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review 2018-04-03 11:54
Review: Dear Sweet Filthy World
Dear Sweet Filthy World - Caitlín R. Kiernan

I received a copy from Netgalley.


This particular author is one of my favourites of dark and bizarre fiction. Most of the time I love her work, there are the odd ones that I really don’t like or get at all. This collection of short stories has been on my radar since I heard about it. I was thrilled when I got approved for it on Netgalley (a hardcover is nearly $30). After reading a few of the stories I knew I had to have a finished copy and  I did purchase a finished Kindle version.


Stand out stories for me were:


Werewolf Smile – a narrator’s flighty girlfriend posing for a series of disturbing photos based on a Red Riding Hood theme. There was something so dark and powerful about the prose that made this story stick with me more than the others. First story in the collection.


Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint – this is about a dude who picks up a random girl hitchhiking and finds himself sharing her memories of violent acts throughout history. Very vivid and uncomfortable.


The Eighth Veil – I loved this one, I wanted a full novel of this one. A group of weird people gathering in a bar to watch some sort of stage show which seems to be an execution.


-30- This one is about a woman who receives an anonymous photo of some sort of monster – is it real? Where did it come from? Who sent it? What is it? An intriguing mystery though was a little disappointed with the end.


The Carnival is Dead and Gone – This was another favourite, dude and has friend visiting a carnival of oddities and freaks head into a special area where the strangest of creatures are held including some sort of quivering mass with theatricals that resemble a giant vagina following some strange sex act. It was another one that was quite uncomfortable but utterly compelling and erotic as it was disturbing. It feels wrong but you can’t take your eyes away.  The audience of the show seemed to find it really erotic.  Something like this should not be erotic, but it was and what does that say about the state of my mind?


Interstate Lovesong (Murder Ballard No 8) Two sisters who pick up randoms and kill them on their journey get a shock of their own when they pick up a girl with an attitude of her own. Gory and fascinating.


These were the stand outs for me.


This collection is a host of stories from the strange, the weird, the bizarre, disturbing, erotic and sometimes just plain what the fuck was that? 28 of them. Some of them I loved, some of them I hated. Some of them were just bland. One in particular - Tempest Witch - I read the whole thing and didn’t get a word of it.  The writing is beautiful and lyrical, dark and dreamy.


A good mixed bag.


Thank you Netgalley and Subterranean Press  for approving my request to view the title.

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text 2017-04-06 22:52
I've read 10% and I'm quitting.
Dear Sweet Filthy World - Caitlín R. Kiernan


I've been dragging my feet on this for two months and I've decided to throw in the towel. I can't bring myself to read any more solid walls of text.


"Great swaths of the rocky seafloor rising up to meet her beneath a carpet of calcified cyanobacteria and the branching lobes and solitary cups of archaeocyath sponges.There are knotted clusters formed by problematic chancellorids, an enigma to taxonomists, who must place all organisms in this box or that box; the chancellorids may be only sponges, or they may be slug like halkieriids protected inside their skins of star shaped, calcareous sclerites."


I wanted to like this so much, but I just can't get into it.


*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC, but since I did not finish, I do not feel it's fair for me to rate or review at this time.*

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review 2016-03-08 19:32
Quickie Review: Sweet Filthy Morning After by Christina Lauren
Sweet Filthy Morning After - Christina Lauren

Ansel and Mia experience a wild, drunken, lust-filled night in Las Vegas. What did Ansel feel that first morning after? Written from the POV of Ansel, Sweet Filthy Morning After is his recollection of waking up next to Mia and remembering everything that happened the previous night. 


At only 30 minutes long, the story is truly only a short, slice of life and not meant for those who haven’t read Sweet Filthy Boy, the book from which the scene comes. For those who loved Mia and Ansel’s story, but missed hearing any of Ansel’s side of the story, Sweet Filthy Morning After is a real treat. Written like an entry to Ansel’s personal diary, we learn how fast and hard he falls for Mia. While I wish we’d had his POV in Sweet Filthy Boy, I understand why it would have changed the entire nature of the book.


Jason Carpenter does an excellent job narrating the story as Frenchman Ansel. He portrays an enjoyable French accent without seeming pretentious. However, his narrative speed is way too slow, and for the first time ever, I listened to a book at the 1.5x speed comfortably. 


My Rating: B+ (as a companion to Sweet Filthy Boy)

Narration: B

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review 2016-03-08 15:43
Quickie Review: Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
Sweet Filthy Boy - Christina Lauren

Having recently listened to and LOVING the audiobook of Wicked Sexy Liar (WSL), the fourth book in Christina Lauren's NA series about recent UCSD grads, I found myself compelled to get more of these characters and their stories. So I decided to pick up the first book, Sweet Filthy Boy, on my kindle, and I'm so glad that I did. 


Having started with the fourth book in the series, I was already familiar with main couple featured in Sweet Filthy Boy. However, I didn't know their history and story, other than a few small details, so no spoilers to ruin the enjoyment of the journey. Mia and Ansel have a whirlwind, lust-driven weekend in Vegas, which leads to her following him to Paris for the summer. But the trip over isn't romantic in the least (and is in fact, one of the most laughable, horrible situations), and there is a huge strain between the pair once they arrive at Ansel's home. In fact, the awkwardness is horrifying at times and my heart hurts for the pair. However, the couple learns to share and open up though cos play and scenes, which leads to some uber sexy moments.


Their romance is exquisite: equal parts lust, heartache, and love. While I thought I knew what would be the major bump in the road, I was still surprised when it happened, leading my heart to fall to pieces along with Mia's. The authors are skilled at sharing deep emotions without telling or preaching. 


The one thing that threw me a bit and surprised me is that the story was only shared from the first person POV of the book's heroine, Mia. This is because the few NA titles I've read, along with a book in this series (WSL), are shared from the alternating first person POVs of the hero and heroine. I have to admit that after all my harping on why I don't necessarily care for the alternating first person POVs, I missed it! I wanted to hear from Ansel - I wanted to know he was falling as hard as Mia, I wanted to know why he shares and doesn't share what he did (although in hindsight, the twist wouldn't have had as big of an impact if we'd known this!)


In the end, I adored Mia and Ansel's story. I love the storytelling of the writing team of Christina Lauren. The book made me want to fall in love all over again.


My rating: A-

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review 2015-12-31 00:00
Sweet Filthy Morning After
Sweet Filthy Morning After - Christina Lauren 3.5 stars

I really enjoyed this little snippet. It is the morning after from his point of view so it isn't actually a full story, just a scene. Make me want to read more from this series for sure.
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