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review 2016-07-21 07:06
Exzellent aufgearbeitete Mystery-Elemente in dunkler Atmosphäre
Schweigt still die Nacht - Der Audio Verlag,Brenna Yovanoff,David Nathan

Gentry ist eine typische amerikanische Kleinstadt. Ohne Makel, perfekt abgestimmt, mit ausgelassenen Teenagern, verantwortungsvollen Erwachsenen und gepflegten Gärten. Doch unter der Oberfläche verbirgt sich eine Welt, die heimlich die Fäden zieht und den Ort in Düsternis tränkt.

Mackie stammt aus dieser dunklen Welt. Auf den ersten Blick ist er eigentlich ein ganz normaler Teenager, doch er wurde einst gegen das echte Kind „seiner“ Eltern ausgetauscht …

Mackie Doyle ist also kein Mensch. Zumindest kein Mensch im eigentlichen Sinn, was er jedoch mit Unterstützung seiner Familie gut zu verbergen weiß. Trotzdem kennt er die Hintergründe (oder Untergründe) seiner Geschichte und der Kleinstadt kaum. Als wieder ein Kind verschwindet, möchte er der Sache endlich auf den Grund gehen.

Brenna Yovannoff bringt interessante Themen in ihre Geschichte ein: Es geht um alte Mythen, Sagen und Legenden, die wohl jeder von seinem Herkunftsort in gewisser Art und Weise kennt. Gleichzeitig siedelt die Autorin die Handlung in der makellosen Kleinstadt an, die von jeher vom Mysteriösen heimgesucht wird und keiner ein Wort darüber verliert. Denn Mackie beißt ständig auf Granit, wenn er etwas über seine Herkunft erfahren will, die Stadtbewohner schweigen sich aus, bis er die Sache selbst in die Hand nimmt.

Gentry wird in eine dunkle, dichte Atmosphäre getränkt, dass man kaum atmen kann. Die Spannung, die Angst, das Böse und das Grauen liegen ständig in der Luft, jeder weiß es, jeder sieht es, und keiner tut etwas dagegen. Allein diese Stimmung ist eine besondere Erfahrung.

Außerdem ist es wirklich mal schön, einen männlichen Protagonisten zu begleiten, noch dazu einen jungen Herrn, der so außergewöhnlich ist. Mackie weiß, dass er anders ist, er hat gelernt, es vor den anderen zu verbergen und trotzdem sehnt er sich nach Zugehörigkeit.

Manche Nebencharaktere konnten mich nicht komplett überzeugen. Hier hatte man es dann doch  mit Figuren aus der Schablone zutun, die zwar für den weiteren Fortgang der Handlung sorgten, neben Mackie aber im Regen stehen. 

Die Handlung war durch die mystische Grundlage der Wechselbälger sehr interessant aufgebaut und es hat mir sehr gut gefallen, Yovannoffs Ideen dazu kennenzulernen. Denn sie reisst diesen alten Mythos aus der Vergangenheit und lässt ihn in unserer Gegenwart weiter wachsen, was fesselnd zu lesen war.

Im Mittelteil gab es einige Längen, hier kann es natürlich gut sein, dass das an der Hörbuchversion lag, trotzdem hätte ich mir etwas mehr Schwung in diesem Abschnitt der Handlung gewünscht.

Großartig war es übrigens, die Geschichte von David Nathan erzählt zu bekommen. Es ist ein Gefühl als ob Johnny Depp himself ein Buch vorliest, was für mich persönlich ein deutlicher Pluspunkt ist.

Insgesamt ist „Schweigt still die Nacht“ ein etwas anderer Jugendroman, mit exzellent aufgearbeiteten Mystery-Elementen, einem männlichen Protagonisten und einer dunklen Atmosphäre, die man schwer auf der Brust zu fühlen ahnt.

Ich kann dieses (Hör-) Buch an Leser empfehlen, die sich gern einmal auf eine moderne Version vergangener Mythen einlassen und sich von kleineren zähen Stellen nicht abschrecken lassen wollen.

 

© NiWa

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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review 2016-01-20 03:03
The Anatomy of Curiosity
The Anatomy of Curiosity - Brenna Yovanoff,Tessa Gratton,Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff are YA fantasy authors who have been writing buddies since 2008. In 2012, they decided to demonstrate what it is that their critique group does by publishing The Curiosities, a collection of short pieces that one of them had written and the other two had marked up. Now, with The Anatomy of Curiosity, they again open up their writing process, in the form of a round robin where each in turn comments on all the things that go into a work from first inklings to final revision, and each contributes a novella annotated by the author.

 

This is not so much “how to write” (though tips can be gathered from it) as “how I write” × 3. Stiefvater says, of how they came to work together, “their reading and writing tastes are similar enough to mine that they enjoy my writing for what it is”; yet placing their reflections next to each other makes clear that they actually work quite differently. It should encourage a beginning writer to find what suits them personally. Yovanoff has a method that everyone including her originally thought was cockeyed: she writes according to a rhythm, leaving blanks for words and paragraphs to be filled in later. And yes, her story flows rhythmically!

