August Brill is the Man in the Dark. He is a 72 year-old nursing an injured leg in his daughter’s home in...moreFrom The Page Walker
Life From Another Angle
August Brill is the Man in the Dark. He is a 72 year-old nursing an injured leg in his daughter’s home in Vermont –a house of mourning by all accounts, really. He spends his sleepless night conjuring stories in his head to save himself from remembering. Yet, every now and then, he loses concentration and finds himself recalling memories of his dead wife, his son-in-law walking out on her daughter, and the tragic death of his granddaughter’s boyfriend.
At first, the story seems to be an unfolding of a story within a story. An alternative reality, wherein the made up characters has to eliminate their own creator, Brill. But halfway through the book, the reader will realize that the alternative reality is not the story, but the bridge by which we must cross to better understand all the hurts this man in the dark conceals.
“I walked around with a feeling that my life had never truly belonged to me, that I had never truly inhabited myself, that I had never been real. And because I wasn't real, I didn't understand the effect I had on others, the damage I could cause, the hurt I could inflict on the people who loved me.”
There is a certain line that kept popping throughout the book, “life is horrible”. And yet, the stories inside tell otherwise. Life is many things, but never horrible, it would seem.
“At one time or another, every family lives through extraordinary events –horrendous crimes, floods and earthquakes, bizarre accidents, miraculous strokes of luck, and there isn't a family in the world without secrets and skeletons, trunkfuls of hidden material that would make your jaw drop if the lid were ever opened.”
There is one particular story that really touched me more than anything. Katya’s birth brought her grandparents together after years of separation. It took a blessing of another life for Sonia and August to take another chance together. It was the joy of looking at life from another angle, another inspiration.
This is a mere 180-page book, but like the rest of Auster’s book it required a huge amount of contemplation. Like I tell my friends, an Auster book is a slow sex; a quicky will not give the satisfaction it promised. Often, my mind would drift away to a time and place where the narrative hammered home a point. And those were the moments that count.
If there is anything I learnt from this book, it’s that darkness is not a place to hide. It is a place to see things through, to let the story be told once and for all; because even in the midst of darkness, we can take comfort in life’s simple joys.
“The only thing we can do is hope for the best.”
The story was so satisfying, it is definitely insane not to give it full marks and highly recommend it.
For a book battered left and right by controversies, school and institutions banning it from their...moreThoughts from The Page Walker
Junior Never Gave Up
For a book battered left and right by controversies, school and institutions banning it from their shelves, it had won some very notable awards since its printing. I know, that’s enough reason to be intrigued and acquire a copy.
Sherman Alexie himself said that this book is 78% autobiographical, based on his life growing up at the Spokane Reservation in Wellpinit, WA. He and our lovable narrator, Arnold Spirit Jr., shares a lot in common, from being born with hydrocephalus to being a Reardan star basketball player once.
Life in the reservation was difficult. Arnold and his family barely have anything, even food. And it’s even more difficult when you are being bullied all the time. Both of his parents are alcoholic; his sister suffers from social withdrawal and locks herself in the basement. But real trouble begins when Arnold chose to transfer to Readan High, a school 22 miles away from the reservation, mostly attended by white students. Most Indians branded him as traitor, including his best friend, Rowdy. Caught between two cultures, Arnold decided to forge alliances that are most beneficial to his dream, while ever reaching out to his tribesmen.
“You should approach each book -- you should approach life -- with the real possibility that you might get a metaphorical boner at any point.”
The author managed to make the narration light and funny. The characters were fleshed out nicely and very engaging. I realize that some languages may discourage conservative readers, but I thought it was vital in consistency with the character. The fact that it tried to be truthful to its core made it more agreeable.
Alexie had a very distinctive depiction of the reservation life, culture and environment. In his words, it is a place of both beauty and poverty. Like every place though, conflicts and indecision regarding change is constant. And hopelessness is the plague eating up their society.
“My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents studied from. That is absolutely the saddest thing in the world.”
Arnold is a poor Indian boy living in a poor Indian reservation wherein alcoholism and abuse are rampant. But Arnold has hope as well. He is fighting the racial belief that all reservation Indians are meant to fail. He tried to find hope in others and decided to change things for himself. It wasn't easy, nothing was easy, but he chose possibilities instead of dejection.
I recommend this novel because I truly believe that stories of Hope are important, especially for the youth. They should be thought not to give into despair, not to stop moving, and believe that change do happen if we work for it.
