logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: ill-be-gone-in-the-dark
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-08-23 21:45
BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR by Curtis M. Lawson
Black Heart Boys' Choir - Curtis M. Lawson,Luke Spooner,S.T. Joshi

BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR required a bit of time on my part for everything to sink in. Once it did, I felt liking shouting BRAVO and throwing some roses at the author. A friend took me aside and told me this was frowned upon, so I decided to write this review instead.

 

Lucien has recently lost his father to suicide. Shortly after that, he loses his mother to grief, (among other things.) To top it all off, he and his mother are required to move from their rather posh house, to a humbler home in a condominium. He is full of anger and disgust-with himself, and his weak parents. He begins hearing music in his head, as well as voices, and shortly thereafter he discovers a piece of orchestration that his father began to write but never finished. He sets out to quiet those voices and the music-will he be triumphant? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I became a fan of Curtis Lawson last year and immediately bought another of his books when I finished the first. (I haven't been able to get to it yet-story of my life.) However, when he offered me a chance to read this one early, how could I say no? At first, I was a bit confused as to what was going on, and to be honest, I wondered if this novel was going to require some kind of musical knowledge or at least the ability to read music. I needn't have feared, since all that was required was close attention on my part. That wasn't hard to give because the narrative soon swept me up and carried me to the denouement, much like a wave at the beach carries you to shore.

 

Why did I need time to mull over this story? I can mention some of the reasons here, some I cannot because...spoilers. Lucien was not altogether likable, even before some of the more distasteful events occurred. Luckily, I'm okay with real people being the main character-meaning in real life, people are not all good or bad, so why do some expect that in their fiction? Another reason I needed to mull for a moment is mental illness. (Lucien reminded me a lot of a young man I knew who suffered from Schizophrenia.) In the end, this tale broke another way, but somehow I came away from it with a better understanding of the young man I once knew. (Or at least, I think I did.)

 

As a whole, BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR tackles a lot in its few pages: suicide, death, abuse, neglect, teen friendships, (and many of us know the friendships made during that difficult time in life are hard to break), resentments, music, mental illness (?), demons...well, you get the picture.

 

Hopefully, you now understand my reasons for mulling over this tale. I believe I will be thinking about it for quite some time. These are generally the types of stories that stick with me-the mull-ers. If what I've described above sounds good to you and if you enjoy thinking about a story long after it's finished, then I highly recommend BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR!

 

*Thank you to the author for the e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-08-23 04:03
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed... / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.
Dark Age - Pierce Brown

From a distance, death seems the end of a story. But when you are near, when you can smell the burning skin, see the entrails, you see death for what it is. A traumatic cauterization of a life thread. No purpose. No conclusion. Just snip.

 

I knew war was dreadful, but I did not expect to fear it.

 

How can anyone not, when death is just a blind giant with scissors?

 

This will not end well.


Lysander au Lune has a few thoughts along those lines pages after falling in an Iron Rain on Mercury, but this was one of the more striking examples. For a "bad guy," he's awfully easy to identify with. He's trying to establish an alliance between the remnants of the Society and the Outer Planets to crush the Rising once and for all, and so has to curry favor with Atalantia by joining in the counter-attack on Mercury. This attack does not go well for anyone—both armies and the civilian population on Mercury took on incalculable losses, provoking a lot of thoughts like this on both sides, I'd imagine. And that's just how this novel starts.

 

It's been almost a week since I finished Dark Age and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it—plot, characters, and ramifications of the events of the novel—and I don't think I will anytime soon. I've joked (online and IRL) that I've used "brutal" in every post I've written about this series (at least once) and I was going to have to get a new thesaurus to help me come up with alternatives before I wrote this—not just so I'd add a little variety to the posts, but primarily because it just doesn't seem to be descriptive enough about what happens here.

