#BlogTour Waking Fire by Jean Louise #bookreview #YA #fantasy

This incendiary YA fantasy debut follows a girl who will stop at nothing to save her village after it’s discovered by a dangerous warlord and his army of undead monsters.

Naira Khoum has only known life in Lagusa, a quiet village at the desert’s end. But to the rest of the world, Lagusa is a myth, its location shrouded in secrecy. While war rages to the north led by power-hungry Sothpike and his army of undead monsters called Dambi, Naira’s people live in peace.

Until the impossible happens—Lagusa is attacked by a Mistress sent to do Sothpike’s bidding with a hoard of Dambi under her control. The Mistress is looking for something, and she’s willing to let her Dambi destroy Lagusa to get it.

Desperate to protect her home, Naira convinces her twin brother Nez and handsome refugee Kal to join the newly formed resistance with her. Together, they’ll have to figure out what the Mistress wants—before there’s nothing left of Lagusa to save.

Undead monsters and a desert setting? Like music to this fantasy fan’s ears.

The cover immediately catches the eye and depicts Naira’s arid world. It’s clear the author put a lot of time and effort into the world-building, and it’s easy to visualize the settings and terrifying Dambi. The sibling relationship between twins Naira and Nez is a strong point, and he steals the show more than once. He’s also more logical, mature, and realistic than Naira, whose actions gave me the impression she was a much younger character. With the situations they’re thrust into and losses they’re dealt, at least they had each other to rely on.

The way Naira and her family welcome Kal after the loss of his father is admirable and heartwarming. He hasn’t had an easy life. I liked him as a character, but there’s a case of serious insta-love between him and Naira that happens over a couple pages. It’s not my favorite trope, but I know plenty of readers are fans of it.

If not for some language and graphic violence and deaths, I could easily see this being an upper MG book because the characters read more like lower YA. If you’re a fantasy fan seeking remarkable world-building, Waking Fire certainly provides it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

On Sale Date: January 10, 2023

9781335428578

Hardcover

$18.99 USD

Ages 13 And Up

384 pages

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Jean Louise currently lives in Queens, New York, with her cat Martha. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her nose buried in a graphic novel or taking down bad guys in her favorite video games. She received an MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. This is her debut novel.

@WriteJeanLouise

SOCIAL LINKS: 

Author Website: https://jeanlouisewrites.com/

Twitter: @writejeanlouise

Instagram: @writejeanlouise

BUY LINKS: 

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/p/books/waking-fire-jean-louise/18423456?ean=9781335428578

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Waking+Fire

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/waking%20fire

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Waking-Fire-1/dp/1335428577/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1K7FQU83CBGSM&keywords=waking+fire&qid=1672868937&sprefix=waking+fire%2Caps%2C76&sr=8-2

#BlogTour The Wrong Kind of Weird by James Ramos #bookreview #YA #romcom #TuesdayBookBlog

Cameron Carson has a secret. A secret with the power to break apart his friend group.

Cameron Carson, member of the Geeks and Nerds United (GANU) club, has been secretly hooking up with student council president, cheerleader, theater enthusiast, and all-around queen bee Karla Ortega since the summer. The one problem—what was meant to be a summer fling between coffee shop coworkers has now evolved into a clandestine senior-year entanglement, where Karla isn’t intending on blending their friend groups anytime soon, or at all.

Enter Mackenzie Briggs, who isn’t afraid to be herself or wear her heart on her sleeve. When Cameron finds himself unexpectedly bonding with Mackenzie and repeatedly snubbed in public by Karla, he starts to wonder who he can truly consider a friend and who might have the potential to become more…

I got as far as Geeks and Nerds United (GANU) club before requesting this book on NetGalley. That’s all I needed to know.

High school senior Cameron makes better than average grades, works part time as a barrista, trades snarky comments with his sister, and has a deep, abiding love of Dragonball Z. His social circle isn’t wide, and that’s just fine with him. He shares many common interests with his two (sometimes three) friends in the GANU club. The usual crowd populates his school – cheerleaders, athletes, theater group, band geeks, etc. What no one knows, not even his closest friends, is that he’s been secretly seeing popular crowd member Karla for several months. Their summer fling carried over into the school year, and Cam is hoping to find a way to fit into her crowd and be accepted by her friends. As a reporter for the school newspaper, his new assignment is to cover the play, Pride and Prejudice. With Karla and her friends involved in it, Cam thinks it’s the perfect opportunity. The problem is that he can’t stop thinking about Mackenzie, the sometimes member of GANU and his sort-of friend.

