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review 2018-10-09 11:49
The Moor
The Moor - John Haysom

by Sam Haysom

 

This story is divided in an odd way. It starts with a news clip about two missing boys. There are occasional time jumps forward, written in present tense alternating with memories, which is all rather jumpy.

 

When it gets to a proper chapter one, the story becomes mostly linear. There are other news clips and time jumps interspersed, but basically the story is told from the pov of five different boys involved in the camping trip that led to the boys going missing, each of them having their own section, though each one progresses the story further forward.

 

First is James, the overweight boy who doesn't really want to go but gives into peer pressure to be part of the group. Then Gary who has an unfortunate habit of playing sick practical jokes. He's followed by Tom, a bigger boy who defends James against his friend Gary's jokes when they get out of hand, then Tim who is a small boy, son of the responsible adult leading the group and doesn't have many friends. The sequence of events is finished up by Matt, who is the sharpest of the boys and takes us through the climax of the story, which was very well done. The details and built up suspense were definitely worthy.

 

Through these various points of view, we slowly learn what happened, why each of the boys took part in the camping trip, what sort of person they appear as to the others and how the two boys went missing. Some of the story gets rather horrific. I sort of guessed what had to happen in the end, though not how it would play out.

 

This is apparently a debut book by a young author. I think he's going to be one for the Horror enthusiasts to watch.

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review 2018-10-08 00:29
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay
The Rain Watcher: A Novel - Tatiana de Rosnay

A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Linden Malegarde has returned home to Paris from the United States where he lives with his partner.  It has been years since his family was all together.  They have reunited for the patriarch's birthday; Paul is celebrating a milestone and is turning 70.

 

The City of Lights is on the verge of a natural disaster when the Seine bursts and it floods the city.  Paris is as fragile as the Malegarde family's relationships—each member is trying to balance the delicate family dynamics.  Paul is a world-renowned arborist that only seems to have eyes for his grove of trees.  Lauren is his American wife who is determined to make the weekend a success.  Tilia, the blunt oldest child has an 18-year-old daughter Mistral who is adored by her uncle Linden.  Colin is Tilia's much older spouse, an elegant British art dealer that can no longer hid his drinking problem.  

 

And that leaves Linden.  He has never been comfortable in his own skin and never feels settled having grown up as an American in France, and a Frenchman in the US.  His relationship with his father has always been off.  Even though he is a successful and in demand photographer, he feels that he will always be a disappointment to his parents.

 

Bound by tragic events, the family must fight to remain united as secrets unfold and their greatest fears surface.

 

Set in Paris during a rainstorm, this gorgeous, haunting work was captivating from start to finish. 

de Rosnay's writing is elegant,  hypnotic, and incredibly moving.  The story is profound and intense, yet soft and beautiful.  I devoured this book in one sitting and would highly recommend.

 

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review 2018-10-01 22:12
Slow to start, but definitely worth reading!
The Storm Runner - J.C. Cervantes,Jennifer Cervantes

*I received an ARC from NetGalley. This does not affect my review.*

First off, I'll admit that had it not been for a NetGalley email letting readers know about The Storm Runner and Dragon Pearl that were inspired and sponsored by Rick Riordan, I probably...perhaps very likely would not have heard of these, or picked them up so quickly... I loved the Percy Jackson series growing up, and like with any of my favorite authors, if they talk about other authors and books, I have to check them out! (Which is why this isn't a 5 star review.)


That said, while I wasn't immediately pulled into this one, I loved the idea of learning about Mayan mythology as I read this, and once the gods started getting introduced I quickly found myself wanting to know more! That was a big thing, since I was afraid this wouldn't be able to stand up to other mythology stories I've read like the mentioned Percy Jackson series, and even things like Gaiman's Norse Mythology. Not to worry, since I loved it! (Although all those I and X names kind of got confusing! I still managed to figure it out though.) If I was asked about a favorite character...? I don't have one, and there was a part where pretty much each of the main characters was able to stand up and have the spotlight. I loved so many little things that I can't even begin to list, with or without spoilers I just know I would miss something. Why not read it? I'm sure you will find your own favorite things about this book!

Source: adventuresthruwonderlandreviews.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/arc-review-the-storm-runner
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review 2018-09-28 10:24
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream - Christopher Golden

by Christopher Golden

 

A collection of Christmas stories in the Horror genre was just too good of an idea to pass up! This one is a collection of 18 stories by a variety of authors. I had actually heard of three of them and read something by two of those, which gave me confidence of a certain level of writing.

 

To be honest, not all of the stories held up to expectation but enough of them did to make the collection worthwhile. Just two of them were written in present tense, which I find difficult to read, and two others were written in second person, which I don't see often.

 

There were some interesting ideas explored; zombie elves, creepy children, melting babies, obsessive or robot pets, a great twist on revenge, and an abusive husband returning from the dead among others.

 

The stand outs for me were Love Me by Thomas E. Sniegoski, Not Just For Christmas by Sarah Lotz, It's A Wonderful Life by Christopher Golden, The Second Floor of the Christmas Hotel by Joe R. Lansdale and Darrow Street by Elizabeth Hand.

 

Also very worthwhile were Fresh as the New-Fallen Snow by Seaman McGuire, Good Deeds by Jeff Strand (a very humorous entry), Mistletoe and Holly by James A. Moore, Home by Tim Lebbon and The Hangman's Bride by Sarah Pinborough.

 

The collection is definitely worthwhile for the Horror fan.

 

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review 2018-09-25 15:20
John Peters in the Land of Demons
John Peters in the land of Demons - A.H. Matai

by A.H. Matai

 

This one confused me in that the writing was stilted, much of it in short sentences like you might see in a children's book, but the characters were university age. There was some off sentence structure and weird word choices and eventually I decided that it must have been written by someone whose grasp of English is being seen through a foreign grammar structure. I tried to look up information on the author to see if they came from a non-English speaking country, but couldn't find anything.

 

There were some interesting ideas but the story just didn't flow. I do generally find stories involving demons very interesting. There was a lot of 'telling' as far as the character's feelings were concerned, mostly when they got angry. The premise of the story really attracted me but I just couldn't get into it.

 

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