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review 2020-09-05 01:18
THE HOLLOW PLACES BY: T. KINGFISHER
The Hollow Places - T. Kingfisher

I think this book will stay with me for awhile, I'm afraid the willows have taken root. I know many people draw the obvious parallels with Lovecraft, but for me this one also had some vibes that brought up touchstones from The Mist (Stephen King) and a smidge of Pan's Labyrinth. Definitely that dark otherworldliness but also the religious and/or mythical undertones throughout.

 

Sometimes the vastness and imagination that goes into multiverses can be overwhelming but I thought this was beautifully balanced by the characters, with their lightness and their dark humor and being so down-to-earth (which is funny, all things considered!). Carrot and Simon, and even Uncle Earl help even things out and brought levity to a quagmire of disturbing otherness.

 

The disquieting undertones all throughout was classic horror that I greatly appreciate. It's like a feeling you get that something is behind you and that paralyzing moment where you're deciding whether to look or not, to quickly escape or rationalize it away. In willow world or not, that feeling stays with you throughout the story and it's fabulously unsettling. On the flip side the vivid picture painted with some of the more in your face creepy situations, like the bus or Sturdivant, was grotesquely clear and so easily visualized.

I think my favorite part of all though was the last part in the Museum. It brought a whole new heartwarming element to the tale that I wasn't expecting. For lack of a better term, there really is no place like home, and the idea that your home might feel that way about you too is quite touching. All in all this was a fast paced enthralling read and I definitely look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

 

I received an arc of this book from Gallery Books via Netgalley and this is my honest review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-07-29 09:20
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking - T. Kingfisher

TITLE:  A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking

 

AUTHOR:  T. Kingfisher

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DESCRIPTION:

"Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance.

But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona’s worries…
"

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DESCRIPTION:

 

This is supposed to be a children's fantasy novel that is apparently too dark for kids?!  Corpses and assassins are no doubt old hat to kids these days.  Personally I found Bob, the carnivorous semi-intelligent sour bread starter dough, hilarious and Nag, the horse skeleton, rather cute.  And that one Ginger Bread Cookie has more personality than most authors give to their main characters.  The protagonist is a 14 year old girl who is a wizard with bread (just bread!!), who manages to still be a (sensible) teenager (mostly) with all the shit that is going on in her life, without all the whining usually associated to these types of books.  The "step-parents" actually manage to be likeable, decent people.  This is a another great adventure/detective/save the city story with Ursula Vernon's original brand of humour and imagination.

 

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review 2020-06-13 00:40
Types in title and it didn't show up, but type in author and it shows.
The Twisted Ones - T. Kingfisher

Why should you read this?

Kingfisher writes good dog.

No, not enough?

Kingfisher writes good leash?

Well, you would understand if you had a dog.

Kingfisher's novel is down right spooky. Mouse is suppose to be cleaning out her grandmother's old house but then something is tapping, tapping, tapping at the window.

The book works because of the excellent use of setting and character. Not only is Mouse believable but the supporting characters are wonderfully drawn.

Do not read before bedtime.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-04-23 08:57
The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher
The Twisted Ones - T. Kingfisher

TITLE: The Twisted Ones

AUTHOR: T. Kingfisher

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DESCRIPTION:

"When a young woman clears out her deceased grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, she finds long-hidden secrets about a strange colony of beings in the woods. When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself. Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale. From Hugo Award–winning author Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher."

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REVIEW:

 

Not the author's usual witty style of writing, but then again, it is supposed to be a horror novel. Personally, I didn't find it that terrifying, just a bit creepy. The dog was a nice touch.

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review 2020-04-20 07:17
Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
Swordheart - T. Kingfisher

TITLE:  Swordheart

 

AUTHOR:  T. Kingfisher

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DESCRIPTION:

"Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle's estate... and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder against everything from bandits and roving inquisitors to her own in-laws... and the sword itself may prove to be the greatest threat of all."

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REVIEW:

 

An entertaining, light-hearted story in a fascinating landscape.  The characters are delightful.  I love that the "heroine" is an ordinary, middle-aged, sensible (mostly) woman.

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