Monica’s Musings: What Feasts at Night

What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher

“The silence didn’t feel peaceful. It felt thick.”
― T. Kingfisher, What Feasts at Night

Summary: The follow-up to T. Kingfisher’s bestselling gothic novella, What Moves the Dead.

After their terrifying ordeal at the Usher Manor, Alex Easton feels as if they just survived another war. All they crave is rest, routine, and sunshine, but instead, as a favor to Angus and Miss Potter, they find themself heading to their family hunting lodge, deep in the cold, damp forests of their home country, Gallacia.

In theory, one can find relaxation in even the coldest and dampest of Gallacian autumns, but when Easton arrives, they find the caretaker dead, the lodge in disarray, and the grounds troubled by a strange, uncanny silence. The villagers whisper that a breath-stealing monster from folklore has taken up residence in Easton’s home. Easton knows better than to put too much stock in local superstitions, but they can tell that something is not quite right in their home…or in their dreams.

My thoughts: After reading the first book of the Sworn Soldier series, What Moves the Dead, I was beyond excited to start this one! Like the first book, I loved how the atmosphere was described. I could visualize everything thanks to Kingfisher’s impressive vivid details.

I enjoyed this book well enough, but I think my expectations were a smidge too high. The first book kept me clinging to every page, while this one had me skimming a few sections that I felt dragged out a bit too much. However, it is still a very fast read, with only 160 pages. I was surprised there was not a more climactic race to the end. It was okay, but did not send a chill down my spine, although it is a horror story.

If I did not have What Moves the Dead to compare this to, I am not sure I would have liked the story as much. I do enjoy the characters and their personalities. I hope that this series continues, as it was a decent read. This one was just not as scary or impactful as I had hoped it would be.

For my review of What Moves the Dead, click here!

Book review: The Family Plot

The Family Plot by Cherie Priest

Cover of The Family Plot by Cherie Priest
“The Family Plot” by Cherie Priest is a great Gothic ghost story.

First line: “Yeah, send her on back. She has an appointment.”

Summary: Music City Salvage in Tennessee is on the cusp of going broke, and then Augusta Withrow comes in with an offer Chuck Dutton can’t refuse. Augusta just wants to be rid of her family’s more-than-a-century-old home and all the property. Chuck sees a goldmine in the house and property, so he sends a four-person crew headed by his daughter Dahlia on the project. Super creepy things start happening, and when the members of the crew start comparing notes, they know something is definitely up. Something angry still lives in the vacant house, and it seems bent on making one member of the crew its permanent company.

Highlights: This book has all the atmosphere, creepiness, and strangeness a really excellent Gothic ghost story needs to be interesting. It’s a page-turner and you probably don’t want to read it late at night when you are all alone in your house and start hearing strange noises. Oh, and that ending. DO NOT READ THE LAST PAGE FIRST! If you do, you will ruin the whole book!

Lowlights (or what could have been better): I felt like this book was just a little bit slow to get started, but I’m glad I stuck with it (and it really didn’t take that long) because it builds to a can’t-put-it-down-but-I-have-to-stop-reading-or-I’ll-have-scary-dreams pitch.

FYI: There is some cursing and references to violence, but nothing gory, gross or descriptive.