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review 2015-10-14 00:48
Secondhand Souls Review
Secondhand Souls: A Novel - Christopher Moore

In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing - and you know that can't be good.

 

This is the second, and I think the only, book in the Grim Reaper Series that started with A Dirty Job.  In the last installment in the Grim Reaper series everyone is back to once again save the world. A year has passed since the events in A Dirty Job, and for a year it seemed like the world had gone back to normal.  Well, as normal as it can seeing where Charlie Asher's soul ended up.  However, the world isn't anywhere near back to normal.  In fact things have gotten worse, much worse.

 

I was beyond excited to bust into Secondhand Souls, but I have to admit I was also a little nervous about it too.  This year has been the year of disappointing sophomore books for me.  So I was a little worried that this would be another book that was alright, but wasn't as good as the first book.  That maybe it wouldn't make sense having a second book after the first one tied it up so well, but I was very pleasantly surprised.  In fact I was not a fan of going to bed or work or doing anything that meant I had to book my book down. 

 

Everything I loved about the first book was what I loved about the second.  The amount of sass that came with Lily was still there, the humor was still there, and that blunt sort of way that Christopher Moore has at looking at the world was there.  There were several times throughout the entire book that I found myself laughing out loud, that ugly laugh that makes people stare.  My favorite bits pretty much always included Sophie, now a year older and fully accepted that she is the big D.  Kids say the weirdest things, and even more so when the kid has seen the things that Sophie Asher has seen.

 

Some old enemies returned in this book as well, and while at first I was little annoyed they were back again, I realized I do like them.  I love the things they say to each other about "up there".  I also really liked the new plot line for Secondhand Souls.  In many ways it was the same, Death Merchants weren't doing their jobs, but this time it was for completely different reasons.  Except for Rivera, he just couldn't even apparently.

 

In fact, Rivera really was the only downside for me in this book.  I just, I just found myself annoyed by his general presence.  In the first book he didn't bother me so much, he was sort always there when Charlie needed him.  However, in Secondhand Souls I just wanted to hit him in the face with the book and ask if he learned nothing from the last year he spent stalking Charlie Asher.  I would have been okay if we killed him off.

 

A few new characters pop up throughout Secondhand Souls, and as well as some favorites from A Dirty Job.  The new characters were fine, in fact the Banshee was the best part of the scenes that involved Rivera.  I really did love her and her lightening box.  She had me ugly laugh on more than one occasion with her sass.  The Squirrel People came back and are weirder than ever, but none as adorable as Wiggly Charlie and his need for cheese.

 

By the time I finally closed the book with nothing more to read, I realized that I enjoyed Secondhand Souls.  In fact I think I might have enjoyed it more than A Dirty Job.  It felt like Christopher Moore had a better hold of who each character was, the atmosphere felt comfortable.  Whatever it was, it totally worked for me and I enjoyed every second, every page, of the book.  Well, there was one part I did not enjoy at all.  In fact there was a brief moment where I was very upset with Christopher Moore, and was not amused about a dark car ride home.  I'm still not happy about that moment, no matter how the book ended.

 

Secondhand Souls could be read as a stand alone without too much confusion despite being the second book in the Grim Reaper series.  Christopher Moore does a little bit of explaining here and there about what happened in the year prior to the plot of the of this installment.  Not enough to bore someone who just read A Dirty Job, but enough if you hadn't picked up the first book you wouldn't be totally lost.

 

I could probably completely fangirl more about how much I loved this book, about how Charlie Asher is probably my spirit animal and Lily completes me in so many way.  I won't though, because you should totally pick up these books and find out for yourself.  If your a fan of Christopher Moore or looking for something fun and a little weird, Secondhand Souls is totally for you.

 

 

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text 2015-05-02 21:37
Happy 85th Birthday, Nancy Drew!

