Posts Tagged ‘supernatural’
CSI meets Lord of the Rings.
An awesome premise, a promising treat. I wished hard that it would work.
But I’m afraid, CSI (especially CSI Las Vegas) is smarter still and LOTR is too grand to fit in a gore-fest thriller happening inside a medieval castle.
Forensic science hardly helped Dubric Bryerly, head of security at Castle Faldorrah, from keeping the death toll from the work of a Jack-the-Ripper type running loose in the castle from reaching to 11 in a space of a few weeks.
Young servant girls were being butchered, their insides torn and eaten, despite all the guards, the interrogations, and the ghosts of the murdered victims.
The ghosts don’t help, in fact. They just appear to Dubric, and won’t leave him alone, unless he gets their killer.
A burden, a curse, this ability is but one of the many fantastic side effects of a world that used to be steeped in magic. There were mage wars decades ago, apparently. Dubrick was among those who set out in an epic adventure to rid the world of evil.
They went to war, and won, suffering terrible losses. Survivors had to go on with their lives, however—imagine Frodo or Aragorn called upon to solve a domestic dispute or a diplomatic relations disaster. With Dubrick, it was a serial killer with a taste for girls.
It’s clear to me, though, that his glory days are long gone. He couldn’t seem to keep his wits, or common sense, about him.
The mystery was dark and gripping, but not that difficult to crack. I didn’t have to keep guessing. A man like him used to solving murders shouldn’t have to keep guessing, especially when someone as dim as I am with clues and signs heard alarm bells not that far into the story
Now I wish that Dubrick’s ghosts would finally leave him alone. Though it would remove much of the fantastic ideas that made this book so appealing to me initially, it may be able to make Dubrick less distracted, allowing him to see the obvious—and this series more intelligent.
Strange to describe a serial killer book as cozy reading–but that’s how I found THE TUNNELS, about a serial killer targeting the daughters of powerful men, murdering them in the tunnels underneath a New England college.
I read it during commercials, to make myself sleepy before going to bed, while waiting to take my turn in the bathroom, as I ate… I thought this book is ok, interesting enough, written well enough, paced good enough.
… Maybe it’s not strange at all but just very kind. the book was NOT good enough to distract me from the million and one other things I want to do these holidays.
Others who read a formula followed to the letter would be more scathing, I suppose. they expect surprises and memorable characters, which are sadly lacking in this book. Kelly Jones, the FBI agent was like any other tough FBI agent, her tragic past did not make her more interesting because so many other FBI agent-characters also had tragic pasts; her partner Jake was bland. and though the writing was easy on the eye, the plot was predictable.
The attempts to inject attraction between Kelly and Jake seemed forced… I wince (embarrassed for the writer) every time I encounter these instances
But let me be kind. we all shouldn’t expect remarkable stories all the time anyway. Our reading palate has to take a break from intense and unforgettable reading experiences once in a while.
Which is why we should be grateful that there are fluff and OK books out there. I am grateful, believe me. I am about to read the sequel BONEYARD–because I still have a million and one things to do and i don’t want a book that’s too distracting.
what is horror?
it’s having to plow through 500+ pages of drawn out suffering and the mind-ramblings of characters scared out of their wits.
certainly there wasn’t any wit at all in this book, just a bloated re-use of a classic horror theme: young people trapped in the middle of nowhere; there are monsters out to get them (in this case, man-eating, semi-sentient vines); they all die; another group of young people wanders in; they all die again….
the book was so slow (everything seemed to be going in slow motion!), too full of the mental ramblings of the characters…. in fairness, i think the story would have worked if it were just a short story. as a novel, the power of the psychic horror experienced by the characters was diffused.
I discovered Karen Marie Moning’s DARKFEVER in Saigon of all places. Bought it, now reading it as I crash after days of high energy being a tourist, really enjoying it! the heroine starts out shallow but gutsy–which is not a minus in my book. The adventure is so much more intense if everything is bewildering at first, experienced by someone who has a lot of growing up to do to survive.
The story – pretty and sheltered, mackayla or mac only worries about her makeup, pink outfits, and earning enough college units to keep her parents happy. But her pretty little world shatters when her older sister gets killed in Dublin.
But before her sister dies, she calls mac on her cellphone, leaving a voice message about having to find the Sinsar Dubh. For the first time, she leaves her southern hometown and travels to Dublin to get the cops to reopen the case. But in dublin, she starts seeing shadows that move on their own and runs into menacing bookstore owner barrons, who tells her she is a sidhe seer, one who can see through fae glamor and thus a prime target for the light and dark fae.
Mac is scornful, suspicious; her modern sensibilities affronted by tales of fairies coming to get her. Then she sees more of the dark fae… and they definitely were out to get her!
So she reluctantly joins Barrons in a search for objects of power (oops, as Mac irreverently calls them). The Sinsar Dubh, it turns out, is a million-year old book containing the darkest and most powerful spells in the world. They must find it even as they discover the walls between fae and humans are falling down–more and more of the dark fae, abominations all of them, are pouring into our world, seeking life and beauty so they can steal them or destroy them…
Mac starts out as insipid, but as things become complicated we see her changing, motivated by grief, a desire to find her sister’s killer and avenge her, and maybe discovering a concern for something outside her small world defined by herself and family as she witnesses what the fae can do to people… Even the light fae destroys by sex; humans who have intercourse with the fae becomes addicted to sex, wasting away until they die of despair.
