Flash Forward by Rose Evereth

Having listened to this podcast for a few years now, as soon as I learnt Rose was publishing a Flash Forward book I knew I needed it! I would’ve pre-ordered it but that was only available in the US and Canada, I’d just resigned myself but then I spotted the book on NetGalley and I requested that thing so fast!!!

The book follows the same format as the podcasts, where in each section the book looks at a possible, or not so possible, future and see’s how this could play out and how it would impact everyday people. In the podcast this is done through a small acted segment and then through discussion. To transfer this into a literary medium, Rose instead went with comics! This is part graphic novel and part discussion, with there first being a strip which is the same as the acted segment from the podcast, and then afterwards Rose would have a discussion about what we’d just read and how this could come about.

There were a few futures that were taken directly from podcast episodes, but they were from older episodes, so if you’ve not listened to them all then this won’t be an issue for you, and if you have, well it’s a nice reminder! I enjoyed being reminded of these possible futures and Rose’s takes on them, as well as seeing how my reaction differed a few years on.

Overall, I recommend getting this content into you somehow! Whether that’s through the podcast (of the same name: Flash Forward) or through this graphic novel. Rose Eveleth puts so much effort and hard graft into each episode and each story, doing so much research and talking to a vast amount of professionals and experts. Also I really liked the artwork inside the book as well, something that isn’t necessarily the main part of a graphic novel like this but that’s lovely to see all the same! A very ramble-y but very positive review of this! Pick it up!

Delicates – a review

Delicates is the sequel to Sheets, a cute spoopy graphic novel about sheets coming to life as ghosts in a laundromat. Our main character Marjorie has become close to one of these ghosts, a young boy called Wendell. But when she returns to school she’s finally accepted by the popular girls and is scared of spending too much time with Wendell in case her secret comes out. Everyone would think she was a freak who sees dead people!!

Delicates by Brenna Thummler

Similarly, Delicates is a lovely graphic novel which is aimed at a MG/YA(Middle Grade/Young Adult) audience to talk about difficult topics. Whilst Sheets focuses on grief, Delicates focuses on mental health and bullying.

Sadly, whilst Sheets handled the topic with grace and, ironically, delicacy, Delicates seemed a little too forceful. The message seemed to be pushed so hard that at points it was literally on the page. I’m not sure if it’s just my age not being the target demographic that meant that I found this so blatant and obvious, but it did mean that the beauty of the message was lost for me. I do, however, think that it is of course an incredibly important message for young people to receive and maybe this delivery method would work for more people.

Overall I’ve given this read a low 3 stars (6.43 on CAWPILE to be precise), and I would definitely recommend for people to pick it up. The art style, in my opinion, is gorgeous and the message positive and important. I just don’t feel that it was that well imparted, but as mentioned above I’m not the target audience and this may have paid a part in this.

Publishing tomorrow March 23rd 2021, go check this book out and pick it up if it sounds interesting!!

Thank you to NetGalley and Oni Press for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Touch is Really Strange – a review

I had previously read Anxiety is Really Strange by Steve Haines and Forgiveness is Really Strange by Masi Noor, so when I saw this new title within this little series available on NetGalley I decided to pick it up. Touch is Really Strange, by Steve Haines, is a graphic novel which looks at how touch changes our perception of the world, as well as how it can impact our emotions.

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Touch is Really Strange by Steve Haines

I thought that the main body of the novel was done well, the graphics have a beautiful but plain styling to them which I like and the information is interesting. There are footnotes to expand on details if you want the information, but if you’re there for the bare bones you don’t need to pay attention to those.

I like how the book covers physical responses to touch, as well as how touch as a sense allows us to feel our place in the world and also the emotional impact that touch such as hugs can have. The pandemic was mentioned in here, saying that it’s a difficult time for touch at the moment, which I appreciated, but it made the next section even more odd.

The end portion of the graphic novel is made up of exercises in touch to try… with a partner. Now I know that there will be a decent number of people who are living with other people right now, who might even be willing to do this. But there are large numbers of people living alone. After having mentioned earlier on in the novel that it’s difficult for those who crave touch due to the social distancing restrictions, why would you then put a bunch of exercises into the book which all involve touching someone else? It just felt really odd and out of touch. I know that this book needs to be relatable after the pandemic times, but in that case I think it would’ve been better to leave out any direct mention of it at all.

