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review 2015-12-21 02:49
After the Red Rain by Barry Lyga, Peter Facinelli, and Rob DeFranco
After the Red Rain - Barry Lyga,Peter Facinelli,Rob DeFranco

I’ve been a huge fan of Barry Lyga’s ever since reading his wonderful Jasper Dent novels. Stories about a teen whose dad is one of the planet’s most notorious serial killers and who uses his knowledge to solve crimes involving other serial killers? Super awesome. But we aren’t here to hear me fangirl about I Hunt Killersand its many other novels. We’re here for a review on After the Red Rain. I should say right now that I had some incredibly high expectations for After the Red Rain. After all, the last Barry Lyga novel I read ended on a huge note with some major plot twists.

Co-written alongside Peter Facinelli and Robert DeFranco, After the Red Rain is a novel set in a dystopian future where one teenage girl lives on a ruined Earth. In a super city that is overpopulated and with constant warnings about air pollution, Deedra has been working incredibly hard for the Magistrate in order to support herself. Leaving to scavenge the outskirts of the city, Deedra encounters Rose. He’s a beautiful boy. One who is mysterious and vanishes just as quickly as he appeared. Thinking she’ll never see him again, Deedra is surprised when their paths cross soon after in the wake of a potential tragedy. When the two finally begin to establish a connection with one another, the Magistrate’s son is found murdered and the only possible suspect is Rose. With the mystery behind the murder beginning to unravel, Deedra and Rose begin to also unravel hidden truths about their world that will leave it forever changed.

After the Red Rain opened in a way that completely blew my mind. It begins with the introduction of a machine that grinds up the bodies of dead people. Kind of gross and gory to imagine—but it was an intriguing premise. Especially when the man who tends to the machine finds a live baby meant to be grinded up as well. What does he do? He saves the infant who later grows up to be our protagonist, Deedra. Is it awesome? Oh yeah. But what surprised me most aboutAfter the Red Rain was that there were no scenes afterward that were nearly as interesting or engaging.

The majority of After the Red Rain was spent introducing a huge amount of plot without taking the time to really explain anything or interest the reader. There’s so many plots and side plots that are revealed and yet, it felt like there was justso much storyline for so many pages in the novel. Personally, I felt that while reading the experience was immensely repetitive as well as clunky. There were moments where I would have to put down the novel because it felt like the narrative was just going in circles over and over and over again.

And by the time something interesting and life-altering did occur in the novel, it got watered down with various other elements that are crucial to the plot. I don’t want to give too much away because spoilers are the worst, but there is a major supernatural/sci-fi element to a particular character in the main cast. This element is never explained in a way that can give the reader complete and total assurance as to what their situation is. All in all, it’s another piece of the plot that leaves the reader with a sense of confusion.

There was a lot of After the Red Rain that held so much potential. The romantic sub plot. The badass dismemberment of the governing system. There was so much potential for it to be a story that was filled with lights and fireworks… but in the end, After the Red Rain fell very flat and did not live up to expectations. It’s a novel that needed more time to completely map out its plot and was (for the most part) underwhelming.

I would recommend After the Red Rain to readers who are looking for a novel taking place in a dystopian society and to any readers who are looking for a novel with a very odd supernatural element. But just because it wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean that it lacks the potential to be yours.

Source: www.chapter-by-chapter.com/review-after-the-red-rain-by-barry-lyga-peter-facinelli-and-rob-defranco
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text 2015-10-28 01:35
Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Horror Books I Really Enjoyed
It - Stephen King
I Am Not A Serial Killer - Dan Wells
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer - Van Jensen,Dusty Higgins
Batman/Dracula: Red Rain - Doug Moench,Dennis O'Neil,Malcolm Jones III,Kelley Jones,Les Dorscheid,Eric Van Lustbader
Unwind - Neal Shusterman
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake
Frenzy - Robert Lettrick
The Birds & Other Stories - Daphne du Maurier
Feed - Mira Grant

This entry is brought to you as part of the theme sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish.  I'm pretty sure that since this is Halloween themed, there are going to be many interesting entries for this one.

