Scarlet's Web

 

 

"You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be - I had a mother who read to me."

Review: Sea (The Huntress Trilogy #1) by Sarah Driver

Sea (The Huntress Trilogy) - Sarah Driver

 

Unfortunately, I couldn't get into this book at all. The writing style wasn't to my taste and the dialect kept pulling me out of the story.

 

Not my cuppa tea this one.

 

DNF!

I've read 29/384 pages of The Fibro Manual

The Fibromanual: A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor - Ginevra Liptan

 

Finally, someone who gets it!

 

The author is a doctor who developed fibromyalgia during medical school and has since become an expert in the field. I'm only a few chapters in and already I have a better understanding of my symptoms.

 

I'm highlighting this book to death. I have a feeling I'm going to need a new highlighter.

Review: We Are Always Watching by Hunter Shea

We Are Always Watching - Hunter Shea


We Are Always Watching is different from what I have come to expect from Hunter Shea. Usually, Shea throws me right into the action pretty early on, but not this time. This time the story built slowly, both in tension and in plot. I thought I had a rough idea what to expect after reading the blurb, turns out I was wrong. We Are Always Watching morphed into something completely different and went down a different path than I was anticipating.

 

We Are Always Watching was a slow burner. At times it felt like nothing of great importance was happening outside of getting to know the characters, their surroundings, and their general day to day lives - with little tidbits thrown in to whet the appetite for what was to come. For the first half of the book, I thought I knew where the story was going as it was still within the box that is the blurb. Then, almost as if someone had flipped a switch, the box was obliterated. All of a sudden all my expectations were thrown out the window and I was re-analysing what I'd already read. I found myself thinking back and reflecting on everything I'd read up to that point, re-looking at all the events, the sounds, and the clues, from a different angle.

 

I did enjoy this turn of events, but I have to say that I was also a little disappointed that it wasn't what I was expecting it to be. I'm purposely being very vague here because it would be extremely easy to ruin this book for those who have yet to read it. Once you get to this point in the book things really take off. Before you know it the slow burn is in your rear window and the story hurtles towards the conclusion at breakneck speed.

 

The character growth was portrayed well and the changing dynamics and tension felt believable, but I have to say, it was the visual aspect that shone for me. I could picture the surroundings and the buildings easily and it added a whole new level to the reading experience.

 

I like when a book surprises me and is something other than what I was expecting it to be. But, We Are Always Watching came to a fork in the road, one turn being one of my favourite horror scenarios, and the other being a lesser liked horror scenario, and it took the lesser turn. Of course, this is in no way a negative thing, it's just my personal preference and I still thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend it.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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I mentioned yesterday that I bought wool when I was out book shopping and told Grim that I would share a picture of it because it's so pretty. It was only £1 per ball and as if that wasn't already a great bargain they were doing a 3 for the price of 2 deal! I ended up buying a dozen balls of the purple.

 

As you can see from the picture, the shade of purple changes quite a bit depending on how the light hits it.

 

The sunflower blanket behind it is my current work in progress, it's a crocheted bedspread.

I went in for one book...
I went in for one book...

 

I went in having promised myself I was only after the one book, maybe two... the second one being for my son.

 

I need bigger bookshelves.

Review: Exorcist Falls by Jonathan Janz

Exorcist Falls: Includes the novella Exorcist Road - Jonathan Janz


Exorcist Falls continues the story of the Sweet Sixteen Killer first introduced in Janz's earlier novella Exorcist Road. I first read Exorcist Road back in 2014 and loved it so much that it made my best of 2014 list. Exorcist Road is included within Exorcist Falls and I re-read it so that the story was fresh in my mind and, I have to say, I enjoyed it just as much second time around.

 

Exorcist Falls was a great read and I enjoyed it, but not to the same extent that I did Exorcist Road. There are more characters in this one and I think perhaps one or two of them missed the mark for me. There were two in particular that I wasn't feeling at all, their characters felt off and seemed to be a little inconsistent throughout. I struggled with Liz in particular, her character felt like a shell and I couldn't see through the cracks to the person inside. She didn't feel solid or fleshed out enough for me to be able to connect to her. The male characters outshone her in every way.

 

Father Crowder is by far the most memorable character in the book, his character was well written and fleshed out. I saw into the furthest corners of his mind and I got to experience his inner thoughts and struggles. In fact, all but one of the male characters were well fleshed out, consistent, and felt like real people which is why I think I was so disappointed that Liz didn't. In a cast of mostly all male characters, she was the one that I should have been able to connect to the easiest, both as a mother and as a female.

 

Possession is one of my favourite topics in horror and Exorcist Falls didn't disappoint. There were many scenes that had me turning the pages desperate to know what happens next, but at the same time not wanting to because it was so visual and horrifying. The cringe factor was real with this one. You know when you're watching a horror movie and it reaches that point where you're cringing and covering your eyes, but at the same time still desperate to see what's happening? I found myself doing that during one particular scene while reading, only to remember I was reading and how ridiculous it was to cover my eyes cause now I couldn't see the words. I just couldn't help myself.

 

I had a lot of fun with this book and it's one I would definitely recommend. I just hope there is more to this story, especially after that ending... I need more!

 

 

 

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Algernon Blackwood - Ancient Sorceries

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jvxh

 

Timid commuter, Arthur Vezin becomes too enchanted with a sleepy and strange French town and its people to leave.

He's slowly drawn more and more into their realm of secrets and talk of ancient memories...and is struck by how the people there resemble cats, both in looks and behaviour...

