Book Review | The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller

*Book given via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

The Blade Between


Ronan Szepessy promised himself he’d never return to Hudson. The sleepy upstate town was no place for a restless gay photographer. But his father is ill and New York City’s distractions have become too much for him. He hopes that a quick visit will help him recharge. 

Ronan reconnects with two friends from high school: Dom, his first love, and Dom’s wife, Attalah. The three former misfits mourn what their town has become—overrun by gentrifiers and corporate interests. With friends and neighbors getting evicted en masse and a mayoral election coming up, Ronan and Attalah craft a plan to rattle the newcomers and expose their true motives. But in doing so, they unleash something far more mysterious and uncontainable. 

Hudson has a rich, proud history and, it turns out, the real estate developers aren’t the only forces threatening its well-being: the spirits undergirding this once-thriving industrial town are enraged. Ronan’s hijinks have overlapped with a bubbling up of hate and violence among friends and neighbors, and everything is spiraling out of control. Ronan must summon the very best of himself to shed his own demons and save the city he once loathed.

What I Liked

The first thing I have to say is I really liked the world building of this book. The author did a wonderful job of creating the town of Hudson. The main character really has bad memories tied to this place, rightfully so, he had endured quite a bit there. But, even with his memories he heads back to help his father only to face a place so different than he remembers, but hates. The world and environment of this story feel real, it has a feel to it even with the supernatural elements. There is a rich history of the town, which is not just there for the sake of being there, but plays into the plot.

The writing itself was interesting, the plot moved quickly even for a nearly 400 page novel. It was a book I picked up from time to time, but I always ended up reading for more than I originally planned on. It did talk about a lot of larger topics throughout this book like violence, gentrification, homophobia, drug use and more. I think this is one of the reasons I kept on reading this book, because it had a lot going on and was dynamic.

What I Didn’t Like

The major flaw of this novel is the first part of the book was difficult to get through. While I did say I always ended up reading more than I planned, this first part of the book was a bit iffy for me personally, but turned around for me as the book continued. Another thing that I wasn’t totally on board with is the fact that it could be really confusing at times and I had a hard time trying to figure out what this book was trying to be at first.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think the author created a really rich history for this town that really lent itself to the plot and structure of the story. I think the author is a talented writer and I plan on giving his other works a try as well. I really enjoyed the use of the paranormal and really elevated this story into an engaging and unique horror. I feel like if this book sounds interesting to you, you should give it a go.

Author Links

Sam J. Miller

Book Information

Publication Date: December 1, 2020

Publisher: Ecco

List Price: $26.99

ISBN:  978-0062969828

Pages: 384 pages

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month| August 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month! This month I am very excited about the book I picked for a few reasons, the major ones I will get into more so later in the post, but one I will share up front is that I was able to find this new to me author! As soon as I read the description, I knew I needed to pick it as my book this month.


One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader. –

Why I Picked This Book

The main reason I picked up this novel is because it seems to have a huge focus around relationships, which is something that we all have. But, I always find it interesting to learn about how others balance their relationships. I also have not read an emotionally charged book in a while and from the description, I am picking up that this will be a heart wrenching one.

Also, I did happen to read a blurb of this book already, just to give myself a look into the authors style. From what I have read already, I think I am going to enjoy their form of writing. I can’t wait to get to it!

What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
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