I finished this book a little while ago and thought now was a good time to talk a little bit about it. First off the book has a great cover, which is...moreI finished this book a little while ago and thought now was a good time to talk a little bit about it. First off the book has a great cover, which is nice for having it on the shelf. Secondly, I simply like the title. In addition to that the paper book actually feels really nice in your hand. I know people don't usually worry that sort of thing, but when you're like me and pretty much don't buy paper books anymore, it takes these types of things to get me into it.
Next the story doesn't rush itself. It simply tells the story. Who the reader meets make a lot of sense. The protagonist works in an office and you feel the nature of the office one hundred percent. The personalities there as well.
It takes the plot time to unravel. The unraveling of it is really the story. Dissonance is dark and foreboding, as if there is something wrong on the internally, rather than externally. It works like this. First its simple. Work, can't sleep. Oh you too. Then it's, we're screwed and what's behind this. After that it's, crap, how do we move on? Who can save us? Nobody? Well that will have to do.
Sorry if that paragraph makes no sense, but it's how I roll.
Story is well told and interesting. It is left open for a sequel. Really this felt like just the beginning of something on a much grander scale, seeing... Wait, that would be a spoiler.
One thing about Abarat. Nobody can say it’s not interesting. In this second of five installments, Candy Quackenbush travels the islands of the Abarat...moreOne thing about Abarat. Nobody can say it’s not interesting. In this second of five installments, Candy Quackenbush travels the islands of the Abarat trying to escape the super evil Christopher Carrion. Along the way she meet an assortment of wacky good guys in this young adult novel that very few young adults have read. Right there is where I’ll throw down on of my two negative comments on this book. I wish it weren’t geared for young adults. It fits young adult’s fine, I think. But at several points in the story I really wished, Candy, with her multi-colored eyes were maybe her mother, someone who had lived through much more. It would have had the perspective of someone who had wasted their life, rather than someone who, I don’t know, had maybe too many opinions at such a young age. I mean I could relate, but it’s just a thought I had. To expand on that idea, I certainly felt a little lack of sympathy for the characters here. There is plenty to work with, no doubt, but then maybe too much to work with. Carrion is a fine character, as is Mater Motley. These are individuals you truly believe might exist. It’s what Barker does well. But this time around they’re not quite accessible, and once again, I attribute it to the young adult audience. Could be wrong. Now let me say some positive. There are many moments that you want to read aloud, so others can be in the same place you’re in. Barker is a premiere world creator and he doesn’t let you down here. While reading, you know that Abarat is much more exciting than the other world in Chicken Town, Minnesota. You don’t even want to venture anywhere near the real world. At the same time, it is clear that Abarat is changing for the worse and it might be up to Candy to save it. Or is it destroy to make it better, depends on the character you listen to. Another plus for this one is the pace of the reading, and its readability. Man, you can blast through this. No question. But there is another side to this coin. In spots, Barker, instead of letting you thrive in a scene, will sum it up for you real quick. The narration is border line amazing sometimes but here and there I would rather have more exposition, details on certain scenes. It’s as if he treats some elements as if they’re not as important as others. Although a part of me thinks Barker simply wanted to keep it within 1,000 pages. I’m just making a general comment. This is a book that anyone can enjoy. I’m not sure if it draws you to read the third book, though I already have mine. (less)
Let me start this by saying I never read mysteries but I have read Sherlock Holmes. This my friends is a Sherlock Holmes novel, and Sir Arthur Conan D...moreLet me start this by saying I never read mysteries but I have read Sherlock Holmes. This my friends is a Sherlock Holmes novel, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was being channeled in this short story by Mr. Poling and his nifty authorship. Somehow the voice of Mycroft, Sherlock's brother, is simply legit. I never got the sense that I wasn't reading a Holmes story. Very impressive. To be frank, the language of the time was captured elequently, not that I know anything about the language at that time but since it didn't bug me to death it must have been done pretty well. From the opening page I knew that I would finish this story, and this comes at a time when I just have a hard time finishing stories for whatever reason. From what I can tell, hey, a lot of stories kind of suck. But not this one. Here, one more good thing about this short story: For some reason I thought Sherlock would take over this story...and he didn't. It's truly about Mycroft. I reasonably thought it would be about Holmes but told through Mycroft, kind of like us seeing Gatsby through the eyes of Nick. Glad it didn't turn out that way. fun stuff. With all that said, like I said, it's really not my genre to read. Time pieces are fine and dandy. Mysteries are cool too. But there is another element in here. Noir. Noir I have an issue with, and here's why. In noir, specifically when it's in this story form (in my opinion), the reader spends too much time in a character's head. It has nothing to do with the authorship, but everything to do with the genre. My comments also speak to my personal issue with first person narrative. I'm only detailing the reasons why this story did not get a five rating. Finally, I wish it were longer. But to tell y'all honestly, there was never a subplot developed to justify it being longer. I just liked the writing so much I could have read a lot more of it. Just sayin. If you want to check it out, stop by Amazon. Right now it's only about a buck. Totally worth the price.(less)
Okay, everyone take this review with a big fat grain of salt because this one, no, I didn't get done with it. It got me too upset. I purchased it at a...moreOkay, everyone take this review with a big fat grain of salt because this one, no, I didn't get done with it. It got me too upset. I purchased it at a book faire. I like the publishers--PM Press. I read some other stuff from them and it was good stuff and I thought I'd give this one a chance, based on the reviews of the author. Also the reviews for this one weren't bad. So why not?