 

In her introduction to her story “Ladylike” Stiefvater describes starting it by thinking of a character interaction, then fleshing out the characters involved and expanding from there. The main character, Petra, is a painfully awkward girl who only loses her self-consciousness when reciting poetry; hired to visit and read to an elderly woman, the elegant and gracious Geraldine, Petra finds someone to admire and be encouraged by, and begins remaking herself into a better version from the seed of confidence she already had. The plot takes a dark turn when we learn that Geraldine has formerly remade herself more radically. A third character is introduced whose development complements the other two thematically. It’s a nice story, well-paced (except, perhaps, some of the large amount of quoting and discussing poetry). I found Geraldine more compelling than Petra, but maybe a teen would disagree.

 

Gratton’s story “Desert Canticle” takes place in a secondary world; she started with a couple of small worldbuilding details, imagined what sort of cultures might go with them, and brought those cultures to life with her characters. Her very interesting notes point out the ways in which, in the final version, worldbuilding, characters, and themes are inextricably intertwined; she also convincingly shows how she used small details to tie in themes. The story’s main character, Rafel, is a soldier who was once a very effecive killer and now has been assigned to a squad disarming magical mines, working closely with a mage, Aniv, from the people whose insurgency he helped defeat. The two of them fall in love, but over the course of the story it becomes clear how each of them has been shaped (and fettered, particularly in Rafel’s case) by their respective cultures; they may not find a way to join together. The very non-real-world cultures are excellently developed, with interesting gender dynamics (central to the story, but not the only theme); the characters are memorable and the plot is suspenseful. Recommended.

 

The third story, “Drowning Variations” by Brenna Yovanoff, is different because she decided to describe her writing process in the fictional form itself. The main character is an author (a version of Yovanoff) who has had two formative experiences, once when she nearly drowned as a young chld, and once when a fellow teenager drowned near her house; over the course of many years these experiences work in her head and she tries to write them over and over. We are given three very different stories (with some elements carried over from one to the next), ony the last of which she considers successful. In it, drowning, and the mental forces that sink troubled teens, are embodied as a monstrous green-haired girl. The main character, Jane, is struggling to find what to say to Ethan, the boy she’s attracted to; more so when Ethan’s best friend drowns, possibly suicide, and Ethan is visibly foundering himself. I wasn’t altogether enthused by this story, whose high-school romance seems just a bit generic and whose monster lacks consistency in description. However, the larger story’s depiction of reworking and reunderstanding a thematic idea is interesting.

 

The hardcover book is beautifully and legibly laid out. Overall, this is a very appealing publication.

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review 2015-10-12 03:47
The Replacement
The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff

This was interesting and dark, but I was hoping it would end up being more than that.

 

I fully admit this has been on my TBR list for quite some time because of that cover. I really love that cover. It is totally creepy and fantastic.

 

I also, for full disclosure, should admit that I generally don't like "faerie" stories, at least insofar as they involve actual "faeries". I have made exceptions (lots of them, probably, if I bothered to count them up), but at the very least I don't consider that to be a draw in a book.

 

This still managed to hold my interest rather well, however. I enjoyed the romp through a very strange town, where the unexpected are considered normal to some extent and where you have faeries among the townsfolk.

 

The atmosphere was the strong point in the book. It was strange and fantastical and still totally normal-feeling, which is hard to pull off. The background of the faeries was interesting to see explored, and the darkness of Mayhem was nifty.

 

The plot is where things kind of started to fall apart.

 

It wasn't terrible, but I'm not sure, in the end, that the basic idea of what the faeries were doing made any real sense.

 

The rock concerts to try to gain worship of people who were already sacrificing their children to you? The fact that although apparently they are sacrificing their children to you in exchange, the town is a complete dump and nothing good seems to happen? What are they sacrificing for? Why are they bothering with this whole charade?

(spoiler show)

 

It was questionable, and not helped by a main character who felt a little bit like a maiden heroine from an old gothic romance novel--he was continually fainting or feeling faint and it got a little bit old. His "love interest" was kind of a huge bitch, as well, to not mince words, and his "best friend" was a horrible slimy creep.

 

I enjoyed the novel, in the end, primarily due to the atmosphere and to trying to figure out what was going on, but I doubt I'll read it again or pick up the sequel.

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review 2015-08-12 00:00
The Replacement
The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff Personally the writing felt only okay. It wasn’t anything spectacular. But it wasn’t horrible either. It felt to me as if the only character that developed was Mackie. The other characters felt like they were just kind of there.

The story started out strong. It was creepy and mysterious, but nothing really happened till I was past half way in the book. I was also quite confused at times. There were gaps where the author would jump from one time and place to another on the same page. And I had to try and figure out what was happening all over again.

Although the plot was only alright for me, I absolutely loved the world building. The author went into details of the history of the town, Gentry and explained what everybody felt towards what was happening in the town. I thought the world and ideas in this book were great and original. I don’t think I’ve heard of anything like this before.

Overall the book was okay. I loved some parts, but other parts were just meh.
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text SPOILER ALERT! 2015-07-22 00:43
Reading progress update: I've read 72%.
The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff

"Do you know how one can tell which of the chorus are sincere?"

Her smile was cold. She could have been made of wax or porcelain like a doll, but her eyes were wicked and bright. "The ones who are sincere leave. The others sink their roots into this quiet town and wring their hands and bemoan the loss of their children, and all the while, they take their payment, and they keep the town and they feed it, just like they've always done."

 

Gentry has a few similarities to Derry, Maine. 

 

Except with a slightly different kind of monster...

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