Saturday, October 29, 2016
"A Feast of Sorrows—Angela Slatter’s first U.S. collection—features twelve of the World Fantasy and British Fantasy Award-winning Australian author’s finest, darkest fairy tales, and adds two new novellas to her marvelous cauldron of fiction.
Stories peopled by women and girls—fearless, frightened, brave, bold, frail, and fantastical—who take the paths less traveled by, accept (and offer) poisoned apples, and embrace transformation in all its forms. Reminiscent of Angela Carter at her best, Slatter’s work is both timeless and fresh: fascinating new reflections from the enchanted mirrors of fairy tales and folklore."
A very entertaining read! Dark and disturbing fairy-tales with their plots/characters interwoven. Trigger warnings for infanticide/miscarriages/children being stillborn. Rape, both attempted and successful. Incest, both attempted and successful. Bestiality of a kind, necrophilia of a kind. Violence and pedophilia. Most of the above happens off-screen as it were, but it is talked about, mentioned and hinted at.
An awesome set of stories of vengeance and good vs. evil in fairy-tale settings. Good may indeed win at the end but evil gets in a lot of good hits first.
The continuity was great! The stories take place in the same world but at different times and locations.
I loved the complexity of the characters and heroines. They may (or may not) be good and clever like in most traditional fairy tales but they are also scared, angry, at times evil, determined, loving etc. They're very complex, sometimes unlikeable, with varied motives and worldviews.
The collection includes: (With what I rated each beside them)
1. Sourdough 5 stars
2. Dresses, Three 3.75 stars
3. Bluebeard's Daughter 4.5 stars
4. The Jacaranda Wife 5 stars
5. Light as Mist, Heavy as Hope 5 stars
6. The Coffin-Maker's Daughter 3.5 stars
7. By the Weeping Gate 2.75 stars
8. St. Dymphna's School for Poison Girls 4 stars
9. By My Voice I Shall Be Known 3 stars
10. Sister, Sister 5 stars
11. The Badger Bride 3.75 stars
12. The Tallow-Wife 4.5 stars
13. What Shines Brightest Burns Most Fiercely 4 stars
14. Bearskin 3.75 stars
Averaged together is 4.11 stars, which is incredibly high for an anthology for me!
Oh and I got this as an Ebook from Netgalley.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
"When Toby Magill, now a veteran of Killer Pizza’s underground Monster Hunting Organization, makes the chilling discovery that vampires have invaded the small town of Raven's Run, he and his fellow Monster Combat Officers, Annabel and Strobe, have no time to lose. They must defeat the undead creatures before their numbers spread. But in this action packed third Killer Pizza adventure, the KP teens find themselves up against a supernatural enemy far more dangerous than any they have faced so far.
The challenges - including a midnight battle in an unearthly cemetery, a creepy, abandoned mansion and a beautiful but very lethal young vampire - are many. Can the MCOs prevail? Or will their perilous mission prove to be their last? Anything is possible in the deadly monster universe of Killer Pizza!"
I unfortunately had something horrible happen in real life while I was reading this book that put a damper on it for me. Hopefully that doesn't bring the book down, as that isn't the books fault, but it might be bringing it down anyway. Anyway...
This is another great action-packed book in the Killer Pizza trilogy! The last one sadly as far as I am aware. I loved getting to know the characters even more and seeing their interactions with each other and life in general. The plot was pretty fast-paced, it's a quick easy read and full of action scenes. I had a few issues while reading the book but some of them were addressed in it, all pretty minor (to me). It still has that same cheesy feel to it but to me that's a guilty pleasure read, only I don't feel guilty about it because why should I?
Toby, the main character, goes through some character development which for the most part I loved. If real life hadn't messed me up (my cat passed away in an accident) i'm sure this would have immersed me much more and sucked me just like the first 2. If you've read and enjoyed the first 2 I think you'll enjoy this last book. I do wish we had more at the end though...it kind of left off a bit more open ended than I would have liked but over all I am satisfied with the journey these books took me on.
