Adding to the To Be Read Pile for 2018!

Goodbye 2017! It’s almost time to close the place out! For my last column of the year, I decided to share some of the books on my To Be Read pile (which is really an entire bookshelf). I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading for pleasure in the last several years, so one of my goals for 2018 is to read more. Here are a few of the things I want to enjoy next year.

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

The premise:

This is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted — and still wants — to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself.

My thoughts: I am ashamed to say that I’ve never actually read any Octavia Butler, so I’ve decided to rectify that. The premise of this book sounded really interesting, so this is going to be my jumping off point.

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

The premise:

When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt will become a fight for survival. The entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them a part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.

My thoughts: I love me a good horror story and this one features a haunted house and horror writers staying *in* said haunted house! This seems like a no-brainer. I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

Meddling Kids: A Novel by Edgar Cantero

The premise:

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster — another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

My thoughts: This one has somewhat mixed reviews, but I’m really amused by the concept of what seems like Scooby-Doo fan fic. To be fair, most of the people who seem to give it bad reviews is because of the Scooby-Doo angle. Perhaps they were upset at someone using the memory of their beloved show. Or maybe they wanted something more like the show. Who knows? Mystery/suspense is one of my other favorite genres to read, as well, so the horror and supernatural elements teamed with the suspense with the added spice of campy Saturday morning cartoon elements? Yeah, I’m all over this.

The Bone Mother by David Demchuk

The premise:

Three neighboring villages on the Ukrainian/Romanian border are the final refuge for the last of the mythical creatures of Eastern Europe. Now, on the eve of the war that may eradicate their kind — and with the ruthless Night Police descending upon their sanctuary — they tell their stories and confront their destinies.

Eerie and unsettling like the best fairy tales, these incisor-sharp portraits of ghosts, witches, sirens, and seers — and the mortals who live at their side and in their thrall — will chill your marrow and tear at your heart.

My thoughts: I love folklore, in general, and have a special place in my heart for Eastern European folklore, which I think stems from my very early research into vampire mythos when I was a teenager. I may or may not have done more than one school paper on Vlad Tepes. All the research pulled me into reading a lot about the folklore in that region of the world. So when this book came across my screen, I was definitely drawn in.

A Host of Furious Fancies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

The premise:

Beyond World’s End: Sieur Eric Banyon, Knight and Bard to the court of the Queen of Elfhame Misthold, moves back to the Big Apple to take care of unfinished business. Mostly, he just wants to settle down to a normal life.

However, he quickly discovers his Manhattan apartment has unique features, including a living gargoyle named Greystone and four Guardians who have sworn to protect New York from evil. And soon Eric discovers that unscrupulous researchers have created a drug that unlocks magical powers in humans — a drug that is 100 percent fatal over time. And now something evil from Underhill has other plans and seeks to use the temporary human powers to dominate World Above.

Spirits White as Lightning: Eric Banyon has more to worry about than passing his courses at Julliard. The evil elf lord Aerune, whose love was killed by mortal men, is determined to destroy the human race. Eric’s only hope of stopping Aerune is to trap him inside a magical maze, from which there is no escaping. Stopping Aerune once before was difficult. This time, the quest seems nothing less than impossible.

My thoughts: I actually got this book from Mercedes Lackey at Dragon Con a couple years ago, but I still haven’t had a chance to sit down for a read. I love that this is two books in one, and I’m interested to see if the collaboration creates a shift in the style Mercedes usually writes with. I know she’s collaborated with other writers, including her husband, but I don’t think I’ve read any of those. So I’m looking forward to seeing how the collaboration works.

Bonus from the Re-Read file!

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

The premise:

Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of four centuries of witches — a family given to poetry and incest, murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being called Lasher who haunts the Mayfair women….

Moving in time from today’s New Orleans and San Francisco to long-ago Amsterdam and the France of Louis XIV, from the coffee plantations of Port-au-Prince to Civil War New Orleans and back to today, Anne Rice has spun a mesmerizing tale that challenges everything we believe in.

My thoughts: This is probably my favorite Anne Rice book, ever. When I first read it, it became a book I read every year, because I found it so rich and spellbinding (if you’ll pardon the pun). I fell out of that habit quite a long time ago, so this year I’m going to revisit this book. It’s been about a decade since I’ve read it, so I imagine it will be like an almost forgotten memory coming back to me. I’m really excited about this read!

Have you read any of these books? What do you think? What books would you recommend I add to my TBR pile?


Featured image from Jill Wellington via PixaBay


  • Tammy December 21, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I recently read Kill Creek and loved it! And Octavia Butler is amazing. Hope you get to read some great books next year!

    • Venessa Giunta December 21, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Thanks for the comment! Kill Creek looks *really* good. And I am a sucker for vampire books, so Fledgling looked like an excellent intro to her work! 🙂

  • Shara White December 21, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Oh, I am a huge fan of Butler. I read my first book by her, Wild Seed, and when I finished and was basking in the afterglow of having found a new favorite author, I went online to learn more about her and discovered she’d just passed the very same weekend I’d been reading her book. It was such a bittersweet moment, knowing I had her entire catalogue to read, but knowing just how finite it was. I really, really pace myself with her books because of this, because I want to savor them and have something “new” still. That said, I have read Fledgling, and I very much look forward to your thoughts!

    In terms of suggestions, have you read either Head Full of Ghosts or Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay?

    • Venessa Giunta December 21, 2017 at 10:23 am

      I’ve not read either of those, but Paul Tremblay has been on my radar for awhile. I will add those to my list! 😉

      • Shara White December 21, 2017 at 11:53 am

        There’s some divisive opinions on this blog regarding which is better, but he’s certainly an author to watch, and I’ve enjoyed both books very differently. Head Full of Ghosts was his debut.

        • Venessa Giunta December 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm

          I’m pretty sure that’s the one that put him on my radar. 🙂

  • Lane Robins December 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I enjoyed Meddling Kids but it is a strange book and strangely written! So I’ll be interested in what you think! I second the Paul Tremblay recommendation.

    • Venessa Giunta December 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      In what way was it strangely written? When I was reading the reviews, most of the negative ones were about how he was messing with their childhood, etc. So I’m interested to hear what was strange about the writing, since I didn’t see any real mention of that.

  • Kelly McCarty December 21, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    A Host of Furious Fancies doesn’t seem like my cup of tea, but all of the other books sound really interesting. I didn’t know that Octavia Butler wrote a vampire book. I have also been wondering about Meddling Kids because my brother was a huge fan of Scooby Doo. I remember reading The Witching Hour and Anne Rice’s vampire books in middle school and daydreaming about visiting New Orleans. I still haven’t been. I wonder if there are Anne Rice themed tours of the city.

    • Venessa Giunta December 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      There used to be Anne Rice themed tours, back in the day. I remember when she lived there, I found her house, but I didn’t have the guts to go up to the door. I didn’t want to be “that fan,” you know? I do have a few friends who used to go to her HUGE Halloween bashes every year. Alas, back then I was a poor college student and couldn’t afford to make the trip. 🙁

  • David Demchuk December 22, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Thank you for putting my book on your list–I hope you enjoy it!

  • Casey Price December 23, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Oh, The Witching Hour. I actually made a list of all of the characters and how they related to each other because there were too many damned Mayfairs to keep track of. I didn’t read any of the sequels, but I may have to follow you down revisiting this one! Also I’m reading Meddling Kids right now. I think what Lane might be referring to is the way that Cantero changes up his style from chapter to chapter. Some sections are written as pages of straight dialogue (like a script, almost), for example.


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