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review 2018-12-10 18:45
THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY by John Hornor Jacobs
The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky: A Novella of Cosmic Horror - John Hornor Jacobs

 

"Misery is a condition that we are all promised."

 

THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY is a beautifully written novella with rich, layered characters and an unfamiliar landscape.

 

Two ex-pats develop a friendship between them. Isabel, an educator and Avendano, a poet, have both escaped a political coup in their home country of (the fictional) Magera. As their friendship deepens, Isabel learns more about Avendano's reputation and his past. When he asks her to watch his apartment so that he may return to Magera, she does so willingly. While so doing, she reads a few of the manuscripts he left behind. It's in these manuscripts that the true horror lies. Will Avendano ever return home? If he does will he find Isabel there waiting for him? You'll have to read this novella to find out!

 

I loved this book and that's mostly because the characters of Avendano and Isabel are so deep and well drawn. I did not expect to develop such complicated feelings for characters in "A Novella of Cosmic Horror." But develop them I did-especially for Avendano. I disliked him quite a bit when the story began, but I empathized with what he went through later, (or actually, before), and my feelings for him changed dramatically.

 

Whenever I see or hear the term "cosmic horror" lately, I find myself thinking of tentacles. But cosmic horror runs much deeper than that, and in this book it plays a small but certainly disturbing part of the narrative. When the miasma becomes so thick you can almost cut through it, watch out. There are things in that stinking fog, things existing just beyond the limits our visibility, but all too alive just the same.

 

The real horrors here are executed by humans and they make tentacles and Cthulhu look downright silly. It's easy to overlook coups in other countries, easy to overlook the human rights violations and the often abominable acts. We don't seem them on our daily news, so to us they seem foreign and distant. But for the people living under military rule or the rule of dictators or religious leaders? They see these horrors every day and sadly, they are now just part of life. When anyone dares to look more closely, like Avendano for instance, who knows what horrors will befall them as a result? They may take the form of torture, they may take the form of torturing those you love, they can even make you torture yourself, and that's the worst torture of all. 

 

"The pain becomes an offering and sacrifice becomes a beacon."

 

 

 

A beacon to what? That is the question.

 

I've tried hard to impart to you the gravity as well as the beauty hidden behind that oh so lovely cover. I've tried to do it without spoiling anything, but I'm not sure I've succeeded. The writing is sublime and I got lost a few times, just ruminating on the beauty of the language. That doesn't happen often these days, but it happened several times within the pages of this beautiful, scary, depressing, lovely novella and for that reason I highly recommend this book.

 

Get your copy here: THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY

 

*I received a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.* 

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review 2018-12-06 15:06
Amish Celebrations
Amish Celebrations: Four Novellas - Beth Wiseman

Amish Celebrations is really a combination of 4 stories in one book. They are all different but have something in common. They all are about celebrations.

 

Here are all the books and there reviews for each one.

 

The Gift of Sisters

Hannah and Elizabeth are twins. When a new boy comes to town, he seem to attracted both girls. They both fall for him in there own ways. He seem to have them pulling them away from each other. Will either one of them choose this new boy or will they both leave them.

 

Will it be two late to reunite to be sisters. One is doing something to protect her sister and the other think the other is trying to ruin her life and her love life at that. Will they find what best for them.

 

A New Beginning

Noah and Rebecca seem to be heading for marriage? Noah does something and make Rebecca think about getting married? What was it that Noah did? Will Noah walk way or will he forgive himself. What could Noah be struggling with? Rebecca is also navigation their relationship as well. Does she want to be with Noah or trust him?

 

A Perfect Plan

Priscilla knows who see was marrying since she way sixteen years old. Once the question is pop to her. They seem to think they know the prefect plan. God seem to have another plan or a bit of changes to that plan when one disaster will occurs after another. Is God testing there relationship?

 

There seems to be a special person who has something for both Chester and Priscilla. They each receive it at different times and separately. They are both told to not open it until there wedding day and not before and promised. Will they even get married or will they not?

 

A Christmas Miracle

Every feel overwhelmed with life or motherhood? Well, Mary feels this and does not know how to cope with her children. She seems to feel like she a bad mother. Though she got her husband and her husband seem to try and help. He for a loss to help her as well. Though he suggest that she ask her mother in law to help her.

 

There seem to be something more to stress of the marriage. Will her husband get some advise to help his marriage and his wife before it to late? There seems to be someone really important that happens when Mary befriends an elderly man in a red suit and his side kick elf?

