October Animals – Nicholas Day

Searching for monsters can be dangerous.

Lizzie Bat lives in October, Illinois, the most haunted city in the country. Grieving the loss of her father, she has a “cemetery heart”.

“I can’t do this anymore.”

Owl is Lizzie’s best friend.

Lizzie Bat’s heart ached for her father. Owl’s heart ached for Lizzie Bat.

Then there’s tactless but loyal Spider and Kat, who recently moved to Illinois.

Lizzie has a plan for her and her friends to escape October. They’re going to rob Trick R Treats, October’s Halloween store, on Halloween night.

This is a story where the natural and supernatural collide, one where you aren’t always sure what’s real and what’s metaphorical. It’s the agony of grief, the longing for something better and the parts of ourselves we don’t share.

Going into this read, you may suspect that things won’t turn out exactly as planned for this group of friends. You have no idea what’s coming.

I don’t know if other readers will do this or not but I pictured each character as the animal they shared their names with rather than people. Whether this was the intention of the author or not, it was a really fun way to navigate this book.

At under one hundred pages, this is easily a read in one sitting book, although you may want to schedule a reread to get more out of the story. When I reread it, I’m hoping to get a deeper understanding of the ending.

I love discovering something new, even if it’s only new to me. This book came with two discoveries, a new author and a new publisher. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of both.

It wasn’t the forgetting that was painful. It was remembering.

Thank you so much to Rooster Republic Press for the opportunity to read this novella.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

October Animals follows four teenage friends – Lizzie Bat, Owl, Spider, and Kat – who live in the riverside city of October, Illinois. Lizzie Bat, still grieving the loss of her father and at odds with her mother, plans to rob the town’s Halloween store the night of October 31st, and intends to use the money to escape to a new life. And, her friends are all too eager to help.

Owl, best friend and confidant. If Lizzie Bat’s heart aches for her father, then Owl’s heart aches for Lizzie Bat.

Spider, brave and loyal, had his secrets, and he kept them.

Kat, adored, she was the newest member of the group and the object of Lizzie Bat’s affections.

But their scheme threatens to tear the friends apart as they find themselves in the path of supernatural forces and monstrous local legends: haunted houses; doppelgängers; grave robbing; ghosts and vampires; monsters in the river and, even worse, monsters in the home.

October is a town that loves Halloween but no one realises that their whole world is about to become Halloween … forever.

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