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review 2018-05-15 15:37
A Man of Shadows - Jeff Noon
A Man of Shadows (Nyquist Mystery) - Jeff Noon

A city of light, everlasting day, burning brightly before your eyes.

A city of unending night, vacant starlight twinkling in the black.

The dusk inbetween, reaching out with foggy fingers.

A man, a girl, a murderer, and time tick-tick-ticking away.

 

 

 

So, Jeff Noon is writing New Weird now. And it's weird, but Jeff Noon writing New Weird is decidedly less weird than Jeff Noon not writing New Weird. There's not one mention of Robos having sex with Dogs, for instance.

 

A Man of Shadows is almost all atmosphere, with very little story or character development getting in the way. Nyquist is the most generic of all generic noir detectives, strung along by circumstances, with hardly any agenda of his own. The girl, her father, the murderer, everybody else? Hardly there, shadows indeed. Events unfold slowly, ever so slowly, far too slowly to say if they make even the tinies lick of sense in the end. Probably not.

Now, Noon is very, very good at creating atmosphere. Dayzone, Nocturna, and the Dusk build the vivid background for some tremendous set-pieces. But I couldn't shake the feeling that I've read all of this already, and better. Not only in various works of noir and hard-boiled; Nyquist train-ride through the Dusk reads like something that Stephen King discarded from The Mist. And I haven't read much Miéville - I can't say how this here relates to The City and The City for instance; I've read enough to know that both books use the concept of „unseeing“, and enough to suspect Miélville outmatches Noon when it comes to combining atmosphere with an actual story.

 

A Man of Shadows isn't bad by any means; I just think it would work much better on screen than on page.

 

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review 2018-05-09 01:57
AMAZING ANTHOLOGY!
Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2 - Suzanne Madron,Erinn L. Kemper,Damien Angelica Walters,Luke Spooner,Michael Wehunt,Douglas Wynne,Jay Wilburn,Max Booth III,C.W. LaSart,Eden Royce,Doug Murano,D. Alexander Ward,Lucy A. Snyder,John F.D. Taff,James Chambers,Ronald Malfi,William Meikle,Joe R.

Sometimes an anthology has that lure, that pull, that innate ability to sink hooks beneath your flesh without you realizing it. While there are plenty of good horror anthologies out there, it takes a lot for one to grab hold of me like SHADOWS OVER MAIN STREET (VOLUME 2). It can seriously take me all year to make my way through an entire anthology, especially ones with a specific theme. I get to the point that I no longer care about the theme and give up, even if I admire the authors. So I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I'm a sucker for small-town tales. I'm growing an appreciation for the Lovecraftian realm in which these stories breathe and move, slithering tentacles across the brain, and welcoming you home with that gentle song from another world.

 

These are the ones that stood out for me:

 

"Shug"by John Taff - This one felt like a mix of Bradbury 's The Martian Chronicles and Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. I wasn't sure I liked it a few pages in, but it ended up being my favorite. Just a really well-told story that made its home beneath my skin.

 

"Something in the Water" by Douglas Wynn - This is the story that made me grab this anthology. I read a bit of Wynn's behind-the-story post via Twitter and knew I had to read it. Watch your tongue when you come to Wynn's little town. Loved it.

 

"Disintegration is Quite Painless" by Max Booth III - I've read a lot of Max's larger works. For the most part, they haven't been my cup of tea. They've been a bit too weird for my taste, but very well-written, and Booth's talent has never been in question. I knew it was only a matter of time when he wrote something that would blow me away. This one is a traditional/straight-forward horror tale. If you love Stranger Things, you're gonna enjoy the hell out of this one. The beginning was amazing, and even though the story went in a bunch of different directions, I loved each and every one. I can't wait to get this version of MB3 in novel form.

 

"1570 KhZ" by Damien Walters - No surprise that the Queen of Short Stories delivers another gem. This one features a young girl that wants to help her father. He sits in a garage listening to a strange frequency that is shifting his moods. This one is great.

 

"Sunset on Mott Island" by Lucy Snyder - the opening story, Snyder's piece subtly lures you in on the waves, while bringing on the impending doom. Charmingly cryptic to the end.

 

"Duck Hunt" by Joe Lansdale - A few of these have a rites-of-passage theme to them. I just enjoyed Lansdale's take the best. Thought I knew where it was going, but I was wrong. Fantastic.