 

So, on Halloween, many would think of candy, Halloween goodies, and dressing up in all kinds of costumes (my personal favorite was dressing up as Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Disney version.  The costume I had actually had coins sewn onto the sash of the skirt.)  They would also think of spooky stories.  I wouldn't consider myself the kind of person who scares easily (*knocks on wood in the hopes that she doesn't end up eating her words later on*), but there's something cathartic about being scared in a good book.

 

So this entry's dedicated to some horror (either themed or genre) reads that I personally enjoyed.  No particular order here, just going with the flow.

 

It - Stephen King 

 

1. "It" by Stephen King

 

Seriously, is anyone surprised I'd put Stephen King on this list?  I could probably list many of his books, but "IT" genuinely scared me while at the same time leaving me not terrified of clowns for life.  (I'm serious - I do not find clowns horrifying. I actually like creepy carnival environments or carnipunk themed stories.  It's the theme to one of the manuscripts I've been working on the past year.  Living animatronics- a la Five Nights at Freddy's, though? That...does terrify me to a certain extent, but depends on how it's done.)  I'm due for a re-read of this book (and basically many of SK's early works), because many of them I haven't read since my teens/early 20s.

 

I Am Not A Serial Killer - Dan Wells 

 

2. I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

 

Basically, I could put the whole John Cleaver series on this list, but there's something about "I Am Not a Serial Killer" that left its mark on me.  There are genuinely terrifying moments in this YA crossover series, and some of it is a battle of internal and external demons (some literal, some not).  I enjoyed it because John's voice appealed to me with dark, candid humor, blended with harrowing moments the serial killer struck (and yeah, I knew its genre leaning from the get go).

 

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury 

 

 

3. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

 

I thoroughly enjoyed "Something Wicked This Way Comes" - it's part horror, part coming of age, and the writing - to me - was beautifully poetic while having some genuinely creepy tones to it throughout the narrative.  I also probably loved this one given my love for creepy carnival environments (see explanation above for "IT").  The movie adaptation I thought was very well done for this.

 

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer - Van Jensen,Dusty Higgins 

 

4. Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer by Van Jensen and Dusty Higgins

 

I honestly did not even know this book was a thing until I browsed the first volume of this comic at my local library, then got a galley for the entire series from NetGalley (which I've yet to review).  But OMG, this was dark.  And funny.  Pinocchio breaking off his nose to use as an attack stake to kill vampires?  The concept of it was brilliant, and kudos for the creativity in the backstory.  This was a mashup of a classic story with a horror theme that worked rather well, and I'm glad I read it.

 

Batman/Dracula: Red Rain - Doug Moench,Dennis O'Neil,Malcolm Jones III,Kelley Jones,Les Dorscheid,Eric Van Lustbader 

 

5. Batman - Red Rain

 

While on the subject of comics, I remember Batman - Red Rain rather vividly. The Batman franchise has had a number of holiday themed comics that stood out to me (I think I remember the one called "Haunted Knight" that I liked as well.)  But this was the first where I looked at the story drawn between Batman and Dracula and went "Well...darn.  That's a good parallel."  It had some dated elements to it, but I was drawn into the story and I'll admit it didn't let me go even in this first part of a respective series.

 

Unwind - Neal Shusterman 

 

6. "Unwind" by Neal Shusterman

 

So I know that this is a YA dystopian series, but it counts as horror.  Namely because once you read the process of what "unwinding" is like...it's horrifying.  I loved this book so much.  Shusterman just does description so well.

 

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake 

 

7. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

 

I found the first book in this series to be the best and the most successful in creating its creepy and distinctive characters, and it's one of my favorites in terms of establishing a narrative ghost story as well.  It was fun in moments too.

 

Frenzy - Robert Lettrick 

 

8. Frenzy by Robert Lettrick

 

"Frenzy" was middle grade horror done right, especially in the vein of rabid animals attacking and killing off the cast of characters in the midst of a camp site.  I didn't expect to be so emotionally drawn into it.  It was one of those narratives where I'm like "NOOOOOO, PLEASE DON'T DIE! DON'T SAY HE'S/SHE'S DEAD!"  Yeah.  It was like that.

