October was a crazy month here at the Horror Corner!
The most important, (and beautiful thing), was that my lovely niece married her best friend of 20+ years. The ceremony was wonderful and the reception a lot of fun!
Then, two weeks after that was the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival!
You can find my post about that HERE.
Here's a photo of myself with Rio Youers. Isn't he the cutest? He's also extremely gracious and very funny.
All of this is why I only read 10 books this month!
Graphic Novels: Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever by Tom Neely and friends.
Blackwater: The Complete Saga by Michael McDowell, narrated by Matt Godfrey
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Coraline written and narrated by Neil Gaiman
Cthulhu Blues by Douglas Wynne
Halloween Carnival: Volume 4
Halloween Carnival: Volume 5
The Trials of Solomon Parker by Eric Scott Fischl
Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:
(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)
Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017
January Count: 1
February Count: 2
March and April Count: 0
May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)
June & July: 0
August: 1-The Talented Mr. Ripley
September: 1 Carter & Lovecraft
October 0 (But had LOTS of fun with Halloween Bingo!)
Running Count: 7
Graphic Novel Challenge:
(Paced Reading Group on GR)
Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017
January count: 5
February count: 2
March count: 5
April count: 5
May count: 3
June count: 4
July count: 4
August count: 5
Running Count: 35! Challenge Met!
Cthulhu Blues is the third and final book of the SPECTRA FILES trilogy. I'm sad to see the series end!
In this volume, Becca Phillips is in the hospital trying to find a way to get some sleep. While being monitored overnight, Becca begins to sing, while asleep, and weird things begin to happen-not the least of which is the mirror in her room coming alive with... something. Something from the other side?
Jason Brooks, Becca's friend and colleague is still around, and working for SPECTRA, albeit under a new director, when he hears about Becca. He also discovers that a few children have been singing while asleep as well, and now those children are disappearing, one by one. He invites Becca to stay at his house, (turns out he's having trouble sleeping too), and together they begin work on the mystery of the song. They work together, that is, until Becca filches an important artifact from the SPECTRA stores, and joins the missing children to sing WITH them. What will come through, if the chorus is allowed to continue until completion? What will happen to the earth and all of mankind as a result? You will have to read this to find out!
It would be hard to pick up this volume without knowing what happened in the first two, but it's not impossible. (However, I recommend reading the first two because they're creative and a lot of fun!) I have developed quite a liking for both Becca and Jason over the last 2 years as their stories have unfolded. Neither of them are perfect people; they are dealing with PTSD, sleep disturbances and all kinds of other problems that make them come across as more real to me. Even Becca's dog, Django, has a place in my heart. SPECTRA itself is an interesting entity, being the group that helps keep cosmic horrors out of our realm.
Speaking of which, there is no shortage of imaginative cosmic horror here. There are all kinds of Lovecraftian creatures and there never seems to be a shortage of people willing to give up everything, even their lives, to help them take over.
The last entry in this trilogy delivers on the great storytelling that took place in the first two. I have no problem recommending it, or all of the books, really. They're innovative, full of engaging characters, and fascinating monsters. They're everything a horror lover could ask for!
You can get your copy here: Cthulhu Blues
*I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*
“And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.” – When I read this line, I didn’t immediately think about Slaughterhouse Five. If I had made the Slaughterhouse Five/Billy Pilgrim connection, I would probably have ran screaming in the other direction. A Vonnegut fan I am most decidedly not, and Slaughterhouse Five in particular is one of those books that makes my lip curl in disgust when I think about it. But I didn’t make the connection in the synopsis of Agents of Dreamland, so I committed to reading the book.
I can acknowledge that my issues with this book fall under personal taste rather than just bad writing. First off is the prose. I don’t know if this is a trademark of Kiernan’s writing (and if it is she’ll be an author I avoid in the future), but Sweet Baby Cthulhu, Agents of Dreamland is overflowing with metaphors and similes. I don’t mind the occasional one here and there, but there’s definitely a line I draw in the sand. Upon further reflection, it was probably deliberately done to add to the sense of unreality given to you from the plot itself, but it was just outright boring after about four pages in.
There were elements of the novel that I did like. The idea behind the novel itself – of spores of an alien civilization seeding itself upon the earth – was a fun one. I’d like to see a fleshed out version of this plot written with a bit of a blunter pen and more fitted into the sci-fi horror or sci-fi thriller categories. Obviously, the Lovecraftian references delighted me. (The ones that I caught, at least. I’m sure there were some I didn’t get.) There was a snippet of a poem from Lovecraft that she shares near the end of the book that was truly beautiful. I have the full poem marked for reading later. And I did like the connections she made across the ages to add a bit of depth to the story.
However, Kiernan has an interesting mind. That cannot be denied. And there were portions of Agents of Dreamland that did make me think. She also makes some interesting (and apt) observations about humanity. And there was one element in the story that I’ve never seen appear in another science fiction novel, so the uniqueness was appreciated. I just need a little more oomph than ooh la la when it comes to my stories, please.