This is a light, humorous read that I sped through in a little over a day. It’s built on themes of self-acceptance, acceptance of others, strong friendships, forgiveness, and looking outside of your own little world. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen novel, so I loved all the references to Elizabeth and Darcy. Cam’s sister attempting to explain the emotions Darcy’s “weird flex thing with his hand” conveyed in the movie is a favorite scene and had me chuckling. Cam’s devotion to Dragonball Z is understandable, but I admit to skimming several extensively detailed passages about it.

A sweet romance, awkward moments, charming, diverse characters, worlds colliding, and ride-or-die friendships make this an enjoyable read sure to appeal to fans of anime and Pride and Prejudice alike.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

On Sale Date: January 3, 2023

Ship Date: December 7, 2022

9781335428585

Hardcover

$18.99 USD

320 pages

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

James Ramos (he/they) is a nonbinary, unapologetically dorky Minnesota native who now calls Arizona home. Weaned on a steady diet of science-fiction, comic books, and classic literature, James wrote his first story at eight years old and hasn’t stopped writing them since. He counts Jane Austen and Frank Herbert as his biggest literary influences, and believes in the unifying power of the written word. James is passionate about storytelling, particularly stories that give voice to marginalized people, especially those within the LGBTQ+ community and people of color. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found cosplaying with his friends or surrounded by his amazing family of cats.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/thejamesramos 

Twitter & Instagram: @thejamesramos

BUY LINKS:

Changing Hands: https://www.changinghands.com/event/january2023/james-ramos 

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/p/books/the-wrong-kind-of-weird-james-ramos/18423457?ean=9781335428585 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wrong-kind-of-weird-james-ramos/1141358823?ean=9781335428585&st=AFF&2sid=Linktree%20Pty%20Ltd_100589976_NA&sourceId=AFFLinktree%20Pty%20Ltd 

Books a Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335428585?AID=32499&PID=100589976&cjevent=20f9ded7821611ed8187006e0a82b824&cjdata=MXxOfDB8WXww 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1335428585 

The Stranded (The Stranded #1) by Sarah Daniels #bookreview #dystopian #postapocalyptic #TuesdayBookBlog

Snowpiercer meets The Hunger Games in a gripping near-future dystopian.

Welcome to the Arcadia.

Once a luxurious cruise ship, it became a refugee camp after being driven from Europe by an apocalyptic war. Now it floats near the coastline of the Federated States – a leftover piece of a fractured USA.

For forty years, residents of the Arcadia have been prohibited from making landfall. It is a world of extreme haves and have nots, gangs and make-shift shelters.

Esther is a loyal citizen, working flat-out to have the rare chance to live a normal life as a medic on dry land. Nik is a rebel, planning something big to liberate the Arcadia once and for all.

When events throw them both together, their lives, and the lives of everyone on the ship, will change forever . . . 

I’m a fan of both the Snowpiercer movie and series, and The Hunger Games is always a favorite. A blend of these comp titles was like a dream come true.

In the year 2094, decades after an apocalyptic war, several cruise ships are still at sea due to the possibility of the passengers spreading the virus to those on land. But after nearly 16,000 days at sea, the Arcadia has remained virus free for the majority of that time. The Federated States, most on the eastern seaboard, have split from the US and don’t want the ships to dock. They send supplies and very limited food rations, but life aboard still isn’t easy. The Arcadia consists of fourteen levels, the lowest controlled by gangs and the top tiers for the wealthy. With a couple generations never having set foot on land, most staterooms are passed down within families. Can I just say the world-building is well-crafted and fascinated me.

Opportunities for a future off the ship are almost nonexistent, but Esther and her sister May are both fortunate to have them – Esther as a medic and May as a soldier. Esther has kept her head down and worked hard so she and her boyfriend, also a medic, can leave the Arcadia and have a normal life. She just didn’t account for Nik and the rebel group. And then everything changes.

I certainly understood Esther’s motives, but I wasn’t her biggest fan at the beginning. She can’t see what’s right in front of her and pays the price for it. By the end, she redeems herself in my book. Nik is my favorite character, and he’s prepared to give his all for the resistance, but suffers a significant loss along the way. Chapters alternate between Esther, Nik, and Hadley’s (a despicable villain) POVs. Pacing is a little uneven, but the last twenty percent is thrilling and moves at warp speed, almost like a domino effect.

The Stranded is a phenomenal debut novel, and I’m anxious to see what happens in the conclusion of this duology. I’d highly recommend it to dystopia/postapocalyptic YA and adult fans.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford #bookreview #YA #fantasy

Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake. Either way, they’re never heard from again.

Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.

When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.

Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself. 

The island of Endla is protected by a poisonous lake and a magical forest that demands blood sacrifices. Spending her entire life there, Leelo has led a very sheltered life. Outsiders live on the mainland, and they’re responsible for driving Endlans to the island several generations ago because of their magic. Leelo grew up being taught that outsiders are evil, unaccepting, and intolerant of Endlans. Personally, I thought many of the Endlans were a cold-hearted bunch. If their children’s magic hasn’t emerged by the age of twelve, they’re exiled and sent across the poisonous lake to find their own way in the world, never allowed to return to their homes or families.

Leelo’s aunt and cousin, who she and her mother live with, are among those cold-hearted people and don’t seem at all sorry that her brother Tate is to be exiled. Leelo is a more tender-hearted person, so when she comes across Jaren, an injured outsider who accidentally winds up on the island, she betrays her family and community to hide and shelter him and nurse him back to health. Over the course of getting to know each other, Leelo questions everything she’s been taught about the outsiders. Are they really as evil as she’s been led to believe? Once Jaren is discovered, Leelo is forced to choose sides.

Although I enjoyed the spectacular world-building, the story leans more toward romance than I expected. I know plenty of other reviewers are thrilled by that aspect. The ending is exciting and moves pretty quickly. I liked that it’s hopeful, and people are forced to question their beliefs.

The Poison Season is a solid, atmospheric fantasy filled with important messages and some creepy elements that thrilled me. I would have preferred less emphasis on the romance, but that’s just me, and it certainly wouldn’t prevent me from reading more books by this author in the future. She sure knows how to create an eerie setting.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

This Cursed Crown (These Feathered Flames #2) by Alexandra Overy #bookreview #YA #fantasy #magic

Awakening to find herself trapped in a strange tower, Izaveta knows she must find her way back to the Tóurensi palace and claim the throne. But even with an unexpected ally’s help, she worries she might not be able to get news of her survival to her sister and escape this frozen land.

Back at home, Asya enlists Nikov’s help to prove Izaveta is still alive, even as she finds herself forced to navigate the political world she always sought to avoid to save her queendom, her loved ones, and herself.

But as the sisters work independently to reunite, a dangerous force lies in wait, trying to regain power in order to overthrow the monarchy…

With a doozy of a cliffhanger at the end of the first book, I was anxious to see what was next for these twin sisters/princesses.

Asya believes her sister Izaveta is dead, and she’s floundering without her. Izaveta understands court politics and manipulates people like a master chess player, but Asya is entirely out of her depth. As the Firebird, she’s required to collect payment from magic casters to maintain balance in the realm – the rules are clear-cut and something she understands. But because of her actions at the end of the first book, she’s now cast as a criminal, and the girl she loves is missing. With Izaveta presumed dead, the throne sits empty, and someone must be crowned. Among power struggles, betrayals, lies, imprisonments, and dark magic, it’s unclear who will succeed.

I honestly didn’t know how these two would find their way back to each other, reclaim the throne, or even survive, and their circumstances look grim for most of the story. Selfish decisions and mistakes are made, and every time they gain ground, the twins are outsmarted by a very clever villain. When long-kept secrets are revealed, their paths become very murky.

I’m a fan of morally gray characters, but I had a love/hate relationship with Iza and Asya on and off throughout the book. Each makes unpopular choices at certain points, but there’s also admirable character growth in both of them throughout the course of the story. When the chips are down, their sister/twin bond only grows stronger, and they’ll always choose each other over everyone else.

These books are based on the Russian folktale The Firebird, so fans of fairy tales or folklore may find the series appealing. This Cursed Crown is a satisfying conclusion to an exciting duology filled with magic, power quests, and deception.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Curse of Shadows (Amassia #2) by A.K. Wilder #bookreview #YA #fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

For fans of epic fantasy with adventure and romance, Curse of Shadows reveals a world of unique magic, breathtaking action, and unforgettable love.

Amassia teeters on the brink of the next Great Dying.

The second sun has returned as our Bone Throwers foresaw–casting the nine realms into war.

My name is Ash, and I fell in the battle for Baiseen. But I’m awake now, slowly putting the pieces back together.

My Heir has lost his throne.

My sailor is gone.

And there is an emptiness inside me I can’t explain.

Amid the chaos, someone must collect the original twelve whistle bones from all corners of the world. Marcus is named to lead the cause, but with his volatile phantom, he’ll need diplomacy as much as his sword. And we are not the only ones to seek the bones.

