Tag: Death

Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Posted October 11, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 11 Comments

Title: Graveminder

Author: Melissa Marr

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: May 2011

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.

Review:

Rebekka Barrow goes home, the only home she’s ever known, back to her grandmother Maylene, back to her old boyfriend and love of her life, back to her past. Maylene has died, under mysterious circumstances, but what Rebekka thinks she knows and what actually is are two different things. Because Rebekka is a graveminder, like Maylene before her. And it’s her job to makes things right.

There are so many beautiful things about this book. The unsettling tone kept me feeling uneasy, the townsfolk eager to accept with no questions asked. The sinister and evil quality a small, lone girl can have, running around through the small American town, afraid of nothing, no one. Because she is the one that should be feared.

The claustrophobia of a small town and its residents and the secrets that they keep was fun and eerie. Marr does a wonderful job with a variety of characters. Most interesting is Mr. D “Charles”, and Alicia, both found on the other side of the town. On the dead side. The setting is wonderfully crafted and navigated, the town being its own character.

But sadly, some things really fell flat for me.
While Rebekka has been running away all of her life, she quickly finds herself resuming bad habits and old relationships with the townspeople. Most notably Byron Montgomery, the undertaker. Through the years, their on and off again relationship has been rocky at best. And while Byron knows Rebekka will only break his heart again, he can’t stay away from her.

Here is the big problem I found with the book- and that is Rebekka and Byron.
Two characters who are supposed to be so right for each other. There’s already a history of these two being in love, Rebekka fleeing and Byron left to pick up the pieces. This is what I have to say: Really Byron? Really? I mean, the girl breaks your heart a dozen or so times and still, you’re there. Not only there, but following her around like a lost puppy, jumping at her command. Sure, he tries to exercise some control, but in the end it’s always what Rebekka wants. And this just made me sad. I wanted Byron to be stronger, with more of a mind of his own. Yes, he can still want/need/love Rebekka, but does it have to be at the cost of himself?
Rebekka is also not a favorite character of mine. I love a good damaged, insecure and suspicious heroine as the next girl, but there weren’t enough redeeming qualities to Rebekka for me. She’s sorta… annoying. By the end of the book, I still not sure why Byron loves Rebekka. I didn’t believe them as a couple. Which is a huge problem if the romance is a big part of the book.
 

Daisha is a great villian. I will not tell you anything else. Just don’t invite her in for something to eat.

I was happy to read a stand alone book. I’ve been reading so many series books, it was refreshing to have a full complete story arc without a cliff hanger.

And Marr’s storytellng is fun to read, on the couch in comfy socks, just in time for autumn. It’s a slow creep down your spine.
I’m just sorry that I couldn’t stay in the town and hang out with Amity and the others. Those characters I believed.

Rating: 5 Ok, Decent like Diet Coke

Posted October 11, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 11 Comments


Review: Blink Once by Cylin Busby

Posted October 4, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Title: Blink Once

Author: Cylin Busby

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Publication Date: September 2012

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:

West wakes up to a girl crying and a totally different world. After an accident, West is paralyzed, unable to communicate or move. But then he meets Olivia, the girl in the room over and she gives him the hope and strength he needs.

I don’t want to say too much about the story because I don’t want to spoil it. A fast read, I was very involved in West’s story, his world and his difficult situation. I liked West’s voice, a seventeen year old boy, struggling with a very scary new world around him. The way he viewed Olivia was refreshing. Beautiful, but with a dark edge, West was fully aware something wasn’t right.

I enjoyed the writing, getting into West’s head and the descriptions of his complicated feelings and fears. The love story was sweet and tender, though honestly, through a lot of it wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about Olivia. It’s apparent that there is a deep sadness about the girl, and some of the conversations with West reveal a fully flawed, yet warm hearted character. I don’t know if I felt romance, per say. I saw it as more of a very strong friendship, though I know it was supposed to be romantic. I also felt a bit empty from the twist and ending. I saw it coming from about a quarter way in and was disappointed that I was right.

That said, Blink Once is a quick, mysterious read. It deals with some very hard issues and Busby does a beautiful job expressing West’s complicated situation.

