The Dark Days Club transports the reader back to an alternative version of 18th Century London, where we’re introduced to a young girl named Lady HeleThe Dark Days Club transports the reader back to an alternative version of 18th Century London, where we’re introduced to a young girl named Lady Helen Wrexhall. Lady Helen, like every other girl her age, is getting ready to make her début into society. Things are going rather well until one of her housemaids disappears and she finds herself pulled into a shadowy level of society she never knew existed. A world full of secrets, demons, and dark magic. Under the guidance of the mysterious Lord Carlston, she must decide whether to continue on with the life she had planned or fight the demons and embrace her family’s legacy.
The Accident Season is a beautifully atmospheric novel. Fowley-Doyle writes in a enchanting yet haunting style, which has an almost hypnotizing effectThe Accident Season is a beautifully atmospheric novel. Fowley-Doyle writes in a enchanting yet haunting style, which has an almost hypnotizing effect. The novel can be best described as magical realism with a touch of paranormal, so this borderline poetic style suits the story perfectly as it is also enchanting yet haunting. The question of what causes the accident season hangs overhead throughout and is compliment by other, equally puzzling questions, like why Cara’s is childhood friend Elsie in every one of her pictures? And why has no one seemed to notice that she isn’t around anymore?
Torn between 3.5 and 4 stars. The first half/two-thirds were quite slow and it was hard to stay motivated. Once everyone was introduced and everythingTorn between 3.5 and 4 stars. The first half/two-thirds were quite slow and it was hard to stay motivated. Once everyone was introduced and everything was established however, things got much more exciting. Looking forward to seeing where this one goes in Volume 2.
Definitely A+ for art though. Mike Allred is a pro. ...more
I like the way this first issue sets up the story. It provides only the most basic information about the house and its residents (both human and otherI like the way this first issue sets up the story. It provides only the most basic information about the house and its residents (both human and otherwise). It gives the reader a sense of camaraderie with Sam. I'm looking forward to finding out what's in some of the room and what Devi's ulterior motives are. ...more
Forget Harry Potter – Danny Orchard is the real “boy who lived.” He’s had so many near death expeThis review originally posted at More Than Just Magic
Forget Harry Potter – Danny Orchard is the real “boy who lived.” He’s had so many near death experiences that he’s been able to live off the single book he wrote about them. First there was the day of his birth, which he only narrowly survived. And then later on, there was the fire that claimed the life of his twin sister, Ash.
But why do people care about these experiences? What makes them go out and buy so many copies of his book that it hits the bestseller list? What makes them go and listen to him speak at conferences? It’s because the second time he almost died, the time of the fire, he went…somewhere. An afterlife of sorts where he met up with his deceased mother and she gave him a watch – the watch she was buried with the be exact. A watch he woke up holding in the hospital.
But a watch isn’t the only thing he brought back from the afterlife. He was also accompanied by Ash’s spirit. And she is not happy. The thing about Ash is that she’s never been a normal girl. She’s always been a little…disturbed. And now that she’s no longer restricted by her earthly body she has the freedom to be as creepy and dark as her heart desires. And she’s directing all of that Danny’s way. Partially because he lived and is trying to move on with his life and partially because she’s wants the truth of what happened to her to finally come out.
Andrew Pyper’s choice to set this story in Detroit was an appropriate one. In many ways, the crumbling, mostly deserted state of the city mirrors what’s happening in Danny’s own life. It sets the tone for everything – for the empty feeling in Danny’s life before he meets his future wife and stepson, Willa and Eddy, and for the desperation he feels as he fights something not of this world in order to protect them.
Ash is definitely not someone I would want to have haunting me. Her early attempts at haunting Danny were genuinely creepy. But it wasn’t scary in the way I expected it to be. It didn’t leave me afraid to turn the light off or to be in my house by myself – which is generally what I want when I sit down to read a ghost story. I would have been ok with just creepy, however, if it had maintained that atmosphere throughout the entire novel. But the second half was much, much different.
In the second half of the novel Danny decides the only way he can win this thing is to go back into the afterlife and fight Ash on her home turf. And this is where tension of the story slowly seemed to fade away and the previously brisk pacing slowed to a crawl. The challenges Danny faced there often felt silly or nonsensical.
I also had a hard time getting behind Danny’s motivation. Before meeting Willa and Eddie he was accepting of the fact that Ash would be haunting him. He didn’t like it, but he saw it as his cross to bare. Then he falls in love and everything changes. Which is great. But I couldn’t tell you anything about Willa, other than that her husband died and she was basically perfect in every way. And Eddie was especially confusing. His age felt all over the place. His actions were those of a young child, but he spoke like a much older child.If these characters were going to be the catalyst for the main character’s actions, they should have been more fleshed out – they should have meant as much to me as they did to Danny.
I haven’t read Pyper’s earlier novel, The Demonologist, but I have heard nothing but great things about it. So I was disappointed when The Damned didn’t live up to my expectations. There were still some strong elements to this novel, so I’m willing to try his work again in the future. But if you’re new to him as well, or are looking for a genuinely scary ghost story, it’s probably best to let this one pass you by....more
I am not a werewolf person. Not for any particular reason, I have just found throughout the yearsThis review originally posted at More Than Just Magic
I am not a werewolf person. Not for any particular reason, I have just found throughout the years that the typical werewolf stories don’t work for me. This is why I never finished the Mercy Falls series beyond Shiver. But Sinner isn’t a typical werewolf story. In fact it’s barely a werewolf story at all. Which is perhaps a big reason why it managed to hook me when so many others have not.
