Gutsy Girls Become Fearless Females

Yesterday, on January 21st, the #womensmarch took place in locations around the world and it was awe-inspiring. It will be an event to remember after a tumultuous and tempestuous year. To let us know that we can and will stand together.

Last night, people were talking about #womenwhoinspiredme. One thing became very clear in all the discussions. Women are awesome. And awesome women come from awesome girls. That got us here at Sci-fi and Scary thinking about all the great female characters in horror written for kids. The girls in these stories are strong, smart and resourceful. Because kick-ass little girls grow up into kick-ass women.

Lilyn had her turn with talking about her Favorite Nasty Women of Sci-Fi, but now it’s my turn.  (Psst: covers link to Goodreads.)

Gutsy Girls Become Fearless Females

Girl Leads in Kids’ Horror


Age Range: 6-10

The Witches of Hopper Street Linda Gondosch

Kelly and two friends form a secret society of witches to cast a spell on snooty Rae Jean’s Halloween party–to which they were not invited. But all’s well that ends well when a final attempt to crash the party yields Kelly a first kiss, and a better understanding of the unhappy Rae Jean.

The Secret of Pony PassMary Gervaise

Book cover for The Secret of Pony Pass

The friends set out for a riding holiday in Wales, but when they arrive things start to go wrong: and they see the ghost of Pony Pass.

(This was one of my favorite stories when I was younger. It combined my two favorite things, ghosts and horses, into one: a ghost horse. How could I not love it?)





Age Range: 8-11

The Dollhouse MurdersBetty Ren Wright

Twelve-year-old Amy is having difficulties at home being responsible for her brain-damaged sister, Louann. While visiting her Aunt Clare at the old family home, she discovers an eerily-haunted dollhouse in the attic -an exact replica of the family home. Whenever she sees it, the dolls, representing her relatives, have moved. Her aunt won’t listen to Amy’s claims that the dolls are trying to tell her something. This leads Amy to research old news reports where she discovers a family secret -the murder of her grandparents. The two sisters unravel the mystery. Amy grows to accept her sister and to understand that Louann is more capable than she had first thought.





Ghosts Beneath Our FeetBetty Ren Wright

Katie believed that spending the summer in a quiet little town would be really cool. There’d be new kids to meet and lots of places to explore. But Katie’s dream summer quickly turns into a nightmare. The quite little town is practically deserted, and the local kids don’t seem too friendly.






Betty Ren Wright

Betty Ren Wright writes numerous ghost stories with girls in their lower to mid-teens. The stories tend to happen around the girls as they’re going through other major life changes. The girls usually display good strength of character but not to an unrealistic degree. In other words, the girls are very human. I have linked the author’s name to her Goodreads page if you’re interested in looking at her other works.

Ages 8-12


The Witch Series – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Witch series begins with the book Witch’s Sister. Lynn and her friend Mouse are the central characters in the series. I liked Lynn a lot. She’s loyal, protective and intelligent. The character of Mouse I kind of went back and forth on.

#1: Witch’s Sister
When the darkness,
tolls the hour,
I shall have you
in my power…

Lynn and her best friend, Mouse, are positive their neighbor, Mrs. Tuggle, is a witch. And they suspect the old woman is forcing Lynn’s sister, Judith, to join her coven to witches. But Lynn and Mouse can’t prove anything and their parents don’t believe them. the girls are desperate to expose Mrs. Tuggle’s evil nature, especially since her actions are becoming more threatening every day.
Now Lynn’s parents have announced that they’re going away for the weekend, leaving Judith and Mrs. Tuggle in charge. Can the girls outsmart Mrs. Tuggle and save Lynn’s family — or is the dark magic too strong to conquer?



Other Books in the Series:

The Nina Tanleven Series

The Nine Tanleven series revolves around Nina (Nine) and her friend Chris. I loved Nine and Chris together. The book series balances humor, spookiness , and action.

The Ghost in the Third RowBruce Coville

The Stage is Set…For a Ghostly Scene!

