First of all, I didn’t read any of the other books in the David Ash series. I came across this one in my local bookshop and I picked it up because theFirst of all, I didn’t read any of the other books in the David Ash series. I came across this one in my local bookshop and I picked it up because the synopsis intrigued me. A creepy, haunted castle. A parapsychologist with a disturbing past. A secret, elite organization harboring more secrets than the Illuminati. So far, it all sounded good. The only downside was the execution. I enjoyed the premise, but this book was so sloppily executed I had trouble getting to the end.
The plot is actually pretty simple and straightforward, which means there’s no excuse for why it takes 700+ pages to get to the end. David Ash is a seasoned ghost hunter asked to solve the gruesome mystery surrounding Cromraich Castle, a secluded fortress where one person has been brutally murdered by a ghost. Other, smaller events have happened in the castle as well and its inhabitants are terrified. Said inhabitants are a mix of wealthy people who did something wrong at one point in their lives, then vanished off the face of the earth and chose to spend their remaining days in the luxury of the castle. They’re protected by an organisation called “The Inner Court” who has roots dating back to the middle ages and blackmail material on every influential person including the royal family. Some of these people committed smaller crimes, whereas others commited full-on genocide. Not exactly the crowd I would like to mingle with, or would bother to save, but Ash doesn’t seem to mind all that much.
Parapsychologist David Ash is an intriguing and memorable main character. He struggles with a rather cliché drinking problem, and he’s lost many people he cares about. What makes him interesting was that, at the beginning of his career, he was very skeptical toward the existence of ghosts and supernatural phenomena. It was only when he saw for himself that he became a believer. I liked this aspect about him, as well as his sharp, analytical mind. Unfortunately, the rest of his personality fell flat. He’s described in such a dry, monotone way that he never came alive on the pages. He was never more than a figure in a book. Part of this is thanks to Delphine, his supposed love interest. Delphine is a psychologist and the moment Ash meets her, he falls for her. I can understand attraction, but true love at first sight? That’s so ridiculous I can’t believe a seasoned author wanted to pull that off. Also, Delphine has a problem with her lingering sexuality because at one point she spent a passionate night with her co-worker and head nurse of Cromraich castle, Rachel. She acts like she’s terribly ashamed for the act afterward, and that might very well be, but the way the author describes it comes across like A) women are only meant to be with men, and can’t have meaningful relationships with other women (mainly because during the sex scenes with Delphine and Ash, the author mentions how it finally felt right for Delphine and a whole lot of other crap like that, which makes it seem like same-sex couples are the spawn of Satan) and B) every lesbian is evil and jealous. It’s so ridiculous and offensive I couldn’t grasp why any editor would allow such crap to remain in a book.
Another problem is that the author constantly refers to the main character as “Ash”, which is his last name. It put such distance between the main character and the reader that it was almost impossible to cross the distance and get into the main character’s head. This could’ve been easily solved by calling him “David” instead. Also, David doesn’t act like an actual ghost hunter. He’s more busy probing his nose into the political mess going on at the castle than trying to solve the mystery. Talking about the mystery, it’s basically one huge joke. Nothing is ever truly solved. I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but there’s never given any actual reason for the murder at the start, and we just have to believe it happened completely randomly because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. We’re given a stupid, annoying, ignorant, offensive explanation half-way through of how it is that the dark forces only gathered in Cromraich after hundreds of years, and at that point I was ready to rip my hair out. But more about that later: let’s focus back on the characters first.
Delphine suffers from major Mary Sue syndrom. She’s perfect. Except that she’s useless and a waste of pages. She has no purpose in the book except to cling to Ash’s arm and cry for help, and make for some disgusting sex scenes I skipped through. I had serious problems with Ash falling for her right away, and vice versa, as well. That’s just not believable. Especially since this book is for adults, and I expect a thirty or forty something man (I have no idea how old Ash is) to know better than to fall for someone right away. Especially since he’s supposedly gone through all this crap with past lovers. Anyway, I was kind of hoping something big would be revealed and Delphine would be on the bad side all along, but alas. Such clever plot devices clearly weren’t thought of during the writing of this book.
The second problem was that the author suffered from “God-syndrome”. He wanted to look into the mind of all occupants of Cromraich Castle. He switches perspective from Ash to one of the inhabitants every so often. We get into the mind of people like Ubuntu and Khadaffi, and it doesn’t help the plot one bit. If anything, it slows it down. I don’t want to look into these people’s mind – it adds nothing to the story. I want to know what Ash is thinking and what he’s doing, because by the end I had the feeling he hadn’t been doing much to solve the mystery.
Also, the people in the castle are clearly retarded, and with that I’m not meaning the ‘lunatics’ held in custody in the subbasement of the castle, but the staff and leaders. Seriously? If you have people suffering from mental illnesses, you do not stuff them in a basement in inhumane circumstances, in tiny rooms with no sunlight, barely any food or accomodations. We’re 2013, and shit like that, THANKFULLY, doesn’t happen anymore. The people staying at Cromraich pay enormous amounts of money to stay there or have their loved ones stay there, so I doubt any single one of them would be happy to know they’re kept like rats in a cage and treated worse than animals. When I came to these passages, I wanted to burn the book. I’ve never come that close to burning a book either. And you’d think that, even if the people doing these terrible, terrible things were evil enough to do them, at least Ash or Delphine, near-perfect Delphine, would try to stop them. But no. The moment Ash finds his way into the subbasement, he gets attacked by almost feral ‘lunatics’ who somehow managed to escape their cells. It would’ve been better if the author, before writing this utter ridiculous piece of crap, would’ve bothered to visit a contemporary asylum and see the workings there. I can’t believe anyone, even someone as powerful as the Inner Court, would get away with threating their patients like that nowadays. And I think Ash, as opposed to being a brave ghost hunter, is in fact the world’s biggest coward for not trying to do something about it.
Next up is the supposed culprit of the haunting. I’m going to start giving out some spoilers, so don’t read on if you don’t want to know them. It wasn’t that surprising though. The culprit is actually Hitler’s daughter, born from an affair he had with an English woman. Turns out that not only was his offspring a girl, but she was also handicapped. She has an ‘enormous head’, which makes me think maybe she has Down’s syndrome. In any case, she’s been held in a small, confined room in the subbasement without any sunlight or company ever since she was born. And the staff is SURPRISED that she tries to attack them. During this entire book, she’s painted as the ‘bad guy’, and I wonder why. At some point she was raped and gave birth to a baby. Nobody even saw the baby, except when it was dead. I can’t imagine what that poor girl must’ve gone through. She probably had no idea what was going on, and she did try her best. But then the author comes and adds some more gruesome details, trying to paint her as the bad guy in all this. She was an innocent child, and the staff of Cromraich decided to experiment on her, lock her up in a room without a toilet or proper bed, and then somebody raped her. If anyone is the ‘bad guy’ in this, it’s not her. And I wished the author would stop trying to make her into that, simply because she’s Hitler’s daughter.
Then there’s ‘the boy’. Oh, well, that certainly wasn’t a big surprise to me. The boy has a curious condition. His skin is so translucent you can see his veins, organs and what not. This is because he was born ridiculously early. Also, he’s a hermophiliac, which instantly said ‘royal family’ to me. So he’s apparently Diana’s son, but they never told her he was born alive because of his condition. We’re to believe in all this that ‘the boy’ is the good guy, and hey, he is. He’s pretty good and decent, but his treatment is such a stark contrast as to how Hitler’s daughter is treated that it made me even more angry. Why should he get all the love and care? Because his mind functions properly and his only special condition has to do with his body? Everyone deserves to be treated with the same care, regardless of who their parent is.
As you can guess, by now I was ready to torch the book. The plot was all over the place and quite frankly, made no sense at all. The book isn’t about a ghost hunter solving a paranormal mystery, as I’d hoped. The paranormal takes on such a small spot in this book it might as well not have been there. Even the haunting is random. The castle is apparenlty cursed because some lord was murdered there five hundred or more years ago. It has had a history of bloodshed and horror, and now the ghosts of the past decided to cling on to Hitler’s daughter to make their return into the world of the living. A hired assassin for the Inner Court is facing an illness and decides to kill his employers before he dies himself. His apprentice assassin gets killed by large cats stalking the territory of the castle for no reason. These cats apparently don’t work in packs, but now they do, and it’s never really explained why. All this together, you’d think there was some common ground. There isn’t. It’s like the author threw three or four random storylines together, without bothering if they worked or not. In my opinion, the book could use an entire rewrite, and maybe even cut some storylines because they offered little to nothing to the story.
Oh, and the end was so freaking confusing. SPOILERS ahead, so don’t read on if you haven’t read it yet. But Cedric Twiggs, the assassin, makes the entire castle explode by carefully-placed bombs and then goes back to the cabin, but why the heck is the decaying corpse of his apprentice there and why the heck is he still alive (zombie-alive though)? This makes absolutely NO sense. None of the other dead people in the castle come back to life either. Why he? Ugh. That’s just one of the major plot holes in this book, and I’m long done counting.
Last but not least, the writing. It took over a hundred pages for Ash just to get to the castle. The pace was slow, the writing repetitive and dense. Some of the sentences were wonderfully crafted pieces of art, but not everything needs to be described, and you don’t need half as many adjectives or adverbs as the author used in this book. Seriously. This book could’ve been easily 100 to 200 pages shorter, and the pace would’ve been much more consistent if the writing wasn’t so overly flowery and descriptive. It slowed down the pace so much that at times it was imbearable to read.
