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review 2020-05-20 21:23
Review ~ Entertaining!
The Selection Shenanigans - Cate Lawley

Book source ~ Purchased

 

My favorite vegan vampire is at it again. She and Alex need to solve a security breach at HQ, but before they can do that, not just one murder happens, but two! This is a fairly quick funny read that is just what I needed during these stressful COVID-19 times. Mallory is as scatterbrained as usual and it’s always fun to try to figure out her thought process. Alex is yummy as always and it’s awesome to see everyone else, too. Boone especially gets some extra time in this story and I’m glad. Because who could ever hate such a special doggo? We get a new character in the form of Madeline. I like her. A lot. And I’m so glad I discovered she has a series of her own. Now I must read them! There is one character I’m concerned about at the end of this tale and it’s driving me a bit loony. I hope everything ends up ok and I look forward to Mallory’s next adventure.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-selection-shenanigans.html
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review 2020-05-06 14:32
I Am Legend
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

by Richard Matheson

 

Vampires have taken over the world and only one human, Robert Neville, is left, trying to survive night after night while the local vampires taunt him and try to lure him out of his fortress. This is a post-apocalyptic story that reminds me of zombie stories, where a lone survivor scrounges the shops and homes of a deserted world to find food and materials to stay alive. One man against the monsters.

 

The difference is the vampires can only attack at night and Robert takes advantage of their daytime sleep to kill as many as he can. The trouble is, this distracts him from getting other things done.

 

Sometimes I've thought he's being stupid with some of his decisions and his dependency on a wind-up watch to know when to get back home to his safe fortress. If it were me, I'd be moving daily and making it harder for the vampires to find me. There's plenty of room in his station wagon to carry a generator and a lot of materials.

 

Some of it didn't ring realistic, especially the first close encounter with fighting the vampires. Too much luck against too many numbers. That one should have been his fatal mistake. I wouldn't have even gone home once I'd worked out it was late, but holed up somewhere else. It doesn't take that long to board up a few doors and windows.

 

One thing I did find very interesting is when he tried to research the various folkloric methods for repelling vampires, to find a scientific basis for how it works (if it does).

 

Despite the character's mistakes, I found it a good read. Survival against the odds well-written generally makes for a good story.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-04-30 09:16
Vampires, Burial, and Death by Paul Barber
Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality - Paul Barber

TITLE:  Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality

 

AUTHOR:  Paul Barber

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  1988

 

FORMAT:  Hardcover

 

ISBN-13:  9780300041262

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DESCRIPTION:

 

"In this engrossing book, Paul Barber surveys centuries of folklore about vampires and offers the first scientific explanation for the origins of the vampire legends.  From the tale of a sixteenth-century shoemaker from Breslau whose ghost terrorized everyone in the city, to the testimony of a doctor who presided over the exhumation and dissection of a graveyard full of Serbian vampires, his book is fascinating reading."

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REVIEW:

 

An interesting and fascinating examination of the possible causes of various vampire legends and mythologies, focusing on what happens to a corpse during decomposition.  The occasional droll observations were entertaining.  The author also differentiates between vampire folklore/legends and literature, which are rather different.  A bit repetitive.

 

 

 

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review 2020-04-29 15:49
Exsanguinate
Exsanguinate - Killion Slade

by Killion Slade

 

This one will appeal to gamers, and especially to people interested in creating virtual reality games.

 

The story starts out with a spine chilling, horrific situation. We meet Cheyenne, one of three sisters with those distinctively American names like Dakota and Savannah (okay, the third sister is called Sheridan, like the hotel), named after places and generally only found in novels *rolls eyes*.

 

Cheyenne works in the gaming industry in what looks like a not too far off future and making virtual worlds is normal life to her. One particular game has given the users a lot of autonomy and aspects of the virtual world surprise her, as do the supernatural creatures who increasingly inhabit this developing cyberworld. Cheyenne is surprised by the popularity of zombies, vampires, werewolves and other mythological beings from the Horror end of imaginative fiction.

 

They go to a real life Scream House event with everyone dressed up in costume in an amusement park. Cheyenne worries about security at the event, foreshadowing that something has to go wrong. There are some funny episodes involving Sheridan's costume and I now know what a Ghillie suit is, something meant for hunters to hide out in bushes that could be very fun for such events!

 

Things take a horrific turn and there is a fair bit of graphic violence so people sensitive to gore and later on rape issues will want to consider this a trigger warning.

 

Basically this is a Paranormal story which is not a go to genre for me, yet it held my attention. Sometimes the writing seemed amateurish, but the grammar was reasonably good bar a couple of typos and I kept wanting to see where the plot would go.

 

It ends with a few things unresolved, so the story continues in the next book, but overall most things came to a tidy conclusion and I did enjoy the read enough that I'm considering getting the second book. Not a deep, intellectual read, but plenty of action and some interesting ideas about supernaturals.

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review 2020-04-27 12:15
Review: The Beautiful
The Beautiful - Renee Ahdieh

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I really, really, really wanted to love this. I was so excited to see vampires starting to make a comeback in YA fiction. I was thrilled when my review request was approved, then it was hinted at it would be in one of my YA subscription boxes – so I got a pretty signed hardback with sprayed edges. I did wait until the hype had died down a bit before delving in.

 

There were parts of it I really enjoyed, parts of it that were eye-rollingly stupid and parts that were just boring. The end was wholly unsatisfying (though thankfully I have pre ordered the sequel and had my review requested granted). Though there was enough of a what the??? To want to know more.

 

The 1800s New Orleans setting is vividly described. The main character, Celine is running from a terrible incident in her past in Paris and sets sail for the US with a convent, whose aim seems to be helping young women find suitable husbands. There were times I loved Celine’s character – she was strong willed, sassy and smart. Despite her worries about her past catching up with her she seemed very confident and together. She also came across as highly opinionated.

 

One thing I did like was the female friendships – Celine bonds with one of the other convent girls, Pippa, who becomes a real friend. As a former dressmaker – Celine’s stitching work for the convent catches the eyes of the beautiful and mysterious Odette who hires her to make a gown for a masquerade. Odette appears flippant and over the top, but she embraces Celine and seems keen for Celine to join her rather than head back to the convent.

 

Odette is part of a group of dangerously beautiful and alluring people, none of which seem quite normal. There’s something distinctly different about them, curious and bordering on frightening. Naturally Celine is intrigued by them. I found the male love interest, Sebastian, to be rather bland and uninteresting. A very typical stereotype – rich, well spoken, devious, and charming with a sense of darkness and foreboding. Nothing I haven’t seen in vampire novels before. He and Celine rub each other the wrong way yet unsurprisingly are annoyingly attracted to each other.

 

Doesn’t help when the bodies start turning up with strange symbols, and the police officer heading the investigation clearly has some sort of history with Sebastian and Odette and their group. Doesn’t help either that Celine seems to keep getting in his way. And she’s got things to say as well. Some of the mystery aspect was quite interesting and the plot did get more and more interesting as the novel progressed.

 

One thing that drove me up the wall though was the chapters from the killer’s point of view. To me they sounded just ridiculous. I think they were trying to sound like a sophisticated creature who has been around for centuries plotting his revenge against some perceived wrongness. It sounded woe is me over the top and stupid. Though to be fair, I didn’t actually guess who the culprit was.

 

This was a mixed bag of a novel, with good things and bad things. However, enough of a grip in the story telling that I need more from this world.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for approving my request to view the title.

 

 

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