“I suddenly understood that if every moment of a book should be taken seriously, then every moment of a life should be taken seriously as well.”
To start off, this book is about grief, getting lost, then finding the right path back to life. In...moreFrom The Page Walker
A Trail, A Bear, and A Soldier
To start off, this book is about grief, getting lost, then finding the right path back to life. In other words, it is hopeful. Like I said before, this book will stitch your heart back the right way. I think this is the right kind of inspiration that my countrymen and I badly needed in these catastrophic times.
“…the team captains had yet to learn: life can’t be held in a cup, and nothing lasts forever.”
The setting is set at the end of World War II, a time when the world needed much healing. Our narrator is 13-year old Jack Baker from Kansas, who lost his mom from brain aneurysm. Since his dad is in the Navy, he was sent to a boarding school in Maine. Jack had some difficulty adjusting to his new environment. He felt that he was groping through the everyday challenges. Until he met Early Auden, another orphan himself.
“For me, they are blue and purple and sand and ocean and rough and smooth and loud and whispering, all at the same time.”
Navigating through Early is difficult. He’s nothing like Jack have encountered before. If I have to make a guess, Early has Synesthesia (or to be more accurate, ideasthesia). It may be easy to assume that he has autism, because he has demonstrated prodigious abilities and he’s hyper-systemized. But that can’t be the case, because he has no problem utilizing his great memory. He is synesthetes, although it is very rare for a person to possess synesthesia involving 3 or more senses. He has grapheme, he sees numbers in colors. He has spatial sequence synesthesia; he has a great memory, he can gather facts in detail and make use of them exactly when it is needed again. He has ordinal linguistic personification; everyday of the week is represented by a different musician -Louis Armstrong on Mondays, Frank Sinatra on Wednesday, and Billy Holiday on a rainy day.
“Early needed the numbers to continue, the story to continue, and he needed Pi to stay alive.”
The most special thing about Early is that he has Number Form Synesthesia, a mental map of numbers. In Early’s head, Pi (π, 3.14159) has a story –a quest he and Jack has to follow. Finding Pi, means finding their way back to life as well. Each step they take, they meet some memorable people whom coincidentally reflects Pi’s quest. The profoundness of these people’s lives is vital in finding what the boys are looking for. In the end, completing the quest is not only their success, but for others as well.
“It’s the same up there as it is down here, Jackie. You have to look for the things that connect us all. Find the ways our paths cross, our lives intersect, and our hearts collide.”
I believe Ms. Vanderpool pulled the blurring of the narratives very well. She made those coincidental turns into something justifiable. The details were carefully and gradually revealed, patiently building the story into a whole. She’s a seamless storyteller, who begins her weaving in creating endearing characters.
“I got lost.” “I know, but you found your way back. Finding your way doesn't mean you always know where you’re going. It’s knowing how to find your way back home that’s important.”
On the whole, Navigating Early is a very rewarding read –lovely and inspiring. I highly recommend it.
Identity, Solitude, Language A Reflection on The New York Trilogy written by Paul Auster.
The New York Trilogy is a series of novels by Paul Auster. O...moreIdentity, Solitude, Language A Reflection on The New York Trilogy written by Paul Auster.
The New York Trilogy is a series of novels by Paul Auster. Originally published sequentially as City of Glass (1985), Ghosts (1986) and The Locked Room (1986), it has since been collected into a single volume.-Wikipedia
This is one of those rare books that work on many levels of mystery, philosophy, and drama. While this was coined as trilogy, it was not written in that sense. The stories were related thematically, rather than narrative or plot. Yet after reading, I realized that writing an individual reflection on each story will not convey the wholeness of the book -its different stages of awareness.
“Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.”
I've read somewhere that these stories were referred as “metamystery”, which honestly I don’t know what. So, I am not going to pretend that I do. What I do understand is that this is a mystery book, because the whole book is the mystery itself. For even if we remove the identifying marks of a mystery novel -antagonistic characters, plot twist, and deathly climax- the book remains to be mysterious. And, although there are detectives or, at least, characters involve in detecting, none of the three is a detective story.
“In the good mystery there is nothing wasted, no sentence, no word that is not significant. And even if it is not significant, it has the potential to be so –which amounts to the same thing.”
Plenty of adjectives had been shot, ricocheting on the walls, to describe this book. If a reader wants to enjoy this book, he has to dodge them all. Paul Auster wrote a very readable book. It is not arduous, but it will ask you to think. The concepts echoed across the book were about man's subconscious control of his constant and definitive identity, the different causes and effects of solitude, and the limitation of language to convey all thoughts. All of which were tested in extremely unusual situations, yet believable. The testing variables were simple by imagination, yet the effects were staggering. Time and again, while reading, I asked -Why the hell did he do that for- then realized that I was merely looking from the outside. To be in such situation is more than mere thought can comprehend.
“We imagine the real story inside the words, and to do this we substitute ourselves for the person in the story, pretending that we can understand him because we understand ourselves. This is deception. We exist for ourselves, perhaps, and at times we even have a glimmer of who we are, but in the end we can never be sure, and as our lives go on, we become more and more opaque to ourselves, more and more aware of our own incoherence. No one can cross the boundary into another – for the simple reason that no one can gain access to himself. ”
Paul Auster had the good sense to tackle all these through fiction. The concepts he presented were unlikely to be accepted as a day-to-day occurrence. But if we are to understand that our lives are stories itself, and we being the author of it, it is foolish indeed to overlook the times that our identity was challenged, or when solitude bogged us down, or even when our thoughts stunted the words we wished to convey.
“No one wants to be part of a fiction, and even less so if that fiction is real.”
I suspect that all these leaves more questions behind, rather than answers. Maybe that is well, because this is not a traditional fiction; it requires a certain level of engagement from the reader. The stories will not end at the last page of the book, it continuous on with our lives. How we deal with it is entirely up to us.
“Everyone knows that stories are imaginary. Whatever effect they might have on us, we know they are not true, even when they tell us truths more important that the ones we can find elsewhere. As opposed to the story writer, I was offering my creations directly to the real world, and therefore it seemed possible to me that they could affect this real world in a real way, that they could eventually become part of the real itself. No writer could ask for more than that.”
Lincoln is 28 years of age, cute, single, plays Dungeon n’ Dragons, and lives...moreSame thoughts from The Page Walker
WARNING: Cute guy flagged your emails.
Lincoln is 28 years of age, cute, single, plays Dungeon n’ Dragons, and lives with his mom; which worries his sister Eve. Lincoln’s new job, however, requires him to filter company emails at a local newspaper. He sits all night reading through employees’ correspondents and sends them warnings if they violate company email policy. Although the job earns him good money, Lincoln hates this job.
Ergo. Therefore. Thus …He technically, ethically, had no reason to keep reading their e-mail. Lincoln had told himself all along that it was okay to do this job (that it was okay to be a professional snoop and a lurker) as long as there was nothing voyeuristic about it. As long as he didn't enjoy the snooping and lurking.
Beth and Jennifer are best friends and co-workers at The Courier; they both know that their emails are being monitored but that didn't stop them from emailing each other daily. Lincoln should have sent both of them a warning, he knows he should, but he was charmed by the ladies’ friendship… and the idea of Beth.
The story is alternately written in epistolary form showing the ladies’ witty emails for each other; and 3rd person narrative of Lincoln’s perspective. I think it was a pretty smart move from the author, it really captured my attention. I mean, who could resist falling for these people? The characters were developed beautifully, charming and believable; while the story was lighthearted and funny. This book is a breath of fresh air, I highly recommend it. I’m sure you’ll have as much fun as I did.
Looking forward to more of Rainbow Rowell’s books.(less)
Once in a while, a certain novel will cross our path and it will capture us in a way that mere words will not suffice to describe how we felt after reading it. The History of Love is unbelievably strong; its wonders are beyond my capacity to convey. While reading the book, I remember how many times my eyes brimmed with tears, yet I remember beaming and laughing too. Such veritable diversity of emotions in one novel is oftentimes inexplicable.
“It is also true that sometimes people felt things and, because there was no word for them, they went unmentioned. The oldest emotion in the world may be that of being moved; but to describe it –just to name it- must have been like trying to catch something invisible.”
The story was brought about by a book entitled The History of Love, written by Leopold Gursky in his younger years. He wrote, “The first woman may have been Eve, but the first girl will always be Alma." Inspired by his love for Alma Mereminski, this book was Leo’s most treasured work. When WWII invaded his hometown Slonim, located in Poland, both book and girl were lost to him.
“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering."
At the age of 80, Leo strives hard to let people know that he exists. His invisibility to the world frightens him. He was afraid that he will die alone, soon, and no one will even know about it. His desperation to get attention everyday drove him to do some very outrageous feat. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to him, his book survived and has inspired loves and lives spanning through the decades.
