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text 2018-10-15 18:35
The Shadow of Polperro - 20/235pg
The Shadow of Polperro - Frances Cowan

I've never encountered a book so badly written and edited. The grammar and punctuation are insane. I keep having to re-read paragraphs to make sense of them.


     "Why not? But I'd be careful if I were you."


     Her monosyllabic question was answered by another. "Do you believe in psychic phenomena?"


* * * * * * * *


     "Yes, though I'm the world's worst driver."

     He cleared his throat again, realising that her present financial situation did not run to cars. 

     He held out his hand: "Now remember, come to me for any advice you need. You have enough money for the present?"

     Again the glimmer of wry mischief: "For the present. Thank you, Mr. Deoring"


* * * * * * * * * 


     Not immediately though; she decided to spend the rest of the week looking for a job. 

     Her lack of experience gave her little choice. Could she type? No. Shorthand? No. Was she good at figures? Most certainly no. She was offered , somewhat doubtfully, the post of matron at a boys' prep school, a job in an office dark and dingy, where she would have been little more than a tea-girl. She refused both and studied the "Wanted ads" in the papers. There were a great many, so many that she found herself in a kind of mental vortex, for none were suitable. Work in London, life in London, in a small bed-sitting room? The thought gave her claustrophobia. 


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text 2018-10-15 13:18
The Wolf Road - 61% PAUSE
The Wolf Road: A Novel - Beth Irwin Lewis

I've really been struggling with this book. Frankly, I'm a little bored with it, and had I tried to read it in text format rather than on audio I would have DNF'd it early on, because an entire 150 page book told from the first person perspective of an ignorant, nearly feral, teenaged protagonist, using hillbilly vernacular, is incredibly tiresome. On audio, Amy McFadden is almost able to rescue it with her fantastic performance, but she can't cover for the fact that her character really doesn't have anything interesting to say or that this post-apocalyptic world really doesn't make much sense. 


I'm over half-way through the book, so I hate to DNF it outright at this point, but since I keep turning it off to listen to something more interesting, I think I'll have to put this on pause and think about coming back to it later. 


I was listening to this for the Modern Masters of Horror square, but I'm switching over to Kill Creek - Scott Thomas,Bernard Setaro Clark, which I've seen several good reviews for. 

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text 2018-10-14 14:27
The Shadow of Polperro - Gothic
The Shadow of Polperro - Frances Cowan

I was debating using the audio of Dracula for gothic, but in the spirit of cheesy vintage gothic paperbacks, I decided to use this one instead. I got this as one of a mystery bundle at Half Price Books, where they tie up 4 paperbacks in a ribbon for $3 and you get whatever is in there. 

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review 2018-10-14 13:47
A Darker Shade of Magic ★★★★☆
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

I approached this with some wariness, as I saw other readers had tagged it as YA and my experiences in that genre has led me to expect tiresome teenaged angst and even more tiresome love triangles, but this was a pleasant surprise. The only connection with that genre I saw was the age of the primary female character. What I found instead was a good adventure fantasy with a well-developed world and rules of magic. The characters were fun, the world was fun, and the action was suitably violent and gory, even if the Antari trait of self-healing did rob some of the danger of its impact. I would have liked to see more well-developed villains, though. They were fairly two-dimensionally evil, simple baddies to be knocked down. We did get a little more depth to the opposing Antari, at least, so there was some investment in that character. The book is obviously the start of the series, but there is a satisfactory (enough) resolution to the books to events to allow this one to serve as a stand-alone.


I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Darkest London: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book set in London. This book is set in several Londons in adjacent worlds, with one (not visited) literally called “Black London”.

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review 2018-10-13 13:14
October: A Novel ★★★★☆
October - Michael Rowe

This novella was a quick wild ride, once it got going. I think it could have benefitted from a longer and more thorough treatment, to give us a more nuanced view of our main characters, but as I understand this was originally a short story, perhaps this is really all the author had to say about his characters. But I felt for Mikey and Wroxy. I had a small, very small, taste of being bullied as a child, and I remember other children who were the constant targets of harassment, likely much worse than was done publicly. The ending… is the logical conclusion of Mikey’s choices, but not the one I hoped for. Sometimes, though, the ending that we, as readers want, is not the ending that is right. It was still satisfying.


Audiobook, via Audible. Joel Froomkin was the perfect voice for Mikey, although he reminded me irresistibly of George McFly.



I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square New release: mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural that was published after 10/31/17. Although it was based on a short story written in the late 1980’s, this novella was just published in February 2018.

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