logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: The-Hours
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-03-16 21:06
Local Bookclub read
The Last Hours - Minette Walters
Walters’ historical novel is a stunning look at how people reacted when the Black Death came to town. Or came to country and tried to come to town, but you burned down the bridge and kept away anyone who looked sick.

There is historic precedent for a similar story – see the village of Eyam in Derbyshire.
In terms of the fear of people living at the time, Walters does a very good job. The change in society – the rebellion of the serfs – is well played as well.

However, the characters are either good or evil, with no real in between. For instance, there is Lady Anne, who might be a bit more educated and opened minded than women of the time usually were, but Walters gives her a believable back story. Yet, she is too perfect while her husband is too evil. Anne’s reactions and ability to foretell how the ending confrontation would play are true, and not surprising, but one does want her to be wrong, to not be so perfect and modern in her political thoughts.

Furthermore, Lady Anne is the only good woman of note (a woman who has more than a handful of lines). Most of the other movers and shakers are men. The only other woman who has more than a handful of lines, is the villain of the story. Whereas with the men you have several who perform heroic roles. While this, at least in the terms of movement of events, might be historical true, it does make the novel a bit uneven in character usage.

Yet, the setting and fear are stunningly conveyed in the story.
 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-02-21 21:52
24 Hours in Nowhere
24 Hours In Nowhere - Dusti Bowling
This book is fantastic! I loved her Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus and I loved this one also. What an adventure! The novel begins with the main character being bullied, and before you know it, the novel is winding down and you’re sad it’s over.
 
Meet Gus, he’s 13 and he lives with his grandma in her trailer. Gus didn’t ask to live in Nowhere, AZ where every day it’s hot. He’ll tell you later how he came to live with his grandma. Gus loves vocabulary words and one day, they are going to come in handy.
 
Meet Bo, he’s the bully. He likes to picks on kids. Today, he’s picking on Gus. Bo’s in the process of making Gus eat something that he shouldn’t really be eating. When Rossi enters the picture, she stands up for Gus but Gus just wants her to leave. When Rossi hands over Loretta, Gus is shocked! Loretta is Rossi’s dirt bike and without her bike Rossi can’t beat Bo tomorrow in the race. Determined to get Rossi’s bike back,
 
Gus confronts Bo later that day, to determine what he must do to get it back. That night, armed with his measly supplies, Gus enters Dead Frenchman Mine to obtain the item that Bo desires. Gus knows that others have unsuccessfully entered this mine before but he’s determined to get Rossi’s bike back. At his side, he has one of Bo’s friends with him acting as a witness and they are soon joined by two other friends of Gus’ who join in on the hunt.
 
It’s an entertaining story as the pages fly by as these kids travel inside the mine searching for Bo’s treasure. They had some great moments and some intense moments as they wandered around. As the youths have some serious discussions, I thought these moments brought them together and connected them.
 
This is an excellent novel for boys and girls and would make an outstanding read aloud. I highly recommend it as Dusti Bowling is a talented author.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-01-09 02:42
Very Strong Debut, Some Issues with Character Development and Pacing
The Forgotten Hours - Katrin Schumann

I really loved the premise of the "Forgotten Hours" (a teenage girl loses her best friend and father after a rape accusation and trial). This type of plot feels very timely. That said, I thought that the story being told in third person point of view actually pushed me away as a reader. I think if it was told in the first person point of view I would have felt more entwined with Katie and her choices. Also, if it had been first person point of view, I would have given more leeway on the secondary characters (Zen, Lulu, her father, mother, brother, etc) being written so shallowly. However, writing in third person point of view, I think she could have tapped into everyone's emotions a lot more and the backstory. I needed to get into Lulu's and her father's head more. 

 

"The Forgotten Hours" goes back and forth following the events that broke up Katie Gregory's family more than 6 years ago. Katie's best friend from childhood accuses her father of rape, after two years of investigation/trial, he is found guilty. This ends up causing her family to fracture. Now that he is getting out of jail, Katie is focused on getting her family back to the way it was. There are complications however with her father wanting her to return to their family's cabin, and make it ready for him. This leads Katie down a path to figure out what really happened, and was it her fault.

