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review 2016-08-05 19:22
Torn on the rating
The Weight of Blood - Laura McHugh

This was my second try at reading this one. It just didn't grab me the first time but the audio book that I was able to get from the library helped me get into it and stay involved.


It was a lot slower than I had thought it would be. And the mystery bits weren't as mysterious or intense as I had hoped. But even with that said, I felt for most of the characters - particularly the women. I think the author did a great job of writing Lila and Lucy and I liked that she set their POVs apart by making them first person, rather than the third person everyone else was done in.


I do wish the book had been a bit more intense but I liked the darkness of it. I'd give another book by this author a shot and would recommend it to my friends who like darker themed books.


*I received the ebook from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review. I have a more detailed review on C-Spot Reviews.

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text 2016-08-04 20:32
Reading progress update: I've read 83%.
The Weight of Blood - Laura McHugh

Sort of twisty but mostly some messed up stuff. Enjoying the story quite a bit. I don't want to stop listening now.

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review 2015-09-06 03:46
The Weight of Blood
The Weight of Blood - Laura McHugh

I was expecting a more traditional mystery than I actually got here, and I was also expecting a paranormal element for some reason.


This is a good story, though, for all that is is much more of a thriller than a traditional mystery. Things are definitely not always what they seem, and although I absolutely saw very early on (due to the multiple viewpoints, primarily) at least part of what must have happened, I was surprised by the full extent of what was going on. It was pretty dark and and awful, though the kind of awful that is comparatively mundane, I suppose, given what I was going in expecting.


Lucy is a decent main character, and the alternating viewpoint with her (long-missing) mother makes for a good central narrative. Both women are just naive enough that you genuinely believe they could end up in some of the situations in which they end up, but not so naive that they don't handle them in a relatively rational way.


Sorry, attempting to avoid spoilers sometimes requires awkward phrasing.


The setting was an important part of the atmosphere of the story; important enough that there are few places this could have happened left in the U.S. (not sure about elsewhere, admittedly): small, insular communities where outsiders are treated like aliens (in all senses of the word, I suppose); communities full of secrets that are not spoken of and bad things that aren't shared with the outside world. Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft both wrote novels that shared this basic setting, and it lets this story take the step it needs from forgettable novel into a slightly eerie thriller.


In the end, I enjoyed it, and might pick up another novel by the author, but I'm not immediately going out and grabbing a bunch of them--if you're more into thrillers in general than I am, though, this might very much be your cup of tea.

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review 2015-01-22 00:09
Laura McHugh's The Weight of Blood

I am absolutely and positively in love with this book....with its story, its setting, its characters...and despite the fact that the "I'm so high on this book let me rave about it right away" version of my review got carried into oblivion by the magical forces of my Firefox, my initial literary infatuation has not diminished one bit in the meantime...

I find it a bit amusing that most debut books in this genre get compared to Gillian Flynn - I am assuming in the attempt to stir the readers of Gone Girl in the direction of this book but I find that this comparison is a bit unfair towards the talent that Laura McHugh brings to the table all on her own. I am not expert on small town America but Henbane of McHugh's literary world is going to stay with me for quite a while. I am drawn to writers who know how to create the worlds I end up inhibiting with (reading) ease. And though Henbane of this story is murky and ominous, filled with darkness and secrets, I've enjoyed every second of "visiting" it.

Lucy Dane is sixteen, and though she was born and raised in Henbane, she is constantly dancing on the outer edges of actual acceptance by the other locals. Probably because her mother was an exotic and alluring outsider whose sudden departure soon after Lucy's birth still haunts the little town and especially Lucy herself. Lucy's friends are few and far between and when one of them (Cheri) is found dead, Lucy's need for answers ends up leading her down the path of (self)discovery that will change her world in more ways than she expected.

The story moves seamlessly between the past and the present, switching narration between various characters, allowing the reader greater insight into numerous points of view and I loved that shifting point of view. Getting to know Lucy, her mom Lila, brothers Crete and Carl, Lucy's neighbor Birdie - their stories and journeys end up being just as seductive as the main story itself. I wouldn't be surprised to see this book turned into a movie, it seems to have all the elements Hollywood is drawn to these days.

I know I'll be grabbing a copy of whatever books comes out of Laura McHugh's keyboard next. In the meantime I just wanted to share a few of the beautiful quotes that simply "forced" their way into my collection:

"She'd make a game of it where she'd relax all the little bits of her body, starting with her fingers and toes and working in toward the center. She had to make herself limp and draw the hurt and want into a tight core inside, each time adding another layer to that core, so that if somebody came along and cut her open, they'd find inside a shining, perfect pearl, hard as any Willy Wonka jawbreaker."

"I took in the thick night air, the sweet smell of honeysuckle, the chirping of frogs, to impress the moment in the folds of my memory, preserve it like a flower between pages of a book. To remember: This is how it feels to be happy."

"It occurred to her then that there was a reason age drained the pleasure out of life, slowly stripping away all the things you enjoyed or took for granted. It was so you wouldn't need convincing when the time came. You'd be ready, because everything good in life was gone."

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review 2014-07-24 22:44
The Weight of Blood (Half-Orcs #1)
The Weight of Blood (The Half-Orcs, #1) - David Dalglish

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer.


Title: The Weight of Blood

Series: Half-Orcs

Author: David Dalglish

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 228




2 Half-orc [half-orc, half-elf] brothers team up with an avatar of death. One becomes a physical titan, hewing down all who stand before him. The other becomes a master of necromantic powers and plots to remove the avatar and take his place.

And in the end they go their separate ways, mainly because of an elf woman. 


My Thoughts:

When I read A Dance of Cloaks by Dalglish I was not impressed with his non-use of any type of hero, but I did want to give him another chance with another series.

In the afterword Dalglish says this series is about redemption.

That might be the case, as the more physical of the brothers ends up regretting all the death he has caused, right at the end of the book. However, the first 95% of the book simply follows them as they slaughter, kill and commit other unsavory acts to further their own ends.


It left a very bad taste in my mental mouth and after Cloaks I am not willing to give Dalglish a 3rd chance. I am not, never have been and hopefully never will be, a fan of dark, gritty fantasy. I like my heroes to inspire me to be better, not drag me down in the blood, filth and muck.

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