Friday, September 30, 2016

American Horror Story: Roanoke - Chapter 3

We continue the story of Matt and Shelby and the house from hell. This week things get even weirder than they have been and I ask myself, once again, why they have not left yet.

We start off with everyone looking for Flora. The police have been called (but we've established they are pretty useless) and they get her sweater out of the tree. Lee is over the sass from the police (who, fairly, insinuate that Lee and them have been involved in a lot of weird things).

They arrange a search party and each split up to cover more area (because this in no way shape or form will end badly! Horror Movie 101, people). They only find Flora's doll which has been torn into parts and mixed with pig parts. This one is a pig's head with the doll's body (really gross, be thankful I did not include photos).  They also find an abandoned cabin type building with another doll/pig hybrid outside (the reverse this time - a doll's head with a pig's body). The cabin is gross, filthy and filled with bugs and they assume nobody lives there. They hear pig squeals from outside and go to the barn. Two boys are in the barn drinking milk from the pig (so gross). They seem to be abandoned as well, and appear to have some form of mental illness.

The cabin/barn/farm thing was apparently occupied illegally by a family with the last name Polk. The cops assume that the family heard they were coming and took off running with Flora leaving the two boys behind. Mason is not buying it and he really wants to question the boys himself. Matt tells him to let the cops do their job. A social worker does go in to talk to the boys but they only scream 'Croatoan' over and over. For those who are not familiar with Roanoke and the history - Croatoan was found carved into a tree at the remnants of the lost colony. It's also been mentioned in American Horror Story a few times (Violet uses it as a spell to repel spirits in season one). Matt says none of them knew what it meant but it turned out to be a warning.

It's turned to night and they are still looking for Flora. It's been more than 72 hours at this point and Lee is rapidly coming to the conclusion that she might be looking for her daughter's body now with how much time had passed. Matt suggests taking a break so that they can be fresh to search again in the morning. They go back to the house and Mason looses it. He (rather violently) insists that this is all orchestrated by Lee to avoid the fallout of her kidnapping Flora. Mason leaves (after pushing Lee to the floor) and everyone else decides to go to sleep to hopefully find Flora in the morning.

Matt is woken up by his cell phone a little bit later. It is the police. They have found a body and it turns out to be Mason's burnt corpse instead of Flora. He was tied up and burnt. Matt and Shelby discover by watching the video surveillance that Lee left 15 mins after Mason, and arrived back home four hours later. Shelby immediately thinks Lee is guilty which Lee overhears and calls her out on. Lee says that it is obvious that she is not welcome in the house. Matt agrees, and says none of them are welcome. They need to leave. Go to a hotel. Honestly the smartest decision they have made yet. WHY HAVE YOU NOT LEFT BEFORE NOW?!

As they are talking about this, a gentleman enters the room announcing he had been called to help them find Flora. His name is Cricket (played by Leslie Jordan) and he is a psychic of sorts. One who has worked with the FBI previously to happy results. He has helped the FBI find children before in many places all over the country (Shelby does a Google search this time to verify). Cricket is just as strange and wonderful as you would expect. Cricket deduces that Flora is with Priscilla and that she is still very much alive. He wants to host a seance to make contact with Priscilla. He ends up contacting Kathy Bates instead. Kathy Bates' name is, apparently, The Butcher (not her actual name, but it is what she introduces herself as). Cricket invokes a saint to offer up protection so that The Butcher can do them no harm. Does not work - at all. Kathy Bates uses her cleaver to split the candle in half. Cricket continues to attempt to invoke protection, and asks why Kathy Bates is there. He is told that she is there to protect her land from those who are trespassing. So, The Butcher thinks this land belongs to her. When asked about Flora she admits that she would have roasted the child by now but Priscilla hid her outside the edge of the property and she has no desire to leave 'her land' again. Cricket tells her that SHE is the trespasser and that makes The Butcher VERY upset. She breaks all the windows in the house and Cricket screams 'Croatoan' at her like a protection spell (very much like Violet used in season one). The word makes The Butcher disappear. They ask Cricket what the word means. He promises them answers and Flora for $25,000. Matt is unimpressed and accuses Cricket of being a con artist who is praying on Flora. After Lee pulls on gun demanding answers, Matt kicks Cricket out of the house (even though 'even the FBI pays' according to Cricket). He promises that he would be back and that he would be invited (and he whispers something to Lee as he passes her).

The show then breaks the fourth wall. During the interview segments we hear an interviewer (who sounds like Evan Peters, but it could be Cheyenne Jackson) ask what Cricket whispered. The fact that this wall has been broken has me convinced that something else is going on. I anticipate we'll see this 'interviewer/producer/whatever' very soon. It seems obvious that the show we're watching is not ALL this season is and I am very curious. For the record, the people of the internet seem convinced it is Evan Peters (I think it sounds more like Cheyenne Jackson).

We find out that Cricket whispered "Emily says hello. She wonders why you quit looking for her all those years ago". Turns out Lee had a previous daughter. When pressed by the interviewer to tell them about Emily she breaks down and asks them to turn off the cameras. She finally relents and tells them that at 17 years old she had a previous baby. When Emily was four she took her to the grocery store. She had to just run in real quick to purchase some sauce so she left Emily outside (not sure if it was in a car or not) and when she came back Emily was gone. They never found her. Lee admits this looks bad but stresses that she did not do anything to either of her children and admits she went to see Cricket to pay him the money to get Flora back.

