I checked this audiobook out to celebrate the October Spooky mood. I have been an admirer of Poe since I was a grade school student, and what I've reaI checked this audiobook out to celebrate the October Spooky mood. I have been an admirer of Poe since I was a grade school student, and what I've read by him, I've loved. I have been meaning to read more by him, but haven't taken the time. Audiobooks are such a good way to maximize my time because I can listen and do other things, so I grabbed this one. In all honesty, it wasn't very scary or even eerie (with the exception of "The Raven. " I am glad that I did listen to it though. I had never read any of these stories. I could have done without a couple of them, but overall, it was enjoyable, and this four hour audiobook format was a good way to keep me company as I did other things. The narrator's voice was a bit irritating, with a nasally tone that wasn't my favorite. He was good with accents and voices though.
Here are my thoughts on the stories:
"Murders in the Rue Morgue" --I love a good detective story, and this is the first detective story, and that is to be celebrated. I saw a lot of Sherlock Holmes in C. Auguste Dupin and Watson in his anonymous friend. It was a great mystery with a crazy resolution. I never would have guessed. My only issue with it is that it's basically telling and not showing. Dupin seems very pompous in his way of analyzing people, and he seems very self-important. He shows the observant trait of a good detective, which Poe terms ratiocination. I loved the twist on how each witness thought the guttural speaker was a foreigner, but from a place that had never been. In light of the resolution, that was a very nice touch. I give this four stars because it's impressive as the first detective story. I think all the detective fiction readers and writers owe Mr. Poe a great debt.
"The Purloined Letter" --I didn't find this one as impressive as the first. It seemed very simplistic, and there was no real tension. I do give Dupin props for his handy solving of a mystery that had the police stumped, but he's so obnoxiously arrogant about it. Sherlock with some aristocratic French attitude thrown in. 3 stars.
"The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade" --I didn't care much for this, sadly. I love Scheherazade and the Arabian Nights stories, and I don't think this added anything to the mystique of the stories. I felt like it was full of weirdness, way too random, with bizarre diversions in the storytelling, but at the same time, really quite boring. Besides, it ruined the best aspect about the stories, so that was a downer for me. Probably my least favorite story by Poe. 2 stars.
"A Descent into the Maelstrom" --This felt more like a Jack London story than a Poe story. It's good to see that he does venture into straight adventure, no pun intended. I felt it was an average read. It didn't have much of an impact on me, but I didn't dislike it like the previous novel. 2.5 stars.
"The Raven"-- A classic by this author. I love poetry, especially eerie poetry. I admit I don't like overly long poems, so this was a nice length. Long enough to get a reader involved, with a beautiful rhythm to it. Listening to this was a lot of fun. I think I would need to read it, to delve more meaning out of it. It's a bit oblique, in my opinion. 3.5 stars
"Masque of the Red Death" --I really appreciated listening to this. I have seen the movie with Vincent Price and thought it was very clever. It's interesting how they managed to get a full-length movie out of this, since it was very short. I think the tone was nicely Gothic and sinister, and it has an impactful statement about the concept of believing that being wealthy and high status makes one exempt from all ills. And there is something very repugnant about indulging debauchery and hedonism when people are suffering around you. Death finds everyone of us. 4 stars.
Conclusion: Four hours of my life that I can't say I regret. It helped that I was finishing a project for school at the time, so it kept me busy. I would say that one's life is not added to much by "Scheherazade" and "A Descent into the Maelstrom", but I recommend the other stories. ...more
I loved the different direction that Feehan took with Lissa's story. Instead of the story taking place in Sea Haven at the farm, this one is set primaI loved the different direction that Feehan took with Lissa's story. Instead of the story taking place in Sea Haven at the farm, this one is set primarily in Italy, and Lissa is not the hunted, but the huntress. I am always satisfied when Feehan introduces another Prakenskii brother. While I adore the GhostWalker men (flaws included), the Prakenskiis have a special place in my heart. Each brother gets near to my favorite. I am pretty sure that it's a bit of a four way tie between Maxim, Gavril, Ilya and Casimir now. I do dearly love Ilya, and I never thought Feehan could top him, but she has, boy howdy. I have a bizarre fondness for assassin leads, and I got two for the price of one with Lissa and Casimir. Lissa is the real deal, and I wish for more heroines like her.
Casimir is perfect for Lissa. He's her match and he respects her for the woman she is, that she's been fashioned into. It takes a strong man to acknowledge that a woman is his equal. While Casimir was protective of Lissa, he didn't try to get in the way of her mission, but is her helpmate. I like that they work together to fulfill their mutual goals, and that their passion burns hot and their love is true.