Without that weird touching section this would’ve been a 3 star read, but with that addition? I’ve dropped it down to 2 stars. But if you do happen to live with someone who would be willing to try out touch exercises with you, then give this graphic novel a go!

Spooky Reading Recommendations!

So I’m not great with scary things. They aren’t my favourite and I don’t enjoy scaring myself, so instead my recommendations for Halloween reads are more mystery, thriller and dark, rather than pure scary. I’ll start off with children’s books and move on through to adult literature, but definitely try out all you feel comfortable with! I also have this post in video format on my YouTube channel from last year, so click here if you prefer to listen to/watch the recommendations!


Sheets by Brenna Thummler

This cute little graphic novel is linked into Halloween with an adorable ghost who appears and wants to assist our protagonist. A nice and unspooky way to join in with the season. Find my full review here!


Kiss of DeathKiss of Death by Malcolm Rose

Something a little more creepy, two children pick up a coin on a school trip to a town which was previously ravaged by the plague. Taking this coin places a curse on the two and we see them struggle to come to this realisation and figure out a solution.

blood waterBlood Water by Dean Vincent Carter

There’s a “thing” in the water in this slightly scary teen read. It’s escaped from where it was being kept for research and is resulting in the gory deaths of those living nearby. Something a bit more creepy for those who want to test themselves. This isn’t a book I enjoyed personally but if the synopsis looks intriguing to you then check it out.

the black book of secretsThe Black Book of Secrets by F. E. Higgins

Back to something not as scary again, this book (and the whole series) are very fun, creepy reads aimed at 11+ readers. This book focuses on a man who pays money to write peoples secrets in his black book, our protagonist doesn’t understand why he would pay for this. So he tries to find out.

Who Could That Be at This HourWho Could That Be at This Hour by Lemony Snicket

What creepy but not too scary book recs list would be complete without Lemony Snicket?! Obviously there is the whole Series of Unfortunate Events, however, another one of his series’ is called All The Wrong Questions and is more of a YA book. More of the Snicket we love with a more mature audience in mind.

skuldugerySkulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

One of my absolute favourite series’, that I’ve been following since the beginning and continue to pick up. These books are 11+ and follow a Skeleton detective and the niece of his best friend as they get into a lot of scrapes. So much fun, great Irish humour and perfect for Halloween! (Also not spooky at all, the only fear is when the characters get themselves into stupid situations haha)

the last apprenticeThe Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney 

This series goes by many names, in the UK (where I’m from!) it’s called Spooks, but in the US it is The Last Apprentice, and the first book has the same name. A little more of a creepy YA, we follow a young boy as he becomes the apprentice of the spook. A man who rounds up witches and keeps society safe from them. There are a few issues with this series, as it seems to be incredibly patriarchal with a mistrust of any female, however, I thought I would still mention it on this list as when I first read it at 15 I didn’t notice this and still really enjoyed the books. It’s up to you.

Messenger of FearMessenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Another one of my favourite books, I read this for the first time recently and couldn’t put both it and the sequel down. I’m waiting on tenderhooks for book #3!! This follows a girl who has been apprenticed to the Messenger of Fear. It’s a nasty job, but she chose to take it on, and doesn’t remember why as her memory was wiped. Lots of graphic violence and a little bit of creepiness. A lot of fun!!

cold bath streetCold Bath Street by A. J. Hartley

Not the most well heard of book, which is such a pity as this is yet another 5* read on this list! We follow a young boy names Preston when he has died, and how he copes in the world beyond. But there’s trouble, things aren’t following the route that they’re supposed to and he somehow gets himself entwined within this issue and aims to discover what is going on. Creepy (on a small scale, but more than some of the others on this list) and so engrossing! Find my full review here!

aliceAlice by Christina Henry

An Alice In Wonderland retelling with a twist. This book had me absolutely ensnared for well over a week after I finished reading it! It’s dark, gritty and you should probably forget about other retellings you’ve read as this doesn’t follow that tried and tested format. I loved the skewed, humanoid versions of our well-known characters within Wonderland and how this was dragged into more of a dystopian world than a mythical land. 100% recommend and love! This isn’t a YA read though, so don’t go in with that expectation. Find my full review here!


Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

A straight thriller, a common choice for this time of year. This one messed with my mind, and it’s why I gave it 5 stars! I’ll say straight off that not everyone will enjoy this book, for example, BooksandLala really didn’t like it due to the ending which she considered to be over the top (and I can see why), so keep that in mind. But personally, I loved it and was absolutely enraptured and unable to put it down. Find my full review here!

the end of mr yThe End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

This book is a lot less well known than it should be, in my opinion, and I only know about it as I spotted it in a charity shop. With a creepy mystery surrounding a long-lost book, death, fantasy and weird shit are all present in this great book!

25694617His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

This isn’t your traditional Halloween read, the only real gory section is that there is a murder. Our MC is being tried for a murder he committed, and we follow the events before, during and after the murder, as well as the trial itself. This is 100% not creepy, but it will make you think. Find my full review here!

the girl in 6EThe Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre

This thriller has it all, murderous tendencies, a creep that goes rogue and so much more. This will keep you on the edge of your seat and I personally came to really love our protagonist despite her obvious and glaring flaws.

the house of silkThe House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

I had to include a traditional style mystery in here! I love reading Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle so whenever people add to their works and build upon their characters – I’m in! This book was brilliant and had me hooked, 100% recommend if you want to delve back into the world of Sherlock.

macbethMacbeth by William Shakespeare

Now for an original classic, this book has murder and witches and is thoroughly enjoyable! If you find play scripts difficult to read then there are many great film adaptations of the work, sometimes watching a performance before reading it can be helpful for those who don’t flow naturally into this different writing layout.

the damnedThe Damned vol 1 by Cullen Bunn, and illustrated by Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree

A dark, noir, gangster comic which definitely fits within the horror genre with its graphic panels, there are also fantasy elements within the story which allows it to break the walls of reality in an interesting manner. Check out my full review here!

ghosts of the pastGhosts of the Past by Serge LeTendre and David S. Khara, and illustrated by Frédéric Peynet

This is a mystery/crime comic which follows our protagonist as he deals with Nazi’s, both in the present day and also with what they did during WWII. Pretty dark, due to the topic that it deals with, however, there isn’t really a scare factor. Click for my review for more of my thoughts.

And that’s your lot! It’s a bit of a long list, and my video is almost 25 minutes long so I apologise for that, but hopefully, I’ve been able to provide some ideas for books to delve into this spoopy season!! If you want to see how I get along with my October reads (which have a bit of a spooky theme) then keep an eye on my channel for my October Reading Wrap Up!

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

A father’s story

I knew that my University library held this book, but it had always been out when I searched for it so when I finally managed to grab it I was very happy. This is a non-fiction graphic novel which shows the authors attempts to get his father to tell him about his life during WWII and the hardships he suffered in Auschwitz. The individuals are animalised, with different groups being different animals (mice, pigs, cats), but they all show real-life events.

I actually enjoyed that Spiegelman’s father is quite unlikeable, he’s very determined and set in his ways and Spiegelman keeps trying to justify it through the Holocaust but fails as other survivors don’t behave in the same way. It shows that people don’t come out from an event perfectly reformed as a human, these individuals still have flaws and issues, but that just makes them more human.

As always, these WWII books are tough topics, and this book is no different. However, for me, I focused more on Spiegelman’s father post-WWII and his life now. I found it to be a really interesting aspect I hadn’t come across in this way before.

I’m very glad that I’ve read this book and I’ll be interested in more from Art Spiegelman in the future, WWII based or not.

Broaden your horizons

Another book I got at random out of my University library (see my last post), also from the Graphic Novel section. I’ve seen Persepolis mentioned on A Clockwork Reader’s channel, Hannah is Persian and this graphic novel is a memoir/autobiography from another Persian person and it talks about the war in Iran. Hannah mentioned in a video on her channel that she spoke to her elders about this book and they felt like it represented them very accurately so I felt like it was a good book to read to learn more about their culture as I knew almost nothing.

We follow Marjane Satrapi from her childhood all the way up to adulthood, in black and white comic strips that portray her living in Iran in the 80s as well as living in Europe as a Persian and how this impacted her. It’s a very powerful and interesting memoir which taught me a lot. There was so much that I didn’t know.

I read the bind-up of the four comics, but it does also come separately, and it was originally published in French also. I just found this graphic novel to be such a learning experience and I sped through it all in one day (when I was supposed to be revising for an exam!!! It’s fine 😉 I got a 64 in the exam) because I couldn’t put it down.

