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Something Red (Something Red #1)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  629 ratings  ·  218 reviews
From debut author Douglas Nicholas comes a haunting story of love, murder, and sorcery.

During the thirteenth century in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable yet charming Irish healer, Molly, and the troupe she leads are driving their three wagons, hoping to cross the Pennine Mountains before the heavy snows set in.

Molly, her lov
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books (first published July 10th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,957)
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Tracey, librarian on strike
I was wary of all the extravagantly glowing reviews I saw on Goodreads for Something Red (which I received from the publisher through Netgalley, thank you to them). In many cases it's simply a sign that the author has a lot of cooperative friends. I'm happy to report that this is not the case here.

I was dismayed by the formatting of the ARC on my Kindle; it was a mess. The decorative elements of the text, while very nice, played harry with the reader program, and it took persistence just to get
A Book Vacation
1.5 stars

This novel was really not for me. I think it’s more for those who like Tolkien’s style of writing, very descriptive and a bit slow paced, fueling the story with few events and much journeying along dangerous mountains. To be quite honest, I was bored throughout most of this novel, dying to get to the shape shifters and sorcerers. While warrior monks and knights are okay, they didn’t really do anything for the story, in my opinion, aside from creating a pit stop for the main entourage as
This book was written by a award winning poet. As you read it, that is evident. It is extremely descriptive and lyrical. The problem with this book is that it is extremely descriptive and lyrical. While it is beautifully written, the focus on the most minute details, causes the story to lag. To much time is spent describing people’s bath robe’s, and not enough time is spent creating a sense of urgency and danger. I also didn’t feel connected to the character’s. Molly is an extraordinary woman of ...more
Jessica Knauss
I read this book very slowly, partly because of other commitments, but also because it begins as if it were a snail at the races. It's easy to put down in frustration, because the language is difficult, even for someone like me, who has spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about the thirteenth century. When the travelers are finally attacked by bandits, the author interrupts the action with the kinds of descriptions we've already read so much of: the mechanism of how to secure the carts s ...more
Alisha-Dear Constant Reader
The perfect book for fall! Lovers of mystery, thrillers, and the unknown unite! There's something in the woods and it's hungry.

Something Red centers around a troupe traveling the snowy Pennine mountains of England in the 13th century when they encounter a pervasive sense that something evil is hunting for its meat, and has its unholy eye on their troupe. What inhabits the woods and how to avoid it is the central problem for Molly, Jack, her lover, Nemain, her granddaughter, and our young Hob.

Elizabeth Moffat
This story whizzes us back to the thirteen century where, a young boy called Robert (Hob) is adopted by a group of travellers, and shares in their journeys. This consists of the matriarch of the family – Molly, whose talents lie in healing, Jack, an enigmatic, mysterious and silent companion, and Molly’s grand-daughter Nemain, who appears to have picked up some of the magical family traits. As we meet the group, they are travelling to a monastery where they would seek shelter before journeying f ...more
Part historical fantasy and part horror, this novel follows a group of travellers on their journey. The country has new Norman lords, insecure in their titles and the borders are unsettled. Our witness to what happens is Hob, a young orphan boy who has spent his childhood in the home of Father Athelstan, before the old priest became too old to care for him and allowed Mistress Molly, an Irish healer, to take him with her. Accompanying Molly is her granddaughter, Nemain, and Jack Brown, a soldier ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Jillyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historic fiction fans
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Something Red is a novel that beautifully blends myth, magic, & mystery, & probably other words that start with "M" as well. It centers around a group of travelers. Molly is the leader- a tough but kind, skilled middle aged Irish woman. With her is her strong but silent lover, Jack, her granddaughter/protege Nemain, & the main character Hob, a boy who grows to manhood through this book's journey. They travel from place to place, stop
Book Him Danno
The author spent a lot of energy developing the characters and describing the world which they inhabited. By the end of the book you really cared about these fully threshed out 3 dimensional people. Unfortunately that would have been fine in a massive multi-book epic saga, but in a relatively short 300 page book it came with a cost, and that was action. It took quite a while to even figure out what was going on, let alone to get into the story. We start with a group of travelers just going down ...more
Something Red absolutely blew me away. This is one of the best debuts I've read in years and the story itself still haunts my dreams. It was all the best elements of Irish folklore, historical fiction, and a very frightening mystery at its cores.