This book had more of a semi-overt BDSM tone than the other books. I am the first to admit I am not a fan of BDSM. Fortunately, it wasn't over the top, although there was one device that was definitely a little weird for my tastes. I did like that Casimir wasn't about subjugation or domination but mutual pleasure. There is a welcome contrast between their love play and what is going on unbeknownst to Lissa. I didn't like the scene in which certain men abuse a certain woman. It made me sick and I felt really bad for that poor woman. I was glad that Casimir had such a visceral and righteously angry reaction to that situation.
I felt for Lissa in that she was raised with so much betrayal. Despite that, she was incredibly strong and self-actualized. I just hate that she was used that way. When the people you trust and love do that to you, it's even worse. Even though she had her Sisters of the Heart, she had to hide that part of her from them, and that made her feel lonely and isolated. I was glad that she doesn't have to be lonely anymore.
The wedding scene was so touching, and I loved the surprise guest. those Prakenskiis are so romantic! All I have to say is that the next book is going to be something else. The pigeons are really coming home to roost. I am officially giving my seal of approval if Feehan has books for the other guys from the worst of the Russian spy schools. :)
This is my second favorite book series by Feehan for a reason. It's really hard to top the GhostWalkers for me. I freaking love that series like a house on fire. But this series is a close second . I think the Prakensii/Sisters of the Heart books have such great heroes and heroines. Strong men who aren't jerks, who appreciate their heroines for who they are and are willing to make sacrifices to be with them. I'm sad to see that it will end soon! All I can say to Ms. Feehan is, keep the Russians coming, please....more
This is a seriously creepy graphic novel series. Definitely in the classic horror vein and unrelentingly dark in theme. This book deals with witches aThis is a seriously creepy graphic novel series. Definitely in the classic horror vein and unrelentingly dark in theme. This book deals with witches and witchcraft, and in a disturbing way. One of the reasons that witches are so detestable to me is their tendency to take over and control people's wills and casting curses against and on people. These are the kind of witches that Baltimore is dealing with. Baltimore is searching for the way to bring the Cult of the Red King down for good, and his cohorts split up in the search for leads and they all end up in extreme danger. Baltimore and Co end up in a Russian village deeply under the spell of evil witches. His other brothers (and sisters) in arms are in just as deep as they land right in the middle of a practicing Red King cult.
Baltimore has lost so much and he's about to lose someone very close to him. He is the ultimate tortured hero, and also very stoic and stonelike. And he's a bad*ss. I am glad that the world has Baltimore to protect them from these supernatural horrors. I hope this series continues indefinitely....more
Although I miss the laugh out loud humor of the first books in the series, I still really enjoyed this book, and I was drawn into the romance. Alex woAlthough I miss the laugh out loud humor of the first books in the series, I still really enjoyed this book, and I was drawn into the romance. Alex won my heart. She's a great heroine.
Like all of Maisey Yates' books, she takes the tried and true Harlequin Presents format and gives it an unexpected and welcomed depth. In this book shLike all of Maisey Yates' books, she takes the tried and true Harlequin Presents format and gives it an unexpected and welcomed depth. In this book she's tackled the taboo but alluring subject of step-siblings getting together. And I would say she did a great job with it.
Elle and Apollo seem to have everything to hate about each other, despite the fact that their parents are married. Apollo has set his mind on revenge, and Elle doesn't even know the whole story. All she knows is that Apollo has seemed determined to torment her from day one, and that she is so attracted to him, it scares the life out of her. When they get into an elevator together after a contentious meeting, they give into an angry and fiery passion for each other, and end up with the consequences of a baby on the way.
Apollo still wants revenge, but he also wants to take care of his baby, and he's not against doing both. Elle doesn't trust Apollo, but she wants to do what's best for her baby. They have to put their vitriol aside long enough to do right by their baby. Apollo needs to convince Elle to marry him, but Elle is pretty sure that's a bad idea, at least until Apollo can show that he is a devoted husband, fat chance. That's the rhythm of this novel.
Disguised behind the titillating subject matter is a deep story about relationships and putting the past behind you to embrace a better future. Setting aside what you used to know about a person and learning who they really are and how to best love them. I really appreciated that aspect of this story. One shortcoming is that the book does seem to lose momentum towards the end with the dramatic intensity dipping down, but I did truly love the fact that Apollo shows deep love for Elle, for who she really is. He is faced with losing her and he realizes that she's what he wants, not revenge. I love that realization the hero has about loving the heroine. Elle grows as a person as well. She's very independent and no pushover, and I liked that about her. But she also has some emotional vulnerabilities that have crippled her to some extent. Elle has wanted her father's love and respect for so long, but she's never been able to obtain it. It's surprising that Apollo can give her that unconditional love, but she realizes that for their whole relationship, she was pushing him to show her that very thing.
