Tag: supernatural

Sep 14

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Audio Books, Supernatural 14

How’s it going, Bookworms?

I feel like I should write this entire blog post in 20s slang, but you’d miss out on the inflection. It’s going to take every ounce of restraint I possess not to end every sentence with “see”, see? I place the blame for my new affectation squarely on the shoulders of one Libba Bray, who penned The Diviners, and also on the shoulders of January LaVoy who narrated the audio book.

thedivinersI’ve been meaning to read Libba Bray for a while, and I picked The Diviners because it was on my soon-to-expire list (thanks for nothing, Scribd.) I didn’t realize just how spooky it was going to be before picking it up, so I’m actually pretty grateful for the near comical usage of slang and old timey vocal affectations. But I digress.

The Diviners takes place in 1920s New York City, which was by all accounts a happening place to be. Evie O’Neill is new to town, after being sent away from her boring town in Ohio to stay with her uncle. Some people have no sense of humor when it comes to having their secrets exposed, see? It works out for the best though, because Evie is ready to get her flapper on and party like it’s 1926 and NYC is the place to be! Evie’s Uncle Will has his head so full of the creepy crawlies that he’s unlikely to notice her antics… Or so she thinks. The thing that got Evie booted from Ohio wasn’t really her fault. Evie has a super weird gift that allows her to psychically glean information from objects. If a gentleman’s watch tells her that he’s had some scandalous dalliances, well, she can’t help knowing that!

New York is being terrorized by a serial killer just as Evie arrives in town. Because of the occult-ish nature of the killings, Evie’s uncle, something of an expert in the field, is called in to consult with the police on the case. Evie realizes her gift may help her catch the murderer, and things just start to get weird.

This book was a ton of fun and the scary elements were perfect for the onset of autumn. The slang seemed a little over the top at times, but the campy aspects of it worked for me. There was just one problem. I had NO IDEA this book was the beginning of a series until it was over and ALL THE THINGS were unresolved. I googles to make sure I hadn’t accidentally skipped chapters and lo and behold, book two was recently released. Don’t you just hate that?! Of course, it’s too late. I’m hooked. Just take my money, okay?

Bookworms, I need to not be alone here. Have any of you started a series purely by accident?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Mar 03

The Peach Keeper By Sarah Addison Allen

Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction 25

How Y’all Doing, Bookworms?

I have really been digging some Southern Fried Fiction lately! I recently finished Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper, and now I want to talk about it. (Novel concept, right? I should probably write a book blog! Oh wait…)

peachkeeprWilla Jackson lives in Walls of Water, North Carolina. Her family were once fancy folks, but after falling on hard times in the 30s, they had to sell off the fanciness and go back to being normal. Also in town is the resident perfect princess, Paxton Osgood. She’s well dressed, well mannered, and appropriately ensconced in the local women’s society club. These two gals have very little in common, until fate sees fit to push them together.

Fate and a skeleton. Yup. The site of Willa Jackson’s once proud family home was in the midst of a glorious renovation via Paxton Osgood, when a tree transplant leads to the discovery of a body. In order to attempt to solve the mystery of the dude planted under the peach tree, Willa and Paxton seek answers from their respective grandmothers, who were besties back in the day.

I had fun reading The Peach Keeper. There was a supernatural undercurrent I wasn’t expecting, but rather enjoyed (very Alice Hoffman-esque.) There was one particular scene that stuck out to me, and I can’t just not discuss it, because it involves Sarah Michelle Gellar. That’s right. She who was Buffy. Midway through this book, the ladies club has a lunch with a super swanky caterer, and the caterer seems to have some special powers. It’s a tertiary plot point, but it reminded me SO MUCH of SMG’s masterpiece of a Rom-Com Simply Irresistible. You know. The one where she became a cook and somehow the food absorbed her feelings? People would start crying and/or floating while eating dessert? No? Ah well. When you have a couple of hours to kill and you need something ridiculous, check it out.

Credit: http://whataslayeris.tumblr.com/

Credit: http://whataslayeris.tumblr.com/

Sorry for the digression there, the 90s, you know? I get distracted. In addition to the mystery, the magic, and the mayhem, there are some romantic entanglements and a whole lot of ladies realizing the value of friendship. In short, The Peach Keeper was sweet. If you are in the mood for something to pull you out of a wintery funk, this could be just the ticket.

