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review 2017-10-12 19:58
House of Day, House of Night by Olga Tokarczuk
House Of Day, House Of Night - Olga Tokarczuk

Finally I found a book set in Poland by a Polish author that isn’t 500+ pages long. This is apparently an award-winner, but to me it often seemed bizarre; perhaps something is lost in translation. The book is divided into many short segments, moving between a nameless narrator and embedded short stories, a few of which the book revisits in multiple sections. The thread binding it all together is the setting of Nowa Ruda, a town on the Czech border that was transferred from Germany to Poland after WWII. The German residents were forced to leave, to be replaced by Poles transferred from land that went to Russia, an upheaval that still echoes in the 1990s when the narrator and her husband buy a farm there.

The short stories are fairly good, though melancholy. They are set in the area of Nowa Ruda throughout its history, from the life of a medieval saint to a late-medieval genderqueer monk who wrote about her, from a man who turns into a werewolf after eating human flesh during the war to the narrator’s neighbor who goes searching for a man who professed love to her in a dream. Magic realism characterizes many but not all of these stories, which are generally interesting in their own right.

Unfortunately, the stories comprise only around half of the book. The rest of it occurs in the narrator’s head, which is taken up by lengthy descriptions of dreams (her own and other people’s, culled from the Internet), flights of fancy, housekeeping minutiae, and mushroom recipes. It is hard for me to fathom the narrator’s purpose, as the author tells no particular story about her: she faces no challenges and experiences no change. Only at the end does she make a startling, though unexplored, discovery about her elderly German neighbor, whose daily habits are also tediously described throughout the book. In the meanwhile she occupies herself with detailed fantasies about being a mushroom or containing a house.

This book has a definite ambiance, and I do like the way it unfolds the history of a place. If it had been a collection of short stories alone, I’d probably have given 3.5 stars. The stories suffer no lack of plot and are often evocative. But as is I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you are the sort of reader who actually enjoys dream sequences.

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review 2017-10-02 03:11
Just you
Daniel's Christmas: Night Stalkers [Paperback] [2012] (Author) M L Buchman - M. L. Buchman

This is the 3rd book in The Night Stalkers series.  It is also known as # 1 in the Night Stalkers: White House series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and have a greater understanding of this acclaimed series, please read this series in order.

 

Daniel is White House Chief of Staff, and all that comes with it.  This keeps him too busy to have a personal life of any kind.  Lately, he wonders will he ever take the time for one?

 

Alice is an expert in her field.  She comes up with an important strategy the President needs to discuss with her.  This puts her right in Daniel's path.....

 

Such a quick paced and hot read.  Like all books in this series, your heart nearly jumps out of your chest reading.  Look for the advent calendar and some realIy romantic scenes!  I cannot wait to read more in this incredible series.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-10-02 05:07
THE HOUSE AT THE EDGE OF NIGHT by Catherine Banner
The House at the Edge of Night: A Novel - Catherine Banner
The House at the Edge of Night
Catherine Banner
Hardcover, 419 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Random House

ISBN: 

0812998790 (ISBN13: 9780812998795

 

An enjoyable, relaxing read. I enjoyed how Catherine Banner brought the island alive as it's own character. Small town antics, small town rumors, and 4 generations of a family and its dreams. Not all the characters were as well developed as I liked, but Catherine Banner did make her female characters strong and motivated. Banner, also, used the occasional Italian word throughout the book. Overall, a good weekend or vacation read. I did get a good feel of small town/island life, which is what I think I liked the best-the feel of being there.

 

 

*****I received this Advance Reader's Copy from a Goodreads giveaway sponsored by Random House.*****

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review 2016-06-07 23:17
Kalona's Fall (House of Night #11.5) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Kalona's Fall: A House of Night Novella (House of Night Novellas) by Cast, P. C., Cast, Kristin (2014) Hardcover - Kristin Cast

I think the easiest way to sum up this short story is to re-write it in a way that makes sense (for House of Night anyway). So I’m reading Mother Earth as a troll who absolutely loathes Nyx while Nyx is that House Guest who won’t take a fucking hint (she taught Nyx everything, clearly). I can now follow the plot which now seems a lot more coherent. So:

 

 

Mother Earth: Ah Earth, so peaceful and special, just me and my children…

 

Nyx: Helooooooooooooo

 

Mother Earth:… you’re still here? All the other immortals fucked off years ago

 

Nyx: No, I’m going to stay here forever and ever…

 

ME: Oh. Yay. And I see you have tattoos now

 

Nyx: Aren’t they wonderful

 

ME:… yes… I’m sure. In no way does it look like a sugar high six year old was let loose on you with a sharpie.

 

Nyx: Look the book has illustrations!

 

ME: Thankfully that means less text.

 

Nyx: I love Earth and my fae just love frolicking here

 

ME: You mean your slaves that exist to serve you love taking holidays as far away from you as they can possibly get? Funny that…

 

Nyx: I’m just so lonely…

 

ME: I wish I was… I know, if I give you a companion you can spend more time anywhere I’m not. Sun, Moon, get down here and create some poor sap to endure Nyx!

 

Nyx: Oh thank you! Hey, they’ve created two?

