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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-01-26 20:57
The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue

What a wonderful book is The Motion of Puppets written by Keith Donohue!

While I was reading this book I tried to guess the books this author had previously read for writing such a touching book. Profound, plenty of meanings The Motion of Puppets can be "read" and you will see by yourself at many levels.

First of all: let's ask to ourselves who a puppet is, apart of course to be a beautiful toy. It's an inanimate toy in general maneuvered by someone else who will give him life.

A puppet is driven by someone else to do and to be exactly what he wants and what he desires that this puppet must be: the owner of the puppet can changes his/her clothes, he can changes hair, he can changes everything of this puppet. Read it in metaphorical sense and you will obtain also what it can happens to a weak person.

The puppet couldn't never say anything, because he/she wouldn't have force to do that, no mouth, or to be someone listened by the society.
The force of a puppet raises only in this: who there is behind him/her.

There is someone more strong than the same puppet able to give him/her dignity, strength, value, and all the sentiments she/he will perform that night during the show.

The puppeteer.

This book can also be read socially. A society of many puppets, driven  by the desire of gratification, driven by the desire of being all similar to our neighbors, without to search for our own differences. We should all have similar thoughts and we should all stay calm and quiet. The book according to my point of view can be also read like it. And trust me when I tell you that I am not wrong.

The part of the book in which for example a puppet, Noe, the most intolerant one to be and live like a puppet needs a certain "operation" to its head for removing some bees entered for case while they were re-building the puppet during the reconstruction read by me like a sort of "revolution".

She couldn't hear anymore all that noise and she needed to open her brain, but opening her brain what does it mean? Thinking with our own head and saying what we think.

The puppet, as told by the other puppets should have kept all her/his thoughts in her/his head because in opposite case what can happens to the world and to the society if these thoughts go out? Well, I found the passage pretty interesting.

Surely Donohue has read the Metamorphosis by Kafka and while I read that the puppets loved to performed The Trial by Franz Kafka I smiled thinking that in this case we were anyway in a Metamorphosis and change. A sort of Wizard of Oz by Baum but without to find characters as happens in Baum's book that asks for specific treats of their characters, but differently people transformed for the purpose of re-creating the reality and plasticity that can be found just by the old remembrance of people realistically alive once. 

Are, these puppets sad? As said before: no. Most of them don't love to remember who they were and they don't remember who they were in some cases. In other cases they remembered but they don't mind anymore. Just few puppets would want to go away, refusing to be, as in the society, many sheep or many puppets.

For Kay Harper new, happy married girl with her wonderful husband Theo it happened while she was staying with her husband to Quebec for performing with a circus. Kay is an acrobat and this occasion succulent.

She loves the magical atmosphere of a circus and she loves mainly to spend her free time with her beloved husband. Theo is a translator and he is spending his time at the moment with a translation from a book written by Muybridge, This man dead more than a century ago interested at the motion of human and not only, bodies.

Their life is happy like can be the life of a romantic new couple. Theo in love for Kay so badly although of course he still needs to discover some aspect of her character, and vice-versa. Their love very powerful and quick, they became groom and bride without to think too much.

Kay is powerfully attracted by a toy shop located at rue Saint-Paul. In particular she is attracted by an ancient puppet. Oh: she loves to look at that one with the desire of buying it, and she confess all to her husband. But...What to do?

This shop is systematically closed. Possible that no one can be seen or spotted somewhere close to it? Upsetting.

One night Kay enters in the shop and starts Theo's story and at the same time Kay's sweet and terrible own metamorphosis.

Can be considered a death the departure by a dimension in this case of a person, so with a human body to a puppet? Of course it is. It's a transformation, a metamorphosis. There is an end and a new beginning.
Death and re-born under another semblance that just the ones loved that person a lot can recognize in a new shape.

There is life also in a puppet after all. In a common puppet. A puppet can be considered alive. They're appreciated, loved, treated well. Just this give them a reason for being "alive" for us all.
In this case you will discover how happy are the puppets of this book when no one can see them.

Again we find a big devotion and love: the one of Theo for her Kay! that I loved so much for the wonderful expressions and phrases of love expressed in the book. Such tenderness from a man is terribly moving.