 

Algernon Blackwood's dark tale read in 4-parts by Philip Madoc.

Review: The Good People by Hannah Kent

The Good People - Hannah Kent

 

I would like to thank Picador for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

The Good People is an engaging, emotional, and at times an uncomfortable read. It's beautifully written and pulls the reader into a world that oozes atmosphere and superstition. I really enjoyed it. I felt like I was there, that I knew these people and was a part of their world. A world that was so easily pictured, right down to the smallest of leaves on the trees, the ripples on the water, and the smells in the air. I could see everything clearly as I read. The characters felt real to me. I felt their pain, I lived, hoped, dreamed, and struggled alongside them.

 

I particularly loved the lore and superstition surrounding the faeries. The belief that illness, bad crop yields, and animals not producing were because of the faeries being angered, and the way daily rituals were carried out to protect harvests, households, families, and to keep food on the table, totally captivated me. I have fond memories of my grandparents doing similar things for the "wee folk". I remember as a child making small trinkets and gifts to leave around the farm for the wee folk, pouring fresh milk from the goats into a bowl on the doorstep, and also leaving out honey and oatcakes. I did the same with my own children when they were growing up, they used to leave gifts for the faeries under the tree in the garden.

 

Definitely, one I would recommend. I will be reading more from this author in the near future.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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It's 3am, do I go to bed or do I start Jason Parent's new book...

People of the Sun - Jason  Parent

 

Who am I kidding, I've been itching to read this since I got it. Sleep can wait!

Review: The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

The Doll Funeral - Kate Hamer


I would like to thank Faber & Faber for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

The Doll Funeral is a DNF for me. I tried to stick with it, but even at 45% I'm still not getting into it. I'm reading for reading sake and I find myself hesitant to pick it up. When I do pick it up I realise that I have forgotten much of what I've previously read.

 

I had a feeling right from the start that this wasn't going to be the book for me. The opening scene, where the parents reveal to the MC that she's adopted, immediately put me off. It was absurd. It was insensitive and rushed, there was no feeling, no loving conversation, no understanding. They just throw it at her over the kitchen table, before she's even completely in the room, before she's even sat down, totally out of the blue and using the most ridiculous and unnatural dialogue. I was tempted to put the book down right there and then.

 

The writing style felt choppy and confusing at times, and too flowery at others. The dialogue wasn't natural, there was no flow to the conversation and it was unbelievable. The characters didn't come across as realistic. The younger characters within the storyline read much younger than they were. The main character is 13 but her voice was that of a much younger child.

 

I hate to leave a review for a book without finding something positive within its pages, but I'm really struggling to think of any as I have forgotten most of what I have read. Thank goodness I kept notes but I only kept notes of the problems I had with the book. It's a shame, the premise really intrigued me but the way it was executed just wasn't for me.

 

Not one I would recommend.

 

 

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45% done with The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

The Doll Funeral - Kate Hamer

 

I'm not feeling this one at all. I had an inkling right from the start that this wasn't going to be the book for me. The opening scene immediately put me off. I should have put the book down right there and then. I'm feeling a DNF on the horizon.

 

I now have Steampunk Batman watching over my bookcase! I won him in a prize draw run by Carsun's Bazaar over on twitter. I never win anything so this was a nice surprise.

 

" Today I'm discussing a recent article on The Millions that debates the merits of the word "readable" and the books that term describes.

If you'd like to read the article, you can find it here: http://www.themillions.com/2017/02/against-readability.html "

 

I have to say, I agree with everything she said in this video. I'm off to have a read of the article but I thought I'd share first.

BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime - The Underground Railroad

 

Listen Here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08ff18j

 

Clarke Peters (The Wire, Treme) reads The Underground Railroad, the new novel by Colson Whitehead. This brilliant and at times brutal novel about the history of slavery and racism in America won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 2016.

 

"What if the underground railroad was a literal railroad? And what if each state, as a runaway slave was going north, was a different state of American possibility, an alternative America?"

 

Whitehead's inventive novel follows Cora and Caesar as they escape from a Georgia slave plantation and run north in pursuit of freedom, aided by the stationmasters and conductors of the Underground Railroad.

 

Produced by Mair Bosworth
Abridged by Sara Davies
Read by Clarke Peters.

100% done with Exorcist Falls by Jonathan Janz

Exorcist Falls: Includes the novella Exorcist Road - Jonathan Janz

 

Man, the cringe was real with this one. You know that point in a horror movie when you just have to cover your eyes but you are still aware of what's going on? I found myself doing that during one particular scene while reading, only to remember I was reading and how ridiculous it was to cover my eyes cause now I couldn't see the words. I just couldn't help myself lol.

 

Review coming soon!

Review: Beyond The Pale: Folklore, Family, and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes by Emily Urquhart

Beyond The Pale: Folklore, Family, and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes - Emily Urquhart


I would like to thank Jacaranda Books for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

I'm not a big reader of non-fiction, but this one caught my attention and I had to pick it up. I found the authors voice engaging, she held my attention and interest and kept me reading. The love for her daughter really shines through, and her struggle to come to terms with her daughter's albinism and the resulting work that she now does is both inspiring, and important.

 

It's shocking to read how people with albinism are treated throughout the world. I was certainly unaware that these things were going on before reading this book, but since finishing the book I have seen a BBC documentary and only just tonight read about related events in the news. It's good to see that it's being talked about and awareness is spreading. It's important that people are educated and made aware of what's happening and for the victims' stories be told in order to prevent it from happening in future.

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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