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review 2017-08-14 18:40
Song of Susannah (Dark Tower #6) by Stephen King, narrated by George Guidall
Song of Susannah - George Guidall,Stephen King

 

Song of Susannah was not as enjoyable for me this time around. I deducted one star from my original rating.

 

It seemed like there were a lot of words, (especially the word "chap", enough already!) but the story didn't seem to move very far.

 

What I really enjoyed about this audio book were the diary entries from SK himself, which were read by the narrator after the story was over. In these entries, he talks about his drinking, about how some of the DT stories came about, and about how he and his wife argued over his taking his daily walks alongside a busy highway. That was truly chilling. I don't remember these being in the book back when I read it the first time, so it may be something that was only included in the audio, or in reprints of the original book? If I'm in error about that, I'm sure someone will let me know.

 

I only have one book to go in my audio re-read of the DT series.

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review 2017-08-13 15:20
The Lost Boys Volume 1 by Tim Seeley
The Lost Boys Vol. 1 - Tim Seeley

 

The Lost Boys Vol. 1 picks up where the movie left off. The Frog brothers are celebrating their victory over David and his gang of vampires but their victory is short-lived. There are new vampires in town and their gang is called the Blood Belles. Will the Frog brothers be able to defeat this new gang in the "murder capital of the world," Santa Carla? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I enjoyed the nostalgia I felt while reading this. Back in 1987 when the movie came out, it was all the rage. We got two Coreys-Feldman and Haim, not to mention the good looking Jason Patrick. For me though, it was great to see David again,(portrayed by the incredibly hot Kiefer Sutherland in the film), he was always my favorite. I think this volume stayed true to the feel of the original movie and the characters-I was happy about that.

 

 

What I didn't much like was the dialogue and the simplicity of the story line. I understand that this is for fun and nostalgia and all that, but there's no reason that the story can't be more geared to adults. Even though there was some language here, I feel like it was geared more to the person I was back in the 80's, rather than who I am now. Does that make any sense?

 

 

 

I can't complain too much though, because I did enjoy this comic quite a bit. The graphics were dynamic and true to the movie and I loved seeing all these old characters again-(man, I wanted to be Star, [Jamie Gertz]), back then. I had a lot of fun reading this and will continue with the series, if only just for the fun and nostalgia of it.

 

On sale August 15th, here: The Lost Boys Vol. 1

 

 

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the e-ARC of this graphic novel in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-08-12 22:39
Book Review of The Amulet: Journey to Sirok (The Elias Chronicles Book 1) by E.G. Kardos
The Amulet: Journey to Sirok (The Elias Chronicles) (Volume 1) - E. G. Kardos

WHEN TWIN SWORDS COLLIDE, an incredible power is unleashed and a new world opens. Defeating the three-headed dragon is the only way for Elias to seize his treasure. THE AMULET- Journey to Sirok is a magical adventure as Elias searches to find a sorcerer named Zoltan to reveal clues to his search.

 

Review 3*

 

This is the first book in an intriguing fantasy series. I enjoyed it but with reservations.

 

Elias is an interesting character. I really liked him. He is a young boy living in a remote village in Hungary. He is the son of a farmer, but he has no interest in being a farmer like his father or two brothers. He is an artist and loves to draw and paint the beautiful scenery and animals living in the forest surrounding the farm. When his Nattymama (Grandmother) tells him the tale of Zoltan, a sorcerer, who lives in Budapest and who can help Elias find his fortune, Elias sets off on a journey to meet him, but faces many obstacles and dangers along the way.

 

This is quintessentially a coming of age tale. When I first started reading this book I struggled with the author's writing style and it took me a while to get into it. Elias is only fifteen (nearly sixteen), so I was surprised at how harshly his father treated him. Just because a child doesn't want to follow in the parent's footsteps, a parent should encourage their child to follow their own path, not throw them out of the house. Unfortunately, it is more common than one would think. Having said that, Elias is a pretty level-headed boy and is able to keep his wits about him even when things look really dire at times. There is also a little folklore woven into the tale, with mention of monsters like the Sarkany, a three-headed serpent dragon that becomes a representation of a person's worst nature.

