So much fun! The earth girl slips into an outer space travelin' heroine really smoothly, and the dialogue is dryly humorous in all the right places. TSo much fun! The earth girl slips into an outer space travelin' heroine really smoothly, and the dialogue is dryly humorous in all the right places. The adventures are fun and light and all the characters likable. And personally, the Queen of Nevers was just perfect. "That is my lot, to mourn every never-will and almost-was. Mine is the forever-sorrow."...more
Comic erotica by women, for women. The stories are quick and cute, and cross a wide variety of preferences. The art is all very different, and suits tComic erotica by women, for women. The stories are quick and cute, and cross a wide variety of preferences. The art is all very different, and suits their stories. As a woman with said wide variety of preferences, I whole-heartedly enjoyed this. ...more
This = super fun. Otherwordly creatures, detective work, humour, friendship, a dash of romance, and some lightly dusted-on spiritual/philosophical queThis = super fun. Otherwordly creatures, detective work, humour, friendship, a dash of romance, and some lightly dusted-on spiritual/philosophical questions. ...more
I loved this. It's a bit magical and fanciful, but without being obnoxious about it. Your two main characters are a golem and a jA bit of a fairy tale
I loved this. It's a bit magical and fanciful, but without being obnoxious about it. Your two main characters are a golem and a jinni, so you can't get away from *some* magic. This story follows their separate entrances into late 1800's New York, their lives, how they meet and how they survive. It's beautifully written and well-paced. The supporting cast are deeper than you'd expect, and everyone gets a story. (Not to mention well-placed descriptions of old New York.) I loved the Golem and the Jinni, and how they reconcile the seeds of humanity within them. (Bonus: It's a love story, of sorts, but it's not a romance. It provides a sense of need, of feeling, of balance and completion, without ever crossing into sap.)...more
What a sweet (and sexy) story! It's about two girls, and it's about BDSM, but it's even more about what makes us human and the butterflies we feel wheWhat a sweet (and sexy) story! It's about two girls, and it's about BDSM, but it's even more about what makes us human and the butterflies we feel when we first meet someone. The characters act like real people with real motivations, and the artwork is simply lovely. ...more
I loved this book. The whole tale, our protagonist's life story, is woven and connected to a 5-star meal. She is eminently human; weak, broken, sad, pI loved this book. The whole tale, our protagonist's life story, is woven and connected to a 5-star meal. She is eminently human; weak, broken, sad, passionate, full of life and yet fleeing from it. The author's way of turning a phrase, and her descriptions of love and desire and the terror of settling, the insanity of knowing how and where you belong, are perfect. Our character isn't perfect, but she is so relatable. We learn about her relationship with the devil (and I liked the lack of a clear definition; is he real? Is he a hallucination?), her family, her real, terrible, passionate love, and her wonderful and safe love. I highlighted more passages on this book than any yet, because her descriptions of those loves resonate with me....more
The first part of Wool is immediately engaging. I very much enjoy the author's way of writing - you never learn everything there is to know about a chThe first part of Wool is immediately engaging. I very much enjoy the author's way of writing - you never learn everything there is to know about a character, but you always learn enough to care about them. Droplets of knowledge about who they are, what they've been through, and how they make their decisions are sprinkled through stories, so you learn, but it's not a voiceover coming at you. In Wool, we learn about the lives of a tiny fraction of humanity who live in a silo. A little of the mechanics of how its a self-sustaining system and a lot of the people who live there. There's so much mystery around why and how they got there, with few answers given, but just enough to make sense. It's not the past that's important, anyway - it's how these silo-dwellers pave the future. ...more
If you don't have this book, you're doing yourself a disservice. Bold statement, I know! But : Allie's stories - about life, dogs, depression, and cakIf you don't have this book, you're doing yourself a disservice. Bold statement, I know! But : Allie's stories - about life, dogs, depression, and cake - made me laugh until tears ran down my face. Aside from that, she talks about the things in my head that I refuse to admit, and it feels good not to be alone. Motivation described me to a T, and Identity - and how really, sometimes we just want to push people and throw sand at them - was a look at the same lies and tricks built in my own head. I pretty much love this book through and through....more
