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review 2018-03-01 17:28
"Wylding Hall" by Elizabeth Hand
Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand

"Wylding Hall," tells the story of a group of folk-rock musicians who spend the summer of 1972 in a remote Manor House in the wilds of Hampshire to put their second album together. By the end of the summer, the lead singer, a beautiful but shy young man who is fascinated by the "Magik" with a K, Alistair Crowley style, has disappeared without a trace.


The story is told in a series of modern day, rockumentary style interviews with members of the band, their manager, a psychic girlfriend, a music journalist and local boy who briefly played roadie/photographer.


This format makes the story perfect for being turned into an audiobook. The version I listened to had a different narrator for each person being interviewed. Apart from an article written at the time by the journalist, there was no text beyond the statements made by the interviewees.


The book cuts from one interviewee to the next, revealing events with bit by bit. It's easy to imagine the once beautiful, now ageing musicians, seated against a dark background and speaking directly to camera.


The story has a paranormal feel to it but leaves room for other interpretations - just about. To me, it seemed slightly spooky rather than chilling.


What held my interest was how clearly the characters were defined by the way they gave their account of events. They were heavy on nostalgia, looking back on the golden summer of their youth and that gave me permission to be nostalgic too. I liked the way their accounts were inconsistent with one another, in the way in which any long-ago event that has since become legend will be. 


The chaotic, semi-childish, drug-enabled way the young people live in their isolated house, the fugue that they fall into when spending their whole time making music seemed real to me.


The introduction of the supernatural elements was subtle. Ideas were wound around the history of the house, the warnings contained in the old folk songs they studied, the strange woods surrounding a Long Barrow and the pictures in the local pub of Wren Hunting.


It was an entertaining way to spend four hours, although it seemed to me that the drug and sun-soaked summer of seventy-two was a stranger land to visit than any of the hinted-at faerie realms touching the house.


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review 2018-02-03 00:00
Hell In A Hand Basket
Hell In A Hand Basket - Annabelle Anders I love regency romance. Specifically the heroines. Despite social restrictions and the prejudices of the time, the courage these women find in themselves to rise above the norm is an example every woman should aspire to. Hell in a Hand Basket is tale of three people finding the strength to be bold. A woman yearning to follow her heart. A man struggling to find his voice and a Captain searching for a new beginning. Sophia, Harold and Dev find themselves in a complicated dance of hearts. Others are pulling the strings each is struggling to break free of the ties that bind them. Through the scheming and dreaming emerges a tale of heartbreak and intrigue that reads like a soap opera. The twists are endless but the endgame is worth the chase.
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text 2018-01-31 18:45
January 2018-That's a Wrap!
The Warblers - Amber Fallon
You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes
City of the Dead - Brian Keene,Joe Hempel
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman
My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady Hendrix
Splatterpunk Fighting Back - Jack Bantry,Tim Curran,Glenn Rolfe,Bracken MacLeod,Kristopher Rufty,Adam Millard,John Boden,Matt Shaw,W.D. Gagliani,Elizabeth Power
The Conversationalist: Horrorstruck Novella One - Justin Richards
If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating (Random House Large Print) - Alan Alda
Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand

I've started the year off by reading 18 books in January.


Graphic Novels

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman 5*

Bitch Planet Volume One: Extraordinary Machine by Kellie Sue DeConnick 4*

The Walking Dead: Book 14 by Robert Kirkman 4*

Total: 3



The Warblers by Amber Fallon 4*

Infestation by William Meikle 3.5*

The Conversationalist by Justin Bog 4*

Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand 4*

Total: 4



You and Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana BOTH-5*

City of the Dead by Brian Keene, narrated by Joe Hempel 3.5*

Seriously...I'm Kidding written and narrated by Ellen DeGeneres 3*

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, narrated by Rob McQuay 3*

If I Understood You...written and narrated by Alan Alda 4*

Total: 6



After the End of the World by Jonathan L. Howard 3*

Dark Screams Volume Nine (Anthology) 4*

Hardened Hearts (Anthology) 4.5*

Total: 3


Random Reads

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix 4*

Splatterpunk Fighting Back (An anthology benefiting the fight against cancer) 4.5*

Total: 2



Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

Status: 2/40


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review 2018-01-30 18:45
Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand
Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand

2.1.18-I've been thinking about this book since I finished it and because of that I've decided to change my rating to the full 5 out of 5 stars!


WYLDING HALL is a fun novella that doesn't neatly fit into any single category other than, perhaps, dark fiction.


A thousand other people have already written reviews so I'll just say: this is a beautifully written example of a quiet horror story with building tension and dread.


WYLDING HALL is my second reading of Hand's work, the first being her collection SAFFRON AND BRIMSTONE, which I also enjoyed. I'm looking forward to reading more from her and I think I'll do that starting with BLACK LIGHT.


Highly recommended!


You can get a copy here: WYLDING HALL


*I bought this book with my hard earned money and this is my honest opinion.*

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review 2018-01-22 13:13
Review For Hell in a Hand Basket by Annabelle Anders
Hell in a Hand Basket by Annabelle Anders - Annabelle Anders


Hell in a Hand Basket by Annabelle Anders is book Two in the "Devilish Debutantes" series.
I have read the previous book (and loved it!) "Hell Hath No Fury", but feel you can make this a standalone book if you choose to do so.
Captain Devlin Brookes has sold his commission after being in service for about eleven years and has bought property near Surrey, Dartmouth Place which he has coveted for most of his life. Dev who is nephew of a Duke is thinking of taking the next step in addition to buying property is to take a wife.
Just as that thought entered his mind he came upon an accident that Sophia Babineaux was involved in. Dev helped to save Sophia and her dog Peaches. Dev did steal some kisses from Sophia during the rescue and wondering if she wouldn't be the women to court.
Sophia is a smart caring women who didn't know anything of sparks when kissing a man so when Lord Harold Brookes asked her to marry him a while back she was content. But after her encounter with Dev she knows there is more out there than what she first thought. Harold has never drawn these feelings forward as Dev has. Harold hasn't even kissed her and only does an air kiss to her hand. With Dev he makes her feel that he would die without her touch.
I so loved the first book in this series but I might have to lean toward this one being my favorite. I just know I cannot wait for more books from this author!!
Loved it!!

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