House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson
9/27/2022 by Ace
I discovered this author last year when I read The Year of the Witching. House of Hunger features Marion Shaw, a woman born into the slums and just trying to survive day to day. After seeing an advertisement for a bloodmaid she starts to envision a way out of her situation and to a better life. One where she serves a Northern house, offering up her blood to its wealthy noble in exchange for a chance at a prosperous future.
Once she applies, she is quickly swept into a world of decadence and depravity. The House of Hunger and its patroness, Countess Lisavet, are cold and cruel, but also mysterious and powerful. Despite Marion’s misgivings and unease, she is soon caught up in their spell and wants nothing more than to please Lisavet. Then she begins to discover the truth about the bloodmaids that came before her and why her mistress sneaks off in the middle of the night.
I’ve read two books by this author and haven’t been disappointed yet. House of Hunger is true gothic horror, where the atmosphere and house full of secret passageways and creepy history are just as much of a character as the people who reside within its walls. I wasn’t expecting the ending which made it all the more satisfying.
Another enjoyable read by Alexis Henderson, I look forward to her next release.
CW- death, gore, bloodletting, violence
Gallows Hill by Darcy Coates
9/6/2022 by Poisoned Pen Press
Before we get any further I want to let everyone know that this book scared the shit out of me. I’ve read A LOT of horror lately and I think this is one of the most atmospheric, edge-of-your-seat, don’t read at night books I’ve picked up in quite a while. It took me longer to finish because I was simply like “NOPE, not reading after dark, right before I go to bed.”. For real.
Gallows Hill introduces Margot Hull, who inherits Gallows Hill Winery after her parents die of heart attacks unexpectedly on the same night. Margot hasn’t been back to the area since she was a small child of eight and doesn’t remember anything about what used to be her home. There was no contact with her parents after they sent her away and she is only back for the answers to her questions about why they cut her out of their lives. But as soon as she arrives in the small town she knows something is off about how the residents act toward her, her parent’s death, and the land where the winery stands.
This book creeped me out. Almost from the moment Margot entered the house on Gallows Hill and slowly started discovering its secrets I had this intense feeling of dread. As with any haunted house/horror novel, there is a backstory of past traumas suffered on the land and in the house Margot has inherited and now she is caught up in its curse and can’t leave. The scenes at night are fraught with terror and suspense, the setting dark and sinister, and even the secondary characters tense in a way that spiked my anxiety. I was so happy to get to the end.
If you are a true fan of the horror genre this is one read you won’t want to miss.
CW- Death, ghosts, violence, scary ass haunted house