Rating: 3 stars
David Mitchell’s Slade House is an adjunct to his previous six novels, an Easter egg laid on Twitter turned into a book. I enjoyed it as a quick read on Hallowe’en, surrendering myself to its suspense and tension, allowing myself to be played with, as the visitors to Slade House are played with. I indulged myself in Spot-the-Link, appreciating the way plot lines from Mitchell’s previous works made tangents with this story. Continue reading
Rating: 4 stars
Read for The Reader’s Room Road Trip Challenge.
When I read in the introduction that Michael McDowell had worked on the scripts for Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, I knew I was in for a good read with The Elementals. I wasn’t disappointed.
Set in the early 1980s, the novel begins with the funeral of an Alabama matriarch, Marian Savage. The Savages are descended from one of the original French families to settle in Alabama, the Sauvages, and have a long connection to a secluded town on the Gulf coast, called Beldame. It’s a place so remote that only the family can bear to visit.
It’s also a place where strange things happen, strange things linked to a Savage family secret. Continue reading
Rating: 4 stars
Becky Montcrief takes centre stage in trade volume 6 of The Sixth Gun series. The group reunited at the end of volume 5, with Drake and Becky physically affected by their run in with the Wendigo. Volume 6 begins with Missy Hume gathering malevolent forces to draw the five guns in Drake and Becky’s control to them.
Meanwhile, Becky, Drake, Gord, Kirby and Asher are taken by a pair of Native American scouts to their camp, where Becky collapses and sets off on the Ghost Dance of the book’s title.
She travels through parallel realities, witnessing various outcomes that depend on who has control of all six guns. What she sees, experiences and learns change her irreparably.
During Becky’s wanderings, Missy Hume’s demonic helpers attempt to kill her, but the scouts Nidawi and Nahuel draw on supernatural powers to fight them in the real world.
The plot is less involved in this volume, but it kept me gripped all the same. There are only three more volumes in the series, and it’s starting to feel like the narrative is beginning to wind up to a climax.
Rating: 3.5 stars
At first, I felt as though I should have read the previous six books in the series. Läckberg had the tricky task of acknowledging that her seventh in the Patrik Hedström/Erica Falck series of crime novels might be the first of her books that a reader encounters, while not going over old ground too much for existing fans. For the most part she succeeded but there were moments when I was aware that there were events in previous books that I wasn’t getting full disclosure on, and it felt slightly frustrating. Continue reading
Rating: 4 stars
The Sixth Gun is a series of comics written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt. My husband has the first three trade paperbacks, The Sixth Gun Volume 1: Cold Dead Fingers, The Sixth Gun Volume 2: Crossroads, and The Sixth Gun Volume 3: Bound, which bring together issues 1-17. There are currently 8 trades available, with the final three issues due to be compiled into Volume 9 this summer.
I decided to start reading them because I left The Red Queen on my desk at work one night this week. I was hooked immediately. I made myself finish The Red Queen, but I jumped straight into the second Volume rather than start another novel, and then devoured the third straight after that. I love this series! Continue reading
Rating: 4 stars
I love Margaret Atwood. She is my literary goddess. Although I blithely say that Haruki Murakami is my favourite author, and that’s true because he’s the only author whose works I will buy immediately because I can’t bear waiting for the paperback release, it’s a close-run thing with Ms Atwood. She has been in my life since I was a teenager, and read The Edible Woman. I have read almost all of her novels, and a handful of her short story collections. I wrote an essay about her for a booklet published by my local library service in 1999 for International Women’s Week. I’m shameless, so I’ll add it at the end of this review.
It’s almost a year since I read anything by Ms Atwood, and I saw Stone Mattress on the shelf in my local library, where I was carrying out a random hit and run selection on the As (that garnered me The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, someone I’ve never read before).
What I like about Margaret Atwood’s short stories is that she understands the format. She knows that it’s not for throwaway ideas that might or might not be worked into novels. She understands that the reader still needs to feel drawn in by the story, and satisfied by its ending. Not all writers have the skill to craft a truly good short story, but Margaret Atwood does. Whether it’s 50 pages or 10, she gives you everything you need to know to make the story real.
Rating: 5 stars
Read for the Reader’s Room Tales From The Crypt reading challenge.
This is only the second book I’ve read by Ray Bradbury, and I loved it. I’m a fan of horror, fantasy, spooky Gothic, whatever you want to call books that deal with the supernatural and human fears of death. I’m more than willing to suspend my otherwise rational disbelief and be pulled into another realm if the writing is good enough, if the plot has just enough realism to make the magic feel true. Something Wicked This Way Comes worked for me. Continue reading