On top of that, there was no real, no real storyline, and that resulted in no real tension. For a horror or thriller novel, one of the most important parts is the tension. When I picked up this book, I fully expected to shiver in fear while reading. Alas, nothing of the sort happened. This book wasn’t scary. It wasn’t even suspenseful. It was nothing but shallow characters, a hollow plot and run-on sentences filled with adverbs.
I don’t recommend Ash to anyone, unless everything you’ve read so far sounds like you’d like to read it. But if you’re looking for a ghost story, then there are tons of books out there that are a million times better than this one. This book lacks in every single aspect, and I couldn’t find any redeeming qualities. It was a waste of twenty bucks, and a struggle to get to the end....more
Vampire Knight is the manga that actually got me addicted to…manga. And anime. Not only is this a successful, still ongoing manga series in Japan andVampire Knight is the manga that actually got me addicted to…manga. And anime. Not only is this a successful, still ongoing manga series in Japan and the rest of the world, it also served as the base for an intriguing anime series existed of two seasons: Vampire Knight and Vampire Knight: Guilty. Each season has thirteen episodes of anime goodness. If you’re a fan of vampires you definitely shouldn’t miss out on this series. Even if you’ve never read manga before or if you’re not generally an anime fan, this story definitely has all the goodies vampire fans will swoon over.
The setting is Cross Academy boarding school, a school for both regular teenagers and vampire teenagers. The school is divided into two separate classes: the Day Class existing of regular teenagers who occasionally swoon over their vampire counterparts and the Night Class where said vampires reside. Like in any self-respecting vampire series, the vampires are all equally gorgeous, Kuran Kaname the most handsome one of them all. That’s because, as is revealed quite early in the story, he is actually a pureblood vampire, whereas the other students of Cross Academy are only nobles. Although this faintly reminded me of Harry Potter and the entire pureblood drama, it can’t really be compared. In the universe of Vampire Knight there are only a handful of purebloods left and since they’re supposed to be the rulers of the vampire world, this naturally causes a lot of trouble.
The story starts with a young girl who’s standing outside on a snowy night and who is suddenly attacked by a vicious vampire. Luckily enough, the evil vampire is stopped by…yet another vampire. This time a more gorgeous one, local pureblood vampire Kuran Kaname. He saves the little girl and brings her to Cross Academy. This little girl is actually a younger version of our current fifteen year old heroine, Yuki Cross, prefect and school guardian. It’s her job to keep the Day Class students as far away as possible from the Night Class students. This gets extremely hard around the time the Day and Night Classes switch, since all teenage girls keep on swooning over the vampires and would do everything humanly possible to touch them. It’s actually more serious than it sounds. But whereas none of those unfortunate girls even get the chance to come remotely close to any of the vampires present, we see Kaname asking Yuki if she’s alright after she is thrown on the ground by the over-enthusiastic teens. It’s revealed practically right away that Yuki has a huge crush on Kaname, since she blushes feverishly when he talks to her.
So now we got to know one part of this epic love triangle, in walks the second part of the love triangle, Kiriyu Zero. He is the other school prefect and the only other person apart from Yuki and the headmaster who know about the existence of vampires and their presence at Cross Academy. A flashback teaches us that Yuki was raised by the headmaster of Cross Academy after she was brought there by Kaname on the faithful night he saved her from the vicious vampire that tried to kill her. A couple of years later, Zero is brought to Cross Academy as well after he witnessed his entire family getting slaughtered by a vampire. Needless to say, Zero is not a big fan of vampires. On the contrary, he hates them.
As the basis is set for the most epic love triangle you will ever come across. Most love triangle immediately point out one of the potential love interests as their favorite, but Vampire Knight refrains from doing so, pointing out both Zero’s and Kaname’s strong points. Yuki Cross is obviously stuck in the middle, except that she’s clueless about most of the things going on around her. Even though she’s madly in love with Kaname she has not the faintest clue that he likes her as well. And although she occasionally stresses the fact how much Zero means to her, she doesn’t realize the depth of her own feelings let alone Zero’s feelings for her. This obvious lack of insight could make Yuki an annoying character who makes the reader want to bump their head on the keyboard, but this isn’t the case here. Her innocence actually has a disarming effect, making the reader – at least, this happened to me – like her instantly. It’s not that Yuki’s a complete moron, it’s that she has two troubles. Lack of self-confidence leads her to believe that Kaname couldn’t possibly care about her in the slightest, and the fact that Zero is a master at hiding his feelings causes her not to see past the facade her fellow prefect has put up.
The supportive cast of this novel is impressive as well. The vampires, although hard to distinguish at first – some of the male vampires look remarkably alike – each seem to have different personalities, some of them well-developed, others still enhanced in mystery. Of course, this is still the initial setting so I suspect to learn more about the supportive cast as well, even if only gradually. There were some additional scenes in this manga that made me want to jump up and down in excitement. For instance, there is a racy exchange between Yuki and Aido Hanabusa, Cross Academy’s resident bad boy vampire, that hints at an erotic subtext missing from the rest of this volume. The flashbacks to the night when Yuki and Zero met are haunting and touching. Yuki’s interactions with her best friend indicate that there is more to this supposedly innocent and blatantly kindhearted protagonist than what meets the eye. She can be stubborn and resolved as well, and she’s obviously not afraid to fight for what she loves.
As a side note, the volumes are broken into Nights, rather than chapters. Chapter One is conveniently called Night One. I thought it was definitely an original thought. Secondly, the artwork for Vampire Knight is simply amazing. I read in other reviews that some people don’t like the artwork, or that it takes some time to get used to, but from all mangas I’ve read after reading this one, I still have to say I liked Vampire Knight’s art the best. The glassy eyes of some characters give this book a supernatural and ethereal appearance whereas the occasional cute chibi form adds a hint of humor to a manga that doesn’t shy away from dark themes and angst.
Each of the main characters has an interesting back story that explains why they display certain personality traits. For instance, we understand quickly why Zero is hateful towards all vampires in general, and we instantly feel for him when one of his darkest secrets is revealed in chapter four. On the other hand, we learn that Kaname cares for Yuki, but we’re still in the dark as to why exactly. The secrets and mysteries pile up and suck you right into the story. The characters were complex and enthralling enough to keep me on the edge of my seat, thanking God and all saints in heaven that I bought more than one volume of this manga. If you like reading about vampires, don’t dare to pass out on Vampire Knight. Although the first volume serves mostly as a way to set the mood and introduce us to the characters, it already holds a fair share of suspense, reveals some devastating secrets and some surprising plot twists, and makes the reader yearn for more.
To The Stars is an intriguing mix of dystopian and science-fiction with some engaging, entertaining characters to boot. We start off with a scene from Zara’s perspective, the female protagonist, while she watches the moment Earth heard about the impending apocalypse, back in 2012. Only sixty years left, and then the earth will perish.
Now it’s almost sixty years later, and Zara finds herself on a planet that barely resembles Earth from half a century ago. When Earth needed a savior the most, a man stepped up to save them. He invented the Astrum Portas, ark ships that would supposedly save humanity.
The chapters switch between Zara’s perspective, and Noah’s perspective, Noah being the son of humanity’s savior. They come from totally different worlds, although ultimately they’re still stuck on the same world: the one that could perish any minute. As Noah and Zara grow closer together, and they discover secrets they could’ve never imagined, they realize they’ll have to fight to survive, and to bring a better future to human kind.
I liked Zara’s perspective the most of the two of them, because it was easiest to relate to her. She lives in a small one-bedroom house with her Mom, her grandmother having passed away recently, so she basically sleeps in the living room. As son of the High Chancellor, Noah is priviledged, but his Father demands a lot from him, too much even. He wants to craft Noah into a mirror image of himself. He struggles a lot with the responsibility and burdens he has to take on. Both characters are flawed in a good way, they certainly come across as realistic.
This book takes place right before the apocalyspe happens, so there’s a rush to it right from the start, that nagging feeling that soon enough, the proverbial bomb (in this case, armageddon) will explode. The clock is thicking right from the start, and until the very end. Highly suspenseful, and an engaging read. ...more
I thought the book would be focused mostly on love and romance, but Love Garage also focuses a lot of family – and love within a family. Antony Love is the oldest brother of five siblings. They’re family is as tight knit as they get, so that when their mother becomes ill, all siblings and their father are affected. When Antony’s youngest brother, Aiden, shows up at his garage, having dropped out of school again and in need of work, he offers him a job and place to stay. But the new arrangement has some side effects. Rosalee, a long-time friend of Antony’s, and a widow, enters the picture, and from the moment Aiden sees her, he falls for her, and then all bets are off.
I enjoyed the family quarrels and interactions the most. At the heart of the book, you’ve got a family just like any other. They argue, they fight, but they love each other to the core, and as a reader you can easily feel that warmth and love rolling off the pages. Aiden is an intriguing character too, though. He’s flawed, has his ups and downs, he struggles with finding out what he wants in life, and he grows so much as a person throughout this book. There’s plenty of romance too, even some sort of triangle although the focus was mostly on Aiden and Rosalee, and all of that makes this book a wirlwind to read, a fast-paced adventure.