For sixth-grader Nina Tanleven, trying out for a part in a play is pretty scary. But nothing can compare to seeing a ghost, a woman in white, sitting in the audience! Nina senses that she has nothing to fear from this apparition, but she is intrigued. Nina learns that fifty years ago, a beautiful actress was murdered–on this very stage! According to legend, she has haunted the theater ever since….

Strange things begin to happen—scripts are ripped up, sets are knocked down, a costume is torn to pieces–and everyone thinks that the ghost wants to stop the show from going on. Everyone, that is, except for Nina and her best friend, Chris, who decide to do some ghost hunting of their own. But only the Woman in White can lead them to the answer.


Other Books in the Series:


The Witches of Worm Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Jessica has read enough books to know that her cat Worm must be a witch’s cat. He’s cast a spell on her, but to whom can she turn? After all, no one will believe that Worm has bewitched her . . . or worse.






Age Range: 10-12

Wait Till Helen ComesMary Downing Hahn

Beware of Helen…

Heather is such a whiny little brat. Always getting Michael and me into trouble. But since our mother married her father, we’re stuck with her…our “poor stepsister” who lost her real mother in a mysterious fire.

But now something terrible has happened. Heather has found a new friend, out in the graveyard behind our home — a girl named Helen who died with her family in a mysterious fire over a hundred years ago. Now her ghost returns to lure children into the pond…to drown! I don’t want to believe in ghosts, but I’ve followed Heather into the graveyard and watch her talk to Helen. And I’m terrified. Not for myself, but for Heather…



The Old Willis Place Mary Downing Hahn

Diana and her little brother Georgie have been living in the woods behind the old Willis place, a decaying Victorian mansion, for what already seems like forever. They aren’t allowed to leave the property or show themselves to anyone. But when a new caretaker comes to live there with his young daughter, Lissa, Diana is tempted to break the mysterious rules they live by and reveal herself so she can finally have a friend. Somehow, Diana must get Lissa’s help if she and Georgie ever hope to release themselves from the secret that has bound them to the old Willis place for so lon


Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn is the author of numerous ghost stories. Her main characters are primarily girls in their early teens who are typically strong, intelligent characters. Sometimes there are siblings but the stories are usually told through the eyes of the girl. Wait Till Helen Comes and The Old Willis Place are two of her more well-known ones. I have linked the author’s name to her Goodreads page if you’re interested in looking at some of her other works.

Age Range 10-13

Stonewords: A Ghost Story Pam Conrad


The first time Zoe met Zoe Louise, Zoe was four years old. Zoe Louise was more than 100. From that day on — living in the same house, separated by a staircase and a century — Zoe and Zoe Louise have been an important and permanent part of each other’s lives.

Now Zoe is older. And although Zoe Louise never grows up, she is changing in dreadful, frightening ways. Time is running out for Zoe’s best friend — and Zoe is the only one who can help her. To do so, she must travel back 100 years in time and somehow alter the past. But in changing the past, must she also change the present? If she saves her friend’s life, will she lose Zoe Louise forever?

Age Range: 10-13

A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L’Engle

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

This is a sci-fi series with Meg as the main character for the first book. She is a major character in the rest of the series as well, except for Many Waters.

Age Range: 12 and Up

Sweet Miss Honeywell’s RevengeKathryn Reiss

Zibby Thorne doesn’t know what possessed her to buy an antique dollhouse–she doesn’t even like dolls. But when her friends and family start having bizarre accidents clearly connected to the dollhouse, she can’t ignore the menacing structure any longer.

Zibby is sure that one particularly creepy doll in a gray dress is somehow responsible for the trouble. She discovers the doll is controlled by the spirit of “sweet” Miss Honeywell, a vengeful governess who seeks to control Zibby and her friends from beyond the grave. They must find a way to stop Miss Honeywell before her wrath becomes deadly.




Z for Zachariah
Robert C. O’Brien

A gripping, thought-provoking story about life after a nuclear holocaust, by a Newbery Medalist.

