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review 2018-02-06 18:45
March: Book Two by John Lewis
March: Book Two - Andrew Aydin,Nate Powell,John Robert Lewis

 

Just like with The Complete Maus, (a graphic novel about the Holocaust), I learned a lot about the civil rights movement that I do not remember learning in school.

 

I knew about the Freedom Rides and the Lunch Counter Sit-ins, but I didn't know about  children getting hit with fire hoses or the repeated beatings and jailings of the peaceful protesters. 

 

Starting and ending with the swearing in of President Obama, I can't imagine what that must feel like to John Lewis. Starting life not being able to eat in certain restaurants and having to ride at the back of the bus, and getting all the way to a black president in one lifetime. It's an amazing accomplishment and John Lewis was a huge part of it. 

 

I wasn't all that crazy about the art in this volume, hence the 4 start rating. I will continue on to the next, (and last), volume. 

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review 2018-02-04 15:28
October by Michael Rowe
October - Michael Rowe

Just look at that gorgeous cover! One would never guess the pain hiding behind it, but it's there. It's there in spades.

 

In a small Canadian town, two awkward teens are just trying to make it through high school. Mikey, a young gay man, and his best friend Wroxy, a loaner and a goth girl, try to support each other as best they can. But Wroxy can't protect Mikey from the jock bullies and it seems no one else can either. After witnessing something in the woods, and then soon after going through the worst experience of his life, Mikey decides he's had enough and takes matters into his own hands. Will he exact his revenge upon the jocks? Can he do it on his own? You'll have to read this novella to find out.

 

As in both ENTER, NIGHT and WILD FELL Michael Rowe's bewitching prose captured my attention and held it tight. His characters are so well developed it's easy to understand their motivations. They are also so human that the reader cannot help but to empathize with them. Then, once Rowe has you in his clutches, he puts those characters through hell and you're just along for the ride.

 

OCTOBER will join Rowe's last two books on my list of favorites. It's beautifully written, evocative, brutal and surprising all at once. I only wish it could have been a little longer.

 

Highly recommended to fans of LGBT and dark , dark fiction!

 

You can find a copy here: October

 

*I bought this e-book with my own hard earned money and this is my honest opinion.*

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review 2018-02-01 18:45
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison, narrated by Angela Dawe
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife: The Road to Nowhere, Book 1 - -Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged-,Meg Elison,Angela Dawe

Just like in the novel REBECCA, we never learn the main character's name in this book. Hence the title!

 

I discovered Meg Elison through a few short stories she's written for horror anthologies and magazines and I decided that I wanted to try one of her novels. This one was recently on sale and to add the audio to the Kindle version didn't break the bank, and here we are.

 

THE BOOK of the UNNAMED MIDWIFE was a bleak post-apocalyptic tale wherein a disease wipes out nearly every woman on the planet. The scarcity of women soon becomes a problem for those that did survive. Will they also be able to survive the wandering groups of men, many of whom haven't seen a woman in over a year? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

I loved the main character in this novel. Yeah, she swore a lot, was bisexual and independent. (These are a few aspects other reviews have pointed out as being negative; I actually enjoyed them.) I liked how her previous work as a nurse and midwife helped her to try to save other women she came across in her travels. I also respected her intelligence-dressing as a man to disguise her gender and doing whatever else needed to be done.

 

I enjoyed the way the story was presented with one exception. This tale was introduced as being the main character's diary, and a woman is having some young boys transcribe it decades later. As such, this is mostly a first person narrative; except that in a few spots the tale slipped into a third person narrative and that did not quite make sense to me, as there was no way our heroine could know these things. (Though I was happy to learn the facts related during those portions, to be sure.) That is the only gripe I had with the book.

 

Post apocalyptic fiction doesn't capture my attention as much as it once did, but this book rose above the normal PA tale. I was engrossed and invested and I wanted our unnamed hero to win, though "winning" was hard to classify-other than just surviving.

 

I should also mention that the narrator was most excellent and managed to believably deliver a number of different characters and accents. Kudos to Angela Dawe!

 

To wrap up here, I highly recommend this book and/or the audiobook if that's your thing, most especially to fans of post apocalyptic fiction and strong female characters!

 

*I bought this book & the audiobook with my hard earned money and this is my honest opinion.*

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review 2018-02-01 14:27
The Night Child by Anna Quinn
The Night Child: A Novel - Anna Quinn

THE NIGHT CHILD is the dark and moving debut novel from Anna Quinn. I feel like I should include a trigger warning, but on the other hand, a trigger warning gives you a heads up as to what is going to happen and I think it's best to let the author tell the story as she intended. Just be aware that there are very disturbing elements within.

 

I'm not going to run down the entire plot for you, but it begins with Nora, a high school English teacher, seeing an hallucination of a face with startling blue eyes. Here begins Nora's decline. Whose face is it and what does it mean? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Being a seasoned reader of dark fiction, I pretty much knew where this story was going as soon as I began reading. Anna Quinn does a good job at depicting all the different psychological aspects of this situation, including the reactions of other family members and coworkers. My only problem was this: I didn't care for any of the characters. I felt pity for Nora and for her immediate family, but maybe that's what the author intended? Perhaps Nora's coldness was yet another symptom of her underlying issues and partially the result of her husband being such a jerk?

 

That said, this was a touching and disturbing story dealing with heartbreaking situations and I believe that it deals with mental illness, (or coming to terms with difficult, horrendous circumstances) in a stark, but believable way. For that reason, I recommend this book to those who think they can handle the worst of humanity.

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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text 2018-01-31 18:45
January 2018-That's a Wrap!
The Warblers - Amber Fallon
You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes
City of the Dead - Brian Keene,Joe Hempel
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman
My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady Hendrix
Splatterpunk Fighting Back - Jack Bantry,Tim Curran,Glenn Rolfe,Bracken MacLeod,Kristopher Rufty,Adam Millard,John Boden,Matt Shaw,W.D. Gagliani,Elizabeth Power
The Conversationalist: Horrorstruck Novella One - Justin Richards
If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating (Random House Large Print) - Alan Alda
Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand

I've started the year off by reading 18 books in January.

 

Graphic Novels

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman 5*

Bitch Planet Volume One: Extraordinary Machine by Kellie Sue DeConnick 4*

The Walking Dead: Book 14 by Robert Kirkman 4*

Total: 3

 

Novellas

The Warblers by Amber Fallon 4*

Infestation by William Meikle 3.5*

The Conversationalist by Justin Bog 4*

Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand 4*

Total: 4

 

Audiobooks

You and Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana BOTH-5*

City of the Dead by Brian Keene, narrated by Joe Hempel 3.5*

Seriously...I'm Kidding written and narrated by Ellen DeGeneres 3*

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, narrated by Rob McQuay 3*

If I Understood You...written and narrated by Alan Alda 4*

Total: 6

 

ARCS

After the End of the World by Jonathan L. Howard 3*

Dark Screams Volume Nine (Anthology) 4*

Hardened Hearts (Anthology) 4.5*

Total: 3

 

Random Reads

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix 4*

Splatterpunk Fighting Back (An anthology benefiting the fight against cancer) 4.5*

Total: 2

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

Status: 2/40

 

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