This is my first read by this author, and I enjoyed it. The dynamics between the characters work great, and the plot had a few surprising twists too....more
Tara used to work for The Little Shop of Horrors, a Special Projects division of Homeland Security in the USA. She quit the job after an incident wherTara used to work for The Little Shop of Horrors, a Special Projects division of Homeland Security in the USA. She quit the job after an incident where she herself became the target of a psycho killer called The Gardener. A survivor of the attack, but badly scarred both outside and inside, Tara says goodbye to her job in an effort to lead a less dangerous life. Although there is a reason why Tara’s life can never be fully without danger: apart from being a former agent, she is also an oracle. A cartomancer to be more precise, a person who can predict the future by using tarot cards. Plus, then there’s also Harry Li. Her former love interest and agent of the Little Shop of Horrors himself, Harry must ask for Tara’s help in a case neither his office nor any other office knows what to do with. Former cold war spies, all linked to one project called Rogue Angel, have vanished off the face of the earth, leaving behind all their clothes, wallets and personal belongings. It’s almost like they just seized to exist. Following the trail of a possible serial killer or even a terrorist, Tara and Harry must do whatever it takes to capture the person responsible for the abductions. Even if that means taking a leap of faith, and trusting in the power of intuition.
I always have a lot more trouble writing a review for a novel I thoroughly enjoyed than for a novel I thought was mediocre. Rogue Oracle definitely belongs in the first category. This is fantasy the way it should be. Original, fast-paced, suspenseful and very surprising. First of all, the setting isn’t some fantasy world still stuck in the Middle Ages, or Earth fifty years from now when all demons roam free. No, the setting is the world as we all know it: with the economy crashing, terrorist attacks, radiation poisonings, nuclear bombs. Take all of that and throw in the one aspect that makes this novel so original: Oracles. Now I can safely say I’ve read my fair share of fantasy novels, but never before have I come across a novel that both focuses on Oracles, and uses the present time as a time frame. It was a refreshing change for once, one that was warmly welcomed after reading perhaps a bit too many fantasy novels focusing on vampires, demons and the likes.
Rogue Oracle doesn’t read like a fantasy novel though; it reads more like a thriller, a suspense story, and literally keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. I loved the character of Tara – her strong and stubborn personality, her intuition and the way she relies on it, and her nearly unconditional love for Harry and Cassie. She is the sort of heroine who keeps reappearing in your mind, even after you’re long done reading the novel. The kind of person you can’t help but admire, because she finds strength even in her own weaknesses. On the other hand, the villain of this novel, Galen, received a lot of my sympathy as well. Rather than an “official bad guy” whose only purpose is to inflict evil upon other people, Galen really is a tragic figure. Made what he is today by a series of traumatic events in his past, sabotaged by humanity itself, he is left all alone in the world. A monstrosity. A creature that shouldn’t mean to exist – yet human error caused him to exist anyway. The way the author reveals Galen’s background story, piece by piece, and makes him seem so fragile and so very human when doing so, made me not regard him as an actual villain, but more like a person who got a terrible fate thrown upon him, without his own consent or even knowing, and is now tortured so much by the faults of others than he has practically no choice but to be who he is – a person out for revenge, driven by the need for vengeance and retribution. One of the most memorable villains I’ve ever come across.
I loved how Alayna Williams included the drama at Chernobyl in this novel, and carefully crafted a story around that. I was born four years after Chernobyl, and I can say firsthand that we hardly pay any attention to what happened there anymore, although we should. In high school, we are taught about World War II and the terrible tragedy caused by people looking the other way rather than facing what’s right in front of them, and we are warned that humanity should never make that mistake again. Even though so, we stay ignorant for other devastating catastrophes caused by humans, like the tragedy of Chernobyl. I can safely say that, although not an uneducated person, I hardly know anything about what happened on that faithful day. No one ever mentions it anymore, and on the rare occasion that they do, it is simply overlooked. But Chernobyl, more than anything, is another prime example of human ignorance – we basically choose to ignore what happened there, even today. Not because we don’t know what happened, but simply because we focus on other things, and disregard the fact that something like that might happen again someday. Rogue Oracle pointed that out in so many different ways, that it actually was very touching. The novel focused on the tragedy that occurred there, and placed it in a spotlight it hasn’t been in for a very long time now. At some point during the novel, Tara goes to look at photographs taken after the tragedy, and that scene nearly made me cry. It’s important to realize that things that happened in the past – even if already 25 years ago – can still have effects on the world today. That message is beautifully woven in the story of Rogue Oracle.
The storyline itself is fast-paced, with some carefully crafted cliffhangers along the way, and it doesn’t lose it appeal once in those 300 and so pages. It was also a welcome change from the fantasy novels I’m used to read: the theme was original, as was the world-building. I thought the explanation of the Tarot Cards and their use in Rogue Oracle was very interesting; I’ve never been one for fortunetelling, but it does make an intriguing addition to the story.
Perhaps the only thing I wasn’t particularly fond of, was the character Cassie. I don’t know why exactly, but every time the story focused on her I just wanted to skip those pages and go right back to the “real” action with Tara and Harry. I just couldn’t relate that much to her, I guess.
If you’re tired of reading the same fantasy novels over and over again but in different format and with other titles, or you rather stake a vampire than read another love story with vamps in the lead role and you feel like declaring war on both hell and heaven so you could just kill every demon and angel alive, then Rogue Oracle really is the novel you are waiting for. A fast read, entertaining, original, and it doesn’t let you go until the end – and even then, you’ll have some trouble getting away from it. Even if you’re still a huge fan of vampire love stories and demons still hold a special place in your heart, you’ll enjoy Rogue Oracle nevertheless. Because it’s really everything fantasy should be like, but all too often isn’t.
Witch Finder wasn’t at all what I’d expected. From the description, I imagined magic battles, spell-wielding, evil sorcerers, and the likes. What I got instead was calmer, but nevertheless interesting.
Luke is a Witch Finder, which means he can spot witches right away – he sees their magic sparkling and cracking all around them. This gift may be the consequence of one fateful night, when his parents were murdered at the hands of a witch. Ever since, Luke has hated them, and he’ll do whatever he can to stop them, including joining a mysterious brotherhood intend on destroying all witches.
As his final task to be accepted into the brotherhood, he must slay a witch. The witch he picks, is Rosa Greenwood, whose family has strong connections to the Knyvets, one of the most powerful witch families. It’s a suicide mission, according to his uncle. But fate has chosen, and Luke must go.
But he never expected Rosa to be so kind-hearted, with so much love for everyone, he never expected her life in danger by anyone but himself. He thought he hated all witches, but he was wrong…
I liked Rosa. She had a charming personality, the kind of good-natured person who people can’t help but love. I wish she’d used her powers a bit more though, especially when she really needed them. It’s like she’s convinced she’s weak, while in reality she isn’t, but nothing that happens can change her mind about it. I loved how much she cared for animals, and other people.
Luke was a bit meh. He didn’t have a lot of personality, and in all honesty, Sebastian seemed more like the main character than Luke. Luke was passive, going through things without actually changing them, except every now and then. Yet I felt I didn’t really know him, besides that he wanted vengeance on all witches.
My favorite character was, hands down, Sebastian. But at the same time, he frustrated me. What was real about him, and what wasn’t? Did he really care for Rosa? If not, then why chase her, why try to persuade her? What are his eventual motives? He changed emotions in the blink of an eye, which was intriguing, but at the same time, needed a reason, when no real reason was given. Was he mad, like his father? Does he have an evil plan? I still don’t know, and I wanted to know. I like dark characters, and Sebastian had enough darkness to really intrigue me, but it seemed like he was a shadow of a person, and needed to be fleshed out more. There needed to be reasons behind his behavior, no matter how conflicting they were. I wanted to look into his head and find out, and I hope in the sequel we find out more about him and why he did the things he did.
The writing was great. The story jumped right into the action at the beginning, and while it was calmer at times, the pacing didn’t slow down.
A great read for fans of witches and young adult in particular. Very imaginative, with memorable characters and setting....more
I have a soft spot for broken, tortured souls. Even from the moment I first encountered Aleksender de Lefèvre and Sofia Rose in The Frost of Springtime, I knew they’d be the kind of characters that would tickle my soft spot – and they are. Sofia was my favorite of both of them – she was so innocent, so pure, I could not help but like her. Alek is a more troubled character, less black-white, a lot more grey. In a way, this makes him more intriguing. I also liked how he fought his feelings for Sofia, there was a constant struggle going on, and Alek tried to deny his feelings constantly, which made for an interesting dynamic.
I kind of felt sorry for Elizabeth though, Alek’s wife. He didn’t love her, since they were married in an arranged marriage, but he didn’t wish her ill either. He just fell in love with another woman. This makes Alek a more troublesome character to understand – sometimes he acted arrogant and selfish toward his wife. He idolized Sofia, made her into the kind of woman she could never truly be, a goddess, a woman that isn’t real. And by turning her into that, no other woman could ever compete. It makes for interesting character development though.
The setting was France at the time of the Franco-Prussian war. I loved the setting, and found it very intriguing, and well-described. I could picture myself back in the Paris Commune of 1871, alongside the characters. While some might find there’s slightly too much hisotrical information, I didn’t mind – I like books in which I can learn a thing or two, even in fiction.
The Frost of Springtime offers a heart-breaking romance story in an intriguing historical setting with dynamic, interesting main characters. Ideal for fans of historical romance....more
I love Heather Graham’s books – most of the time. However, “Waking the Dead” was a tad disappointing for me. It wasn’t nearly half as scary as her “Krewe of Hunters” books, and the narrative dragged on through the middle part. The plot is very intriguing though – a painting, Ghosts in the Mind, is blamed for a series of murders. The painting itself looks innocent at first, but once one looks closer, the figures on the painting all have toys to kill people in their hands, and aren’t as innocent as they look. The painting was missing for a long time, and now it’s turned up, and what follows in its wake, are gruesome murders our main characters, Danielle Cafferty, and Michael Quinn, have to solve.