This was brilliant. Jenny Lawson, aka thebloggess, has written her mostly-true memoir, and it is filled with unbelievable, heartwarming, hilarious, anThis was brilliant. Jenny Lawson, aka thebloggess, has written her mostly-true memoir, and it is filled with unbelievable, heartwarming, hilarious, and heartbreaking stories. What's particularly fun is that she includes pictures of some key details that support the stories she's telling - which is good, because they are WILD. Her childhood was wonderful, natural, poor, and crazy, and her adulthood didn't get much better. She walks us through being crazy; her experiences with attempting to have (and eventually having) a child; meeting and loving her husband; and her move back to the country. She has a delightful sense of humour and is (some surprisingly given her unusual background) highly relatable. The only quibble I'd have is that some of the sentimental closures of the chapter feel a bit abrupt, but I attribute that to writing style, not lack of emotion. In fact, having that sentiment there rounds out a Whole Person, someone who'd created a life of love, laughter, and oddity....more
Yup, still fluffy fun. Our little librarian gets a surprise inheritance, with a hidden skull surprise! The questions now are, who did it belong to? AnYup, still fluffy fun. Our little librarian gets a surprise inheritance, with a hidden skull surprise! The questions now are, who did it belong to? And who's looking for it? Featuring a few re-appearances of supporting cast members, and also, kittens!...more
Fluffy, fun murder mystery. Charlaine Harris writes a likable main character with a healthy streak of innocence (and just a hint at less innocence), aFluffy, fun murder mystery. Charlaine Harris writes a likable main character with a healthy streak of innocence (and just a hint at less innocence), and a supporting cast with minimal motivation and depth. Don't get me wrong; I like them! But treat this like an airplane book and just acknowledge that it'll be fun and quick. Oh yeah - there is a plot. Aurora Teagarden's Real Murders club falls under suspicion when real murders start happening. A nice easy-to-digest whodunit. I'll continue these books :-)...more
I know, I know. The great Clive Barker? Only 2 stars? I stand by my rating. "It was ok." I didn't hate it. But I felt pretty let down. I suppose evenI know, I know. The great Clive Barker? Only 2 stars? I stand by my rating. "It was ok." I didn't hate it. But I felt pretty let down. I suppose even that's not exactly fair, because my point of comparison is Books of Blood Volumes 1-3, which were AMAZING. Thought-provoking, terrifying, creep-into-your-subconscious stories. These, though? Eh. I'm not even going to go through them one by one. If you like Clive, sure, take a spin, but all in all the stories didn't wow me and the endings on a fair number of them were pretty weak.
Ones I liked ok: The Body Politic: this one is similar to "In the Hills, the Cities" from the first Books of Blood; it is absurd on its surface, and disturbingly creepy once you read it. It's a tale of what happens when your own body parts develop minds - and desires - of their own. Down, Satan!: If you seek him, you will find him. Babel's Children: Probably my favorite story in this collection. In a remote Greek location, a fellowship determines the fate of man and country. It's a little absurd, but in an eerily believable way. In the Flesh: one of the few stories that had an ending I enjoyed more than the story. What happens to murderers? How do we have sin? Where does it come from? How Spoilers Bleed: A neat tale of revenge. How many times do we have to tell you, if you try and steal native people's land, something terrible is going to happen? The Last Illusion: When a magician dies, it's a race to see whether Hell takes its due, or a soul escapes the clutches of the Gulfs. The Book of Blood (a postscript): the conclusion of the boy's life from the Books of Blood intro (in Volumes 1-3). Fitting. ...more
When Joe Hill is on, he's ON. I think he's got some awfully brilliant potential. He's not *great* - yet - but the seeds are there, and he just needs sWhen Joe Hill is on, he's ON. I think he's got some awfully brilliant potential. He's not *great* - yet - but the seeds are there, and he just needs some honing. Part of it may just be adjustment on my part; he leaves a lot of things vague, and open to a broader interpretation. I find that some of my initial reactions of displeasure at having a solid conclusions dissipate after having a chance to roll a story around in my brain. These collection of short stories has some solid winners, a couple that didn't grab me, and some that were simply solid.
