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Monthly Archives: June 2013

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A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Halloway

“…this visit is clearly not being spent with finding a husband in mind.”
Eveline made a sound a protest. “There was only the one corpse” (A Study in Silks, Holloway).

Eveline is the niece of Sherlock Holmes, and appears to have inherited both his acute attentive curiosity as well as his inability to quite fit in with societies expectations of normal. While visiting her friend Imogen, right before the start of their Season, the body of a murdered servant girl is found in the house, and Evelina finds a letter thick with dark magic hidden on the body. Using that illicitly pilfered evidence, Evelina needs to solve the murder of the servant, lest Imogen’s brother be implicated in the crime.

Halloway has created a world that is a cunning mix of classic Sherlock Holmes and the modern steampunk movement, swirling in just enough magic to attract the attention of urban fantasy fans as well. It is a book that will read well across genres, appealing to a wide audience. Evelina is an enjoyable character, and the supporting cast all live strongly for the reader as well. Halloway has even tackled the great Holmes as well, and done him justice.

As a fan of just about every genre and style this book flirts with, I was quite the happy reader, and I look forward to more!

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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Saratoga Springs, 6/20/2013

I was lucky to hear a reading from this book when I saw Neil last week. It was beautiful and brilliant and eerie and if audiobooks are your thing I highly recommend getting your hands on that version.

Ocean at the End of the Lane is all at once ethereal and horrifying- a perfect mix of the mundane and the macabre, folklore and daily life woven together in ways that it make it seem that one cannot possibly survive without the other. And that is exactly as it should be. It is the story of a bookish boy who ends up walking a fine line between both worlds, seeing both the beautiful and the terrifying.

It is told from the point of view first of a man who remembers a childhood long past, and then a child caught in a nightmare. Finally an adult thinking back on that nightmare he had forgotten. It is a book about the world of adults, and the worlds of children. Leaving the hall light on at night to keep the monsters at bay, listening to parents talking as you drift off to sleep to feel safe.

It is, honestly, one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. I am going to be digesting it for some time now, working through all of the little bits, the feelings and the thoughts it urged me, ever so quietly, to contemplate. It is not intentionally poetic, but it is a book that will call to the dreams, the ones who stayed up past their bed times with books, who found fairly rings as children. The ones who, maybe, imagined that a pond at the end of a lane could be an ocean as old as existence itself.

It is a book for adults, it is also a book for children. For parents to read with their kids, for kids to recommend to their parents. I will be rereading. Highly recommended.

Forbidden Fruit by Anne Aguirre

“I see dead people. Okay, that’s a lie. I hear dead people—on an antique radio…” – ‘Forbidden Fruit’, Anne Aguirre

I have been a happy fan of the Corine Solomon books since I stumbled across a copy of Blue Diablo (book one).  They are fantastic, and fun, and full of incredible characters. Shannon and Jesse are two of those very fantastic characters, and I was ecstatic to see Ms. Aguirre write a story set between two of the main books of the series dedicated to the two of them.

The two of them as they deal with some magically inflicted amnesia, some rather delightfully raunchy feelings for each other, and some intrusive demons.

If you have read the series, do NOT miss this delectable little tidbit. If you are unfamiliar with Ann Aquirre or the Corine Solomon books, go grab a copy of Blue Diablo. But…don’t start reading if you have somewhere to be the next day. Ms. Aguirre’s books are damn hard to put down.