 

ME: Oh, how surprising. I totally didn’t do that on purpose so they would both compete for your affections and drive you to distraction. Not At All.

 

 

Erebus: Hi Mother Earth!

 

ME: Oh charming wonderful boy, welcome!

 

Kalona: Hi Mother Earth!

 

ME: you can fuck right off, arsehole.

 

Kalona: I’m like 5 minutes old…

 

ME: like I give a fuck? Enjoy the head games, kiddies. Hey, do you know what would make this more fun? If I give these 10 minute year old beings super powers and make them use those powers to compete for your affections, Nyx! Because new borns competing for mummy’s love AND wifey’s love with super powers is bound to create a stable relationship

 

 

Read More

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/05/kalonas-fall-house-of-night-115-by-pc.html
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review 2016-05-16 00:08
Revealed (House of Night #11) by P.C. Cast and Kirstin Cast
Revealed: A House of Night Novel (House of Night Novels) - Kristin Cast,P.C. Cast

Neferet’s machinations continue to kill more people, only this time in a very prominent, public fashion. Faced with a possible backlash from humanity, the vampires of the House of Night need to act quickly to expose Neferet and protect their own reputation

 

This book also brings us a lot of Neferet’s back story

 

 

Perhaps realising how utterly inadequate Neferet’s Curse was about actually giving Neferet an actual motive to be the big bad. So this book spends a whole lot of time going through Neferet’s history to try and give us a better reason for why she is the Worst. Unsurprisingly, it petty much fails. We have three options:

 

Firstly, from Neferet’s curse we have the ongoing supposition that Neferet is evil because she is broken. She was one of Nyx’s super special ones hence the reason she got lots of shiny healing gifts she didn’t give a shit again (because Nyx has TERRIBLE judgement or, again, is just trolling everyone)

 

Secondly, her cat died. Seriously. She couldn’t deal with the loss of a pet. This is a hard, painful lesson many children learn. Neferet decides she hates Nyx and all she stands for because her cat died

 

Thirdly: She’s kinky. Because Neferet likes to be rough in the bedroom and punish her naughty naughty lovers she is evil and corruptible. In fact, she may even be kinky BECAUSE of her terrible past fromNeferet’s curse. It’s not even a matter of her inflicting it on lovers without their consent – one of the stories from her past is the lengths she goes to to find a man who WANTS her to punish him. But no, she’s kinky that means she’s corrupt and evil (and he’s corrupt and sick) and they’re all corrupt and broken.

 

At least on some level we have Erebus –

 

- Wait, we need to talk about Erebus. Why is Erebus the god of sunlight? He shines in sunlight, he shines all right and sunny. Erebus is the Greek… not even god, more avatar/chthonic entity of pure darkness. Do the authors just pick names at complete random for funsies? Don’t they even try to do some research. Seriously all it would take is wikia. Google. It’s not hard.

 

- anyway we have Erebus accusing Kalona of being responsible for corrupting Neferet. But the reason why she’s susceptible to that corruption in the first place is because of her evil naughty sexuality in the first place. And, really, all this attempt to place some responsibility on Kalona comes off far more as a path for Kalona’s redemption with Nyx (his uber redemption) than any real attempt to explore Neferet.

 

 

So Neferet is evil because she was raped, which may or may not have contributed to her being kinky and either way her evil evil sexiness (because this book series hates sexual women) left her open to corruption by an evil rapist guy who is now on team goodguy and being redeembed because redeemed men is totally allowed

 

In fact, let’s have a look at redemption and how the whole team is treating Nicole, the big bad red fledgling who hasn’t actually done a whole lot of evil (and whose acts pale in comparison to Kalona. And Stark. And Aurox. And Rephaim. Ye gods so many redeemed evil men) has to crawl over broken glass to have the good guys tolerate her presence. Everyone is ridiculously suspicious of her considering how quickly they embraced

 

Redemption in general is broken in this book – but in part that is down to a new broken storyline to help centre Zoey a little more (because the book really needs that, right?)

 

So, lets follow the broken nonsense of this storyline: after the death of the human mayor on campus (Neferet’s doing) there’s a whole load of hostility against vampires and the vampire High council decides the utter best thing to do is absolutely fuck all. Because if these powerful, skilled and influential vampires actually get involved as would be sensible, Zoey would be a lot less central to the plot. There’s no logic behind the decision beyond ensuring no-one else possibly eclipses Zoey – except possibly Thanatos

 

So let’s sabotage her as well! Thanatos began this book with me cheering for her. Thanatos happily told the useless high council where to get off. Continues to tell Zoey and her friends to stop squabbling like 10 year olds and even put Zoey in her place about lecturing Thanatos about a goddess she has worshipped for centuries as a High Priestess. This is excellent…

 

Except the book went on to basically say that Thanatos has no right to tell Zoey off because Zoey, the teenager, does indeed know the Irritable Bowel Goddess better than the centuries old Thanatos. And, in case there was any doubt, Thanatos has several teenagers executed. Teenagers. And I’m not even going to look at their crimes because it would be bullshit to do so when we have that damn list of redeemed rapists and murderers wandering around campus playing good guy. Their crimes are irrelevant next to standing next to Kalona.

 

 

Read More

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/05/revealed-house-of-night-11-by-pc-cast.html
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