She demands for Cricket to tell her where Flora is. He chuckles and says it is more complicated than that. He says they need to find out all they can about The Butcher. This provides us our first flashback into life at the colony. Her real name is Thomasyn White. She was married to the leader of the Roanoke colony. He left to get more supplies in Europe, and put Thomasyn in charge. Wes Bentley is her son. The other colonists want to move inland because they are starving and are not fans of the weak soup Thomasyn is serving. She puts her foot down and says they are not going. They, in turn, betray her and put some contraption around her head and basically force Wes Bentley at cleaver point to put the lock on it. They leave her in the woods to starve.

Lee tells Cricket that this does not have anything to do with them. Roanoke is not near the house they live in. The historical monument that was built is an hour away proving it. Cricket tells her that she is wrong.

Thomasyn nearly dies in the woods, but is saved by Lady Gaga who is some kind of witch or something (and entirely unsettling). She feeds Thomasyn a pig's heart and tells her to 'surrender her soul' to her. Of course Thomasyn eats the heart (ewwww) and goes back to the colony and kills everyone involved in betraying her, offering mercy only to her son after he begs.

This is all very typical Kathy Bates. Her characters are always bad ass underneath it all. After what happened to her, I can see why she wanted pay back. Her side eye in this second gif is amazing.

It turns out that Thomasyn did move them inland after this, and they settled right where Matt and Shelby now live (no surprise there).

Flora, Cricket, Shelby and Matt go back into the woods armed with this info. Cricket contacts Thomasyn again and offers a deal. Once Priscilla safely returns Flora everyone will move out and they will burn down the house to ensure nobody else moves in. Lee says that Matt agreed to this when Shelby voices her objections. Matt has disappeared during all this and Shelby leaves to go find him. He does find him, but probably wishes she hadn't because he's in the woods having sexytimes with Lady Gaga (while the locals from the auction watch). Shelby is PISSED. She takes off running. Matt finally stumbles back very confused and they find that Shelby has returned home by herself. Shelby attacks Matt when he goes to touch her. She yells at him for agreeing to burn down the house, she yells at him for having sex with some woman in the woods. Matt is confused and says he wasn't having sex with anyone. He doesn't know what she is talking about.  While this argument is going on, Lee yells for Matt because she is being arrested. Turns out that Shelby has got a little Amy Dunne in her because she, obviously, showed the police the tape that shows Lee leaving the night Mason was murdered. When Matt questions what she did, Shelby throws his words back at him (with a smug smile on her face even) ....

Three episodes in and this has been the weirdest season ever. I am compelled because I know there is more going on than we've been shown or lead to believe. That forth wall was broken for a reason and I cannot wait to discover what that reason is. After a second listen I am still pretty unsure who the interviewer is (still leaning towards Cheyenne Jackson) but it says something that I want to find out.

At this point I am just going to buckle up for the ride that Ryan Murphy and gang want to take us on and enjoy the rest of this insane season.

Until next time .... don't cheat on Shelby!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge
Release Date - September 27, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 448 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . 
Magic, zombies, necromancers, and a deadly fog. These elements do not typically bring to mind the love story of Romeo and Juliet. Rosamund Hodge twists their romance with fantasy elements to create something that is entirely unique, and still just as romantic.

Juliet as a sword wielding tool of vengeance may sound odd, but a Juliet who can kick ass is a welcome change to the one in Shakespeare's play. Sympathy is created as she is viewed as a tool to be used by everyone. She is someone who is not even given a proper name other than the title of The Juliet. She is meant to be used to avenge any wrong done against her family. Her wants and desires are not taken into consideration and that leads to her making rash decisions when it comes to her heart and her love for Romeo.

Romeo, at various times, provides comic relief. He is exactly the Romeo from Shakespeare's play. Flighty, overtly romantic and sentimental, and prone to dramatics. You get a true sense of their age from him, as Juliet is more harden and detached. We get glimpses of their courtship through flashbacks and that is the only time we see a more relaxed, and youthful Juliet. Their romance makes sense because Romeo treats her as a person, instead of a thing. He sees the girl behind The Juliet, and likes her for things that are truly her. He wants her for reasons that have nothing to do with her standing, and that makes a huge difference to Juliet.

The other characters in the classic, from Paris to Rosaline, are within these pages The biggest change is to Rosaline. She is a driven woman who is willing to sacrifice for what she feels in the greater good. Her and Juliet are not so different from each other underneath everything, and their interactions are the most unexpected and welcome parts of the story. A novel that offers two complex, driven, and motivated female characters is always welcome, and this one adds a little something extra to their dynamic.

Those worried that this is more of a romance than anything else will be delighted to know that there is plenty of action, betrayal, death, and high stakes. The romance may be part of what drives the story, but Rosamund Hodge ensured that each of the characters were more than just the romance, even Romeo. Death stalks these pages in multiple ways. First through the zombie like creatures that haunt these pages, and the fog that wait just outside the quickly weakening walls protecting Viyara. This struggle to survive, and the political dynamics at play are what take centre stage and are the most fascinating part of the story. The fantasy elements, in particular, are wonderfully crafted and written. We can easily picture the world, and it's inhabitants as a result.