The main characters have interesting personalities. They’re very different, yet they match well together. Danni is calm, relaxed, intuitive, in tune with her own spirituality. Quinn is more down-to-earth, a hardboiled private detective who is as at home at a crime scene as he is in his own home. The whole plotline involving the painting was detailed, and intriguing.
What bothered me the most about this book, is how much they beat around the bush before they actually did something. Who is the villain? How will we catch him? There’s a lot of bouncing from one possible solution to the next to solve the case, which was annoying. When I thought they were on the right track, turned out it was something completely different. Some times this may add to the level of suspense for a book, but here it just made the plot drag on, and made the book at least a hundred pages longer than it should’ve been.
I did request Heather’s next book for review, because in general, she’s a great author, and I love how she mixes romance, ghosts, the paranormal and mystery into compelling stories. She missed the ball somewhat on Waking the Dead, but I won’t hold that against her. The premise was good, the history of the painting was very intriguing, and this book could’ve been great had it not dragged on for so long....more
Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island is by far my favorite book by author Michael Phillip Cash so far. The story is less straightforward than “The Flip” and “The Hanging Tree”, two other scary stories by aforementioned author. Stillwell is about more than a ghost story. It’s about memories, about letting go, about suffering and pain, and about a love that transcendents time and death. The writing is a touch better than in the previous books I read by said author, and the characters are more developed. Especially main character Paul had a lot of different layers, and by the end, I felt like I really got to know him.
Stillwell is a haunted well near a gothic mansion. I liked how, for once, it was the well that was haunted, not the mansion itself. I enjoyed how the book left it in the middle whether Paul was imagining things, due to mental anguish over losing his wife, or if something paranormal was really happening. The reader was left in the dark about this for the largest part of the novel.
What could be better, was the horror. There is nothing truly scary about the mansion, and all the scares go by too fast. There’s little suspense or build up, and while the mansion seems atmospheric, that atmosphere isn’t portrayed in the writing. The pacing is fast, sometimes too fast to make the book scary.
I enjoyed the story though, and it was a pleasant read. For a true horror fan, it might focus slightly too much on the love story instead of the horror story, but I didn’t mind....more
Last Days is, hands down, one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. Considering I read about 50 horror novels a year, that’s definitely saying something. This book has it all, from scary ghosts to shadowy forms burnt into walls to ancient evil ressurrected by a frightening cult.
Kyle is a documentary film maker who has some cash issues. When he’s asked to make a documentary about a cult called “The Temple of the Last Days” that became famous in 1975 after a massacre leaded to the deaths of several members and their leader, Sister Katherine, he takes up the offer right away. Pay is great and the material sounds interesting, although the paranormal angle doesn’t entirely convince him.
He travels to one of the cult’s houses in London where he meets with a former member. But when Kyle and his friend Dan go back for some more shots at night in the house, they feel the presence of someone else, someone who shouldn’t be there. They struggle to get out of the house, chased by an entity they’re not sure is entirely human. However, in the light of day, they dismiss the occurence and go back to gather their materials, convinced it was just a homeless guy or something. But their next journey takes them to the cult’s farmhouse in France, an abandoned lot in the middle of nowhere, and what they find there makes them chance their opinion right away. Something paranormal is going on with the cult. On that faithful night in 1975, they summoned something dark and vile, something that’s been threatening all cult members ever since…
Kyle was an interesting main character, but he wasn’t the main drive. This book was primarily plot-driven, and characters weren’t that important. However, I liked Kyle. He was intelligent enough to recognize evil when it stood in front of him, yet he wasn’t paranoid enough to immediately jump to conclusions either. I thought he was rather brave, especially in the scenes in the farmhouse, which were my favorites. However, he too becomes more and more paranoid as the story progresses and went through a great deal of character development, realizing there are worse things than having to scramble for cash.
The ending was a bit of a let-down however. It was so random and over the top, I would’ve preferred a smaller, less overwhelming ending. However, even with that taken into account, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It was downright scary and even made me glance behind my back every once in a while. An excellent read for horror fans....more
he Hanging Tree had decent enough prose, but the story itself was too familiar for me, it lacked originality. A couple of teenagers find themselves beneath a haunted tree, and are being watched by the specters occupying The Hanging Tree. While the teens face difficult decisions, the ghosts talk about their own lives and perils, and the reader finds out more about the origins of the tree, and the specters.
The ghost’s stories were a tad predictable, but at least they were more original than the overall premise. The old woman was my favorite ghost. She had an intriguing story to tell, and she had a fiesty personality. I enjoyed finding out more about the tree, and only figured out why the tree was cursed toward the end, although the reason was not very surprising.
The writing was okay, and the story was decent enough. I would’ve liked to see more original elements, but all in all it was an enjoyable read. Not scary though, so don’t go in expecting a chilling horror story. It does involve ghosts, but it’s rather tame....more
The Pendle Curse is one of the best witch stories I’ve ever read. The book reaches back to the original notion of witches, brewing up potions, grabbing herbs and giving others the evil eye. Unlike modern stories of witchcraft, it stays true to some elements of the older witch-related mythology, and by doing so, it instantly gained a few stars for me. Forget about witches like the ones in Charmed or The Witches of East End – here we have the real deal, from old crones to younger, but equally relentless witches, the ones you come across in medieval stories, the ones you can genuinely fear.
Laura Philips’ husband died suddenly, and the loss has her devastated. She’s depressed, barely gets any sleep, and if she does, her sleep is haunted by nightmares of a dark hill, gallows, and a man who seems to know her. When the nightmares grow more vivid, Laura starts digging around and finds out the hill from her dreams is real – it’s called Pendle Hill, and it’s a tourist attraction. Four centuries ago, ten convinced witches were hanged on the Hill, since called Pendle Hill.
Driven by curiosity, Laura goes to visit the quaint, small town near Pendle Hill. She books a room in a local inn, and goes out to investigate. But what she finds in Pendle Hill is bigger than she could’ve ever imagined. Combining a storyline of four centuries ago, and a present storyline involving Laura, the book switches back and forth between past and present to craft a haunting, intriguing story about a witch’s curse that spans centuries.
Although I enjoyed both storylines, the past one was my favorite because it focused on the witches and stayed most loyal to witch lore. The writing was excellent, the characters vibrant and entertaining, and overall, this was one of the best witch stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading....more
In Liminal Lights, Magic is real, and that’s something Nadia will find out soon enough. It grows in children and matures in them, until it’s captured by Liminal beings, who harvest and manipulate the magic into talents and skills inherent in humans. Whatever is left, they keep for themselves, in an effort to sustain their own life forces. But with the human race evolving and magic growing more and more scarce, Liminals like Bean, Pritt and Tissa have to come up with a new way to harvest magic and survive. Nadia’s dormant power is the last hope for the Liminals. Unfortunately, the shadow forces are out to get her powers as well.
Nadia is an interesting character, and Bean, Pritt and Tissa make for intriguing protagonists as well. I liked how the Liminals were like faeries, but different. My favorite character was Bean. She’s quirky but intelligent, and she’s also very determined.
The writing was good, and the story is suitable for middle graders and young adults alike. A solid plot, good characters, all in all, very enjoyable....more
Stillwater is a great ghost story – not too scary, but it definitely provides a good paranormal mystery, and it did give me some chills. The story is reminiscent of classic ghost stories, yet original enough to be entertaining.
Beth, the main character, used to have it all. She had a successful career as a bestselling author, for one. Now she’s bound to a wheelchair, she hasn’t been able to write a new book in ages and her entire life is turned upside down. When we first meet her, she arrives at her new home, a rental for which she only rents the downstairs floor. The house has been altered to fit for her, but still it’s a struggle to get used to not being able to walk again. Yet as she settles in, she finds a routine, and starts writing again.
But as time moves on, Beth learns she’s sharing her house with ghosts. It starts out subtle, but grows increasingly threatening. The locals tell her a story about a girl who once lived at her house – Stillwater – and drowned in the lake. It seems the girl’s spirit still haunts the house, and has a message she desperately wants to tell Beth. Curious by nature, Beth sets out to solve the mystery of Stillwater, and to find out what really happend all those years ago.
The atmosphere is haunting from the start, and tension increases with every page. While not particularly scary, it definitely had it’s spooky moments, and ultimately, the book tells a strong, entertaining story. Beth is an amazing heroine. She has tremendous strength, and never backs down from a challenge. She’s very likeable, and I loved getting to know her better.
This is an atmospheric, creepy story and ideal for fans of ghost stories....more
In Relic of Death, after their car breaks down, two hit men find refuge in an abandoned house nearby. They search the place, stumbling upon a briefcase that holds priceless diamonds. While they think they got the hit of their lifetime, the suitcase holds a secret much darker and much more sinister. The briefcase brings death and despair to everyone who touches it, promising them the one thing deeply desire, but killing them when they try to achieve it.
The briefcase travels from owner to owner, but all stories flow from one scene into the next, and they make for an intriguing story. The writing was great too, and highly atmospheric. The story moves fast, and the pacing never flows down.
I didn’t find it that scary though, and I had hoped it would be slightly scarier. It’s an intriguing read though, and the characters were well-developed even if they got little screen time. A solid read for fans of supernatural horror....more
Despite having the feeling I was thrown in the middle of a sequel instead of the first book in a series, I found myself enjoying Blood Relations more than I thought I would. Main character Alex Winters can control fire. At least, he can control it half of the time. He took over the Russian district, and tries to survive in the middle of gangsters, prostitutes, and heck, even vampires. When we meet Alex at the start of this book, he’s already the leader of the district, but he has trouble keeping control of the different pawns in the game. When he runs into a vampire gang, things start to get serious.
