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review 2017-12-13 18:45
The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle
The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror - William Meikle

 

Picture the scene: Victorian London. A smoky club. A group of literary icons. The price to join this group? A story of the supernatural. The scene is now set.

 

Imagine the tales these writers of old would share. Stoker, Dickens, Wells, James, and Stevenson, among others. What price would you pay to sit at that table? Unfortunately, the opportunity to sit there in person is gone, but thanks to William Meikle, you CAN now be privy to these stories and anything else these authors have to say. The entrance fee for you? Quite reasonable!

 

The standout tales for me were:

 

WEE DAVIE MAKES A FRIEND (in the style of) Robert Louis Stevenson. This was the first story and my favorite of the collection. Young Davie is an unwell boy and is often bedridden. The gift of a new toy changes his life.

 

ONCE A JACKASS (in the style of) Mark Twain. A Mississippi steamship captain makes a terrible mistake and unfortunately, all of the passengers and crew pay the price.

 

THE SCRIMSHAW SET (in the style of Henry James) I adored this tale of a haunted (?) chess set. This was my second favorite tale in this collection and I've just read that the author is planning to write more about this set in the future. I can't wait!

 

TO THE MOON AND BEYOND (in the style of Jules Verne) A super cool story about a man, his rocket and a trip to the moon. What was found there and what did he bring back with him? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

BORN OF ETHER (in the style of Helena Blavatsky) A man embarks upon a supernatural journey to freedom.

 

I was not familiar with a few of the authors here, Helena Blavatsky included, but I think the author did a stellar job of emulating their writing styles. These tales were entertaining, well written and I loved the framework within which they were presented.

 

For these reasons, I highly recommend this gem of a collection!

 

You can get your copy here, (your price of admission, rather than a story):

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror

 

*Thanks to Crystal Lake Publishing and the author for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-11-22 20:00
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, narrated by Robin Sachs
The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf, #1) - Glen Duncan,Robin Sachs

 

 The Last Werewolf is not what I expected it to be, but I enjoyed it. I listened to it on audio and the narrator was excellent.

 

There is a lot of explicit sex and this book depicts werewolves as the beings they are-don't expect everything to be all prettied up because you'll be disappointed.

 

I read this with my reading group and even though I didn't LOVE this book, I think I will continue with the next-just not right away.

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review 2017-11-08 02:30
One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns) - Kendare Blake

 

Ugh, original review seems to have been lost to the ether. Thanks a lot, Booklikes :/

 

ANYWAYS.

 

Part of the genius of this series is the brilliantly conflict-rich concept Blake came up with. Three MC with entourages who may also be each other's antagonists. Tension tension tension. Murder plots, romance plots, sisterly love? plots, friendship plots . . . it's no wonder the film crews are circling.

 

Add to that Blake's consistently strong writing, vibrant settings and talent for making deplorable character actions if not relatable, at least comprehensible. Dark magic, poison, not-so-cuddly mascot characters, fierce girls, assassins, elaborate and sometimes deadly fashions . . . a perfect round-up of everything readers adore.

 

Since a lot of the fun of the first book was in being blown away by Blake, like, totally going there with it, and then that killer cliffhanger, this sequel feels somewhat less shocking, more familiar. Entertaining, but not mind-blowing. It sets up a direction, subverts it, twists it, but more or less heads where you'd expect. Solid and entertaining second entry in the series, just filling out the world and characters and moving the plot along. In terms of age rating, there is quite a bit of violence, pretty minimal language, and mostly-offscreen but frankly acknowledged sex. Shouldn't be a problem for older readers, maybe a mild parental guidance alert for youngest teens, mostly on the violence.

 

Excited to see what's coming next (on the page and hopefully on the screen as well!)

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review 2017-10-12 18:45
The Trials of Solomon Parker by Eric Scott Fischl
The Trials of Solomon Parker - Eric Scott Fischl

 

The Trials of Solomon Parker is a difficult novel to define, other than awesome!  Set in Butte, Montana in the early 1900's, it features Native Americans, deep ugly coal mines, mob bosses, boxing, lots and lots of drinking and, oh yeah, second chances.

 

Solomon Parker is a hard working man who has fallen on some hard times. His wife seems to be suffering from postpartum depression, his infant son is colicky and never stops crying, and Sol just wants to gamble and drink it all away. Add to that a fire in the coal mine and an ugly scene between mine owners and union organizers, and things only get worse. Then, Sol meets Marked Face and has the opportunity to gamble for a second chance. Will he do it, and more importantly, will he win? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

I requested this book from NetGalley, solely based on the description and the cover. I ended up seriously impressed-most especially with the quality of writing. There were scenes during that mine fire where I felt like I had trouble breathing-they were so smoky, claustrophobic and scary. I felt like I was there.

 

Interspersed with the main narrative was a bit of Native American back story. This wasn't tribe specific, but it did involve a number of traditional stories that rang true to me, (and really weren't all that different than stories from other religions and belief systems.) The skill with which this was all woven together was admirable, easy to follow, and hard to break away from.

 

Thinking about this story overnight, I raised my rating a little. This book captured and kept my imagination. It brought Butte, Montana to life, and showed real prowess depicting what the day to day was like for people back then. And that's before all the really cool stuff is taken into account!

 

So however one wants to label this book, be it historical fiction, a western, a native American fable, or a story about second chances and fate, you can be sure to label it DAMN ENTERTAINING and unique. I highly recommend it!

 

*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the free e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-10-09 19:00
Coraline, written and narrated by Neil Gaiman
Coraline - Neil Gaiman,Neil Gaiman,HarperAudio

A very cute nightmarish story for the young adult market.

 

This audiobook version was read by Neil Gaiman himself and was totally charming.

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