Theo is destroyed when he understand that Kay can't be found anywhere and she is missing. No one knows where she went after with some colleagues  left the restaurant after a good evening spent all together. No one knows if she knew anyone in the city. Theo excludes every possible other men, other stories, friends where she could have stayed in the city or the return to their city. No, impossible.

Kay becomes a phantom and Theo, destroyed, returns to NYC where he re-starts to work as a professor. But he is strained, absent, he talks with the guys of the publishing house. He can't complete the translation so soon as hoped because with the mind is somewhere else. At the publishing house they understand and give more time to him.
His colleague are distant. No one wants to talk to him. His tragedy mustn't effect other people. Students joke with it: "Sure that he didn't kill her?" "Who knows..."

Prof.Mitchell a devoted man and teacher of Greek and Latin, a man of few words, starts to be his friend and later Egon another member of the cast of the circus, reaches his friend telling him that he slept in the bedroom upside the toy shop where Kay disappeared and he bring him very good news. That shop wasn't normal, that shop was weird. A cursed place, animated. The return to Quebec, the discovery of some new puppets in Vermont, (the second departure for Kay...) the call with the mom of Kay. "I recognized my daughter Theo...On TV. Please, that one is Kay I am sure of it. Please help me..."

The three men all motivated will leave for this farm where are now located these puppets, but what will happen will be poetically sad but also powerful.

Meeting someone you thought you had lost forever, discovering the great simplicity of getting lost and transformed by the circumstances. It's simple to lose your self and at the same time to be transformed or killed metaphorically.

I won't reveal you the end of the book but I can tell you something: what Theo knows for sure is that a man won't never stop to love the woman he loved so baldy although someone changed him in many ways, because love can reach her under many aspects and shapes.
The end is impressively beauty. And it teaches us the strength of love, able to fight also when the impossible become possible, the surreal become only the language you can speak and recognize.

I was to my favorite city bar when I picked up this title months ago. It was my idea to read this book and write my review for the book launch but the illness and death of my dad changed the cards on the table of Life.

What I thought for sure when I requested this book was this: if it is written well it is a masterpiece.
I wasn't wrong!

This one is a masterpiece.

The cover is powerful. There is Kay, transformed in a puppet and waiting to be moved by someone else more big than her. There is behind her a big farm with a light. The light of the night, able to give life to lifeless puppets during the day and new hopes and some hours of freedom from their immobility. Most people can find attracting that light but that attractive light would mean also danger if a human wants to stop by in a wrong moment?

What can I add more?

That I hope someone will create a movie from this book as beautiful as this book is.

You can be sure: The Motion of Puppets has a great story and great message. I love this book so badly and I want to thank NetGalley and the publishing house for this dream.

Anna Maria Polidori

Source: alfemminile.blogspot.it
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review 2016-11-07 19:25
Shadow Moths by Cate Gardner
Shadow Moths: Frightful Horrors Quick Reads - Cate Gardner,Simon Bestwick


Shadow Moths collects two short stories into one very slim book.


We Make Our Own Monsters Here is a very short story about a puppeteer of sorts going on an audition. It's strange, but I liked it! Check Harding checks in to the Palmerston Hotel, a place he's planning on staying for the night before he goes on an audition in the morning. The hotel is strange, his room is strange and Check himself is VERY strange. He passes the night practicing his shadow puppets on the wall and the next morning, takes the bus to his audition. I can't say much more without spoiling this weird tale, but I can say that I loved it and I wish it were longer. I have a thing for puppeteers, (shadow or otherwise), and if you do too, I think you will enjoy this eerie little tale.


Blood Moth Kiss was another short, but strange story. It was rather surreal and well...shadowy. I'm not quite sure I understand what happened, but in my opinion, I think this was a vignette about war and our fears; be they real or imagined, like the blood moths exploding throughout this tale. In either case, war is sad for everyone involved, on all sides, and that's what I'm taking away from Blood Moth Kiss.


Both of these stories are beautifully written and evocative.


I've not heard of Cate Gardner until earlier today, but now that I've read a few tasty treats from her library, I think I'd like to read a few more. Highly recommended!


