Welcome to my August wrap-up post featuring all of the fantastic posts on my blog that I posted during the month of August.
My August Posts.
- Long Long Way to Go by Def Leppard.
- Fuel: Hemorrhage (In My Hands).
- All That Remains: This Calling.
- Cold: Don’t Belong.
- Waiting on Wednesday: The Other People by C. J. Tudor.
- The Deaths and Afterlife of Aleister Crowley by Ian Thornton – Spotlight.
- Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan – Guest Post.
- July 2019 monthly wrap-up.
- Father of Storms by Dean Jones: Guest Post: How I Got It Published.
- Mahoney by Andrew Joyce: Guest Post: BD and Research.
- Inside and Out Book Tag (a little fun and a little filth).
- The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag (a little fun, a little filth and I also answered the questions seriously too).
With One Star The Behrg has written a cunning, concise and complete story, smart and succinct with a brilliant and unexpected ending. The writing flows well, there’s dark imagery, poetic sentences, plenty of emotion and the story features a shocking twist that is totally surprising and expertly implemented.
One Star is a little slice of sinister storytelling, a relevant story that is both thrilling and darkly entertaining.
When you see them, old walls are not something that you really pay attention too, they are just there, they simply are. Walls are barriers, they offer containment and they keep things in. Walls are barriers, they offer protection and they keep things out. Rutger does a good job of making the stone walls in The Possession creepy, mysterious and intriguing.
The writing in The Possession flows well and is of decent quality as is the characterisation (there’s enough depth for you to get a feel for all of those involved in the story) and the pacing. I did feel like the story lulled in the middle section (only slightly) but, it is akin to the calm before the storm. As the darkness falls and as the tension intensifies the last half of the book is chilling, gripping and edge-of-your-seat reading.
If you haven’t read The Grim Company trilogy then A Ring to Rule Them All serves to whet your appetite and acts as an introduction. Offering you a snapshot of Scull’s work, his writing and a glimpse into the world and a couple of his characters. But, if like me you have read the trilogy then A Ring to Rule Them All adds a little extra detail, depth, emotion and history and it is like being reacquainted with a couple of old friends, even if only for a quick visit.
Those who have read the trilogy already knew that Kayne, with the help of Jerek, escaped from his prison, from the Shaman and that is why the pair were heading south in The Grim Company, to evade the Shaman and his wrath. With A Ring to Rule Them All Scull gives us a prequel, a short that precedes The Grim Company and with it, he gives us the chance to witness the escape first-hand and to see the events as they unfolded on that fateful and snowy night.
There is a real sense of discovery throughout The Last Astronaut and you feel like you are discovering and exploring 2I right alongside the Orion 7 crew. As they explore the interior of 2I, the harsh conditions, the strange landscape, the darkness and their prolonged exposure to it all takes its toll on the characters, their sanity, they become frayed at the edges and they start to come undone. The crew are pushed to their limits by what they find within 2I and the nightmarish horrors that await them in the fathomless depths and the impenetrable stygian darkness of the alien vessel.
The imagery in The Last Astronaut is exceptional. 2I is alien by nature, strange and incomprehensible to the human eye and the atmosphere that Wellington manages to create in the unremitting darkness inside is outstanding. He also does a stellar job of highlighting the psychological impact that the darkness has on the characters. The writing flows well, there is emotion, enough action to suffice and the science is believable (it isn’t confusing either). The story is filled with suspense and tension that simmers throughout building to palpable levels as the crew venture further into 2I, learning its secrets, the truth and as the story nears its end.
After suffering a family bereavement, the devastating and sudden loss of his wife ten months ago Tom Kennedy and Jake, his young son relocate to the picturesque and quiet village of Featherbank. The move is a chance to try and heal, to try and move forward, not forgetting but trying to live again, to put the broken pieces back together and to begin anew. Tom is unaware of the history of the area, the rumours of the ‘creepy‘ house that he buys and of the sinister history of ‘The Whisper Man‘ that haunts Featherbank.
