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review 2018-02-16 18:27
Am I a vampire or just super anemic?
The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures - Aaron Mahnke

Only as I'm reviewing these books do I realize just how many 'scary' books I read at the end of last year (and how many more I've just now added to my TRL). That's how you know that I'm a 'whatever I feel like reading' reader/'I'm interested in this topic for the next 3 books and then I'm going to wildly change interests' reader. [A/N: I couldn't remember the term 'mood reader' to save my life when I was originally drafting this post. I chose to leave that crazy line in there because it cracks me up.] All of this is to set up today's book which is The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke. I saw an ad for this in a subway station and it wasn't the title that caught my eye but the author. I had been an avid listener of his podcast (named Lore unsurprisingly) last year and then as is my way (especially with podcasts) I had totally forgotten about it. Once I started reading the book I realized that it was essentially composed of transcripts from his podcast episodes. (Guess it's a good thing I didn't listen to all of them.) The book is broken down into categories about different creatures from folklore. Two examples: vampires and zombies. Vampires could have been created because of a disease whereby people were pale, sensitive to sunlight, and craved blood. (And then there was Vlad the Impaler who is perhaps the most well-known nightwalker. (Quick note: Nightwalker is not a cool name for a vampire like I had originally thought but I'm gonna just pretend that it is cause it's better than repeating the word vampire ad nauseum.)) Zombies were most likely inspired by victims of tuberculosis (the living dead) and the large numbers of people who were pronounced dead then subsequently rose from their graves. (This is a real thing and will perhaps explain why more people choose cremation these days.) Mahnke also discusses the history of hauntings and the popularity of the spirtualist movement among many other topics of the supernatural. He has a way of simultaneously debunking these theories while giving the impression that we should still remain open-minded. It's an interesting read especially if you haven't really delved too deep into this subject area and you want to get the rundown. 8/10

 

Monstrous Creatures is the first in a planned trilogy and I think there's also a tv show in the works. I guess I'm not the only one interested in the supernatural. ;-)

 

What's Up Next: Soonish by Kelly Weinersmith

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2018-01-02 17:36
69 New Releases in book series on January 2
Emergence - C.J. Cherryh
The Haunting on Heliotrope Lanecy - Carolyn Keene
Saga Volume 8 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples
Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons Series) - Marie Lu
Neogenesis - Steve Miller,Sharon Kendrick
Between the Blade and the Heart - Amanda Hocking
Cobra Traitor - Timothy Zahn
Promise Not to Tell - Jayne Ann Krentz
Unbound - Stuart Woods
Robicheaux - James Lee Burke

Per fictfact.com's new release calendar :

 

7thGARDEN, Vol. 7 - Mitsu Izumi  A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England) - Roseanna M. White  A Wedding At Two Love Lane - Kieran Kramer  

7thGARDEN, Vol. 7 - Mitsu Izumi  #7 in 7th GARDEN
A Song Unheard - Roseanna M. White  #2 in Shadows Over England
A Wedding At Two Love Lane - Kieran Kramer  #2 in Two Love Lane

 

("Read more" stays on booklikes, I just didn't want a long post hijacking the dashboard for those of you who don't have settings set to initially view shorten posts)

Read more
Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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text 2017-12-01 08:08
REVIEW BY DEBBIE - The Witcher Chime by Amity Green
The Witcher Chime: A Haunting - Amity Green

In 1922 and in 1988 a deadly, possessive entity imprints on members of the same family, ancient as Genesis and determined to remain free. Savannah Caleman is the latest object of obsession in this chilling, historical tale of haunted legacy and terror. 

Savannah Caleman’s family has been coming apart since the early 1920’s. After a horrific suicide by their great aunt, the Calemans sell off the family ranch, hoping to leave the stigma of insanity behind and gain a fresh start at a property known by locals as “The Witcher Place.” Days after the move, Savannah’s father isn’t himself and her mother grows increasingly distant. Her little brother, Chaz, is forced out of a second story window by a being that makes Savannah question her sanity for the first time. Her mother takes Chaz and flees the state. Savannah and her younger sister, Molly, are chased home by a mountain lion but when Savannah turns to look back, the cat has transformed into a man. Their father’s behavior takes a more serious twist as horror abounds and Savannah turns to distant relatives for answers, fearing the insanity is real and has spread. Her father is no longer in control. Armed with a shotgun, Savannah is forced to protect herself and her sister. 

The evil plaguing her family dons a suit and tie and introduces himself, giving Savannah an ultimatum. She must decide between her sister’s safety and aiding a monster that can’t be identified as either an angel or a demon. Either way, Savannah is torn, and takes to single-handedly running the family affairs with precision as she takes care of her sister. The Witcher Place is transformed to her liking using family money. Distractions are only that. Releasing a monster to roam at will isn’t a stellar option, no matter the promises it makes. The stain of murder and torment cannot be erased. He has fallen, been shackled, and now has plans to rise once more using Savannah as the key to regain grace.

