Saturday, September 17, 2011
What Are You Reading Between the Covers? - #22
It's time for another book review. Since I've still been recovering from my leg injury, my library card's gotten a killer workout. I have four fab selections for you.
The first is A Walk on the Darkside: Visions of Horror. This was a solid collection from editor and author John Pelan. Three stories stole the show for me. Parting Jane by Mehitobel Wilson told the sad story of a young girl trapped in a hospital bed by her parents to harvest her body for her ailing sister. Tom Piccirilli wrote a disturbing tale called These Strange Lays about a man who encounters a crazed sex kitten while visiting his father's grave; he follows her back to the asylum and soon discovers just how depraved the insane really are. And Brian Hodge wrote An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Flesh, which while first published in this collection in 2004, still deals with the relevant topic of school bullying and how some seek revenge. I recommend this for a little light horror reading before bedtime.
My second pick is The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. This YA novel is also for adults. I haven't had writer's envy in a bit, but this one stoked the green-eyed dragon with its wonderful heroic journey of young twelve-year old David. David mourns the death of his mother and soon discovers the fables and stories they loved are more than just stories. The books are alive at his stepmother's house. David hears his mother's voice calling to him one night and enters the mysterious abandoned sunken garden. He soon realizes he is not at home anymore and has stepped into the world of his stories. David completes a quest to return his mother to the land of the living and soon discovers all the dark secrets of The Crooked Man, a sinister, shady character who wants David to reign as King and give him his brother, Georgie, so he can live another lifetime. If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman or the movie, Labyrinth, this book is for you. Beautiful prose, a unique story, and great characters make this one shine.
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull is my third pick. This YA debut novel from 2007 is a joy to read. I picked it up on someone's recommendation. If you like Terry Pratchett, Delia Sherman, Kelly Link, Midori Snyder, and Charles de Lint, you will enjoy this fast-paced story. Seth and Kendra are dumped off at their grandparents' for two weeks. Prepared for boredom and awkwardness with the family they don't know, they soon discover there's something magical about Fablehaven. Fablehaven is a sanctuary for the fantastical world and Grandpa Sorenson is their caretaker. When Grandpa Sorenson and Grandma Sorenson disappear on Midsummer's Eve, the children soon discover the world of the Fae can be dangerous. Seth and Kendra race to save their family and the preserve they love from the clutches of an evil witch determined to release a demon from his prison, so he can rule Fablehaven once again. And there are more books out in the series to read after this one! Can't wait...
My last pick is Horns by Joe Hill. Joe Hill hits another home run with his second novel. Iggy Perrish used to have the perfect life -- family, friends, money, and a girl who loved him. Then one morning he wakes up to find he's grown horns. Iggy attempts to have the horns removed, but discovers this is not an easy task. His horns influence people to focus on their deepest, darkest desires and are not helping him get back to his old life. Iggy struggles with his new identity as the devil while still reeling from the loss of his girlfriend, Merrin, who was raped and brutally murdered. Worse yet, now that Iggy is the devil, he is privilege to what everyone truly thinks of him. And everyone thinks he killed Merrin, but he knows differently. Iggy discovers the truth about Merrin's murder with his super devil powers and takes matters into his own hands. Raw and darkly humorous, this story keeps your interest until the last page. Don't miss it.
As always, happy writing and happy reading!