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This book, THIS book, THIS BOOK. What do you get when you cross Star Trek with Terry Pratchett's Discworld, a splash of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and any three of your favorite #fantasyseries? You get Space Unicorn Blues. #humorous and #fun with a splash of commentary on #humannature. You will LOVE these characters and hate these characters. I cheered and sobbed (literally) while reading about the aftermath of a war between humans and magical creatures (in space!). – This is a first book for author @tjberrywrites that debuts on July 3. Let's please give this book lots of love so it becomes the series it deserves to be. – – (An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher. THANK YOU, @angryrobotbooks ) – – #terrypratchett #discworld #startrek #hitchhikersguidetothegalaxy #douglasadams #fantasybook #fantasyseries #spacebook #unicornbook #magicalbook #humorbook #bookofsatire #lovethisbook
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.)
So, I usually tweet quotes from worthy books and while reading Noir, this happened:
A Head Full of Ghosts
by Paul Tremblay
This book! So smart, so clever, so unnerving.
Merry’s older sister, Marjorie, has begun to act strangely. Marjorie watches 8-year-old Merry while she sleeps, tells her increasingly disturbing secrets and threatens to cut out her tongue if she tattles. Meanwhile, Merry’s mother shuttles Marjorie to a string of doctors while her father drags in a priest.
After a denouement of serious weirdness, the parents decide to sign up for a reality television show (The Possession) – this decision, of course, goes terribly awry.
I found this book to be incredibly clever. We only know what a protected youngest child would know; the parents try to keep things as normal as possible when, in reality, the entire family is skidding off the tracks. Then, when we think we know exactly what happened, we are treated to the viewpoint of the grown-up Merry and a blogger who works very hard to discredit everything shown in The Possession. We are constantly, and delightedly, kept a little off balance.
I mean, what could be more frightening than a trusted family member turning against you, the exploitation of reality television and a demon-possessed teenager? This book definitely deserved it’s 2015 Bram Stoker award.
A Guide for Murdered Children
by Sarah Sparrow
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.
The Broken Girls
by Simone St. James
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a well-written, fast-paced, thrill-soaked ride told in (at least) two timelines.
The book opens with a young girl being followed by someone or something in the very dark on a deserted road. Who is she? Where is she? When is she?
In 1950, four troubled girls (Katie, CeCe, Roberta and Sonia) are staying at Idlewild Hall, a home for the worst troublemakers. Each has a secret that slowly unfolds as the pages are turned. Each secret is worse than the last.
In 2014, local journalist Fiona cannot let her sister’s murder go. She can’t sleep and she can’t leave the small town where the unthinkable happened. Her sister’s murder has stopped time for both herself and her father until Fiona hears rumors that Idlewild Hall, the site of the murder, is being renovated.
Woven into all of this (as though it was not enough!) is the threat of a visit in both timelines by Mary Hand, the resident woman in black and the ghostly creature who supposedly haunts the hallways, classrooms and grounds of Idlewild.
Between the two timelines, murders, disappearances and strange happenings abound. What a fun and utterly readable book!
The Chalk Man
by C.J. Tudor
The Chalk Man, C.J. Tudor’s debut novel, is told in two timelines: the first by 12-year-old Eddie; the second, by the same narrator, only 30 years older. There are multiple mysteries in both timelines and the author uses the time-switching device effectively to escalate suspense and dole out clues to you, the wary reader.
The 1986 story has a maiming, a drowning, some extremely brutal bullying and a murder. All the while, there is a big story involving the adults happening just outside the periphery of the children’s attention.
Fast forward to adult Eddie in 2016 who is dealing with a life he didn’t expect. With the reappearance of old friends, another drowning and some other strange goings-on, Eddie has no choice but to re-examine his discovery of a headless body in the woods in ‘86.
There are so many great themes in this book – the powerlessness of children, the pull of childhood friendships, growing up and not having the life you thought you’d have. Add to all of that, strange chalk drawings, an albino, an abortion doctor and a hell-fire spouting preacher and you have a weird, wild ride where you can’t take anything for granted. What a thrill!
Thanks to Crown Publishing for the ARC!