Ann Burden is sixteen years old and completely alone. The world as she once knew it is gone, ravaged by a nuclear war that has taken everyone from her. For the past year, she has lived in a remote valley with no evidence of any other survivors.


(About the horrors of surviving a nuclear apocalypse rather than the supernatural. The main character is strong and survives it well.)


More and more I’m noticing that the age group between 6 and 10 seem to get left out of the spooky goodness that is going around. If you’re looking for some good, clean creepiness I highly recommend the above books. I still read them from time to time. I may have advanced beyond them long ago but some of them were my first reading pleasures. I will always thank my mother for pushing me to read at a young age and I hope people will continue to push their kids.

Our technology may someday surpass the written word but I can’t believe that it will ever fade away entirely.

What are your favorite examples of kick-ass gutsy girls in kids horror?

My Favorite Nasty Women of Sci-Fi

The Women’s March yesterday saw hundreds of thousands of people turn out to show solidarity in the face of The Toupee’d Cheeto’s election. It was mind-blowing, and something that made me grin ear to ear. I couldn’t do the March, but what I could do is point out that there are fantastic women everywhere, and science fiction is definitely no exception.  From books for beginning chapter readers to kick-butt older ladies, there are nasty women (or women in training) all throughout the genre. These are my personal favorite females of sci-fi (so you’re not going to see some names you were probably expecting to see.)

My Favorite Nasty Women of Sci-Fi

1&2. Kaylee and Zoe from Firefly – Betcha thought I was going to go with River, didn’t you? No. While River and Inara are all fantastic characters, Kaylee earns her place on this list because she’s a mechanic who can fix almost anything and still loves her floofy dresses. While River fits into the crazy woman role completely, and Inara is the resident femme-fatale, Kaylee is Kaylee. She’s unfiltered, sometimes inappropriate, not afraid to express herself, intelligent (if a bit gullible) and basically perfect. She’s brave, honest, and gorgeous. Zoe is fierce, confident, dependable, and someone you want on your side in a fight. And she still has a man that she loves, and one that she respects.Book cover for Franny K Stein for Nasty Women post

3. Franny K. Stein from the samed named series – Franny K. Stein is fine with her mad-scientist self. She doesn’t understand normal, doesn’t want to be normal, and loves what she does. Even when her parents try to make her conform, she just shrugs it off and goes back to doing what she wants to do. She’s brilliant, slightly crazy, and absolutely fierce. You know this little girl is going to grow up to be part of the Nasty Women.

4&5. Donna Noble and River Song from Dr. Who – I’ll be honest, I don’t particularly like Donna. Her voice gets on my nerves, and she was no Rose. However, when just considering her objectively? Donna was a great character. She was whiny, scared, and not exactly the brightest bulb and she saved the world! Let me put it another way: She was a perfectly average girl with a loud mouth, and she saved the flipping world.  And River Song? Always feminine, always fierce. She’s the type of lady you don’t ever want to piss off. These are the kind of Nasty Women you want on your side.

6. Georgia Mason from Mira Grant’s (pen name for Seanan McGuire) Feed series. Georgia takes no crap, deals no crap, and demands the same of people around her. Even when she’s sitting on the opportunity of a lifetime, she’s one of those nasty women who will always do the right thing. Even if it means she gives her life in the process.Movie Cover for Stargate SG-1 - Nasty Women Post

7. Max from The Chronicles of St. Marys – A self-described ‘small ginger sack’, Madeline Maxwell definitely has her daft moments, but she’s brilliant, has a huge heart, and a quick tongue. She’s basically fearless (albeit she does have a hefty dose of common sense) and she’s a gorgeous

8. Sam Carter from Stargate SG:1 – Sam is pretty much perfect in my mind. She’s got a ridiculous IQ, an explorer’s heart, and she’s the only girl on a team that’s exploring the universe and fighting against an enemy that could wipe out the earth. But she’s neither rude nor crude. She’ll lay your butt out flat if she needs to, but she’s got no urge to prove she’s got balls.Movie poster for Resident Evil The Final Chapter - Nasty Women Post

9. Lina from the City of Ember – Lina and her friend Doon find themselves in over their heads quick in this dystopian sci-fi novel for middle graders. She has no special powers, no uncanny skills. All she can do is try her best, seek help where possible, and do the right thing. She’s no Hermione Granger, but she’s still an awesome little girl.

