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review 2017-03-10 10:09
Ill Will
Ill Will - Dan Chaon

By: Dan Chaon

ISBN: 9780345476043

Publisher:  Random House  

Publication Date: 3/7/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

Psychologically complex Dan Chaon’s ILL WILL is a dark, haunting, and twisty suspense thriller full of madness, tragedy, murder, grief, and despair. Cancer, drugs, addictions, and satanic evil.

"We meet our destiny on the road we take to avoid it." —Jean De La Fontaine.

Dustin Tillman is a suburban Cleveland psychiatrist. Father of two teenage boys, Aaron and Dennis. His wife, Jill dying of cancer, and one of his patients is now recruiting him to help investigate the drownings of young men that seem to match a pattern. He is struggling with his own past. He is the survivor.

In 1983, when he was thirteen years old, his mother, father, aunt, and uncle were murdered. Dustin accused his adopted older brother, Rusty (attracted to Satanism) of the crime. Rusty was incarcerated.

What really happened with the violent murder during a summer holiday in 1983? Two unsolved crimes. Past and Present.

 



"In the end it is the mystery that lasts and not the explanation."—Sacheverell Sitwell, For Want of the Golden City.

Now he has been exonerated and released. Thirty some years after Dustin’s testimony put him away for murdering their parents, aunt, and uncle. Now DNA evidence clears him of the crime.

From dark family secrets and deceit, this is one creepy grisly disturbing book. Unnerving, moody and atmospheric. Emotionally wrenching and complex.

Plot-driven, the author uses impressive skill and control, as he crosses multiple narratives with different perspectives— for a mind-bending saga which will leave your head spinning. An exploration of memories, delusion, and self-deception.

". . . Every memory he thinks of now is discolored and ugly. The past suddenly has vanished from underneath him, distorted, memories turned into something he doesn't recognize, something malevolent."

The author keeps the evil, despair, terror and suspense high. Exploring humanity’s darker side. If you are looking for a relaxing read, move on. However, you if like crossing over to the darker side, and enjoy well-written complex literary/pulp fiction thrillers, you may enjoy the scary intense ride.

A special thank you to Random House, LibraryThing Early Reviewers, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/08/Ill-Will
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-03-12 18:26
Creeped Out
No Dogs in Philly: A Lovecraftian Cyberpunk Noir (Special Sin Book 1) - Andy Futuro

 

I picked up a copy for free on Amazon.  This book has more than 50 reviews, many quite positive. It's the author's only Amazon entry and the first of a series.

 

It lives up to its claim of being Lovecraftian cyberpunk noir. The detective noir is well realized, the cyberpunk, appropriate. As for the Lovecraftian bits … well, they creeped me out.

 

Our heroine, Saru, like many noir detectives, makes steady use of whatever alcohol she carries or comes across. She thinks this makes it more difficult to hack her implants. But it doesn't work. She's prone to odd blackouts and dysphoria. But that's understandable. What's attacking her is not of this world, and it wants to incorporate her, along with the multitude it already has.

 

This dismal dystopian story is creepier than a Bosch Hell and as conventional as psychotic delusions:

 

"Looking at his kindly old Santa Claus face it was almost impossible to imagine that he had just shot wires into her neck and sucked out her blood, that he was talking to her above a pit full of thousands of bodies in front of the cathedral of an alien death cult … "

 

If you like this sort of thing, you'll probably enjoy this book. SPOILER ALERT: It doesn't end like a detective story but in a literal Deus Ex Machina.

(spoiler show)

 

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text 2016-01-01 19:24
My Resolution

 

It's New Year's Day and I've made a resolution. This year I'll read and review more short science fiction novels. Years ago these thin paperbacks could be found stuffed like bumper crop fruit on the racks of rotating drugstore displays. Now you don't see them much in stores. They've been replaced by longer titles since people want better value when buying much more expensive paperbacks.

 

Although it's now more difficult to find them in print, many popular books have been short. Consider these:

 

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

 

All contain fewer than 50,000 words. I'll be reviewing books under 65,000 words.

