**spoiler alert** Wow...this was a weird story. I actually really liked the premise and cared about most of the characters (the ones you're supposed t**spoiler alert** Wow...this was a weird story. I actually really liked the premise and cared about most of the characters (the ones you're supposed to, anyway). I also loved the setting, and could feel the author's love for New Orleans and obvious knowledge of the area and its culture and think that is what elevated this book from just a regular old paperback horror novel to something more. The care he took to write with empathy and concern regarding those people who live in areas of our country that are not deemed worthy of adequate resource and political concern was definitely felt and added to the overall dark and sad mood of the story. Here's the deal though -- not to be a nitpicker, but there were SO many grammatical errors in this book! Anne Rice's son didn't type this up and run off the copies in his home office, did he?? What's up, Simon & Schuster? It started detracting from my reading experience, especially because so much of the last half of the book involves confusion as to who's talking and who's doing what, soul-jumping and growing into monsters, etc. Let's keep the writing tight when there's a lot of perspective and time jumping, please. I enjoyed that it started as a Post-Katrina New Orleans soap opera and ended as a horror tale. I also thought that the story could have been a little longer. I would have liked to know a little more background on Marshall and what the heck happened to make him so hateful and more background on Anthem. It seemed like there was going to be more about what made him special as far as reacting to the "swamp sperm" but tge story never went there. I've always liked reading what Mr. Rice puts out and will look forward to his next tale. If he needs a better proofreader, I'm always available. LOL
Four solid stars/four-point-five if it was properly edited ...more
Such a strange feeling to trudge through a book that's a mere 257 pages and feel like I was with someone on such s long journey of self-discovery. ToSuch a strange feeling to trudge through a book that's a mere 257 pages and feel like I was with someone on such s long journey of self-discovery. To tell the truth, most of this book moved very slowly -- too slowly at times -- for me, but once Therese and Carol started their road trip I was much more interested. The story felt very truthful, and I could identify with the feelings of uncertainty and desire to please the people whom you love or want to love, even if this book was geared for a subculture in a different time. Highsmith says she was inspired to write this after her experience working at a holiday toy counter and interacting with a bewitching woman and I think she did an incredible of telling so much of each character and their development in so little pages. The book really had a fullness of character and insight into the ties that people form with others and how those ties reflect how they view themselves. I also enjoyed the coming of age aspect, and think it's rare to read an adult novel that describes a woman's journey so well. I wonder if people would really have been that offended had it been released in her name at the time it was published as it is told in such a universal way. But I think that's the point that some people miss. Love is love, wherever and with whomever you find it. Now I'm going to go and snuggle with my husband and be glad to have him. That is all....more
I have been waiting eagerly to read this novel. A book about two sets of twins and their complicated relationships with each other was intriguing, espI have been waiting eagerly to read this novel. A book about two sets of twins and their complicated relationships with each other was intriguing, especially when it was all wrapped around a ghost story. It was melodramatic, which I didn't mind. It took place in London, which I absolutely loved. And while I love a great ghost story, this was somehow lacking. Too much weirdness and unexplained relationships after so much focus throughout the novel left me pretty unsatisfied. Giving this one a 3.5, but with potential to have been a solid 5 star. It's disappointing. Haven't read her debut novel, and everyone loves it, so I'll get to that soon and see if it blows me away.
