My Review of Bug Queen by Jen Ponce

I got the chills so many times reading this book I had to put on a jacket!

This book is a winner! I call it a chill-inducing factory of fear mixed with a swarm of sarcastic wit that will have you riveted, waiting for the next spine-tingling phrase. The characters are genuine, likable, and some, you love to hate. The folks of Maysville are in for big-city troubles when Vedalia Kirkaldy comes to town. After her uncle dies, the main character discovers cleaning out his bug-infested house will take more than a can of RAID.

More than horror. Mixed with sci-fi. Feels like Urban Fantasy.

It’s hard not to get emotionally involved in this story. I had a chronic case of goose bumps. When a book physically affects me, I know it is good. Don’t let the creepy book cover fool you; this is not your mama’s old paperback fiction. Bug Queen will introduce you to haunting characters with supernatural powers, human emotions that will touch your heart, or make you want to fight to save the world. It’s a tough decision. What would you do if your hometown was overrun by an alien invasion? Would you run? Would you protect your loved ones? Would you have the guts to kill those closest to you if they were infected?

Vedalia has that choice to make. Barely over the grief of her uncle, plunged into a mystery surrounding a box, our unlikely heroine talks in questions, but gets no answers. It’s adorable. Then it’s scary. As the new girl in town, Vedalia battles her sanity, and her past, while discovering a plot to inhabit and destroy our world. But there is a price. And timing.

The sci-fi-horror tale will leave you cold, but the love story will heat you up! LGBT friendly! Jen Ponce is an equal-opportunity monster maker. No one is safe when her mind is creating a storyline. Teetering upon love-at-first-sight romance, the growing feelings for Officer Sabra Dempsey are only matched by the infestation in Vedalia’s mind.

“A bug crawled up my nose and told me I have to save the world.”

Frighteningly funny! I first read this novel as an ARC, and I loved it. Like Jen’s previous books, Bug Queen has strong female characters with a hint of humor that offsets the horrifying plot. Unlike her Devany Miller series: Bazaar and Slipsong, this book is told in third-person narration. Very similar to the love story in this author’s novel called Blood Curse, the romance between Vedalia and Sabra is realistic and beautiful.

This story contains a fungal overlord, world-destroying monster, zombie apocalypse, nifty psychic powers, keen bug swarms, a new, passionate love, a test of family ties, and more bugs that do cool things. This novel is on the top of my re-read list. I highly recommend it to everyone! I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

WARNING: this story may cause chronic chills, outbursts of emotion and occasional goose bumps. Read at your own risk!

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