 

The Birds & Other Stories - Daphne du Maurier 

 

9. The Birds by Daphne DuMaurier

 

This story is the reason why I look up to the sky and hope a flock of birds do not come swooping down to peck me to death.   I'm not especially terrified of birds, but I mean, the narrative gives one second thoughts.

 

Feed - Mira Grant 

 

 10. Feed by Mira Grant

 

Because bloggers saving the world from zombies equals...a whole lot of chaos and political turmoil.  The Newsflesh series had many harrowing moments, and the ending of this really got to me on an emotional level (though arguably, with events of the series, one could say it's not the whole story, but it still packed a punch for me).

 

Until next entry,

Rose

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review 2014-12-08 22:43
R L Stine is for kids right? Not this one...

Red Rain - R.L. StineI'm not big on doing reviews of titles, but hey, this is R L Stine and of course he's noted for his kids' books. So what's with this adult title? Aside from the expected gratuitous sex and spooky scenes from any late night movie, it's not bad. The story moves along very fast, chapters are short and the plot is plausible despite a few big gaps. It's better than I could do so we'll just leave it at that. If you need a good, light but creepy book that doesn't take much thought and can be read in a night or two, this is your ticket. 

 

Not to spoil it, picture a sleepy Long Island town, a typical family struggling with the new millennium, and a mom who writes a travel blog and goes to a small island. She gets there at the wrong time, a hurricane wipes everything out, she finds two homeless twin boys that she brings home to Long Island but The Brady Bunch it's not. Anything more would give it away, Stine doesn't go in for complicated plots. 

 

So now when the kids ask whether I've ever read R L Stine, I can say yes. But I won't mention the title. 

 

 

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review 2013-10-20 00:00
Red Rain
Red Rain - R.L. Stine Lea Sutter is a travel adventure writer and blogger. She decides to travel to Cape Le Chat Noir, is a tiny island that has a reputation for being cursed. Even with a hurricane heading towards the island Lea takes a trip to this intriguing island. But the hurricane leaves the island in ruins and Lea finds 12 year-old twin boys on the beach who were now orphans. Feeling an instant connection, Lea decides to adopt them. It takes her some convincing to get her husband Mark, a child psychologist, on the same page with her on this matter. They already have two children, Ira and Elena, and so settling down with two more almost teenage sons was going to take some work that they were prepared for – or they thought so!

I have been a huge R.L.Stine fan while growing up, thanks to his Goosebumps books. Horror is a difficult genre to write and there are very few authors who can do it well by keeping clear of the line that when crossed turns horror factors into downright tacky situations. R.L.Stine is one of those authors who can write horror stories and write them well. So I had certain expectations from the book when I picked this one up.

I have to admit that the author is as usual perfect when it comes to setting up the backdrop of the story and describing certain situations expertly. Whether be it on the cursed island or back home at Long Island, Lea and Mark’s world and surroundings are vividly clear to the readers. As for characterisation, I did like the way he built each one up. From the adventurous Lea to the somewhat sceptic Mark – there is a variety and individualistic feel in the characters. I also like the narration style of the story. Narrated in third person, the story gives you the feeling of that of watching a movie as scenes change and characters come and go out of focus. There was an expected yet surprising twist in the end which effectively rounds up the story.

Everything was good about this book yet I can’t help but feel that there was something missing. It may be because I had set up my expectation standard way to high from what I remember feeling about the Goosebumps stories. In any case, this book is absolutely worth investing your time and money in if you love Horror stories.
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review 2013-10-15 01:50
Red Rain: A Novel - R.L. Stine

Basically the book was disappointing. I've been a big fan of Stine since I was a child. I had very high hopes for this book. I was very excited to see that he'd written a book for adults. But honestly he should probably stick to writing books for children and teens. The book wasn't scary. It didn't ever manage to capture my attention and interest. I found it boring at many parts and wanted to skip ahead a lot. It didn't have any realism to it even before it started to get too much into the supernatural elements. The characters just didn't seem like they were developed enough. The plot didn't turn out well at all. Stine is a great writer but adult books like this just don't seem to be a strong point of his.

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