logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: october-2017
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-16 20:46
Dark Mirror
In a Glass Darkly - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

This was the Goodreads Classic Horror Lovers Tales to Chill Your Blood group read in October 2017. I listened to it on Kindle. This volume contains five stories: "Green Tea" "The Familiar" "Mr. Justice Harbottle" "The Room in the Dragon Volant" "Carmilla" I will go through and discuss each story separately.

 

"Green Tea"--I have read this story before. It's interesting, although the way it's written is a bit on the dry side. It's told with detachment, which I suppose makes sense as it's told through letters written by Dr. Martin Hesselius, a paranormal investigator. The interesting component was the concept of green tea as a substance that can cause a person's third eye to open and to allow them to see into the spirit world. The unfortunate clergyman who is the focus of the story is able to see a monkey that continues to haunt him until it drives him crazy. It could have been more suspenseful, honestly. 3 stars "The Familiar"--A psychological horror story about a man who is being haunted by a figure from his past as a sea captain. Another use of the trope of a person being driven mad by his perception of something no one else can see. I was not particularly impressed by this story. 2.5 stars "Mr. Justice Harbottle"--a story about a judge who is haunted by the spirits of those he wrongly condemned to death. Nice build of suspense. I think the writing is much better in this story than "Green Tea" and "The Familiar". Ironically, I read the original version of this story, "An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street" (1853) out of another ghost story volume I was reading in October. I like that it deals with the concept of spiritual consequences for the wrong that one does, even when the person seems to be powerful in this life. The judge was not just a corrupt official, but he was also a degenerate who treated those around him poorly. 4 stars "The Room in the Dragon Volant"--This is more of a suspense story. It reminds me of something Robert Louis Stevenson might have wrote. It's one of the longer stories in the volume, with some involved storytelling. It's not a ghost or horror story, although there initially appears to be supernatural elements. Lots of nice twists in the story that did impress me. 4 stars "Carmilla"--Another reread for me. A very famous novella about a female vampire with some very obvious homoerotic overtones. Carmilla chooses exclusively female victims and uses her allure to develop their attraction to her. Carmilla is a create of simultaneous seductiveness and repulsion to her newest victim, Laura. Readers can plot this story out and see over time that there is something very wrong about Carmilla. The story builds to an exciting climax as Laura's father and other concerned parties work to deal with the evil vampire. This is old school vampire horror. Carmilla is the bad guy. Readers who enjoy the romantic angle cannot escape the fact that Carmilla is a sexual predator who is endangering the life of Laura. This was written during the Victorian age, in which sexual values were highly pruritanical, so it couldn't have been written any other way without national outrage. However, it was a night springboard for plenty of later vampire stories that focused more of the erotic aspects and less on the evil monster component. First time I read this, I found the flowery descriptions tedious. I enjoyed this a lot more this time around, maybe because I listened to the narration. 4 stars. Overall, I would give this 3.5 stars, which is an average of my individual ratings. Le Fanu is a good writer, but his style isn't my personal favorite. He's not the most active writer and I don't find his writing particularly scary (other than a couple of moments in Carmilla). However, he has some interesting ideas and concepts and his storytelling has been influential to the genre of classic horror.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-16 18:21
Let Me Tell You a Scary Story
Victorian Frightenings: Volume 1 (Horror Anthology Volume 1) - E.F. Benson,Edith Wharton,Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu,Perceval Landon,William Mudford,Auguste de Villiers de l'Isle-Adam,Bram Stoker

I wish I had taken notes when I read this, but I didn't have the time. I found this enjoyable. There's a little bit of everything. There are some widely recognized classics in the horror genre here: "The Judge's House by Bram Stoker, "The Upper Berth" by F. Marion Crawford. Also stories by famous authors that might be lesser known, such as "The Lady Maid's Bell" by Edith Wharton, "Madam Crowl's Ghost" by JS Le Fanu. I didn't love all the stories, but generally they were all good quality. The best story is probably the first ones: "Thurnley Abbey", a ghost story with a hefty dose of psychological horror, and I admit it did make me giggle. It deals with how a skeptic deals with facing something beyond his perception.. Also, "The Room in the Tower" by EF Benson, about a man haunted by a horrible woman in a portrait. This was very creepy! The last two stories, "The Torture of Hope" by Villiers d I'Isle-Adam and "The Iron Shroud" by William Mudford are more like contes cruel. The former about a man who is imprisoned and allowed to believe he has escaped, only to find it was just a cruel way to torment him by his captors. The latter, about a man who is forced to face his own execution in his prison cell. It ends abruptly and makes the reader feel acutely uncomfortable. I don't like the way "The Judge's House" ends, but it's definitely a very effective ghost story with some real understanding of supernatural evil in that a horrible person's essence retains the malevolence it had in life. I listened to this on Kindle and that was a very fun way to experience these stories. It's well deserving of a four star rating.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-11-03 15:12
Books I Read This Month (October 2017)

Image result for pumpkins gif

 

Couple days behind my monthly books read post. I read 25 books this month. Two of the books were DNFs. I have read 324 books out of my goal of 337 books and I am at 96 percent completion. 


