Review: A mix of poetry and short stories, by an Indie Canadian author! The poetry focuses on humanity, its faults and downfalls. All have a similar rhyming scheme and are expressive of the author and his views on many different aspects of life. The short stories are a mix, mostly moral stories meant to make the reader contemplate what it means to be selfless, caring, and less greedy. Several of the stories tackle sins, such as greed, envy, wrath, etc. All the characters are confronted by their own missteps and either learn from their mistakes or are destroyed by them.
The short stories were philosophical and political, asking the reader to step outside their comfort zone and confront (wink wink, nudge nudge) their own opinions and prejudices. The reader can place themselves in the scenario of the characters and ask what they would do, and if their decisions would lead to a better, similar, or worse outcome than the main character's decisions.
Review: What an ending to an incredible series. It had everything; from diversity, to gore, to religion, philosophy, guilt, love, freedom, history, and action. There was not a moment when the reader was not being bombarded by fantastic illustrations and answers to all the burning questions all the other novels have left the reader contemplating.
Persephone (Laura) is back from losing her God powers, only she means to disrupt the never ending God cycle. She delves into the past, searches for the truth about Ananke, the God powers, and why using them causes these young people to die after two years of being musical idols. Is power, fame, and money really worth the price of life?
Review: Fun Home is a look into the tragic loss of Alison Bechdel's father, who was struck by a truck. The title of this graphic novel is much like the contents, untrustworthy. Fun Home is what Alison and her brothers call their family business, the Funeral Home. Alison, as a narrator, can only really give insight into what she remembers about her own past and what she believed happened the day her father died. Her father hides a secret from his family for years, and Alison's own sexual awakening stirs up family drama.
It is a graphic novel about a relationship between daughter and father, from youth to adulthood. Our fears, as young children, of the powers our parents hold and knowing so little about them. Then as we slowly grow up we begin to witness their weaknesses and how, as their children, we inherit particular traits. It was also an interesting look at anger towards a parent, but also the constant need for their love, understanding, and approval.
Review: The Aska and the Riki clan have been enemies for generations. To appease their opposing Gods, they meet on the battlefied every five years to slaughter each other. Eelyn is a fierce Aska warrior, determined to kill as many Riki as possible. Only, this killing season, Eelyn comes face-to-face with the brother she believed was dead. Iri, her brother, is now fighting alongside the Riki; five years after his apparent death.
Eelyn is captured, while trying to follow her brother, and is forced to become a slave to her bitter enemies. She is put to work in the household where her traitor brother dwells, with his adoptive family (including his "brother", Fiske). This is a novel all about family, obedience, blind faith, hate, rage, love and redemption.
Review: This is the graphic novel adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, featuring the infamous Hercule Poirot. The story occurs on a train, where a bizarre murder intrigues Poirot. Multiple, differing stab wounds, an excess of clues that lead to no where and do not seem to fit any particular culprit, and a carriage full of possible suspects. Poirot is forced to interrogate all of the strange characters travelling with him, while the train is stuck due to an unexpected snow storm.
I was not super thrilled with this interpretation. While the art was well drawn, I felt it was quite generic, with no real oomph or originality. Which, I think this adaptation truly deserved, as one of the quintessential Christie novels.
Review: Zuri Benitez and her four sisters have lived in a cramped apartment in Bushwick all of their lives. However, Bushwick is changing with the gap between the rich and poor growing, and Bushwick now becoming the hot spot for rich to move outside of Manhattan. The Darcy family moves into a mansion right across the street from the Benitez building. Zuri and Darius immediately clash, where her older sister Janae and Darius's older brother Ainsley hit it off right away.
This is a retelling of Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen, transferred to the modern streets of Brooklyn. I found the premise of this creative and all the plot points well thought out. The switches to the story blended so well with the culture clashes of today. From changing the assembly hall dance to a street party, from a piano recital to slam poetry, Zuri encompassed the modern day Elizabeth Bennett perfectly.
Review: This novel begins as a nightmare dream sequence, then switches to the present and the main character (MC) remembering her past. We switch to the past, beginning in Monaco, where the MC of Rebecca meets Maxim de Winter and falls in love. After a whirlwind romance, they are married and spend their honeymoon in Europe. However, once they return to Maxim's family estate, Manderley, things between the newly married couple become strained. There seems to be an ominous presence lurking within the estate, on the grounds, along the beach. It is the shadow of Maxim's first wife, Rebecca, who died mysteriously the year before.
The story was not quite what I was expecting, but that did not take away from the narrative at all. In fact, the format was so compelling and convoluted, making the confusion add to the drama and eerie background.
Review: This is a short story collection of true ghost stories, which take place in Canada. The selection covers most of Canada and includes sightings, strange occurrences, paranormal activity, even something as small as knots haunting a family. There is no hard proof, all of it is witness accounts and speculation.
These are all very interesting, and I liked journeying across the country and hearing the history of different locations. I liked that many of the tales were short and to the point. There were a lot of suppositions and unanswered questions throughout, which I found took a bit away and made it more of a campfire story. I understand that this format makes the novel more folksy and personal, but I would have loved more fact based evidence and proof. This book relies a lot on readers believing in ghosts or blindly trusting first hand accounts.
Review: Gabriel Stone arrives in Pale Harbor to be a minister of Transcendentalism. However, he harbours a big secret, he has stolen this role from a dead man. Sophronia Carver is a shut in at her home, Castle Carver, because the people of Pale Harbor believe her to be a witch and to have murdered her husband. These two have many secrets, but when they happen to run into each other sparks fly.
Strange and mysterious occurrences are happening around this little town. All of these happenings are targeted at Sophronia (dead birds, threatening notes), but the townspeople believe she has made a deal with the devil and is at fault for their troubles. The person really responsible seems to have a perverse fascination with the poetry and stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Sophronia, the submissions collector for her deceased husbands magazine, discovers the links and tries to find out who could be so enamored with Poe or why someone would use his stories to terrify her.
Review: Moth Hush just made a big discovery, she is a witch. Now her being an outsider/weird/different starts to make sense to her. The only problem? She lives in a town founded by a famous witch hunter, and the town celebrates his witch hating family to this day. Not only does she have to deal with school bullying, she has to be cautious of the towns Mayor and navigate around her mother, who wants her to have nothing to do with her magical heritage.
The illustrations in this novel are phenomenal. Perfect for a middle grade read, whimsical and bright around Moth, but dark when documenting the past and the witch hunts. Also, her mother's journal pages are dreamlike and foggy. I love the quirkiness of each character, the attention to detail and the humour that cuts throughout. Honestly gripping imagery, beautiful to the eyes.