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review 2017-08-17 18:03
Plague / C.C. Humphreys
Plague - C.C. Humphreys

London, 1665. A serial killer stalks his prey, scalpel in his hand and God's vengeance in his heart. Five years after his restoration to the throne, Charles II leads his citizens by example, enjoying every excess. Londoners have slipped the shackles of puritanism and now flock to the cockpits, brothels and, especially, the theatres, where for the first time women are allowed to perform alongside the men. But not everyone is swept up in the excitement. Some see this liberated age as the new Babylon, and murder victims pile up in the streets, making no distinction in class between a royalist member of parliament and a Cheapside whore. But they have a few things in common: the victims are found with gemstones in their mouths. And they have not just been murdered; they've been . . . sacrificed.  Now the plague is returning to the city with full force, attacking indiscriminately . . . and murder has found a new friend.


Chris Humphreys is an inspired historical fiction author. I met him last weekend at a literary conference and he is smart, funny, and charming as the devil. He definitely benefits from his acting background, particularly his ease with performing Shakespeare (we got an excerpt from one of the Henry plays during his key-note address). During one of his panel discussions, he mentioned that as an author, one must choose how the dialog will be written—choose your form of “bygone-ese” as he called it. Humphrey’s ease with the English of Shakespeare and his playwright’s ear for what will sound good gives his fiction a feeling of reality, using just enough older vocabulary and never becoming too 21st century.

There is, of course, theatre involved in the novel—a subject that the author is knowledgeable and comfortable with. But the variety of characters, from highwayman to serial killer to royalty, gives the story a breadth that I appreciated. As a reader, you are not limited to merely the theatre of 1665, you experience many parts of London. In fact London itself could be counted as a character.

I will be working my way, gradually, through all of Chris Humphreys works and will definitely look forward to more. Highly recommended.

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review 2017-08-17 10:40
So Few Words by anyothergirl415
So Few Words - anyothergirl415 So Few Words - anyothergirl415
This is a sweet fanfic in which new senior Jensen befriends mute boy Jared and slowly starts to build a rapport.
Source: archiveofourown.org/works/289120?view_full_work=true
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review 2017-08-12 03:08
I want a Margaret Funko Pop! - Seriously.
Curse Words Vol 1: The Devil's Devil - Charles Soule,Ryan Browne

What happens when an evil wizard (not Wizzard) named Wizord (no first name) lands in NYC to meet up with his rat familiar(?) Margaret?


                Turn Margaret into a kola (#teammargaret) or if the situation calls for it, something else (#notmymargaret).


                And become one of the good guys.  Sort of.


                Wizord ends up in NYC to do a dark deed for his boss, but he discovers there such a thing as freedom and he likes it.  So, he decides to become a good guy.  In other words, he is trying to change from the evil bastard he was.  Lucky for him, he has Margaret, who may be something more than a familiar (#teammargaret) but who is definitely smarter than he is.


                Wizord is also hot.  It is important to note this.  He is hot.


                He also grants wishes, like the Genie in Aladdin he does have the three no go areas.  He also finds loopholes.


                He’s just not sure how good guys deal with certain problems, such as what to do with witnesses.


                But he muddles though.


                In many ways, this book reminds me a little of I Hate Fairyland, comedy, but there is also an underlying seriousness to it.  How does one define magic, how does magic work, what makes us who we are. 


                The artwork is excellent.  Margaret might be a cute kola bear (#teammargaret), but she is a real kola bear, not a stuffed animal.  And the cost and ramifications of the magic spells upon surrounding people are brought home.  Cost is dealt with.  It’s quite a nice comic.  In many ways, it takes the best of Dresden and plays with it in a totally different way. 

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review 2017-08-09 16:17
Hum If You Don't Know the Words - Bahni Turpin,Katharine McEwan,Bianca Marais
What a wonderful and fantastic read this book was. I have just finished reading it and I know my outlook for this day has just notched up quite a bit. The feeling that this book has left me with is amazing.

A story of a young girl, Robin, who is 9 years old and how her whole life, her family and those around her changed drastically all in one day during the Apartheid in South Africa. A story that had me laughing, crying, shocked, mortified, and shaking my head a lot. I really grew to love these characters and loved that I got to spend a day and a half with them. Actually, I wanted to spend more time with them, however, the book came to an end. An ending that had me hoping, smiling, fist pumping and definitely crying.

Robin is a character that will not let you go. I am so grateful to Penguin Group/Putnam and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley and the opportunity to read this incredible book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.



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review 2017-08-08 20:13
Boundary Problems / Greg Bechtel
Boundary Problems - Greg Bechtel

In his confident debut, Greg Bechtel offers ten magnetically charged stories about the impossible-turned-possible — secrets, paranoia, sex, conspiracies, and magic — as he effortlessly shatters the boundaries between speculative and literary fiction.

Boundary Problems vibrates on the edge of meaning, as carjackers, accidental gunrunners, and small-town cabbies struggle to wring meaning from the strange events that overtake them. Bechtel’s worlds of mystery and magic constantly challenge his characters’ pursuit of logical explanations. These compelling tales blur lines and push boundaries — into the surreal, into the playful, into the irresistible energy of uncertainty.


I must be finally getting over my summer cold (its been kicking my butt for about a month now), because I felt the lure of reading something better and more complex than the fluff that I’ve been filling my summer with to date. This book has been sitting on my shelves for almost a year and the time had arrived—I picked it up with anticipation.

What a perfectly titled collection of short stories! All of them poke at boundaries of some sort—between physics and magic, mental health/illness, male/female, reality/illusion, self/others, past/present/future. How accurate is anyone’s assessment of the world? We each view it through our own lenses. The characters are ordinary people, made extraordinary by the author’s attention to their existence.

The writing is beautiful. The stories are a pleasure to read, but I hesitate to say that I fully understand them. They don’t spill their secrets too easily and I can see where I will likely read them again, more slowly and with more attention. Though each stands on its own, they also support one another, each providing a window into their creator’s imagination. The varied topics reveal an unexpected mix of experience and knowledge.

I will definitely be interested to see what Mr. Bechtel publishes next.

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