Hello friends, fellow Bloggers, virtual neighbors all! I’ve been a busy bee and away from my beloved blog for far too long and am pleased as punch to be back. Y’all can bet your tender vittles I’ve been reading all the while, though, and now I’m gonna tell you all about it. Lemme just jump right in with my favorite of the batch, from my good friend and sometime co-conspirator Liz Charnes:
Violet Blue: A Fairy Tale by Liz Charnes
I posted an earlier version of this review on Goodreads, where I rated it 4 of 5 stars, “really liked it”, and shelved it there as fairytale/folklore, fiction, modern fantasy, novella, & urban fantasy. Clicking the linked title above will take you to Liz’s Amazon page, where you can read additional reviews and buy your own copy. Seriously, go buy your own copy!
I really enjoyed Violet Blue (NOT to be confused with the prolific erotica author of the same name!), Liz Charnes’ fun, funny, and rollicking fantasy adventure of classic fairy tale characters possessed of 21st-century sensibilities. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, suspenseful, laugh-out-loud fantasy adventure full of great characters and neckbreaking twists & turns. you’ll want to add this one to your shelves. I’m damn glad I did!
I rated it 4 stars instead of 5 only because there were more than a few errors in spelling, syntax, & mechanics, the kind of mistakes a professional editor would’ve caught if Charnes could afford such a thing. In the current environment of self-publishing and small, independent publishers, these types of errors seem to have become inevitable.
As a sharp-eyed and picky former wannabe English professor (and briefly an adjunct professor of English), I can’t help but notice errors and feel obligated to mention them. As a lover of good stories, though, I assure you such errors aren’t so prevalent here as to detract from the joy of this book.
Seriously, though. Read it. Buy it. And when you’re finished picking yourself up off the floor following one of your resulting laughing fits, go read some more of Liz’s awesome stories on her blog.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. Review of the audiobook version, read by Jason Isaacs.
I posted a review of this on Goodreads, where I rated it 5 of 5 stars, “it was amazing”, and shelved it there as fiction, horror, novel, supernatural, & young adult. Clicking the linked title above will take you to its Goodreads page, where you can read the blurb and many additional reviews.
Wow, what a story!
A Monster Calls is a gripping, gritty, dark, scary, and ultimately uplifting tale of the developing friendship between an unfortunate boy and the powerful, terrifying, all-consuming monster he unwittingly summons to save him from his rapidly disintegrating life. At the same time, it’s a thrill ride of a coming-of-age story about learning how to deal with the most extreme trials & tribulations of adolescence while figuring out who can or can’t be trusted and learning how to distinguish between enemy & ally, be they family or friend. And it contains one of the truest statements ever uttered, in the form of a piece of advice given from the monster to protagonist Conor: “You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions…What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
Jason Isaacs does a phenomenal job narrating the audiobook, and I’ll be looking for more by Patrick Ness and the late Siobhan Dowd. And you’d best believe I’ll be giving The Girl a copy of this book for her upcoming 13th birthday!
The Flight of the Silvers (The Silvers #1) by Daniel Price
I posted this review on Goodreads, where I rated it 3 of 5 stars, “liked it”, and shelved it as fiction, novel, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, suspense, & series. Clicking the linked title above will take you to its Goodreads page, where you can read the blurb and many additional reviews.
There are oodles of eloquent, accurate, and passionate 1-star reviews on Goodreads lamenting Price’s juvenile characterization, dialogue, depiction of emotional relations, and failed, sometimes pathetic, attempts at wordplay, but I will not add my voice to theirs; if you want, look a few of them up before you decide whether or not to read this doorstop of a novel and its even bigger sequel(s).
Through the first two-thirds of The Flight of the Silvers, I became so disgusted with those numerous shortcomings that I almost gave up on it. Several times I laughed out loud at how awful it could be; once even to the point of tears. More than once, I almost threw it in the trash can but didn’t because it was a loaner from my baby bro’.
But as bad as it can be, the world Price has created, the web of mystery he’s spinning, and the plight of the characters he’s presented & through them the fate of multiple worlds kept me hanging on, and I’m glad it did. Not all of his wordplay is bad; some if it is dead on, blackly punny, and will make you laugh aloud. Price does a great job of coming up with new words to describe his new worlds.
If you have the patience & the will to bear with Price’s authorial birth pangs, you’ll be rewarded by introduction to his brave and believable alternate world, its innumerable timelines and parallel worlds, and the flawed but brave guides he’s created to carry you through it. By the time I got two-thirds of the way through The Flight of the Silvers, I had a hard time putting it down. I’m already way behind on my reading goal of 60 books for this year because I’ve read so many long books, most of them nonfiction. But I think I’m going to have to go on to the even longer book 2, The Song of the Orphans, soon, even if it jeopardizes completion oy my reading goal.
Have y’all read any of these books yet? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts about them? Tell me what you think in the comments down below.
Take care, be well, and always, always, always, happy reading!
Via FOWC with Fandango for 8/20/18, “neighbor”
Via Ragtag Daily Prompt #81, “tender“