There is a rich context to Juliet's story and having her agency taken away. That fact pulses through the story and is part of what drives Runajo and many of the other characters. The fact that Juliet sacrifices so much, and is not even given a proper name is never far from the reader's minds. We see the honour aspect to what she is doing her family, but the unsettling reality that she is having her choices taken away, and many of them without consent feels stronger. I hope this issue is continued to be explored in the subsequent novels in this series, because I feel this novel has only begun to examine this aspect of the story.

The only issue I had with this novel was that it did take quite a bit for me to fall into the story. The beginning of the story is not as engrossing as the later half.  There is plenty that has to built and introduced before getting to the heart of the story. It makes the pacing feel a little off. Luckily, once you do fall into the story it is entirely worth it for this complex world, and unique twist the author has written.

A highly imaginative and unique take on the Romeo and Juliet story. If the original was not to your liking, I predict you'll love this fantasy twist on the star-crossed romance. A story filled with death, love, and the lengths people will go to for both.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday .... Twisted Palace

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Twisted Palace by Erin Watt


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.
I am addicted to this series, and their jaw-dropping cliffhangers. I am desperate to get my hands on the finale to this series and find out all of the Royals secrets.  Luckily, I don't have long to wait as it comes out in Oct!

Expected release date - October 17, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
Release Date - September 20, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 368 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth-century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt, it’s the “rex,” the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books (and conveniently make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out.

But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. And if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. Their flourishing romance is one that will never be allowed. And with both eyeing the same prize, it’s a romance that seems destined for failure. As their attraction deepens, danger looms on the other side of the hills, causing everyone’s secrets to come to light and forcing Samuel and Rachel to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry, and with it a new life together, or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other?
Much of Every Hidden Thing feels unique. Its unique plot, romance, and writing style add up to a wonderfully crafted book about hunting dinosaurs, romance, and finding your own path in the world of your parents.

This novel offers up two points of view. We get both Rachel's narration as well as Samuel's story. Instead of switching chapters, the narration often switches within the same chapter. The narrator is distinguished by font type and very clear voice. It  was a little jarring at first, but once you get use to the style, it becomes effortless to read. Each of the characters is so strongly crafted that you get a sense of them rather easily so this narration seems natural.

Rachel shines the brightest in this book. She's focused, intelligent, driven, and unapologetic about her goals and ambition. She's exactly the type of character I want more of. She's not easily distracted from her goals, and is not willing to get them up for anything. She was interested in science in a time where many women were not favourably looked at for doing so.

The romance within these pages was also unique. There isn't an instant love connection. There is perhaps an insta-lust situation on Rachel's part, but I found Samuel's fascination with Rachel to be more real. She's not initially his type, and Rachel finds him too much of a pretty boy for her liking, but the intrigue they both feel is enough to compel them to get to know each other. The romance isn't one built on the stuff of rom-com legend, but instead one of harsh realities, uncertainty, and leaps of faith. They learn together how to be in this relationship and that is the most realistic element of all. It's built over time, and is more than just a physical attraction, even though that is part of it eventually. It feels earned, but also very real. They will have hard times, and sometimes be angry with each other, but you feel they care enough to work it out. It was refreshing because it felt so authentic and that really made me connect to this love story.

The star-crossed aspect of being the children of rival 'bone hunters' was intriguing. The fathers are used for comedic impact as well as adding an obstacle for the young lovers. Both fathers are loud, forceful personalities whose animosity perhaps stems from them being too similar. Their feud is made all the more tense as the reader is always aware of the ticking clock in the background and the streak of competition that runs through the desire to be first to discover something new.

The setting of the 'wild west' was well crafted as well. I could easily picture the archaeological sites, and the unrelenting dust and sun. The author easily puts you in the centre of the 'Bone Wars' and all that it entailed. From dangers, adventure, and turbulent interactions between the Native tribes of the land all lending an added tension to the story.

A novel for anyone who was obsessed with dinosaurs as a kid, and anyone who has wanted to participate in an archaeological dig. If you are looking for a little something different than the usual from the young adult market, this is exactly the book for you. Fans of Kenneth Oppel's other work will devour this latest offering, as will those with an interest in science. I predict, however, that even those without an interest in dinosaurs will find much to love within these pages. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

American Horror Story: Roanoke - Chapter 2

We're back to continue Matt and Shelby's terrifying journey into home ownership. They are about to get a crash course in why you should always Google the house you're thinking of buying.

We start this episode off right where the last one ended - Shelby in the woods with Wes Bentley and a guy who has had his scalp removed. She's obviously having a great night. She runs away as any sane person would do. There is some kind of ritual going on. Kathy Bates is chanting, people are drumming and some poor guy who is accused of being a thief and deserter is being dressed as a pig and roasted over a fire. Shelby is not the only one having a bad night.

We also get our first glimpse of Lady Gaga this season who looks NOTHING like she normally does.

Scary, right? I love that she went not at all glamorous this season.

Shelby, who has stumbled across this horrific ritual, makes a noise and draws the attention of everyone gathered. Kathy Bates calls for them to seize her and Shelby does the smart thing again and RUNS. She finally finds her way out of the woods only to be struck by a car that Lee is driving. 

Shelby tells the police all about the human sacrifices happening in the woods and they go investigate. They, quite logically, assume she is on drugs when they find no evidence of any crimes being committed. 

