It’s been awhile since I’ve done a blog tour, hasn’t it? It seems like it has! I’m happy to dive back in with a young adult horror novel that sent shivers down my spine: These Fleeting Shadows! This tour is hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours, so I must thank them for introducing me to such a perfectly creepy tale. I also want to encourage you to follow along with the tour, as there are a ton of incredible bookish content creators involved! You can find the tour schedule here.
Now, I’ve thanked TBR & Beyond Tours for introducing me to this book, but I also need to thank them for giving me a spot on this tour! And a special thank you to the publisher, Viking Books, for sending me a finished copy to review. It is, as always, very much appreciated! All opinions contained within this post about the book are my own.
Alright, now let’s get to my blog tour stop!
- Title: These Fleeting Shadows
- Author: Kate Alice Marshall
- Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: August 9th, 2022
- Genre: Horror
- Age group: Young Adult
- Content/Trigger Warnings: Blood, body horror, murder, child death/murder, queerphobia, abuse, alcoholism, sexual assault (referenced), lobotomy
The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich…or dead.
Helen Vaughan doesn’t know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she’s shocked to learn that he has left everything—the house, the grounds, and the money—to her. The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing.
There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen’s dreams—and now those dreams have become a waking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night?And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?
With each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.
Content Warning: Harm to children/death of children – non-graphic and not on the page, but prevalent in backstory & plot, Death & dying, Body horror (surreal, not gory), Violence (against MC & others), Alcoholism (not a main character), Discussion of a lobotomy performed in the 1800s
Kate Alice Marshall is the author of young adult and middle grade novels, including I AM STILL ALIVE, RULES FOR VANISHING, and THIRTEENS.
She lives outside of Seattle with her husband, two dogs named Vonnegut and Octavia, and two kids. They all conspire to keep her on her toes.
Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained within are my own.
As summer has it’s last full month, I can feel my soul getting ready for my favorite time of the year: spooky season! I don’t like the weather (give me the heat any day) but autumn cannot be beat when it comes to ✨vibes✨ This is why, come August, my mind is very much in the mood for some darker reads. These Fleeting Shadows most definitely fits that bill! Now, let me give you five reasons why it might work for you, as well.
#1. You enjoy a nice, spooky atmosphere
Do you like a mysterious, cavernous house that is most definitely hiding a ton of secrets. Check! Do you also like creepy woods filled with shadows that may be more than just shadows? Double check! This book absolutely kills it (pun very much intended) when it comes to the gothic, creepy vibes. The writing is crafted in such a stunning way to make you feel like you’re stuck in this dark and potentially murderous world right alongside the main character.
#2. You enjoy a main character who doesn’t have everything figured out
Speaking of the main character, let’s talk about our star, Helen Vaughn. I loved Helen so much. She’s trying her best in the severely awful situation in which she finds herself. I love that she’s messy. I love that she often times has no idea what she’s doing. And I love that, despite all that, she is absolutely determined to see whatever is happening through to the end. She’s a fighter and just an incredibly compelling character to follow.
#3. You’re looking for a gothic story that’s a little more sapphic
Helen isn’t the only compelling character in this story, however. We also have her witchy love interest, Bryony, who was probably my favorite out of everyone in this book. Sorry, Helen… Bryony has an iron will and is not afraid to fight for what she believes in. She’s also just badass on her own. Her and Helen together, however, is a match that I didn’t realize I wanted til the chemistry started practically fizzing off the page. It was gradual, but intense; sweet, but fiery. And I loved it! I also love the casual bi and gay rep we get in a couple of the side characters. More casual queer rep, please!
#4. You’ve ever found Cthulhu legends mildly interesting
I’m not saying the tentacled legend is the big baddie in this one, but the monster that is haunting this story feels very Old God-esque. The way the story is written also leans into that Lovecraftian feel, but without all the racism. It gave the entire story such a perfectly ghoulish vibe that I loved! It also left me a touch confused, which I’ve found happens to me quite often whenever I read something like this, haha. But not in a way that truly detracted from the story!
#5. You’re not afraid of a a jump-scare or two… or three
I’m a big fan of horror movies and horror novels, which means I’ve consumed quite a lot of the genre. It also means that I don’t scare that easy. When I tell you there were moments in this book that had me shuddering… Kate Alice Marshall is fantastic at painting a vividly grotesque scene and it absolutely works in this book! I’m probably gonna see the Folded in my dreams. I am not looking forward to it 😅😂 But, as a horror fan, I certainly appreciate how much effort was made to truly make this experience, well, horrific!
Final thoughts: That’s just five of the many reasons I can think of why one of you out there might enjoy this book. Since autumn is creeping ever closer, this is the perfect time to pick it up, as well! Overall, this was a beautifully crafted, gothic tale that held just the right amount of horror and heart. I thoroughly enjoyed our main character, Helen, and the fact that there is a sapphic romance that blossomed amidst all the scares. The writing was superb and it makes me want to explore this author’s backlist!