Extreme gore and exciting suspense in a highly strange package.

THE CRIMSON GATE

From the Violet Hour series , Vol. 2

The story of a bizarre cult morphs into a horror novel in this sequel to The Violet Hour (2014).

Harlow should have become the Matriarch of VisionCrest, the new worldwide religion founded by her father, but Isiris, the evil goddess the cult worships, has trapped her in a temple in Cambodia. Somehow Harlow must find the single door among thousands that will allow her to escape from the labyrinthine temple. Meanwhile, through the eyes of Isiris, she sees the murders the goddess commits, having taken her place in the outside world. Masquerading as Harlow, Isiris kills thousands of innocents in horrific ways, effectively destroying civilization as we know it. Once outside the temple, Harlow meets Parker, a girl who joins with her to find Hayes, now the leader of the faltering Resistance. The pair travels across China and Russia, avoiding the death-dealing Watchers who enforce the wishes of the goddess. Miller alternates chapters between Harlow’s time trapped in the temple and what happens after she escapes, a device that disrupts the flow of the narrative. This novel is full-on horror, the gruesome murders so horrific they might make Stephen King blush. The story concludes with a hint of parallel worlds, leaving readers to wonder if there may be yet a third novel to come.

Extreme gore and exciting suspense in a highly strange package. (Horror. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7387-4204-5

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Heart-pounding.

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CEMETERY BOYS

A gay, transgender brujo with burgeoning powers seeks answers about his cousin’s death.

Sixteen-year-old Yadriel also wishes for acknowledgement from his community but unexpectedly finds himself entangled in the unresolved wishes of a strong-willed, good-looking spirit. He descends from a long line of brujx who have been granted magic power by Lady Death to heal the living and to guide spirits into the afterlife. Although he’s grown up surrounded by a close-knit community, Yadriel feels alone, excluded indefinitely from a sacred rite of passage because he is transgender. When he senses that his cousin Miguel has died suddenly but the family can’t locate him, Yadriel sees an opportunity to prove to everyone he’s a true brujo by solving the mystery and releasing his cousin’s lost spirit. His plan quickly falls apart, as he accidentally summons the spirit of Julian Diaz, a boy with unfinished business who died the same day as Miguel. Both the romance and mystery burn slow and hot until the climax. Stakes begin high, and the intensity only increases with a looming deadline and a constant risk that Julian might lose himself, turning maligno. The cast of characters represents a diversity of Latinx identities sharing a community in East Los Angeles. Julian is Colombian while Yadriel is Cuban and Mexican. Their romance provides joyful, ground-breaking representation for gay, transgender boys.

Heart-pounding. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-25046-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Swoon Reads/Macmillan

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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