The premise is pretty cool. What if John Brown's revolt had worked? Cool, right. How do you not want to at least pick it up and check out a few chapters? Also it's I believe 1959 and there's all this technology and the U.S.A. isn't the U.S.A. It's the U.S.S.A. I don't know, a bunch of cool stuff. And then you start reading it.
It's a deep narrative that gobbles you up from the get go. So a plus there. And then everything I don't want in a novel is quickly introduced. Like I said, this is not a bad novel; it just pissed me off. It's told through a few perspectives but I don't know why. It seemed like the only reason to change perspectives was to cheat on the storytelling.
The paragraphs were way too long and in turn meandered through thought processes that didn't lead anywhere. I had a hard time figuring out where they were in time and space. I couldn't tell what people were doing or why they were doing it, and to tell you all honestly, it seemed like a lot of telling instead of showing. It lacked drama and there weren't any hints that drama was coming up any time soon so I dropped it.
Honestly, I might not have given this one enough of a chance. I was on about page twenty something when I saw that there was a journal from someone and I was like, are you friggin kidding me. A stupid journal. Nothing against journals, which are a perfectly fine tool as far as storytelling, but I didn't see any story to tell, to detail.
Sorry, I know this seems egotistical and pretty lame to the author and the publisher but I've just made a personal decision to not watch bad movies, or read books that are way too easy to put down. And this was one of those books that was just begging me to put it down.
If perhaps you read Fire on the Mountain and were actually really impressed by it then I'll repeat that I think the book is perfectly fine its just not something that I liked very much. At the same time, man, why did you like it? Shoot me a note or something. I'm curious. Maybe I should pick this one up again.(less)
I recently learned that I tend to write in the horror genre. I don’t read horror so it really didn’t cross my mind. So I did some research on the subj...moreI recently learned that I tend to write in the horror genre. I don’t read horror so it really didn’t cross my mind. So I did some research on the subject and in my research I stumbled across Ania Ahlborn’s Seed. I thought it had a cool title—Seed, and you can just keep saying it, “Seed, Seed, Seed, Seed.” It’s always cool. And unlike other horror covers, it didn’t look cheesy, stupid, forced or anything else that might make you not pick it up. And, oh, yeah, it was .99 cents.
Here’s my thing with horror, or my preconceived notion of horror—I don’t like that it tries to scare you. Because I just don’t scare. And this book was no different. It didn’t scare me but it did something better—it got me involved in the characters and when it needed to be creepy it was a deep creepy that I had to think about.
There were a number of places where I paused and put myself in the room with the characters and understood the moment whole-heartedly. It’s simply a good piece of writing that doesn’t let up.
The story goes like this: Jack has parts of his past that he’s forgotten because of trauma or other forces. Either way he’s forgotten it and the story slowly bleeds this information out nicely. He truly starts to think about his past when the same type of events that happened to him begins to happen to his youngest daughter, Charlie.
The story stays away from an intricate arc and instead focuses on tone; mood, you know, stuff to creep you out. Real fun stuff.
