Book Talk, Reviews

October 2019 Reads

Halloween is finished, but I haven’t shared my October reads yet! I ended up not reading anything horror-related (I’m too much of a scaredy-cat), but I did read some really intriguing stories by some of my favorite authors.

So, here we go! My October 2019 reads…


The Hypnotists, Gordon Korman

This is a quick, fun read that is perfect for middle grade and young adult readers! There’s a lot of creative thought behind the idea of “mesmerizing” (hypnotizing) other people, the morality of the ability, and how even the thought of you or your loved ones falling prey to it (sometimes even by your loved ones). It’s a scary idea, full of potential for conflict. The beginning was a bit slow, but the stakes were raised about half-way through, and that alone kept me invested! I’d recommend this to younger readers who are interested in sci-fi elements, or even the superhero genre, as it utilizes mind control with an impressive amount of care.


The Architect of Elysia, Vivien Reis

This is an extremely emotional novella full of magic, joy, loss, and impossible decisions. The world-building includes elements of a hidden world, and because of that, the story benefits from settings both from a beautiful otherworldly place and from a tilted version of the real world. Jonathan and Isa’s relationship is strong, the world of the Deian Chronicles is unique, and the plot is full of danger. With a healthy balance of emotion and action, The Architect of Elysia is a great companion to The Elysian Prophecy, which I’d also recommend if you love hidden-world fantasy, magic, and tough decisions that bring out the best (and worst) in characters.


Icarus, Adam Wing

What a beautifully tragic story! As a lover of Greek myths (especially reimaged mythology), this story struck a chord with me. The description is uniquely vivid, and the characters’ motivations are understandable, making both Daedelus and Icarus sympathetic (and don’t even get me started on Onetas!). If there’s one thing I would have liked to see more of, it would be interactions between Daedelus and Icarus. Their relationship is the core of the story, and I’d have loved to see them together more (although, more interaction between them might have made the ending more emotional than I could handle). It’s clear that Adam Wing is well-versed in the original Greek myth, and his unique spin on the story allows for a familiar yet fresh experience. If you love Greek mythology (especially the tragic stories), this one’s a must-read!


Cathedral, Raymond Carver

A new favorite! Carver has such a knack for creating unique and interesting situations with vivid and understandable characters. Even what could have been a mundane story is crafted into something engaging, detailed, and beautiful. My favorite stories are “Feathers” and “One Small Thing,” but they’re all brilliant in their own ways. While this book was assigned to me as part of my MFA program through RWW, I think everyone should give this short story collection a read! I’d recommend it to everyone.


With all these exciting reads still fresh in my mind, I’m looking forward to a new month of story-world exploration! I’m talking Leigh Bardugo, Aimee Bender, John Irving, A.S. Byatt…I can hardly wait!


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash