Labor Day Weekend Reads

Hello, friends! I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve written a book review. I didn’t read much in August, with all that was happening. I missed reading a lot, though, so over the long Labor Day weekend I knew I wanted to get through a couple of books and I’m finally sharing some book reviews with you again! If you follow me on Snapchat, you may have seen my initial thoughts on both of these books, but here are more fleshed out thoughts. (I’m starting to give “first impression” book reviews on Snapchat. If you’re interested, you can follow me. I’m dreamsetcblog.)


Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

Dee, Luke and Mike are on their way to a concert out of town when their car runs out of gas on a desolate road. They walk through the snow to the nearest town to get gas, but when they arrive it appears to be empty. They find a place to settle in for the snowy night and the next day the residents start to appear…

First, I feel like I should mention that about two years ago (I think) Lindsay Currie read the first few chapters of a novel that I wrote. She sent a nice email about it and I made sure to buy a copy of Creed as soon as it was released to support her (and Trisha Leaver) for all the ways they support the writing community. This does not influence my review, of course.

Creed was a slow starter for me. It took me a couple of chapters to connect with Dee, but once I did I was incredibly invested in her and what happened to all three of the characters. While it was eerie, I questioned the “horror” genre a bit, but once events really started to pick up, I definitely agreed with it. This book takes you on an adventure through this creepy little town and I felt like I was experiencing every minute of it alongside Dee. I will say that Creed isn’t the kind of horror that I tend to watch or read, so I found one particular element in the story to be unsettling, but that’s due to personal preference. Overall, I really enjoyed the novel. I grew to love Dee, Luke and Mike and was on the edge of my seat as I waited to find out what was going to happen to them. I loved the slow eerie build into the events of the novel and I definitely felt like I was going through that experience with the characters. I’m looking forward to reading their most recently released novel soon!

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

It’s 1918. The United States is sending soldiers off to WWI, the population is on guard for anyone who even hints at the possibility of supporting Germany, and the Spanish flu is racing through the country. In the midst of all of the fear and paranoia are the spirit photographers–photographers who say they can capture photos of the living with the dead. Some are convinced the spirit photographers are frauds; others flock to them, hoping to get a photograph of themselves with a deceased loved one. Mary Shelley Black doesn’t believe in the gift of the spirit photographers–even though she’s the poster girl for one. But then the boy she loved who went off to war starts visiting her in spirit form, and Mary Shelley is determined to learn what happened to him.

I think this will end up being one of my favorite reads of the year. I listened to a podcast featuring Cat Winters back in May and she talked about finding these old spirit photographs and incorporating them into a book. I absolutely love books that combine things like photos and even different types of text with the prose, so I immediately knew I wanted to read this. Winters did such a great job of describing life in 1918 that I could see and smell the sights and scents. The photographs were so intriguing and eerie that they definitely added to the creepy feel of the events of the novel. The characterization was fantastic. I loved Mary Shelley and her aunt and didn’t know if I could trust certain characters, like spirit photographer Julius. The slow build of paranoia and fear related to all that was taking place in this period of time pulled me in and progressed naturally to a heightened state as the book went on. It dragged a bit in the middle, but I’m also not sure what I would have wanted to have cut out, because I felt like each element contributed to the overall feel of that time in history. I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to reading more by Winters!


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  • Reply
    September 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Shadow of Blackbirds sounds very interesting! I will definitely be adding it to my TBR list 😉
    Thanks for the reviews.

  • Reply
    Nichole aka CuppaGeek
    September 11, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    These sound great! I just finished reading Hawkings Grove, a book a friend of mine wrote that I’m blow away by. The book ran a bit long but it was a great who dun it sort of mystery where every loose end is tied up.

  • Reply
    Karin Rambo
    September 11, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    My book list is a mile long, but these look so good they might be moved closer to the top. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply
    Shann Eva
    September 11, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I haven’t read either of these yet, but the first one sound pretty good. I actually don’t read much from either genre, but I am willing to give them both a try. Adding them to the list! Great reviews!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Shoot I need to add Creed to my Goodreads so I remember to read it!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2015 at 3:57 am

    These don’t seem like my kind of fiction, but I think my mom would really appreciate them. I’m passing your review along to her!

  • Reply
    Victoria Eaves
    September 12, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I haven’t read either of them yet, but they sure do sound interesting! I have been in a reading slump lately, meaning nothing that really wowed me 🙁

  • Reply
    jill conyers
    September 12, 2015 at 8:49 am

    I need to make more time to read. I have a long to-read list. Have a wonderful weekend Crystal.

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