 

There were really only two or three stories I didn't care for in here, but even those were well-written. This is a very impressive collection for fans of Lovecraft and/or small-town horror.

 

Even with the couple of so-so stories, I give SHADOWS OVER MAIN STREET (VOLUME 2) 5 stars!

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-29 16:41
Blog #3
The Light of Burning Shadows - Chris Evans
A Darkness Forged in Fire - Chris Evans

I predict that in the second book, as shown above, Konowa and the regiment will have to face the Shadow Monarch, after Konowa figured out that She wanted the regiment under her power, not the Eastern Star. at the end of the first book.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-28 21:07
The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson (2016 Review)
The Scent of Shadows - Vicki Pettersson

The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At sixteen, Joanna Archer experienced an extreme act of violence, something that stole her innocence and destroyed her youth. As an adult, she seeks solace in her photographs whilst stalking the streets of Las Vegas, using the darkness to hunt for the monsters that cause pain. Nothing will prepare her for what is about to happen however, as nothing can prepare anyone for their death.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

I was at first very unsure whether or not I wanted to grant this a higher rating - yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it in some instances, but was it enough to justify a four star review and therefore dismiss the obvious issues? After much consideration, I finally made the difficult decision; I couldn't completely disregard the things that irked me. They ranged from little annoyances to what I believed to be more obvious faults, but I'll get to those in a moment. I just feel the need to state how much I love urban fantasy and starting a new series; it'll always remain one of my all time favourite pastimes. There's something about the genre that I adore, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

Joanna Archer was a decent protagonist yet not overly likeable. Indeed, she experienced a horrific ordeal as a teenager, but at times it appeared she held an air of superiority because of it; continuously mentioning her own personal strength and her sister's "innocent" weakness, it got a little repetitive. The fact she also turned to violence as an answer was in itself questionable and no doubt self destructive; definitely not the ideal role model, yet whilst these obvious flaws bothered me, I also appreciated their presence. No character, in any book, should be perfect, as no person in the real world is perfect.

I found the plot largely improved in the second half (the first half being somewhat dull), when Joanna's identity was altered and she joined the Zodiac team. Yes, she turned out to be some all-powerful figure of prophecy, but that didn't bother me. There was a lot of focus on the "superhero" aspect and the battle between Light and Dark, which interested me even though some of the dialogue forced me to cringe. The group dynamics really sucked me in however; I liked that she was looked upon with suspicion and that she struggled to gain their trust. I suppose I just favour conflict amongst relationships, it serves as entertainment. It can get a bit too much when the heroines of the genre are instantly liked way too much by everyone, and desired by every male.

Saying that, I didn't particularly like the implied love triangle that's obviously going to play a role in further instalments. Hunter seemed like an interesting character, but I hope it won't turn out to be a Hunter/Ben dilemma - I find triangles infuriating more often that not, as the females usually spend most of their time dwelling over both men rather than focusing on the vital matters. Another thing that got to me greatly, was the comic book store scene. I just really do hate the stereotypical portrayal of such stores, and those who read comics. The other characters however were written well - even Chandra - as they all displayed individual traits and differing demeanours. Warren was probably my favourite overall; who doesn't like a bit of insanity?

In conclusion: The very obvious possibility of a love triangle didn't appeal, and the main heroine seemed to be selfish - though that certainly gives room for growth. Regardless of what I favoured and those aspects I didn't care for, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Notable Scene:

He was bereft of all his senses now, as helpless before me as Olivia had been in his arms, but instead of killing him, I lowered myself to the edge of the bed and watched. I wanted to observe the last seconds of his life, as death marched across his features. I wanted to see if he would heal.

Then I could kill him all over again.


© Red Lace 2016

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/28/the-scent-of-shadows-by-vicki-pettersson-2016-review
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text 2018-04-23 02:36
Just starting, fresh off library waitlist
Heart of Venom - Jennifer Estep
Dark Heir - Faith Hunter
Magic in the Shadows - Devon Monk

I waitlisted these in anticipation of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon on April 28 — they came early.  Guess I'll have to get reading ...

 

Odd how all three have similarly colored covers.  I was just waitlist ing according to "next in series."

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