 

Katie is really the center of this story. I wish that Schumann had her come to some realizations a lot sooner. She has had to draw herself in due to what happened to her family, and I get that. However, her relationship with Zen had her being ambivalent about it for reasons dealing with her father. It's pretty obvious that Katie sees herself as her father's daughter and him being sent to jail for something she doesn't believe he did has broken some part of herself. I just wish that we had seen more interactions between her and her brother David. That character is written as being more aware of things then Katie ever did. I just wish that they had more honest conversations. The same with Katie and her mother. Back to Katie, we get more insight on what occurred 8 years ago (when Katie and Lulu were 17) and how Katie worshiped Lulu until a boy comes between them. The book flips back and forth between present day and the past.

 

 

I think Lulu was written well, but I wanted more there. Her story made me sad and I think it got passed over a little too quickly. The question that Katie has is why would Lulu lie about her father. However, we are given hints here and there what was going on with Lulu and I wish that had been the story. 

 

Katie's father, John Gregory, is charismatic. There is a pull to him when we have the story in the before time period. He is the guy that everyone is drawn to, wants to make happy. Even Katie contrasts him with her mother and she finds her lacking due to her withdrawal from their family. 

 

Katie is haunted by her teen crush and I just thought that whole thing with him was a waste (the present time period). The before time period, once again, Schumman types into something when she goes back to first loves, summer days and night, and the smell of the sun and the lake on your skin. 

 

The writing was good, though sometimes a bit overworked. I have to say that I loved all of the sections dealing with Katie and Lulu showing them growing up together and their summers together. Schumann taps into being a young girl and how hard it is sometimes to be best friends with someone. We also get Lulu's longing to be part of Katie's family and how Lulu's life is so different from Katie's.

 

When we switch back to the present time frame, I just see Katie as a pale shadow still being jerked around by Lulu. You would think that she would be separate from her at this point. We know that the two had no contact after the rape accusation besides a nasty email that Katie sent. But you have Katie wondering why Lulu never reached out to her. I just rolled my eyes a bit at that.


The setting of the book bounces between New York, upper state New York, and London. I have to say that Schumman writes of New York, and summers on the lake very well. The parts in London were very thin to me. We/Katie get info dumped about some things and I just wish it was done differently.


The ending was bittersweet. I wish it had ended differently because I honestly don't think that the Gregory family ever really comes to term with things. Ostriches, the lot of them. 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-01-08 01:08
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Forgotten Hours - Katrin Schumann

Wow. This book was very raw. We have the main character Katie (third person POV) dealing with the fact her father is about to be released from prison after 6 years. Katie’s father was found guilty of statutory rape, and the victim was Katie’s beat friend at the time, Lulu.

 

Katie is excited her father is getting out and that they can put the past behind them and get her family back. However, Katie is forced to recognize that some things were kept secret from her and maybe she just accepted things that she shouldn’t have. She also goes over her relationship with Lulu and reveals why Lulu would have lied about being raped.

 

Eventually Schumann reveals what really happened that time 6 years ago.

 

The only things I wish had been improved was the back and forth of the time before and present. Telling this in third person removes you from things and often the flow was a bit uneven due to the need sometimes to over explain things. And the other thing is that Katie’s love interest Zev was underdeveloped. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-12-31 12:45
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Anthologies and Collections of 2018!
Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn
Figures Unseen: Selected Stories - Steve Rasnic Tem,Matt Godfrey
Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter - Donald E Westlake,Fredric Brown
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Volume Three - Charles Beaumont,J.B. Priestley,James Purdy
Occasional Beasts: Tales - John Claude Smith
Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue - Somer Canon,Rachel Autumn Deering,Brian Keene,Jeff Strand,Matt Hayward,Glenn Rolfe,Patrick Lacey,Matt Serafini,Adam Cesare,Jonathan Janz,Kelli Owen,Doug Murano,Mary SanGiovanni,Robert Ford,Bryan Smith,Booth Tarkington,John Skipp,Alan M. Clark
Splatterpunk Fighting Back - Jack Bantry,Tim Curran,Glenn Rolfe,Bracken MacLeod,Kristopher Rufty,Adam Millard,John Boden,Matt Shaw,W.D. Gagliani,Elizabeth Power
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream - Christopher Golden
Doorbells at Dusk: Halloween Stories - Adam Light,Gregor Xane,Josh Malerman,Jason Parent,Evans Light
All the Names They Used for God: Stories - Anjali Sachdeva

Welcome to my Top Ten Anthology and Short Story Collection List!