 Because I’m constantly getting off topic, I may as well ask. Do any of you have a favorite Rom-Com from the 90s? Or some random movie you watched too often with your college roommate? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a commission.*

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Sep 19

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Fantasy, Supernatural 47

Hola Bookworms,

It’s occurred to me that while I chatter to y’all incessently, I very rarely discuss what I spend the vast majority of my time doing. That’s right. I’ve got a grown-up job. I don’t talk about my job much for a couple of reasons. First, it has absolutely nothing to do with books. Second, it seems like a bad idea to go yammering about your job on the internet. That said, I do like to mention where I get my books, and this particular book came to me through work. I have a new co-worker. During the course of a “getting to know you” type conversation, he mentioned that he read a lot of fantasy novels. Being the curious cat that I am, I asked him which were his favorites. Of COURSE it was nothing I’d ever read. I mean, how likely would that be anyway? I’ve only ever read a smattering of fantasy, the odds were not in my favor. I’ve been feeling unworthy of the genre since I read and did not enjoy Tolkien.

nameofthewindShortly after this conversation, a copy of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss appeared on my desk. I took one look at the well worn paperback and thought, “Way to stick your foot in your mouth, Katie. Now you’ve got to read this ginormous fantasy novel because it would be rude not to.” To add to my nervousness? I noticed it was a SIGNED COPY! I’m a terrible liar, so if I didn’t like the book, I’d have to figure out a way to explain that to someone who was clearly a superfan of Rothfuss. Quite the pickle, no?

As it turns out, the book gods smiled on my poor conflicted soul, because I read it and was sucked in. The Name of the Wind was a great book, despite the fact that they never actually told me what the name of the wind is. (I’m hoping the wind’s name is Herman Reginald Van Der Hooden, because I like saying it.)

We are introduced to a mysterious innkeeper who calls himself Kote. It soon becomes apparent that there is more to Kote and his assistant Bast than meets the eye. “Kote” is in hiding. He is actually a figure of some note who is driven into obscurity for unknown reasons. A scribe arrives in town shortly after the novel begins as he is attempting to track the infamous Kvothe. Kote = Kvothe. I might have thought he’d pick a less similar name as his pseudonym, but what do I know? (I’m thinking changing my name from Katie to Karen and trading my MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron… My fingernails DO shine like justice… It could work.)

Kvothe is persuaded to tell his story, and what a tale it is! Our Kvothe was born into a band of traveling performers. He is trained in the arts of drama, music, and showmanship at a young age. Everything begins to change for Kvothe when their band comes across an arcanist who is down on his luck. (This is a fantasy novel, it wouldn’t be appropriate just to call someone a “dude who can do magic.”) The arcanist Abenthy takes Kvothe on as a student, and Kvothe turns out to be the Doogie Howser of magic. The kid is a prodigy. All is going well until one evening when Kvothe’s troupe is mysteriously murdered. We follow Kvothe on his adventures in orphandom, and what crazy adventures they turn out to be!

I really enjoyed this novel. I found the world-building to be superb. One of the biggest problems I have when I try to read fantasy novels (which is pretty much limited to Tolkien and George R.R. Martin) is that I have a hard time slogging through them. Ordinarily I find myself getting bogged down in description and tertiary characters. That wasn’t the case here at all- every character that was introduced I found engaging, and every interaction served to propel the narrative. It’s just my luck that this is the first book in a trilogy that is not yet complete. This book ends with quite a few unanswered questions that will gnaw at my soul until I tackle book 2 (which won’t be for a while because I’ve over-committed myself as usual.) Of course, as heaven knows, reading book 2 will only gnaw away at my soul until book 3 is released. It figures that not even a week after I got closure on the MaddAddam series, I’m waiting again! Le sigh.

So Bookworms. Tell me. Have you ever taken a chance on a book or a genre that wasn’t typically your cup of tea and been pleasantly surprised? Anybody out there read The Name of the Wind? What did you think?

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Sep 17

Falling for Fall: Top Ten Tuesday

Dystopian, E-Readers, Frightening, Mystery, Supernatural, Top Ten Tuesday 62

Good Day, Bookworms!

It’s the middle of September now, so I’m feeling very Autumnal. Luckily, the ladies of The Broke and The Bookish seem to be feeling this way, too! Today’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday listy goodness is the top ten books we plan to read this fall.

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Halloween is just around the corner, and this year to celebrate I thought I’d do some spooky reading. I know what you’re thinking. “Katie, you are afraid of everything and you are setting yourself up for a month of nightmares, you big chickeny chicken face!” You’re right. But I’m gonna do it anyway! Let’s get our creepy on!

1. The Passage by Justin Cronin. It’s October’s Fellowship of the Worms selection! Zombie/vampire hybrids? Yep. Nightmares. But at least we’re doing this TOGETHER!

2. Dracula by Bram Stoker. This is THE classic vampire novel. How have I managed this long without having read this book? It seems so terribly wrong…

3. The Walkng Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. The new season of The Walking Dead  begins in October and I’m so excited! I got a copy of this book at BlogHer13 after watching Gale Anne Hurd’s kickass keynote. ZOMBIES!

