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review 2018-12-15 00:42
The Drowning
The Drowning - J.P. Smith

As the legend goes - every seven years a boy disappears from Camp Waukeelo. Eight-year-old Joey Proctor doesn't like deep water. He can't swim. This frustrates 18-year-old camp counselor Alex Mason who takes little Joey out to a raft in the middle of a lake and then accidentally forgets about him. Twenty years have passed and Joey has still never been found. Alex Mason is now a successful businessman. His wife, his daughters, his house, his car.. they're all beautiful. He's managed to keep what happened at Camp Waukeelo a secret. But now it seems like Joey Proctor is back for revenge.

This book was easy to read, it didn't take long to fly through the pages. That being said, the book was also quite boring. The whole time it felt like we were on the verge of something big happening, and although the story did get better the closer we got to the end, that "something big" never really happened. Even the ending left me unsatisfied. I appreciate the cleverness woven throughout the story and the blurb sounded promising but unfortunately it missed the mark with me.

Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an ARC.

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review 2018-12-03 12:54
Early Lew Archer in fine form
The Drowning Pool - Ross Macdonald

Though this is the third of Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer novels that I’ve read, it’s the first one from the early years of his series. As such it was an especially interesting read, as I could see all of the elements that I’ve come to enjoy at an early stage of their development. Not only did it help me to better understand the formula to his stories that is emerging from my reading of Macdonald’s works, but it also highlighted the differences between the books and how his style changed over the years. This was all on top of my enjoyment of the book itself, of course, in which Archer is asked to investigate a case of blackmail that leads to murder and the unveiling of long-kept family secrets: in short, everything that I’ve come to enjoy in an Archer novel.

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review 2018-10-28 17:43
Mira Grant: Into the Drowning Deep
Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant

In the first in a new series Mira Grant takes the readers to the Mariana Trench where humans are on the menu:

 
Seven years ago the Atargatis is set off for the Mariana Trench to create a mockumentury about the existence of Mermaids. The voyage ended in tragedy with not a soul on the ship surviving. The footage that was shot on The ship has been locked away and those who have seen it cannot believe that it is real. Now the production company is sending another ship to that area to investigate what had happened and to prove once and forall if Mermaids do exhist. Everyone on the boat is going to get way more than they bargined for.

I have not read a Mira Grant series in a long long time, but it was Grant who intorduced me to reading zombie books, so it is really only fitting that she introduce me to Mermaids books as well. This book was amazing, it had aspects of mystery, horror and urban fantasy all rolled in to one. You really did not what was going to happen next and who was going to survive. I mean who does not love the idea of the deadly mermaids instead of the Disney style ones. Due to the fact that Grant has mixed a few genres within this book you might think that it is oversaturated with ideas but Grant he does not shy away from any of the genres and took the best aspectsnofneach to create this story. Some of the scenes are quite brutal in their description but these are countered with the scientific discovery aspects so there is a nice balance and Grant does not hit you with death after death. There is also a nice suspense aspect as there are so many points of view throughout the book that you are not 100% sure which views are going to be there in the end.

The imagination and research that Grant put in to this book was exceptional. She tried to cover all different types of angles when it came to mermaids from where they live to additional organizism that may be down in the mariana trench as well. You can also tell that Grant put in a lot of thought as to how the mermaids would be able to interact with human on both their territory as well as above the surface. The intelligence that they have is awesome and are basically killing machines that can work in groups or solo. I’m glad that Grant did not make them mindless killing machines, they have the ability to adapt and plan their attacks which makes them that much more interesting.

There are quite a few points of views in the book so you get a fairly rounded story as to why many of the individuals are on the mission to find mermaids, however, the most frequent point of view that we encounter is Victoria's. Victoria is on the ship for several reason, most importantly she wants to prove that mermaids exist as her older sister was on the maiden voyage of this research ship and no one from that vessel made it home. She is also a brilliant scientist who wants to use her knowledge of ocean sounds as a guiding tool for the discovery. In many ways Victoria is the scientist and is very calculating in everything she does. This does make her portrayed as naive at times And this is most seen in her relationships with people (I’ll say slightly typical for the scientist type to be portrays this way however, Victoria does gain more and more confidence the farther in to the book you get).