 

@AmityGreenBooks, @debbiereadsbook, #Adult, #Supernatural, #Horror, #Thriller, 3 out of 5 (good)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/debbie/thewitcherchimebyamitygreen
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review 2017-11-30 13:57
really not sure what I read!
The Witcher Chime: A Haunting - Amity Green
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Jumping straight in, here! Dark, deadly, horror, that confused the hell out of me!! Seriously, this book is weird. It moves, in places, at rocket speed, and I struggled to keep up. In other places, its full of stuff that I saw no relevance to the rest of the story, so it drags. Told mostly through Savannah's point of view, some others do have a say. Probably what kept me going, who might get a say next. I just...did not get it! I think this is one of those books that you will either love or be okay with it, and after I finished it (which was totally touch and go for a while!) I read a few reviews, and it really does seem that way. I did not hate it, nor did I love it, because I found it very hard reading. The subject matter wasn't an issue for me, but I can see that some readers might have problems. Some typos, but not too many, just enough to require a mention but not enough to have put me off. Sorry this review is short, but I really am struggling not to waffle too much and make this book look bad, because its NOT bad, it just did not work for me. 3 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-20 19:20
For me, it was meh. YMMV.
Home For the Haunting - Juliet Blackwell

I borrowed this from my public library's ecloud collection because . . . I did.  It has a lot of colors on the cover, so maybe I'll use it for that Festive Holiday square, whenever I get around to toting them up.

 

Mel Turner -- her first name is Melanie -- is in the process of taking over her father's construction company.  Mostly they do remodels and historic restoration, but she's currently involved with some volunteer group that rehabs older homes for low income people.

 

She also sees ghosts.

 

While she's working on this rehab job for Monty, a whiny guy who needs a wheelchair ramp added to his home and a new roof and a bunch of other stuff, she keeps seeing ghosts in the big, mansion-y vacant house next door.  Then a recently deceased body is discovered in a storage shed that serves both Monty's property and the vacant house.

 

The vacant house, she learns, was the site of a horrific murder-suicide.  Are the ghosts she keeps seeing related to that?  And what about the body in the shed?

 

For the uncritical reader who's looking for some light entertainment with a bit of a mystery, this might do fine.  For me, it was just blah on a whole lot of levels.  So, now there will be lots of little spoilers.

 

There was very little with the ghosts, for one thing.  Mel sees them in the house while she's working on the rehab project, but she doesn't show much reaction.  This isn't the first book in the series, so maybe there's more shock, surprise, disbelief, whatever in earlier volumes, but there sure wasn't much in this one.

 

The mystery to do with the two murders, both the body in the shed and the other one thirty years before, seemed a minor part of the book.  The information about the older crime was easily obtained from neighbors who had lived there at the time and from the lone survivor.

 

I'm not sure why I didn't buy the character of Hugh, the boy who escaped the murder scene and went on to an illustrious writing career.  He seemed too emotionally fragile.  Nor did I buy Simone, his wife.  Both of them lacked substance, though I'm not exactly sure why.  Maybe if I were giving this book a thorough analysis I would look at them more closely, but while I was reading it, I just didn't care about them.

 

There were a lot of secondary characters who never came alive for me either.  Mel's dad was a little better than cardboard, but not much.  Then there was Stan, and I didn't really know how he fit into the picture.  Mel's sister was just another cartoon character; there was so much room for development there that I could have wept when it all just went poof! in a happy smiley explosion of unicorn glitter.  The semi-sorta boyfriend Graham actually had more substance.

 

Two elements of the overall characterization rang sour notes for me.  Hugh and Simone were flat, but not sour.  Monty was just all wrong.

 

Supposedly he was in some kind of accident and that's why he's now unable to walk and in a wheelchair.  How long ago this was, I'm not sure, but he's been unable to leave his house unassisted ever since.  Now all of a sudden he's finally getting a ramp installed so he can come and go as he pleases.  There's no mention of any social services that come to his assistance -- shopping?  doctor visits? -- or what kind of income he has.  There's an assumption that he gets a disability income.

 

However, as soon as there are suspicions that Monty is in fact not disabled and is faking his reliance on the wheelchair, I saw lots of red flags.  Social Security doesn't just grant disability payments because you apply for them.  There has to be evidence, as in doctors' statements and so on, that the person really can't work.  He would have been found out a long time ago.

 

I also didn't quite understand how and where he originally found the body, but that may be due as much to my not paying attention because I had lost interest as anything else.  Nor was there ever a clear explanation of how that death tied in to the rest of them -- was the victim killed by the same killer, or was it an accident, or what?

 

Monty turned out to be kind of a slimeball, though he wasn't the killer -- ooops, sorry for that spoiler -- but the character who really wrinkled my nose was Mel herself. Her silly spangles-and-fringe dresses worn with steel-toed work boots just seemed . . . stupid.  Stupid as in gimmickry for the sake of gimmickry.  No reason was ever given, or at least not one that made any sense.  She's supposed to be running a contracting business; why dress like a phantom from the 1960s caught in a time warp?

 

This wasn't a particularly long book -- I read it comfortably in a day -- and maybe that was its problem.  With all the various threads going on, maybe it needed to be longer, more like the hefty books of Rendell and Grimes that allowed for the interweaving of personal and professional life along with the details and atmosphere of vocation and location.

 

The details of a single historic San Francisco home would have made wonderful atmosphere, but author Blackwell didn't dwell as much on that as she did on the two smaller homes in the neighborhood that weren't involved in the mystery or the ghosts.  The "Murder House" should have had star billing, and the appropriate weight in the text.  I felt it got shortchanged.

 

The writing was okay, other than that one horrible paragraph where everything sat, sat, sat, sat, sat on Hugh's desk, but it wasn't anything special either.

 

As I said, other readers may enjoy this.  It just wasn't all that great for me.

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