And why is this last book on kindle only? I mean I have a tablet that allows me to use the Amazon kindle app but having the first 2 in paperback just feels...weird to have this one kindle plus that means if someone doesn't have an Ereader of some sort, they are out of luck. Though reading stuff at the end of this book seems to show this one wasn't even planned initially so it may not be completely necessary but if you love the first 2 generally people would want to pick up the next book, only to find out...they can't? Sorry that's an odd gripe I guess.
Overall I enjoyed it and gave it 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
"Four months after they discover that their new place of employment, Killer Pizza, was a front for an underground Monster Hunting Organization, Toby and his fellow rookie Monster Combat Officers, Annabel and Strobe, have been invited to New York City to tour KP Headquarters. But the exclusive tour is cut short when a monster emergency sends the trio off on a secret mission delivering Calanthe, a beautiful 14-year-old, defecting monster with serpent-like abilities, into the Monster Protection Program. It seems like an easy assignment until the teens realize Calanthe is the sacrificial offering in a ceremony set to happen in a few days and her people will stop at nothing to get her back!"
This is a very fast-paced and action-packed book! It still has some R.L.Stine and Buffy vibes for me. I loved seeing more of the characters, especially Strobe, and finding a new character to love, Calanthe. It has a lot of action in it's pages and feels more like an action book than a horror book to me personally but I loved it just the same!
It can be cheesy at times, and I saw another review mentioning that it does some telling rather than showing and explaining what that ment, which is a fair point (I didn't know what that ment before really). I rolled my eyes a couple times but it didn't personally bother me, I know it might to others though. I love me some cheesy action-packed horror book, but of course it's not everyone's cup of tea, but if it is yours ala Goosebumps maybe i'd recommend it! It does have a nice little message about choosing your own destiny in there too.
The characters are fleshed out to me, continuing on from the first book in the trilogy. The pacing is great. The writing is a bit cheesy in areas but for the most part I loved it and nothing bothered me too much. I gave it 4.75 out of 5 stars.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
"When Silla and her little sister, Nori, escape London and their abusive father, Aunt Cath's country house feels like a safe haven. Leaving the smog and fear behind, the girls have the love and freedom they never had in their violent home. But slowly, ever so slowly, things begin to unravel.
Aunt Cath locks herself in the attic and spends day and night pacing; every day the surrounding forest inches slowly towards the house; a mysterious boy appears from the enclosing wood offering friendship, and Nori claims that a man watches them from the dark forest. A man with no eyes who creeps ever closer."
First I think I'm supposed to say I read an uncorrected proof but I didn't really notice many issues with that. I had gotten it from netgalley and should have read it months ago.
Anyway this book was...strange. I very much enjoyed it though! It was confusing at first trying to figure out what was going on but in a way that made me want to keep reading to figure it out. I kept thinking I knew what was going on...and then I kept being wrong. I did not see that ending coming and I loved it! It tugged at my heart and did make me cry and now I can't stop thinking about the book. I am writing this after having read it and gotten some sleep and I still can't stop thinking about the book and putting together all the little puzzle pieces.
The ending did wrap up a bit too fast for my taste. Everything is wrapped up nicely but kind of fast at the end. I just wish there was a little more to it.
The writing drew me in and had me wanting to keep reading to figure out what the heck was going on. It was very atmospheric and I had no trouble picturing it in my head. The pacing was pretty good, maybe a little slow to start and fast to wrap up at the end. It was creepy and that is exactly what I was looking for.
If you want a creepy book that will have you guessing until the end i'd recommend it.
3.75 out of 5 stars
Saturday, October 15, 2016
"LaVaughn is fifteen now, and she's still fiercely determined to go to college. But that's the only thing she's sure about. Loyalty to her father bubbles up as her mother grows closer to a new man. The two girls she used to do everything with have chosen a path LaVaughn wants no part of. And then there's Jody. LaVaughn can't believe how gorgeous he is...or how confusing. He acts like he's in love with her, but is he?"