Alex is a complex character. He’s an anti-hero. He was abused during his childhood, as are most of the main characters in this book. But despite all this, he put out his neck to save a bunch of children who went through the same things he did. Even though he’s barely sixteen, he acts at least ten years older, probably due to what he went through as a kid. I loved how Alex looks out for the others, even though obviously being very damaged himself.
But when the vampires turn against Mr. Lupino, one of Alex’s associates, and a man who he respects and likes, and they threaten the kids he swore to protect, Alex is willing to do whatever it takes to win this fight, without anyone else getting hurt.
The writing was great, and the characterization, especially of Alex, was spot on. It’s been a long time since I encountered a character who I liked so much. The plot could be a bit more complex, but apart from that, I loved this....more
The Orphan Choir is a strange book. More than half of the book is exposition, setting up for this grand and mysterious supernatural event to happen in the last fifty-or-so pages. This isn’t particularly bad – I like horror stories with a good build up – but the problem here is that the climax is so anticlimatic it feels like the build up is going nowhere. There are so many inconsistencies in this book and so many moments where I was going ‘what the hell is going on’ that I’m surprised the author already has several books under her belt. It reads like a debut novel, in that plot-wise it’s still clumsy, and there are so many plot holdes I’m shocked an editor didn’t catch them.
Louise has felt depressed ever since her seven-year-old kid has been sent away to boarding school, where he sings in a professional choir. Her relationship with her husband is less than amazing, and she misses her little boy. She starts hearing strange noises in her own home, but initially blames it on the neighbor, who likes to blast his music all through the night. When the music that starts playing is a children’s choir, she thinks it’s just another way of the neighbor to torment her. She calls in the police, and a female cop shows up who acts a little strange but otherwise promises Louise to help her fix her problem. When Louise’s husband in another act of egocentrism decides it’s time to sand their house, blocking out all light for weeks, Louise starts feeling like a trapped animal.
She finds a gated community selling houses, and convinces her husband to buy a second home there, where they can take Joseph during his holiday. It baffled me that one moment Louise is worrying about spending money and the other moment they buy a second home, while renovating their current home. It makes no sense to me, but I was willing to forgive that if the book wasn’t riddled with other errors of the same sort. At the community, everything is fine for a while, and Louise begins to suspect hearing the eerie choir sing was due to stress and losing her son to the boarding school rather than the noisy neighbor. That is, until the noise resurfaces when she hears her son will be forced to go back to boarding school early. While her husband Stuart tries to calm her down, Louise begins to seriously freak out and has a ghostly encounter that’ll change her forever.
The problem is that the ghosts make no appearance until at the end, which makes this book read more like a psychological thriller rather than a ghost story. I’m not saying the author should’ve gone into full-out ghost mode straightaway, but the tension builds up for too long and results in too little. The encounter at the end is hardly spectacular or scary. Louise is an underdeveloped character who has no backbone to speak of, and only has two emotions: fear and anxiety. She constantly worries about what others think of her, and never develops throughout the book. Joseph and Stuart are more like cardboard figures than people. Stuart’s sole personality trait is to annoy Louise constantly, making me wonder why they ever married in the first place.
Then there’s this scene at the end coming out of nowhere that made me want to throw the book in the garbage bin. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll be vague here. Something happens, out of nowhere, without any hints whatsoever, and it’s messed up and strange and makes absolutely no sense. It’s a Deus Ex Machina moment more obvious than I’ve ever seen before.
When Louise has her encounter with the spirits, it’s not even remotely scary, which was another letdown. I would’ve at least hoped, since this book was classified as horror, that it would be scary. Instead, it’s a melancholic, sad, depressing moment.
The pacing is slow, but I could live with that. The writing is pretty bland, but somehow it works. Even Louise’s less-than-interesting personality works. What doesn’t work are the clichés piled upon clichés, the storylines going nowhere, the absolute lack of tension and the unnecessary plot twists to over-complicate the book. I for one, am not impressed. If you’re a fan of ghost stories, you can give The Orphan Choir a shot, but there are a lot of other, far better, ghost novels out there....more
What else can be said about The Screaming Staircase besides that it’s one of the most impressive books I’ve read in my entire life? Jonathan Stroud gives us originality – a fresh concept, a dystopian world haunted by spirits, which can be best seen by children, and which are deadly when they touch you. With ghosts out in the open, Londoners stay inside their homes as soon as night falls, trying to escape the specters lurking down the streets. But even their homes often get plagued by ghosts. Murder victims stay behind to haunt the living. Suicides keep on committing the same act night after night.
Lucy Carlyle is a talented young agent who arrives in London hoping for a good career. But instead, she joins the smallest agency in the city, where there are no adults to supervise, and the charismatic Anthony Lockwood, owner of the agency, tends to do things his way. This could go great, or horribly wrong. And like you guessed, it goes horribly wrong.
After setting a house on fire during a job that should’ve been relatively easy, Lockwood & Co. is on the verge of bankruptcy. But when a wealthy man shows up on their door with a proposition, they can’t say no, even if that proposition sounds a little crazy.
I’ve seen this book qualified as middle grade; in my opinion, it’s definitely NOT middle grade. It’s suitable for a young adult audience and older. As an adult, I loved it, because it’s brilliant. It’s original, refreshing, the concept is great, the plot is surprising. A young adult would love it – and the main characters are young adults as well. But for middle graders? First of all, it’s a wopping 404 pages. Secondly, the subject matter is scary, complicated, and not at all suited for middle graders. Even the writing doesn’t find that target age group. So I’d firmly recommend this one to young adults and older audiences, but not to middle graders.
You know by now that I have trouble reviewing books I loved, and I absolutely loved The Screaming Staircase. I can’t stress that enough. Everything about this book was brilliant, from the writing which jumped from fun, light humor to dark, gritty atmospheric the next, to the characters, to the amazing plot.
If you buy one, and only one book, this year – then buy The Screaming Staircase....more
Are you sick and tired of zombies? I’m willing to bet you won’t be for long. Braineater Jones is one of the most original, at times hilarious, at times depressing, books I’ve read in a long while. It featured zombies in a way you’ve never seen before.
A man wakes up face down in a pool. He has drowned, but somehow he’s still alive. Unaware of his name, who he is, or what transpired, he searched the house he’s in from top to bottom, coming face to face with a bunch of thieves. Once he makes his way outside to the bad part of town, he figures he’s not the only one of the living dead. With his brain swiftly deteriorating, he needs booze to stay alive, and to stay sane. If he doesn’t get any soon, he’ll turn into one of those insane freaks eating up other people, which he doesn’t want at all. He starts calling himself Braineater Jones, and tries to adapt to his new reality. Soon enough, he opens up some sort of private investigation service for the recently-deceased-but-still-alive and helps solve cases. All the while though, the mystery of his own death haunts him, as well as the reason for why he’s still undead.
The book is original, refreshing, and has so many things I didn’t see coming that it’s impossible to figure out where to start. Nobody can be trusted in the world of the undead, one apparently only needs one’s head to be alive, and friends are found in the most unlikely of places. Jones is an intriguing character. He doesn’t fall within a simple category. He’s neither good nor bad. Sometimes he’s a little heavy-handed toward his other clients, then he develops a soft spot for someone else, while the reader never sees it coming.
At times, the book is gross, and shows us the darker side of human nature, and of being undead. It’s set in the 1930s, and has a matching noir style and dark humor. If you’re not fond of that style, I wouldn’t recommend that book, but if you like that style or feel neutral about it, then I highly recommend this book. It’s unique, the story is strong, the plot is complicated, the characters are complex and entertaining. It’s not the kind of book where you’ll laugh out loud at times, but the kind of book that’ll make you grin several times during reading. An extraordinary read, and not just for people who love zombies....more
I love Italy, and I’m dying to go on a holiday, so of course I had to read An American Girl in Italy.
Aubrie Dionne has a great writing style, and the ability to capture a character’s essence in a few short paragraphs. Carly Davis, the main character, is in love with her career. She’s an ambitious musician playing for the Easthampton Civic Symphony. Music is her life. She lives and breathes music. Which means that unlike any other sane human being, she doesn’t want to go to Italy. Even though she’s sightseeing some of the most amazing places on earth, she can’t bring herself to enjoy it.
That is, until tour guide Michelangelo shows up. With a name like Michelangelo, this guy has to be a romantic for sure. He’s dark, charismatic, mysterious, and he and Carly have almost-instant chemistry. His personality is very different from Carly’s, but at the same time, they form an interesting match.
I also liked the secondary characters, especially the Italian locals, and the members of Carly’s symphony. Sometimes it was hard to keep them apart, but it was entertaining to see them from Carly’s point of view. Carly was my favorite character, because I could relate to her – not to the point that I’d miss out on a trip through Italy, but I understood why she did certain things, and why she let ambition get the best of her most of the time.
With great writing and an intriguing set of characters, and vivid descriptions of the settings, Aubrie Dionne has written an entertaining contemporary romance, ideal for the summer holidays, and a recommended read to anyone who wants to escape ordinary life for a while, and picture themselves strolling through Italy....more
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death is a sequel to “The Woman in Black”. The main problem? It’s not written by the same author, and you notice it almost right away. While “The Woman in Black” had a great narrative, was quite original back in the day, and offered characters that weren’t more than cardboard figures, here we get quite the opposite.
