Black Tide by K.C. Jones

Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire

Date of publication: May 31st, 2022

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Thriller, Dystopia, Speculative Fiction

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

It was just another day at the beach. Then the world ended.

Mike and Beth were strangers before the night of the meteor shower. Chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more.

Following their drunken and desperate one-night stand, the two discover the astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying.

When a lost car key leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for their car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.


First Line:

My mom once accused me of being a human car wreck, I laughed in her face when she said it.

Black Tide by K.C. Jones

Black Tide was the first in a series of books I had seen on other blogs that I wanted to read. So, like everyone else, I added it to Goodreads and prayed to the book gods that I got an invite. The book gods blessed me because I got every single book I had put on my Want to Read list. I was pretty stoked about getting it and couldn’t wait to read it. I am glad I did because this book scared the everliving out of me!!

Black Tide is a fast-moving horror story on the Oregon coast. Beth is a woman who has gone through a lot but is turning her life around. She is pet sitting for a wealthy couple and enjoying it. Then one night, she meets Mike. Mike owns the house next door and is a bit of a mystery. When Beth sees him drinking champagne on the deck of his house, she invites herself over. That turns into a drunken one-night stand with Beth having a strange, almost vivid dream and Mike witnessing a meteor shower like none he had seen before. When Beth wakes up, Mike is on the beach with Jake (the dog she is pet sitting), and Mike has disturbing news. There is no power, and he cannot get a hold of anyone over the phone. He also has a strange pod on the beach that turned up (along with several others). Deciding to leave and try to find a person of authority who knows what is going on, they drive until they find a bunch of people parked on the beach and the road. What happens next is almost unbelievable, and Beth drops the keys to the car in a rush to get out—stranded and with high tide coming in, Mike and Beth need to figure something out fast before they end up like the people with them on the beach. What happened on the beach? Will they get out? Will they find out what happened?

I very rarely get frightened by books. I lost the ability to do that when I read The Stand and It in middle school (I was a precocious reader). But this book scared the ever living out of me. But, at the same time, while I was scared to death, I also couldn’t put it down. I 100% attribute that to the author keeping me hooked and wanting to see if Mike, Beth, and Jake (along with another person who appears later in the book) would get out alive. I was left feeling breathless during certain scenes. The author also ramped up my anxiety.

I could relate to Beth on certain levels. Who hasn’t felt like a car accident waiting to happen during specific points in their life? Who hasn’t hit rock bottom and has to claw their way out? I know I have. I loved seeing her character grow. She went from being this self-absorbed drunk to a woman willing to do whatever it took to get out of her situation.

I wasn’t too sure about Mike when he was introduced. I kept feeling that he was hiding something (which he was, and it was very sad when it was revealed). But his character also transformed throughout Black Tide. He was pulled out of his depression and realized his life was worth living. I thought he was perfect for Beth, and he complimented her towards the end of the book.

The author very well wrote the horror angle of Black Tide. During the scenes in the car (while the tide was creeping in), I did get some Cujo-like vibes. That didn’t take away from how much I liked the book. Instead, it added to it. And as I said above, the author stoked my anxiety during pivotal scenes.

The science fiction angle of the book was well written also. I loved the imagination the author had with the aliens. They were so monstrous that I had no issue imagining them in my head (which added to my anxiety).

The end of Black Tide left me with conflicting emotions. I was upset over some things, but I understood why they happened. But at the same time, I was overjoyed over other things. I was also sad because of what they realized after leaving the beach. The book didn’t end with a HEA. Instead, without going much into it, I left the book feeling pessimistic about Beth and Mike’s future.

I would recommend Black Tide to anyone over 21. There is violence, language, and nongraphic sex/sexual situations.

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

Book Cover

Publisher: Macmillan/Tor, Tor Nightfire

Date of Publication: September 28th, 2021

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible |WorldCat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received From: Publisher


Goodreads Synopsis:

This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.

In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…


First Line:

Today is the anniversary of Little Girl With Popsicle. It happened by the lake, eleven years ago—she was there, and then she wasn’t.

the last house on needless street by catriona ward

I have had Catriona Ward on my reading radar for a long time but have never gotten around to reading her books. That all changed when I got an email from NetGalley for The Last House on Needless Street promoting the book was “Read Now” for the first 100 members. I jumped on that. I am glad that I did, even if this book was one of the more disturbing books I have read to date.

I wish I could get into more of the plotline, but I will stick with a fundamental outline. Ted is a loner who lives in a rundown house. He was also a former suspect in the kidnapping of Lulu 11 years earlier but had an alibi. Dee is Lulu’s sister, and she is convinced that Ted is behind Lulu’s disappearance. So she rents the house next door to him and spies on him. But not everything is what it seems. What happened to Lulu? Who is being kept in the freezer? Why can’t Olivia go outside?

I had a bit of a problem trying to figure out how I would review The Last House on Needless Street. Why do you ask? Because anything I write or want to reveal could potentially be a spoiler.

I am going to warn everyone; this is a very dark book. This book is one of the darkest books that I have read in a long time. It took me a while to process it after I was done reading because of everything that happened. I suggest that if you do decide to read the book, that you do with an open mind because nothing is what it seems!!

This book does start weirdly, and it stays that way while the author introduces the main characters (Ted, Dee, and Olivia). Once the introductions are made, the book does even out some and stays that way until about the middle of the book. That is when the first of several shocking twists are introduced.

The pacing of The Last House on Needless Street was fast. There was a slight lag in the middle of the book (when Ted was meeting with his Dr), but it wasn’t enough to throw the reader off track. The author kept up the fast pace until the end.

The end of The Last House on Needless Street played mind games with me. Everything that I thought about the book was turned on end. I was not expecting what was revealed, and it shocked me. I had to sit and think about what happened before I wrote this review. Also, do NOT skip the author’s note. It sheds so much light on everything.


I would recommend The Last House on Needless Street to anyone over the age of 21. There is no sex, but there is violence and language.