Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Afterlife (Ghostland #2) by Duncan Ralston

*Only Spoilers for Ghostland #1*

Six months after the “Ghostland Disaster,” Duck Falls has become a reluctant tourist trap, and a new home to the activist group Ghosts Are People Too. When the Return to Ghostland televised event ends in yet another tragedy, ghosts once again fall under scrutiny… along with the effectiveness of the Recurrence Field.

Away at college, survivor Lilian Roth has discovered she’s able to communicate with spirits. She and her best friend, Ben Laramie, use the skills they’ve acquired to free ghosts from their hauntings.

But Rex Garrote, the mastermind behind the Ghostland Disaster, is raising an army of ghosts to slaughter every living person on Earth. Left with no choice but to fight, Ben and Lilian must recruit their own army of freed ghosts, and prepare them for war.

Will it be enough to save the world?


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Last month, I reread Ghostland because I have been wanting to finish off the trilogy since the final book Infinite was released. I see Mr. Ralston’s other book Woom on TikTok and it’s encouraged me to try and finish this trilogy off. So let’s scare up this review of Afterlife.

Let me start off by saying that this is not as bloodbath driven as Ghostland. Afterlife takes more of a focus on the aftermath of the events of Ghostland and how some characters were affected by those events. A couple of characters, Lamb and Andy we meet through the events of the current story, not because of what happened at Ghostland.

One of the minor characters I really enjoyed from the first book was the detective Stan Beadle. He was at Ghostland because of a couple of cases he couldn’t close/solve. His daughter Sam, ends up following in her late father’s footsteps and chases down the clues that’s leading back to Garrote and the Ghostland park. Her story arc was my favorite besides the main characters Ben and Lilian.

Above them, Garrote’s massive face was displayed in mosaic over the entire wall of monitors, missing only the screens blacked out and cracked by the impact of Ms. Amblin’s body. He looked like a religious maniac who’d painted his face with a giant black crucifix from forehead to lips, the paint chipped and cracked. His dark grin filled the second row from the bottom.

Duncan Ralston; Afterlife

I feel the book takes more of a focus on the fact that famous/powerful psychics are committing suicide and that’s what catches Detective Sam Beadle’s attention to begin with. The ‘Ghost Brother’s’ TV show is just one of the nails in the coffin that kicks off the major event of Infinite.

I love how Ben ends up meeting Rex Garrote, and through bits and pieces of dialogue and minor characters we learn just how ambiguous Garrote actually is as a villain. I find it fascinating to try and figure out what is his master plan.

Overall, I really enjoyed Afterlife. I can’t wait to see how this series will be wrapping up. I know there’s going to be a lot of scares and trauma for all characters involved. If you enjoyed Ghostland I would highly recommend you continue the series. I wouldn’t recommend reading it out of order, although I guess you could if you wanted to.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

RAPID REVIEW: Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

*No Spoilers*

Trigger Warnings: brief sexual assault, swearing, and brief mentions about weight and peer pressure, moderate blood and gore

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But things get complicated when Arianna’s predatory boyfriend is killed, and the cops begin searching for a serial killer. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure—and their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

This graphic novel has been floating around TikTok and overall the reviews have been mixed. So I went into this story not expecting much, most high school tropes get on my nerves. So let’s sniff out this review for Squad.

This is another one of those novels that is obviously not for my demographic. I was never the new kid at school, and I never really joined a Mean Girls type friend group. Since those are huge aspects of this story that I don’t match then yeah, but I read it because I was curious. You don’t see female werewolves outside of the romance section.

One thing I didn’t like was that there’s pressure amongst the main group for Becca to fit a size 2 or 3 so they can easily share clothes. I want this toxic idea out of YA fiction. You should love your body no matter whether your a 0 or a 42+. If anyone disagrees then you don’t need that kind of toxicity in your life.

Overall, this was a mediocre story to the point where I really don’t have many thoughts or opinions about it. I liked the diversity amongst the main group of girls, but other than that this is just a petty story filled with melodrama and flimsy motives. I’d say pass on this unless your curious like I was.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Throwback by Edward J. McFadden III

*Spoilers Marked*

A space cloud of unknown composition is on a collision course with Earth as the world holds its breath. 

The anomaly sails through the solar system and the International Space Station along with three astronauts and one cosmonaut are thrown back to the Cretaceous period where dinosaurs roam Earth hunting prey and great pterosaurs patrol the skies. 

Supplies on the station run low and desperation takes hold, but morale grows when the crew sees a bright multi-colored light blinking on the surface below. The astronauts decide to evacuate the station in the Soyuz escape capsule and investigate. As the adventurers struggle to survive in the primordial jungle, the party discovers artifacts of an ancient civilization that could help them find the light beacon. If they can stay alive long enough.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

I don’t remember how I found this audiobook, but the premise sounded interesting. I’m always game for sci-fi, time travel, and a good monster tale. So let’s rewind, and talk about Throwback.