I rarely finish a book in record time these days because of so many distractions, but i did this one. The plot is gripping, the characters enigmatic (good guys aren’t really good; V’lane, the light fae prince, keeps trying to subjugate mac into acquiescing to rape by force of his sex magic), the setting exquisite (the foggy streets of Dublin, heels tapping on cobblestone roads, pubs and bookstores as beacons in a city being overrun by monsters), and there is enough tension between mac and Barrons to keep me wondering whether these two could be an item in future volumes.
Barrons is also sufficiently mysterious. Who is he really?
Tomorrow, i’m going to scour the bookstores for the sequels, else i won’t be able to sleep!
this book reads like a graphic novel: gritty, edgy very violent, and very big on atmosphere. i can see the splatters of lurid colors and inky textures as blood and gore mix with heaps of trash among the alleys and desolate structures of an urban neighborhood populated by hookers, the lost, the innocent, predators, and modern saviors.
the rather simplistic plot is perfect for the comic book, in fact. gabrielle cody is a 21-year old part-time author of an underground graphic novel series about an avenging angel on earth who saves the innocents but destroys the wicked.
a creative outlet, a way to earn money, cody’s writing is but a dim reflection of what cody has encountered and done over the years–for she has an ability to see auras and extreme malevolence at work. at certain times, a terrible pain will come over her, her reflexes speed up, and she will know that she is summoned to destroy evil.
she, as well as the priest who trained her in the use of her talent, believes she is God’s paladin, given a mission to seek out demons.
an orphan and loner, cody lives above a comic book store and her only friend its owner and her landlord–until detective luther cross comes along, investigating the death of a severely mutilated and cancer-riddled man. the detective is drawn to cody, appalled by her tough-as-nails attitude yet more so by her crusader-like attitude towards danger.
so what we have here are most of the great ingredients of an urban paranormal story: edgy plot, interesting characters, a rather desolate setting of a city, a geeky sidekick, and chemistry. What’s missing is brisk dialogue: the drawn out conversations that keep going in circles or stilted exchanges could get annoying.
there’s also a disorienting feel to Servant. she sees and destroys malevolence, cody says–but she could very well be just psychotic, and we the readers inside her mind are swept up by her delusions and fanaticism.
pity this is a text novel, because as it is, i just like it. but if it were a graphic one, i’d love it…. sometimes, it’s not the story that’s off, it’s the medium.
i’m so hooked on The Repairman Jack / Adversary Cycle series… already have The Tomb, Legacies, Gateway, Harbinger, The Keep, and Nightworld… but i can’t seem to get the books in order. i really would prefer not to skip volumes…
Jack is very likable because most times he’s just your ordinary guy – smart but not diabolically intelligent. in fact, he doesn’t always save the day for everyone; but this makes him more of a ‘real person’ for readers.
in this volume jack has to travel out of his beloved New York City to the Everglades to see his comatose father. he meets anya, one weird old lady, who reminds him eerily of other weird old ladies with dogs. he also meets semelee, a girl living with a bunch of physically odd men (alright, let’s be politically incorrect for the sake of clarity… freaks) out in the swamps.
both anya and semelee think jack is special. and this ‘specialness’ is connected to the two supernatural forces slugging it out with each other since time began. on one side is pure evil, on the other, pure calculation…
but semelee has plans for jack, which she will carry out even it means going through jack’s father.
jack also learns much about his father, who’s not the staid accountant he’s known all his life. just like jack, he has secrets, and it’s time they get to know each other
In the second installment of the Repairman Jack series, Jack’s girlfriend Gia asks him to ‘fix’ the theft of Christmas toys from an AIDS center for kids. The doctor in charge of the center is Alicia Clayton whose dark past has caught up with her, colliding with Jack!
Ever the fix-it guy, but this time out of compassion, Jack helps her solve the riddle of a house she has just inherited, willed to her by her notorious father. Apparently, there is something very important hidden inside it. Her despicable half-brother is in the pay of a mega-rich corporation and is doing everything he could do prevent Alicia from getting full control of the house.
Alicia doesn’t want the house though, she wants it destroyed… It represents so many painful memories, but everyone she enlists for help—legal or not so legal—ends up getting killed!
Will Jack be next?
LEGACIES departs from the horror aspect of THE TOMB. There are no supernatural creatures lurking nor are there ancient legends to act as clues. All we have is a clean sci-fi thriller; but one that builds really well on the urban mercenary-for hire angle. It also succeeds in fleshing Jack up some more.
Though I can’t really buy too much into the idea of an emotionally versatile jack . He can’t be so amiable one second and terrifyingly enraged the next without blemish. Sometimes, the way Jack is put out seems too carefree for him to really be this ruthless urban mercenary.
But F. Paul Wilson does have an uncanny habit of giving his villains and maybe-villains a sympathetic and all-too human face. it makes it really difficult to hate them. the mercenary in the hire of the enemy is crude and a cold-blooded killer yet all his earnings from his jobs go to his senile mother’s medical care. the enemy himself longs to go back to his country to rescue his troublemaker son from jail but stays until he can fulfill what he believes is a sacred duty to his country.
LEGACY’s storyline is just as filled with twists and turns as the previous volume, told in a clean writing style and fast-paced manner. I miss the supernatural elements of the previous book, though, because I prefer paranormal mysteries.
To sum up, Repairman Jack fans won’t be disappointed with LEGACY.