Phantoms in High Fidelity (Blackwood Bay Witches #3) by Misty Bane

Ghosthunters has come to Blackwood Bay. Not really, but the fictional version of the reality show has taken up short term residence in the sleepy little coastal town, and it’s turning everything upside down.

Dru Rathmore just wants to watch the cleaning fairies zoom around her apartment and spend a little time with her hot Guardian, Harper. But with the cast of Supernatural Sleuths hanging around, chaos ensues. It starts with a missing person, who was only supposed to be “missing” in the figurative sense. Then Harper’s old girlfriend shows up, and while his original disdain for her is pretty intense, things go sideways and he’s practically vomit-inducing over her for the rest of the novel.

Dru, with the help of her spectral Granny, has more than one mystery to solve as a missing persons case turns into a homicide, more than one love story turns deranged, and the ghosts of Blackwood Bay get down tonight in one of the more lux hotels.

I actually really enjoyed Phantoms in High Fidelity by Misty Bane. This was a quick little mystery that kept you guessing, and I really enjoyed the mix of serial drama and and ghosts and humans co-existing in the lap of luxury. The author has taken to hinting at the plot of her next book in the series at the end of her current one, so I’ll be digging into that one as soon as I can.

Goodreads rating: 4 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? I think so!

It’s Spooky Season – October TBR

I love fall.

Being from the east coast, I grew up with seasons. There’s lots of snow in the winter, spring brings flowers and allergies, and summer is hot and humid. And there’s bugs. I hate bugs more than anything. Since we had the hottest summer on record in the last few years, I am more than ready for sweaters and candles and much, much cooler weather.

This also means I’m ready for fall and Halloween themed books! I like Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween as much as the next person, with Hocus Pocus being one of my all time favorite movies, but there’s something about a book set against a backdrop of colorful leaves and pumpkins that gives me a thrill.

I’ve been compiling a list of books I’m planning to read this October and thought I’d share it here.

The Ex Hex, formally (Hocus Pocus but they F)

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling, who is also former YA author Rachel Hawkins. Releasing September 28th, I don’t know much about this book other than I made a promise to read every book the author puts out. Rachel Hawkins is my spirit animal. And truly, she had me at Hocus Pocus but they F. (A/N – I scheduled this post before winning a giveaway copy of this book. If you want to read my review, check it out here!)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Previously reviewed here, this is an interesting gothic novel involving murder, magic, and two sisters willing to take their secrets to the grave. Fun fact, I live near a preschool called Merricat’s Castle, which is both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

Hell House by Richard Matheson

Another reread, and one that will likely be saved for Halloween night, is one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read. A physicist and two mediums are paid handsomely to spend time in a sealed Maine mansion in order to figure out what comes after death. Together, they find out the secrets the abandoned Belasco manor holds, and why the townsfolk call it Hell House.

The Blackwood Bay Witches Mystery series by Misty Bane

This might be an overly ambitious amount to try and get through in October, but a challenge I’m willing to take on.

I pose a question to anyone who reads this: what are your favorite fall/Halloween books? What are you hoping to read this October?

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

In 2011, when Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare was first released, I left a blurb on Goodreads saying “oh holy hell, this book.” I believe it was meant for the ending, but it’s been ten years, so one really doesn’t know.

Tessa Gray is coming to terms with her life in London. She’s living in the Institute with the Shadowhunters, beginning a training regimen under the Lightwoods, and closer to finding the truth about who – or what – she is. But things aren’t looking good for the London Institute, directed by Charlotte and Henry Branwell, they’ve come under fire for being neglectful of how it’s run, or perhaps the Clave just needs a guise to uproot a female leader. It is Victorian London, after all.

The Magister still seeks Tessa to be his own. She, along with the increasingly confusing and moody Will Herondale and the ever faithful Jem Carstairs, begin to unravel plots within plots as they race to uncover the mystery of his Clockwork Army, his true parentage, and the lifelong vendetta he holds against the Shadowhunters. And what does Benedict Lightwood have against them? Why is he suddenly so forceful in the removal of Charlotte from her position?

Cassandra Clare tells this book from shifting narratives, weaving Tessa’s story into Will’s with surprising outcomes. The ending is a shocker, but not so much if you’ve been paying attention.

All in all I’m glad to have picked this series up again. I’ll finish it out, but I wish I had thought to read this prior to reading The Last Hours series. While I recognized names and places, it would have been helpful to have the backstories fresh in my mind.

Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? Sure, it’s a regular reread!

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

I originally read Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare when it debuted in 2010. My Goodreads blurb about the book was as follows:

This reminded me a little bit of A Great and Terrible Beauty, and the main characters all have some semblance to the TMI characters, and Cassandra Clare is entirely too fond of cliffhangers, but this is otherwise one of my favorite books read this year.

While I still have issues using a comma appropriately and don’t really remember A Great and Terrible Beauty all that well, the rest remains true. Cassandra Clare knows how to tell a story, and while she does recycle plot lines and characters, her ability to hold your attention from the start is refreshing, especially in the YA world.

Tessa Gray is more than what she seems. An orphaned girl from New York, she lives with her Aunt and brother after the death of her parents. But Nate soon takes a job in London, and when Aunt Harriet dies, he sends for her to join him. Disembarking from the steamboat, her world is flipped upside down as she’s taken prisoner by the Dark Sisters, a pair of Downworlders charged with teaching Tessa to Change. Tessa’s not actually human, and her scalawag of a brother has traded her person for a handful of silver. Her ability has caught the attention of The Magister, who wants the shape shifting girl for his own.

Breaking free of the Dark Sisters, Tessa meets Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs, Shadowhunters who are sworn to protect and fight against those who seek to destroy. Together they begin seeking out Tessa’s missing brother, making their way through the dangerous underworld of warlocks, demons, and other supernatural beings. But what they find is much more than a missing sibling and vampire games.

The Project by Courtney Summers

The picturesque background of upstate New York holds a mystery Lo Denham has been trying to unravel for six years. Where is her sister? Lo’s been working as an assistant to the head of SVO, and up and coming magazine, for a year and is finally ready to get her byline – by investigating the truth of The Unity Project, the community her sister Bea loses herself in shortly after their parents deaths.

Bea Denham joins The Unity Project, a cult to everyone else, that bases itself on love, acceptance, and faith. Her little sister was brought back to life by their charismatic leader, Lev Warren. She leaves Lo in the care of their great Aunt and begins a semi-reclusive life working to grow The Project’s outreach.

Foster worked in an emergency room, where by chance he has a run in with Bea in the hospital chapel after losing a young patient. He’s brought into The Project as the perfect soldier. He’s a young man searching for more than the hurt and death he sees daily.

Told from a shifting narrative, The Project by Courtney Summers entwines the lives of the lost, the lonely, and those searching for the truth in a fast paced thriller centering on how much damage one man with too many idealizations about himself can cause. I was a little skeptical going in. I saw the hype over this book on social media and I’ve read a book or two by the author in the past, but nothing that stuck with me. But after the initial set up I was hooked, reaching for it in-between Sunday tasks and checking the latest hurricane coverage. It’s gripping and raw, and I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.