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review 2017-10-02 16:05
The Darkest Part of the Forest / Holly Black
The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

 

 

I read this book to fill the “In the Dark, Dark Woods” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

 

I am continually amazed at how much I enjoy some of these “young adult” novels!  This one is definitely in the “really good” category.  I’m a sucker for stories that include the Fae, especially if they’re dark, mysterious & threatening.   

 

The story also explores the brother-sister relationship between Hazel and Ben, how they support one another and how they lie to one another and the consequences of both of those choices.  There’s a boy with horns and pointed ears asleep in a glass coffin (very Cinderella-ish) in the middle of the dark, dark woods and both siblings are in love with him or maybe with the stories they’ve created around him.  No one expects him to awake, and when he does, perhaps they believe their own imaginations too much and aren’t as worried as they should be.

 

The need for love, the need for purpose, and the love & support of family, all explored in an adventurous fairy tale.  Delightful!

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text 2017-09-08 00:58
Not a bad little story
Doll Bones - Holly Black

Having read lots of John Bellairs and similar authors growing up, I would say that this book is as well done as those. The story isn't too convoluted but is just messy enough to feel realistic. The ghost of a girl who's bones were used to make a china doll wants to be buried, and drags three friends into a quest to do so. In the course of the quest they have obstacles to overcome with resolutions that make sense but aren't handed to them for the most part. Most of the adults they encounter treat them as would be expected. Waitresses and shop owners treat them as regular customers. Bus station personnel and librarians try to track them down or make them call their parents. No kindly old eccentric smoothing their way by covering for them with other adults.

 

I personally didn't find the story too creepy, but my freak-out quotient is pretty high, so I wouldn't hold that against the book. The interpersonal relationships are believable and echoing the theme of what to do when your body's growing older but your soul is resisting "growing up". That I can definitely relate to. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a tween-levelish "horror" book. Not overly frightening but will most assuredly make you look sideways at china dolls for a while. 

 

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review 2017-05-02 19:46
The Urban Fantasy Anthology / edited by Peter S. Beagle & Joe R. Lansdale
The Urban Fantasy Anthology - Holly Black,Peter S. Beagle,Patricia Briggs,Kelley Armstrong,Norman Partridge,Neil Gaiman,Al Sarrantonio,Steven R. Boyett,Emma Bull,Jeffrey Ford,Bruce McAllister,Suzy McKee Charnas,Thomas M. Disch,Joe R. Lansdale,Susan Palwick,Tim Powers,Francesca Lia Blo

Star-studded and comprehensive, this imaginative anthology brings a myriad of modern fantasy voices under one roof. Previously difficult for readers to discover in its new modes, urban fantasy is represented here in all three of its distinct styles—playful new mythologies, sexy paranormal romances, and gritty urban noir. Whether they feature tattooed demon-hunters, angst-ridden vampires, supernatural gumshoes, or pixelated pixies, these authors—including Patricia Briggs, Neil Gaiman, and Charles de Lint—mash-up traditional fare with pop culture, creating iconic characters, conflicted moralities, and complex settings. The result is starkly original fiction that has broad-based appeal and is immensely entertaining.

 

An interesting collection of short fiction. For those who think that urban fantasy consists only of paranormal romance, this volume will surprise you. The Mythic fiction and Noir Fantasy sections may be just what you’ve been wanting. At least one of the stories reminded me strongly in atmosphere of Stephen King’s novel The Stand.

I was particularly enamoured of the Patricia Briggs story, Seeing Eye, which fills in some backstory in the Alpha & Omega series, namely the story of the blind witch Moira and her werewolf companion. The volume was a worthwhile read for me with just this one story.

I also found Susan Palwick’s “Gestella” to be a haunting story, well worth the read.

A nice selection of stories to read “in the cracks” between other books.

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review 2017-04-16 13:28
Lucifer, Volume 2: Father Lucifer - Holl... Lucifer, Volume 2: Father Lucifer - Holly Black,Lee Garbett

A continuity heavy deep dive into the politics of Hell. Your enjoyment may depend on your knowledge of backstory.

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text 2017-02-17 16:19
To pick up at the library on the way home....
Agent of Change - Sharon Lee,Steve Miller
The Conjoined: A Novel - Jen Sookfong Lee
Fire Touched - Patricia Briggs
Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man - David Fisher,William Shatner
Skinwalker - Faith Hunter
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 3 - Holly Black,Peter S. Beagle,Stephen Baxter,Stephen King,Hannu Rajaniemi,Jeff VanderMeer,Meghan McCarron,Ted Kosmatka,Rachel Swirsky,Ken Scholes,Richard Bowes,Ted Chiang,Robert Reed,Elizabeth Bear,Kij Johnson,Paolo Bacigalupi,M. Rickert,Margo Lanagan,Maure
Spider's Bite - Jennifer Estep
The Fall of the House of Wilde: Oscar Wilde and His Family - Emer O'Sullivan
Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils - Lydia V. Pyne

I will undoubtedly have plenty to read this weekend!  And it is a long weekend, Monday being Family Day here in Alberta.

 

Happy Friday everyone and enjoy the weekend.

 

Wanda

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