The characters are bland, boring, and very stereotypical. There’s nothing new, fresh or original. We have the disturbed protagonist, haunted by a secret in their past, who somehow becomes the target of the haunting. A young, traumatized boy, becomes the pawn of evil. A woman driven mad by despair. A soldier haunted by his past. Everyone has secrets, no one is safe, but everyone is a stereotype. Even the growing love between Eve and the soldier she meets on the train to Eel Marsh House, is a love riddled with stereotypes.
The writing wasn’t nearly as impressive as in “The Woman in Black”. There was no grain of suspense. The story itself was predictable. The villain – the ghost haunting Eel Marsh House – is a bleak impression of what she was in the original. Here we get a ghost that can be reasoned with, a ghost who defies all logic of ghosts (aren’t they bound by any rules anymore? Apparently not.). We even get scenes from the point of view of the ghost, which makes her a lot less scary than in the original.
I’m not a fan. The book wasn’t bad, but it pales in comparison to its original....more
I must admit that I already read a lot of positive reviews about this novel before I actually started reading it. Now I’m not usually one to agree with the majority – I like being a rebel – but for this novel, I can’t help but agree. Atleast up till some point. I really liked this novel, and it pulled me in with an uncomperable force. However, there are some minor flaws I would like to discuss too.
Luce – short for Lucette – is living with her uncle ever since her father dissapeared while working on a ship at sea. Neither the ship, nor her father ever returned. Convinced her father is still alive, Luce tries desperately to hang on until his return, but that isn’t exactly easy. Her uncle is a brutal man who spends more time drunk than sober, and cannot live with the fact Luce’s mother fell for his own brother rather than for him. When his behavior escalates one night, Luce finds herself utterly and completely abandoned. Before she realises it, she is changing – changing into a mermaid. She jumps off a cliff, right into the ocean, and starts singing to a ship. Unaware of the fact her voice is the reason the ship is going straight to Davy Jones’ locker, Luce barely makes it out alive. She gets rescued by another mermaid, who happens to be the queen of the tribe that came to Luce’s aid. Now she must start a new alive, with her new mermaid friends. Although she feels at home for the first time in many, many years; her remarkable singing talent and the arrival of other new mermaids, might ruin her chances of ever truely finding a home.
I cannot help but praise the descrpitive, detailed writing style of Sarah Porter. Her descriptions are vivid, and pull you right into the story. It was easy for me as a reader to imagine the underwater surroundings, the mermaids’ cave, and everything else mentioned in the book. I was also very fond of the first two or three chapters – the one Luce spent while still being human. Then, the annoyance began.
First of all, I was annoyed by Luce. She seemed perfectly fine, an understandable and likable character while she was still human; but as soon as she went into mermaid-phase, I couldn’t grasp her anymore. She had these crazy mood shifts I couldn’t relate to, and I started liking her less and less. This became better once Anais came into the picture though, from that point on, I started liking Luce again. Maybe this had to do with Anais’ anything-but-likable personality and the way Luce was portrayed directly opposite of the wicked mermaid; I wouldn’t really know. I like to know what’s going through the protagonist’s mind, and I like to understand why they think a certain way. With Luce, I had trouble understanding her way of thinking. She was weak-willed and silent at first, like I expected from an often abused girl, but I had high hopes she would turn into an independent, strong-willed protagonist with actual leadership-qualities. No such luck.
So, what else annoyed me endlessly? All of the useless events. So why exactly did Luce meet Tessa? Why are we introduced to Gum, when he doesn’t appear in the rest of the story? What about the Larvae, ever thought about doing something about those? At the start I had the feeling that Luce would be the change this mermaid tribe needed so much – that she would somehow be able to make them more humane in their actions, and maybe protecting the larvae would be her first step towards that. However, Luce only tries to save the Larvae once, then decides she did enough for the little baby-mermaids who I couldn’t help but feel sorry for, and focuses more on life within the tribe. I can’t grasp how girls who have been put through so much injustice throughout their human life, could simply disregard other, smaller children with the same kind of injustice. It didn’t make sense to me, and in fact, it enangered me.
While I was constantly cheering for Luce to get up and finally do something, she stayed a passive player throughout the whole story, focused more on her own acception without her new family than on the faith of others. She is so focused on having Catarine as her friends, whereas she does not see other, more plausible and accepting friendsihps, for example with Miriam. Don’t get me wrong, I think Catarine was probably my favorite character throughout the story – I was dying to know more about her past- and I wanted her and Luce to be friends, but it became clear quite soon that all Catarine does is take, without giving anything back. A friendship with this kind of people isn’t healthy, and I was hoping for Luce to realise that along the way. Or atleast to stop relating her own self-worth with Catarine’s acceptance of her. I wanted Luce to grow as a character, but she did little of that kind.
Practically all the mermaids’ personalities annoyed me. Except for Catarine – which may sound strange, and I’ve read reviewers thinking she was the most annoying character of them all – but I could actually relate to her in a way I couldn’t relate to the others. I hated Samantha, and somewhere along the way I wanted her to get killed by a bunch of orcas. At first, I thought I could like Dana and Rachel, but then they ended up being the same shallow, spineless creatures as the rest of them. Anais was probably the worst, but to be honest, that tribe didn’t need a lot to change from a bunch of somewhat tolerable people into the most annoying, terrible and greedy creatures that ever walked this earth.
What also annoyed me beyond belief, was the way the mermaids’ personalities all seemed to blend together. None of them really had an outspoken, different personality. Except maybe Miriam. But she hardly gets enough recognition throughout the novel. I also had high hopes of one of the orphan girls to have leadership potential, especially considering the way Jenna and Dana acted while they were still human. Again, dissapointment. As soon as they turned into mermaids, they lost every single personality trait that made them unique and outstanding.
There were many useless events in Lost Voices. Personally I thought that the arrival of the 14 new orphan girls could have easily been let out too – what did those girls really bring to the story? Just more annoying mermaids, more of the same, flat, dull personalities. Perhaps it would have been better had the author focused on the original tribe, and developed the personalities of those mermaids some more, rather than keep introducing new but pointless and generic characters. These useless events also confused me quite a lot. For instance, when the perspective changed from Luce to the orphan girls, I was terribly confused and had to reread the first pages of the chapter several time to actually understand what was going on. Sometimes it felt like the story had no real way to go, as if it was just a bunch of chapters drawn together without any real purpose.
I know I sound a bit tough for this book, but I do have to admit that despite all of that, I did enjoy reading Lost Voices. The cliffhanger at the end, made me curious and I’m definately going to read the next novel. Considering it’s a debut novel, I think Sarah Porter did a pretty good job, however I’m hoping for more character-development, more different personalities and an actual solid plot in the second novel in the series. Plus, I would love the reappareance of old characters like Gum, Luce’s dad, and maybe Tessa. And no matter how many things I point out that may be wrong with the plot and characters; truth is that I did read this one in two reading sessions, unable to step away from my computer until I finished reading it. So there must be something about Lost Voices that kept me fascinated....more
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I started reading By My Choice, I was immediately impressed by the level of detail, and the quality of writing – two things you don’t often find in novellas. Jennifer, our main character, has spent her whole life in a court of vampires, mostly keeping count of the finances. But she barely resembles the girl her best friend met the first time he saw her. She barely smiles, she looks exhausted, something is definitely wrong with her. Seeing no other choice to save her, he sends her away to another vampire count.
Jennifer has no idea what’s going on, and so she feels furious at her best friend’s betrayal. But in her new home, Paris, she finds out that her life is in danger, and if she doesn’t let go of her own self-control and submit herself to her new vampire master, she’ll perish. But can Jennifer give up her own will and choice?
I’m not entirely fond of the whole “not having a choice” thing, but it actually fit the theme, mood, and setting of the story. I loved the erotic scenes toward the end, but I enjoyed the set up at the start just as much. The readers finds themselves emerged in a dark, unsettling paranormal world where vampires are the supreme masters, ruling over humans and other creatures alike. Jennifer is an interesting main character. At first, one is left wondering what’s going on with her, and when it was explained, I was impressed by how original the explenation was.
Add a solid plot, quality writing and a vast supernatural world in the mix, and you’ll understand why I enjoyed this book. I hope more books are in the works. Hopefully a novel next time. Meanwhile, if you like paranormal romance and don’t mind a few erotic scenes, pick up this book....more
I’m usually not very fond of books where there’s some sort of “chosen one” who has special powers and can defeat the evil lurking in the shadows of the world/realm/planet/whatever. Reece, the main character in The Legacy of the Key, is the key to a map which leads to a powerful artifact, which instantly makes her a special little cupcake. However, I wasn’t too bothered with that this time around. Reece is a great heroine, a nice mix of courage and intelligence. She’s not overpowered – which is the usual problem with “chosen ones” but instead has to rely on those around her to help her out when needed.
The world building is nothing short of spectacular. I really enjoyed S.L. Morgan’s inventions like the Council of Worlds – does that sound awesome or what? – the alternate dimension Pemdas, the aliens, etcetera. This book is an eclectic mix of science-fiction and fantasy, and it makes a nice blend.
Levi was a great love interest. I loved him from the first moment he came into the picture, and he makes a great match for Reece. Their personalities really match with each other. More often that not, male love interests in young adult literature tend to be controlling or bossy (read ‘bad boy persona’) but Levi doesn’t suffer from that at all. He can be pretty stubborn, but it fits his heritage (he’s from nobility) and his personality.