10. Alice from Resident Evil – Yes, I know it’s another zombie series on a sci-fi list, but it counts! After all, Alice gained her abilities via a genetically-engineered virus bonding with her own cells.  She was already a (fully human) woman on a mission before she ended up in the Hive, and later being injected with the T-virus. It was a game changer for Alice and everyone around her. Though I can’t say I’m a huge fan of later movies, I still love watching the first one and watching her kick butt in it. Alice could have gone crazy. She could have lost her humanity and turned into a monster that was gorgeous on the outside. She didn’t and that counts for so much.


Fellow Fan Favorites:

S.A. Barton ( Ripley from Alien, Juliette from the Wool series, or Emika from The Wind Up Girl.

D.L. Richardson ( Captain Janeway is pretty awesome.

Michael Hicks ( : Ripley! Aeryn Sun from Farscape is up there. Also, Sarah Conner!

GracieKat13: Tex from Red Versus Blue!

The Bug Boys Review (Kids Sci-Fi)

Bug Boys: Who would have thought that eating a peanut butter sandwich and an apple would change your life? Let alone get you mixed up with an old alien research project, and transform you into the superheroes your village never needed.

For two young South Yorkshire lads, Alex Adams and Ian Harris, it was a geeky comic book dream come true, but it wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be in the real world. They discover there are many layers between good and evil, and with great power, comes an embarrassing amount of gas!- Goodreads

Book cover for The Bug Boys by Stewart Hoffman


The Bug Boys Review


The Bug Boys is a super-powered romp with some super-smelly side effects. Alex and Ian are two average twelve-year-olds that discover they can suddenly do something awesome. But with great power comes in limited bursts and a piper to pay at the end of the line. Thankfully young boys and disgusting sounds and smells go together like PB & J, so these kids make it work. And Hoffman gets points for finding so many unique ways to describe butt blasts.

I liked that Stewart Hoffman quickly instituted a set of rules that the boys’ powers were governed by. Alex and Ian, the Bug Boys, didn’t receive a ticket to godhood when they developed their abilities. There were limits, there were consequences, and the method of powering up was disgusting. I also like that he introduces some basic philosophical questions to young readers. Such as: What would have to change for a people to find peace. There’s something to be said for respecting your young reader’s intellect enough to bluntly state something like:

“When the Secti were no longer worried about where their next meal was coming from, they had a lot more time to be constructive and creative.”- Stewart Hoffman, The Bug Boys

Ultimately, The Bug Boys wasn’t a hit in our household. There was one chapter shoved into the book that just does not work well. It’s tossed it in there for no apparent reason and only serves to confuse the reader. It’s never mentioned again, either. It could be taken out and nothing would be changed in the book other than that chapter being missing.  The first fifty percent of it is a rather bland read. The author struggles to pull the threads smoothly together.

So why did I give The Bug Boys four stars? Partially because the last half picked up and got my interest going finally. But mainly because I always appreciate it when I come across an author who treats his readers like mini-adults. It’s not the perfect combination of humor, insights, and action, but he gave it an admirable try.

Overall, The Bug Boys is a book worth taking for a drive, but your mileage may vary.

Title: The Bug Boys | Author: Stewart Hoffman (site) | Publisher: iUniverse | Pub. Date: 2016-8-4 | Pages: 196 | ISBN13: 9781532003448 | Genre: Kids’ Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: Child Abuse (brief) | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a free copy from the author for review consideration. | Purchase on Amazon 

Horrors! 365/7 – A Full Year of Horror #3

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.



If you missed the first post you can find it here.

Keep Reading!

This is Sci-Fi #2: Carve the Mark and Martians Abroad!