Matt finally agrees to move but Shelby says hell no. They are not moving. Perhaps the police finding nothing has convinced her that it is all a hoax because she now believes it is the group of mountain men who tried to scare them away from the house before the auction. She's so convinced it is them she tells Matt that they cannot give up without a fight, especially because all their money is tied up in this house now. Shelby is fighting mad and is not going to be walked all over.

Lee has a visitation with her daughter, Flora, during all this craziness. Probably not the smartest idea. Lee figures though if she keeps her inside and keeps a close eye on her that it'll be fine. It certainly starts out that way at least. Until Lee has to go get some lunch for the little girl and comes back to find her talking to herself. The little girl says she was talking to Priscilla, her friend. Lee assumes she is making things up because of the divorce. She read that kids do this sometimes. Flora is excited about the bonnet that Priscilla has promised her if they can help. When Lee asks what they are supposed to help with Flora says 'help make it stop' because Priscilla is 'tired of all the blood'. They hear a loud noise and Lee goes to investigate. She find a broken vase and a bonnet like promised. I would be running. Why are these people not running?

Shelby, rightly, questions the decision making skills of Lee when it comes to bringing Flora into their home when things are unstable. She tells Matt that Lee knows things have happened because she saw them for herself (even if Lee thinks Shelby is lying). Matt changes the subject and says that he agrees that they stay and fight until they can sell the house.

Later that night Matt is woken up by pig squeals. Shelby is also woken up and is entirely over it. She's pissed, and is not going to cower anymore. She grabs a baseball bat and goes out to confront what she assumes are the racist locals. Shelby is a bit of a badass and I love her. I question all of their decision making skills though because I WOULD BE LEAVING. Matt, of course, goes with her to investigate the noises. Sure, walk into the woods screaming for whatever is out there to 'show themselves' because nothing bad could happen as a result of this. Shelby (in interview format) tells us that she just wanted it to stop, and that is entirely understandable. Back in the reenactments part of the show Matt and Shelby get separated. Matt discovers an actual pig and Shelby discovers a large burning pyre in the shape of the stick men things left in the house earlier. This just happens to have a pig head at the top and is draped in meat (hopefully pig meat and not human).

Shelby says that the police cannot ignore them anymore because there is visible proof now. The police agree to go talk to the group of locals from the auction and provide police detail as protection. This only occurs after Shelby threatens to go to the press if they don't stop what is happening and do their job. She's fierce and Matt is a little in awe of her. He's also happy that they can finally get some much needed sleep. I would be too!

Later that night, Matt hears the phone ringing and answers it to hear someone asking for help as someone is hurting them. He discovers that they phone is actually unplugged and realizes he now hearing people talking inside the house. He follows the voices and discovers two nurses who are caring for an elderly lady named Margaret. She refuses to take her medication and so the one nurse shoots her as they both laugh. Matt, understandably freaked out, runs out the door to get the cops as one of the nurses spray paints "M for Margaret" on the wall in red paint.

Matt gets the police and wakes everyone up in the process. They police officer finds no nurses, or dead bodies in the house. It's basically Matt's turn to look crazy. They chalk it up to a dream. Lee is just afraid that if something actually happens the cops won't be so quick to respond next time.

The next morning Flora is being picked up by her father. They figure, since Flora cannot be found right away, that she is playing her own version of hide and go seek with them. It was something she did when they were still a family and part of the fun for Flora was seeing how long it took them to realize she was hiding.

They find her in the closet where she was talking to Priscilla last time. Flora is angry because Priscilla disappears when they open the door and tells them that she was offering to give Priscilla her doll in exchange for her family not being killed. Flora tells them that it is too late though. All of them will be killed with her being killed last.

Flora's father is beyond upset that his daughter is talking like this and, naturally, blames Lee. He rushes Flora out of the house promising Lee that she'll never see her daughter again. Lee breaks down crying and breaks her sobriety as a result. Matt and Shelby find her very drunk and a bunch of knifes stuck in the ceiling in the kitchen. They assume Lee had done it, but I don't understand why. They both know crazy things have been happening. 

Shelby sees a little girl outside the house and calls for Matt to come look. He sees her as well so they decide that they best thing to do is go investigate. She's disappeared by they time they get there, but they do see doors in the forest floor that open into a bunker of sorts. They decide to make more bad life choices and go down into the bunker. They quickly realize that someone lived down there. There is a bunch of camera equipment and a TV. They play the tape in the VCR and are told a horrifying story about the house they now live in. An author, Dr. Elias Cunningham (played by Dennis O'Hare), who was researching a book recorded these tapes. He too felt a presence in the house during his time there. He was researching a pair of sisters who were nurses who killed elderly people in their care. They opened an assisted living facility that only took those people whose family were tired of taking care of them. They also only accepted those with particular names. The sisters spray painted the first letter of each of their victim's names on the wall and as they wanted to spell out MURDER with them (including 'M is for Margaret') they only selected people with those first initials. They did not quite finish as they never got to kill the person for the last 'R' before they fled as the cops were called by some of the family members of the clients who became concerned. They police never found anyone, just the word left behind on the wall. Apparently the letters, no matter how much they were scrubbed, refused to be removed from the wall. *side note - this is apparently based on a true case and that makes it all the more terrifying*

Matt immediately puts "M is for Margaret" together with his earlier 'dream' and runs to check to see if the paint is where the guy in the video said it would be. He rips off the wallpaper to discover Murde written on the wall. With that proof in hand they go back to watch the rest of the tape. Dr Cunningham muses on the tape that he doesn't think that the sisters got away with murder. They didn't just flee with their work unfinished. He is convinced that something got them. Something made them stop. He calls this 'something' even more evil than the sisters and says that is everywhere - in the house, in the woods, in the air. The tape ends with him walking through the house calling for whatever is there to show themselves, and is met with, what looks like, the pigman before the tape cuts out. Shelby and Matt hear a thud and turn around to find a bloody cleaver stuck into the door frame of the room they are in.