I love that this book is about mermaids and Grant’s idea of the mermaid is not the little mermaid that we all grew up with. These are deadly killers who have human meat on their menu and according to the mermaids it’s a tasty feast. I look forward to the next book in the series to see where Grant takes it.

Enjoy!!!
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text 2018-10-06 01:56
Halloween Bingo - Fear the Drowning Deep
Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant

For the Fear the Drowning Deep square, I'm going with Into the Drowning Deep. It having a similar name to the square was why it originally caught my eye. It being a horror story about mermaids was why I ultimately chose it. Definitely a good pick for the square.

 

 

 

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review 2018-09-17 15:03
He Was A Good Dog
Cujo - Stephen King

I read Cujo when I was in my teens, but not a lot stayed with me I think because I ended up skimming a lot. I think I was freaked out by some of the things in this book (a man talking easily about raping a woman, another man beating his wife, etc.) and it just caused me to not look too closely at this book. However, this book is old school and somehow still King in his later works. He takes a look at a town, it's citizens, and shows you how things unravel. He is still quite good with kids (oh Tadder). And he plays with a lot of different things in this books, growing up, resentment of parents for children and vice versa, affairs and the aftermath. Through it all though we have a dark energy in the town that wants to be released. I am still amazed that anyone would continue to live in the fictional town of Castle Rock and all of the messed up things that keep happening there. 

 

"Cujo" follows a good dog who unfortunately gets bit by a bat that passes along rabies. The majority of the book follows the countdown to Cujo turning from a good dog to a dog from hell and we get to read (witness) the killings he does. King doesn't just focus on Cujo though. We get insight into Cujo's owners, the Cambers family (Joe and Charity, and their son Brett) and their messed up dynamic. I maybe cheered when a member of this family get killed. Not going to lie.


We also follow the Trenton family (Vic and Donna) who are newcomers to the area, who are raising their four year old son Tad. We get hints that something is up with Donna fairly early on, but then we dive into it more fully and find out that Donna has been having an affair with Steve Kemp. Steve is a failed tennis player and now plays at refurnishing furniture. When Donna sees him for who he is one day, they have an almost violent encounter which leaves Kemp out wanting revenge on Donna. 


We also get peeks into residents of the town of Castle Rock. We follow Sheriff George Bannerman, an elderly resident, the mailman, etc. We also get some looks into infamous Frank Dodd who was in "The Dead Zone." The parts with Dodd reminded me slightly of magical realism elements. 

 

I think King did a good job of balancing what was going on with Cujo and others in this story. This story seems to be a tale of wives in my mind though. We had Charity dealing with the fact that she chose the wrong husband. Joe is crude and brutal with her. And often with their son Brett. She is scared that unless her son breaks free from Joe, he may end up being the same kind of man. When she gets the opportunity to visit her more well to do sister, she jumps at it hoping she can show Brett a different way of life. Things come to a head with these two while away with Charity realizing that her sister has changed, and though she's well to do, still acts as if she is poor. 


Donna realizes that she was too dependent on Vic making her happy and that her falling into an affair with Kemp was a bad idea. When Vic is told about the affair (via a letter sent by Kemp) they have an honest conversation with Donna realizing that she can't really explain what happened or why. She wants to try again and realizes like many do after an affair has passed it was a terrible idea, and it doesn't mean she doesn't love her husband. Watching Donna becoming a super woman in my mind when she finally goes toe to toe with Cujo was astounding. I was holding my breath the whole time. 

 

Kemp was a psycho or at least want to be rapist. I kept hoping that somehow Cujo would teleport himself to where he was and bite him. No dice though.


Vic was okay. I didn't get much of a sense from him in this story. Just a good man trying to do right by his family. King gives you the sense that these two went on and healed, but you don't know since they don't get mention in his other works. 

 

The writing was really good. The flow was too though at times you feel as if the book just stops at an important part and you want it to continue on so you can get back to Donna and Tad in the car, or the police and others figuring out where they are so they can get help. 

 

The ending was sad in a way. We end on what happens to Cujo and his desire to just do right for his man, his woman, and his boy. And that it wasn't really his fault what happened. 

 

 

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