 

Iron Gold shows us what can go wrong as a society throws off the shackles of tyranny, but is still learning how to act with a replacement for that system. And it wasn't pretty. Dark Age is all about what happened right after Iron Gold how does Darrow follow-up his dramatic act on Mercury? How do the remnants of the Society react to that? Can Virginia maintain control of the government (and should she?), and what's going on with the kidnapped children and the kidnappers?

 

None of the answers to those questions are easy, and it's hard to like any of the answers you might find. But man, what a book. Brown surprised me time after time after time and I have no idea what to expect for the next volume. You find yourself hoping that Character X will survive whatever dire situation they're in, but you almost hope they fall now, because whatever is coming up next for them is going to be worse, much worse.

 

For a change, this isn't primarily Darrow's story. But even as I say that I want to object. The opening chapters are full of him, but after the first 100 pages or so (I'm estimating because I had to take it back to the Library already), other characters—primarily on the Moon and Mars—get the majority of the space. At the same time, there's not one page—not one paragraph, really— that isn't in the shadow of Darrow. His acts, his movement, his intentions, his affects on various individuals and/or society at large. Even if the Red Rising is put down and the demokracy is defeated, it will be generations before Darrow's impact is forgotten. So, yes, he's sidelined for most of this novel, but ultimately, it's still all about Darrow.

 

I can't take the time to talk about everything that I want to, but if anyone's going to defeat Darrow/the Rising, I wouldn't mind if it was Lysander. Sadly, Lysander wouldn't be alone, and his allies aren't as honorable or noble (actual nobility, not hereditary titles) as he is—so I hope he goes down in flames.

 

Yes, I didn't think Iron Gold was necessary—or as good as the initial trilogy (while I did enjoy it)—but as it paved the way for Dark Age (and whatever comes next) I'm not complaining. This was probably the best thing since Red Rising (in many ways, probably superior), and I'm once again invested in this series.

 

Brown's writing has never been better—this is his biggest book to date in terms of size and scope. Yes, it's an investment of time, but not one that's impossible to surmount (and is totally worth it). It's a longer book, with more characters, more perspectives and more potential to surprise the reader (both in this book and what comes next). It's like he took Yeat's "The Second Coming" and said, I wonder what verse 1 would look like in the Red Rising Universe?

 

I can't do justice to this book, I just can't. There's not an ongoing SF series that I can recommend as highly as this, and whatever flaws there might be are dwarfed by the strengths to the extent that I can't even enumerate them. If your interest post-Morning Star has waned, I encourage you to give this a shot. If you've never tried this series, do not jump on board here. Go back to Red Rising, and after you've endured (and loved) the emotional battering that follows, you'll see what I'm talking about.

 

“What does Mars mean to you, Nakamura?" I ask.

 

The Terran hesitates. “Hope. And you, my liege?”

 

“War.”


Virginia says a lot in that last syllable (even ignoring the pun). It sounds ominous there, and I think it tells us everything we need to know about the rest of this series.


2019 Library Love Challenge

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-08-22 18:51
Scapegoat by Adam Howe & James Newman
Scapegoat - Adam Howe,James R. Newman

If you’re feeling like you need some fun, gory 80’s insanity then do I ever have a book for you!

This is the review quote that won me over:

"As if Joe Lansdale wrote, and John Carpenter directed, the Jonestown massacre. SCAPEGOAT is Howe and Newman's Kool-Aid and you'll want to drink it to the very last drop." (Eryk Pruitt, What We Reckon)

It doesn’t lie.



This book is pure madness from beginning to end. Set in the late 80’s, that fabulous time before cell phones and back when hair-metal reigned supreme, a group of old childhood friends reconnect to head out to Wrestlemania III. Mike is now a family man and because of the wife, the baby and work he hasn’t seen his old buddies Lonnie and Pork Chop in far too long. After spending a few minutes in a smelly RV with them, Mike remembers why! Pork Chop is half in the bag, wearing a Rowdy Roddy Piper kilt with nothing under it (ahhh!) and Lonnie’s drinking, driving and doobie smoking have Mike wondering if he’ll make it home alive but he’s trapped in the passenger seat and quickly embraces the mayhem. Along for the ride is a scantily clad beauty and a trunk load of counterfeit wrestling merch. 