Matt and Shelby are 100% done with the house and everything in it. Matt declares that the bank is going to have to just buy it back considering the new information they have. They are told however that they purchased the house 'as is' and should have raised any concerns or questions before bidding on the house. I am not sure how this works in the USA but I always thought you had to disclose previous deaths in any residence being sold. Anyways, Shelby brings up the fact that even if they wanted to Google the house before buying it to see what came up, the address had been changed by the bank before selling. This seems very shady to me. It was an obvious attempt to hide the horrors that happened there from potential buyers. Shelby is, once again, showing how fierce she is. The couple realizes that they are trapped, and that they will never recoup the full amount they paid for the house. 

Matt says things could not possibly get worse and pretty much ensures that they will in fact get worse. While all this was happening, Lee decided to drive and basically kidnap Flora in her panic. She brings her to the house. Matt is incredulous. He demands to know if Mason (Lee's ex) knows and if she is drunk. Matt mentions that Mason is a police officer and that means that there is probably an alert out on Flora already. Shelby takes a call from Mason and pleads for him not to call the cops on Lee. She tells Mason to come pick up Flora and manages to calm him down. Flora, who is doing her homework in the other room during all this, is lured outside by Priscilla. The grownups realize she is gone and chase after her. The only thing they find though is Flora's sweater high up in a tree and no other sign of the little girl. 

This season is definitely bringing the season one vibes, and scares. I am still not 100 percent sure what this season is, but I am excited to continue watching to see how it all comes together.

I've seen people bemoaning the fact that Evan Peters and Finn Wittrock have not made an appearance yet. I am right there with you! I do, however, think we've seen Evan. I think he's the guy in the pig mask in the videos. I totally think that, knowing everyone wants to see him, this is something they would do. Hide his face for most of the season. I predict we'll see him in flashbacks and learn how he came to be in that pig mask.

Now, I've heard a rumour about something happening later in the season. I'll enclose it in spoiler tags for those who do not want to know, so click for spoilers.

I am VERY happy if this is true for obvious reasons and the other part of that spoiler has me REALLY excited for the midpoint of this season.

What do you think of season 6 so far? Are you like me questioning why Matt, Shelby and Lee have stayed at the house after all this craziness (especially since Matt and Shelby both want to leave now)? Hopefully that is explained soon!

Until next time .... stay out of the woods.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews)

I have two awesome things that made their way into my mailbox this week.

First up is another Funko Pop for my collection. This one is the Edward from Twilight Hot Topic exclusive. He sparkles! On one hand this makes me laugh, and on the other I think it is the best thing ever!

You can really see the sparkles in the sun (which, hilarious) and I am so happy to have him as part of my small (but growing) collection.

Next up is a book I am VERY excited about from Raincoast Books. A huge thank you to Raincoast Books for sending this one along! 

How To Break A Boy by Laurie Devore (goodreads)

Keep an eye out because this one just might be featured at the end of this year during a special event!

What bookish items made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.


Such A Good Girl by Amanda K Morgan (goodreads)

I know almost nothing about this novel, just the brief Goodreads synopsis which makes it sound amazing. The cover was revealed, and while it doesn't grab me the way some covers do, I am much more interested in what the synopsis doesn't give - any details about the plot.

Seriously, just read this synopsis and try not to be intrigued.
Riley Stone is just about perfect. (Ask anyone.)
She has a crush on her French teacher, Alex Belrose. (And she suspects he likes her, too.)
Riley has her entire life planned out. (The plan is nonnegotiable.)
She's never had a secret she couldn't keep. (Not ever.)
Riley is sure that her life is on the right track. (And nothing will change that.)
She's nothing like a regular teenager. (But she doesn't have any problem admitting that.)
Riley doesn't usually play games. (But when she does, she always wins.)

She thinks a game is about to start…
But Riley always has a plan…
And she always wins.
I want to read this immediately just for that synopsis alone. It is intriguing while giving no details away.


Mr Robot Season Two

The second season of Mr Robot has come to a close. Once again the final episode of the season was brilliant and left me with more questions than answers. No spoilers here, but the wait for season three is going to be rough. I shall miss this being on my television screen each week until Elliott says "Hello, friend" to us again.


Funko Pops

It is time I admit that I am obsessed with Funko Pops. I now have 6 in my collection with more on my wishlist. I am so excited for more to be announced, and really hope they end up releasing Stranger Things Pops. The only downside is how to display them. I am currently looking at shelving options because I can all ready tell this is going to be a problem.

Pottermore's Patronus Quiz

I, like everyone else, took the Pottermore quiz to determine what my Patronus is. Turns out mine is cute but deadly! Mine is a stoat (which is part of the weasel family) and pretty adorable.