Mr. Nichols' is a very talented writer and storyteller. I love the way he puts words together and describes scenes, events, and people. He also writes great and slightly mysterious characters that I couldn't help, but fall in love with almost immediately
Chris Bauer
I'm not sure how this fine book slipped under my radar. Really glad I picked it up.

This is a coming of age story, set in 13th century England. Our young protag is on the cusp of manhood and is part of a traveling group of "entertainers" wandering the medieval lands. There is a very high degree of authenticity in the work and I was impressed by the smallest of details the author took to get things just right.

The characters were all exceptionally vibrant and well constructed. The conflicts in the
Atmospheric, delicately rendered historical fantasy. It feels like a fairy tale, it reads like the best of plotted literary novels, it grips you like a page-turning horror novel. In this story, Hob is a 13-year-old boy in the 13th century, servant and friend to the middle-aged Irish wisewoman Molly, who is more than she seems. Something is in the woods, threatening their little band as they travel through a harsh winter landscape.

The first 2/3 of the novel, while carrying a brewing sense of eer
Seregil of Rhiminee
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Douglas Nicholas' Something Red is a novel which will leave you breathless with admiration, fascination and shock. In my opinion it's the best debut novel of 2012, because it blends beautiful prose, fantasy, horror and historical elements in a perfect way.

Before I write anything else, I'll mention that Something Red restored my faith in historical fiction. I've been more or less disappointed with some of the historical novels I've tried to read during the las
Something Red is not what I would consider a typical fantasy novel, but that is not a criticism. It is set in 13th century England and is both a coming of age tale and a haunting mystery. There are definitely fantasy elements and magic in it, but they are not revealed or understood initially. Part of what sets it apart is that it is told from the perspective of young Hob, a 13 year old orphan (see... it is a fantasy book, it has an orphan boy as the protagonist ;) ), who is traveling with Molly, ...more
When i read a book that has nothing about it that is excessively mentally or intellectually challenging i expect it to make sense. Right?
Or let me put it differently, there is one thing that i really hate, when a book is deliberately written in a way that is hard to follow only to make it more 'literate'. I'm sorry, somebody else may find it a literary masterwork brimming with sophistication. Good for them, I find it a waste of my time!

As you can see, I really don't like this book. The primary r
Darshan Elena
That Douglas Nicholas, the author of Something Red, is a poet will come as no surprise to any reader who has passed page six of this gorgeous, lyrical narrative. His words and sentences are so precise and evocative; I found myself drawn to read, re-read, and read a third time entire passages so I could I revel in their beauty. Nicholas has a command of language that reminds me of authors such as Humberto Eco, Toni Morrison, and D. H. Lawrence. However, it isn't just the prose that attracted me a ...more
It is a rare book indeed that I want to recommend to EVERYONE in my life. Gorgeous, poetic, atmospheric writing and compelling, mysterious characters drive this novel. FINALLY, an exciting, suspenseful narrative that uses...wait for it... RESTRAINT when it comes to supernatural elements. I will not spoil anything, but Douglas Nicholas absolutely rewards the attentive reader. Every bit of suspense and foreshadowing and character development is cashed in later. I took a break to read other books a ...more
Kitty Bullard
Book Title: "Something Red”
Author: Douglas Nicholas
Published By: Atria
Age Recommended: 17+
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5

Review: Douglas Nicholas has written a fabulous tale that weaves so many profound elements both new and old. Though the book has a great sense of the supernatural of which many of us are familiar, the author has succeeded in bringing the readers a delightful change of pace that will have you guessing the entire way.
The characters are ones that leave a lasting impress
I did not notice the brief author bio on the back of the advance reader copy of Something Red until I had finished the book. Then I understood better why the story had such wonderful descriptions—Nicholas is an award winning poet. Another Goodreads reviewer felt the book dragged because of all the description, but I felt the descriptions brought the time (13th century) and the people to vivid life. We experience the events of this story through the main character, Hob, a young adolescent. Orpha ...more
Such an excellent debut novel!!! Set in 13th century England, with wonderful characters (always important to me), great historical detail, Irish folklore, a terrific story, and a touching portrait of family loyalty and love. Looking forward to more by this author!
Geri Hoekzema
Satisfyingly hair-raising. Extremely well-done period detail (far north England, 1200s) in this story of a troupe of traveling entertainers being stalked from mountain monastery to rowdy wayside inn to shadowy castle by...sorry, you'll have to read it.

