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review 2018-02-07 14:02
A Formulated Romance Novel That Isn't Bad, Its Just Good
Most of All You: A Love Story - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

There aren't many romantic novels that I do find appealing these days for reasons I probably watched most of them in the cinema. Of course, books and movies aren't the same thing when it comes to execution but I have always been looking for a book that really works on me. Most of All You: A Love Story is one I picked up because of its good reviews and its blurb. While I took a month over to complete reading it, I wasn't as impress as what others had said about it.

 

The book itself gave two perspective (it has been a trend for many authors writing such a style) - Crystal, a girl with a past, broken beyond any able to trust any men that what she understood, love brought only pain in her life. When she met Gabriel Dalton, a man with a known history of his past needed her for therapy, they never knew it would take them on a journey to healing... one that brings hope to each other.

 

Such a premise I had seen before but as a reading material, I can't find any thing exceptional about it. Do not get me wrong - its a good read but the characters, as much as any romance book can get, its pretty much typical of any script written for a movie. The formula is there - broken girl don't believe in love, broken boy had a trauma in life, two met and two with a past fall in love. That's just how it is with most romantic stories these days. While nothing new is offered, I can't help but find a familiarity in this book. Although I love the writing, its just a book I can't seem to find any thing that lifts up my expectation. I wasn't disappointed at all when I finished it, its just I felt I had known such stories before. For a season reader and movie-goer on the topic of romantic stories, this is on a level I do enjoy, just not that high a level.

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review 2018-01-16 20:46
Dark Mirror
In a Glass Darkly - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

This was the Goodreads Classic Horror Lovers Tales to Chill Your Blood group read in October 2017. I listened to it on Kindle. This volume contains five stories: "Green Tea" "The Familiar" "Mr. Justice Harbottle" "The Room in the Dragon Volant" "Carmilla" I will go through and discuss each story separately.

 

"Green Tea"--I have read this story before. It's interesting, although the way it's written is a bit on the dry side. It's told with detachment, which I suppose makes sense as it's told through letters written by Dr. Martin Hesselius, a paranormal investigator. The interesting component was the concept of green tea as a substance that can cause a person's third eye to open and to allow them to see into the spirit world. The unfortunate clergyman who is the focus of the story is able to see a monkey that continues to haunt him until it drives him crazy. It could have been more suspenseful, honestly. 3 stars "The Familiar"--A psychological horror story about a man who is being haunted by a figure from his past as a sea captain. Another use of the trope of a person being driven mad by his perception of something no one else can see. I was not particularly impressed by this story. 2.5 stars "Mr. Justice Harbottle"--a story about a judge who is haunted by the spirits of those he wrongly condemned to death. Nice build of suspense. I think the writing is much better in this story than "Green Tea" and "The Familiar". Ironically, I read the original version of this story, "An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street" (1853) out of another ghost story volume I was reading in October. I like that it deals with the concept of spiritual consequences for the wrong that one does, even when the person seems to be powerful in this life. The judge was not just a corrupt official, but he was also a degenerate who treated those around him poorly. 4 stars "The Room in the Dragon Volant"--This is more of a suspense story. It reminds me of something Robert Louis Stevenson might have wrote. It's one of the longer stories in the volume, with some involved storytelling. It's not a ghost or horror story, although there initially appears to be supernatural elements. Lots of nice twists in the story that did impress me. 4 stars "Carmilla"--Another reread for me. A very famous novella about a female vampire with some very obvious homoerotic overtones. Carmilla chooses exclusively female victims and uses her allure to develop their attraction to her. Carmilla is a create of simultaneous seductiveness and repulsion to her newest victim, Laura. Readers can plot this story out and see over time that there is something very wrong about Carmilla. The story builds to an exciting climax as Laura's father and other concerned parties work to deal with the evil vampire. This is old school vampire horror. Carmilla is the bad guy. Readers who enjoy the romantic angle cannot escape the fact that Carmilla is a sexual predator who is endangering the life of Laura. This was written during the Victorian age, in which sexual values were highly pruritanical, so it couldn't have been written any other way without national outrage. However, it was a night springboard for plenty of later vampire stories that focused more of the erotic aspects and less on the evil monster component. First time I read this, I found the flowery descriptions tedious. I enjoyed this a lot more this time around, maybe because I listened to the narration. 4 stars. Overall, I would give this 3.5 stars, which is an average of my individual ratings. Le Fanu is a good writer, but his style isn't my personal favorite. He's not the most active writer and I don't find his writing particularly scary (other than a couple of moments in Carmilla). However, he has some interesting ideas and concepts and his storytelling has been influential to the genre of classic horror.

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text 2017-11-01 00:40
October 2017 Wrap-Up
Dead Sea - Tim Curran
Mary Reilly - Valerie Martin
The Elementals - Michael Rowe,Michael McDowell
First Templar Nation: How the Knights Templar Created Europe's First Nation-state - Freddy Silva
Lava Storm In the Neighborhood (Giant Tales Apocalypse 10-Minute Stories) (Volume 1) - Paul D. Scavitto,Sharon Willett,Stephanie Baskerville,Robert Tozer,Shae Hamrick,Christian W. Freed,Rebecca Lacy,Douglas G. Clarke,Mike Boggia,Sylvia Stein,Gail Harkins,Glenda Reynolds,Lynette White,Randy Dutton,Joyce Shaughnessy,Amos Andrew Parker,Laura S
One Blood - Qwantu Amaru
Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch
Sleepy Hollow: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane) (Volume 2) - Richard Gleaves
Vampire - In the Beginning - Charmain Marie Mitchell
Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

12 books for me this month! More than double my average. Add The thin Man and Turn of the Screw to the above pictured books.

 

Thanks to Bingo. Now time to get back to other things I do besides reading every spare minute, though it's been fun.

 

No samples again, but clearing that folder again will resume soon. I have 5 Netgalley books to clear and then I'll settle into keeping at least 1 A-list book going while working through the Bingo folder where I have a load of back-ups for some of the squares. I might even read something besides Horror soon.

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text 2017-10-29 16:26
Another Double Bingo!
A Spark of Justice - J.D. Hawkins
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
Symphony of Ruin: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel - Christina Lay
One Blood - Qwantu Amaru
Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
A Latent Dark - Martin Kee
Mirror Mirror - Anthony M. Strong
Mary Reilly - Valerie Martin
Sleepy Hollow: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane) (Volume 2) - Richard Gleaves

OK so that's no surprise this late in the game. I've already commented on these books in previous Bingo posts so will just say the ones to read are A Spark of Justice, Mary Reilly and Bridge of Bones (2nd in a series)

 

One square left waiting for a call. But I thought there was one I dn't have still not called, so I'm confused.

 

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text 2017-10-27 21:17
Double Bingo Oct 27
Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Faerie Tale: A Novel of Terror and Fantasy - Raymond E. Feist
Dead Sea - Tim Curran
Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch
In The Woods - Jessica Mallory,Thomas Washburn Jr
Stalking Jack - Madison Kent
Mirror Mirror - Anthony M. Strong
High Witch (High Witch Book 1) (Volume 1) - Mona Hanna
The Werewolf Whisperer: ¬°Feliz Navidad! (A Werewolf Whisperer Novella Book 1) - Bonita Gutierrez,Camilla Ochlan

I'm sure they'll all fall fast and furious now, but it's fun anyway. Diagonal top left to bottom right and 5th row down!

 

 

Just two more squares to call!

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