This is apparently a deadly predator, but I am too busy thinking how adorable it is.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Blog Tour - The Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis

I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for this important and brilliantly written novel from Mindy McGinnis. I am also honoured to be ending the tour with a Top Ten list from Mindy.

First up, be sure to check out the previous stops on the tour. There are reviews, interviews, and more to check out.

Week 1:
9/12: Swoony Boys Podcast - Review
9/13: A Reader Under the Sea - Q&A
9/14: Pretty Deadly Reviews - Review
9/15: Brittany's Book Rambles - Guest Post
9/16: Lekeisha the Booknerd - Review

Week 2:
9/19: The Irish Banana Review - Q&A
9/20: Fiction Fare - Review
9/21: Fiery Reads - Playlist
9/22: Ex Libris - Review
9/23: A Glass of Wine - Top 10

Here is a little about the book in case you haven't already heard of it.

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever. 
Be sure to order your copy from your favourite retailer one of the below links

 Amazon | B and N  

Here is a little about the author herself and you can follow her at the following links

Mindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer's Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET in October of 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books. Mindy is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.

For my part of the tour, I asked Mindy to provide a Top Ten List. The chosen topic was her top ten books written by women. The list is, unsurprisingly, pretty awesome.

Top Ten Books Written By Women

1 ­ The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
2 ­ The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
3 ­ Them by Joyce Carol Oates
4 ­ The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
5 ­ The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
6 ­ A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
7 ­ The Thirteenthh Tale by Dianne Setterfeld
8 ­ In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason
9 ­ Stiff by Mary Roach
10 ­ Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Hopefully you want a copy of The Female Of The Species of your very own now that you've learned a little bit about the book. Be sure to enter the below giveaway for you chance to win one of three copies as part of this blog tour. This is a US ONLY giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis
Release Date - September 20, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 352 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever. 
The Female Of the Species is a hard book. It's a hard book to review and at times a hard book to read. It's unflinching and raw in its darkness and message. It's a darkly intelligent novel that is as sharply written as it is necessary.

The cover, while not really part of this review, immediately lets you know what type of story this is. Graced with pictures of the female of various species and their names ranging from vixen, cow and bitch, it hammers home the words we assign to women and how damaging many of them are.

If I had to provide one word to describe this novel I am confident it would be violence. Violence is the heartbeat of this novel. It's represented in my ways and forms. Actual violence, imagined violence, and what the numbing to violence does to society. It's exploration is razor sharp, and gritty. It is uncomfortable because it paints an all too realistic picture of our society. It makes it impossible not to question things, and offers one of the more complex explorations that I've read.

Alex Craft exists in grey. She is one of the most morally complex characters that I've ever met. Her sister's murder has left her justifiably angry. She's allowed that anger to create a dark hardness within in her that allows her to be capable of violence. She could easily be compared to Dexter, another morally complex character. The difference is, this is the first time I've encountered this in a female character. Alex muses that there isn't a word for what she is, and that feels true. She names herself vengeance which feels appropriate.

Rape culture seeps through every page of this novel. It ranges from subtle to glaringly in your face. This novel looks at the danger of gross casual comments, right up to slut shamming and its impact on how women are perceived. You are hit with the reality of this culture right from the initial pages, but it is hammered home with the jaw dropping presentation made by a police officer at Alex's school, complete with jarring statistics. This novel puts things into perspective in a way that is undeniable. Branley, and the way she's viewed and treated, is a direct product of rape culture. She's slut shammed, treated as nothing more than a pair of boobs and an ass. We see how damaging this is, and how it can leave a lasting scar that may not be visible , but hurts just as much getting as a physical one.

I normally don't provide trigger warning in novels, but those who have issues with animal cruelty may have issues getting through the earlier part of this novel. I believe you should, and the reason the animal cruelty is included is immediately evident and does highlight the point the author is making. The story itself is one that is worth reading, even if you have to skim these two occurrences. It is not enough to not experience this incredible novel.

My words are not enough to adequately express the way this novel impacts you. It's the kind of novel that gives you the worst kind of book hangover, and one that makes you see the world around you a little bit differently. A tough novel to read at times, but one that is incredibly important. Mindy McGinnis has given us unforgettable characters, and a novel that will settle itself inside you, and demand that you discuss it with everyone. This novel may make you uncomfortable at times but it is vital and required reading. The Female of the Species is indeed deadlier than the male, and Mindy McGinnis shows us why in her brutal, breath-taking novel that pierces your soul. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday ... The Love Interest

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
This synopsis probably sounds familiar .... right up until that final line. It ensured that I would immediately want to read this. I am excited to learn more about this secret organization, and to meet this characters that already sounds so interesting. It's a long wait, but something tells me it'll be worth it.

Expected release date - May 16, 2017

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo
Release Date - September 20, 2016
Publisher Website - Hachette/Little Brown
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
There is something about the Jack The Ripper case that draws people's interest all these years later. Perhaps it is simply us seeking to know the unknown. Solve what appears to unsolvable. It is a hook of sorts, and as a result we see books, movies, and TV shows inspired by the grisly case pop up again and again. Stalking Jack The Ripper may have the infamous case at its centre, but it has more to offer than just a splashy hook.

The setting of this novel pulses through each page. Victorian era England is captured through the vivid descriptions. The tone is set with foggy alleyways and darkened rooms. It is the idea setting for a mystery and Kerri Maniscalo uses it to her full advantage. It is easy to picture the crime scenes, and the other locations within the novel simply because of the way it is written and the care given to ensuring this world was as darkly enthralling as possible.