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4. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I’m trying to incorporate some more classics into my literary diet and it’s spooktacular. (I know. I am already kicking myself for using such a dumb phrase. My shins shall be so very bruised…)

5. Feed by Mira Grant. ZOMBIES! I’ve heard great things about this series, so I’m pretty stoked about it. Braaaaaaaains. Om nom nom!

6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Halloween brings out the kid in me, why not indulge in a creepy kid’s story? Everybody loves the classic “kid raised by wolves ghosts” tale!

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7. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Aliens and religion. When you dig deep into religion you get into some secretive, scandalous, and mysterious tidbits. Add aliens?! Well. I mean, ALIENS! (I love ET. That doesn’t have a whole lot to do with anything, but that’s what comes to mind when I think of aliens. I cannot watch that movie without crying. He’s like a weird ugly otherwordly chihuahua.)

8. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I’ve been meaning to read this for ages. I’m SUPER annoyed that I can’t get it for my kindle yet. Ugh. Seriously, people. I love me some digital books. I haven’t got the storage space to bring more physical books into my house. It seems exceptions will have to be made, but not without a little grumbling. Grumble grumble grumble…

9. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Duuuuuuuuuuun dun dun dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun! Sorry, sorry. It just got a little Andrew Lloyd Weber up in here. I would like to read this ghostly little tidbit though. I hear that no one tells a story like Gaston, so…

10. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. What is scarier than the end of the world, dude?! Let’s do this thing!

What are your plans for the fall, bookworms? A little bit of frightful fare for the spooky season? Tell me about it!

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Oct 16

Mythology vs. Technology: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Fantasy, Mythology, Religion, Supernatural 14

Howdy Bookworms! I think you should know that I’m highly susceptible to marketing tactics. Also, highly susceptible to suggestion… From people I admire, anyway. When The Bloggess talks about how amazing an author is and I’ve never read any of said author’s work, I take action. The Bloggess is a HUGE Neil Gaiman fan, so I decided that I needed to read one of his books. If you keep up with cinema (which I do not, but I knew this anyway) you’ll recall a few years back there was a movie released called Coraline. Neil Gaiman wrote that. He apparently writes books for all ages, so I went to his website, picked one of the books targeted toward an adult audience, and promptly bought it on Amazon. (Hey marketing people, I’m your target audience! Send me free stuff, yo!)

Seeing that it’s October and Halloween is right around the corner, American Gods is a festive choice. It’s all supernatural and stuff. The premise of the story is that as immigrants came to America they brought their gods, demons, and superstitions with them. And we’re not just talking Ellis Island immigrants. We’re talking like Ice Age immigrants. All the immigrants ever. These gods, demons, fairies, and whatnot became literal manifestations as they were brought to this new land. There’s like leprechauns hanging around getting into bar brawls and pulling gold coins out of thin air. Unfortunately for the supernatural types, they feed on the belief of people… And in the modern day US, there aren’t too many people making blood sacrifices to Odin.

I googled Odin. He rocks an eye patch. Now Pirate Dog has someone to look up to.

Our protagonist is a recently paroled convict named Shadow. Shadow is released from prison after serving a three year sentence only to learn that his wife was killed in a car accident… And had been having an affair with his best friend. Harsh. When Shadow is approached by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and offered a job as an errand boy, he’s really got nothing to lose.

Mr. Wednesday is trying to rally the old school gods to battle the new school. The new school gods include manifestations of the internet, telephone, media, etc. As people moved their faith from mythological figures to technology, the gods have lost their influence and power. They’re starved for belief.

This is Eostre, Celtic goddess of rebirth and spring and stuff. Her name and festival got all smushed together with Easter so she manages to stay fat and happy even though people don’t realize they’re celebrating her. (Don’t get riled up. Students of history must realize that in order for the world to accept Christianity, early missionaries drew an awful lot of comparisons between monotheism and pagan traditions. That’s just a fact, y’all.)

Shadow’s journey introduces us to Norse mythology, ancient Egyptian traditions, Hindu deities, African gods, Celtic folklore, Arabic demons, and Native American history- and that’s just the beginning. There are twists and turns and cons and mysteries. There’s even a good portion of Shadow’s tale where he meanders through Illinois, pointing out all the ridiculous town names. (I totally dug the shout outs to Peru, El Paso, and Cairo… Because Illinois is more than just Chicago, y’all. There’s also a bunch of farm towns that share their names with other famous places!)

The story is long and involved, and I think giving you a blow by blow account would be doing you a disservice. (That, and my brain hurts so I don’t feel like writing up a whole synopsis.) If you like Tim Burton movies, mythology, or supernatural books, I highly recommend American Gods. 

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