This book was a great read, and an excellent debut. I can’t wait for S.L. Morgan’s next novel....more
The Longest Distance is an eclectic mix of genres – it’s a spiritual guide, a literary work, a mystery, an adventure, a love story, and a self-help book all in one. Main character Jeremy Braddock is the kind of person I could instantly connect with. We meet him at crossroads in his life. After coming face to face with tragedy, he goes off to search the answers to a series of questions about life, truth, love, and more. This is the start of an adventure spanning all around the globe, the journey of a lifetime.
The story was intriguing, but the real message the book wanted to portray was the most interesting part about the book for me. The writing is descriptive, lyrical, and the story flows well, mostly thanks to the writing. While the main character goes on a real journey, it’s his spiritual journey that offers the most, and that we learn from the most.
I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this book, since it falls outside my usual reading niche, but I did. The story never slows down, the writing is solid, and overall, it’s just a good book. Recommended to anyone who has questions about life – and isn’t that just about everyone?...more
I don’t usually read non-fiction novels, and the true crime genre is new to me as well. But when I saw this book in my local bookstore at a significanI don’t usually read non-fiction novels, and the true crime genre is new to me as well. But when I saw this book in my local bookstore at a significant discount (three thrillers/true crime books for 10 euros), I was drawn to it like a bee is to honey. I hadn’t heard about this case before, and the name Billy Gilley didn’t ring a bell. But I had heard about other cases in which a young boy slaughters his entire family, driven to the verge of madness by a vast ray of causes, be it abuse, neglect or voices in their head. For Billy Gilley it was the first. He was mercilessly beaten and terrorized by his parents, the two people in the world who should have been there for him but weren’t. And then one day, he just snapped. His sister had skipped school that day, and got into trouble with her parents for doing so. Billy then told his sister Jody that he would like to ‘bash in their heads with a baseball bat’. That night, he did, killing both of his parents and his younger sister Becky.
Author Kathryn Harrison investigates the Billy Gilley case by interviewing both Billy and Jody Gilley regularly. She tries to reconstruct what happened that fateful day by both of their eye-witness accounts, and tries to give the reader an insight into the mind of a young man driven to murder and the aftermath of those terrible events for Jody. She tries to explain to us how Jody is coping with that loss, and the person she became because of it. As I mentioned, Kathryn Harrison ‘tried’ to do all those things. Unfortunately for the reader, she fails on more than half of those things, and offers a book that can be described as ‘interesting’ at best. It’s obvious, even for the non-experienced true crime reader, and a person with no expertise in the area of psychology or criminology whatsoever apart from some basic classes at university, that Kathryn Harrison did not do the Billy Gilley story justice. In fact, she brutally misused both Jody and Billy Gilley in her book, comparing her own bad luck in life with that of what Jody had to go through, drawing parallels that aren’t really there, applying her own mismatched amateur-psychology when it’s not wanted nor advised, and believing every word Jody says where she’s continuously sceptical towards anything Billy mentions. I spent more time being annoyed at Kathryn Harrison’s far-fetched and outrageously large narcissism, her inability to sound neutral and non-biased and her continuous referring to her own life than I spent enjoying the rest of the book, which is saying something.
Unfortunately, rather than teaching me something more about Billy and Jody Gilley, While They Slept taught me more about Kathryn Harrison than about anyone else. For instance, when she was eighteen or twenty (I forgot, because I didn’t really care) Kathryn tongue-kissed her long lost father, trying to make up for all those years of abandonment and trying to get back at her mother for God knows what reason. She then continued to have an incestuous relationship with her own father for about two years, in which he maltreated her and sometimes even locked her up (or that’s what I gathered). Eventually she got out, got her life back on track and has spent the rest of her life trying to deal with her past. It’s not that I don’t find it terrible what happened to Kathryn Harrison. Really, I do. Although she chose to have an incestuous relationship (she wasn’t really forced though, it wasn’t rape) I can understand where those feelings came from, and of course it can’t ever feel right to do that kind of stuff with your father. But let me begin by saying that she already wrote a memoir about that. There’s no need to mention these events occassionally throughout this book, to point them out to your readers in a casual but misleading way and trying to bring the spotlight from where it should be – Billy and Jody Gilley – to Kathryn Harrison. Sorry Kat, but this book isn’t supposed to be about you. You’re not the center of the universe. I understand you have problems, but you already told us about that, and if you want to, write another memoir, but don’t go ruin this story about two different people by trying to make it about you.
Furthermore, what angered me beyond belief about Kathryn Harrison is that she continuously draws parallels between the tragedy Jody Gilley had to go through – the murder of her entire family by her own brother – and Kathryn’s own troubles in life. She refers to both herself and Jody as being people who changed into a ‘before’ and ‘after’ person. I think it’s a tremendously preposterous claim of the author that both these things could even be compared. They can’t. I don’t know how it’s possible that Jody Gilley never once felt like hitting some sense into Kathryn Harrison, especially when the author grows so daring to tell these things in person. Apparently Kathryn lives in this illusion that her own life and troubles can be compared to Jody’s, that she went through so much irreversible tragedy that she’s entitled to behave like a psychologist, and that she has the right – can you believe the pretention? – to analyse everything Jody and Billy Gilley say, find hidden meanings behind their words and declare to all her readers who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. Unfortunately, Kathryn Harrison is nor a psychologist, criminologist, criminal profiler, social worker or a lawyer, and thus she is entitled to no such things. When you have no credentials in a field of expertise whatsoever, then stay out of it. She’s an author, and the point was that she had to write down Billy and Jody’s story, not mismatch it with several assumptions of her own, draw her own conclusions or have the pretention to tell her readers who to believe and who not to believe, based on amateur psychology.
But brace yourself, the horror isn’t over yet. Apart from her continous comparison between Jody Gilley and herself, and her unasked for retelling of her own memoir, Kathryn Harrison also has a clear and obvious favorism for Jody, and believes her every word contrary to those of Jody’s brother, who she doesn’t believe at all. However, from what I gathered from reading this book, sometimes what Billy says makes a lot of sense, whereas it seems as if Jody just suppressed those feelings and events in an attempt to live with survivor’s guilt. However, the author has drawn a clear line in this book: Billy is a murderer, thus he’s always wrong, and Jody isn’t, thus she’s always right. We all know that the real truth hardly is as linear, and that two people may have different reactions as to what’s going on, whereas that doesn’t necessarily mean one of them is lying. It’s obvious that in her effort to draw a parallel between herself and Jody Gilley, Kathryn chose a definite side, and she lost all abilities to talk about the murders in a neutral way.
To be honest, I think both Jody and Billy Gilley deserved an author who spend less time worrying about herself, and more time worrying about what happened to them and to listen to their story. They didn’t need to be psycho-analyzed by an amateur, and they definately didn’t need their case compared to an adult having an incestuous relationship with her own father, however disturbing that may be as well. More than anything, they deserved to be treated as main characters of this book rather than figures used for this author’s self-absorption. Moreover, Billy deserved the benefit of the doubt, definately in a society where the role of abuse leading up to a child murdering his own parents has been thoroughly investigated, speculated and debated by real psychiatrists and psychologists, and where the common answer nowadays is that it can be excusable to kill one’s own family when pushed to the breaking point by physical and mental abuse by one’s own parents. It certainly seems understandable, and we should not always judge people based on what they did in moments all logic left them. I feel that Kathryn chose to paint Billy as a murderer rather than a person, and it’s obvious that her opinion is so biased it greatly weighs down on the quality of this book.
Personally, I felt sorry for both children. Although I’m not a psychologist or criminologist or all those things Kathryn Harrison occassionally pretends to be, it’s my opinion that Billy was once again wronged with this book, in which he voluntarily participated but that portrayed him as being a liar, sometimes on purpose, sometimes without realizing it; whereas I thought it was obvious in some parts of the book that Billy’s recount of the events made more sense and seemed more logical than Jody’s. Rather than believe Jody’s every word, Kathryn should have taken into account that she should hold the same prejudice against Jody that she should against Billy. For example, Jody says she never encouraged Billy to kill her parents, but the thing is that it would be totally understandable if she did. After all, we all say stupid things sometimes, especially when we’re angered or feel threatened. Jody and Billy must have felt threated and scared continuously, and it makes sense that one would snap then. But of course, in her memory, Jody could have suppressed all the times she said things like that, trying to deal with the events and the guilt that followed them, which wouldn’t make her a liar, but rather a victim of this trauma. However, as I said, I won’t go play the psychologist as well, but I think that explenation would be a lot more logical than calling Billy a liar. After all, what would he gain from putting his sister in jail as well for conspiracy or something along those lines, the sister he tried to protect up till the point that he rather killed their parents then let himself and her get hurt at their hands one more time? If Kathryn tells her readers one option, she should also tell us the other option, and not just choose sides.
