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review 2017-04-10 18:55
Elizabeth by Ken Greenhall
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton

 

NEVER have I been so unsettled reading a book narrated by a 14 year old girl. But perhaps that is because Elizabeth is not your ordinary teenager. She's descended from a long line of witches and is now discovering the power within her. Or is she? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

The prose in this book is simply outstanding. It's chilling at times because the narrator seems to have no feelings whatsoever. She talks about sex, acts of violence, and eating breakfast all in the same tone. Sometimes I would need to read a sentence or paragraph over again to be sure that I read it correctly.

 

Then, there's the sex. It's not graphic at all, there are no mentions of sex organs or the mechanics of the act itself...it's just there. Perhaps that is why it never bothered me, as sex between a 14 year old girl and adults should. Then again, perhaps it is because Elizabeth herself never expresses any feeling about it, she only mentions it as a...tool, (please forgive the half-hearted pun), to get what she wants.

 

The entire time I was reading, I was wondering if Elizabeth, indeed, possessed supernatural powers. Was everything going on simply a matter of coincidence and her overactive imagination? Or were these things actually happening because of her actions? (In this regard, Elizabeth reminds me of one of my favorite books, THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons.) It was the masterful writing of Mr. Greenhall that had me turning this fact over and over again in my mind. I know what conclusion I came to, I'm interested in yours!

 

This novel reminds me of why I became a horror fan in the first place, it wasn't the gore or the blood, (though those DO have their place and I love them too), it's human nature and what people can be capable of, underneath their ordinary facades. These days we have tons of books and TV shows about sociopaths/psychopaths/personality disorders-all of which are trying to explain things to us. Mr. Greenhall wrote this back in the day, (the 1970's), before FBI profiling and Criminal Minds. Even without all of those studies and the psychiatric manuals, he had this criminal profile down PAT.

 

Is Elizabeth continuing on her family's tradition of witchcraft, or is she another type of animal altogether? I HIGHLY recommend you read this book, and then come talk to me. We'll discuss it together!

 

*Thank you to the most awesome Valancourt Books for the free review copy in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

 

**Furthermore, thanks to Valancourt for bringing back these horror gems that may otherwise have been entirely forgotten. Bravo, guys! Bravo!**

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review 2017-01-27 10:33
Powerful historical fantasy
Drood - Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons book DROOD is a masterpiece of sorcerous historical fiction. The sorcery doesn't lie in some otherworldly supernatural changes to history, but instead lies in the astonishing historical verisimilitude that Simmons brings to his portrayal of Victorian society, Charles Dickens and his milieu. Simmons helps us to smell, taste, and live in the often-crumbling and often-opium infused reality of that society, and to understand the complexities of the relationships around Dickens.

 

What's fascinating to me is that Simmons hardly ever has to bring in anything supernatural in order to make a book spooky, otherworldly and astonishing. Instead, he simply tells one version of Dicken's life, and the clarity he brings to that observance of a life is powerful. 

 

I found the book enthralling: one of Simmons best works. 

Source: nednote.com
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review 2017-01-19 00:00
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert This book does a great job showing how mankind has effected the Earth and it’s environmental ecosystems, not just in the modern era but for thousands of years. Everything the author discusses is well documented or shown to be very well researched hypotheses.

There have been five mass extinction events: the Cretaceous-Paleogene, the Triassic-Jurassic, the Permian-Triassic, the Late Devonian, and the Ordovician-Silurian. The Sixth Extinction is now in progress in the current Anthropocene (Age of Man) era.

Kolbert begins the book showing how early scientists did not believe in extinction until Cuvier, Lyell and even Darwin pushed forward various hypotheses based on reading of the fossil record.

She then moves into where man starts having a mass effect. We are not just warming the planet but excessive CO2 is acidifying the world’s ocean. We are destroying habit. And in our world travels, we are transporting species out of their native habitat, in effect creating a new Pangea with less diversity. Those of us living in Florida in the United States know all too well the problem invasive species pose.

Many may think that mankind just started having this adverse effect beginning with the Industrial Revolution. However, this book gives compelling evidence that we have been decimating species for thousands of years. As she put it in the book, “Though it might be nice to imagine there once was a time when man lived in harmony with nature, it’s not clear that he ever really did.” She writes about the growing body of evidence that man was instrumental in the extinction of the meg-fauna between 40-60 thousand years ago.

In the later chapters, she writes about more recent events such as the great bat die-off (due to an invasive fungus), the Sumatran Rhino and the destruction of species we may not even know about as we destroy rain forest habitat.

One reviewer (http://viiamanda.blogspot.com/2014/03/serial-killer-who-me.html) called this book a good horror novel. That is a valid summation. This information in this book is very depressing and at times downright frightening. However, Kolbert infuses a little humor and just the right time. She also hints that there is still hope and time for reversing some things.

A quote from the book sums it all up very well: “A sign in the Hall of Biodiversity offers a quote from the Stanford ecologist Paul Ehrlich: IN PUSHING OTHER SPECIES TO EXTINCTION, HUMANITY IS BUSY SAWING OFF THE LIMB ON WHICH IT PERCHES.”
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review 2016-11-03 19:32
Unnatural Deeds
Unnatural Deeds - Cyn Balog

Victoria Zell doesn't fit in. She was the new kid last year at St. Ann's - a close-knit Catholic school - and still hasn't made any friends. But now she's not the new kid anymore. Mysterious and charismatic Z is. He makes her feel special. He makes everyone in the whole school feel special. Victoria becomes obsessed with Z, trying to figure out who he really is. And that's when something terrible happens.

This book was so good. I devoured it so I didn't have a chance to put the pieces together that I may have noticed otherwise. I love how this is Victoria's story about what happened, written to her boyfriend, Andrew. The whole story flowed well, the characters felt real, I enjoyed the twists and turns. I also really enjoyed the police interviews with students, teachers and parents. Definitely worthy of a re-read.

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review 2016-11-02 17:51
To Trust a Wolf (Unnatural Alliances #1) by Danielle Hardgrave
To Trust a Wolf (Unnatural Alliances Book 1) - Danielle Hardgrave,Olivia Conway
To Trust a Wolf is the first novella in the Unnatural Alliances series, and it gets the series started with a bang. We meet Helen Jurist, an archivist/party planner at the museum, whose schedule has been thrown off kilter with the finding of a Viking hoard. Many people are interested in it, but up until now, no one has been allowed to see it. 
 
This is an intricate story that not only gives you a story to sink your teeth into, but also paves the way for further novellas/books in the series. Very well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow, this was a thoroughly enjoyable story. I definitely enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more in this series.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2016/11/review-by-merissa-to-trust-wolf.html
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