Yet succeed we must.

Because if we don’t, it will be death to all…

Characters raising various types of phantoms to help battle enemies – it’s something I hadn’t come across in a YA fantasy and one of my favorite aspects about the first book in this series. With loads of secrets, mysterious characters, and ancient scrolls, this sequel was on my list of most anticipated releases this year.

This is one of those reviews that will be difficult to write without spoilers, so it may be brief. The prophesied Next Great Dying is approaching, and the only way to prevent it is to gather the original twelve whistle bones scattered across the world. Former heir Marcus lost the throne to his younger brother, but has now been named the Bone Gatherer and is tasked with collecting the whistle bones. Assisting him in this quest are several friends from the first book, including Ash and Kaylin. Suffice it to say, the journey is filled with life-threatening danger, exciting adventure, and mind-numbing revelations.

POV rotates mainly between Marcus, Ash, and Kaylin, but much of this story belongs to Ash. My list of suspicions about her in the first book was pretty long, and some are confirmed, but other reveals surprised me. Kaylin continues to be my favorite character, and he comes with some pretty unexpected reveals of his own. His relationship with Ash only grows stronger in this sequel, and that ending left me pretty anxious – and possibly screaming in frustration.

Pacing isn’t as consistent as the first book, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. This remains one of the best YA epic fantasies I’ve read in the past couple years, and the third book has already made my most anticipated release list no matter when it arrives.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar #bookreview #YA #historicalfiction #suspense

Adiba Jaigirdar, author of one of Time’s Best YA books of all time, gives Titanic an Ocean’s 8 makeover in a heist for a treasure aboard the infamous ship that sank in the Atlantic many years ago.

A thief. An artist. A acrobat. An actress. While Josefa, Emilie, Hinnah, and Violet seemingly don’t have anything in common, they’re united in one goal: stealing the Rubaiyat, a jewel-encrusted book aboard the RMS Titanic that just might be the golden ticket to solving their problems.

But careless mistakes, old grudges, and new romance threaten to jeopardize everything they’ve worked for and put them in incredible danger when tragedy strikes. While the odds of pulling off the heist are slim, the odds of survival are even slimmer . . .

Anything involving the Titanic has always been a source of fascination for me. Pair that with a team of female characters involved in a heist on board? That made this title irresistible.

I listened to an automated voice galley ARC of this book which isn’t my preference, but it’s what I was approved for. Not being a stranger to the synthesized ARCs, I knew it might be hard to distinguish between characters – and it was. But I loved the diversity of the main characters both in ethnicity and backgrounds and the sweet romance between two of them.

I didn’t realize until after finishing that the Rubaiyat is an actual rare book that went down with the Titanic. That fact lent an air of authenticity along with the countdown of the sinking noted at the beginning of each chapter. The characters’ plan to steal the Rubaiyat is dangerous and fraught with unexpected roadblocks, but it comes with a big payout and it’s a risk they’re willing to take. Knowing their time is limited creates even more tension for the reader. Which of them will survive, if any?

A couple of things did disappoint me. It takes several chapters to actually get to the heist, and while the romance is adorable, I didn’t expect it to be such a large portion of the plot. That’s something that probably isn’t an issue for many readers, and while I don’t mind romance being part of a story, it overshadows the heist, which is one of the things that drew me to this book. The Oceans movies are aptly used as comp titles, but I was surprised that some identical/nearly identical plot points are taken directly from one of those movies and the Titanic movie (not the historical details).

A heist aboard the Titanic is a compelling concept, and I believe I would have enjoyed this book more with a human narrated audiobook or an ebook ARC.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Gleanings by Neal Shusterman #bookreview #fantasy #shortstories #TuesdayBookBlog

The New York Times bestselling Arc of the Scythe series continues with thrilling stories that span the timeline. Storylines continue. Origin stories are revealed. And new Scythes emerge!

There are still countless tales of the Scythedom to tell. Centuries passed between the Thunderhead cradling humanity and Scythe Goddard trying to turn it upside down. For years humans lived in a world without hunger, disease, or death with Scythes as the living instruments of population control.

Neal Shusterman—along with collaborators David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shusterman—returns to the world throughout the timeline of the Arc of a Scythe series. Discover secrets and histories of characters you’ve followed for three volumes and meet new heroes, new foes, and some figures in between.

Gleanings shows just how expansive, terrifying, and thrilling the world that began with the Printz Honor–winning Scythe truly is.

