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Search tags: bingo-2017
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review 2017-11-12 01:02
Girl With All the Gifts - audio review
The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey,Finty Williams

 

Melanie takes the reader on an exciting, suspenseful, and unexpected journey that explores the meaning of what it is to be human.

 

There are surprises that I don't want to give away, but let me say this book is an amazing read that you shouldn't miss.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-09 11:58
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 1 - Calan Gaeaf: Nemo Granny & Greebo Impune Lacessit*
Carpe Jugulum (Discworld, #23) - Terry Pratchett

Well, I guess that's what happens if you p*$$ off Granny Weatherwax (however unintentionally) and make her take to a cave in the Lancrastian mountains ... next thing you know, you have vampires moving into the castle, and into the kingdom as such.  And since they were foolishly invited in to begin with, they're near impossible to get rid of again; and let's face it, Nanny Ogg, Magrat and Agnes between them might be witches; they might even meet the requirements of a proper coven now that Magrat is a mother, but they aren't Granny, not even with all their forces combined.  (Perdita, now ...) 

So all of Lancre and the reader have to jointly suffer for well over half a book before Granny decides she's let things go on for long enough and finally makes an appearance.  And of course she ultimately saves the day, even if only by the skin of her neck and with the assistance of inner voices, a few drops of blood, the general and specific allure of tea, and a meak priest discovering his inner Brutha just in time.  (Of course it also comes in handy that somebody thought of bringing a double-edged axe, and that some vampires of the older generation still have a sense of tradition left.)

(spoiler show)

 

Nice going, at any rate, on the debunking of what "everybody knows who knows anything about vampires" (including the vampires themselves, who however just don't learn ... or didn't until this new breed came around, that is), and big grins all around for the co-starring Wee Free Men.  My favorite moment, however, came courtesy of Greebo -- who by the way also has decidedly too little stage time -- with the incidental appearance of an otherwise entirely negligable vampire named Vargo:

"As the eye of narrative drew back from the coffin on its stand, two things happened.  One happened comparatively slowly, and this was Vargo's realization that he never recalled the coffin having a pillow before.

 

The other was Greebo deciding that he was as mad as hell and wasn't going to take it any more.  He'd been shaken around in the wheely thing, and then sat on by Nanny, and he was angry about that because he knew, in a dim, animal way, that scratching Nanny might be the single most stupid thing he could do in the whole world, since no one else was prepared to feed him.  This hadn't helped his temper.

 

Then he'd encountered a dog, which had triled to lick him.  He'd scratched and bitten it a few times, but this had had no effect apart from encouraging it to try to be more friendly.

 

He'd finally found a comfy resting place and had curled up into a ball, and now someone was using him as a cushion --

 

There wasn't a great deal of noise.  The coffin rocked a few times, and then pivoted around.

 

Greebo sheathed his claws and went back to sleep."

(I think someone else included this in their review recently, too, but it's just too good not to do it again -- all the more since Greebo, overall, really is as woefully long absent as Granny in this one.)

 

Read for Square 1 of the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, Calan Gaeaf: "Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft."

 

* "Don't mess with Granny and Greebo."  Or somewhat more literally: "Nobody messes with Granny and Greebo unpunished."

 

Merken

Merken

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review 2017-11-03 00:42
Ghost Chronicles 2
THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2 - Marlo Berliner

My Halloween read for a bingo!

 

Michael and Sarah are dead, but that doesn't mean that they can't make the most out of their afterlives. For some reason they are stuck in between as ghosts. Just now, months after Michael's death and decades after Sarah's death are they learning their true purpose for remaining on Earth. However, their positions come with danger. Michael is being chased by demons who are wreaking havoc on the spirit world and the corporeal world and they are using Sarah as bait. Meanwhile, Michael and Sarah are trying to make the most of their afterlife romance while learning what they can from other ghosts around them, checking in on Michael's living family and trying to come to terms with their newfound purposes.