Jack’s wife Aimee is great throughout. You just buy her, and believe her. Period. Outside of Jack being haunted he plays the male role in the house with his wife and two daughters well. Nothing special about him except that he probably murdered his parents, but who hasn’t almost done that a few times?
The younger daughter, Charlie, who reminded me of the little girl from Poltergeist, is great as the maybe possessed younger daughter, only sometimes she has shark teeth and a lot of attitude. The bummer is that she won’t hesitate to string you up to a tree by your intestines.
Anyway, the point is the story is worth reading. There aren’t any road blocks for the characters to get over, not really. There is a very clever illusion there is but it’s not there. The fact is that Jack is pretty much a good guy and can’t come to terms with life, or in this case his reality of a demon following him from childhood.
It’s not to say I would have made every decision. One thing I might have done different towards the end is make Aimee closer to Jack. Would have loved to see her and Jack team up and handle their business. The results wouldn’t have mattered and I don’t think it would have changed the story but it sure would have brought an extra sense of purpose. I read this on my kindle and it is well formatted and also not too long.
Buy this book. Read this book.
U.L. Harper was here.
Check out In Blackness by U.L. Harper wherever books are sold and for the nook and kindle and Kobo for $2.99
This is one of those that I had to drop. I got tired of Abraham Lincoln interrupting the story. The journal didn't add to the story. I'm not sure why...moreThis is one of those that I had to drop. I got tired of Abraham Lincoln interrupting the story. The journal didn't add to the story. I'm not sure why the story simply isn't told as a time piece through the perspective of Abe. I didn't hear enough of the people in the story with Abe. I was mostly told what they said and sometimes they spoke but it really seemed like the author was avoiding writing them. I didn't believe Abe's voice. I tried but I didn't buy it. And to be honest I'm not a vampire person. I need a creepy vampire. These weren't them. These were brutal but not scary like I like them.
Aside from that the story itself is surface level. There's so much going on that it never had to be surface level. My last complaint is that the history lessons in the story were weak sauce. Bad history lessons, skipping good detailing. Somehow this story was boring. Maybe I'll pick it up after my reading list is through. In other words, after Atlas Shrugged I might give this a shot.
I'm sure it's a great read for many people, because I can see it being fun. But I felt more insulted. So there's that.(less)
The Pink Room. Just by the title I knew there was going to be something odd about the whole thing. See, there’s this house. In that house an obsessive...moreThe Pink Room. Just by the title I knew there was going to be something odd about the whole thing. See, there’s this house. In that house an obsessively motivated scientist spent an abundance of time working on bringing his little girl back from the dead. To lure her back he needed to make the room just right, just like her room when she was alive. But that’s not the whole story. The truth is that a number of things had to go right for the scientist to achieve this accomplishment. So what would you do, how far would you go to be with your long lost love again? Would you put your career on the line? Would you suffer to see them again, even if they're dead? This is the story of The Pink Room by Mark Laflamme. Jonathan Caine is the writer hero in this creepy story. He is staying in the house of the deceased scientist while trying to understand the scientist’s madness, from a simpleton’s perspective. You know, so he can write about it. Once Caine experiences the terrors that come with the place, he also thinks of how much he understands them, in light of his suffering from the death of his wife. Now for what you need to understand. This book has many positives. Let’s start with the narrative. The tone is spot on, as it doesn’t need to get campy to crack a few jokes. A versatile craftsman is Laflamme for the most part. I had my questions in parts but nothing stopped me. Laflamme is not scared to draw his scenes out and not rush the action or speed anything into happening early. Let me explain. There aren’t many scenes that build tension for no reason and then end with the protagonist opening a closet door and there being nothing there. Not many of them, at least. A great job having purpose to every chapter, and while this might seem like a no brainer, it’s not. If you’re into characters then you won’t be disappointed here. The characters stick out and shine like you’d like them to, for most of the story. That’s for most of it. We’ll get to the other part of it in a minute. Because the characters are fleshed out adequately, there are moments of empathy when you really think about the consequences that must happen no matter what. You know damned well that you could be in his situation, and if not, you surely can understand. Kind of like how you probably have a loser friend who is somehow addicted to smoking weed. You know it could have been you. Don’t even lie. That's why you're their friend. You understand. Here’s the thing. Not sure about the ending, and in retrospect you have to wonder if there was ever a proper ending in mind. Everything cruises and then when it comes to wrapping it up, Laflamme kicks in a plot device that, while it is foreshadowed and it is interesting, scary and well executed, it stalls the characters at their last moment. With that said, the end is where everything comes to a head in this piece and I doubt you’ll be disappointed. But maybe it’s not quite as eloquent as the rest of the novel. Maybe not quite. I don't think so. Read to the end and comment in on the Caine's last words. Tell me what you think.
