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text 2017-09-19 14:32
Bingo Update! I have a row!
Children of Chaos - Greg F. Gifune
Cabal - Clive Barker
Mirror Mirror - Anthony M. Strong
Helltown - Jeremy Bates
Stalking Jack - Madison Kent

It doesn't count as Bingo because the squares haven't all been called, but I have a row completed. :D



Now the question is, which to target next? The diagonal row or the second across row? Both have three called squares. So I'm doing one from each that are fairly short and we'll see what happens next. I really want to start Dead Sea by Tim Curran for Monsters square, but it's nearly 600 pages!

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review 2017-09-19 13:16
Magic world with teenager managing a home improvement service by magic



The Last Dragonslayer - Jasper Fforde The Last Dragonslayer - Jasper Fforde  


This book fits Magic Realism, Chilling Children and probably Witches. 


Reading this one now. More like a magical world where wizards would take care of moles problem with charms. 


Sound like fun. 


Oh my goodness. This story is great. 


Jennifer Strange is 15 and going on 16. She manages a magic service agency that do delivery by flying carpet and finding missing items by magic.


She is trying to find out about a prophecy that Big Magic with capital letter M is happening because the last dragon is going to be killed.


The story moves smoothly and then a lot of real life issues happened in this fantasy land. 


Like it a lot. Looking forward to the next one.  

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review 2017-09-18 21:20
Down A Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
Down a Dark Hall - Lois Duncan

I read this one for the Chilling Children square! It would also work for Ghost, Haunted Houses, Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Gothic, Terror in a Small Town and Classic Horror.


I am giving this book 3 1/2 stars based upon my enjoyment of the book this time around. If I had been rating this book circa 1976, two years after it was published and I was 10, I would've given it one million stars, once I emerged from my hiding place under my comforter. Because this book scared the bejeezus out of me when I read it as a pre-teen!


I still maintain that Down a Dark Hall is the scariest Duncan, with it's ghostly elements. A relatively short story, the author does a tremendously effective job in building tension. I can still visualize the climactic scene in my mind from when I first read it more than 40 years ago. I doubt that it would have the same impact on today's relatively sophisticated young people, but I can say that my daughter, at around age 13, disappeared into the kindle reissues of Duncan's books for one entire month during the summer vacation between 7th and 8th grade. She devoured them, reading one after another until she had read them all. She would come to me, kindle in hand, a look of pleading in her eyes and ask for Gallows Hill or I Know What You Did Last Summer or Summer of Fear. And, being a sucker for a child asking for a book, my answer was yes, yes, and yes again, at which point she would disappear to her tree house with an apple, reappearing only for dinner.


Duncan's books all involve young, female protagonists. While hardly revolutionary now, given the plethora of YA books published every year centering around young women, Duncan's books were unique in their time. Adults are largely absent, unless they are actively sinister. Young women, and groups of young women, frequently act together to get into, and get out of, their own problems. Evil wears both a female and a male face, but the victims are almost always young women who must empower themselves to face their fears and vanquish their tormentors.


Down a Dark Hall plays to these themes admirably. Kit is dropped off at Blackwood Hall by her parents who either cannot or will not see the obvious clues that danger lurks there. The red flags are so big that they are flapping loudly in the face of anyone with eyes to see. Kit is abandoned, at risk, and must literally fight her way out of danger. That she succeeds is a triumph. And that Duncan has created a terrifyingly realistic story out of frankly supernatural happenings is remarkable. 


At the end of the book, there's a discussion with Duncan, who is still alive although she hasn't written anything new in years. In the Q&A, she talks about the process of updating the books in 2011 for the modern tween, where she attempts to deal with the reality that today's youth possess cell phones that enable them to call 9-1-1 at basically any moment. On the one hand, she did a reasonable job in fixing the texts. On the other hand, they are still obviously books for a different era, and, in some ways, I feel like it would've been better to just leave things as they are and let kids read them as books published before widespread availability of technology.


If you're interested in the ubiquitous nature of the Duncan YA horror phenomenon that swept teen and pre-teen girls in the 1970's, that extends even to today, the New Yorker published a lovely article titled I Know What I Read That Summer, which you can find here.

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review 2017-09-17 20:53
You already know the tune!
The Children at the Playground - Tracey M. Cox,Dolores Costello

This is a cute book based on the well-known children's song; The Wheels on the Bus. As this just happens to be one of my grandson's favourite songs, it was perfectly suited to him and he was mesmerised from the start.


The illustrations were excellent, colourful and clear, if slightly childish. 


There was a small issue of language here though, as none of the parents who read the book along with me, had any idea what a teeter-totter was, and everyone ended up substituting the word see-saw. Similarly, frisbee would have fitted the rhyme better than disc towards the end. Never mind, small niggles really, my grandson loved it and that's what counts.

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review 2017-09-14 14:47
Amber, the 16 yr old girl demon is on the run
Demon Road 02. Desolation - Derek Landy

The 2nd book of the series following "Demon Road". Amber is now safe from her parents, but not from the demon that gave his parents power. 


She is on the run with her protector Milo. 


This is more blood and gory on this installment. 


Reading this for Chilling Children square. 




OK. Amber is a bit more demon-y than the last one. Also, the single romantic exchange lack the build-up that it needs.


So... it is more like a irrational teenager who is a bit off than a rational teenager character perceived by teenagers. Do adults really think of teenagers this way?


The kiss a bit too awkward.


The fights a bit too bloody for my taste. 


The mistake made, not wearing a seat belt while playing chicken with an enemy vehicle.


All mistake that really pieces of the story that is not doing much to the plot. 


Where is the plot btw?


Amber is being chase by Hell Hound who are more like mean bikers. 


Javier and other amateur demon fighters are all added to the story without really adding strength to the fight. 


So... not the highest point. But still readable. Like a girl in the lead. Like being at least somewhat LGBT friendly.


So... probably going to read the last one of the series. 



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