I read Horns for the first time in 2011, and although I'd never really intended to re-read it, I was looking for a horror book one dark and rainy nigh...moreI read Horns for the first time in 2011, and although I'd never really intended to re-read it, I was looking for a horror book one dark and rainy night and decided I would give it another turn. I remembered that although it wasn't particularly scary, it was a book that gave me a lot to think about, and I was interested to see how my reactions may have changed over the past two years.
Horns is essentially the story of one man, Ig, coming to terms with the murder of his childhood sweetheart, Merrin. After a night of miserable drinking and mourning at the site of Merrin's death he awakes to find he has sprouted a nice set of horns.
The part of the story that I remembered, and enjoyed just as much the second time around was the reaction that Ig's horns caused strangers, family and friends. The horns allow Ig to read their innermost thoughts, and to tap into their memories - which although it sounds interesting comes with a pretty terrible price. The synopsis for Horns actually doesn't really convey Ig's character very well - although he is from a priviledged background he's actually a very down-to-earth character. Apart from his obvious love for Merrin, which is demonstrated through flashbacks to how they met and their relationship progressed, he's also a pretty average guy and that made him likable and incredibly easy to feel sympathy for.
At times I felt that there was a little bit too much of a focus on the past, and I wished there had been some more of Ig's mind-reading, but essentially the plot is, strangely, a type of love story. Ig is obviously devastated by Merrin's death and has pretty much lost all his passion for life, and Hill did a good job of making me feel that Ig really was at rock-bottom.
There's a strong paranormal element in Horns, and at times it was a little too convoluted for my tastes, but there's obviously a lot of imagination that has gone into creating the plot and the actual resolution is strangely satisfying.(less)
I have to start by saying vampires aren’t my thing. No way, nuh uh, no vampires for this girl - strictly Zombies only.
However, after reading Greg’s f...more I have to start by saying vampires aren’t my thing. No way, nuh uh, no vampires for this girl - strictly Zombies only.
However, after reading Greg’s fantastic blog post on ‘proper’ vampires http://www.gregsisco.com/five-vampire... I was intrigued. Maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there who doesn’t think vampires sparkle and love kittens. So casting my long-standing vampire prejudice aside, I (reluctantly) picked up a copy of Thicker than Water.
Thicker than Water is the story of two brothers Tyr and Loki, and their recent (in vampire terms) recruit, Thor. Named after Norse mythological characters, the brothers have been around the block more than a few times, and have the whole vampire game pretty much down pat. After a disagreement over a child during one of their hell-raising, blood-guzzling escapades, they are no longer in contact – Tyr is in a relationship with a human and Loki is building up his empire with Thor within the sinful confines of Vegas.
Much of this book focuses on the tale behind the turning of Thor, in the late 19th century wild-west, and ends with the story behind the argument that has separated the brothers for the last 13 years.
Thicker than Water pulls no punches where these vampires are concerned – they are in the truest sense of the word, proper vampires. For me, the story started a little slowly, but after the first third of the book, the pace was ramped up quickly, climaxing with the story of their last raid together. The characters are strong and easily identifiable, which makes them very ‘likeable’ (for want of a better word!) and intriguing.
There were some small spelling and grammatical errors, but not enough to bring out the Grammar Nazi’s in full force. One other thing I found slightly difficult to get used to was the accents during the Wild-West chapters, but once I got into it, I didn’t even notice it anymore.
Am I converted? Partially (I’m old and set in my ways!). I love that Greg isn’t afraid to go all out with his vampires and paint them exactly as they should be – bloodthirsty and merciless.
High Moor is my first ever werewolf novel. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or apprehensive. I’m not good outside my comfort zone (it’s called comf...moreHigh Moor is my first ever werewolf novel. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or apprehensive. I’m not good outside my comfort zone (it’s called comfort for a reason!).
We begin with a prologue set in England in 2008, with a man shutting himself in his basement and a Rottweiler mutilated and killed in a local park. Despite the short prologue, the scene is perfectly set for what is to come.
The story really begins in High Moor, 1986. The descriptions of the down-trodden and depressed town which has been sliding into decay since the closure of the local mines are enthralling – I was instantly transported into the gray world of semi-poverty, fish and chip shops and small town bullies seen in so many TV series, movies and documentaries about 1980’s England.
As the story progressed, I found myself more and more drawn to the werewolves and The Pack, the illuminati of the werewolf world, and the characters within the book. The characters were so vividly drawn, I could hear their northern accents and visualize the way they moved and their homes and surroundings.
The return to High Moor in 2008 is also fantastically described and again conjures visions of small working-class north-England towns and the connections between the residents, who have been born, grown up and will die in the same place, surrounded by the same people.
High Moor is fast-paced, creepy and gives a completely enthralling concept of werewolves that I hadn’t imaged would be contained in this book.
Will there be a sequel? I bloody-well hope so! I was incredibly disappointed when High Moor ended (in a good way!) – I want Moor! (see my joke there?)
I understand this is Mr. Reynolds’ first full-length novel and he has a lot to be very proud of.
*High Moor was kindly provided by the author for review, but this has not influenced my opinion in any way, shape or form. (less)
I’d seen this book around the blogosphere and thought the premise sounded interesting – what would you do if you were ageing a year for every day that...moreI’d seen this book around the blogosphere and thought the premise sounded interesting – what would you do if you were ageing a year for every day that you lived? How would you cope with ageing faster than your peers, becoming physically older than your parents, knowing that instead of having another 60 years to live, you would only have another 60 days. And how much worse would it be as a teenager, with your whole life ahead of you, knowing your dreams and plans would never eventuate?
For Cameron (who I have to say is a bit of an arse in the beginning of the book), he decides to continue living his teenage life as normal – despite being ridiculed and ostracized by his former girlfriend and basketball team-mates, the pressure of his father and the fact that every day he wakes up looking and feeling a year older than the day before.
The characters of Happy Birthday to Me are interesting – Cameron is a self-assured brat at the beginning of the book, but as he rapidly ages he comes to realize some important things about life – as well as having a few creepy and surreal experiences as a 17 year old in the body of an adult. His parents and sister struggle with watching him age before their very eyes, and the adults around him begin to treat him differently, despite that he is still a teenager on the inside.
Happy Birthday to Me is well written – the story is clear and moves at a good pace, is engaging and raises some interesting questions about the restrictions we place on people when they reach a certain age, a family dealing with a medical anomaly and a little bit of supernatural thrown in for extra entertainment.
I did have one niggle with this book, and that was Cameron’s relationship with his girlfriend, Charisma (the name just grated on me!). I didn’t feel it added much to the story, only made me grind my teeth a little.
As this book is part of a trilogy, I won’t say much about the ending, but it did definitely make me want to move on to the next book as soon as possible. As a YA writer, Mr. Rowe has amazing potential!