Don’t Turn on the Lights Review

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About the Book

Featuring stories from R.L. Stine and Madeleine Roux, this middle grade horror anthology, curated by New York Times bestselling author and master of macabre Jonathan Maberry, is a chilling tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Flesh-hungry ogres? Brains full of spiders? Haunted houses you can’t escape? This collection of 35 terrifying stories from the Horror Writers Association has it all, including ghastly illustrations from Iris Compiet that will absolutely chill readers to the bone.

So turn off your lamps, click on your flashlights, and prepare—if you dare—to be utterly spooked!

The complete list of writers: Linda D. Addison, Courtney Alameda, Jonathan Auxier, Gary A. Braunbeck, Z Brewer, Aric Cushing, John Dixon, Tananarive Due, Jamie Ford, Kami Garcia, Christopher Golden, Tonya Hurley, Catherine Jordan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis, N.R. Lambert, Laurent Linn, Amy Lukavics, Barry Lyga, D.J. MacHale, Josh Malerman, James A. Moore, Michael Northrop, Micol Ostow, Joanna Parypinksi, Brendan Reichs, Madeleine Roux, R.L. Stine, Margaret Stohl, Gaby Triana, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rosario Urrea, Kim Ventrella, Sheri White, T.J. Wooldridge, Brenna Yovanoff

Review

Who’s ready to get scared?! I just love short story anthologies. And I love them even more when they’re scary short stories! I remember reading Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark with my cousins as a kid, so this book was just such a fun way to bring back allllll of that nostalgia! Plus, who doesn’t love a good scary story?! And I love how the scare factor isn’t held back because this is a “kids” book, sometimes the creepiest things come from those geared towards younger audiences.

This selection of stories is geared as a tribute to the ever enduring OG, and that’s just what they felt like when reading! There was a hint of nostalgia, a dash of reverence, and a whole bunch of creativity. I mean this collection was just the perfect mash of new mixed with that ode to the old.

I just adored this book and all it’s scary glory. While I don’t necessarily scare easily, I do love the feeling of unease that something spooky always brings (I know I’m a smidge twisted). And if you hold any love for scary stories in your heart this book is a MUST. Plus it’s the perfect season to pass these stories around a camp fire!

About the Author

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; was named in Booklist’s Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, an American Library Association Top Pick, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; winner of several state Teen Book Awards including the Cricket, Nutmeg and MASL; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (winner of the Bram Stoker Award; 2012; and FIRE & ASH (August 2013). BROKEN LANDS, the first of a new spin-off series, debuts in 2018.

His thrillers include The Joe Ledger Thrillers from St. Martin’s Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel; EXTINCTION MACHINE, (2013; now in development for TV by SONY); PREDATOR ONE, and others. His first middle grade novel, THE NIGHTSIDERS BOOK 1: THE ORPHAN ARMY, was named one the 100 Best Books for Children 2015, with a sequel, VAULT OF SHADOWS debuting this year from Simon & Schuster. His standalone teen science fiction novel, MARS ONE, is in development for film by Zucker Productions and Lone Tree Entertainment. His upcoming standalone suspense novel, GLIMPSE, has gotten advance praise from Clive Barker, Scott Smith, James Rollins, Heather Graham and Charlaine Harris.

His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium; DEAD MAN’S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 (named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium) and its sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. He also wrote the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation; and DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS, an original novel inspired by the million-copy-selling role-playing game. He has also written the foreword to a new annotated edition of DRACULA from Writers Digest Books.

Jonathan and colleague #1 NY Times bestseller Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) each wrote an X-FILES ORIGINS novel for teens; with Kami focusing on Fox Mulder in AGENT OF CHAOS; and Jonathan telling the backstory of young Dana Scully in DEVIL’S ADVOCATE.

Jonathan is the creator, editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW, and its sequels, V-WARS: BLOOD AND FIRE, V-WARS: NIGHT TERRORS, and V-WARS. And he writes a best-selling monthly V-WARS comic. A board game version of V-Wars was released in 2017; and the series is in development for TV by IDW Media.

He is also the editor of the dark fantasy anthology series, OUT OF TUNE (JournalStone), a series of THE X-FILES anthologies which launched in 2015; SCARY OUT THERE, an anthology of horror for teens; and the anthologies ALIENS: BUG HUNT, NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD (with George Romero), JOE LEDGER UNSTOPPABLE (with Bryan Thomas Schmidt) and two volumes of mysteries: ALTERNATE SHERLOCKS and THE GAME’S AFOOT (with Michael Ventrella).

Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary series, ZOMBIES: A Living History and TRUE MONSTERS. And he was participated in the commentary tracks for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Horrid Review

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About the Book

From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?

Review

I have literally been waiting to read this book since the cover was revealed. So you can guess how excited I was to receive a copy for review (THANK YOU The Novl)! I mean, contemporary horror? Yes please! Sign me right up! Plus, this one has been compared to Christie and King, arguably two of the most genius authors for their genres. And, admittedly, going into a book with extremely high expectations has proven disastrously for me in the past. BUT, I am pleased to say that this one HELD UP!

So this book starts out twisted and just continues to twist and turn and get creepier as you move through it. And this book is definitely an atmospheric read, which makes the story even spookier. There’s a story in here but it also flaunts the line of being one extended train of thought. I know this is probably a terrible way of describing such beautiful writing, but hey, I tried.

This book hooked me from the very first kooky page (you’ll know what I mean when you start it). Plus it references Alice Liddell and Agatha Christie within the first few pages, so of course it was an insta love for me. But definitely add this book to your spooky season list this year because it will assuredly stick with you!

About the Author

Katrina Leno was born on the East Coast and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is the author of five critically acclaimed novels: The Half Life of Molly PierceThe Lost & FoundEverything All at OnceSummer of Salt, and You Must Not Miss. Her sixth novel, Horrid, arrives Sept. 15 2020.

*I received an arc in exchange for an honest review*