If a reader is just look for pure taboo titillation, this is not the book for you. If you want a deep story with that alluring forbidden love angle, with some good old enemies to lovers thrown in, then check this book out. It's not my favorite by Maisey Yates, but it's still very good. ...more
My sister and I listened to this on Playaway in the car. It was very enjoyable. The narrator was really good. She was able to endow her voice with difMy sister and I listened to this on Playaway in the car. It was very enjoyable. The narrator was really good. She was able to endow her voice with different personalities. The heroine is refreshingly quirky. She hears the voices of her puppets in her head. The fact that she's a puppeteer alone is a different touch. Add that onto a story that is rife with Gothic atmosphere and that her puppets are real personalities to her, and that makes this feel very unique.
I totally pictured Kirsten Wiig as Annie. She's Annie until proven otherwise.
Kristen fits Annie's personality from her some of her roles. She plays quirky and kind of normal, nerdy but very pretty.
Annie is down on her luck and ends up back on Peregrine Island, a place that has nothing but bad memories for her. To her surprise, she encounters Theo Harp, the first boy she loved, but one who did her irreparable harm. I was not surprised that she didn't trust Theo until very late in the book. He really did need to prove himself.
Theo was the perfect Gothic hero with an extremely dark past. I wanted to believe the best of him, although it was almost like SEP wanted us to hate Theo in some parts. Deep down, he was a sweet guy and a bit of a victim to some of the darkness in his family and with his deceased wife.
I liked that Theo really accepted Annie and was attracted to her the way she was. He admired her spunk and that she didn't take crap from him. Theo was pretty delicious. Definitely for those of us who like our heroes a bit dark, tortured and mysterious (Bryonic hero). I pictured Aiden Turner, who is one of my newest crushes.
Theo is described as devastatingly handsome and very hard to resist. That's Aidan to a tee.
I didn't really like the tone of their relationship (sex with no commitment), but it makes sense of Annie since she really doesn't trust Theo and wants to get him out of her system. I could tell that Theo was really deeply in love with her, but he was afraid to be with her because of tortured past.
The Gothic tone was interesting. You don't see that much in contemporary romances that aren't suspense. I think it got a little confusing with some of the things that happen. My sister speculated like nobody's business as some mean pranks are taking place against Annie, considering the past and what she suffered. We had some really interesting theories. We were both very surprised at who the culprit was. I think it spoiled the Gothic tone a lot. But oh well.
I feel like there was a huge aspect that wasn't handled well, in my opinion. That's why I didn't give this five stars. My sister agreed with me. But overall, this was such a fun read, and I loved the relationship between Annie and Theo, and the look at the island, and how claustrophobic it can be to live in a small town, especially one that's an island! Theo is definitely my favorite SEP hero and I liked Annie. She had a great heart and was really her own person, although she had some self-esteem issues. I love the career path she chooses eventually. It's a big sign of accepting who she is and not feeling like she has to fit some unrealistic standard. You could see she was way on the road to being self-actualized. I wanted them to be together big time.
If you can, definitely check out this on audiobook.
"Veil" is an effective horror graphic novel from a proven writer in Greg Rucka. It's about a creature who was summoned from dark magic but seems to re"Veil" is an effective horror graphic novel from a proven writer in Greg Rucka. It's about a creature who was summoned from dark magic but seems to retain an innocence and vulnerability that makes predators want to prey on her and protectors want to keep her safe. The artwork is beautiful but also disturbing. The prevalence of sewer rats will creep out those with musophobia. They have a weird psychic connection with Veil that adds a disturbing connotation to the story. The urban setting adds to the atmosphere of fear in that the urban jungle is full of predators of all kinds. Add a secret group who resorts to black magic to achieve desired goals and the creepy factor gets very high. Although a dark story, there is some light in it that makes the ending satisfying for me. I would read further volumes....more
This volume has a super high creep factor. Anything with secret/demonic cults I find very disturbing. We meet an order of Christian knights who are trThis volume has a super high creep factor. Anything with secret/demonic cults I find very disturbing. We meet an order of Christian knights who are trying to do what Baltimore does, but they are quite in over their heads. We also learn the fate of one of Baltimore's greatest adversaries (not the Vampire he hunts, mind you). There's some werewolf thrown in and not a little bit of blood and gore. Definitely one of the darkest volumes in a series that ain't exactly light reading. It was very good, despite all that. I hope Mignola keeps writing about Baltimore....more
This series definitely takes me to that classic horror mood that I enjoy. To me, classic horror is the best horror there is. The modern-style stuff doThis series definitely takes me to that classic horror mood that I enjoy. To me, classic horror is the best horror there is. The modern-style stuff doesn't do it for me. I think Mignola and I have a meeting of minds on that. It's evident in his work. Baltimore is a man on a mission, and nothing will divert him from it. There are revelations about Baltimore and this story takes us full circle as it revisits a crucial scene from Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire. Again, it's an opportunity to see Baltimore through the eyes of others, and to try to understand his motivations. These books are very dark, but very fascinating. The artwork is excellent, even with the limited color palette....more