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Sci-Fi post on Sci-Fi & Scary

This is Sci-Fi is a  sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

Sci-Fi Movies

Movie Suggestion for the Week:

Movie post for Idiocracy

Since The Toupee from Outer Space is getting sworn in today, I felt there was really only one movie that I could suggest for this week.

Idiocracy is swiftly becoming a documentary instead of the comedy it was meant to be. Released in 2006, it stars Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph. It’s funny, but frightening, and will definitely stick in your mind once you’ve watched it.

Synopsis: Private Joe Bauers, the definition of “average American”, is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes five centuries in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed-down that he’s easily the most intelligent person alive.



Opening Next Week (Jan 27th)

Movie poster for Resident Evil The Final Chapter

Synopsis: Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

Starring:  Ruby Rose, Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter

Rating: R

Watch the  Resident Evil: The Final Chapter trailer here.



Trailer to Watch:

The Discovery is due in theaters March 31st, 2017.  It stars Rooney Mara & Jesse Plemons. It’s a romance, so the chances of me watching it are about 1 in 350,000, but I hope at least some of you watch it and like it!

Featured Sci-Fi Art

scifi by Ericoscarj on DeviantArt

This is absolutely gorgeous in its own way. I’d love to have this blown up and on my wall. One of those landscapes you can study for quite a while without feeling bored, I think.

Science Fiction Books

(Covers go to Goodreads)

New Releases

Book cover for Martians Abroad

Martians Abroad Synopsis: Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly’s plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.

Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there’s more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost. – Goodreads


Book cover for Carve the Mark

Carve the Mark Synopsis: On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.-Goodreads

Book cover for Empire Games

The year is 2020. It’s seventeen years since the Revolution overthrew the last king of the New British Empire, and the newly-reconstituted North American Commonwealth is developing rapidly, on course to defeat the French and bring democracy to a troubled world. But Miriam Burgeson, commissioner in charge of the shadowy Ministry of Intertemporal Research and Intelligence—the paratime espionage agency tasked with catalyzing the Commonwealth’s great leap forward–has a problem. For years, she’s warned everyone: “The Americans are coming.” Now their drones arrive in the middle of a succession crisis—the leader of the American Commonwealth is dying and the vultures are circling.

In another timeline, the U.S. has recruited Rita, Miriam’s estranged daughter, to spy across timelines and bring down any remaining world-walkers who might threaten national security. But her handlers are keeping information from her.

Two nuclear superpowers are set on a collision course. Two increasingly desperate paratime espionage agencies are fumbling around in the dark, trying to find a solution to the first contact problem that doesn’t result in a nuclear holocaust. And two women—a mother and her long-lost, adopted daughter—are about to find themselves on opposite sides of the confrontation.

New-To-You (and with a 3.75+ rating on Goodreads)

Book cover for Brown Girl in the Ring

Grand Central Publishing
Goodreads: 3.83

Book cover for Babel-17

Gregg Press
Goodreads: 3.79

Book cover for Voyage to Alpha Centauri

Ignatius Press
Goodreads: 4.13









Science Fiction on the Web

Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell

Book cover for Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of HellThe World’s Greatest Detective Meets Horror’s Most Notorious Villains!
Late 1895, and Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Dr John Watson are called upon to investigate a missing persons case. On the face of it, this seems like a mystery that Holmes might relish – as the person in question vanished from a locked room. But this is just the start of an investigation that will draw the pair into contact with a shadowy organisation talked about in whispers, known only as the ‘Order of the Gash.’
As more people go missing in a similar fashion, the clues point to a sinister asylum in France and to the underworld of London. However, it is an altogether different underworld that Holmes will soon discover – as he comes face to face not only with those followers who do the Order’s bidding on Earth, but those who serve it in Hell: the Cenobites. Holmes’ most outlandish adventure to date, one that has remained shrouded in secrecy until now, launches him headlong into Clive Barker’s famous Hellraising universe… and things will never be the same again.


         – S & S –

I have to say that I’m not usually one for mash-ups but this book caught my eye. Mostly the cover, which is simple but very nice. I also really enjoyed the Gaslight series ( Gaslight Grotesque, Gaslight Arcanum and Gaslight Grimoire) so when I saw it was Sherlock within the Hellraiser universe I was very excited.