 

Since these books won't come from retailer's shelves, I'll be reading them as eBooks. Many shorter eBook titles are written by self-published authors. I don't mind that, but I do have standards, so here's what I won't be reading:

  • Anything that begins with a lengthy information dump. Milieu building should be natural.
  • Anything that makes wildly unscientific assumptions. The galaxy is huge. Spaceships that easily travel between galaxies fail to convince me.
  • Anything stuffed with technical or military jargon.
  • Anything that uses convoluted grammar or unpronounceable words.

 

I'm open to suggestions and free copies. I'm daveloeff at gmail dot com.

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review 2015-12-31 01:12
Familiar Figures
Legenderry A Steampunk Adventure #1 - Bill Willingham

I will always compare everything Bill Willingham does to Fables, fair or unfair. And it seems to pale in comparison. I normally love when modern writers borrow characters from the classics, and Willingham has done this with characters from the pulp action, fantasy and adventure of the 19th and Early 20th century and integrated them into the Steampunk framework of his imagination. I was more inspired by the artwork than the actual story. As far as the narrative itself, it was vaguely interesting. I think the cameos were the most fascinating aspect. If my library gets the next volume, I would read it.

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review 2015-05-25 17:44
GREAT INTRODUCTION TO THESE CHARACTERS
Justice, Inc. Volume 1 - Giovanni Timpano,Michael Uslan,Alex Ross

This one is a pulp fiction lovers fantasy, starring Doc Savage, The Shadow, and The Avenger. All classic heroes from that bygone era when pulp ruled the magazine stands across America.

For those unfamiliar with each of these guys, let us stop for a moment and take a closer look.

Doc Savage is Clark Savage, Jr., whose father used science to train him to have superhuman abilities, such as greater strength, longer endurance and a photographic memory. This tutoring has also resulted in him being gifted at numerous skills; Doc is an accomplished musician, a martial arts master, a speech mimicker, a master of disguise, a physician, a scientist, and an inventor. But at heart, this prodigy’s view of life can be summed up by his oath: “Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.

description

On the other hand, The Shadow is the mysterious vigilante persona of one Kent Allard, a famous World War I aviator. After the war, Allard decides to fake his own death, then return to New York City to fight underworld criminals by their own means: intimidation and brutality. Thereafter, he uses numerous fake identities, but his most useful is that of Lamont Cranston, a “wealthy man about town” who tends to travel the world. While Cranston is away, The Shadow impersonates him, living Lamont Cranston’s life and using his resources to wage an endless war against those who would do innocent people harm.

description

The last member of our trio is Richard Henry Benson. This globe-trotting adventurer has spent his life traveling the world, accumulating millions before returning home to America to settle down and have a family. As this comic collection begins, Richard Benson has not yet assumed the mantel of the Avenger.

description

Naturally, it takes a huge crisis to get these guys together. Such an event happens in the present day, where an older Doc Savage cannot keep his greatest scientific experiment from going horribly wrong. Instead of harnessing time itself for the benefit of mankind, a disruption in time occurs, leading to circumstances that place the key to saving time in the hands of Doc Savage’s younger self in 1939.

From this beginning, Michael Uslan presents a fast-paced story that quickly throws the three main characters together. There are brief glimpses of their pasts, quick explorations of their personalities, but this story mainly stays the course as an epic struggle to discover who is trying to destroy time itself and stop them.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about this collection was the artwork. Giovanni Timpanos’ style was crisp, clean, and smooth. He didn’t try to be over-the-top, in-your-face, or any other euphemisms such as that. Nope, he gave this team-up comic an old school feel that fit not only the characters but the story as well, because Uslan’s plot is a classic pulp fiction tale that focused on archetype villains, world-spanning conspiracies, and heroes who are not as flashy as Superman, Batman, Hulk, Wolverine, or any other modern superheroes.

As for the story itself, it is a pulp fiction romp.

Does that mean Justice, Inc. is going to knock your socks off?

Probably not. It is definitely a solid read though. And it does have more than enough fights, drama, historical guest stars, and laughs to keep a reader entertained. But what Justice, Inc. does a brilliant job of, however, is introducing these iconic pulp characters to a new generation, and doing so in such a manner that future creative teams can build upon this solid foundation to craft Doc Savage, The Shadow, and The Avenger stories for years to come. And for that reason, this is a collection I’d recommend to anyone.

I received this book from Netgalley and Dynamite Entertainment in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank both of them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

Source: bookwraiths.com/2015/05/25/justice-inc
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