If the tone is pitch perfect, the characters are delicious icing on an already well constructed cake. They are the pulse of the novel, and what, I feel, people won't soon forget after they have finished. Audrey Rose, in particular, stands out. She will instantly be a new girl crush for many readers. She's progressive for her time, especially wanting to have a job of her own, be educated, and especially her interest in forensic medicine. She has very little patience for people telling her what to do or how to act. This is especially true when it comes to the men in her life. She, as her mother would say, is a 'delicate rose with thorns' and you cannot help but love her for it. She pushes for what she wants, and isn't afraid to scandalize by breaking societal norms. She wears pants instead of skirts when it suits her, and sneaks around at night. The author, however, allows her weaknesses, and a love for things that are considered 'girly' like makeup and pretty dresses. She is this wonderful mix of passion, faults, drive, and intelligence. It made her seem very human. I anticipate many will love her for both her strong opinions, and vulnerability.

The romance in this novel is filled with witty banter, a roguish scoundrel, excruciating sexual tension where you just want to force them to kiss already, and enough scandalous moments (at least for this time period) to add a little something extra to it. It will be nearly impossible to not become invested in this ship if you're a fan of razor sharp banter, and couples who push each others buttons.

Plenty of research went into the mystery aspect of this novel. People will instantly recognize well known elements from the Jack The Ripper case. It is evident that care was taken to ensure that she remained as true as possible to the events that happened, while still crafting her own vision. The Jack The Ripper case weaves seamlessly into the story being told, but is not the whole story. This is really the story of a girl who is forging her own way. She just happens to be solving a crime as she does it.

A entertaining mystery that unravels at just the speed. Filled with romance, danger, action, and a heroine who wants to leave her own mark on the world in her own way, Stalking Jack The Ripper is a perfect Halloween season read that will have you breathlessly awaiting the next case Audrey Rose gets mixed up in. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

American Horror Story: Roanoke - Chapter 1

After much speculation the theme of season six of American Horror Story has finally been revealed. This season will focus on Roanoke, also known as The Lost Colony. If you're not already aware, the short version is that Roanoke is a colony of settlers that 'disappeared' with no concrete answer as to what happened to them. There are plenty of logical explanations as to what might of happened, but this will obviously be American Horror Story's version of what they think happened. If you are curious there is plenty of information on the internet about the real colony and theories of what might have happened to them.

Keeping the theme a secret until the first episode aired was not the only thing new this season. The format in which the story is told has also changed. This season is being presented as a pseudo-documentary that is similar to those true crime shows we've all seen, complete with reenactments. It is sort of a show within a show and each detail is handled so that it feels like a documentary.

It comes complete with it's own title credits. The show within a show is titled ...

We're introduced to Shelby (Lily Rabe) and Matt (Andre Holland), a happily married couple (the kind that make other people jealous) who are expecting their first child. The two go out to celebrate a promotion Matt gets at work (and the fact that Shelby is newly pregnant). They are accosted by a group of gang members who, as part of an initiation, knock Matt out with a punch.  The tension, stress, and worry proves too much for Shelby who miscarries as a result.

We're introduced to the reenactment part of this season with them showing us the attack on Matt. The 'actors' playing 'Shelby' and 'Matt' in the reenactments are Sarah Paulson (as 'Shelby') and Cuba Gooding Jr (as 'Matt'). Cool concept and one that they have never done before. The casting is rather inspired as well. Side note - it was a little jarring to see 'Marcia Clark' and 'OJ Simpson' from American Crime Story being a couple, but it really worked. I bought into them as a couple by the end of the episode without question.

After Matt's scare, and the loss of the baby they decide to move out of Los Angeles as it did not feel safe anymore. They decide to move to North Carolina, hoping it would offer a more relaxing environment for them.

They stumble upon a farmhouse that was built in 1792 and needed more than a bit of cleaning. They figure they could never afford such a large house that comes with so much land (that they can't build on). They end up taking part in some kind of auction that is basically just them and another group of locals who attempt to warn them away from the house. They figure that it just them trying to scare them away from buying the house. A bidding war starts but quickly ends when Cuba Gooding Jr decides to show them the money and bids forty thousand dollars which the locals cannot afford to match. 'It totally turned me on when he did that' Shelby admits during the interview portion of the 'documentary'.  Shelby admits that she loved the house but instantly felt danger there too.

How cute are they?!

The new home owners settle in and start the process of cleaning out the house, and repainting. They also partake in some sexytimes that is interrupted by some loud banging on the door and weird noises. Matt goes to check it out (horror movies have taught us never to do this) and discovers the trash cans all torn apart and tossed everywhere. Matt immediately suspects that it might be the locals who lost the auction. He figures they are racists who don't approve of them being an interracial couple. They, however,  refuse to be scared away again.

A couple days later while Lily is alone, and just waking up from a nap, she hears what sounds like hail outside and goes to investigate (again, why would you do this?) and discovers that it is in fact not hailing but raining TEETH. Very human looking TEETH. This is about when I would be packing up and running. Forty thousand dollars or no.

I mean... actual teeth falling from the sky. Noooope.

She calls Matt, and Matt tells her it's hail. He drove through hail on his drive. Of course all of the teeth have disappeared and Shelby looks crazy. I believe it though.