I guess the most disappointing part about this book is how close it came to being excellent. Was it dark? Sort of. Twisted? Almost. The ending really could have been horrifying, in a thought-provoking WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE type of way. But the ending felt forced. If Ms. Niffenegger had ended on the same strong note as she began this would probably be one of my favorite spooky books. As it stands, I just wonder why she wrapped it up Dean Koontz style, with no cohesion and no flow. ...more
**spoiler alert** Another chapter in the adventures of Harper and Tolliver. I heard that this was the last book in the series, but with the way it end**spoiler alert** Another chapter in the adventures of Harper and Tolliver. I heard that this was the last book in the series, but with the way it ended, I could see it continuing on. There's still plenty of dead-body mysteries to solve. Maybe I'm not so good at letting characters move on. :) I enjoyed this book as much as I have the first three, even though I finally figured out who killed Cameron pretty early on (okay, VERY early on) in the story. I thought that the mystery that tied both families together was a bit of a stretch, but she thought it out and it IS fiction, after all. There were some slips that stood out, like after the detective was killed and Harper went to the hospital and said that they shouldn't have been running with the death threat, that she didn't take it seriously, but he hadn't told her that when she decided to go for the run??? Did I get an advance copy...nope. Hehe. I would have to say that murder mystery-wise, the third book of the series was my favorite. It was very dark and more believable and atmospheric for me. I thought this plot was good in theory but I would have liked more explanation for how Matthew carried out his dastardly deed with Gracie, particularly since it was part of the explanation of Cameron's disappearance, which readers of this series have been trying to solve through four books. I always enjoy Harris' writing and I'm looking forward to what's next....more
**spoiler alert** Am I the only one who is terribly unhappy about all the deaths in this book??? I'm not gonna lie, if Bill had died in this book, it**spoiler alert** Am I the only one who is terribly unhappy about all the deaths in this book??? I'm not gonna lie, if Bill had died in this book, it would have been smart in so many ways. I'm not saying I WANT him to die, but if he did in the circumstances of this book, i.e. defending Sookie, it would have redeemed some, if not most, of his past erroneous behaviors. I wonder why Harris had Claudine become pregnant before she was killed...to me, two pregnant women being murdered in one book is a little much and I really liked the idea of Sookie having a fairy godmother, I'm not gonna lie. Haha. Tray dying was sad too, and I wonder if that's gonna play out in some problems between Sookie and Amelia now, like resentment because Tray died defending Sookie. Could be an interesting storyline there, but I like Amelia too and will be sad if she turns out to be against Sookie. I'm super relieved that Harris didn't kill Sam in her character murdering spree haha! I'm still not 100% throwing in the towel for Sookie ending up with him either, as she has the most chance at a "normal" life (family, kids, etc.) with him and she always runs to him to talk and they clearly care for one another. As for the fairies, I have always thought of them as OTHER from the different types of supernatural creatures, who are or WERE human at one point, and they have always been a little scary to me because they ARE so NOT human. I was not surprised how they became so divided and went to war, because in this series, to me at least, and Claudine especially trying to become an angel, their plotline reminds me a lot of angels separating and fighting over good and evil (SUPERNATURAL is a GREAT example of this storyline -- love that show!) So they have been giving me the creeps a little throughout the series, like Claude being so utterly detached from caring about Sookie, even Niall is explained as loving humans in more of a general way instead of loving them as individual souls. I think that Niall telling Sookie that "the vampire is not a bad man, and he loves you" is a total setup and something that Harris always pulls at the end of her books, but then ends up not making a big deal out of in the next book. I like the possibilities of the storyline that could happen if the gateway between the fae world and the human world is closed, who could choose or get stuck staying on either side. I'm a little sad for Sookie if she doesn't get to see her great-grandad anymore, but in a way relieved, because their interactions so far have only caused heartache and put her in harms way. So far, the only positive thing Niall brought was some answers about Sookie's heritage and her parents death, but it seems as though Claudine would have also known all of that and could have told Sookie too. I am getting used to Harris' writing style and the whole Sookie's introspection and philosophical side trip didn't bother me like it did some other people, because she uses that in a few of the books in the series as a tool to get the reader in on where Sookie is at in her thinking and what she suspects is going on, which I would assume is meant to get readers to identify with her or to lead us into that particular train of thought, to build tension, or steer us into being surprised by the plotline later on. I still