A boy has recently gone missing in Featherbank and the disappearance bears all of the hallmarks of a serial killer who, 15 years ago abducted and murdered five young boys. Before they went missing, the boys all heard a whispering at their window and due to that, Frank Carter, the killer was dubbed ‘The Whisper Man‘. The Whisper Man was caught and since then he has spent the following years in jail, behind bars and locked away. But now, there are echoes of the past and Jake starts hearing a voice whispering at his window.
There’s something heartbreaking and human about the story told in The Whisper Man, something that tugs at your heartstrings, that makes them come undone and that rends your emotions. I’m not going to delve into the story, it’s a sinister yet achingly heartfelt darkened and harrowing road that you need to travel down and discover for yourself. Suffice to say that from the first page through to the last it is brilliant and I loved The Whisper Man so much. It is one of the best books that I have read this year and one of the best books that I have ever read. It is addictive, chilling, dark, emotional, moving, poignant and touching.
With the worst of humanity on display in The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz, there are also motes of light shining through too. The comradeship, the solidarity of the prisoners, the small acts of generosity between them and the humbling random acts of kindness from strangers who put their own lives at risk to help ease the suffering of others. For Gustav and Fritz, it is the will to live, the hope (even if it falters) that they will make it through, the determination to endure, the strength inside, the tenacity of spirit, the ties that bind and the unbroken, the unyielding love of a father for his son and of a son for his father.
While reading The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz you are transported back to a time that is one of the darkest in the history of the world. It is a moving, powerful and remarkable story that deserves to be remembered and deserves to be read.
For me, Limited Wish didn’t quite manage to recreate the magic of One Word Kill. However, it is still a terrific book that I loved reading. I just felt that the overall emotional impact of the story was slightly lessened as nothing could compare to Eva from One Word Kill. Poor little Eva was enough to make even the coldest heart thaw. She was only a minor character but she had a huge impact on both the reader and on Nick (which has reverberated into Limited Wish). Yes, I know that am being rather finicky as there is still plenty of emotion to be found within the pages of Limited Wish and there is even a surprise reappearance by a character that is truly moving.
At just over 200 pages Limited Wish is a short book and one in which Lawrence packs a hell of a lot into those pages. It is a mind-bending story that is action-packed, funny, poignant and full of heart.
There is a beauty and a cadence to be found in Smith Spark’s lilting and lyrical writing. Her writing flows smoothly like waves lapping on the shore and like leaves rustling on a gentle breeze. The mixture of sentences that are used to bludgeon, to beat you and then, those sentences that gently caress you, like a lovers hands, their soft touch, their warm embrace. Like chewing on barb wire, rusted nails and thorns and then, soothing your mouth with the sweetest honey, quenching your thirst with a glass of ice-cold water and that act as a contrast and a counterpoint.
The House of Sacrifice is a tapestry comprised of betrayal, blood, brutality, butchery, conquest, corpses, death, delusion, desires, destruction, killing, love, mania, pain, regrets, plots, politics, suffering, tragedy and violence that are all stitched together with sinews of rotting flesh and the fetid threads of life.
Malone tackles a hard-hitting and tough subject in In the Absence of Miracles. There is something raw about the depiction and Malone deals with the subject in a respectful manner. Throughout the book, he maintains the care and the sensitivity that the topic requires when being addressed and there is no glorifying and no over sensationalising for shock value. But, Malone doesn’t pull any punches either looking at how those who have been mired in darkness have trouble escaping, overcoming their past and how those who have suffered must endure the demons that haunt.
In the Absence of Miracles is a story that grips you from the start and a story that tears out your heart. You are pulled in and you want, no, you need to know the truth about John’s brother and his disappearance. At the same time as that need, as that yearning for the truth you know that also, the truth when it is revealed will lead down some dark roads. And, that those roads will travel to some very dark places where memory, where the horrors of the past await and where monsters dwell deep in the depths of remembrance.
- Ha, don’t be silly!
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