"The moment had passed, the door between the lives we could have led and the lives we led had shut in our faces."
The story unfolds through Leo’s memories moving back and forth in time, and through the perspective of three other characters. Among these three, it was Alma Singer’s perspective that directly parallels Leo’s accounts. After the untimely death of her father, Alma tried to bring balance back into her family’s life; she strongly believes that The History of Love is the key.
“The truth is the thing I invented so I could live.”
How the four perspectives will eventually converge into one is the great journey that the reader will have to take. The characters’ unraveling, their outlook in life, and inner strength created a focus that entraps the readers into reading on. The mystery of how the story culminates is the exhale that every reader will look forward to.
“At times I believed that the last page of my book and the last page of my life were one and the same, that when my book ended I’d end, a great wind would sweep through my rooms carrying the pages away, and when the air cleared of all those fluttering white sheets the room would be silent, the chair where I sat would be empty.”
I believe that in the hands of a lesser writer this story is but a jumble of words. Nicole Krauss is a master of language, a seamless weaver of plots, and vivid painter of characters. Each character has this sorrowful voice that leads us to heartbreaking truths, joyful discernment, and unexpected closures –such things that only a poignant novel can accomplish.
I have an ebook for a while now, but did not bother even browsing through until my friend, up...moreSame thoughts from The Page Walker.
HOW TO LIVE FOREVER?
I have an ebook for a while now, but did not bother even browsing through until my friend, up there, started reading it. When I finally started, I realized what I almost missed.
Clay Jannon was unemployed, another victim of the financial downturn. His job hunting led him to a local bookstore, and was immediately hired as the night clerk. It’s not unusual that there were fewer shoppers during the night –it was mostly dull, unproductive, and quiet. The only intriguing parts of each night are the borrowers; those eccentric people whom he has to log by description. With that much time to kill every night, Clay started some very deep poking, and soon found himself waist-deep into a mystery that may change his life forever.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore is our book –a book lover’s book. It talks about the bound versus the electronics; the merger of both; and the infinity of the written word. It talks about the mysteries of life –love, passion, ambition, and hope.
Clay’s narration is very engaging; witty and believable. I was really sorry I did not read it sooner. It was a deliciously fun read to have. I enjoyed every minute of it; no wonder I don’t want it to end.
The god with the green fedora is dead. And now, both his sons are in a big tangle of their own making. Without daddy to bail them out, they have to fi...moreThe god with the green fedora is dead. And now, both his sons are in a big tangle of their own making. Without daddy to bail them out, they have to figure a way to untangle their selves. Hoping, maybe they can cheat death as cleverly as their daddy did.
While Neil Gaiman is the brilliant head behind this fun and unique story, Lenny Henry is the voice that transformed this story into Superb! I believe this book should be in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list, 'cause we all need a good laugh before we die, right?
During my childhood, Zimatar, a radio drama was very popular. Before classes start every morning, children would tell and retell the story to one anot...moreDuring my childhood, Zimatar, a radio drama was very popular. Before classes start every morning, children would tell and retell the story to one another. Expounding how wonderful yesterday's episode was. Those were the days...
This edition of The Hobbit brought me back to my youth. It was alive, fun and very entertaining. Narrated simultaneously by both Bilbo and The Tale Bearer. When I say simultaneously, what I mean is that they sometimes talk both at the same time, which was really funny making me laugh out loud while walking.
Listening to the whole adventure is twice as exciting and suspenseful. Everything seems to be real especially the fight scenes/part. Mostly I love it when the dwarfs and elves were singing. It was very rewarding every time they put a tune to the words I once only read.
Amazing thing, too, is that Andy Serkis, who gave voice to Sméagol to Jackson's LOTR trilogy, have a very similar voice to Wolfe Morris of the BBC edition.
I totally love and enjoyed this edition. Hope you guys consider trying it.(less)
“I have one thing to say, one thing only, I’ll never say it another time, to anyone, and I ask you to remember it: In a universe of ambiguity, this k...more“I have one thing to say, one thing only, I’ll never say it another time, to anyone, and I ask you to remember it: In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live.”
A story which reminds us that life is not defined by what we’ve done, but how much deep and sincere we’ve loved. (less)
"I'd always known who I really was. I was God. And I'd chosen not to know it. Well, now I knew just what it meant to be the man who knew he was God."