You can buy your copy here: Shadow Moths: Frightful Horrors Quick Reads


*I received a free e-copy of this short book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2016-09-01 02:44
Bookburners Season One: Episode 12...
Bookburners: Puppets (Season 1, Episode 12) - Mur Lafferty,Max Gladstone,Margaret Dunlap,Brian Francis Slattery

Demons are running around the city! They're even teaming up and forming alliances because they want the Codex Umbra & they'll stop at nothing to get it...


"The Hand" has also returned- In the first episode we were introduced to The Hand, a Homunculus or aka a demon, who possessed Sal's brother, Perry. Well in this episode he's causing trouble again.


Another fun episode with a lot going on! I loved the ending & can't wait to see how it plays out...


*I received Bookburners: The Complete Season One from NetGalley & Serial Box Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 



Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge

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url 2016-08-30 07:38
Thunder (Puppet) Fantasy
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review 2016-02-03 20:00
Word Puppets
Word Puppets - Mary Robinette Kowal

I've written down my thoughts as I was reading this short story collection. Now that I'm finished I'm looking back at a great collection of short stories. There wasn't really a story I hated, most were good to very good and some really stood out. I don't usually read collections of short stories, but this has been a very nice surprise. I was already planning on reading more books by Mary Robinette Kowal, but now I will definitely do so!

~The Bound Man~ 3.5 stars

Very interesting story to start with. It gives a glimpse at a very interesting universe I would like to read more from.

~Chrysalis~ 4.5 stars

I thought I liked The Bound Man, but I liked this one so much more! I liked the letters, the story and was surprised at how the short story captivated me! I've heard the stories are only getting better to the end...

~Rampion~ 3 stars

Well, too short to really have an opinion about, but I didn't see that coming (might be I just don't know enough about fairy tales though).

~At the Edge of Dying~ 3 stars

Interesting story, some very special concept are mentioned but at times it felt like a part was missing and that it should have been a longer story to really get it.

~Clockwork Chickadee~ 3.5 stars

Presented in the form of a fable with clockwork animals, it was an interesting read and completely different from the other stories I've read so far.

~Body Language~ 3.5 stars

It's almost a shame we don't get to see more of this sci fi world, with the AI and the puppets. I quite liked the story.

~Waiting for Rain~ 3.5 stars

I'd never thought to say it but a very interesting story about wine, and love.

~First Flight~ 4 stars

First reaction: Time Travel! I'm always in for a little bit of time travel. The restriction on it seems logical and it makes for a very unusual heroine. I want more of this!

~Evil Robot Monkey~ 4 stars

I'd heard a lot of good things about this story, and it certainly was a good story, but it also was very, very short. Perhaps a bit too short for my taste.

~The Conciousness Problem~ 3 stars

A short tale about a clone, and how are you even able to recognize the real person if they share all their experiences. Not the best story of the set, but still enjoyable and posing an interesting question.

~For Solo Cello, op. 12~ 3.5 stars

Even though it was very short, just like the others, it managed to present a very sinister choice for a couple where the man, a cellist, just lost his arm and the woman finally is pregnant.

~For Want of A Nail~ 4.5 stars

I really liked this short story. It poses an interesting question and fits in with all the books with sentient AIs that I've read lately. Also, it shows how some very stupid small things can get enormous consequences.

~The Shocking Affair of the Dutch Steamship Friesland~ 4 stars

Sherlock Holmes! Watson! A short murder mystery with a young heroine who has a terrible choice to make.

~The Salt of the Earth~ 4 stars

Although most of the stories in this collection are quite sad, this one certainly was really sad. It is also strange to imagine a world where salt is so scarce that they need to retrieve it from bodies.

~American Changeling~ 3 stars

Mwah, I wasn't that impressed with this story about a young fairy who must save the Fairy Queen. It was a nice story, but compared to the others in this collection I felt it was less special.

~The White Phoenix Feather~ 3.5 stars

This story is subtitled A Story of Cuisine and Ninjas. And yes, it is exactly as weird as one would expect. It is a farce on gastronomy, with a twist. The weirdest story in the collection so far.

~We Interrupt This Broadcast~ 3.5 stars

Interesting story about the massive powers that lay with people we don't expect.

~Red Rockets~ 4 stars

Very short story about fire works on Mars. Oh, and punch cards.

~The Lady Astronaut of Mars~ 4 stars

Also a very sad story, like many in this collection. But a beautiful one.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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