Sinner is a spin off from Maggie Stiefvater’s previously released Mercy Falls series. It tells the story of Cole and Isabel, two secondary characters from the original series. Cole and Isabel are two incredibly damaged individuals. Cole is a recovering addict, former rock star werewolf and Isabel is the child of a broken home, in love with a werewolf and just about as angry as possible all of the time.
Sinner is not a complicated story plot-wise: Rock star-turned-werewolf Cole returns to LA to win back the girl he loves (Isabel) and stage a comeback for his career. But it is an extremely complex story emotionally. Cole and Isabel are such damaged characters. Cole has more demons than you can count and circumstances have made Isabel one of the angriest girls you’ll ever meet. They’ve both lost a piece of themselves and amid the tangle of relationships and fame they are trying to find that piece again. Sinner is a story of their struggle to get back to who they were as much as to get back to one another.
Since they both had a clear story to tell, Stiefvater’s use of dual narratives added depth to the novel. It gives the reader a distinct perspective into both characters. Each had a unique voice and nothing they did felt convenient or calculated, it was simply a natural extension of their character. I found the depiction of Cole as a recovering addict in particular to be very honest. He truly wants to stay on the straight and narrow path but his demons haunt him whenever and wherever he goes. Addiction is not something to be defeated once, it’s something you continually struggle with. What also rang true of his character was that he pinned all his hopes and recovery on Isabel rather than himself – a good way to avoid personal responsibility so you can have someone else to blame when/if it all goes wrong.
As I mentioned before, I wasn’t a big fan of Shiver, but Sinner felt different. It was written in the beautiful and poetic prose that I have come to love in Stiefvater’s newest series, The Raven Boys. She has a way of getting right to the heart of things. Because Cole and Isabel are so troubled once you peel back the surface this is a story with sharp edges and the writing style reflects that.
Whether you’re a Mercy Falls fan or not is irrelevant. Whether you’re a werewolf fan or not is irrelevant. If you like stories about complex individuals with high emotional stakes, Sinner is a must read....more
Based on a traditional Japanese ghost story, The Girl from the Well is the extremely creepy storyThis review originally posted at More Than Just Magic
Based on a traditional Japanese ghost story, The Girl from the Well is the extremely creepy story of a young girl who was murdered centuries ago. Now she walks the earth in a threadbare shift and long, black matted hair. She has one purpose – vengeance. She looks for men who have other dead children tied to their backs and she sets those children free. She moves from city to city, country to country, leaving a string of inexplicable murders in her wake.
Until she meets Tark, a teenage boy covered with strange tattoos. And he’s being possessed by his own ghost. She doesn’t know exactly why she is drawn to him and his cousin, but she decides to stick with them and watches as Tark struggles with his possession.
I really enjoyed the narrative style of this novel. It’s told from the girl’s point of view and she has a unique voice. She’s invested in and curious about what’s happening but she’s also a little unstable and emotionally blank. She observes but she doesn’t really comment, leaving you to draw your own conclusions about Tark, his cousin and his mother (the person who gave him the tattoos). I enjoyed the freedom of making up my own mind about these characters, rather than having the narrator’s opinions thrust upon me.
Though I liked all the characters in this novel, Tark was easily my favourite. Despite is dire circumstances he was always quick with a joke or a bit of sarcasm. For example, “Dad says there are more than three thousand letters in the Japanese alphabet, which could pose a problem. There are only twenty-six letters in the English alphabet, and I get into enough trouble with them as it is.” This attitude helped lighten up some of the darker parts of the novel. The Girl from the Well can be quite gruesome at times, so I enjoyed these brief interludes.
In addition to a rather unique narrator the writing style itself is unlike most YA books you’ll find today. It was very atmospheric and lyrical in nature. There is a rhythm to the text, which would probably make an excellent audiobook. It’s a short book but you’ll still lose yourself in the story. It’s so suspenseful and since the “monsters” are ghosts/demons they were extremely unpredictable. I wanted the best for all of these characters, but always feared for the worst.
If you like horror movies like The Ring or The Grudge or just regular dark and suspenseful tales, I recommend The Girl from the Well....more
Magical t-shirts, space, crazy monsters? What’s not to love about this book?
Battling Boy is a demi-god who has been sent to Acropolis to prove himself. He’s been told very little about what he’s supposed to do and is only given some magical t-shirts with which to accomplish his goals. He goes in just as blind as the reader and together you discover just how crazy this world is and how much work needs to be done. This is the kind of story that I would have inhaled as a kid (and frankly still is). It’s action packed, dangerous and above all a little crazy. The villain is also incredibly creepy.
In terms of the artwork, I applaud Paul Pope’s unique style but found it a little abnormal for my taste. Sort of like how Ren and Stimpy used to make me feel – a.k.a unsettled. That’s not to say it was bad, just not my style.
Given my affinity for awesome super-heroines it should be no surprise that I was most enthralled with Aurora West, so I am very excited to see she is getting her own book later this year. However upon giving my copy to a nine year old boy I was quickly informed that in fact the t-shirts are the coolest part (and a trip to school for show and tell finds that others agree – I’m outnumbered!)...more
A very spooky and compelling read. Gorgeous artwork as always from Cloonan. Would be good for fans of ghost stories or those looking to get into comicA very spooky and compelling read. Gorgeous artwork as always from Cloonan. Would be good for fans of ghost stories or those looking to get into comics beyond the traditional superhero fare....more
My full review for Half Bad will be appearing in Volume 3 of Inaccurate Realities but short version is I really enjoyed it. Particularly the way SallyMy full review for Half Bad will be appearing in Volume 3 of Inaccurate Realities but short version is I really enjoyed it. Particularly the way Sally Green examined the idea of nature veruss nurture. Are we born bad? Or does society shape us?...more