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review 2017-09-23 19:49
The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
The Lost Child of Lychford (Witches of Lychford) - Paul Cornell

Series: Lychford #2

 

I debated between 3.5 and 4 stars for this one, but the weird opening with ranting about Greg Lake Christmas songs was just confusing because I'd never heard of him before. That aside, I had a lot more fun with this installment of the Lychford series.

 

It kicks off with Lizzie the vicar being haunted by a little boy in her church. It turns out that the boy isn't dead though, so the ghost is a weird kind of magical apparition that I'd have to explain using spoilers.

He's basically an echo of an event that takes place in the future when these weird extra dimensional beings for whom time isn't a thing try to break down the barriers of Lychford by sacrificing the child in a ritual.

(spoiler show)

 

Eventually the ghost decides (or gains enough energy) to not just haunt Lizzie in the church but follow her around, and the three witches start trying to figure out what he is exactly and what is going on with him, but then outside influences start messing with the witches' heads and things get a little crazy. The scenes where Lizzie, partially under their influence, tries to break out of it by damaging her hands are both disturbing and funny.

 

We also get to see more of the haunting in Judith's home and the other witches finally find out she's been cursed with the ghost of her dead husband, so I think I'm safe in counting this for "Haunted Houses" for the Halloween Bingo, even if the haunting with the little boy is a non-traditional haunting. This book could also count for the "In the dark, dark woods", the "Witches", the "Supernatural", and the "Ghost" squares. I'm not sure if it could count for "Chilling Children" because although the ghost of the little boy gets significant page time, he doesn't say much and I don't know if he'd count as a main character. He is in danger though.

 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next Lychford installment since they seem to be getting better as they go along.

Previous update:

26 of 133 pages

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text 2017-09-23 16:31
Halloween Bingo 2017: Update 3 -- BINGO!

Diagonal, top left corner to bottom right corner.

 

 

The "bingo" squares and books read:

 

  

 

Plus a bingo-"ready" completed column (second from right) ... and two more bingos in the making once I've read my books for "Diverse Voices" (=> all 4 corners plus center square) and "Werewolves" (=> center row) -- and once the "Classic Noir" and "Classic Horror" squares are called.

 

Considering that I've approached this bingo chiefly in "mood reader" mode, the calls have been extraordinarily lucky for me so far!  That being said, guess what my next two reads are likely going to be ...

 

 

 

My Square Markers and "Virgin" Bingo Card:

"Virgin" card posted for ease of tracking and comparison.


Black Kitty:
Read but not called


Black Vignette:
Called but not read

Black Kitty in Black Vignette:
Read and Called

Black Kitty Center Square:

                  Read = Called

 

 

 

Current Status of Spreadsheet:

(Note: Physical print editions unless stated otherwise)

 

 Reviews for the books I've read most recently to follow separately!

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text 2017-09-23 15:23
Reading progress update: I've read 26 out of 133 pages.
The Lost Child of Lychford (Witches of Lychford) - Paul Cornell

I was going to try to read this for the "Haunted Houses" square in the hopes that it would elaborate on Judith's situation at home (it sounds like it would fit a haunting). This novella kicks off with the ghost of a small boy (or some kind of manifestation anyway) appearing to Lizzie (the vicar) in her church, so this is promising.

 

Here's hoping there's more haunted church stuff!

 

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review 2017-09-23 13:48
Paganini and a Vampire
The Vampire's Protector - Michele Hauf

The ending felt too slight.  While there were some good scenes I had to read the last few chapters a few times to get what had happened and really to realise that it was all over.  I wanted more and could see that there was potential for a broader and possibly better story hidden under the story told. It also didn't really feel like it was set in Europe and particularly in France.

 

Summer Santiago is a vampire who hunts artefacts.  She's sent to retrieve a violin that is reputedly Paganini's and when she finds it somehow it plays.  Next she discovers that this has awoken from the grave Paganini (I hope without the Syphilis and other problems) who is fairly chill about his new world (there are occasional moments but overall he's a little less stressed than I'd expect a displaced in time type to be).

 

The romance worked for me the two of them were good as a couple but there were moments where I was unsatisfied.  

 

I do love the cover though.

 

Could be used for Vampires, supernatural, demons, terrifying women, genre: horror and I'm sure a few others but I'm going to use it for Vampires.

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review 2017-09-22 10:05
Symphony of Ruin
Symphony of Ruin: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel - Christina Lay

by Christina Lay

 

Ghosts, Fae, magic, Alchemy and a monster from out of the catacombs bringing death to the city. It's all here! The story reads like a very well written Fantasy novel and got my interest right away.

 

Remy is an Alchemist's apprentice and with the Alchemist away, he is left to discover what is coming out of the catacombs to kill people. He encounters ghosts and other creatures in the world of darkness, effectively an underworld journey.

 

Despite being treated like a lowly ratboy by the local hoity-toity, he gets on with the job and seeks to discover why one of their class got buried with commoners. Remy is a likeable character who lets the class insults roll off and applies his own wits and knowledge to untangling some confusing clues to what's really going on.

 

The story is fast moving and leads into a dark journey beneath the city that brings out some of our most primal fears. At times it reminded me of the surreal worlds of Roger Zelazny or The Deathgate Cycle by Weis and Hickman, though not in as much intricate detail. It was an interesting read and I think a new author to watch.

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