Matt's job requires him to travel a lot. That leaves Shelby alone as he has to go away for business. At first it felt normal because that was their routine. Matt would leave on business, come back and repeat. It helped at first because it was familiar. Shelby cooked, drank wine, and jumped at every little noise (so she's basically me).

in which Shelby is basically me

These may in fact be the most normal characters we've seen on the show since season one and the Harmons.

As Shelby is walking through the house she notices two women randomly walking across the hall. They disappear as fast as she sees them and after she investigates decides she was seeing things and decides to go out into the hot tub (because this is a good idea, obviously). Shelby does get bonus points for drinking wine in the hot tub, but I question the rest of her decision making. She attempts to relax and closes her eyes only to be pushed under the water and held there by some unknown assailant (or assailants). This is why you don't go in the hot tub. Bad things happen.

She calls Matt who, like a good husband, comes rushing home. The cops take one look at the wine and determine Shelby was drunk and that nothing happened. He found her description of attackers with pitchforks and torches to be less than convincing. Matt is convinced it's the locals from the auction and tells the cop as much. The cop tells them he'll look into it and recommends they get a gun (which is not great advice). Shelby clues us in (via interview) that she was done with living there. She wanted to move away.

Later that night Matt hears a noise that sounds like the squeal of a pig. He goes to investigate and finds a dead pig in front of their house. I still don't understand why they are not moving.

Matt's reaction to all this is to install security cameras and call his sister Lee (Adina Porter) to come and stay with Shelby while he's away. Lee is portrayed by Angela Bassett in the reenactments. Fun fact - Angela Bassett played Cuba Gooding Jr's MOTHER in 1991's Boyz In The Hood. She now, in 2016, plays his sister. What voodoo is this, Angela? Because sign me up. Lee also happens to have the best lines (such as informing us that she hates assholes). Lee and Shelby don't like each other much. Lee doesn't think much of yoga or anything else Shelby does, and Shelby knows it.

Lee comes with her own sad backstory. She used to be a cop until she became addicted to pain meds after being shot on the job. Her addiction ended her marriage, got her fired, and limited visitation with her kid. Sad stuff all around.

Of course Lee being there doesn't prevent spooky things from happening. Shelby is cooking dinner one night when things start to move from the place she left them. Most glaringly is the knife she left on the counter that is now stuck inside the meat she is cooking. Shelby assumes it was Lee and Lee assumes that Shelby is just a 'jumpy bitch'.  She figures Shelby is just trying to get Matt to move back to LA. Having asked Shelby to not drink in the house while she's there (because she's newly sober), Lee is furious when she figures Shelby is taunting her by rolling a wine bottle into her room. Shelby says she didn't do it.

While this is going on, Matt is seeing people with torches and pitchforks approaching the house on the camera feed he installed. He attempts to call Lee and Shelby who are too busy arguing to answer the phone. He decides to drive the two hours back instead of calling the police for whatever reason.

In the meantime, the ladies have heard noises in the basement and decide to go investigate. Bad life decisions for everyone it appears. They discover a creepy video (including a voice that sounds sort of like Evan Peters) that includes some kind of pigman. While they are watching this video the people with pitchforks and torches took the time to decorate their house Blair Witch style. They find about a million little twig figures strung up around the house. Again, why are you not just LEAVING THE HOUSE AND DRIVING AWAY?!

Matt arrives home and discovers the police came already and have chalked it up to vandalism. They tell Matt about the video and he goes to watch it. It is just as unsettling the second around. Matt is convinced it is the locals trying to scare them away (either for the house or because they are racists). Shelby finally admits she wants to leave because she doesn't feel safe and doesn't trust that the cops will do anything. Shelby does the first smart thing anyone has done on this show - she runs. She gets in her car and drives away as fast she can and drives right into Kathy Bates in very old fashioned clothes. After hitting Kathy Bates (whose character currently does not have a name on the show) Shelby stops and gets out of the car to make sure she's okay. Kathy Bates is already walking into the woods so Shelby FOLLOWS HER. Naturally, this is going to end well for Shelby. 

She chases Kathy Bates through the woods until she becomes lost. She ends up discovering a bunch of those twig figures that were in the house hung up in the woods as well. In a panic she runs away only to fall down and discover that the forest floor is undulating. She gets up from the moving ground and discovers a guy with a missing scalp running out of the woods.  She also discovers, who I assume is, Wes Bentley all decked out in a beard and carrying a torch. Bets on him being part of the group who tried to drown her? Odds are high I wager.

That you,  Wes Bentley?

An unsettling start to a new season of American Horror Story that was seriously lacking in hotties. This already has a very season one feel to it, which I am sure will thrill many fans. Kathy Bates and Wes Bentley are, most likely, members of the Roanoke colony. The question is why they are still roaming around the forest and causing havoc in present day.

I am a big fan of this new documentary style story format, at least for this season, and kind of love that two actors are playing the same characters. I am not entirely sold that Lily Rabe and Andre Holland are the 'real' Shelby and Matt though. We're supposed to think that, but what if the Cuba Gooding Jr and Sarah Paulson parts are real, and Lily Rabe and Andre Holland are the 'actors' telling the story after the fact? Not entirely sold on this, but it would be a fun twist.

Until next week ... be sure to avoid the woods, and no drinking wine in hot tubs

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