First off, I felt like the beginning of this novel was rushed. There’s a ton of characters that are introduced and quickly killed off. It felt like the author was in a hurry to get to the dinosaur part and didn’t setup a decent introduction. On top of all of that, I felt like the characters we’re eventually left with were bland and unmemorable.

The only saving grace I have to say about this story is the dinosaur action. I loved how detailed the author got in to describing what they looked like and how they interacted with the world around them. Sadly, that is the only saving grace I have to say about this book.

The ending wasn’t satisfactory in my opinion. After their arduous journey and this mysterious light is just as much a mystery as when they first saw it in the spaceship. So as the typical humans do, they break it and just set up camp and proceed to live out the rest of their days in this prehistoric world.

No closure, no meaning for all the sacrifices they’ve made. Just ‘huh, I guess there’s nothing we can do, so let’s just live here now.’ I was shouting at my phone when the narrator was reading the end credits, ‘that’s it? That’s the end!?’. I feel like I wasted my time and energy with this one. The only reason this isn’t lower is because of the dinosaurs like I stated earlier in the review.

We get no answers for anything. What was the beacon? What was this ancient race doing? All we get is the astronomers guesses and assumptions. I would say to pass on this prehistoric waste of time.

Posted in Personal Blogs

My Go-To Book Recommendations

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com & edited by Elisha’s Book Review

Since I have been trying to get more social on apps like TikTok and Twitter, I usually get a lot of book recommendations that get added to the never ending “To Be Read” list. However, when I can I try and recommend a book in return.

I have a short list of books that come to mind when someone is looking for a new read. So I guess I’ll now share mine.

  • The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris this is an adult mystery novel about a boy with Synesthesia and is on the Autism spectrum. His neighbor is murdered and he’s an unlikely witness.
  • Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt this is a middle grade coming-of-age story about Delsie who lives with her grandmother in Cape Cod. This is an emotional story about growing up, losing and gaining friends, and what it’s like realizing you’re economic status affects how others see you.
  • The Last One by Alexandra Oliva this is an adult survivor story about a woman nicknamed Zoo who enters to be on a reality TV show. Things quickly go awry when a superbug wipes out a majority of the TV crew. However, Zoo thinks the cameras are still rolling. Can she survive in the wilderness without the sparse resources the crew provides?
  • The Troop by Nick Cutter I see this book somewhat frequently amongst book communities, so I don’t recommend this very often unless you’re brand new or wanting to branch out to the horror genre. This is basically a modern, higher-stakes Lord of the Flies.
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George is the story about a boy who runs away from home and goes to carve a way of life in the Catskill Mountains. This reminded me of The Hatchet series, and I found it to be more relaxing and not as intense.

Some of these I have reviews for and others I either read before I started the blog, or felt like I couldn’t do the book justice. If any of these catch you eye or fancy, I hope you read them and let me know what you think about them!

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Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

*No Spoilers*

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it human-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I joined TikTok to find more book recommendations (like I need more books). And this was one of them. I wish I could remember which BookTok I saw talking about it. However, I’m glad I dove straight to this dark adventure! Let’s hop into The Last One.

I listened to this one as an audiobook, and I believe this is the best way to enjoy this novel. You have two distinct voices narrating; the present from Zoo’s perspective and another narrating what happened once the filming for the TV show began. The TV show perspective is more of a third person point of view. Often referring to the contestants by stereotypical nicknames such as ‘black doctor’ and ‘cheerleader boy’.

I’ve heard believers speak of the coldness of science and the warmth of their faith. But my life has been warm too, and I have faith. Faith in love, and faith in the inherent beauty of a world that formed itself.

Alexandra Oliva, The Last One

The Last One tapped into my irrational fear of coming back from a long night shift at work and not knowing that the world is actively falling apart around you. The atmosphere is portrayed beautifully. I was actually waiting for Zoo to come across her first zombie and how she’d handle that scenario. Thankfully there’s no zombies here.

When Zoo breaks her glasses after getting attacked, that made me feel even more nervous and on edge since I wear glasses and I am like Velma when she loses her glasses. I couldn’t imagine having to survive in the wilderness without the ability to see clearly.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Last One. It’s full of suspense and a relatable main character you can really root for. I would recommend this novel for people who enjoyed Bird Box by Josh Malerman and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. If you haven’t read those novels, that’s okay. If you like Survival Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, or stories with strong female leads. Then I would check out The Last One by Alexandra Oliva.