I recommend this book if you want to learn more about Persian culture and about living in Iran, and if you want any more recommendations about this sort of thing then I recommend you go check out the channel “A Clockwork Reader” on YouTube.

A tough but necessary graphic novel

I picked this graphic novel up on a whim, I’d found it in my University library randomly and of course had to pick up the WWII book. But I’m so glad I did, as this was a hard hitter.

There are two main parts to any graphic novel: the writing and the art. This one hits hard on both levels. The writing obviously hits hard from the subject matter, but the author does even more with it by linking it to the atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the genocide that happened there. I was aware of this horrendous part of history, but I didn’t (and still don’t) know as much about this period of history as I do WII, and I was also completely unaware that those who were persecuted by the Nazi’s ran the risk of being caught up and murdered in the genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The art style leaves the characters gaunt, with deep shadows under their eyes. Which obviously is a common presence in those captured in these horrific camps, however, he manages to do something with it that makes it even more personal and even more upsetting. It felt slightly too real by the time I finished and with a topic like this, honestly, that’s what you need.

This should never have happened again. But it did, only a few years later. It left people living in terror and leading lives no-one should have to cope with. And reading this graphic novel will start to give you the most minute sense of what these individuals had to survive.

Sheets Graphic Novel, a review

This is a lovely and sweet graphic novel that covers grief, and asking for help in times of need, as well as friendship. For such a short plot arc a lot is fitted in and this graphic novel can have quite the impact.

Not only is this a very sweet and unique idea which I quickly fell in love with, with ghosts being real but living in a land apart from ours, but one ghost decides he’s going to help out a girl he’s found, but I can imagine it being very helpful to give to those from around 10/11 years old and up to help them cope with the events happening around them if they experience the loss of a parent. For those who have fortunately not experienced this loss, it is simply a beautifully illustrated graphic novel which will make you think more deeply about how you live your life. Friendship and being kind to those in your community, as well as everyone you come into contact with, are themes within this work.

Thank you to Edelweiss for a free ecopy of this book in return for an unbiased review, I look forward to seeing this on shelves!

Saga, Book 1


I’ll be honest, I only picked up volume 1 of Saga as I had seen so many BookTubers talking about it and I wanted a quick read to help me out of a reading slump, for me graphic novels are a lot quicker reads than traditional books. It turns out that this was such a good decision! I absolutely loved the first volume and quickly read volumes 2 and 3, also really enjoying them.

This graphic novel series is based around the story of a young girl, but starts (and is still, as far as I am up to) before her birth and continues to focus on her parents while she is an infant. It is set in space (hello sci-fi!) and this girl’s parents are from two different species who are war with each other, which evidently creates an issue of them finding a safe place for them to raise their child within a time where war rages through most of the area of the galaxy they are in. Not only do we follow this couple and their plight to find somewhere safe for their baby, but we also see what is happening elsewhere within this war, and the stories start to intertwine as the plot continues on.

The art style melds perfectly with the theme of sci-fi and I personally really like it, it definitely adds another aspect to the story in a brilliant way. I really enjoy this storyline so far and I am one hundred percent going to continue on to all of the other volumes currently published. Definitely looking forward to seeing how this story develops!

Three Days Dead, The Damned vol. 1


I’ve been reading a lot of comics so far this year! This is yet another graphic novel that I enjoyed and want to continue with the series. We follow a gun-for-hire who keeps coming back from the dead, as long as someone touches him after he dies, and a bunch of daemons having a gang war in the city. Yeah… it’s an interesting concept! It’s a classic noir comic with a twist of horror and a big dollop of death, a main character who you want to keep following and an art design that very much fits the genre with its sharp, angular preferences.

This is a new release of a previously published comic, and the major addition seems to be that this is now in colour. Although a black-and-white theme would suit this style of comic, the addition of colour really brings the world to life and adds a whole new dimension. I don’t want to say much more to let you discover what this graphic novel has to offer on your own. Definitely one to pick up if you like action, crime and a little bit of horror (I hate horror books or films but comics I can deal with for some odd reason) with some daemons thrown in for good measure.

Thank you to NetGalley for a free eCopy of this graphic novel in return for an unbiased review.