I can’t seem to find the right words to describe my thoughts for this book. I am both inspired and saddened (to say the least), because regardless of how Ms. Rice fictionalized the story one thing was certain – the ending would be the same.
This story gives us a glimpse of Jesus’ humanity; a carpenter struggling on how to come to terms with his divinity. The novel tries to fill in the blanks in between the times not mentioned in the Bible. I am glad that Yeshua reached adulthood with the same quiet demeanor; endowed with great patience; unblemished; and incorruptible by any form of temptation. Yet I am sad that despite of knowing, He never got to experience romantic love. Because where He will go, no one may follow.
This book reminded me of how much the Christ gave up to save me; and that He bought me for a very high price. (less)
"But I love her, for knowing and loving are born of this same dust..."
Reading Kabul by Saib-e-Tabrizi reminded me of our own flag – its sun and stars;...more"But I love her, for knowing and loving are born of this same dust..."
Reading Kabul by Saib-e-Tabrizi reminded me of our own flag – its sun and stars; our own celebrated democracy; and the women of our past who were instruments into bringing about peace in this country. Yes, WOMEN – mothers, wives, sisters – all heroes of the new century.
It is different in Afghanistan, though. Women there are but possessions in their culture. A rebel-being like me will not survive there. I am neither timid nor submissive. I absolutely won't be, not to an “evil” husband; to whom evil for me is considered “norm” in their tradition.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is an eloquent narration of the heartbreaking lives of the thousands Afghani women. Mariam and Laila’s story is the reflection of that thousands of lives. Two unconquerable spirits who faced insurmountable odds in search for a life with love, family, acceptance, home and promising future.
I salute Hosseini primarily, not for merely writing an epic novel, but for being an Afghani male who seeks empathy for the lives and status of Afghani women through his writing. Secondly, for his clear and profound illustration of love as the ultimate source of strength in overcoming timidness and in performing great acts of self-sacrifice.
Words are not enough to express how much I want every woman to read this book and celebrate their freedom. (less)
“My name is Megan Chase, and I am the Iron Queen.”
Wow! What a ride… It was rough, bumpy and TOTALLY AWESOME!
Megan Chase is the kind of character you wa...more“My name is Megan Chase, and I am the Iron Queen.”
Wow! What a ride… It was rough, bumpy and TOTALLY AWESOME!
Megan Chase is the kind of character you want for a lead role. She’s neither fierce, nor cunning, or strategically oriented. She is all HEART, through and through, and that what makes her tough. Reading how much she matures in this sequel is a welcome relief. No more is the immature whinny and obsessive teenager we met from the previous books.
This sequel also brought back our favorite characters, making them more than engaging. They have the wittiest lines which I really enjoyed. Thank you, Miss Julie, for giving Grimalkin the most brilliant lines.
This series is getting better and better every sequel. If you have not hitched on the ride yet, you better get into it now. As for the Iron Knight, I know there are lots of possibilities ahead. It may be another interesting ride.
Thank you Netgalley and Harlequins for the ARC. (less)
**spoiler alert** Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century My choice #1:
Animal Farm: A Fa...more**spoiler alert** Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century My choice #1:
Animal Farm: A Fairy Tale by George Orwell
The story tells of what happens after maltreated animals rebel and ousted their human farm owners. In their attempt of communism they aim to rule the farm on equal basis, doing their good share of hard work according to their capacity and respecting others’ needs and limitations. Unfortunately, this attempt failed miserably in the dictatorship of the corrupt.
In subtle details, various causes indicate why communism failed. One of which is their diversity; not by their kind, but by their features and attitudes. Some are content with protecting others; some evicted themselves; some satisfied themselves with working hard; and most of them conformed to merely keeping their mouths shut. But there are those who intend to elevate their status – the pigs. Even though, the Seven Commandments were created to ensure equality among them, the pigs being natural leaders in the story, managed to reverse this commandments through terror and brainwashing for their advancement. They were able to change the rule from “all animals are equal” to “all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.” Now, I don’t know how that makes sense but the animals believe everything that Squealer says. He even convinced them that leadership is a huge responsibility and so the pigs deserve everything that is better in the farm. And to silence any further protests, he will add the “threat of Mr. Jones returning” if the leadership weakens.
