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Noir – Goodreads review and random interactions with Christopher Moore

NoirNoir by Christopher Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I picked up a Christopher Moore book, even though Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal is one of my all-time favorite books. I’m so glad I picked up this new Moore book!

Set in San Franscico after WWII, Sammy finds himself serving drinks to Stilton (hereafter referenced to as the Cheese – LOVE IT), a beautiful dame who starts all the trouble. A very diverse cast of characters inhabit this story from all walks of life (obviously and as always with Moore, if you are easily offended, this is not the right book for you – just saying). My favorite character ended up being the Kid, who was terrible and sweet and awesome in his use of the English language.

There were many many giggles and quite a few laugh-out-loud-in-a-room-by-yourself-whilst-reading-a-book moments. Moore is just as fun as I remember him to be!

(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)

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So, I usually tweet quotes from worthy books and while reading Noir, this happened:

A Guide for Murdered Children – a book review

A Guide for Murdered Children

by Sarah Sparrow

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This book IS about a very difficult subject, so I realize there will be some who find this a no-go immediately. If you can get past your immediate reaction of “ew, murdered children” – you will enjoy this book!

Willow (Dubya) Wylde, the quintessential broken cop, is drawn into a world where murdered children inhabit the bodies of recently dead grown-ups for the sole purpose of seeking revenge. (Children in adult bodies? Awkward and hilarious.) Dubya has some innate psychic abilities he has spent a lot of time suppressing – leading to alcoholism and other self-damaging behaviors. But it is the disappearance of a brother and sister that ends up focusing his energy and gifts.

Plotwise, there is a train through which the children travel in the ether; a Porter to help said children; AA-style meetings for the adults and children who are sharing a body; and of course, the guide for murdered children. I feel like that is just about all I can tell you about the plot without spoiling it for you. Except that there are lots of murdered children and equal amounts of gore and very bad people.

There have been mixed reviews about this book. I feel like if you pick up a book with the title, A Guide for Murdered Children, you have to know what you’re in for. It will probably help readers if they realize there is a lot of catching up to do to understand the world the author has built, similar to reading a fantasy novel. (If you hate fantasy/sci-fi for this reason, probably skip this book.) You have to trust the author’s vision until you are able to fully understand what is happening.

I think that Sparrow was brave to trust her instincts with this story and she deals with a difficult subject matter with a lot of respect. I found the book well-written and creative. Kudos to you, Sarah Sparrow.

Rating: 80/100

Buy it now at Barnes and Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

The CallThe Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually listened to the audiobook, which I’m sure has colored my feelings about this story a bit. The narrator on the audiobook does not do a very good job of differentiating between the POV characters so I feel like I was semi-lost for most of the first half of the book. I may actually go back and read this again in paper format so I get the complete story arc. That being said, the last half of the book is truly fantastic. Once there are fewer characters to keep track of, the story really gets moving, and I gasped aloud a couple of times at important plot points.

It’s a pretty simple story, really – the Sidhe (pronounced “shee”), or fairies, have decided that they need to take revenge upon the humans who took away their rights to reside in Ireland. They do this by stealing teenagers and doing terrible things to them while they are in the Sidhe lands. Each teen is taken by surprise and is in the Sidhe lands for a little over 3 minutes in human time. But they are in the Sidhe lands for long enough to be played with, taunted, tortured and killed in terrible ways. The few who survive their time with the Sidhe and return home are maimed and horribly disfigured for life (in fun and entertaining ways if you are a horror fan!). By the end, you understand why some are returned home and what the Sidhe’s real game is.

Because this book deals with teens, you have the usual teen angst, cliques, and crushes. But, because of the time they live in, you also get some truly terrifying situations that will make your skin crawl. My favorite parts of the book happened while the teens were “called” – descriptions of humans shaped into horses and screaming overcoats made out of human mouths anyone? So, if you like your horror with some high fantasy thrown in, you could definitely do worse than this book. Just don’t try to listen to the audiobook unless you are able to solely focus on it to the exclusion of everything else.

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Since We FellSince We Fell by Dennis Lehane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book I’ve read by Lehane (the other being Shutter Island a ways back). I’d forgotten what a smart, smart writer he is. Very seldom is there a book that makes me read every single word. I’m a skimmer when I can be. With Lehane you must read every word, or you will miss something. Even something big.

Since We Fell is a great read! Starts out as a book about a sort of troubled young women trying to figure out who her father is. She ends up becoming a TV news reporter until she covers Haiti after the earthquake (2010); and, her life is never the same again. Then some bad things happen, some good, some terrible, and then…I can’t tell you any more. Just when you think you know what this book is about, there’s another twist – and it’s another type of book altogether. In the end, what you think is going to be a story about a crazy girl’s search for belonging ends up being a crazy good book about betrayal, your sense of self, trust, and belief. Oh, and murder.

You should read it while I go pick out my next Dennis Lehane book!

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