It’s Spooky Month! I absolutely love this time of year because of all the spooky and scary things that are possible to enjoy. One of the directions I took this was reading some spooky books! There is no shortage to books to do with witches, murderers, and other scary motifs. Here are all of the books that I read in October!
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Summary: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
My thoughts: The premise hooked me. This was the first book I’ve read from V.E. Schwab and I’m glad this was the one I chose. While the book started out a bit slow, it definitely hooked me when I was about a third of the book in. The characters started to flesh out and the action really started (but I do believe that the beginning had to have been slow to set the stage and make the motivations of the characters clear). It got spooky, real fast. There was so much going on in this book and it was a whirlwind to the finish. I immediately purchased the second book in the series, Vengeful, when I completed the book. The best price that I found for Vicious was right here on Amazon.
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
Summary: Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney Clarke once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she’s alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol. And then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance. Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.
My thoughts: I really liked this book. Similarly to the first one, it was a bit of a slow start. The scene had to be set in order for everything that came in the middle of the book and after to make sense. The plot of this book was spectacular and there were several moments within the book that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. This was a great sequel to Vicious and I am happy to have read it. I was lucky enough to snag the signed Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition off the website for B&N before it sold out. I recommend this series to everyone who likes superheroes and morally-grey characters!
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Summary: I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life. Everyone loves Orion Lake. Everyone else, that is. Far as I’m concerned, he can keep his flashy combat magic to himself. I’m not joining his pack of adoring fans. I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance, even if they do. Forget the hordes of monsters and cursed artifacts, I’m probably the most dangerous thing in the place. Just give me a chance and I’ll level mountains and kill untold millions, make myself the dark queen of the world. At least, that’s what the world expects me to do. Most of the other students in here would be delighted if Orion killed me like one more evil thing that’s crawled out of the drains. Sometimes I think they want me to turn into the evil witch they assume I am. The school itself certainly does. But the Scholomance isn’t getting what it wants from me. And neither is Orion Lake. I may not be anyone’s idea of the shining hero, but I’m going to make it out of this place alive, and I’m not going to slaughter thousands to do it, either. Although I’m giving serious consideration to just one.
My thoughts: I was hooked when I heard this book was described as a “feminist Harry Potter.” I purchased this on the Barnes and Noble website the day that it was published and was lucky enough to buy a signed edition before they sold out. I loved this book. It was so dark and gritty and I fell in love with the characters. It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I can’t wait for the second book, The Last Graduate, to come out next year on July 6th. I recommend it for anyone who likes witchcraft and vivid world-building.
Crave by Tracy Wolff
Summary: My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me. Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me. Which could spell death for us all. Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally―as the bait.
My thoughts: This book is incredibly popular on BookTok (the part of TikTok where book lovers share their different recommendations) and the sequel, Crush, was just released so I figured this was the perfect time to pick up this book. The best price for Crave is on Amazon, which is linked right here. I really enjoyed reading this book because the writing style is humorous and easy to read. I laughed a lot while reading and thoroughly enjoyed the characters Wolff had to offer.
Crush by Tracy Wolff
Summary: Everything feels off―especially me. I’ve returned to Katmere Academy, but I’m haunted by fragments of days I have no recollection of living and struggling to understand who, or what, I really am. Just when I start to feel safe again, Hudson is back with a vengeance. He insists there are secrets I don’t know about, threatening to drive a wedge between Jaxon and me forever. But far worse enemies are at our doorstep. The Circle is caught in a power play and the Vampire Court is trying to drag me out of my world and into theirs. The only thing Hudson and Jaxon agree on is that leaving Katmere would mean my certain death. And not only am I fighting for my life, but now everyone else’s is at stake―unless we can defeat an unspeakable evil. All I know is that saving the people I love is going to require sacrifice. Maybe more than I’m able to give.
My thoughts: Oh, my gosh. What a great sequel. I won’t go into details so that it won’t be spoiled for you if you haven’t read it, but oh, my gosh. I loved every moment of this book. It had so much action and the world-building was phenomenal. I can’t believe I have to wait until March to see the third book of the series. Unbelievable. But please do yourself a favour and pick up this series! It’s so good.
To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Summary: Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
My thoughts: I’m a sucker for fairytale retellings, and The Little Mermaid was one of my favourites when I was growing up. When I heard about this one (and saw some of the beautiful art inspired by this book), it jumped higher on my to-read list. I was able to purchase this book for a wonderful price through bookoutlet.com, but they no longer have the title at the moment. The next lowest price would be through Amazon, linked here. This book is so enjoyable, I read half of it in one sitting.
Fable by Adrienne Young
Summary: For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father. But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.
My thoughts: This was the September book from Bookish Box! I was so excited to receive it (with gilded edges and a reversible dust cover!) and I was looking forward to reading it. There have been glowing reviews for this book online, so I couldn’t wait to dig in. Adrienne Young did such a great job with the descriptions of the characters and the world-building. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and cannot wait for the second and final book of the series, Namesake, to be released on March 16th, 2021.
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Summary: When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and one of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed as the Blood Queen…unless the trials kill the queen first.One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable—until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world—and of each other.
My thoughts: I have heard a lot of great reviews about this book and the entire series, which is why I picked up the complete trilogy during Prime Day on Amazon. Lightbringer, the third and final book in the series, was just released a little bit ago. I wanted to enjoy the series right after it was published. It started with a bang and I was hooked from page three. It’s such an interesting series and I’m very excited to see how it goes! I saw a really positive review of Lightbringer and I’m pumped for when I get to read it.
Those are all of the books I’ve read in October! In full disclosure, there are a few more days until Saturday, so I might be able to squeeze in Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy, Book 2) before the end of the month! Which books have you read? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know down in the comments. And, as always, thank you so much for reading!