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Search tags: A.R.-Hawkins
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review 2017-11-05 17:01
Really Not Sure What to Say About this Book.
The Library at Mount Char - Scott Hawkins

I am still trying to figure out what I just read, and what to say about it!!!!! This book was really messed up that's for sure. I really wasn't sure if it was a 3 or 4 star for me, so I gave it a 3 1/2  star rating. Steve, Carolyn, and Erwin were to me the most interesting characters in the book and I am not really sure if I liked or hated how the story ended for each of these individuals. David was really a distributed individual, and he really gave the creeps, and I am not really sure how I felt about his ending in the book. And the mystery of what happened with "father", I am delighted not sure how I felt about his story either.

I guess just like the book, these individual characters ended went along with that. The book was just so weird that at times I just didn't know if I was going to want and finish this book at all. But I just had to see what was going to happen to everyone, especially Erwin, Carolyn, and Steve. And to see how things were going to wind up. Favorite part has to be with Steve and the Lions. It was interesting to find out why Carolyn acted the way she did towards Steve. I really didn't have a favorite or really care for anyone in particular, but if I had to pick someone it would be a tie between Steve and Erwin.

I really loved the cover, and I am not sure if I would ever read the book again, but who knows.

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review 2017-11-03 18:35
The Library at Mount Char / Scott Hawkins
The Library at Mount Char - Scott Hawkins

Carolyn's not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts.  After all, she was a normal American herself once.  

That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father.  In the years since then, Carolyn hasn't had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient customs. They've studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God. 

Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation.  As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her, all of them with powers that far exceed her own.  But Carolyn has accounted for this.  And Carolyn has a plan.

The only trouble is that in the war to make a new God, she's forgotten to protect the things that make her human.


4 dark and twisty stars.

I spent the first couple of chapters of this book wondering WTF? What is going on here? Who are these people? Are they really people? Then things started to weave together for me—if not exactly making sense, I could start to see a pattern developing and it intrigued me. By the end, I was enjoying the hell out of it.

I’m a pretty devoted fantasy reader and I chose this book for my real-life book club as a horror choice. I had to sit and think about that once I was finished. Was this horror? I had to go look up some definitions of the horror genre, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it does indeed slot into that classification. It has supernatural elements. It is surreal and sometimes gruesome. It is unsettling. I guess that I associate horror with being scared and because I wasn’t hiding under my bedcovers, this felt more like dark fantasy to me.

It’s been decades since I read The Epic of Gilgamesh, but I thought about it when reading about David, who reminded me a bit of Enkidu, the Wildman. I have to say that all the resurrections and being children of a god made me think of the New Testament too and its stories about Jesus. The lions, Dresden and Naga, brought C.S. Lewis’ Aslan to mind as well, so there were just threads pulling all over the place to all these other works.

What made me laugh, after I was done, was reading the author’s biographical note and seeing that he’s very involved in dog rescue, including owning a “pack” of foster dogs. One of the more disturbing events in the book is a scene where Steve and the two lions must fight off an unending stream of supernaturally determined dogs!

I love it when an author doesn’t get all explainy and lets you sort things out for yourself. I also love it when details that seem like throw-away items early in the book become suddenly significant when the chips are down.

A very impressive debut novel and I shall be very interested to see what this author produces next.

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text 2017-10-30 18:04
Next up on the reading schedule
The Library at Mount Char - Scott Hawkins
To Green Angel Tower - Tad Williams
Allan Quatermain - Henry Rider Haggard
Path of the Eclipse - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
The Green Man - Kingsley Amis

I feel I did really well on the Halloween Bingo this year.  I predict that I will finish Bitten before the end of the 31st, so I will only have missed one book on my bingo card, The Green Man, which I had chosen for the Ghost square.  I'll read TGM early in November, since I already have it in hand.


My next priority, however, had to be The Library at Mount Char for my real-life book club, which meets this Friday evening!  As long as I've made a good start on it, I'll be happy.


Then I start dealing with what's due when at the library!  To Green Angel Tower is due first and it's one of the heaviest paperbacks that I've every lifted!  To be followed by two interlibrary loans, The Path of the Eclipse and Allan Quatermain.


This should keep me out of trouble for the next while!


Happy November reading, my friends.

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text 2017-10-29 16:26
Another Double Bingo!
A Spark of Justice - J.D. Hawkins
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
Symphony of Ruin: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel - Christina Lay
One Blood - Qwantu Amaru
Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
A Latent Dark - Martin Kee
Mirror Mirror - Anthony M. Strong
Mary Reilly - Valerie Martin
Sleepy Hollow: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane) (Volume 2) - Richard Gleaves

OK so that's no surprise this late in the game. I've already commented on these books in previous Bingo posts so will just say the ones to read are A Spark of Justice, Mary Reilly and Bridge of Bones (2nd in a series)


One square left waiting for a call. But I thought there was one I dn't have still not called, so I'm confused.


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review 2017-10-28 15:52
Into the Water is All Wet
Into the Water: A Novel - Paula Hawkins

Trigger warning: rape


After "The Girl on the Train" I should have passed on reading this. But I figured I would give Paula Hawkins one more try. This book was all over the place with too many characters and motivations to keep straight. The writing was not good, nor was the flow. Also I picked out who did it straight away so that wasn't even a surprise. There is a lack of descriptions of people and the setting through the whole book. It doesn't even reads taking place in England by the way. Just some faceless town that sounds way too "American". Also there's barely any dialogue between characters. Enjoy reading inner monologues all over the place. 


"Into the Water" is supposedly about a woman named Jules, called back to a summer place she and her family stayed at while growing up. Jules sister Nel is found dead, an apparent suicide. However Jules doesn't believe her sister committed suicide. Be prepared though for Jules to not really do a thing about that and spend the majority of the book "talking" to her sister and relieving a traumatic event that caused her to cut her sister off from her as an adult. 


There's about 10 other character POVs we get in this one by the way. Besides Jules we have her niece Lena, Lena's friend who committed suicide younger brother Josh and his mother Louise. We have the local police (two of them) the local policeman's wife and father. Lena's school teacher, and a local psychic. I feel like I'm blanking on someone, but I can't even recall at this point. That's way too many people to track while reading. There's absolutely no development since each chapter POV is around 3 pages long. Just know everyone but Josh is terrible in some way. 


Ultimately we have Nel's death leading to consequences for a lot of characters in this book Nel seemed hell bent writing a book about the local swimming hole that had a lot of deaths attached to it. When a young girl who was best friend's with Lena dies, many blame Nel's research as making suicide fascinating to teens. 


The writing was not great. I can see why each chapter needed the character name since after a while all the characters sounded the same. We also get excerpts from Nel's book in between some chapters that also makes things confusing. The flow was non-existent since jumping every few pages to another character makes it hard for the plot to progress. 


The setting of this book is some English town though at times I thought I was reading about some town in New England. I don't know why but when I think of witches being drowned which is about one of the stories that Nel is writing about, I automatically think of Salem. It doesn't help that we don't really get a sense of the town or the place or anything else because none of the character seem to pay attention to anybody but themselves. It's just disappointing because I think there was a very good glimmer of an idea in this book that just got lost because there was way too much going on. 


Ultimately I think that just maybe this book was a bit too rushed that people were trying to build on the success of "The Girl on the Train." I mean I'm one of those few readers that thought that book was just overblown hype and wasn't as good as everybody else kept talking about. And I definitely don't think this book is good at all. If you're going to read it I suggest you get it from the library and you don't waste your money on on this. There's better thriller books out there I think that are going to be worth your time.

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