 

I really like how this story outcomes turn out. Will Mary really get what needs and help she needs to cope with her situation. Does Mary's mother in law dislike Mary or is it something else.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/12/amish-celebrations.html
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review 2018-11-30 21:05
So much goodness here...
Male/Male Mystery and Suspense Box Set: 6 Novellas - Josh Lanyon,Chris Gebauer,Lance Greenfield,Jason Clarke

It's been absolutely ages since I've read these stories but in the true test of time they are every bit as enjoyable now as I remember them being and just as enjoyable to hear on audio as reading the stories were the first time around.

 

Josh Lanyon was one of the first authors that I discovered when I initially stuck my nose into the world of m/m stories and I've loved everything that I've ever read by this author. From the first Adrien English until this collection of stories this author has not failed to give me hours of enjoyable reading. As with most I've enjoyed some books more than others but for the most part this author has always given me stories that were 4 and 5 star reads.

 

With 6 different standalone stories to enjoy, even though I've read them all I loved the variety that this collection offered and while I'm not going to take the time to review each story separately I will say that 'Lovers and Other Strangers' along with 'Cards On The Table' are my absolute favorites. Also while 'The Dark Horse' works as a standalone there is a follow-up story that readers can enjoy called 'The White Knight'. 

 

So just to give a bit of a frame of reference as to how I rated these books I'm going to list each story with the narrators name and my individual rating for the story...

 

The Dark Horse......................4 stars.........Jason Clarke, narrator

A Vintage Affair.......................5 stars.........Chris Gebauer, narrator

Blood Red Butterfly.................5 stars.........Lance Greefield, narrator

Don't Look Back......................4 stars.........Lance Greenfield, narrator

Lovers and Other Strangers....5 stars........Jason Clarke, narrator

Cards On the Table.................5 stars........Jason Clarke, narrator

 

On a side note some of these stories have been recorded before by other narrators...

Dark Horse, White Knight, narrated by Derrick McClain

A Vintage Affair, narrated by Paul S. Fleschner

Blood Red Butterfly - only on this audio collection

Don't Look Back, narrated by Graham Halstead

Lovers and Other Strangers - only on this audio collection

Cards on the Table - narrated by Sean Crisden

 

While I have to admit I am a big fan of Sean Crisden, I'm also more than happy to say that Jason Clarke's narration for 'Cards on the Table' was well done and overall I'm looking forward to enjoying all of these stories again...in the near future. I would have gone back to the  beginning as soon as I got done the first time but some times like it or not we all need to do a bit of adulting in the real world...ok, that's code talk for a have a home to decorate for the holidays.

 

So all in all this one was a really enjoyable collection of Josh Lanyon stories that even from a purely practical viewpoint for what amounts to the price of maybe 3 of the stories you can get 6 and 2 of them are only available in this collection...it's a BOGO Sale (Buy one, get one) ok, I've done a bit of pimping here but it's only because I enjoyed these stories so much, that I want to encourage everyone to enjoy them as well.

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review 2018-11-23 18:45
EXIT STRATEGY (MURDERBOT #4) by Martha Wells
Exit Strategy - Martha Wells

 

This, the last entry of the MURDERBOT DIARIES, was the best entry of the series, in my opinion.

 

It made me laugh, it made me tear up at times and in this book, Murderbot really comes into its own.

 

I will be on the lookout for a full length Murderbot novel in the future, as it is more human than some humans I actually know.

 

*Thank you to my public library for the loan of this novella. Libraries RULE!*

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review 2018-10-26 18:15
MISTER JACK by Chris Kosarich
Mister Jack - Chris Kosarich

MISTER JACK is a fun story-within-a-story that takes place on Halloween night.

 

A trio of high-schoolers stops by an isolated house in town, armed for some Halloween mischief. The ramshackle place is owned by an old woman who happens to emerge from the house just as the toilet paper and eggs make their appearance. She distracts the the evil-doers with a supposedly true story about Mister Jack and afterwards? None of their lives remain the same. Will they all survive? You'll have to read this novella to find out!

 

I enjoyed this nasty tale of an underestimated old woman and her past. Her frailty made her seem even more vulnerable than she actually was. And as her story spun out, it became more and more apparent that all was not as it seemed to be. I love when that happens!

 

Skillfully written, fun and suspenseful, I found MISTER JACK to be an excellent way to spend an hour or so, and I hope that you do too. Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: MISTER JACK

 

*I was provided an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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