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review 2018-10-23 16:18
A Mermaid's Kiss - Joey W. Hill

I have some issues with the world building here that made it difficult to really immerse myself into the story. Those are my own though and had I taken the time to do some preemptive skimming prior to purchase rather than smirking at the mermaid angle and making sure it wasn't a three-some tale...


The h - Anne - is the great great granddaughter of Ariel. Yes; that Ariel. The spell that originally allowed Ariel to walk on land got twisted somehow when the seawitch attempted to remove it and her descendants have been cursed. At least one was a siren. None have lived past their 21st birthday - not because of disease either as Anne's mother killed herself.


The H - Jonah - is an angel who has lost his way...and in the beginning, his wing. Just one. The h finds the wing, hunts him down, and takes him to a safe place as per his directions.


The sea witch has a descendant too - Mina. Mina is also dark spawn - half dark one. She fights it and tries to help Anne.


It's an odd blend of fanciful fairy tale, sex that is often somewhat crude, and well, the emoting of an angel who needs to get over himself. He knows he's lost his way, and is reluctant to find it. Near the end, when the goddess tells him the origins of humans, he revolts. The h manages to heal his mind and heart, things happen, dark ones blow up, he mourns her passing (yes; she does die, but she wasn't supposed to, so gets a reprieve), has a good cry, and finds her again. The end.


Things I didn't like, odd world building or no - that finalish scene where she goes to a turned Jonah to try to bring him back to the light. It was so drawn out as to be ridiculous. She goes up to him, he punches her. She crawls back, he breaks her arm, she gets back up and tries again, he speaks in an evil voice that drives her down...again. She gets back up and tries to sing to him, upon which he punches her *again and this time kicks her. So she tries again. How I don't know. I was sort of wondering how she was still alive as she'd been hit twice by an angel. Anyway, he has his sword out with the tip resting on his hand - no, I don't know why a warrior of any sort would do that - and she climbs Mt Jonah again, kisses him, nearly cutting herself in half in the process, and while he's distracted, combines their blood for a bit of joining magic which finally gets his heart back in his chest where it belongs (it's in a jar, don't ask). Then she artfully dies.


His obfuscating and toe dragging. He's avoided the goddess for half a century. It's not clear why he stopped. The questions on how he got to this state in the first place. How was it none of the others noticed?


I'm sortof curious as to who the next one is about, but not sure I can sit through that much navel-gazing.

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review 2018-10-22 18:45


I'll admit it-I was leery when I heard that Netflix was adapting this to a television show. It's one of my favorite novels of all time and in my mind there was no way any TV show was going to live up to this book. 

I was wrong. 


It doesn't exactly live up to the book-it creates its own story, one loosely related to the original, one respectful of the original, but also one that deserves praise in its own right. I say respectful, because the character names are almost all straight from the book, but the characters they represent are all different, other than Mr. and Mrs. Dudley.

(They were and remain the caretakers of Hill House. They do not stay past nightfall, so no one will hear you scream in the night) I say it deserves praise because of the reasons I've listed below. 



The cast, the music, the cinematography, the writing, (sometimes quoting the best of the novel), even the opening sequence: all of it was incredibly moving, scary, heartbreaking,  and in the end...BEAUTIFUL. Simply, beautiful.


The performances, by all the players, both young and adult, were phenomenal. 


The characters from left to right:

Theo, Hugh, (the dad), Shirley, Luke, Eleanor, (Nell, her back is to us), Stephen, and Olivia. 


The characters as adults, from left to right:

Nell, Shirley, Luke, Hugh, (this is young Hugh), Oliva, Theo and Stephen.


As the older Hugh, an extraordinary Timothy Hutton. He knocked this out of the park. 

(Like my beloved Red Sox did this year, but that's another post!)


That red door! That damned red door. 






Created by Mike Flanagan, this is possibly the best horror show on television, ever. Period.


The cinematography, (do you still call it that when it's a TV show?),  the long uncut camera shot in episode 6 (20+ minutes!), was a masterpiece. 


The set decorator-I don't even know what to say. That house was gorgeous,(in the scenes which took place when the family was living there.) The furniture, the stained glass, the portraits, the clocks, the rugs-all of it perfectly placed. 


This show was so damn good it's caused me to write my very first television series review. I cannot recommend it highly enough! No, it's not the book, however, it treats the book respectfully, and even quotes it from time to time. That said, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE on NETFLIX is a masterpiece that stands on its own. 


My highest recommendation!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-10-20 16:01
Review: Heart-Shaped Box
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

Joe Hill has proven to me that he is a phenomenal storyteller.  His mind is a twisted as his father's, but he has managed to set himself apart.


The story was twisted and did not go the way I thought it would from the beginning.  There were twists and turns so unexpected that it was surprising, without leaving me too dizzy.  Craddock was a creepy, disgusting man who is hopefully frozen up to his neck in the river Cocytus, able to cry out in despair, but never receiving mercy.


This was the story of rock star, Judas Coyne and how he was pulled into a sadistic game of suicide/death by the stepfather (Craddock) and sister (Jessica) of one of his former paramours (Anna).  He and his current love, Marybeth get dragged onto the road trip from hell when Jude is tricked into purchasing what he thought was a phony haunted suit.  The suit; however, was indeed haunted by the ghost of Craddock who is intent on destroying Jude by making him murder Marybeth before taking his own life.  Once Jude realizes that the ghost is real and why he's after Jude, the fight to survive begins.


It was very well written and kept me hanging on for more.  The only part I disliked greatly was the death of Jude's dogs.  Fictional, I know, but animal death of any kind has become something (recently) that I do not handle well.  Now I'm starting to agree with the people who say that books should come with trigger warnings.  After that the book seemed to drag on, but not because it wasn't good.  I was just wanting it to be over so I could stop thinking about the dogs.  The ending was surprising and not at all what I expected to happen, which was refreshing, because I hate when I can guess how a book will end and am right.  Minus the parts with the dogs, this was a great read.  I will definitely read more from the author.

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text 2018-10-20 14:27
Reading progress update: I've read 307 out of 400 pages.
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

I can't believe there is still so much of this book left! 

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text 2018-10-18 05:12
Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 400 pages.
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

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