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review 2018-09-12 00:30
"High Lonesome Sound" by Jay Wells - read for the New Release square in Halloween Bingo
High Lonesome Sound - Jaye Wells

I experienced "High Lonesome Sound" as a very uneven novel which had some very strong moments in it but didn't really deliver on its promise.

 

I liked the originality of both the nature of the underlying evil that rises to the surface in the book and the forces used to confront it.

 

So many horror novels start well, building tension and creating context and characters that I care about and then fizzle out when the big bad finally sees the light of day. The confrontation scenes in "High Lonesome Sound" are the part of the book that I enjoyed most. They deliver in terms of horrific action and a satisfying pulling together of the various plot threads and character traits.

 

Unfortunately, the first sixty-plus per cent of the book leading up to the confrontation was light both on tension and on foreboding. I knew something bad was coming but I felt no dread of it.

 

At the start of the book, I felt that the mountain people were being presented as a set of Reality TV stereotypes of weird and wacky Appalachia. This effect wore off a little as the main characters were given something to do and their backstory was explained but it took a while and I never quite got past the view that the life the mountain lived was being looked down on. The Church is central to both the community and the story but I was left with no sense that the faith of these people was understood or valued. 

 

There are some interesting themes around the gender roles and the price paid for men repressing their emotions or expressing them with their fists but it felt a little too "Deliverance" most of the time.

 

My main problem with the book was how much I despised the character of Peter, the author looking for a story. This would have been a fine emotion for me to have if Peter had been set up as one of the bad guys. Instead, he was a weak and ineffectual would-like-to-be-a-hero-but-I'm-not-sure-I'm-up-to-it kind of guy. The start of the book focuses on Peter whining about his life, his failed career, his failed marriage and how unfair it all is. By the time he got the town in the mountains, I was hoping he would suffer an early and painful death so we could all move on. Instead, I kept getting thrown out of the story by Peter's reflections on the writing process and his view on what would happen next if this were a novel he was writing.

 

I see that Peter was a necessary part of the plot. I just don't see why he had to be so meh.

 

This was an entertaining, if sometimes frustrating, way to spend a few hours but this isn't a book that's going to stay with me.

 

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text 2018-09-08 21:31
Reading progress update: I've read 19%.
High Lonesome Sound - Jaye Wells

This is proving to be a very uneven read. Parts of it work really well and parts of it are derivative and dull. The Appalachian people seem too stereotypical to be true: sort of reality TV versions of mountain people. Yet when it's good, it's very good. I'm hoping it will err towards the well-written and original as the story gathers pace. 

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review 2018-07-20 21:15
Quick Review
Red-Headed Stepchild - Jaye Wells

I enjoyed this book.. I always do like a good bit of snark..The premise seems interesting.. I have a feeling I read this book awhile back or one of the series..It seems really familiar.. All the same I still enjoyed it, I will pick up the next in the series cuz that is what I do..

 

One of the best characters is demon Giguhl..He is outstanding.. No spoilers thou that I am going to share so all can be surprised by his wit.. LOL

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review 2017-11-30 00:00
Red-Headed Stepchild
Red-Headed Stepchild - Jaye Wells DNF @ 60%

I just wasn't feeling this one. I think I'm just not in the mood for it right now
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review 2017-07-23 16:26
Book Review: Deadly Spells
Deadly Spells - Jaye Wells

*I read this book for my own enjoyment.

Kate and Morales are called in as consultants at a crime scene. A body with his limbs cut off. Kate knows the victim, Charm, from her days in the coven. Uncle Abe's enforcer. Charm's death could be the very excuse the covens need to start a coven war in Babylon city. Kate and the MEA force need to act fast to find the real killer before war breaks out, destroying the city. Kate also is distracted as Charm's death stirs old memories of her mother's death. Then there's life with making sure Danny is taken care of. He is a teenager, and troubles do pop up.

I love going into this book that I know each chapter and scene has something big in it. It may be dealing with Danny or it may be Kate's job. Or, if we are lucky something with John Volos or Morales. Oh John Volos. That usually involves a double whammy of work and sparks. And the same could be said of Morales. I love that Kate is working her way through raising her brother, which gives her a family feel as she stumbles through parenting like many of us do. Family and work are hard to balance, and choices need to be made. Kate does just that.

Speaking of family. Kate learns more about her mothers death. Wow. That's a punch to the gut. I like how Jaye left us with hints about Kate's mother at the end of Cursed Moon, and with this case Kate is drawn to the memories. Kate is determined to know what happened with her mother. I'm not saying any more because you need to read to learn what Kate learns. Oh, and what we learn from John Volos and Morales. Interesting!

Then there's Kate and her own personal life. She feels there's really no time for it with Danny and work. But Kate starts to open up a little bit here, for herself.

This book feels as it expands the world for us. There are other suppliers and covens that we learn about. These expand outside of Babylon city, but are a threat to Kate's home city and the way of life here. This opens up the series for us in a big way.

The book has all the elements I enjoy in one place and constantly has me glued to the words. I have enjoyed this book, world, and characters.

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