 

From A Mighty Girl

 

 

____________________________________________

 

I'm not sure which Nancy Drew mystery was the first I read.  My own collection probably never reached more than a dozen or so, and I read a few others lent to me by my aunt.  She was born in 1929, so some of hers may have been close to first editions.  Among mine were The Witch-Tree Symbol and The Ghost of Blackwood Hall.  Aunt Shirley had The Sign of the Twisted Candles and maybe half a dozen others.  (She also had one Judy Bolton mystery, The Unfinished House, that I enjoyed maybe even more than Nancy Drew.)

 

It didn't occur to me until I saw this notice of the 85th anniversary on Facebook that Nancy Drew was really pretty subversive.  She was a girl who acted, rather than reacted.  She relied on her two girl friends rather than on her boyfriend, the sometimes rather smarmy Ned Nickerson.  She figured things out and she saved herself when she got in trouble, and she didn't apologize for being smart.

 

Hmmmm.  Maybe I absorbed more of Nancy Drew than I thought.

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review 2015-02-22 12:42
(Review) The Killings
The Killings - J.F. Gonzalez,Wrath James White

I was given a copy of this book by Sinister Grin Press in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this shaped my opinion on this book.

 

The Killings is a book that is cooperatively written by the two authors. Each chapter moves forward or back 100 years and is clearly indicated by adding a date before the chapter begins. Each story would do well on its own but compliment each other well. 

This is a story of slavery, of revenge, of voodoo. Sable is a powerful voodoo priestess, so powerful in fact there is some evidence that she had lived to see 170 years. No one wants to talk about her, for fear her voodoo curse come into their lives. Originally, her voodoo spell was something designed for the protection of her grandson but something happened and Sable put a dark and hateful energy into her ritual and conjured forth something very dark, something that wanted to kill, maim, torture and disfigured. The scenes of torture in this book are not for everyone, but they illustrate the deep seated hate that this spirit has for the opposite sex. Our story takes place in Atlanta. Three generations since have had it's boogeyman. An unsolved series of serial murders. The killer each time wasn't found. The killings have just started again. Carmen Mendoza is a reporter who works for the oldest paper in Atlanta. She is trying to solve the case by looking into the past murders and she is getting close to answers, but will it cost her everything.

 

This book was a superb story. A tribute to the writing styles of both men. (RIP JF Gonzalez) The main characters from each timeline, Carmen and Robert, are fleshed out and very detailed. They really help to keep the story moving. I really enjoyed this book... until the ending. It really lost me after the garage scene. The action that takes place after that scene in the present time just wasn't in line with the rest of the book for me. It seemed forced to me. Overall, though, this story was a good example of great books coming out of Sinister Grin.

 

If you are a fan of horror, you will want to pick up this one!!

 

Synopsis:

 

In 1911, Atlanta’s African American community was terrorized by a serial killer that preyed on young bi-racial women, cutting their throats and mutilating their corpses. The killer was never found. In the 1980s, more than twenty African American boys were murdered throughout Atlanta. In 2011, another string of sadistic murders have begun, and this time it’s more brutal than ever. 

Carmen Mendoza, an investigative reporter working forAtlanta’s oldest newspaper. has uncovered a link between the three murder cases 
suggesting an unending series of murders going back more than a century. If she can solve the murders, she may find the key to ending the violent curse grippingAtlanta’s Black community. If not, she might just become the next victim. 

From J.F. Gonzalez and Wrath James White comes a novel of hatred, prejudice, extreme violence and bone-chilling terror.

 

 

Go to Sinister Grin Press to purchase this book or use this Amazon link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2015-02-15 13:24
Reading progress update: I've read 74%.
The Killings - J.F. Gonzalez,Wrath James White

I'm not getting a warm fuzzy feeling. Things will not end well, I fear.

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text 2015-02-15 13:06
The Killings - J.F. Gonzalez,Wrath James White

This title from Sinister Grin Press is a fun ,nasty, little book. Now is yoir chance to experience it for yourself. It's currently $2 on Amazon. Grab it here.

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