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Search tags: i-got-it-from-the-library
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review 2018-09-24 21:50
The Invisible Man / H.G. Wells
The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells

This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows.

 

I read this book to fill the Classic Horror square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I remember owning the Classics Illustrated comic book of this title as a child and being rather fascinated by the idea of an invisible person. I remember being captivated by Griffin’s fake nose! If I’m remembering correctly, though, I don’t think the violence in the comic was equal to Wells’ original work. It was probably watered down a little to be suitable for a juvenile audience (although nowadays I’m not sure that would be necessary).

I spent a great deal of last year on the cataloguing of a very large collection of books by and about Herbert George Wells and I was interested to read another of his fictional works. I’ll work through more of them as I can. He was an interesting person and a prolific writer.

This is definitely horror-lite. The most horrifying part is actually the behaviour of Griffin, the invisible man of the title. His lack of empathy for his fellow human beings (and the cat that he tests his invisibility device on) is scarier than his actual achievement. During the reading I kept wondering, was he mentally ill and became fixated on this idea or was he fixated on the idea before he became mentally ill? Someone with more empathy could have charted a far different course—co-operating with his fellow beings, rather than trying to terrorize them.

Reminiscent of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, another tale of a scientist making dubious moral choices.

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review 2018-09-24 20:17
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys - Jay Kristoff,Carrie Ryan,McCormick Templeton,Stefan Bachmann,Cat Winters,April Genevieve Tucholke,A.G. Howard,Megan Shepherd,Leigh Bardugo,Kendare Blake,Marie Lu,Nova Ren Suma,Kami Garcia

A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each story draws from a mix of literature, film, television, or even music to offer something new and fresh and unsettling. Even better? After you’ve teased out each tale’s references, satisfy your curiosity at the end, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here. These are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror, to the supernatural, to unnerving, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.

 

I read this book to fill the Slasher square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I found this to be a strong collection of YA short fiction. Particular favourites of mine were The birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma and The dark, scary parts and all by Danielle Paige.

It was interesting to read at the end of each story which works of fiction or film had provided inspiration for the author. Despite reaching to the past for inspiration, the stories were very up-to-date in theme, including several where young women are reaching out from the grave to correct the wrongs of patriarchal society.

Although I’m usually a bit leery of horror fiction, I found all of these stories quite engaging. A most pleasurable way to fulfill my Halloween commitment.

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review 2018-09-24 16:39
Stolen / Kelley Armstrong
Stolen - Kelley Armstrong

It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong's debut novel, that thirty-year-old Elena Michaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of a beautiful, successful woman and the only living female werewolf.

In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation of the "other races" and their supernatural powers. Kidnapped and studied in his underground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals - witches, vampires, shamans, werewolves - are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world video game. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match.

 

 

I read this book to fill the Shifters square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I just don’t know quite know why this series doesn’t grab me. It had been a year since I’d read the first book and I was actually looking forward to this second installment. The assumptions in Urban Fantasy are always ridiculous to those who don’t like the genre, but this one seemed a bit more ridiculous than most.

Take an ultra-insensitive billionaire, add his secret prison for supernatural creatures, and shake it up with the plot line of Richard Connell’s short story The Most Dangerous Game, and you get Stolen. The first book limited itself completely to werewolves and was all about Elena coming to terms with her life as a member of that community. Hey presto, this book suddenly produces a whole range of other supernatural folk not hinted at in book one—vampires, witches, demons, shamans and sorcerers. Might as well go whole hog, I guess.

I’m not sure why some authors can do this successfully (for me) and yet I find this version annoying. I find Elena to be a disappointing main character, not nearly as mentally strong as I would like her to be. What good is supernatural strength if you haven’t got the brains to back it up? Her relationship with Clay is also an irritant—they are incredibly irresponsible, often stopping in the middle of something crucial for a quickie. The sex seems gratuitous to me, not really moving the plot along, just thrown as “characterization” I’m guessing.

However, I haven’t given up. I will persevere with book three to see where Armstrong takes the concept from here. Just not until I’ve wrapped up all my various reading challenges for this year.

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review 2018-09-24 16:10
Judgment Day / Wanda L. Dyson
Judgment Day - Wanda L. Dyson

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions..
           
Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find one of her sources unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, the woman is dead, Suzanne has her blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancé–the man she betrayed in college.
                       
Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

 

I read this book to fill the Genre: Suspense square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

2 stars, my reading experience was okay. It’s strange what one finds oneself reading to fulfill certain reading challenges. One of the prompts this year was to read something by an author with whom you share a first or last name. So I checked my public library’s database for things written by other Wandas. I could read this or an Amish romance. This book won that competition, but it certainly won’t be a highlight of my reading year. Since it was supposed to be a thriller, I also scheduled it for Halloween Bingo.

I found the characters to be very stereotypical, either very bad or very good. I guess this is to be expected in something classified as “Christian fiction.” There were quite a few details that really strained my willing suspension of disbelief—for example, Alexandria, the rich man’s daughter turned private investigator, was known for shooting the ears of those who annoyed her. I’m thinking that would be a pretty tricky manoeuvre and wondering how many people she shot in the head before mastering that particular skill.

The framed TV host, Suzanne Kidwell, is morally and ethically bankrupt, hosting a show called Judgment Day—revealing corruption and supposedly rendering judgment on the high & mighty. The author obviously had verses from the Book of Matthew (7:1-2) in mind while writing it: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Suzanne gets her comeuppance and is judged for her shoddy reporting on these matters. Of course, she comes close to death and gets her “come to Jesus” moment.

The book isn’t awful, but I would be hard pressed to recommend it to anyone besides people who only read Christian fiction.

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review 2018-09-23 00:54
Halloween Bingo - 1st Square Filled
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

I finally finished my first book for Halloween Bingo by re-reading The Raven Boys. While it can go many places I am counting it for the Raven Square.

 

The first time I read The Raven Boys, I listened to the audiobook, and was enchanted.  This time, while my delight  was somewhat lessened by already knowing the major reveals, Maggie Stiefvater's language was almost as magical in print as it was as an audiobook.

 

Reducing my rating from 5 stars to 4.5 because you can't be delighted by a book for the first time twice.

 

 

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