Rating: 6 Good, but wouldn’t own a copy

Posted October 4, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments


Author Interview & Book Review: "Blackbirds" by Chuck Wendig

Posted May 24, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Interviews / 2 Comments

Title: Blackbirds

Author: Chuck Wendig

Publisher: Angry Robot

Publication Date: April 2012

Genre: Adult Fiction/Urban Fantasy

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:

Miriam Black has some issues. When she touches you, she sees how you’re going to die. She’s tried to stop it. She’s tried to warn people. But in the end Miriam realizes that she’s just a toy, an instrument of fate, and she can’t change what she sees.

So when she meets Louis Darling, and sees how he is going to die, she isn’t shocked. That is, until her name is his last dying words. Now Miriam has to try to save Louis and figure out why he’s whispering her name in his last moments.

Blackbirds grabs you by the, um, hair, and doesn’t let you go. Miriam is smart, damaged and edgy. She’s a smart ass, has a smart mouth, and is a defensive, harsh woman. But do not misunderstand. I like her. A lot. She’s funny, morbid and sharp. Her inner monologue had me laughing quite a few times. The array of colorful supporting characters and building tension had me reading well into the night.

I loved the structure of the book, written in third person present. It really added to the tension and suspence, experiencing everything with Miriam. We go back and forth between her journey and a interview, where we get a glimpse of Miriam’s past. It was one of those frustrating books where you had to keep reading, because it changed scenes just when something big was going to happen.

There is some sex. There’s even more gore. Wendig does a fantastic job describing the gore too, so this may not be a book for the squimish. But if you have the stomach, and want a wild ride, pick up Blackbirds.

Rating 10, One of The Best

Author Interview with Chuck Wendig!

What inspired you to become a writer?
COLD HARD CASH.
Ha ha ha ha, that’s a joke. Because one’s early writing career often pays in buttons and dust bunnies.

I loved reading stories and loved telling stories and decided that to make my living that way was a powerful thing. So, I started working toward it from a very young age, and here we are.

What was the last book you read?
So You Created A Wormhole, The Time Traveler’s Guide To Time Travel. Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch. High-larious.

What was the inspiration for Blackbirds?
Death! Death all around me. And the lack of control that comes with that. Miriam is born out of that struggle of feeling like all of life is ordained, that we’re fighting against the tide of fate. She’s the rock that tries to divert the stream.

Miriam is one kick ass lady. She’s complex, wounded and strong all rolled into one. Her voice is distinct with a thick dark humor. How did you develop Miriam’s voice?
I don’t really know. I wrote some early journal entries in her voice from early on – and I took a little of my voice and a little from people I’ve known and somewhere in there her snarky, troubled, angry, sad, hilarious voice started screaming in the dark. It’s an easy voice for me to rediscover.

Harriet, one of the mysterious strangers searching for Miriam, is one scary woman. I wouldn’t want to be caught in a dark alley with her. Or even in broad daylight come to think of it. Do you think you could take her in a fight?
Oh, gods, no. Harriet would gut me from taint to temples. And she’d do it in like, six seconds. Harriet is a deadly little fire hydrant.

Miriam fights so hard to not save Louis, the man she sees is going to die. Then she fights even harder to save him. Their journey seems far from over. Will we learn more about Louis and his past in the next book, Mockingbird?
We’ll see Louis again – he’s as much a character in Mockingbird as he is here. Though his past is touched on, I don’t know that we explore it overmuch – he is who he is, and his past is pretty well laid out.

You are at a coffee shop and one of your characters sits down to have a drink with you. Who is it?
As in, not my choice, but theirs?
Miriam. For someone so anti-social she’s oddly very social. Plus, she’d probably sit down and try to scam me or something.

Describe your book in seven words or less!
Miriam Black knows how you will die.

How do you like your potato?
Filled with meat.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
Failed ninja.

Do you have a favorite literary character?
Not a favorite, but I’ll read anything with Joe Lansdale’s Hap & Leonard characters.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
Chase our toddler around, trying to dissuade him from sticking things into electrical outlets.

What is one thing you would tell aspiring writers?
Finish your shit.

What is your next book about and when is it coming out?
Well, Dinocalypse Now and Bad Blood both just dropped – the first is a pulpy two-fisted heroes-of-the-1930s-battle-psychic-dinosaurs fun-fest, the second is the sequel to my “Vampire In Zombieland” novel, Double Dead.

After that, it’s Mockingbird, the next Miriam Black book, hitting in Aug/Sept.

Thanks for stopping by Chuck!You can find Chuck here at his website Terrible Minds or follow him on Twitter @ChuckWendig

Posted May 24, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Interviews / 2 Comments