 

Elias meets several characters (including monsters) along his journey, but I found the majority of them to be one-dimensional and forgettable for the most part. Even the Sarkany didn't seem particularly scary or threatening. This made me feel sad. Nattymama was the only other character that felt lifelike besides Elias. However, I am not in the age range this book is aimed at, so younger readers may not have the same opinion as myself.

 

I reached the end of the story with mixed emotions. I was happy at the way it concluded, but also a little disappointed that the story left me feeling rather ambivalent to it. I don't like saying this but I don't think I will be continuing with the series. Although the character of Elias was interesting, there was not enough character development or excitement generated for me to want to read the next book in the series.

 

E.G. Kardos has written an interesting middle grade/young adult fantasy. The author's writing style felt a little stilted in my opinion, and I struggled to get to grips with it in the beginning. It is not particularly fast paced, however, it kept me turning the pages. The story flowed wonderfully from scene to scene, and is written in such a descriptive way I could picture the tale easily in my minds eye.

 

I highly recommend this book to children aged 10 upwards and to adults who love reading YA/Middle Grade Fantasy. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-08-09 01:17
Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman
Marvel 1602 - Neil Gaiman,Richard Ianove,Andy Kubert

This was tongue in cheek fun and it was beautifully illustrated. 

I am beginning to believe that Neil Gaiman can do anything. 

I'm not very familiar with the Marvel universe as I'm still relatively new to comics and graphic novels and superheroes really aren't my thing. But you don't need to know all of that stuff to enjoy this. I knew enough to recognize most of the characters by their real names and that was all I needed to know. So if you're thinking about giving this a try, I say go for it. And if my word isn't enough, feast your eyes on a just a little bit of the beauty within!

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-08-04 19:35
Behold! Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders edited by Doug Murano
Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders - Doug Murano

I took one look at the cover and decided I had to read this. I wrongly assumed it was about the carny life and ever since reading Geek Love I’ve been drawn to those types of books. These stories aren’t about sideshow freaks and pop-up carnivals but they’re mostly pretty good despite that. 

The book is broken up into three sections. Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders. I enjoyed more of the stories in the first two categories and started to feel a little fatigued by the end. This is typical of me and short story collections (see my review for Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror) and likely says nothing about the collection but there it is.

Let’s start with the ODDITIES.

Larue’s Dime Museum by Lisa Morton Julia is intrigued by two old photos she discovers at an antique shop and brings them home. Soon her life has turned into a creepy Twilight Zone episode. This tale sets just the right tone for this collection.

Wildflower, Cactus by Rose Brian Kirk The price of beauty and the ugliness of human nature leads two women down the path of body modification and helps them find their power. 

"The world is a mirror. What do you want to see?"

I wish this story had been a bit longer but I truly enjoyed what was there.

The Baker of Millepoix by Hal Bodner A heartbroken man buys a bakery and gives it his all (and that’s all I’m saying!). Before long, miracles start to happen. I do believe this was my favorite story in the collection. It has it all. There is a great setup, character building, fabulous storytelling and even a little humor. You must read it. 

Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament by Clive Barker I've read this one twice before in Clive Barker’s Books of Blood Vol. 2 . I nearly skipped it this time around but am glad I didn’t.

Jacqueline discovers she has a grisly talent that terrifies her a little. It would terrify me too. It’s a pretty dastardly power. But once she realizes what a rush of power it brings, she develops a new lust for life. She perfects her talent and wields it to exact revenge and rid herself of pesky men. It’s dark, bloody, visceral, horribly humorous (if you’re warped) and classic Clive Barker. Even on this, my third reading, I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time. 

An Exhibition of Mother and Monster by Stephanie M. Wytovich This is a damning poem on those who glee in the sideshow freaks. Now I almost feel bad for my little fetish.

Next up: CURIOSITIES

I love shops filled with old treasures. The creepier the better.

