Got this book at a library sale because I was in the mood for true!hauntings and/or Victorian spiritualism, and got neither. I was a little disappoint...moreGot this book at a library sale because I was in the mood for true!hauntings and/or Victorian spiritualism, and got neither. I was a little disappointed to find out it wasn't a true account, but that didn't ruin the book for me; lots of creepy-haunting books aren't true accounts.
However,I didn't think this book was particularly scary or creepy; it was a fairly run-of-the-mill fictional haunting with some lesbianism thrown in for omgsoshocking!!1!! value.
I didn't think the book felt like a diary at all, and the language doesn't feel like the diary of a woman of that time period, either. I don't think this kind of format has to be presented in strictly period language, but here there's only the most perfunctory effort. It reads as terribly modern, and I found that distracting.
Sukeena is very much cast as the Magical Negro, and I had issues with the descriptions of her - they're very exoticizing, and she doesn't really have any personality beyond "dangerous" or "sensual" or "protective".
For all that Ellen says they're "friends", she constantly refers to Sukeena as "my maid" and only seems to deal with Sukeena in relation to what Sukeena can do for her - supernaturally, physically, sexually. That's...not really what I consider a friendship. I'm not saying that a white woman of the early 1900s wouldn't have radically different views towards black people in general, but it's poorly-done. And there's no real motivation for Sukeena to a) be so loyal to Ellen, and indeed, b)have come to America in the first place.
The only story of the lot that really held my attention was "Pop Art", which was lovely and nicely peculiar. The rest were fairly predictable and unen...moreThe only story of the lot that really held my attention was "Pop Art", which was lovely and nicely peculiar. The rest were fairly predictable and unengaging, both plot- and character-wise. I understand that it can be difficult to create fully-fleshed characters in a short story format, but most of the characters felt like they were only there to hang the plot on. (less)
**spoiler alert** This is not a vampire book. There are no vampires in this book, only people who have ingested blood and gone through a formal ceremo...more**spoiler alert** This is not a vampire book. There are no vampires in this book, only people who have ingested blood and gone through a formal ceremony which makes them immortal. No. Vampires.
However - I wasn't looking for vampires, and didn't want them, so I was a-okay with this series. It's an interesting, original take on immortality, and well-done. I honestly think this book is the weakest in terms of characterization, but that could very well be because I managed to accidentally read the series backwards,and therefore it felt like a bit like character regression.
I did feel like Dawit overreacted to some situations - I mean, come on, he's 400+ years old and he hasn't learned how to lie convincingly/cover his tracks/find a solution to a problem that doesn't include murder? - but I quite liked the flashbacks, and the sense of disconnection he has from humans, while not being able to live solely among immortals for too long.
I'm not sure how I feel about Jessica in this volume; she's a fairly strong character here, and I like that she's the parent who's working too late all the time, but I feel she gets more interesting as the series progresses.
Mostly "meh". There were something interesting things about this book, but there were a lot more things that left me wondering when it was going to ge...moreMostly "meh". There were something interesting things about this book, but there were a lot more things that left me wondering when it was going to get interesting.
And I really don't understand why Beckie would just instantly believe Micheal's story and pretty much go along happily with whatever he wanted to do. Yes, she's grieving, but he's a total stranger, and not entirely coming across as sane.(less)