I know now that I have a habit of dropping books. I'm going to add this book to my bad habit. About forty pages in I decided there was no point to go...moreI know now that I have a habit of dropping books. I'm going to add this book to my bad habit. About forty pages in I decided there was no point to go on. Yep, forty pages. It doesn't even seem fair. I was willing to give the story a shot. No problem there. What I'm not going to give a shot is the writing style. Mr. Abraham's who apparently is usually very good, simply rambles his way through the character development. It's not crisp, not flowing, and it drags, yes, even at about page forty. Maybe his style makes sense later on in the story but I don't have the patience. There are great books to read and I plan on finding at least an okay one to read.
This book is about a fifteen year old traveling and avoiding zombies (slugs). I can't tell you if the end is worth it because I didn't make it that fa...moreThis book is about a fifteen year old traveling and avoiding zombies (slugs). I can't tell you if the end is worth it because I didn't make it that far. I have several complaints about this story. First off, I don't believe an illiterate fifteen year old is this introspective. Secondly, I fail to believe she isn't more emotionally damaged, after traveling for years avoiding zombies. Thirdly, this book really wants to be like The Road but it's a gross knock off. Gross. And it's not fun or even interesting. I don't know. I only got about 70 pages into and couldn't think of why to not move on to another book.
There are some good things about this novel. The author can seriously write. But the decisions made for this story weren't very good. (less)
The writing in this is great, but I'll tell you what--it doesn't go anywhere. I think someone said it best. This is what a person might write when the...moreThe writing in this is great, but I'll tell you what--it doesn't go anywhere. I think someone said it best. This is what a person might write when they get out of writing school. Once again, well written but to be quite honest, a bit boring. The idea of being able to see the light of people's pain can only take you so far. It's more of a short story idea, maybe even one to have you wanting more. Actually the scene where the girl just lit on fire was pretty cool. But right now I don't see a reason to finish it.(less)
This is a good read. Don't know if it's my thing, though. But everything is executed well. Timing is great, as well as the dialogue. Just not my thing...moreThis is a good read. Don't know if it's my thing, though. But everything is executed well. Timing is great, as well as the dialogue. Just not my thing, seeing it is about, women getting men.(less)
If you like Vonnegut these little ditties are worth a looksee. I purchased this copy on the kindle. I originally found it at one of those Borders stor...moreIf you like Vonnegut these little ditties are worth a looksee. I purchased this copy on the kindle. I originally found it at one of those Borders stores that was closing, but it was still too expensive, so I downloaded it. I mean, the guy is dead and they basically dug around somewhere and found work to publish that would only be published if he were dead. Why the hell would I pay $20.00, right? Like many others, I went into reading this book thinking that certainly this wasn’t going to be the best stories Vonnegut has put out. And they’re not. Without doubt these are entertaining, if not well thought out. With that being said, realistically, my only knock on them is that some of the endings simply aren’t there. After a few of them I wondered if he had any intention on an ending. On the other hand, a number of them ended so superbly and the build in action was so hilarious and introspective that I found myself laughing out loud or clapping, which you can do if you’re reading on a device. I will definitely say The Epizootic was a highlight as well as Jenny. These pieces were spliced in back-to-back and a great way to start. Money Talks offered the look at love and money and the anthology ends strong with The Humbugs. This one had me going, thinking I need to read more Vonnegut than I already have. Since I’m not one to read only one book at a time, I noticed that as far as entertainment value, this was still more entertaining than most junk on my shelf. Every story catches you by the first or second line. There’s no waste of time in any one story that I can think of. Regardless of length, these bad boys get right on down to the point. Although I got this book electronically, I would want it on my shelf with the rest of my rare finds that are worthy trophy status. (less)