like Sookie. I understand where Harris was going with her religious references to being a "bad Christian" and it didn't bother me either. I mean, the books are taking place in the United States and in the South, so of course Christianity is going to be talked about, it has been a recurring theme in this series, along with lots of other social mores and themes like equal rights, personal freedom, tolerance, etc., etc. I am really wondering at this point just how much back and forth there will be before Harris ends the series and pairs Sookie with whomever she will be with. Since she killed off so many of the "good guys" this time AND she finally explained the reason for Sookie's parents' death (which I was happy about, that it had a supernatural slant made it much more interesting to me) I don't see her doing TOO many more books in this series, at least not if she wants to finish strong. I see where other people think that Sookie will want to be with Bill again, and how they say Eric didn't save her and that he's just trying to control her, but I don't feel that way. I think Sookie will end up with Eric. I think that Harris always makes it appear that Eric isn't doing right by Sookie AT FIRST and then we always find out later that whatever he did was in her best interest. Don't get sucked in by the big gestures of Bill people! True love is consistent and more subtle, like Eric's constant care of Sookie, always looking out for her, coming through for her with the little things, not just running in and looking like a hero now and then. I am glad that Jason is trying to grow up a little, but I'm wondering why the whole Mel issue even happened in this book. I mean, he ended up NOT being the one who killed Crystal and if you ask me, didn't do anything wrong enough to her by hitting her to be ripped apart by Calvin and his entourage. I understand the laws of Hotshot are different, but Harris always make it sound like its always very justified and although I don't advocate abuse against women, I can imagine that Crystal could DEFINITELY push Mel into slapping her. Why is that a death sentence by previously explained Hotshot rules??? They preemptively killed him, trying to make it sound like it was because he killed Crystal, but Sookie said he didn't and Calvin usually trusted her before, so...? And as for the whole gay slant, did that really matter??? I just thought it was a dumb storyline, especially since Harris is usually trying to show through this series how small-minded we are, I thought it was stupid of her to kill someone, in a way, simply because he was gay and loved Jason. Cuz he didn't kill Crystal. Maybe I'm getting ruffled by this?? I don't know. As you can see, I am getting WAAAAYY too into this book. I'll turn it over to someone else and see what they think. I am not happy about having to wait so long for the next book to find out what happens next, but I spoiled myself by getting to read the first 7 books back to back. I am glad that the next season of TRUE BLOOD is beginning soon and I disagree with some other reviewers who say the series is meatier. I think the book, even just the ones that tie in with the first season, had a lot more going on in them then the show did, but we'll see what happens in the 2nd season. And I also want to go back and rewatch the first season, because I'm sure I'll notice a lot more now that I've read the books. I guess we're gonna have to learn to live after the tales of Sookie come to an end Kathryn! Haha! Over and out....more
**spoiler alert** I'm still kind of letting this book brew. I can say that once I got into it, I didn't want to stop reading. I love books that are da**spoiler alert** I'm still kind of letting this book brew. I can say that once I got into it, I didn't want to stop reading. I love books that are dark and lovely and seem historically accurate, so you feel as if you're really learning something about yourself and history, through the story and characters. I had checked this book out from the library before but didn't get to start it and I am really glad that I read it. I found the idea that so many of our classic religious figures, people who were supposedly touched by God, could very well have been schizophrenic, which I personally find much more believable. Not that I don't believe in God, but it would explain a lot of people's bizarre actions in the name of their religious beliefs. I am inspired to read more about the Beguines and other groups discussed in this group and, as a disclaimer, I must state that world religions have always fascinated me. There were so many great themes the author exposed in this book: guilt, faith, forgiveness, physical and internal beauty, the path of the soul, reincarnation, truth, mental illness, and most importantly, love. I have always wanted to read Dante's INFERNO and in fact, have it on my bookshelf. I will be reading it for sure now, and kinda wish I already had so that I could appreciate all the references to it in this book. Marianne's death wasn't a surprise but it was definitely affecting. I will never look at gargoyles and grotesques the same way again. I will definitely be looking for more of Davidson's books, if he has any. Do you ever read a book that you're so into that you're sad when its over because you want to stay with the characters and see what happens in the rest of their lives?? That doesn't happen with me often, but it did with this book. It is one that will linger in me for a long time. It was poetic and horrific and beautiful and I loved it....more