Winners: Pop Art. An extremely odd, but extremely beautiful story of friendship and acceptance. Voluntary Committal. Um. Damn. What happens when your little brother is capable of building imaginary worlds. The Black Phone. Serial child murderer meets his just end. Also, the dead speak. Last Breath. Oh yes. Welcome to the museum. Would you like to hear the last breath of these poor deceased? This story is morbid and yet softly sweet, and also yet heartbreaking. Dead-Wood. Why wouldn't trees have souls? Why wouldn't they haunt us just as mammals do? The Widow's Breakfast. This wavers between Winner category and Solid category. We get the story of a train-jumper from an older time, who stumbles into a small bit of fortune and luck. The ending didn't jive for me, but thinking about it more opens some philosophical and psychiatric doors. My Father's Mask. Another extremely odd story - but terrible and terrifying. The Playing-Card people are after you, son... best watch yourself.
Didn't grab me: You Will Hear the Locust Sing. I get it - it's Kafka and absurdism and old-school insect movies and teenagers turning into locusts. But it's not the kind of story that floats my boat. Better Than Home. It's sweet, and has loving moments; it's the story of a baseball team owner and his son, and what it's like for the son - who has a passel of physical and mental tics - to inhabit his father's world. My difficulty in relating (despite my occasional love of baseball) kept this one out of "solid" for me.
Solid stories: Best New Horror. Classic horror. Who writes the best horror? The ones who know the most about it, naturally. 20th Century Ghost: Nostalgia, cinema, death, and lifelong love. Abraham's Boys. Van Helsing has kids, and he's keen to teach them some important lessons that he's learned from his past. They learn; too well. In the Rundown. Bad boy finds a woman who has reached the end of her rope. This is horror in its most real form. The Cape. Every story needs a villain, but sometimes its not what/who you expect. On a semi-related note, wouldn't you like to find a cape that enabled you to fly? Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead. This isn't a horror story ... but it is a love story, that happens to be set during a zombie movie filming. It's wistful and sad and hopeful. After-the-credits-bonus-story: Scheherazade's Typewriter. This one broke my heart, just a little bit. A ghost comes back to create, to tell his stories, to let his life shine through. ...more
This was a solid zombie-story-slash-political-commentary. The main characters' speech and motivation came off very "real"; and I liked the zombie cultThis was a solid zombie-story-slash-political-commentary. The main characters' speech and motivation came off very "real"; and I liked the zombie culture created. (I'm not so much a fan of zombie apocalypse stories, but in this case, we have an entirely separate "transitioned" society, with its own social norms and strata.) The commentary aspect was well-placed and subtle, until it wasn't, and that rubbed me a bit the wrong way; discrimination amongst the different types of zombies was woven in well and was a good mirror for many of the types of discrimination we see today, but the last 2-3 chapters bludgeon it home. My only other complaints would be the rather abrupt ending (I felt), and I personally wasn't a fan of the artwork. Really though, it's a fun, "real" read, with what I felt to be a nice interpretation of zombie culture....more
**spoiler alert** I'ma do these stories one by one, and there will be spoilers. There's a lot I want to remember about these stories, so strap in. One**spoiler alert** I'ma do these stories one by one, and there will be spoilers. There's a lot I want to remember about these stories, so strap in. One thing I will say - Clive Barker is blindingly talented in the writing arena.