The first half moves rather slowly, told through Watson’s point of view as is usual for a Sherlock story. There are mysterious disappearances which aren’t very mysterious if you’re at all familiar with the Hell-verse. And that’s really about it.

Not much happens for quite a while, really. Sherlock sends Watson off to some hospital and Watson promptly gets in some trouble there. And gets conveniently rescued by Henri D’Amour, whose name will probably be familiar to most readers of Clive Barker. Although the confusion over what he’s doing in the Hell-verse is justified.

The second half switches over to Sherlock’s point of view and things pick up a bit, particularly when he has the Lament Configuration. Then things go to Hell. Literally and figuratively. Watson and Sherlock find themselves caught in a power play between the Leviathan and someone they thought long dead.

Major Spoilers ahead so highlight to see:
Moriarty has been ‘promoted’ to The Engineer and has created his own army of pseudo-Cenobites that he can create and bring back at will, using ‘black light’ stolen from the Leviathan. Sherlock becomes a Cenobite, making a deal with Leviathan that afterward Watson will be able to return to our world. The ghost of Mary also pops in to guide Watson and show him all around ‘Hell’. Which conveniently includes a library where Watson can learn all about warfare and black magic simply by touching the book. That would be a handy ability to have. It also includes an armory with every weapon known to man. Thus begins a battle between the Sherlock Cenobite Army and Moriarty’s pseudo-Cenobite Army.
End of Spoilers

Which is where it all falls apart for me. The Watson/Sherlock portion just ends with an epilogue attached which is basically the plot of Hellbound Heart.

I had a hard time getting into it. As I said the first half moves very slowly because, in a Sherlock book, there should be a mystery. In Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell there is a mystery but since we the readers know why the disappearances are happening it’s not much of a mystery. We’re just waiting for Watson and Sherlock to catch up. The other thing I didn’t care much for was the constant viewpoint switching between Watson and Sherlock. It’s written in first person and the voices of Sherlock and Watson just don’t sound different enough. I’m also a little tired of the whole “Watson is a toddler that needs to be protected by Sherlock” thing. In fact, neither of them seem all that smart in this book. The Big Action Sequence near the end is eye-roll inducing. It’s like the writer was trying so hard to fit in every reference he could to the Hellraiser series that he forgot to include a story.

So, in wrap-up, I can’t say I highly recommend Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell. Sherlock fans are probably going to be a bit disappointed but Hellraiser fans might enjoy the references. But to me that’s part of the problem. There’s so many nudge-nudge, wink-wink moments that there’s not much of a story between it all.

My Rating:

3 out of 5 Skulls

Click on cover for link to the book on Goodreads

Invasive Review (Sci-Fi Thriller)

Book cover for Invasive by Chuck Wendig

Hannah Stander is a consultant for the FBI—a futurist who helps the Agency with cases that feature demonstrations of bleeding-edge technology. It’s her job to help them identify unforeseen threats: hackers, AIs, genetic modification, anything that in the wrong hands could harm the homeland.

Hannah is in an airport, waiting to board a flight home to see her family, when she receives a call from Agent Hollis Copper. “I’ve got a cabin full of over a thousand dead bodies,” he tells her. Whether those bodies are all human, he doesn’t say.

What Hannah finds is a horrifying murder that points to the impossible—someone weaponizing the natural world in a most unnatural way. Discovering who—and why—will take her on a terrifying chase from the Arizona deserts to the secret island laboratory of a billionaire inventor/philanthropist. Hannah knows there are a million ways the world can end, but she just might be facing one she could never have predicted—a new threat both ancient and cutting-edge that could wipe humanity off the earth. – Goodreads

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In the Days of the Comet Review

Book cover for In the Days of the Comet by H.G. WellsIn the Days of the Comet (1906) is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells in which humanity is “exalted” when a comet causes “the nitrogen of the air, the old azote,” to “change out of itself” and become “a respirable gas, differing indeed from oxygen, but helping and sustaining its action, a bath of strength and healing for nerve and brain.” The result: “The great Change has come for evermore, happiness and beauty are our atmosphere, there is peace on earth and good will to all men.” – Goodreads