Satire as it may seems, yet very effective; Orwell criticizes how the church slept through during the birth of communism. The church represented in the being of Moses, a tamed raven. He even went further into the narration that Moses was being bribed with a regular supply of barley brew by the dictators while he talk of Sugarcandy Mountain, where poor animals shall rest forever bountifully. So that, animals may dream of a better after-life; and abandon the attempt to have a better life while still living and able. What I hate most about this is the promise of a happy retirement which is but a ruse.
Taking the subtitle into account, you may read this story like any fable you’ve encountered before; or you may take Orwell’s words for it: “it is the history of a revolution that went wrong.” You see, for a mere fairy tale, it has great symbolic value. Orwell craftily illustrated that given a chance, human nature prevents us from living equal – taking advantage of those who are weaker. Simply put, Animal Farm describes how self–interest and the seat of power can turn a simple pig from a “comrade” into a very ruthless dictator. This is a warning to all humankind against absolute political power, and, of course from communism. (less)
How could he walk away with such prose? Like everything is a dream, yet entirely different. He made me see, hear and feel while plowing into the unknow...more
How could he walk away with such prose? Like everything is a dream, yet entirely different. He made me see, hear and feel while plowing into the unknown. Confusing unnerving... then again much, much better.
"Mind the gap", he once wrote to me. I did not (most fortunately) and was honored to be pulled into a most intriguing world he created. There is more to life. Yes, there is... and Neil Gaiman has put it writing.(less)
“That’s the beauty of creation and imagination. Remaining open to what comes. The more seasoned the artist, the more capable he is of responding in th...more“That’s the beauty of creation and imagination. Remaining open to what comes. The more seasoned the artist, the more capable he is of responding in the moment.” – Kyle Craig
Sniper shooting unceremoniously pulled Alex Cross from his wedding plans with Bree Stone. And if that wasn’t enough, Max Siegal, an annoying FBI agent is giving him the wrong rub; on which he doesn’t have the time to address. To cap all that, his great nemesis Kyle Craig is on the move, threatening Alex's family and currently fascinated with the serial killer at the park.
I’ve read a review describing this book as “supercharged, visceral and exciting”; and that is no lie. The promise of heart-pumping actions and perfectly executed deception was true to every word. I did not skip after listening to I, Alex Cross and immediately proceed to this.
I can’t believe how Patterson went over the top with this one, indulging the readers with 3 types of murder (and murderers) all in one plot. His signature short-triggered chapters made the suspense all the more something to crave for. As always, he was able to use word/s that can particularly nail a scene or a character spot-on. Making each vivid for the readers (or in my case, a listener). And the dynamic narration of both great actors, Andre Braugher as Alex Cross and Jay Sanders as Kyle Craig, made this perfect for me. (less)
The story started with a 14 year-old kid who was destined to protect all that is, was and ever will b...more
"This is the way it was meant to be." -Pendragon
The story started with a 14 year-old kid who was destined to protect all that is, was and ever will be. Bobby Pendragon, along with 9 more Travelers, has battled Saint Dane to overturn his twisted ideals for Halla. Time and again they were faced with different challenges and heart-retching difficulties.
On this last installment, the Travelers are reunited once more, but they are down to their last straw. The spirits that has been guiding Halla is depleting. They only have one chance, and one chance alone to defeat Saint Dane once and for all.
I have been following Bobby Pendragon all throughout Halla for years; and this time DJ MacHale has outdone himself. The Soldiers of Halla is a page after page of non-stop action from one territory after another. It stepped up to its promise; no gaps were spared. Every question was answered. It was a blast...
Anna is the witty 4-year old child who had a profound affinity with Mister God; and showed Fynn the truth and importance of God in our lives.
I discove...moreAnna is the witty 4-year old child who had a profound affinity with Mister God; and showed Fynn the truth and importance of God in our lives.
I discovered this book very recently. It's been around for four decades, and I just discovered it. A very inspiring, yet heart-wrenching read. I can't seem to add more than that, you simply just have to read it.(less)
This book is so brilliant! A boy raised by ghosts; has a vampire for a guardian; a werewolf for a tutor; and a burned witch for a friend. A new kind o...moreThis book is so brilliant! A boy raised by ghosts; has a vampire for a guardian; a werewolf for a tutor; and a burned witch for a friend. A new kind of Jungle Book.(less)
Eight months after the shocking turnabout on his love life, Viscount Devlin is back; sleuthing on the murders of 8 women in the Magdalene House of Ref...more Eight months after the shocking turnabout on his love life, Viscount Devlin is back; sleuthing on the murders of 8 women in the Magdalene House of Refuge as a request from the Ice Queen herself, Lady Hero Jarvis. Very unlikely partners, since Hero is the sole daughter of Sebastian’s enemy. Yet, between them both this mystery unfolded most fortuitously.
