5/5 stars – loved it!
Sometimes a book is written so enchantingly that it draws you in and fully immerses you in the story from the very first page. The act of reading a book like this becomes an experience in itself. I feel this way about Chris Wooding, Jeff VanderMeer, and Francesca Lia Block. There’s some kind of magical quality to the prose, and it doesn’t matter if what’s going on makes perfect sense, or is explained in perfect details. The details that exist paint a perfect enough picture. It’s enough to believe in the magic of the story, of the world being set up, and like a fairy tale, you just go with it and let it sweep you away.
Reading The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff was like that. The description is lovely and visual, evoking imagery that is by turns bright and dark, sharp and dull, creepy and beautiful. The novel is mostly told through the eyes of Daphne, the half-demon and half-fallen angel daughter of Lilith and Lucifer. She lives in Pandemonium, a city in Hell marked by metal, heat and permanence. Daphne is bored, lonely, and, most of all, terrified that she will turn out like her succubus sisters who prey on the lost young men of Earth. Sitting in her apartment, she watches old movies and surrounds herself with colorful artifacts leftover from others’ past lives, wishing for something more.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium
October 27, 2011 – LPA Cinema Series: Jeepers Creepers, It’s Boris Karloff!
Last night, my father and I made plans to see “Out of the shadows: The Fashion of Film Noir” exhibit at the NYPL at Lincoln Center. When I got there my dad was beside himself with excitement (or so it seemed with my headphones still on) when we discovered that there would be a presentation about Boris Karloff starting right that minute. (FYI, there are tons of great free performances going on all the time in the Bruno Walter Auditorium.)
The performance consisted of four very talented voice actors on stage, reading the parts of Boris Karloff, various family members, and other industry folks like Peter Bogdanovich. The actor who read the part of Boris Karloff was fantastic. He really had the voice down. The readings were interspersed with audio of Karloff’s interviews and video clips.
I should add here that my dad is something of a film buff. (That’s putting it mildly.) I am truly my father’s daughter in this regard, but I don’t have the same kind of encyclopedic knowledge about film history. So of course I knew that Boris Karloff played Frankenstein, but last night I was presented with a lot of really inspiring information about his life and career that, as an artist and writer, was helpful to hear.
5/5 stars – loved it!
Mary lives in a village surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Within the village, the Sisterhood takes care of everything and the Guardians maintain the fence that encloses them. No one has ever been outside the village because the forest is full of the Unconsecrated, and the Unconsecrated are always hungry for living human flesh.
Raised on fairy tales of the outside world, Mary has a hard time keeping the faith the Sisterhood preaches. She knows there is something beyond the forest, that there is the ocean. After all, she’s seen a photograph of her many times great-grandmother on the beach, before the Return. Before the Unconsecrated rose.
When tragedy strikes her family, Mary’s life undergoes many changes. It tears her up inside, living a life that was given to her, not the one she has chosen. She begins to learn that the Sisterhood is keeping secrets, and curiosity consumes her, even though it might also destroy her. She is also consumed with desire for the one guy who is completely off-limits to her.
And then the fence is breached. And Mary, who has struggled with her beliefs, must allow her faith to lead her along the only path left.
I really enjoy reading Chris Wooding’s novels. (I also recommend Poison.) There’s something very dark and weird to the worlds he creates, and it makes the stories edgy and exciting. The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray is no exception.
Set in an alternate universe of Victorian London, there are more than just famous serial killers (in this case, it’s Stitch-face) to worry about. Ever since the city was bombed, wych-kin have been appearing in the Old Quarter. They kill, possess, steal babies, and just generally do bad stuff. They’re the things of nightmares, of fairy tales, the things that go bump in the night. And they just keep coming.
We’re joined today by author Kate McMurray, who has a spooky new book out. Take it away, Kate!
I’m agnostic about ghosts.
I spent nearly every summer of my childhood at summer camp. The last one I attended had legends about ghosts who lived in the woods, and I remember being nine or ten years old and whispering “Bloody Mary” into the mirror in the girl’s room just to see what would happen. I went through a phase when I was maybe fourteen when my best friend acquired a ouija board and had me convinced that the spirit of a teenager who died in 1963 could tell me whether the boy I had a crush on liked me back. Not long ago, I got sucked into some TV show on haunted hotels that was utterly fascinating, and I found myself wondering if I could stay at one or if the prospect of ghosts would freak me out. And I often think, well, ghosts and hauntings probably aren’t real, but there are just enough weird things reported that maybe…
(This review is by guest blogger Erin!)
I like a lot of angst in my romance. Not in a gratuitous way—not angst for angst’s sake—but I want a really juicy conflict. I want to feel all the turmoil going on between the characters. I want the conflict to be substantial, too, not just “Oh, does he like me?” but “he likes me and I like him but there are fifteen reasons this can’t possibly work.”
Dance with Me certainly delivers on that level. It’s an opposites-attract story between two people with a lot of baggage. Ed is a former semipro football player whose career was derailed by a neck injury. He has a desk job he doesn’t like and suffers from chronic pain related to the injury. Laurie is a former professional dancer who gave up his career after a humiliating incident at a competition (more on that later). They meet because they both volunteer as teachers at a local community center. They argue, mostly over the music Laurie keeps pumping over the sound system, and things come to a head when Ed begs Laurie to turn off the thumping beats, offering to do anything, and Laurie stops the music (ha) on the condition that Ed be his assistant in a ballroom dance class he teaches. Ed agrees.