Where to begin?! At first I was disappointed to not see Jolly as it's told from LaVaughn's POV again but Jolly is seen and I do see why it's told from LaVaughn's POV, so the disappointment was short-lived. Again, it's a poweful book! Talking about crime and living in a crime-filled neighborhood, which brought me back to my childhood...I heard gunshots all the time growing up and long before I was even 10 I stopped flinching at the sound...I was used to it. No child should be used to gun-shots but I digress, I know I could have had it a lot worse. It also talks about education, in a poor area and in hard-hitting ways. LaVaughn is a determined, sensitive, smart and sometimes naive 15 year old girl determined to go to college and get out of her crime-ridden area.
She deals with heartache, friendship problems, questions about life and religion. There were times I was downright angry at the book and wanted to throw it across the room, but I kept reading and i'm so glad I did! It even had me confront some of my own prejudices against Christianity, when in reality there are wonderful Christians out there, as this book does show, and it's just the extreme fanatics that are a problem, if you can even call them Christian in the first place with all of their hate. I want to put that out there because it may at some point in the book make you want to tear it to shreds, at least it did me and may for others too, possibly for a different reason though, but just reading on and reading it closely it does all come together.
It addresses powerful subjects including strict, judgmental religion that harms rather than heals, first love, homosexuality, abandonment of friends and the incredible positive influence that a mother and teachers can make! (Yes I took that sentence from another review on goodreads as I couldn't have said it better myself)
There were times I was very frustrated with LaVaughn but I could also remember when I was 15, and could relate to her in some ways including some of the very things I was frustrated over. I rolled my eyes and was frustrated at other characters at times too.
I loved the characters though and how real they were. The writing, the messages, the story, the pacing, how it's easy to read and fly through and still so powerful. How it made me think. I do highly recommend this trilogy so far, I just have one more book to go in it!
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
"Sister Vs. Sister!
Step-sisters Yuzu and Mei have finally owned up to their feelings and started dating. But a new semester brings trouble in the form of Mitsuko, the former student council president. Mitsuko is determined to see troublemaker Yuzu expelled. She gives Yuzu an ultimatum: if Yuzu can beat Mei in the student council elections, she can stay. Can Yuzu find a way to win the election and hold onto her newfound romance?"
First I want to say, in case anyone is wondering, i'm changing it to "book thoughts" rather than "book review" because review kinda stresses me out and really, it's just my thoughts on the book. I'm doing this for me, and if anyone else gets anything out of it or enjoys it that's great, but i'm still doing it for me. It's not really any different though than before, just "thoughts" instead of "review" lol. Anyway, onto the book!
It had been awhile since I read the last volume, so I did read my summary and all that for a quick refresher on what was going on. Not to mention the blurb helped.
It's a quick, fun Manga series. I really enjoyed this volume for a couple reasons! Mei and Yuzu's relationship development, not too fast but finally going somewhere. The message that is in it about being yourself and finding yourself. Life isn't always easy (in fact it hardly ever is easy) and sometimes it can be tough to be yourself, you may even come up against hard choices when certain things or people want to make you conform and "fall in line" taking away your individuality, sacrifices may have to be made but is giving up who you are really worth it? No, no it isn't. Sometimes, people are even quite mysterious, but for good reason.
Don't get me wrong. It's still very much a fun, light, quick and cute Manga read. I still got the above out of it, and I loved it!
The pacing was quick. I read it in about 2 hours I believe. It wasn't too quick, though there were a few times I was temporarily confused, but re-reading it I was able to figure it out and i'm just not used to Manga and get confused easily. I loved the characters, good, flawed and human teen girls. I cried twice and also laughed. There were parts that tugged at my heart, which at first I didn't think was going to happen as it had been awhile since I read anything and even longer since I read volume 4 of this, but eventually it did indeed make me cry, in a good way! I loved the message that made it's way in it. It seems (mentions it at the end) that there will still be more, and I can't wait to see where it goes! I don't know how long this series will be but i'm pretty sure I will devour every volume at this rate! 5 out of 5 stars