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review 2020-06-04 12:24
The Magic Cottage
The Magic Cottage - James Herbert

by James Herbert

 

James Herbert can always be relied on to present an interesting story and this is one of his best. A couple looking for a house of their own are drawn to a remote cottage called Gramarye ("magic'' in old English) in the New Forest. It's a little over their price range but in need of serious repairs, leaving room for a little negotiation. Midge, the wife, is adamant that she must have this cottage and suddenly the money to make the difference appears in a rational way. She is an illustrator of children's books and the husband, Mike, is a session musician. Jobs arise in their usual haphazard fashion. The one unusual aspect of the transaction is that the previous owner had some odd criteria for whom the cottage could be sold to detailed in her will.

 

Mike is a city boy, but Midge grew up in the country so she adapts to the lifestyle change fastest. Mike takes a little longer to warm to remote life, especially when unexplainable things start to happen.

 

Things get a little weird from the start and progress as the story goes on. To explain further would require too many spoilers, but I can say that someone else wants the cottage for their own purposes. Discovering the nature of those purposes is an important part of the plot.

 

My favorite character was a little squirrel named Rumbo. I have no objection to most of the human characters, but this little guy was a heart stealer. All I'll say about the ending is that there was plenty of action and drama, though the magic aspect deviated into the sensational. It made for a very entertaining read all the way through.

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text 2020-06-04 10:52
Reading progress update: DNF at 24%.
The Deep - Alma Katsu

Groan...

 

Annie thinks that the man she encounters on the Britannic actually is Mark. And she has already called dips on him by saying "this time he is hers". Yep, that so not creepy and clingy at all. And I can´t tell you how many stages of "I don´t care" I´m going through at the moment.

(spoiler show)

 

I really don´t think I can handle the love story / love triangle in this one. Listening to this makes me want to throw something at the wall.

 

DNF at 24%

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text 2020-06-03 17:47
Reading progress update: I've read 24%.
The Deep - Alma Katsu

Please, let Mark be dead. And let him stay dead. Please, please, please, please ....

 

[Source]

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review 2020-06-03 12:35
The Last Werewolf
The Last Werewolf - Glen Duncan

by Glen Duncan

 

This started out with a different tone than I usually see in werewolf novels. More of a crime drama or conspiracy story tone as it's established that with the murder of a werewolf in Berlin, the protagonist is the last of his kind and an organisation that hunts down and kills werewolves will now be focused on him.

 

This was a very literary read. Despite a few descriptions of violence, the use of language made it a joy to read and the first person pov of the werewolf throughout felt very intimate and personal. I found myself wanting him to survive. It had a few very sexual references. Apparently being a werewolf sends the libido into animal rut. But both the sex and violence stopped short of becoming gratuitous, even if it nudged that parameter on occasion.

 

There was a lot of suspense well done and a few twists to keep things interesting. The last few chapters had me breathless!

 

The writing was so good that I went to see what else the author had written and found that this is actually a trilogy! I'll look forward to reading the next books. This was one of those stories that when it ended, I just had to sit a few moments, staring into space while processing the feels. It really had a strong emotional impact on me.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-06-03 11:00
Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula
Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula - Bram Stoker,Hans De Roos

TITLE:  Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula

 

AUTHOR:  Bram Stoker

 

ADAPTED BY:  Valdimar Ásmundsson

 

TRANSLATED BY:  Hans De Roos
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DESCRIPTION:


"Powers of Darkness is an incredible literary discovery: In 1900, Icelandic publisher and writer Valdimar Ásmundsson set out to translate Bram Stoker’s world-famous 1897 novel Dracula. Called Makt Myrkranna (literally, “Powers of Darkness”), this Icelandic edition included an original preface written by Stoker himself. Makt Myrkranna was published in Iceland in 1901 but remained undiscovered outside of the country until 1986, when Dracula scholarship was astonished by the discovery of Stoker’s preface to the book. However, no one looked beyond the preface and deeper into Ásmundsson’s story.

In 2014, literary researcher Hans de Roos dove into the full text of Makt Myrkranna, only to discover that Ásmundsson hadn’t merely translated Dracula but had penned an entirely new version of the story, with all new characters and a totally re-worked plot. The resulting narrative is one that is shorter, punchier, more erotic, and perhaps even more suspenseful than Stoker’s Dracula. Incredibly, Makt Myrkranna has never been translated or even read outside of Iceland until now.

Powers of Darkness presents the first ever translation into English of Stoker and Ásmundsson’s Makt Myrkranna. With marginal annotations by de Roos providing readers with fascinating historical, cultural, and literary context; a foreword by Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew and bestselling author; and an afterword by Dracula scholar John Edgar Browning, Powers of Darkness will amaze and entertain legions of fans of Gothic literature, horror, and vampire fiction."

______________________________________

REVIEW:

 

I loved the expanded and somewhat altered version of the events that transpire in Count Dracula's castle (more atmospheric, creepier, Dracula's female house guest gets more page time), but the London chapters came across as a hurried and truncated (compared to the original version) plot summary and were rather disappointing.  This lost version was, however, still entertaining.

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