The Arc of a Scythe series is one of my absolute favs, so when I saw Gleanings on NetGalley, I might have squealed with glee (I totally did).

The Arc of a Scythe series has concluded, but the author (and several co-authors) had more stories to tell about this world and some of its characters. And I was totally thrilled with that. I recently finished the last book in the series, so I remembered some of the characters mentioned in Gleanings. One of my favorites is Goddard’s origin story. Like most readers, I wasn’t a fan of his, but he was a fascinating character I wanted to know more about – and my wish sure was granted. I also enjoyed seeing Scythe Curie in a couple stories and learning what became of her. A big smile split my face when Scythe Lucifer/Rowan made an appearance. That story was also one of my favorites even before he showed up.

Although I loved the end of this series (seriously, I can’t tell you how much I loved that ending), I was sad to see it conclude. Getting this book of short stories set within that world was like an early Christmas gift. If you haven’t read Arc of a Scythe, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s filled with magnificent world-building, complex characters, and jaw-dropping moments.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saint (Fable #0) by Adrienne Young #bookreview #YA #adventure #fantasy

New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns to the world of The Narrows with Saint, a captivating prequel to Fable and Namesake.

As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales.

Nine years after his lack of superstition got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows.

Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for.

He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for―Saint. 

Fable and Namesake were two of my favorite reads over the past couple years. But if there was ever a character I wanted to know more about, it was Saint, Fable’s father. This book was worth the wait.

My first impression of Saint wasn’t good in Fable. He’d just lost his wife, and he abandons their teenage daughter on an island filled with thieves and little food. The guy certainly wasn’t in the running for a Parent of the Year award. Eventually the reader learns that Saint never does anything without reason, and his moves are strategic. Pieces are revealed about his life with wife Isolde, but this prequel fills in the gaps and answers many questions I had about both characters. It starts at the beginning of their epic love story.

All I knew of Isolde was from Fable’s memories of her, so I loved meeting the actual character. She’s a privileged wealthy girl who’s on the run from her gem dealer mother, Holland – and with good reason. Love isn’t the driving force behind her mother’s search for her. Holland’s only interested in how Isolde (a dredger and gem sage) can increase her wealth. Isolde is brave and spirited, but also a little naive on her own in the real world. Believing she’s found a way to disappear, she soon learns she was deceived and is about to be sold to a trader.

Saint is on the verge of finally receiving his trader’s license and fulfilling his father’s dream for him. He wants to help the Narrows by pushing back again the wealthy traders in the Unnamed Sea and certainly doesn’t need the distraction of a beautiful girl – no matter how much he’s attracted to her. When Isolde takes refuge on his ship, he’s determined to help her keep her freedom. Primarily cold and calculating in the Fable books, meeting Saint before Isolde’s death really humanizes him and explains his demeanor.

The action sequences are nail-biters, and the scenes on the high sea are so vivid I could almost smell the salt air. I was delighted at the mention of West (a character in the other books) near the end. My ARC was an audiobook, and the narrators did an excellent job. If you’ve read the Fable series, don’t miss this prequel. But I recommend reading those books first.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The BEK Curse by Jonathan Pongratz #bookreview #horror #novella

“Just let us in. This won’t take long.”

Early retirees Maria and Richard Wilcox adore their new home out in the country. The past six months have been sheer bliss as they settled in and prepared for their golden years.

Until the night they answer a knock on their door.

The unexpected visitors are a pair of children. Richard tries to be cordial, but something about the kids is off. Something sinister, something menacing, something inhuman.

And then the children demand to be let in.

What do they want? Is this all a prank? Can Maria and Richard get them to go away, or will their dreams of a peaceful retirement together go up in flames?

I’m a horror fan, but somehow I’ve never come across the urban legend of black-eyed children. After reading this, I can’t believe I missed these creepy evil spawn.

Richard and Maria are at a point in their lives when they’re ready to relax a little – they’ve just bought a farm in the country, and their twin sons are out of the house and away at college. They’re looking forward to enjoying their semi-retirement together. It seems like an idyllic life – until their dreams are shattered after two black-eyed children come knocking at their door one night demanding to be let in.

A lot is packed into this unsettling short read – well-defined characterization, heartfelt moments, and spine-tingling scenes. If you’re brave enough, you might take a peek through your window to see if anyone’s outside in the darkness staring back at you. With this ending, there’s potential for the author to expand on the story, and I’d love to see it continue.

After reading The BEK Curse, you’ll be wanting to double check those doors and windows are locked. If you hear persistent knocking at the door, just make sure to turn on the porch light before answering. And don’t let them in.