 

These are books that I read this year, but not necessarily published this year.

I happen to believe that novellas and short stories are the perfect length for horror stories, so I tend to read a lot of them over the course of a year. This year I read 14 collections and anthologies that rated over 4 stars. Here are what I thought were the best of them! (Click on the book cover to see my original review.)

 

Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn 

 

DARKEST HOURS by Mike Thorn

An incredible collection, especially for a first effort by an author. I can't say enough good things about it!

 

Figures Unseen: Selected Stories - Steve Rasnic Tem,Matt Godfrey 

 

FIGURES UNSEEN: SELECTED STORIES

by Steve Rasnic Tem, narrated by Matt Godfrey

Steve Rasnic Tem is a national treasure and I've been reading his short stories since I turned old enough to go to the library myself. (We won't say how long that's been, but it's in decades.) It's always been a mystery to me why he isn't more well known. This collection was narrated by the always excellent Matt Godfrey. 

(The story CITY FISHING still haunts my mind.)

 

Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter - Donald E Westlake,Fredric Brown 

 

 

PARDON MY GHOULISH LAUGHTER by Fredric Brown

This book was a gift to me from my Booklikes friend Tigus. I've read a story or two from Brown before, (THE GEEZENSTACKS!) but this collection opened my eyes to a wider variety of Brown's work. Thanks again, Tigus!

 

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Volume Three - Charles Beaumont,J.B. Priestley,James Purdy 

 

THE VALANCOURT BOOK OF HORROR STORIES, VOLUME 3

Edited by James Jenkins and Ryan Cagle

 

Another solid entry from the gentlemen over at Valancourt Press. 

The two things I like most about these anthologies are that I've never read any of the stories before, and they are ALL good.

 

Occasional Beasts: Tales - John Claude Smith 

 

OCCASIONAL BEASTS: TALES by John Claude Smith

Written by an author I've come to admire a lot over the last few years, this collection spotlights John Claude Smith's penchant for the dark and weird. LOVED it!

 

Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue - Somer Canon,Rachel Autumn Deering,Brian Keene,Jeff Strand,Matt Hayward,Glenn Rolfe,Patrick Lacey,Matt Serafini,Adam Cesare,Jonathan Janz,Kelli Owen,Doug Murano,Mary SanGiovanni,Robert Ford,Bryan Smith,Booth Tarkington,John Skipp,Alan M. Clark 

 

WELCOME TO THE SHOW edited by Doug Murano

The authors featured within such as Brian Keene, Matt Hayward,Kelli Owen, Mary SanGiovanni and others should give you an idea of the quality of these tales. All of the authors joined us over in the Horror Aficonados group at Goodreads and answered our questions. That only added to my reading enjoyment!

 

Splatterpunk Fighting Back - Jack Bantry,Tim Curran,Glenn Rolfe,Bracken MacLeod,Kristopher Rufty,Adam Millard,John Boden,Matt Shaw,W.D. Gagliani,Elizabeth Power 

 

SPLATTERPUNK FIGHTING BACK edited by Jack Bantry and Kit Power

Another anthology where the authors joined us in HA for a group read. What made this anthology unique was that the profits were donated to charity. Featuring authors like Tim Curran, Bracken MacLeod and Kristopher Rufty among others-the variety here was stunning. 

 

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream - Christopher Golden 

 

HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SCREAM edited by Christopher Golden

 A fun anthology with stories centered around Christmas. Even though there was a central theme the variety of the stories ranged from poignant and sad to downright scary. What fun!

 

 

Doorbells at Dusk: Halloween Stories - Adam Light,Gregor Xane,Josh Malerman,Jason Parent,Evans Light 

DOORBELLS AT DUSK edited by Evans Light

A super fun anthology centered around my favorite holiday, Halloween!

 

All the Names They Used for God: Stories - Anjali Sachdeva 

 

ALL THE NAMES THEY USED FOR GOD: STORIES by Anjali Sachdeva

A diverse debut collection! Spanning different areas of the world and different time periods, this was an impressive book!

 

 

Thanks for staying with me this far if you're still here. I appreciate you!

I hope you'll join me again at the end of 2019.

 

 

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?