Saturday, October 31, 2015

KSR ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPOTLIHGT: "Black Blood" by John Hennessy + Guest Post

Vampires, witches, magic—no one in the Sanctuary, home of the survivors of the nuclear apocalypse, believes in such imaginary creations, including Aberdeen Dareday. That is until the day Abby wakes up with black veins bulging under her skin. The day she learns everything she’s been told about the world is a lie. Forced to flee humanity’s last refuge because of her abnormality, and the corpses left in its unexplainable wake, she finds herself on the run in an entirely new world. A world in which darkness reigns, full of supernatural creatures bent on her execution. 
When all seems lost and facing certain death, Abby is saved by Ash, a quiet yet striking young man who shares her black blood, and her mysterious powers. Unfortunately Ash, like Abby, doesn’t know how to wield them, but he might know someone who can help, if they can find her before it’s too late. Now hunted by everyone from vengeful humans, to the alluring vampire Prince of Texas, to the Lord Alpha of the largest werewolf pack ever to exist, Abby must discover what is so special about her black blood if she hopes to live and fight another day, but time stands against them as their enemies close in for the kill. 
The landscape of The 5th Wave meets the magic of Harry Potter in a spellbinding cross-genre mutation unlike anything you’ve ever read, weaving paranormal fantasy in a post-apocalyptic world.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Because I read adult horror all year long, I like to read YA/general horror for my annual Halloween special so that ALL my readers can get a literary treat. So when I received this review request over the summer, I knew that I had my Halloween special ready early!
This story is not strictly horror: it delves into sci-fi and fantasy. When I read the synopsis and it said "Harry Potter", I thought that it might be interesting. It was. The story sweeps you along on a wild ride, never pausing for breath as it takes you from one new idea to another, immersing you into this fictional America.
Abby is a very real, relatable character. She gets thrown into a strange world filled with magic and monsters, her only mode of support being Ash, a boy who is almost as in the dark as she is.
This book features heart-pounding action that will make even adult readers sit up and pay extra attention. I think there could have been more "creepy" put into the story, but I still enjoyed it, and am now eagerly awaiting book two!

4.5/5--a great, fun read for Halloween!

Purchase Black Blood on Amazon!

~*~*~GUEST POST~*~*~

It’s that time again: Halloween! It’s the best costume-filled, candy-stuffed holiday on the planet. And in the spirit of Halloween, I’d like to share my top ten favorite creatures I like to see as costumes. The countdown begins:

10) Krakens. You rarely see a kraken out on the street or in a bar, which is a shame, because there’s so much you can do with it, from body tentacles and scary teeth, to snake beards and glowing eyes. As a creature, they’re really the scariest on the list, given how large they’re usually depicted, and when you’re at sea, well, everything is scarier.

9) Yetis. Yetis are big. Yetis are quick in the snow. Yetis are fearsome. I always picture them looking kind of like werewolves, but larger, with a gorilla’s face, and with long pure white hair. Freaky. There are simply not enough yeti costumes!

8) Vampires. Outside of witches, vampires are the most common costume, and for a good reason. Vampires are versatile. They can be scary, sexy, or funny. There aren’t too many Halloween creatures that can say that. They’re not as high on my list because they’ve lost their flavor over the years, but it’s still cool to see some vampire costumes done well.

7) Draconians/Dragonmen. When I was a kid reading Dragonlance, Dragonmen were my favorite anthropomorphic creatures. Men with the features of dragons, it’s the best of both worlds for a lover of the fantastic. So many people love dragons, but you seldom see Dragonmen costumes, even though they’d be super scary. Oh well.

6) Ravens/Crows. An unkindness of ravens. A murder of crows. These are the birds of death and decay. Wherever there are bodies, these guys will be there, if they can get to them. Ravens are always great costumes when you see them. Pure black and beady eyes, you better watch out, because they’re certainly watching you.

5) Minotaur. Minotaur with warhammers are preferred, but in any shape they come, they’re cool. They are just badass when someone goes all out.

4) Gargoyles. Gargoyle costumes look a lot like Dragonmen, just gray, which may be why I like them so much. A lot more people wear them over Dragonmen, so they’re higher on my list because I’ve had the opportunity to see some excellent gargoyles.

3) Goblins. Who doesn’t love green body paint and big ears? Most look like the Green Goblin from Marvel, but my favorite costumes are the Lord of the Rings imitations—they’re way scarier.

2) Werewolves. Werewolves would be number one on the list except they’re not as realistic. Not to say the undead are realistic, just more realistic. I love werewolves. Lookswise, I think they’re the coolest on the list by far when done right (not the cheesy footie pajama ones, please). The claws, the teeth, the speed of a wolf, all of it makes for a fun, terrifying paranormal creature. This isn’t to say I don’t like other werebeasts, because I do, you just don’t see any. Werelions, anyone?

1) Zombies. I think after watching The Walking Dead for so long, zombies have become the scariest creatures on the list, especially in costume, because they’re so lifelike. Maybe too lifelike. And when you learn about parasitic fungi like cordycepts that can control their hosts, the idea of some not-quite-living humans going around and feeding on humans doesn’t seem so out there. Who knows what kind of fungi/virus is mutating at this exact moment. Maybe the one that starts the zompoc. If someone’s in a perfectly made costume and starts to make that starving zombie call, it’s pretty creepy. Anyone attending Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights should have a blast with The Walking Dead theme. I know I would!

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