A fantastic story. Atmospheric, taut, dripping with mythology, creative. The only reason it gets 4 vs 5 stars is that I don't see it as a re-read. But truly excellent and especially good in the run-up to Halloween.
The writing is beautiful even though the vocabulary was a little tough for me with all the old words used. The story was a little slow but I liked the ending.
What do we really know about England in the 1300 ? Douglas Nicholas tries to tell us in this book. We follow the adventures of a band of interesting characters as they travel across the countryside from somewhere to somewhere. Mr. Nicholas gives us endless fascinating detail about life on the road during those historical times.

The book starts out as a slow and pondering historical narrative, not much happens excepting daily daily life, when about one hundred and thirty pages or so into the book
a bit slow in places, especially the beginning, but once it finally got going it was wonderful.
You can definitely tell the author is a poet. His phrasing and wording are absolutely lovely; at times chilling, at times thrilling with how well he describes human, and sometimes animal, experiences of the world.
To those who think the book is slow: I often skim right through descriptions in books, and rarely actually read what people, their clothes, the landscape are meant to look like. In this book, however, with this author, I found myself intentionally slowing my eyes to savor the words. Ver
Chris Branch

Deeply atmospheric, almost Tolkien-ish in its lyrical dialogue and intricate storytelling, but infused with a thousand realistic details, and more intimate than epic in tone. The sights and sounds and smells of the wintry English wilderness are described with a bracing clarity and depth that draw the reader into the setting.

I believe writers are generally advised to research thoroughly but to resist trying to incorporate every bit of research into the final work. If Nicholas took that advice, he
Jamie Welch

I loved this tale. Something Red was written so beautifully, I truly felt the cold of the snow and the crisp scents and sights of winter. Being that Douglas Nicholas is a poet, this translated very well into the book. I love the way the author writes, I was truly engrossed with this tale.
I found this book in passing at the book store and was intrigued by the synapse on the jacket. Being Irish myself, I was curious about the mythology in the book. Something Red does in fact have mythology in it
I expected better given that many of the reviews I looked through had this novel at 5 out of 5 stars. I remember words like "haunting" and "detailed" and "intense", and don't get me wrong, there were moments of all these adjectives (especially "detail"), but the anticipated horror of a demonic beast fizzled at best.
I have little doubt that Mr. Nicholas is a great poet as his word choice is at times second to none. His descriptions of the setting, characters and even events is also, at times, qui
Paul Pessolano
“Something Red” by Douglas Nicholas, published by Emily Bestler Books.

Category – Fantasy

In thirteenth century England, Molly, her lover Jack, her granddaughter Nemain, and young apprentice Hob, are attempting to traverse the mountains before the winter snows set in. Their first stop is the monastery of St. Germaine which has the trappings of a well guarded medieval fortress.

The reader soon finds out that Molly and Nemain have strange feelings about the winter night and the forest. A feeling of e
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Douglas Nicholas is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in numerous publications, among them Atlanta Review, Southern Poetry Review, Sonora Review, Circumference, A Different Drummer, and Cumberland Review, as well as the South Coast Poetry Journal, where he won a prize in that publication's Fifth Annual Poetry Contest.

Other awards include Honorable Mention in the Robinson Jeffers Tor Ho
More about Douglas Nicholas...
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“There is nothing,” she said, and then, still looking away into the woods, reached sideways and took Ernald's arm firmly, “but be said by me, there was something hunting along our trail not a sennight since, and should it come here, see you and yours are within the gates.” She shook him gently. “Do not be slighting it, Ernald, great strong lad that you are and brave as a bear: it is something terrible, that no one should run to meet.” 2 likes
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