Reviews

The Guardians
by Andrew Pyper

(review coming soon)

 

 

The Demonologist
by Andrew Pyper


June 8, 2013 - "The Demonologist" is one of the better books concerning the antics of demons that I've read in quite a while, though not many exist. It's up there with the likes of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. Pyper has a knack for making a paranormal scene believable because of a smart prose and a style that reads easily. Though I read quite a lot, I'm not always a fast reader, but I read this one in two sittings. I love the horror genre, but most horror books aren't very good, in my opinion, and I'm very critical of most. This one kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. I really loved it.

"The Demonologist" is one man's take on Milton's "Paradise Lost." Professor David Ullman, an expert analyst of the Milton poem, discovers the hard way how it relates to his life situations. The story contains an amazingly eerie atmosphere throughout, especially within the passages explaining the devastation and melancholy of those controlled by the devil. I didn't want the book to end, so I did the next best thing. I started reading Pyper's "The Guardians" as soon as I finished it.

 

 

The Ghosts of Belfast
by Stuart Neville

June 4, 2013 - Though certainly not too farfetched from Ireland's dark past, The Ghosts of Belfast is the fictitious story of IRA soldier Gerry Fegan and the twelve ghosts haunting him. Each a victim of murder and terrorism by Gerry and his treacherous associates, the ghosts disappear and stop tormenting him only after those responsible for the crimes are eliminated. He's thought to be crazy by those who see him talking to thin air—the spirits only he can see—but he appeases the ghostly victims of war torn Belfast by going after the guilty.

It's a story of closure, in which a murderer finally comes to terms with the wrongs he has done over the years. He finally realizes that the deeds he had carried out for politicians and mob leaders were never actually for a just cause. It was merely to feed their hunger for power and greed.

It was an interesting and exciting read. The story and its characters were extremely real-like, and it was written in a prose that was colorful and descriptive, yet not too graphic. It often made me feel as though I were actually present in the scene, hearing the brogue and local expressions. I'll certainly read more novels by Neville eventually.

 

 

Under the Dome

by Stephen King

May 30, 2013 - I recently read "Under the Dome" on a whim. I wanted to get to it before the TV series begins (June, 2013), even though I had other books lined up to read before it. I wouldn't consider it one of King's better novels, but it was interesting all the same. The story has many characters, most of whom become pawns in the game of selectman Jim Rennie and his crazed son, Junior. As soon as the dome falls over this unfortunate town, the evil wheels in Rennie's head start wreaking havoc quickly. Everyone becomes targeted in his seedy attempt to exude power. It makes one wonder if any town's people would fall to the deviate levels of those of Chester's Mill, if put through the same scenario.

Stephen King has a knack for exploiting crazed religious fanatics. Rennie always notices the evil in others, as he quotes scripture and talks of God's wrath, while ignoring the fact that he's the most evil person in the town. The level headedness of some of the others, especially Dale Barbara (aka Barbie - short order cook, decorated army veteran) and Julia Shumway (editor and publisher of the local newspaper) reminds us that sanity still exists here.

The crazed antics of the town's people and their shared need to survive in a town covered in a mysterious dome kept my interest throughout. At first, everything (cars, trucks, planes, birds, and even people) crashes into the indiscernible dome. But unimaginable terror hits home when the air becomes stale, and breathing becomes more and more difficult; murder and death runs rampant. And people become mad and hysterical when faced with such conflict. Anything can and will happen when folks realize that they're secluded and shut off from the rest of the world. Let the show begin!

 

 The Thirteenth Tale

by Diane Setterfield


Mar. 7, 2013 - I don't get to say this as often as I'd like, but `The Thirteenth Tale' is easily the best story I've read in quite a while. I'm using the word `story' as opposed to `book' because many books simply don't tell a meaningful, moving, and complete tale as well as this Diane Setterfield debut. From beginning to end, it moves smoothly along with descriptive and colorful characters in entwining and perplexing situations, and it's written in interesting and understandable prose. It took a little time for me to get used to the sudden changes in first person narration, but it was effortless once realized.

`The Thirteenth Tale' is a mysterious, ghostly story of mortal existence, family skeletons, and the grief suffered from life's trying disappointments and unfortunate fate. It's a story of love and personal closure. It's an intricate story of twins. But most of all ... it's a puzzle.

 

Margaret Lea, a young writer whose father is the owner of a small book store, is asked by an aging author to write her biography. She's summoned to the house of the famous yet sickly author, Vida Winter, to hear her story told slowly and delicately. The past is brought to life, yet Margaret is constantly left to read between the lines and decipher the mystery for herself. Vida tests her wit and psychological framework by supplying her with mere pieces of the puzzle, while insisting to hear her story as well. Margaret was chosen for a reason.

After all, everyone has a story.

Meanwhile, the literary world is puzzled by the fact that Vida's collection of stories is missing the thirteenth tale. However, Vida is quite aware of the existence of her final, yet most magnificent story of all.

In fine British prose, by an author who is undoubtedly in love with the works of Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen, and who appears to be following down that virtuous novelist path herself, `The Thirteenth Tale' is a heartwarming and melancholy story of truth brought to the surface. I enjoyed it immensely.

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 The Ghosts of Varner Creek

by Michael Weems

Feb. 23, 2013 - Self-published books often tout a stigma of unprofessionalism that sticks out more than the actual story (unfortunately), but every now and then one ascends above that and shines.

The Ghosts of Varner Creek, by Michael Weems, is one of them. It has some editing issues, but the grammatical errors and out-of-place words are easily overlooked by the emotion emanating from the mind of the main character, Sol. And since this poor farm boy is the narrator, the grammar often fits right into the setting anyway. Sol is a naive youngster in an unsophisticated world, but nurturing maturity and attention to detail make him extremely lovable.

The Ghosts of Varner Creek is about hardworking, traditional folk, amid the darkness of domestic abuse and alcoholism. It's about complex dysfunctional secrets, unfinished business, truth, and rectitude; closure coerced by the ghosts in Sol's world. It's an engaging and thought provoking story. Click the title for more.

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 The Hiding Place

by Corrie ten Boom

 

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