Sound like fun? It is! And it is so much more.

Lonnie gets stuck in traffic and freaks out that they’re going to miss Wrestlemania and decides to get off at the next exit - remember these are the days before GPS. Little does he know that he’s just driven straight into a scene from hell and it’s only going to get worse from here . . .

There are religious cults, carved up ladies, buckets of gore and an ending that isn’t afraid to go there! I loved it. This book is an experience. If you enjoy the madcap adventures of Joe Lansdale’s Hap & Leonard series I’m pretty sure you’re going to love Scapegoat too. 

The writing is terrific and the dialogue is spot-on and sometimes hilarious. I’m pretty sure I knew some of these people in the 80’s. Hell, I might even know a few of them now. The story moves fast and somehow the writers manage to fully flesh out the characters and create a plot that continually surprised and sickened me in the best way. It made me laugh and it made me cringe and that’s not something that usually happens when I read because I am grumpy, tired and jaded at the end of the day. 

It is the darkest kind of fun and if is this is your thing and you haven’t read Scapegoat yet I think you need to fix that!


Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-08-22 13:41
Reading progress update: I've read 124 out of 496 pages.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely - Brigid Kemmerer

we learn more about the curse and the details :) 
Image result for cursed gif

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-08-21 14:25
ARC REVIEW Spectre by Shiloh Walker

SpectreYay! Reading Shiloh Walker makes me happy. Spectre is a stand alone, although I do hope Tia's brother will get his own story eventually, told in the third person but switches focus between Tia and Meric. I love the characters in this book. Meric "Spectre" was raised to be a killer, his father was ruthless and if Meric hadn't of killed him at the age of 14 Meric would be a soulless and ruthless as his father. Sarge found him shortly after and saved Meric and while Meric still grew up to be an assassin Sarge fine tuned his skills and taught Meric to trust and have morals and rules. Even after Sarge died Meric never strayed from his own rules so when Boston mob boss and leader of a white slavery ring offers him a job to kill the sister of the cop who busted his brother Meric knows he's not going to take the job band unless he does does something someone else will.

Tia had a difficult childhood with a irrational mother who hated her and after she died was left to an Aunt who clearly hated her too. Tia always knew she was different from everyone else and everyone else made it clear she wasn't "normal". It wasn't until she was older that she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, Aspergers. It took Tia a while to find her "normal" but she likes her life now with her best friend and her brother, even though he lives in another state, and her job teaching painting to kids who are just like her.

Spectre knows the only way to keep Tia safe is to remove her from the playing field; after all you can't kill what you can't find so he kidnaps her. But he was smart enough and observant enough to realize the transition and move would be easier for her with familiar things so he brings her dog, and art supplies and with how organized she is it was easy to pack clothes and toiletries. I love that he cared enough to do this that he understood that it mattered. Tia is scared and confused at first but when Spectre explains to her what's happening and when she gets proof she's more cooperative. I love that they are both blunt they are straight forward with their emotions and fears their was no whining and hemming and hawing, and I love Meric's solution.

Overall, this was a great read. The action is intense and the romance is hot, with some light bondage play. The story as a whole was fantastic, I love Shiloh Walker's writing she writes and I completely become immersed in the story and invested in the characters. If you are new to Shiloh Walker she does tend to get graphic, one reason I love her, as the Warning that is attached to the blurb says Warning: This isn’t a snuggly, comfy read. The male MC is a hired killer, while the heroine is neuro-atypical. Some dark material is involved—the hero kidnaps the heroine. There’s also violence when he goes on a rampage against those who put a contract on her. Also references of abuse (not against the heroine). Also very graphic, erotic scenes with minor bondage play.     




 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?