASE DATE: August 30, 2016
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
PAGE COUNT: 312


Despite its chilling premise – fusing ancient Irish mythology with the contemporary dystopian genre – this debut horror story by young adult author Peadar Ó Guilín fell flat.  Clichés, shallow characters, and its predictable plot made me cringe from cover to cover.

Until her 10th birthday, Nessa was sheltered from the horrific fate of Irish teenagers – at some point during her teen years, she will be “Called” from her world to be hunted and mutilated by the Sídhe, a fairy race banished to the Grey Lands by an ancient treaty.  Despite her crippled legs, Nessa is a strong competitor at her survival school.  However, even in her own world, danger lurks in the form of her distracting love interest Anto and the jealous brute Conor.   Continue reading

Book Review | Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller

elizabeth-and-zenobia-book-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: Elizabeth and Zenobia
AUTHOR: Jessia Miller
PUBLISHER: Text Publishing
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2016
GENRE: Junior Fiction, Fantasy
PAGE COUNT: 232


Elizabeth and Zenobia is Aussie author, Jessica Miller’s wickedly clever debut.  Although it nods to familiar fantasy tropes, it forges its own unique vision.

Elizabeth and her imaginary friend Zenobia are moving to Witheringe Green, her father’s childhood home.  But there is much more to this old house than meets the eye.  When family secrets lead to even stranger mysteries, Elizabeth must face her fears and save her family from otherworldly danger.

Elizabeth is our first person narrator.  Unlike the fearless Zenobia, she is scared of almost everything, including but not limited to Continue reading

Book Review | When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson

When Marnie Was There Review Paige's PagesTITLE: When Marnie Was There
AUTHOR: Joan G. Robinson
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins
RELEASE DATE: 1967
GENRE: Junior Fiction, Fantasy
PAGE COUNT: 286


For a children’s book first published in 1967, When Marnie Was There still feels fresh and magical.  For some readers, this was the book they grew up with.  For me, this is a book to grow old with.  

12-year-old Anna lives with her foster parents in London.  She is sent away for her health to a seaside village where she meets a mysterious girl.  Marnie is Anna’s first real friend – someone who accepts her for who she is.  But Marnie’s life in the beautiful Marsh House is not as perfect as it seems.

Straight away, the mental health aspect surprised me. Continue reading

Book Review | This Census-Taker by China Miéville

This Census-Taker Review Paige's PagesTITLE: This Census-Taker
AUTHOR: China Miéville
PUBLISHER: Del Ray
RELEASE DATE: January 12, 2016
GENRE: Magical Realism, Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT: 210


China Miéville’s brand new novella boasts contemporary style as well as the grace of an old classic.  It uses the power of silence and suggestion to make a lasting emotional impact.  

Isolated on a mountaintop with his parents, a seven-year-old boy believes his key-maker father is a murderer.  Lacking proof, he has no option but to live under a shadow of fear. Continue reading

Book Review | White Space by Ilsa J. Bick

White Space Review Paige's PagesTITLE: White Space
SERIES: The Dark Passages  #1
AUTHOR: Isla J. Bick
PUBLISHER: Egmont USA
RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2014
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror
PAGE COUNT: 560


White Space is the captivating first book of Ilsa J. Bick’s young adult fantasy series, The Dark Passages.  What starts as a cool concept evolves into a scary and unputdownable epic.  

When Emma woke up yesterday morning, life had still been pretty normal.  Well, as normal as it got for a kid with a head full of metal, killer headaches, visions that appeared more or less at random, chunks of lost time, and nowhere to go over Christmas break – page 31

17-year-old Emma is no ordinary teenager.  Her random blinks into other people’s minds are disorienting but harmless.   Continue reading

Book Review | Slade House by David Mitchell

Slade House Review Paige's PagesTITLE: Slade House
AUTHOR: David Mitchell
PUBLISHER: Random House
RELEASE DATE: October 27, 2015
GENRE: Supernatural Horror
PAGE COUNT: 233


Every nine years a guest is summoned to Slade House, never to return.  The only people who know the truth behind the disappearances are already dead.  David Mitchell uses his iconic split narrative style to magic this supernatural horror story into being.  

Over the course of five decades, five guests walk into a terrifying trap.  Slade House is nothing more than the facade for a deadly game of cat and mouse.  Like flies in a web, the unwitting victims don’t stand a chance against the sinister powers at work here.  Who are the residents of Slade House and what is their purpose?  This grown-up equivalent of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline is creepy and compulsive. Continue reading

Review | The Bees by Laline Paull

51N7JrL9bKLTITLE: The Bees
AUTHOR: Laline Paull
PUBLISHER: Fourth Estate
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2015
GENRE: Thriller, Action
PAGE COUNT: 352


Imagine a thriller told from the perspective of bees.  Through the analogy of a totalitarian beehive, Laline Paull’s debut novel questions our perception of the world and our humanity.  With its startling political message, The Bees is destined to become a powerful dystopian classic.  

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker from the lowest class of the hive.  From birth, she knows her one duty is to accept, obey and serve.  When Flora saves the hive from a wasp invasion and becomes the first of her kin to forage for nectar, she catches wind of insidious secrets.  Plague, massacre, and religious purge bring death and discord to her home.  Despite her readiness to sacrifice everything for her Queen, Flora’s stirring of forbidden maternal love could lead her to commit the most sacrilegious crime of all.

She dragged her body through and fell out onto the floor of an alien world.  Static roared through her brain, thunderous vibration shook the ground and a thousand scents dazed her.  All she could do was breathe until gradually the vibration and static subsided and the scent evaporated into the air.  Her rigid body unlocked and she calmed as knowledge filled her mind.  This was the Arrivals Hall and she was a worker.  Her kin was Flora and her number was 717 – page 3

Continue reading

Book Review | Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-book-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
SERIES: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1
AUTHOR: Ransom Riggs
PUBLISHER: Quirk
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2011
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
PAGE COUNT: 352


Ransom Riggs’ debut novel combines vintage photographs with fast-paced fantasy.  Although this book has a unique vision, poorly developed characters let it down.

After a horrific family tragedy, 16-year-old Jacob travels to a tiny island off the coast of Wales to investigate his grandfather’s mysterious past.  There he finds a home for children with extraordinary abilities, hidden from the outside world.  However, evil lurks one step behind him, hellbent on destroying both his world and that of the peculiar children.   Continue reading