This episode of the Ghost Chronicles was action packed. Michael and Sarah's story picks up right where it left off in book one. I was glad to see that they were still happy in their situation in the afterlife as well as finding out more about why they were not able to move on. Ghost Chronicles Two was kept fast-paced with interchanging scenes of of levity, parties and fun with demons, battles and suspense. I really enjoyed learning more about the afterlife and how all of the ghosts were content to be equal in death no matter of race, religion or station in life. It was also very fun being able to see glimpses of famous ghosts such as Albert Einstein. Most of all, I appreciated how Michael's new position allowed me to see how good can come out of death. It was interesting learning about the Cocoanut Grove fire through the eyes of those who were there. I can't wait to read more about Michael and Sarah's new found job and amazing powers in the next book.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-03 00:38
My American Nightmare
My American Nightmare: Women In Horror Anthology - Azzurra Nox,Nicky Peacock

I'm late, as usual, reporting the rest of my Halloween Bingo squares...but this one was for Terrifying Women!

 

Ghosts, zombies, slashers, abductions, creepy dolls, and of course witches are included in this selection of creepy short stories. All written by women  My American Nightmare  contains everything from macabre to disturbing, perfect for Halloween time reading. With all stories set in the United States of America, some stories are historically set, some are current, the stories range from new horror to familiar retellings.    With all short story collections I enjoyed some stories more than others, however with Halloween right around the corner I gobbled up all the stories and appreciated the atmosphere that they gave to this time of year.  

One of my favorite stories was the Ballad of Sorrow and Lila which shows the power of strong feelings and why a bully never wins.

I also enjoyed The Pickman Sisters of Salem which will reverberate with any who loves Hocus Pocus.  

The last story in the grouping was a perfect send-off.  Mr. Button's Tea Party had a lot of elements, abductions, dolls and disfigurement; however, the creepiest part was that it felt like something that might actually happen to a person or a story you might hear about on the news.  This is one that I would have loved to see expanded upon. 


Overall, these short stories show that women in horror makes for a wonderfully spooky mix. 

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review 2017-11-01 20:25
Bitten / Kelley Armstrong
Bitten - Kelley Armstrong

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

 

I read this for the “Werewolves” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

I keep reminding myself that this is a first book in a series and that I often like later books better, once the author has found their groove. I’m fence sitting with a 3 star rating on this one because I’ve got some issues with it, but I found it interesting enough to finish it, and not just for the sake of my Bingo game!

Elena, the main character, drove me crazy. She should actually be a cat of some kind, because no matter where she was, she thought she wanted to be somewhere else. If she was in Toronto, she was thinking she’d be happier in Stonehaven. Then she’s pissed off when she gets summoned to Stonehaven and wants to be back in Toronto. She’s supposedly trying to build an ordinary life for herself with Philip in Toronto, but pretty much immediately is having sex with Clayton when she returns to the werewolf fold. Rinse and repeat the pattern above—whichever man she’s currently with, she wants the other one.

Philip, although we see very little of him (and never from his point of view), haunts the background of most of the book. He’s an unusually patient man, who spent months trying to get to know Elena and who seems to have been stealthily sneaking more ties into their relationship as time passes. What he finds attractive is somewhat of a mystery—he is sleeping with a woman who sneaks out in the middle of the night regularly and doesn’t explain why. She’s slim, of course, from all that nocturnal wolf running and starving herself so as not to display her amazing werewolf appetite, but she admits that she hates clothes shopping and doesn’t concentrate too much on her appearance. She’s secretive, understandably to those of us in the know, but not the slightest bit creative about her excuses for her behaviour and Philip doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to interrogate her in the way I think a normal lover would.

In the foreground is Clay, who doesn’t care about people at all, just werewolves. He liked Elena, so he made sure to bite her in order to trap her in his world. He’s not the alpha (that would be Jeremy) but he’s still an overbearing a-hole who only listens to Elena when he wants to. Mind you, he has some reasons for that, since she seems to lie to herself quite regularly about what she truly wants and what is realistic for a woman in her situation.

So the ending of this volume was no surprise to me—there was only one way things could resolve, it was just a matter of the path that Armstrong took me on to get there. I know that a lot of my GR friends who like urban fantasy love this series, so I am going to persevere for a book or two more to see if I can get into it. After all, I would love to support a Canadian writer and to read fantasy set in my own country.

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