Quick Lit #6: August 2020

Time for a couple short reviews! Last month I mostly read sci-fi but I was able to sneak in a new haunted house thriller that came out this year.

Home Before Dark – Riley Sager 

As a child, Maggie Holt and her parents move into Baneberry Manor and before a month passes her family are forced to flee the house, never to return. Now as an adult, Maggie must figure out what happened on that long ago night as she becomes the sole owner of Baneberry.

There are many subgenres of horror that I love, but haunted house stories are my favorite. Usually they have an eerie gothic vibe that I love, that give me the slight chill bumps. I think what sets this apart from other haunted house novels is the dual narrative. 

Half of the book is the story of the Holt’s family infamous month stay, taken from the novel Mr. Holt writes after the fact. The other half is Maggie’s story as an adult, trying to figure out fact from fiction from her father’s book. The focus is more about how a book’s legacy has affected and shaped the protagonist from a very young age. Maggie will never truly leave Baneberry behind. 

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky

For the month of August I was reading books about First Contact and Children of Time was mentioned a few times, so I decided to give it a whirl. I think the First Contact part was exaggerated, as this was more a sweeping saga about two different species and the buildup to their inevitable clash. There’s definitely a First Contact element but it’s such a small section of the overall story.

That being said I still really enjoyed Children of Time and would highly recommend it to those who love Science Fiction. Tchaikovsky’s evolutionary worldbuilding of a new society is really marvelous and I applaud him for getting me, an arachnophobe, to care one iota for spiders.

The main complaint I’ve heard from other reviewers is that the human characters are unlikable, and they are, but rightly so. Humanity is at its end and the future looks bleak, so I felt it was realistic that all the human characters were rough around the edges and/or were emotionally detached. Just something to be mindful of if you decide to read Children of Time.

Quick Lit is a monthly meme hosted by Modern Mrs. Darcy.

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