In my opinion, the emphazises was mostly on victims of a traumatic event, and how they deal with the aftermath, survivor’s guilt in particular. However, I would have liked a greater emphazises on what happened prior to the murders, the abuse that drove Billy to do what he did and Billy’s own path to redemption or dealing with what happened. Thing is that partially through this book, I began to feel sorry for Billy. One can never say that murder can be approved, but in some cases, like when a child has been abused, maltreated and terrorized until it feels like an animal in a cage, it is excusable. If Billy only saw one way of escaping and that was through murder, then it is somehow understandable that eventually he gave in and did just about that. Furthermore, he was already ridiculed by his parents and fellow schoolmates for not being able to write and read properly, something which we know realize – which no one really did at the time the murders were commited – were probably signs of a messed-up life at home. Add his aggression, the fact that from Kathryn Harrison’s and real psychiatrists’s descriptions he now seems as a loving and caring individual, the constant abuse and the never-ending fear of that abuse, and you have the circumstances set to turn everyone into a murderer. Billy was not accepted anywhere – not by the people at school, not by his own parents, and in the end, not even by the sister he probably cared for the most. It’s a saddening tale. Sometimes throughout this novel Kathryn Harrison – perhaps with her own sometimes twisted and perverted mind – often wondered aloud whether Billy loved his sister the way he shouldn’t, and Jody actually recalls Billy sexually harrassing her. I don’t know if that’s true or not, although according to the book Billy denies it, but from what I gather, in my personal opinion, I think there are two options more valuable than Kathryn just painting Billy off as a pervert. One option is that Jody replaced the image of her father harrassing her with the image of Billy doing so, because this would be easier to cope with, seeing as she already felt a lot of guilt for her parent’s death – blame it all on Billy, because he already murdered them, seems like a viable solution in that case. The other possibility is that Billy did harrass her, but in his own disturbed mind it was probably more a cry for acceptance and love than anything else. However, I’m not a psychologist, and this is just my opinion, as some sort of counter-opinion of Kathryn Harrison, who just portrays Billy as a perverted murderer.
A boy growing up in a household without much love, with a mother who backstabs him continously and a father who beats him mercilessly. He’s terrible at reading and writing, almost illiterate, ends up with the wrong friends and always ends up in trouble. On one day, he has had enough. He talks to his sister about murdering his parents. He takes her silence as an answer and that night he takes a baseball bat and beats his mother and father to death. Unfortunately his little sister hears something is going on and goes back downstairs. Panicking, Billy kills her as well, the only murder he actually feels terribly sorry for. He goes upstairs and tells Jody that now they’re finally free. Does this sound like the portrait of a mad man, a psychopath? Or does it sound like the story of a boy who knew no way out, who was let down by social services, school and everyone who ever could have helped him? Does this sound like the story of a boy accepted by no one, betrayed by everyone and desperately seeking the love and care he so needed? I think it does, and at least on that point, Kathryn Harrison agrees with me, albeit partly.
I would have liked to learn more about Billy, and less about Kathryn Harrison herself. I would honestly say that I’d like to see Billy out of jail. He has been punished before he ever commited the crime, and he has been punished severely afterward for something society nowadays usually excuses or advises therapy for. And at the end of this book, I began to feel sorry for him. I felt sorry for Jody from the beginning, but with Billy it took a while, but it’s there. Unfortunately we may never truly know what happened that fateful night – we have Jody’s version and Billy’s version and the pseudo-psychologic analyse made by Kathryn Harrison – but as always I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Let me finish by adding that throughout this book, Kathryn Harrison sees a lot of sexual references were there aren’t any, probably inspired by her own sexual relationship with her father, or by an overly-in-depth reading of Freud. However, once you look past her odd conclusions, her biased look on things and clear preference for Jody’s side of the story, her continuous self-absorption and her amataur psychology, you will realize that at the core of this book is a story about a family gone wrong, about abuse and destruction, about freedom, acceptance and love and about the ability to move on and keep on hoping for a better future. These underlying thoughts are inspiring, but are unfortunately overshadowed by Kathryn’s own life story and her occassional writing flaws. If you’re a fan of true fiction, or Jody and Billy’s story inspired you, then read this book. If however you’re like me and you’ll find yourself more disturbed by the author’s judgemental and erratic behavior than anything else, and you feel like writing her hatemail by the end of this book, then stay away from it as far as possible....more
In Fighting Malevolent Spirits, author Samantha E. Harris talks about evil spirits, the ones who have zero good intention and are focused on destroying everyone who stands in their way. The author talks about her darkest, creepiest and most terrifying encounters, ranging from poltergeists to demons. While I’m still skeptical about whether or not demons exist, I enjoyed all parts of this book, including the ones focused on demonic activity.
Some of the encounters sound a bit over the top, and too sensational to be real, but it still sounds more real than half of the ghost hunter shows on TV nowadays. The author tells the reader, time and time again, how dangerous it is to go up against a demon, poltergeist, or malicious spirit, alone and unprepared. She then goes on to give some tips on how one can prepare themselves for a supernatural encounter, which are actually rather helpful.
This is one of the scariest true haunting books I’ve read in a while. I couldn’t cope with reading the book at night, so I had to run it in the middle of the day. To imagine being really face to face with the haunts described here, that must be terrifying. Even when reading the book, I got goosebumps all over, and that creepy sense of being watched.
A solid read if you like true haunting books, and/or if you think your house may be infested with something malicious....more
It’s hard to review a book you’ve fallen in love with, and I’ve absolutely fallen for the plot, characters, and the sublime writing that is hidden in the pages of MARY: The Summoning. This is one of the best YA gothic horror novels I’ve read in my entire life – and I’d recommend it to just about everyone.
Shauna’s best friend, Jess, is obsessed with summoning Bloody Mary. But whereas Shauna thought it was just a stupid, silly party game, it turns out to be so much more. Once Mary is correctly summoned, and not in the clumsy way most urban legend stories say you have to summon her, then…well, the shadow creeping along the mirror, and the bony fingers reaching out from the afterlife, are sufficient to give Shauna nightmares for the rest of her life.
For Shauna, Kitty and Anna, one encounter with Mary is sufficient for a lifetime, but Jess demands they summon her again. And again. Until their circle gets broken, and Mary is freed…
Mary’s ghosts starts to haunt the four friends, appearing in mirrors, any reflecting surface – which is just about anymore – and trying to grab them and pull them into the afterlife with her. Shauna, the main target of Mary’s attack, needs to find out more about Mary’s history in order to stop the vengeful ghosts. Loyalties and friendship are tested, and what is revealed, may be shocking to all of them…
Shauna is one kick-ass protagonist. At the start, I thought she was a little passive, willing to follow Jess, no matter what she did, but she soon grew a backbone and started to stand up for herself. I disliked Jess with a passion, but that’s not at all surprising considering what happens in the book. If you want to know what, you’ll just have to read it for yourself, though.
Just about everything about this book is perfect. The writing is great, and at times the descriptions were so creepy I nearly crawled into my closet to hide. The characters each have distinct personalities, and it’s easy to keep them apart. The mystery about Mary was intriguing too, highly supsenseful, and not at all what I expected.
But the best part? This book was deliciously creepy. Creepy in a way I didn’t expect – the kind of fear that crawls under your skin and makes you look over your shoulder every once in a while, expecting to see Mary’s ghost. That fear, the gothic horror fear that not a lot of books manage to convey. This one does, though.
Highly recommended, especially to people looking for a solid gothic horror novel, and well, for everyone who wants a good scare....more
I’m usually not a big fan of alpha males, or werewolves, but Wolf’s Heart is a definite exception. Even though Ryden is an alpha male, he doesn’t act like a douchebag (which is usually my problem with alpha males). Carlee was my favorite character though, she’s sassy, she’s intelligent, brave and sometimes surprisingly funny.
Back to the story. Carlee is an FBI agent working on a case that may threaten her life. She’s never had much luck in life. The sole reason her parents wanted her born was so she could save her brother’s life – but when that failed, they rejected her. When she finally fell in love with someone, he broke her heart. Now she’s devoted her life to helping others, but this time around, it gets her in big trouble.
Surprisingly, her ex-boyfriend, Ryden, shows up to save the day. He’s a werewolf and an Elite Delta soldier. He never wanted to hurt Carlee when they were together (yep, he’s the guy who broke her heart) but he had no other choice. Now he’s saved her, but the troubles aren’t over yet. Ryden and Carlee will have to fight for their own lives, and the lives of Ryden’s unit.
I loved the combination of a kick-ass FBI agent and an alpha male werewolf. Both Carlee and Ryden have strong personalities, and they’re not afraid to fight what they believe in. Unfortunately they don’t see how well they match, and spend most of the time bickering and worrying about the past and getting hurt again.
This wasn’t just an insta-romance, and the characters definitely developed throughout the book. The plot was intriguing too, and there were plenty of hot romantic scenes to keep the reader entertained.
Highly recommended to fans of erotic paranormal romance....more
Dollhouse is unique, thrilling, well-written, and one of the most original novels I’ve read in ages. Not recommended to people who are terrified of dolls or clowns, but to everyone else – this book is amazing! If only the ending wasn’t such a cliffhanger, and if some parts of it weren’t so completely and utterly confusing – seriously, I had to reread some paragraph three or four times – then this would’ve been my favorite book ever. But as it stands now, it’s still pretty good, and highly original, just not as spellbinding as it could’ve been.
Anyway, the story starts out pretty simple. Cassie, and three of her friends, have gone on a trip across the nearby mountain for a school project, when they find a dilipidated mansion, in the middle of nowhere. Aisha goes missing, and the police quickly suspects Ethan, Aisha’s boyfriend and Cassie’s secret crush. When Ethan goes up the mountain to try and find Aisha, Cassie and Lacey follow him, trying to help. But once they venture inside the mansion, they find something so twisted and messed up, they never could’ve imagined it.
This book is scary, even if it doesn’t try to be. Some of the imagery is so well-described, and so twisted, that it scared me to the bone. It’s gothic horror at its finest, never gross, never grotesque, but atmospheric and creepy all the same. The plot is so original – I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t saying anything else, except, well, be prepared for an amazing plot that’ll leave you jealous, and wishing you’d come up with something like that yourself. The writing is great, the characters all seem very real, and I never knew what to expect next.
This is gothic horror the way it’s spposed to be. I can’t wait to read the sequel. As soon as it’s on Netgalley, I’m getting my hands on that book. I need to know what happens next....more