I must admit, I read Tithe by Holly Black and wasn't too impressed, so I was just a little wary picking up this book. But the premise of the story wasI must admit, I read Tithe by Holly Black and wasn't too impressed, so I was just a little wary picking up this book. But the premise of the story was up my ally, a lot of authors I like have been talking about it (in a good way), not to mention she's written a lot of books since Tithe, so I thought, hey, why not?
Cassel Sharpe has always been the black sheep in a family of rather shady people. They're Curse Workers, people with the ability to change your life with the touch of a finger, whether they do it with pain, back luck, messing with your emotions, or even changing your memories. Cassel, though, has no such abilities. And on top of it of he murdered his best friend when he was fourteen. Not even his con men family will look at him the same after the incident.
Now he's at a boarding school, living a normal life that he loves. But suddenly he begins having cryptic dreams of a white cat and starts sleep walking to odd places (once almost off the roof of his dorm). To make things worse he's starting to suspect someone's been messing with his memories. The only place he can look for answers is back home with his con men brothers, but answers aren't so easy to come by, and Cassel my find himself pulling a con of his own to find out the truth.
The main character is conflicted but likable. Cassel struggles with his desire for a normal life, yet his greatest skills are conning and lying, yet among his mob family he's incapable and weak. He feels guilt at deceiving people, yet a thrill when a plan comes together. Holly Black handles his character well to keep him from tipping either line of Goody-two-shoe or Emo.
The plot is compelling, answering questions and giving you more to keep you turning the page. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, but the clues are all there, so there's never a WTF moment.
Other than a few passages and phrasing that felt awkward (the book is in first person present tense, which can be tricky to handle) the writing is solid. My only wish is that the other characters in the story were as fleshed out as Cassel. Some were flat, others had motivations that seems generic, and if they had been built up more the dynamics between the characters (specially the brothers) could have been spectacular.
The ended was bitter sweet, wrapping up all the strings in a way you might not expect. It also left me with a lot to think on, about how lying and cheating can both harm and help the people around you. The White Cat is a tight knit package that satisfies with the close of the story, though leaves enough room for a sequel as well. For those looking for a well written book that's both fun and thoughtful, take a chance here.
Holly Black, I think I'll be keeping on eye on you....more
Not Simple is not a lot of things: it's not happy, it's not heartwarming, and it's not pretty. But it is incredible.
The non-linear storytelling may tNot Simple is not a lot of things: it's not happy, it's not heartwarming, and it's not pretty. But it is incredible.
The non-linear storytelling may throw some people off at first, but in my opinion it made every moment have a deeper impact than the previous. It starts you off as a outsider watching the events, but lets you get intimate with the characters until you understand how it is they turned out the way they did. Even simple things like a piece of gun take on detrimental meaning.
The art does away with glamor and detail, leaving only the bare-bones needed to get the story across. Though a bit at odd with the themes and content of the book, it conveyed a feeling that things do not need to be fantastical to be substantial.
Not Simple shows how everything can go wrong, and how even the best of us lose heart, but also why we need to hold close the ones we consider dear....more
I am Not a Serial Killer manages to put you into the mind of a teenaged sociopath obssessed with death, and actually make you like him.
John Cleaver knI am Not a Serial Killer manages to put you into the mind of a teenaged sociopath obssessed with death, and actually make you like him.
John Cleaver knows he's not normal, but has gotten good at pretending his is. He's made rules for himself that keeps him acting like everyone else, keeps him from drawing to much attention from others, and keeps him from wanting to hurt people. But even with those rules in place he can't pull himself away from his mom's mortuary that he loves, or his avid facination with serial killers. So when ripped and mangled bodies start start appearing in his small town, John becomes obssessed with finding the killer.
The writing is dark, witty, chilling, and sometimes downright disturbing. Dan Wells book manages to leave you laughing, shocked, and horrified, blending the emotional ride seamlessly throughout the book.
I did feel the supernatural elements never quit integrated into this story, but it did it's part. The murders kept me on the edge of my seat, and got my blood pumping. But the truely horrifying moments in the book are when John starts to break down the walls that keep him normal, break his own rules, and begins to find just how dangerous he can be.
Not for the weak of mind or the queasy of stomachs. Read it, enjoy it, and laugh at all the poor fools missing out....more