Hero was introduced earlier in the book with very little contributions, but her character is both intriguing and promising. I’m very glad on how the author stirred her character in this installation. Mostly, I enjoyed how she and Devlin parry words. The humor they evoked somehow made this historical mystery more complete.
Again, a well intrigued story stocked with edge-of-the seat actions and most promising outcome. (less)
Bodies of young aristocrats were being partially butchered and ceremoniously displayed in public’s view. Unable to make sense of this crimes, Westmins...moreBodies of young aristocrats were being partially butchered and ceremoniously displayed in public’s view. Unable to make sense of this crimes, Westminster Chief Magistrate, Sir Henry Lovejoy enlisted the help of Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin. Being an unconventional nobleman himself with a penchant for solving murders, Sebastian agreed and proceeded in discovering the murderer which made some London elites very uneasy.
Amidst all this, Sebastian’s personal life is in turmoil. He is vaguely aware of a hovering threat between Kat and himself. To top it all, he needs a valet that will not walk out on him despite his continuous sleuthing.
The story is set in Regency London; a fast-paced, complex mystery with plenty of action, deadly secrets and intrigues with subtle illustrations of historical background. The characters are very interesting and well-build. (less)
“...for a lifetime was but a moment in that place, and each man dreams his own heaven.
David was overcome by grief due to his mother's death; and jeal...more “...for a lifetime was but a moment in that place, and each man dreams his own heaven.
David was overcome by grief due to his mother's death; and jealousy to his father's new found family- Rose and Georgie. Sometimes, anguish and loneliness can poison even a child's heart. Then later, things got worse. He can hear the books whisper to him and seizures began to attack him, which baffled the doctors of its cause. But David is privy to a secret, The Crooked Man can bring back everything he had lost... for a bargain.
I love the poetic tone of the story. It pulled me in and kept me reading despite the sad things that happened along the way. The added twist in every fairy tale, we grew up with, was more interesting. Vaguely, it got me thinking "What's really important in life?". I adore John Connolly for this brilliant book! ” (less)
It took me two years after I read The Alienist to pick up its sequel. It was a challenge that prompted me to read this gargantuan. But it was the chal...moreIt took me two years after I read The Alienist to pick up its sequel. It was a challenge that prompted me to read this gargantuan. But it was the challenge that gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with some of my favorite characters.
Unlike The Alienist, which was told in Charles Schuyler Moore’s point of view; The Angel of Darkness was told by the former street urchin, Stevie Taggert, ward of renowned alienist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler. It was narrated in a lighter, fresher and a more witty tone. In spite the fact that this involves him more personally than the previous case.
“There's nothing truly natural or unnatural under the sun.”
What seemed to be a case of political child abduction turned out to be a serial killing. Carr did a very good job in giving this sequel the proper twist. Gradually, the story tackles the thought-provoking perceptions on mothers and women in general. Finding the criminal was only a third of the story, the rest was the challenge of putting the criminal into justice - a slow painful methodical procedure was essential every step of the way.
“The normal, ordinary woman is defined as nurturing and loving, docile and compliant. Any female who defies that categorization must be so completely evil that she’s got to be feared, feared even more than the average criminal—she’s got to be invested with the powers of the Devil himself.”
Yes, there are plenty of distressful historical materials, being a Carr book. The story was a process, but it was never boring. Plowing through was like reading a very long letter from a dear friend. Each detail wonderfully adds understanding to every character and builds the plot. I adore this lot, and to them I will have to add the Aeta El Niño, an aboriginal from my country. I salute Carr for writing the first decent character of a Filipino in fiction that I have read so far.
There are two amazing characteristics of this series that I love most since The Alienist. First was the application of forensic science in its infancy. It was fascinating to witness the Isaacson brothers during their practice. The second was the seamless integration of historical figures into the story. Here, Carr did not limit himself with Theodore Roosevelt; there were cameo roles by Clarence Darrow, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Cecilia Beaux. Everyone was nicely blended in, it was delicious.
In closing, let me simply say that this book was enjoyable. It might have taken me quite a time to read it, but I don’t regret it. I’ll be one of the many readers who’ll be hoping and waiting for the next book.