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text 2017-05-24 22:56
180/344 pages read of You Will Grow into Them Malcolm Devlin
You Will Grow into Them - Malcolm Devlin

 

The world is a far stranger place than we give it credit for. There, in the things we think familiar, safe, are certain aspects. Our fears and desires given form. Moments that defy explanation. Shadows in our home.

 

In Malcolm Devlin’s debut collection, change is the only constant. Across ten stories he tackles the unease of transformation, growth and change in a world where horror seeps from the everyday. Childhood anxieties manifest as debased and degraded doppelgängers, fungal blooms are harvested from the backs of dancers and London lycanthropes become the new social pariahs. The demons we carry inside us are very real indeed, but You Will Grow Into Them.

 

Taking weird fiction and horror and bending them into strange and wondrous new shapes, You Will Grow Into Them follows, in the grand tradition of Aickman, Ligotti and Vandermeer, reminding us that the ordinary world is a much stranger place than it seems.

 

 

As is usual with short story collections I will post an update periodically with my thoughts and ratings as I am reading and then review the book in its entirety when I am finished.

 

1 - Passion Play - 3 stars.

 

This was an Ok story. Not exactly sure what happened to Cathy, not sure if I'm supposed to. I loved the idea behind the story though. Creepy concept.

 

2 - Two Brothers - 3 stars.

 

Well written stories so far. They give just enough to unsettle you while allowing your imagination to fill in the gaps.

 

3 - Breadcrumbs - 4 stars.

 

Some weird mix between Rapunzel, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Feels very fairytalesque and very imaginative. Has she grown up, shed her childhood and become a woman? or, is she just dreaming? Think I may read this one again.

 

4 - Her First Harvest - 4 stars.

 

Kinda gone off mushrooms now. Interesting but strange concept and visually enchanting.

 

5 - We All Need Somewhere to Hide - 5 stars.

 

Beauty is only skin deep, a person's character is where true beauty lies, but how deep does our love for someone truly go... This is my favourite so far.

 

6 - Dogsbody - 3 stars.

 

Not sure what to think about this one. I would have liked to know the why behind what had occurred. I enjoyed it though. You shouldn't always assume prejudice is at play, you're not always the victim you perceive yourself to be.

 

 7 - 10 Still to come

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-05-10 13:20
DOMINION BY: J. KOWALLIS
Dominion (The Enertia Trials Book 4) - J. Kowallis
"The future always changes. Like water ripples interrupted by a falling stick, the afterimage can be disrupted, and in the end, only the strongest claim dominion."
 
What just happened to me? I am convinced that Kowallis's goal was to have her readers feeling as completely ravaged as her characters felt. Well mam,
 
mission accomplished boom
 
You broke me.
 
ruined
 
Over and over again. You had me doubting EVERYTHING. I was stuck in this place of unyielding paranoia. I had to question pretty much everyone, even people I would have sworn were unwavering in their cause. Even my FAVORITE characters were not safe. Even if it was just for a brief moment, I doubted their intentions, I wondered if they could possibly be going darkside.
 
paranoid gif 2
 
And I can just picture you sitting there after finishing writing Dominion cackling with your evil author laugh like...
 
 
tears of my readersevil smirk
 
Dominion was an intense, high anxiety adrenaline rush that does not relent until the very end. And I would not give back a moment of it. Thankfully, Kowallis somehow manages to sneak in a few really sweet moments that end up feeling even more precious because they are happening amidst the sheer chaos going on around them. I also think this book especially highlights just how wonderfully complex the characters are in this series. Each one shows such a wide range in Dominion. No one is the same as they were when they started out in this journey, which is what you want to see by the last book. Even when you were seeing the worst of them they still had your heart, even if, as Roy so eloquently put it, they have that "damn stubbornness and piece-of-shit attitudes that make people want to hit you in the face with a hammer.". Just another reason I adore Roy. That man is a ROCK. I never ceased to be amazed by how stead-fast he was through everything, and he stayed true to that through all the insanity he had to endure in this one.
 
well done sir
 
It is really hard to fully gush about this book because there are just so many things that would spoil the full experience of it and I refuse to do that. If you've come this far with the series I promise that Dominion does not disappoint. You'll feel like a war torn mess after reading it, but you will also feel a sense of peace and hopefulness at the end. Which considering everything that went down in this series, is more than you can ask for.
 
do it again
 
Now, if you're one of the unfortunate souls that has not yet started this series...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
 
poor unfortunate souls
 
It is complete now, and if dystopian is something you like than this series is a DO NOT MISS! I truly can't recommend it enough.
 
I am sad to say goodbye to this series, but I am completely fulfilled and content with the way it ended. And I CAN'T WAIT to see what J. Kowallis comes up with next!
 
im ready gif
 
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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text 2017-05-10 00:51
I'm not sure what's better...
Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction - Grady Hendrix

The book descriptions or the section titles.

 

Currently starting "Satan Gets Woke" which is possibly the best thing I've read in ages.

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review 2017-04-17 03:14
WHO SHE WAS BY: STORMY SMITH
Who She Was - Stormy Smith

 

   There were so many different facets of Who She Was that I appreciated. I'm feeling listy so I'm going to just go ahead and change things up for this review a bit. Oh, Who She Was, how I enjoyed thee, let me LIST the ways...

