October is #WickedGoodReads Month here at GXO, and we’re reading books with wicked people & creatures + dangerous places & things. This is what’s on our reading list for this month.
🍂 TANYA 🍂
The Institute, Stephen King
I have a Scrib’d subscription, and was able to get the audiobook of The Institute, narrated by Santino Fontana, soon after it was released in September. It tells the story of Luke, a teen-aged genius who can also sometimes make objects move without touching them. He’s kidnapped for this ability, and in The Institute, he meets other kids who have also been ‘napped for their extraordinary abilities. As you can imagine, they all desperately want to get out of there, but what can kids do against what seems like a government funded operation.
King is really good at creating characters that we get to know as the story unfolds – not even just the main characters, but also the supporting casts. And I think that’s the brilliance of this book. But the story is also fast paced, detailed, plausible and implausible at the same time – and that’s a good thing!
In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents – telekinesis and telepathy – who got to this place the same way Luke did. In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extra-normal gifts. As each of the children disappear to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.
The audiobook narrator was able to make each character distinct, and bring out the drama and suspense of the story.
Mongrels, Stephen Graham Jones
I’m currently reading Mongrels – and really liking it so far. I picked it because it’s been a hot minute since I read anything with werewolves and I’ve been wanting to read something by SGJ for a long time.
He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his Aunt Libby and Uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixed-blood, neither this nor that. For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late-night exits and close calls – always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law. But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will know if their nephew is like them or not.
+ KIM +
The Whisper Man, Alex North
It’s been awhile since I read a really good mystery that actually made me feel something for the characters. I was disappointed that it didn’t turn out to be quite the way it was marketed. I expected a bit more from the supernatural element- I don’t want to say too much but I will say I still thought this was a solid page turner.
After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank. But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.
Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…
City of Ghosts, Cassady Blake
I wanted a quick YA read when I chose this and that’s exactly what it is. This was one of those 3 star reads for me that I still liked quite a lot. I would have bumped up the star rating had the characters been a bit more complex and the writing just a tad better. All in all, it was a fun book and I liked it. I have plans to read the second in the series.
Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one. When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly.
Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.
Do you pick books based on the season or holidays? Which book are you currently reading?