Madame Painte: For Sale by John Langan Intrigued by a "must be kept outside" sign accompanying a strangely painted garden gnome, “you” decide to bring it inside and learn more about its story. And it's a horrible story, indeed! It's devilishly evil and I adored it. How come the old crap I bring home never has such a sinister secret life?!

Chivalry by Neil Gaiman Gaiman’s dry wit is on full display as he tells this tale about a stubborn old bitty who stumbles upon the Holy Grail and refuses to part with it! Sir Galaad brings her all sorts of gifts in order to get it back but she is not at all impressed. If I had the ability to laugh out loud while reading, this would’ve been the story to make me to do it. Simply charming.

 

VERY IMPT. BONUS NOTES: I just discovered that Levar Burton reads this in episode 7 of his new podcast! Drop everything and go listen!!

Fully Boarded by Ramsey Campbell I know Ramsey Campbell is a legend in horrorland but his writing has never quite worked for me. The same goes here. This story is about a travel reviewer, a wristband and some truly terrible hospitality. I’d give this a three. It was ok, slightly on the “meh” side of the scale and not my favorite here. 

In Amelia’s Wake by Erinn L. Kemper This story is slathered all over with grief. It’s about a group of brother’s who are watching over Amelia Earhart's plane and about a slithery thing that hides in the shadows. I thought it was slightly eerie but slow and it ended too suddenly.

A Ware That Will Not Keep by John F.D. Taff A dying man shares a terrible story from his past. Now this one was took my breath away. It’s a creative and haunting little tale and that ending? Damn, that will be hard to forget.

Earl Pruitt’s Smoker by Patrick Freivald A bee keeper’s old smoker brings one woman the freedom and excitement she so desperately craves but it also brings out the worst in her. This is such an imaginative and chilling little story that smacks you in the face with the consequences of your darker side. 

As a Guest at the Telekinetic Tea Party Stephanie M. Wytovich A whimsical poem that takes a dark turn. This one, at least, didn’t leave me with the guilts!

Hazelnuts and Yummy Mummies Lucy A. Snyder This tale lures you in with the funny but then takes a sad turn as a woman faces the one moment she wishes she could redo. 

And, finally, we have UNDEFINABLE WONDERS. This is the part of the collection where my attention began to wane. I only found one of the stories exceptional and completely engaging. The rest were a little bit of a struggle for me to finish.

The Shiny Fruit of Our Tomorrows by Brian Hodge This story follows a bunch of down on their luck train hoppers as they attempt to find a tree that is rumored to have magical powers that may lead them down a better path. It’s strikingly real but maintains a sense of wonder but was missing a little certain something for me.

The Wakeful Kristi DeMeester This is a weird story about a teacher, a bad relationship, a strange little girl and a terrible garden. Is it a tale of madness or something else? I am left unsure but it I do know that it left me feeling unsettled.

Knitter by Christopher Coake My favorite of the undefinable wonders. The author creates a dark vision of another world where people are trying to live their lives while attempting to avoid ever seeing a creature they call "knitters" who have a devastating power that they use at will. It has a fairytale like feel with a pitch black undertone, hypnotizing prose and an ending that hurts.

Through Gravel by Sarah Read There is a society living underground who call themselves “The Kindred”. As time goes by, their numbers shrink but a newbie arrives with new ideas that will invigorate their group but The Kindred’s greed may be their downfall. This story didn’t do it for me. I cannot explain the reasons. 

Hiraeth by Richard Thomas I may have been out of steam by the time I arrived at this story because I didn’t understand it. It could be my lack of brain cells that caused me to miss nuanced symbolism or whatnot but honestly I’m too tired to think and don’t want to work this hard to comprehend a short story. It’s about a poor farmer’s son who has a hole running through is body, a prickly tree with forbidden fruit and the pain the hapless boy brings upon himself – I think. It was weird, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I’m beat and that’s all I have. There is some wondrous storytelling within these pages and, even though some of the stories weren’t meant for me, it’s most definitely a collection worth checking out!

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