 

  1. 1) The relationships.

good friends

 

Of course I will start with the most obvious example of this. Charlie and Trevor. Stormy Smith somehow blended two of my favorite contemporary romance themes, hate to love and best friends to romantic love, into some kind of hybrid with Charlie and Trevor in Who She Was. I loved that there was so much history between the two, and they already a kind of intimacy, but at the same time, after so much time had passed since they were last close, paired with growing up and dealing with all the curve balls life has thrown their way over the years, they were also like strangers coming together for the first time. I'm sure that you yourself have experienced that strange phenomenon of running into someone you used to be very close with when you were younger after a long time has passed. They're the same in a sense, but also this completely different person with new quirks, beliefs, issues, etc. that make them someone new too. I really enjoyed watching them get to know each other again, along with seeing clips from their past and seeing how much they have grown and changed and were still changing along the way.

 

 

Okay, so with the obvious out of the way, I also have to mention my appreciation for the side characters as well. I really dislike when characters simply exist to make the main characters shine even more. That was not something that happened in this story. Darcy and Sam were so great. I liked that they were important to this story in their own right, and they each also had their own little story going on in the background. They were growing and shining right along with the main characters. And bringing important and fresh perspectives along the way.

 

 

Lastly for this column, I would like to point out how very well done the hard relationships were done as well. The unhealthy ones that people struggle with throughout life. I feel like sometimes the severity of these relationships are muted in books like this where you expect the budding romance to be the main focus, and many times these other relationships are merely scratched at the surface to further the romantic plot. I appreciated the time taken to analyze these relationships in this story. The consequences, the burden, the way they can shape the person you are and are becoming. They are important too, and their voice was loud and clear.

 

 

2) The music.

 

beatsheart beat

 

 

Music, to me, has always been an important thing in my life. And not because I play it. I learned hot cross buns on the recorder and heart and soul on the piano, but I never quite made it into the musician category. Music is important to me for the sheer fact that it moves me. It has been forever linked with the way I feel. I have a huge appreciation for it, and my tastes are eclectic. So many times you can tell my mood simply by what I am playing in the moment. I have music that speaks to my rage on a bad day, music to soothe when I am feeling chill, music to amp me up and get me in that party kind of mood, etc. And music is linked to so many memories throughout my life. I vividly remember learning to roller-skate with my Walkman (yes, I am that old) to Billy Idol's Mony, Mony. I remember doing the Macarena, Hustle, and Electric slide at my middle school dances, all be it terribly because I have no rhythm but it has never stopped a gal from trying and having fun. Brown-eyed Girl is reminds me of summer nights grades 1-4 and the dad garage band that would play this song every year literally out of a garage during our block party. First concert to first kiss, so many amazing things have been imprinted in my brain to the sound of an unforgettable melody. So, yes, the music being such a core part of this story, and so very important to the characters, it was moving to me. I loved the way they sometimes communicated best with each other through their music. And ultimately, I really respected the way that they choose to define what the music meant to them and how they'd like it to fit in their lives.

 

 

3) Location, location, location.

 

des moines

I want to go

 

The author's personal connection to the setting of the story was apparent in this story. The passionate way she describes the place with such detail really enchants you. I love that you can have that very real connection with this story too. Like this is a place you can visit and see what the characters have seen, and maybe even feel what they were feeling about this place too. I can honestly say that Stormy Smith has successfully added another destination on my personal list of places I would like to visit one day, Des Moines, Iowa. So thank you for that, Stormy.

 

 

 

4) Giving a voice to a taboo subject.

 

talk

 

I don't want to be all spoilery here, so unfortunately I can't really talk much about this particular subject. BUT it is a reality. And I really respect the author for having this element in her story. One thing I truly believe in this life, is there are no taboo issues. That's not to say there aren't issues that require some extra thought and care, but I don't truly believe any subject should be kept quiet or not discussed. Discussion is a good thing. Even the difficult topics, my god ESPECIALLY those. THINK about these things, LEARN about these things, TALK about these things PLEASE. Maybe if we can do that more, some of these things would happen just a little less.  So, thank you, Stormy. Thank you for including this in your story. Thank you for taking such care and consideration with a difficult subject that many people shy away from.

 

 

wrap

 

 

So yeah, those are a few of the things I really liked about Who She Was. I did struggle a bit towards the end of the story when I felt like some of the things the characters were doing seemed uncharacteristically profound for them. I get that they were growing as people and learning, but it felt a little like them being suddenly hit with this deep wisdom beyond their years, rather than more steadily paced realizations, or maybe wo many huge breakthroughs didn't kind of seem to happen so close together that could have made it seem a little less out of character. It almost felt too neatly wrapped for me. I would have loved to see these characters maybe keep a few things unresolved, or rather just not resolved yet. I didn't think there was a need to have it all so prettily packaged at the end. But the flash forward at the very end was pretty gosh darn sweet and I was happy for that addition to the story. All in all this was a very enjoyable read, and I can't wait to see what this author comes up with next!

 

 

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-04-15 21:04
I'm reading Dark Asylum by E. S. Thomson
Dark Asylum (Jem Flockhart) - E. S. Thomson

 

 

 

I've been looking forwards to sitting down with this book all day.

 

The family have been warned not to interrupt me if they value their lives as I won't be held responsible for my actions if they intrude on my reading time.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

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