5 stars

 

Between Sisters by Cathy KellyAlpha and Omega (Alpha & Omega, #0.5)Iron Kissed by Patricia BriggsFuriously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Miss Marple 3-Book Collection 1 by Agatha ChristieTales of the Peculiar by Ransom RiggsA Murder Is Announced by Agatha ChristieA Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

 

 

4 stars

 

 

Hangsaman by Shirley JacksonThe Cruelest Month by Louise PennyWhispers Under Ground by Ben AaronovitchA Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

The Little Stranger by Sarah WatersBetter Off Wed by Laura Durham

 

 

3 stars

 

It Started with Paris by Cathy KellyBury Your Dead by Louise Penny

 

2 stars

 

Wild Seed by Octavia E. ButlerWith Malice by Eileen CookThe Secret Woman by Victoria Holt

 

1 star

 

Stinger77 Shadow Street by Dean KoontzInto the Water by Paula Hawkins

 

DNF

 

Interior Darkness by Peter StraubWoman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-11-02 03:30
October Books

 I read 31 books for October. 13 were audio books and 7 were graphic novels. More than half of my books were for Halloween Bingo, so I had quite a few mysteries this month. It was a pretty great reading month with no books that I disliked and quite a few that I loved. I'm hoping that continues.

 

 

5 Stars

Violated: Exposing Rape at Baylor University amid College Football's Sexual Assault Crisis - Paula Lavigne,Mark Schlabach  Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Jon Krakauer  A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas  And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie  

 

4.5 Stars

Dear Martin - Nic Stone The Names They Gave Us - Emery Lord  Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris  

 

4 Stars

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband: A Bridgertons Prequel - Julia Quinn  The Lovely Reckless - Kami Garcia  The Shadow Land - Elizabeth Kostova  Nailbiter Volume 4: Blood Lust - Joshua Williamson  A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 - Yoshitoki Oima,Steven LeCroy  The Demon Trappers: Forsaken - Jana Oliver  The Way I Used to Be - Amber Smith  You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott  Nailbiter Volume 5: Bound by Blood - Joshua Williamson  Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners) - Libba Bray  Archie, Vol. 4 - Mark Waid,Pete Woods  Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris  When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon  A Line in the Dark - Malinda Lo  

 

3.5 Stars

Genuine Fraud - E. Lockhart  Razorhurst - Justine Larbalestier  Sif: Journey Into Mystery - The Complete Collection - Kelly Sue Deconnick,Kathryn Immonen,Ryan Stegman,Valerio Schiti,Pepe Larraz  Dark Star - Bethany Frenette  The Girl I Used to Be - April Henry  The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett - Chelsea Sedoti  Daughters unto Devils - Amy Lukavics  

 

3 Stars

A Thousand Pieces of You - Claudia Gray She and Her Cat - Tsubasa Yamaguchi,Makoto Shinkai Nailbiter Volume 6: The Bloody Truth - Joshua Williamson  

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-01 20:25
Bitten / Kelley Armstrong
Bitten - Kelley Armstrong

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

 

I read this for the “Werewolves” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

I keep reminding myself that this is a first book in a series and that I often like later books better, once the author has found their groove. I’m fence sitting with a 3 star rating on this one because I’ve got some issues with it, but I found it interesting enough to finish it, and not just for the sake of my Bingo game!

Elena, the main character, drove me crazy. She should actually be a cat of some kind, because no matter where she was, she thought she wanted to be somewhere else. If she was in Toronto, she was thinking she’d be happier in Stonehaven. Then she’s pissed off when she gets summoned to Stonehaven and wants to be back in Toronto. She’s supposedly trying to build an ordinary life for herself with Philip in Toronto, but pretty much immediately is having sex with Clayton when she returns to the werewolf fold. Rinse and repeat the pattern above—whichever man she’s currently with, she wants the other one.

Philip, although we see very little of him (and never from his point of view), haunts the background of most of the book. He’s an unusually patient man, who spent months trying to get to know Elena and who seems to have been stealthily sneaking more ties into their relationship as time passes. What he finds attractive is somewhat of a mystery—he is sleeping with a woman who sneaks out in the middle of the night regularly and doesn’t explain why. She’s slim, of course, from all that nocturnal wolf running and starving herself so as not to display her amazing werewolf appetite, but she admits that she hates clothes shopping and doesn’t concentrate too much on her appearance. She’s secretive, understandably to those of us in the know, but not the slightest bit creative about her excuses for her behaviour and Philip doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to interrogate her in the way I think a normal lover would.

In the foreground is Clay, who doesn’t care about people at all, just werewolves. He liked Elena, so he made sure to bite her in order to trap her in his world. He’s not the alpha (that would be Jeremy) but he’s still an overbearing a-hole who only listens to Elena when he wants to. Mind you, he has some reasons for that, since she seems to lie to herself quite regularly about what she truly wants and what is realistic for a woman in her situation.

So the ending of this volume was no surprise to me—there was only one way things could resolve, it was just a matter of the path that Armstrong took me on to get there. I know that a lot of my GR friends who like urban fantasy love this series, so I am going to persevere for a book or two more to see if I can get into it. After all, I would love to support a Canadian writer and to read fantasy set in my own country.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?