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review 2017-11-14 18:45
Childgrave by Ken Greenhall
Childgrave - Ken Greenhall

 

CHILDGRAVE is a beautifully written quiet horror story, with a sketchy small town lurking in the background. By the time the secrets of the town are revealed, it's too late for the reader to turn back.

 

As I get older, I find myself more and more drawn to quiet horror. I can do without gore and torture and all that if I have a tale that's well written and atmospheric. I also need compelling characters and CHILDGRAVE has that in spades. The main character, Jonathan, is a widowed photographer. He, his daughter Joanne, and his housekeeper Nanny Joy, are so well drawn I feel as if I know them personally.

 

When Jonathan's photos of his daughter seem to show specters in the background, while at the same time Joanne seems to have developed some new invisible friends, Jonathan is intrigued. Are the two events connected? Who is Conlee, the name of Joanne's new invisible friend? Lastly, what is Chilegray and how is connected to Conlee? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I'll get it out of the way now-this is a slow moving story. What kept me interested was the quality of the writing and the characters. Jonathan is a quirky man. He has few friends and little interest in fashion or modern day trends. His housekeeper Nanny Joy loves jazz and Jonathan's daughter, but is concerned about the appearance of Conlee and the specters in the photographs. Jonathan's agent Harry is hilarious and his girlfriend, Lee, is interesting as well. NYC of the 70's is the main setting, and it was fascinating to read about the city during that time of social upheaval and change.

 

I was inexorably drawn to the conclusion which leads the reader to a small town hidden in a valley. "Evil in a small town" is one of my favorite tropes and Greenhall knew how to deliver it in a chilling and shocking- yet believable way. You find yourself wondering what you would do in such a situation and I continued to think about it all night long...hours after finishing the book. I can't say that I blame Jonathan for the choices that he made.

 

While CHILDGRAVE isn't the psychological, fast moving story that both ELIZABETH or HELL HOUND were, it was excellent in its own quiet and compelling way. Slowly drawing the reader down into the valley where secrets are kept for generation after generation, Greenhall deftly brings things to a head and left this reader wishing for more.

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: CHILDGRAVE

 

*Thanks to Valancourt Books for providing this e-book free, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-12 22:44
Jaws by Peter Benchley

**There is one spoiler below regarding a character death. It is marked with a spoiler tag**

 

 

There were a few things that I found highly unnecessary. I know this is written in a time period much different from today, but some of the outdated stuff in this did bother me a little bit.

Also the thing between two characters (you know what I mean) made me think "what was the point?" It just felt out of nowhere and what kind of people do things like that? Maybe I'm just too innocent in my thinking that most people are good deep down. However for these two characters, I did not like them at all.

The whole thing with Larry and his partners also made me go back and forth between if I liked him or not, but in the end, I just felt sorry for him, though I can't say I like him. Sure it was a crappy move what his so called partners made him do, but I don't know... I think I feel more for his poor wife.

Also the scene with the mother really broke me. In that moment, I did feel a little bad for Brody, he was trying to do the right thing from the start and the woman was in too much shock to even want to listen. I completely understand why though. 

She just lost her little boy and was in shock

(spoiler show)


Some people say it is dry and boring or so I've been told, but I wouldn't say that at all. I did like the book a whole lot and I think I would have loved it even more had a couple things been changed. Like the whole thing I mentioned above and some random characters/scenes that had no point to the plot.

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review 2017-11-12 01:42
Impatient to read the next one
Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth - Judd Winick
Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World - Judd Winick
Hilo Book 3: The Great Big Boom - Judd Winick

In an effort to expand my repertoire of graphic novels and maybe be more helpful when recommending books to my library patrons I took a trip to the shelves. I came upon a set of 3 books in a series written by Judd Winick and their covers were so eye-catching that I decided to grab all of them to binge. I'm grateful that I did because I breezed right through them and it's left me impatient for book 4 which comes out at the beginning of next year. The series centers around a character called HiLo (arguments could be made that it's written Hilo or HILO) who crash lands onto earth (and into our hearts) with The Boy Who Crashed to Earth. The title pretty much says it, right? HiLo looks like your typical kid except that he's super strong and extremely weird. He doesn't get why clothes are mandatory or that not everyone has superpowers like he does. Luckily, he makes friends with D.J. who is more than happy to show him the ropes and to absolutely have his back...even if that means fighting robots from another dimension. By the second book, Saving the Whole Wide World, their duo has expanded to include Gina who used to be D.J.'s best friend before she moved away. She's struggling with her own identity so it's challenging to try and sort out just what kind of a creature HiLo actually is...and if he's a hero or a villain. The stakes are higher and the danger is 100% real but it doesn't seem like there's anything that HiLo can't defeat...which brings us to the third book titled The Great Big Boom. There are magical warrior cats in this book. I don't think I need to say anything else because MAGICAL WARRIOR CATS. HiLo and his friends are going up against the ultimate baddie and it's only going to get worse which is why I'm practically vibrating with excitement over Waking the Monsters which is set for release on 1/16/18.

 

These books are full of heart and what it means to be a loyal friend no matter what (even if there are killer robots). The illustrations are 99% of the reason why I love these books. The colors, characters, and layouts are perfectly married to the hilarious, heartwarming prose. This is a solid 10/10 for me and I have been recommending it so much that now we only have book 2 sitting lonely on our shelves (they're going like hotcakes is what I'm saying). So catch up so that like me you can sit in anticipation for the 4th book to hit the shelves!

 

What's Up Next: Matt Phelan Masterpost

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly & Zach Weinersmith & I'm rereading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie because I just saw the film :-D

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2017-11-09 03:47
Annotating Books & Jaws by Peter Benchley
Jaws - Peter Benchley

I've started to annotate my second book. Is it telling that this book was also written in 1974 like "Let's Play At The Adams" and I'm already have some issues with it? The book I am reading is Jaws by Peter Benchley. The only difference is though some things are angering me, I am enjoying the book.

 

***Spoilers for some cases of racism and homophobia in the book***

 

There was talk about something happening in the 50s, 60 and 70s. I can only assume the current story takes place in the 70s, but it reads earlier than that or am I just really "white privileged" because this book has brought up race several time in 77 pages. Like why bring race into it?

 

I know, because of the times this is set in this is how the people think of "the blacks" That is how they are referred as and of course they do the jobs of gardening, bartending, butlers, and maids. Also there was a black man who raped 7 rich white ladies, but when they put it in the paper, they would only say molested to save face for the small little town, and the women would never testify against the man out of shame? Shame in general or because he was black? (This wasn't in detail, just a case the cop remembered)

 

Also there was a homosexual slur on page 11, using the F word, which I hate. You know the one I mean. See, I know the author is trying to stay true to the time, but it still bothers me and I have to wonder if he goes around using the F word and calling black people "the blacks". Other than these things, I am enjoying annotating the book. So far the first movie is true to the book (minus all the racism ..etc)

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review 2017-11-03 00:00
Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy
Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy - Serena Valentino What a different take on Maleficent's side of the story! You can never go wrong with a revamped fairy tale :)
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