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text 2015-05-11 02:47
Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett-DNF
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett

I'm on the verge of a reading slump and just can't find anything that interests me. 

 

I'm turning to my old familiar stand-by: short stories. I hope it works.

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review 2015-03-11 14:15
Midnight Rain by James Newman
Midnight Rain - James Newman

 

This was a coming of age tale that was compared to Boy's Life on the cover. That's a bold statement.

A young boy, Kyle, witnesses a murder. ( Very Boy's Life-ish so far.)

" Do you remember the exact moment when your childhood ended? I do." 

So begins the mystery and the rain. This is a fine tale of growing up the hard way. Kyle is discovering that all is not what it seems to be. Not the sheriff, not his mother, and not even his older brother, Dan. He's trying to do the right thing, but that isn't always easy.

I was expecting a horror novel, but that's not what this is. It is a coming of age novel, but what's different about it is that Kyle has no friends. I can't think of any COA novel where the protagonist didn't have any friends. I found that a bit strange. 

Even though this wasn't really a horror novel, I enjoyed it quite a bit. The pacing was steady, the story compelling, and the characters believable. I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to fans of coming of age tales.

 

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review 2014-02-12 18:02
Flesh & Blood by Graham Masterton
Flesh And Blood - Graham Masterton

 

I read this book as part of a horror group read at Shelfari.


The story opens with a particularly sad, gory scene and after that the rest of the story seeps in.


I don't like to go into the plot too much in my reviews, but I do need to touch on a couple of points. 1. There are parts of the plot that are a bit fantastic (in the true sense of the word) and not very believable. 2. There were certain parts of the story which focused on Czech mythology. I don't know if they were true or not, but they definitely read as if they were and I enjoyed those portions of the story the most. 3.The sex scenes I felt were unnecessary. They didn't progress the plot at all and the characters involved were already defined without having to throw in those scenes.


Overall I liked the story but felt that the ending didn't really deliver the denouement that I expected. Usually I like when that happens, but in this case it seemed that some confrontations that seemed fated to occur, didn't.


Lastly, I read the Kindle version of this book and it had some issues. There were no space breaks between changes in point of view. It threw me out of the story each and every time it happened. Also there were some formatting problems such as some words beginning with "TH" had the TH changed to 'M". Therefore the word 'that' becomes mat. This was very annoying. I did not count these issues towards my rating, but wanted to mention them as a heads up to future readers.

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review 2013-12-23 14:41
Floating Staircase by Ron Malfi
Floating Staircase - Ronald Malfi

 

I finished reading this with my Shelfari horror group on Friday. I've been mulling it over for a few days and this is what I came up with.

 

Floating Staircase is a well written tale about Travis Glasgow, a man who is haunted. Haunted by his new home and the things that may have been done there and haunted by the death of his brother, (which occurred when they were both very young). On top of all that, he is struggling to feel worthy in the eyes of his remaining brother, who is a cop. We join Travis as he tries to unravel these mysteries, while at the same time trying to come to terms over what happened to his brother all those years ago.

 

This was an atmospheric tale, but not quite as atmospheric as I would have liked. While I enjoyed the characters and felt for them, (most especially Elijah and Veronica), I didn't feel that this story offered anything new or original to the genre. I guess that's hard to do with things being as they are in the publishing world, but I do think this story needed that little extra something to boost it over the wall of the merely average. With that in mind, I rated this book 3.5 stars, rounded up to a 4 for the quality of the writing. While this is no Shirley Jackson type of tale, I do recommend it for fans of hauntings and mysteries-you could do much worse.

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review 2013-12-09 15:11
Dreams in Black and White by John Little
Dreams in Black and White - John R. Litt... Dreams in Black and White - John R. Little

 

I think I love John Little! Seriously, I think I do. Plus, I love this cover. Check it out. See that little 442 under the black and white picture? Now, I don't know about you, but when I hear 442 I think of this bad-ass Oldsmobile. 

 

442

After reading this book though, I will probably think of this story whenever I hear 442 in the future. 

 

Charlie is a photographer by trade. He is also a man with severe sleep deprivation problems. He's been to the sleep center where they cannot seem to find anything to help him. Since then, he has a new problem. He can't figure out why when he wakes from his 1-2 hours of sleep, it is always 4:42 a.m. 

 

All of a sudden Charlie begins to get 5-6 hours of sleep a night. He doesn't know what to make of it. He also doesn't know what to make of the dreams he is now having. The dreams show accidents and deaths, over and over again. Finally, one of the dreams gives him the date of a car accident. Since Charlie is a photographer, he places himself at the spot where the accident happened, according to his dream, and he waits there. Something does happen, but not exactly what Charlie expected.

 

That's all I will say about the plot. If you are familiar with John Little's body of work, you already know that his novels and novellas pack a serious punch. He is very good at bringing a real humanity to his characters and this story is no exception. Charlie is exceptionally drawn, truly human and has many faults. However, you cannot help but feel for him as this story delves more into these black and white dreams. 

 

I think that The Memory Tree is still my favorite Little book, but this one comes in at second place, (of what I have read of his work so far). This story, ultimately (in my mind), is a tragedy. It also carries a life lesson within. It's up to the reader to find it. I highly recommend this first class novella to any fans of dark fiction. You won't be disappointed. 

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