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review 2015-12-29 16:30
Re Jane: Smart Fun

 

 

The danger in reviewing Patricia Park's book, is that in listing her many accolades & accomplishments, you’ll miss out on the smart fun of her debut novel, Re Jane. Park is not only a Fulbright scholar, but a first-time novelist who earned the author trifecta:

 

1. The New York Times Sunday Book Review named Re Jane as Editor’s Choice.

2. NPR’s Fresh Air called Re Jane, “a wickedly inventive updating of Jane Eyre…”

3. And O, Oprah’s magazine!!, writes, “Reader, you’ll love her.”

 

In Re Jane, Park has dared to re-make beloved heroine Jane Eyre into a Korean-American orphan growing up in the ‘00s in Queens, New York.  She works at her uncle’s grocery called simply, “Food.”

 

Jane is desperate to escape the outer boroughs to Manhattan, that core borough which “blazed in its own violet light and threw scraps of shadows on the rest of us,” Park writes. But when Jane's post-college promised dot.com job goes bust, she travels through Manhattan to work in hipster Brooklyn. As a nanny. To another adoptee, a Chinese-American girl, Devon.

 

Ironies abound, and Park skewers them all. Devon’s mom—the crazy woman in the attic--is recast as a feminist, very meta professor. And Devon’s dad, Rochester, is an ABD, All-But-Dissertation, English prof, languishing at a community college.

 

As Jane shuttles between worlds--from Korean-American Queens to Brooklyn academe to nanny-on-the-playground, to Seoul, Korea, to her return to New York—I won’t say to which borough—we root for her to find her own path to that violet light.

 

Jane—and Park—travel the complete range of culture from high to low and back with verve and wit and tenderness.

 

 

 

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review 2015-12-10 09:26
The Midnight Order review
The Midnight Order - Christopher Fulbright

Though it starts strongly and fleshes out major character Nikki Lane well, Christopher Fulbright's The Midnight Order undoes much of its early good work once a second major plot-line involving another character is introduced. This serves to only muddle proceedings, and detract from what was an engaging idea: That of some nefarious group which lures broken and emotionally spent people to a secluded location by way of a not-at-all defined cure.

For an 88 page novella, this should have been enough. Having Nikki deal with what she finds at the secluded location would have been story enough, with the other bit characters serving as either fodder for the process or foils for her efforts. Instead, the reader has to accept a fairly out-there turn of events, with the secondary threat proving far more deadly than the initial one. As such, my interest waned, despite the relative brevity of the story.

Fulbright's writing itself was good without being overly memorable (though there were a few too many editing errors), and the secret the order is protecting is also good. And as stated, Nikki is a believable and interesting character. If only the story she originally appeared in had have stayed the course, this could have been a great little novella.

2.5 Creatures Out of Left Field for The Midnight Order.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1460349701
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review 2015-06-08 11:56
The Midnight Order by Christopher Fulbright.
The Midnight Order - Christopher Fulbright

I received an E-arc from Darkfuse Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

 

Nikki Lane is an washed up ex-porn star who, after a disastrous attempt to get back into the industry, instead finds solace at the bottom of a bottle.  After a near fatal binge drinking session she is given some advice from an old friend. Her friend tells that to get her life back on track she needs treatment from The Midnight Order. This treatment promises to rid her of her vices and help her make a fresh start.

As sceptical as she is, she joins 4 other people for the 'cleansing ceremony' and finds that while she is no longer tempted by her past addiction she feels oddly hollow. She grows concerned for the other participants, especially as one of the last things she remembers was the howl of a wild animal. It soon becomes clear that the treatment wasn't successful for all and that the ceremony is advantageous to more than just the participants.

 

Nikki is drawn really well by the author and makes a pretty sympathetic character, for such a short read she's given a fair amount of depth and you gain an understanding as to how her life turned out as it did. The other main character Adam was also quite likeable but not nearly as much info is given about him, especially once his true condition is revealed.

The writing flows nicely and I liked the authors style, it was not especially fast paced but it certainly kept my interest and I found myself keen to keep going with the story until finished. The story itself is a bit muddled and although Nikki is the main character it really is focused a lot on Adam which was a slightly disappointing story arc. I also felt that the end had too much going on with the order, the ceremony and Adam and it detracted from the promising story that was being set up so well in the beginning.

 

This is definitely worth reading but just got a bit cluttered with ideas towards the end.

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text 2015-04-02 19:10
March Reads
Disintegration: A Windy City Dark Mystery - Richard Thomas
Broken Dolls - James Carol
Harrison Squared - Daryl Gregory
The Dark Half - Stephen King
With Fury In Hand - Lee Thompson
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy
The Midnight Order - Christopher Fulbright
Within - Keith Deininger
Condemned: A Thriller - Michael McBride

A pretty good month, three 5* reads and one of those was a reread in No Country for Old Men. About 5 reviews behind at the moment but they're coming.

 

 

  1. Disintegration - Richard Thomas (4*)
  2. James Carol – Broken Dolls (3*)
  3. Daryl Gregory - Harrison Squared (3.5*)
  4. Stephen King – The Dark Half (4*)
  5. Lee Thompson – With Fury in Hand (5*)
  6. Emily St. John Mandel – Station 11 (3.5*)
  7. Cormac McCarthy – No Country for Old Men (5*)
  8. Christopher Fulbright – Midnight Order (2.5*)
  9. Kealan Patrick Burke - Saturday Night at Eddie's (4*)
  10. Allan Leverone - After Midnight (3*)
  11. James M. Cain - The Cocktail Waitress (4*)
  12. Keith Deininger – Within (4*)
  13. Matt Shaw – Some Kind of Cu*t (2.5*)
  14. Michael McBride – Condemned (5*)
  15. Matt Shaw - sickER B*stards (4*)
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review 2015-04-01 00:00
The Midnight Order
The Midnight Order - Christopher Fulbright I enjoyed this one from Christopher Fulbright even though it may have been better served in a longer format. The concept was good and the story moved quickly. I was able to finish the story in a single day, which is saying something for me because I usually just grab a few minutes here and there. I liked the character of Nikki, but was still left wanting more depth in some of the back story and secondary characters. I was glad that Adam got his penis back, even though he didn't get a chance to use it :)
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