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From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd comes a complex tale of dark magic, family secrets, and monsters that don’t stay on the page.
“A propulsively charming nightmare, pooling like spilled ink across your imagination.” — Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Hide
“Haunting and beautifully written . . . an exploration of the mysterious power of stories.” —Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Last to Vanish
“One step away from our world lies another: a land of violent fantasies, of sharp-toothed delights. . . .”
Of all the things aspiring artist Haven Marbury expected to find while clearing out her late father’s remote seaside house, Bedtime Stories for Monsters was not on the list. This secret handwritten manuscript is disturbingly different from his Pulitzer-winning works: its interweaving short stories crawl with horrific monsters and enigmatic humans that exist somewhere between this world and the next. The stories unsettle but also entice Haven, practically compelling her to illustrate them while she stays in the house that her father warned her was haunted. Clearly just dementia whispering in his ear . . . right?
Reeling from a failed marriage, Haven hopes an illustrated Bedtime Stories can be the lucrative posthumous father-daughter collaboration she desperately needs to jump-start her art career. However, everyone in the nearby vacation town wants a piece of the manuscript: her father’s obsessive literary salon members, the Ink Drinkers; her mysterious yet charming neighbor, who has a tendency toward three a.m. bonfires; a young barista with a literary forgery business; and of course, whoever keeps trying to break into her house. But when a monstrous creature appears under Haven’s bed right as grisly deaths are reported in the nearby woods, she must race to uncover dark, otherworldly family secrets—completely rewriting everything she ever knew about herself in the process.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ My Malice House Review:
What if you took a ‘things that go bump in the night’ gothic horror story and dipped it in a mystery/thriller coating?
Malice House is a genre-bending delight filled with jaw-dropping spooky scenes, a heaping dose of family+small town drama, and a thrilling last act that I strongly suggest you leave the lights on while reading.
I am an avowed lover of anything even close to gothic horror so this book was high on my wishlist this summer.
While the plot occasionally fell into fits and starts of speed like a neglected carnival ride, the story shines in its gruesome moments of terror as our not-quite-fearless main character Haven uncovers the secrets of Malice House. Highly recommend adding this one to your fall and Halloween-themed TBRs!
Haven comes to Malice House ready to clean up and bury the remnants of her father’s life and career – but what you see on the surface in this creaky old house is not quite what it seems. Woven with glimpses of some truly creepy bedtime stories, uncovering what is real and what is the result of a troubled mind propels Haven down a dark path. I was just as invested in the mystery angle of this book as I was in finding out what darkness lurks at Malice House.
Thank you to NetGalley & Hyperion Avenue for my eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Meet Author Megan SHepherd:
Megan Shepherd is a New York Times-bestselling and Carnegie Medal-nominated author. She grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the author of many acclaimed middle grade and young adult novels including The Madman’s Daughter series, The Cage series, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, and the Grim Lovelies series. She now lives and writes on a haunted 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and children, two cats, chickens, bees, and an especially scruffy dog.