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Malus Domestica (Volume 1) Paperback – July 21, 2015
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"If you can't remember the last time you were so caught up in a story that you read till 4AM without noticing, this is The One."
- Stephanie Lehenbauer, Rock & Hill Studio
"Malus Domestica is a near-flawless foray into a frightening world of dark thaumaturgy, mystery, and evil that will haunt you for quite some time."
- Matthew Cox, author of Caller 107, Division Zero
About the Author
S. A. Hunt is a U.S. veteran, speculative fiction author, and Winner of Reddit.com/r/Fantasy's "Independent Novel of the Year" Award. He lives in Petoskey, Michigan, with the love of his life Jessi and their noble dog-son Jake the greyhound.
Find him at his website: sahuntbooks.com
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Top customer reviews
Horror isn't a genre I normally read, but this book showed a lot of promise, so I picked it up. Within the first few pages, I knew I was in the hands of a master story teller. The book is tightly written, and some of the small details are just perfect. Not too much, not too little, just right. To be fair, so far I haven't felt like I needed to lock all the doors when I read this (there's an eensyteensy bit of gore), but I am verging on wanting to bite my nails and tell the characters what to do. "Don't answer the phone, it's a trap!" And I have had the skin on my neck prickle. It's rare a book that can make that happen for me.
Full disclosure: I haven't finished yet, but the book is so good I felt like I needed to come give a review at this point. Maybe the book will change and I'll end up hating it, but right now I'm finding this to be a decently paced and interesting read, and one I just don't want to put down. We'll see if I can keep resisting the temptation to read the ending before it gets here.
Reading is often an adventure, and it's always a pleasure when you know you're in good hands with the local tour guide. I give this one two thumbs up, chewed nails and all.
I thought that both dialog and prose flowed well, and seemed to walk a good balance between the realistic and aesthetic. Technically speaking, the writing is great. While I enjoyed the cornucopia of pop culture references, I feel like they date the work a great deal. I understand that the entire premise of being a witch hunting youtube star may already date the work, but when metaphor and description rely on a person getting the reference, it can affect the characters and the story. I definitely feel like this story could have benefited from less references and sparser prose. The dialog felt hammy at times, and coupled with the references it sometimes seemed like the entire story included a series of inside jokes to which I was not privy.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT & DISTINCTIVENESS:
The characters were interesting, distinct, and all seemed to have their own depth and function outside of the plot, with the exception of the late-comers to the party: The Order of The Dog Star. I didn’t feel like any of them really added much to the story. Their leader helped Robin put some of the pieces together regarding her mother, Annie, as well as her own birth, but there were other characters that could have probably helped her get there if she couldn’t on her own.
The end of the second act definitely feels like their own "Scooby gang" might have needed some back-up, but did they really in the end? I’m not entirely convinced.
I also wanted more sexual tension between Robin and Kenway. While it was obvious that they liked each other, there was very little dancing around sexual attraction, and I feel like it would have given their relationship a little more edge. The "I want to help you" / "I don't need your help" dynamic seemed trope-like, and their awkwardness around each other was cute for a little while, but it made you wonder how interested Robin really was, and made Kenway seem a little too much like a boyscout. If there had been a whole lot of tension built up upon their first meeting, and then they both gave in to their impulses and slept together, it might have created some interesting tension and indecision down the road.
PLOT PACE & STRUCTURE:
The first 200-250 pages were really well paced. Reading along was a breeze, the plot moved forward, and it all kept my interest (This was up through the end of what I would consider the second act of the story). It felt like the story was approaching its climax at that point, but then everything slowed down in the third act with the introduction of The Order of The Dog Star while our heroes licked their wounds and contemplated what they would do next.
Despite it’s flaws, I found this to be a fun read. I’d probably recommend it to others around my same age with similar interest in pop culture. I can’t see many readers under the age of 25 or over the age of 45 getting as much out of it as I did.
The premise of this book is really engaging, so much so that I wish I had thought of it first! While reading it, anytime somebody asked me about what I was reading I’d reply with “It’s about a youtube star with a web series where she hunts witches—but she’s hunting witches for real." I'd always get raised eyebrows and follow-up questions.
I'm not typically into the transrealism horror genre, but this book did make me want to read more books like it. That’s definitely worth some bonus points.
This novel is the most unique book I have read in years.
Books are filled with familiar stories. There are some stories that come around so often, we have a name for them; tropes. When we read, we look for these tropes. We expect them. We have our favorites and the ones that we dislike. Bloggers write up long diatribes about their favorites or their most hated tropes. Tropes aren't necessarily bad or good, they just are. Malus Domestica completely blows every known trope out of the water. Trust me, you have never read a book like this before.
This book defies genre. I really want to say that it's Urban Fantasy. It's a girl fighting witches. That seems like a slam dunk. However, there is so much more to it. This book is DARK. If you love Leigh Bardugo or V.E. Schwab, then you have a slight idea of what you are in for with this book. I absolutely love a book with high stakes, where I'm not sure the main character will survive. This book could also be termed as horror. It's scary. Witches are scary. Reading this book there were several moments I had to put the book down and remind myself that I was safe in my bed, that everything was fine and I was safe. That way I could plunge back into reading and worry about Robin, Joel or Kenway.
It's hard for me to decide who is my favorite character. Robin is so kickass. She's a mohawk sporting, panel van driving, witch hunting, youtube star. Her draw is in her personality and her abilities rather than her physical beauty. She's prickly and distrustful and I wish I could be her best friend. Kenway is an artist. He's sweet and loving and the heart of the story. He's all the emotion that Robin never shows. He's also fiercely protective with the training to back it up. If a book that some categorize as a horror novel can also be a love story, this one manages it gracefully.
Malus Domestica is a terrifying paranormal romance. It's a beautiful horror story. It's totally different and you will love it.
I will never look at cats the same way again.
Most recent customer reviews
Characters were believable, as were the situations.Read more
Malus Domestica is a wildly entertaining, fast-paced and original novel.Read more