Epic Update: August 29, 2022

Hello and happy Monday, Epic folks! May your August finish up well and your September bring some joy. No news today, so let’s get right into our book-chat.

What Are You Reading?

I know I said last week was the end of the month, but it turns out August had one more Monday to throw at us. That means you get one more week of me talking books with you all! 

cover of empire of the wild by cherie dimaline

Reading horror really doesn’t have a season in my opinion, but with the weather finally turning a little chillier this week, I was inspired to get back into the genre. This week I read Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline and revisited a classic, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Both are shorter reads that pack emotional intensity, plenty of creepy vibes, and outright scares. 

Empire of Wild is a contemporary fantasy that follows Joan, who one day is stunned to find her missing husband, Victor, preaching in a revival tent in their town. Even stranger is that he insists he doesn’t know her. Joan quickly comes to realize that in order to save her husband, she will have to defeat a monstrous creature from Métis lore known as a rougarou— a vicious man-dog hybrid that has taken control of Victor. I love how grounded the story is in the relationship between Victor, Joan, and the community, in spite of it being a creature-horror. There are multiple points of view to follow, but each one adds layers of perspective and richness to the story. 

For this week’s other dose of horror, I reread a classic I’d first picked up a few years ago after watching the Netflix show by the same name. I’m normally not one to watch the adaptation first, but thankfully the show is a pretty loose interpretation Jackson’s novel. Even the premise is entirely different: in the novel, the characters have gathered at the titular Hill House for an academic study in to the existence of ghosts. The tension slowly builds as the narrative follows Eleanor, a young woman participating in the study, as she and the other occupants become increasingly convinced that the house is home to a sinister presence. I get a shiver just thinking about it! It’s clear to see how Jackson’s work has influenced the haunted house genre as a whole and Hill House certainly stands the test of time. I haven’t read any of her other novels, but We Have Always Lived in the Castle is next up on my list.

Well, that’s all from me (for real this time)! 

What are you reading this week? Weigh in in the comments!