This book is called In the Dark Of the Night, but really what it should be called is The Cursed Axe.
John Saul's The Cursed AxeIn the Dark of the NiThis book is called In the Dark Of the Night, but really what it should be called is The Cursed Axe.
John Saul's The Cursed AxeIn the Dark of the Night is a very specific type of thriller. It's what some people call an "a-dime-a-dozen thriller." Why? Because there's so many of them, all similiar, none employing any special or unique technique. John Saul certainly didn't.
In this book, a family head out to a big, obviously haunted summer home. The hormonal teenage boy, Jack or something, discovers a classic secret-room-with-questionable-contents on the property. He and his friends, John and Bob, find the place mysterious and irresistable, but also start to fear it as strange things occur around town that seem to be connected with their musings in the room. I've been looking at the other reviews on this book and apparently other people found said contents to be shocking and/or horrifying and/or incredible. Me, I was three-quarters of the way through the book, wondering, Where's that surprise those guys on Goodreads were talking about? It wasn't to be found. As people start to die in freak murders around town, Jack, Bob and John work to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately they never get the chance; an old guy with the titular Cursed Axe makes an appearance and ties the book up with a pretty bow in their place goes on a killing spree.
I think I'm done with thrillers. Permanantly. I'm going to go read Wuthering Heights; at least Catherine Earnshaw didn't dream of making lampshades out of a dead boy's flesh. (And if she did, she had the grace not to describe her dreams to the reader.)...more
Nothing new. A hero; a fiery, spirited princess (with red hair too, how original); a mythical sword (that is never actually used); a totally evil villNothing new. A hero; a fiery, spirited princess (with red hair too, how original); a mythical sword (that is never actually used); a totally evil villain plotting to be king; a pseudo-Medieval European setting; the only thing sort-of fresh was the fact that the princess had a crystal ball that showed her the future. And even that's been done before.
There's nothing wrong with being derivative. I mean, look at Harry Potter. The ultimate example: a trio of friends with the main hero; the old, wise man; the absolutely evil source of all evil; classic wizard and magical creature lore. But somehow, HP doesn't feel the least bit cliched.
The difference between JK Rowling and Victoria Hanley is that Rowling manages to see past the stereotypes and show us the human characters in their own right. In Hanley's work, I never get to see the characters or the plot elements as anything other than elements.
That being said: it is somewhat of a good story...If you've never read any fantasy before....more
With the recent surge in paranormal fiction - the vampires, the werewolves, the fairies, the dark angels et al - I was relieved to find a 2011 novel tWith the recent surge in paranormal fiction - the vampires, the werewolves, the fairies, the dark angels et al - I was relieved to find a 2011 novel that wasn't about one of those. But guess what? It was! It turned out that Emily's "transformation" turns her into one-of-the-above. But I won't tell you which. Spoilers, you know.
So, what a beeping surprise, right? And here I thought the author would make up something of his own to perplex us. He could've easily made the one-of-the-above into a spirit possessing Emily for revenge, or, god help us, use his imagination. But no. Anyway, moving on.
How many times have I seen this? How many times? When will people think up something new? Lab experiment goes wrong, turns regular homo sapiens into freaky superhumans with enhanced strength, smell, speed, sight, blah blah. Evil biotechy company somewhere in the background. Is that not, like, the basis of half of all comic superhero origins?
Only this time, it happens out of nowhere, no explanation at all - Emily did not take any secret chemical enhancement formula, did not get bitten by any radioactive insect - She just magically turned into Superwoman overnight. While this is probably explained in the very obviously planned sequel, that doesn't make the current non-existent reasoning any more plausible or easier to digest.
After all, what mousy wallflowery loner girl in high school doesn't want to transform into an ass-kicking, bitchy, slutty, confident crusader against the horrors of murder overnight? Wish fufillment much?
But of course it's not wish fufillment; the author is male. And I'm not surprised that he is. Not surprised at all. The whole book stinks of someone who has no freaking idea what it's like to be a girl in high school. I would know, because I do. And I know how tiring these stupid jock-and-cheerleader-and-rich-girls-versus-loner-girls-who-are-perfectly-normal-yet-somehow-can't-for-the-life-of-them-fit-in cliches are, since they aren't even close to the truth.
If only the the author's prose weren't so incredibly dull, without any distinction or sense of style, I could almost forgive him. Not. I could go on and on, but I think I've ranted enough for one book. So, bottom line: not a new book I would recommend for reading. Just an old, tired, assortment of overused tropes ideas that fully deserve the bland prose they're written in. ...more
There! I added it! Happy now, NahuyBanana Girl DouDou? (stop changing your name! D:)
~edit~ I don't see why this book is so popular. I zoomed throughThere! I added it! Happy now, NahuyBanana Girl DouDou? (stop changing your name! D:)
~edit~ I don't see why this book is so popular. I zoomed through it in less than an hour and thought it was boring and immature. It has a biased idea of middle school life and I didn't find it funny at all, which it was obviously trying to be. Oh, and sheer amount of clichés made me want to gag....more