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Coolthulhu Reads: January 2017 Mid-Month Check-In

Banner for the Bi-Monthly Reading Check In

January has gotten off to a little bit of a bigger bang than I expected it to! (Meaning I apparently can’t stop reading.) Unfortunately, my “Committed to Read” list grew just as quickly as it shrank! GracieKat’s also got a good dose of contributions for this check-in. (The weekly check-in meme was started by Sam at Taking on a World of Words )

As usual, covers link to Goodreads!

January 2017 Mid-Month Check-In

What We’re Reading:

Book cover for Skyjacked by Shirley GoldenSkyjacked by Shirley Golden

This is a Rosie’s Book Review Team book! Published March 28th, 2016

“Separated from his son, only a galaxy stands between him and home… The year is 2154, and Corvus Ranger, space pilot and captain of the Soliton, embarks on a penal run to Jupiter’s prison moon, Europa. It should be another routine drop, but a motley band of escaped convicts have other ideas. When Soliton is hijacked, Corvus is forced to set a new destination, one which is far from Earth and his son. Unable to fight (or smooth talk) his way to freedom, Corvus finds himself tied to the plans of the escapees, including their leader Isidore and a gifted young boy who seems to possess strange abilities. Desperate to return to Earth and the son he left behind, Corvus is thrown into the ultimate adventure, a star-strewn odyssey where the greatest enemy in the universe may very well be himself.”- Goodreads


Book cover for When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie

When Worlds Collide (and After Worlds Collide) by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer

This is a Wired Into Sci-Fi Challenge book. Published in 1932.

A runaway planet hurtles toward the earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America, a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escape the doomed earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans. A crackling plot and sizzling, cataclysmic vision have made When Worlds Collide one of the most popular and influential end-of-the-world novels of all time. This Bison Frontiers of Imagination edition features the original story and its sequel, After Worlds Collide.-Goodreads

Book cover for The Dark by Ellen Datlow

The Dark: New Ghost Stories by Ellen Datlow

This is a self-purchased book. Published September 1st, 2004

“This collection single-handedly redefines the ghost story, going far beyond the accustomed tropes and gore of horror stories to consider the only realm that still truly frightens us: the unknown. The Dark takes a look at the tormented and unquiet dead; the darkness in us, the living; and the sometimes tenuous boundary between the two.”-Goodreads




What We’ve Read in January 2017

Book cover for All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Wrathbone by Jason Parent

Review copy provided by author.

Book cover for Biblical by Christopher Galt


Book cover for The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Pilot X by Tom Merritt

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and Jeremy K. Brown


Book cover for Ararat by Christopher Golden

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Invasive by Chuck Wendig


Book cover for In the Days of the Comet by H.G. Wells

Christmas Gift

Book cover for My Daddy, The Serial Killer

Review copy provided by author

Book cover for Trading With Death by Ann Girdharry


What’s Up Next (in the next two weeks or so.)

Book cover fro The Devil Crept in by Ania Ahlborn

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Ubo by Steve Rasnic Tem

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Mutationem by Phoenix Jericho

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Ubik by Philip K. Dick

Self-purchased. For Decades of Sci-Fi

Book cover for Bound by Alan Baxter

Review copy provided by author

Book cover for Zombie Bigfoot by Nick Sullivan

Review copy provided by author

Book cover for Extrated by RR Haywood

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Book cover for Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Library Book

Book cover for The Bug Boys by Stewart Hoffman

Review copy provided by author

Book cover for The Abscission Zone by Samuel Muggington

Review copy provided by Netgalley

Twilight Zone Tuesday – One for the Angels



Twilight Zone - One for the Angels


Lou Bookman: Ed Wynn
Mr. Death: Murray Hamilton
Narrator: Rod Serling

Keep Reading!

  • I love Audible. Tons of books, fantastic narrators, good prices.