The Book of Blood: great intro - here there be ghosts, and they will write their stories, one way or another. Frankly, I found this to be a beautiful story - I don't really object to having the dead's tales inscribed on one's skin, but then, I quite like tattoos. The Midnight Meat Train: Where *does* that last subway train go? This store tells the history of New York City, but not in the way you think. The cities have souls (a concept we see again later); stories, founders, history. History ain't always pretty, and keeping it alive sometimes takes blood, sweat, and tears. The Yattering and Jack: A demon takes a pointless revenge against a man who doesn't even know why... but the man has a few tricks up his own sleeve. A quick tale of patience overcoming even the trickery of hell; che sera, sera. Pig Blood Blues: Anything with kids tends to turn out a bit creepy. Here's an orphanage with a beautiful, deadly, spirit-infused pig. Not one of my favorites. Sex, Death, and Starshine: The last show in a broken-down theatre is a production of Twelfth Night. The leading lady is a hack, and a theatre-lover offers his wife to take her place. This is a beautiful (and deadly, natch) tale of the true love of theatre, and how love of the art resides even after death. In the Hills, the Cities: At first glance this should just be absurd. Two cities have contests on a regular basis; the citizens of each create monsters of themselves, strapped together, to do mostly-mock battle, and determine a winner. This year, something goes wrong; one of the cities' creations has a flaw, and collapses. The city - the soul - its being - is deceased. The other city goes mad, and flees, and continues to flee, the citizens travelling as a giant mass, locked together in one thought. Two tourists are caught up in it. In the end, it isn't absurd. It is maddening and awe-inspiring and terrifying. Dread: A contender for my favorite story. It is psychological and terrifying. Not even the end; but what happens to Cheryl struck me even more. It makes you ask yourself what YOU dread - what would you do if you had to face it head-on? Would you break? Or would you win? Hell's Event: We are always close to Hell breaking loose - sometimes the line is so thin that it's crossed in a charity footrace. Could Hell beat us? Or can ordinary men stand up, sacrifice themselves, and force mankind to an unknowing victory? And even then... is a sacrifice enough? Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament: Your average, run-of-the-mill, Clive Barker love story. It's creepy as hell. Jacqueline has powers to control the body in terrifying manners, and she reforms several people in horrifying ways. She sparks awe and adoration in those she meets, and in the end, weirdly, and in a final fashion, she is conquered by love. The Skins of the Fathers: A story incorporating the best of monsters and the worst of men. There's a great mythology in this one dating back to early Christian mythos surrounding demons and angels. It is sweet and mournful, in it's way, and real; we, as mankind, are frightened, and anger and hatred is a way to harness the fear. New Murders in the Rue Morgue: A proper homage to the original. Not one of my favorites, but it does what it intends to do. Son of Celluloid: What happens when cancer takes on a living form, twisted from years of existing behind a movie theatre. Your movies are made flesh, and your life is forfeit. Also not one of my favorites. I liked the movie theatre aspect of it, but cancer given life, form, reason, existence? Eeehhhh. Rawhead Rex: Creepy. Creepy. Creepy. It almost shouldn't be - it's just a monster tale. But it is a terrible monster, borne from the days of yore, (mostly) indiscriminate in its search for fresh meat, gleeful in its need for supremacy. Also, I happened to be in the middle of this story when I heard thumping noises from my upstairs. The upstairs that had had the door closed for the past 2 weeks - there was nothing up there. This is not the story to be in the middle of to hear thumping noises from an uninhabited room. (note: it was merely something falling over. No monsters.) Confessions of a (Pornographer's) Shroud: Another not one of my favorites. A (mostly) innocent man dies, framed for crimes he didn't commit. He comes back to life as his shroud from the mortuary to exact revenge. Scape-Goats: I like it the more I think about it. Where do the forgotten, lost at sea, far from home dead go? What do they need from their afterlife? What happens to those who infringe upon their peaceful slumber? Human Remains: Another one that I like the more I think about it. An ancient being, alone in the world, lives again by adopting the person/persona of a (male) hooker. It bathes in blood, and adopts human memories, aspects, idiosyncrasies, to the point where it is more human than the person it copied. But is it all bad? It merely has the drive to live... and is completely and utterly alone. ...more
This is not a romance... however it may be presented. (To be fair, I was actually hoping for a nice chewy romance novel - and lo and behold I came awaThis is not a romance... however it may be presented. (To be fair, I was actually hoping for a nice chewy romance novel - and lo and behold I came away with something different!) What it is, is a story of James and Lydia - our two protagonists who came from very different backgrounds. James is a 40-some-odd-year-old bachelor, and Lydia is a 40-some-odd-year-old "spinster." Jamie's hellacious history in the orphanage is terrible and terrifying, and explains easily how he has fallen into isolated bachelorhood. Lydia has spent her life being boxed into a good-obedient-child role by her overbearing parents. The characters are a bit one-note - defined by circumstances - but they do grow a small bit. Ultimately this is a story of two people finding each other, but not exactly how you'd expect. The writing is solid and engaging - I will say that the dialects are brilliantly done; while difficult to read at times, if you "listen" to the flow of words, it's downright lyrical. It's a nice read, I'd recommend it, but I wouldn't call it anything life-changing. ...more