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Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant
“The official record says all hands were lost at sea. We believe that something far worse occurred. We believe they were found.” -Mira Grant, Rolling in the Deep.
It started as an expedition from the Imagine Network, a ‘documentary’ set to find proof of the existence of mermaids. The liner was populated with its crew, scientists who signed on for the research opportunities, representatives from the Imagine Network, and a troupe of mermaid performance artists. In the event no mermaids were found, some would be provided to tease the cameras every now and then.
No one anticipated there would actually be mermaids in the deepest part of the ocean, or that somewhere while telling tales of mermaids through the ages we got some very important details wrong.
Rolling in the Deep is a beautiful, lethal story about human dreams and desires. It is a short, but very careful book- characters are all thought out and breathe life into the story, and ultimately contribute to pull of the final horror and while bread crumbs of foreshadowing are laid out well for the readers, the end still hits with stunning impact. It is science all twisted up in a fairy tale, and that fairy tale takes its cues from the old cautionary stories we have mellowed over time and tellings. It is for people who look at the ocean with equal parts captivation and distrust, for those who like their fairy tales with a twist, an edge. Highly recommended. Just not, perhaps, before a trip to the beach.
Being Small by Chaz Brenchley
Michael lives with mother and his dead brother Small.
They were twins, Michael and Small, until Michael absorbed Small into his stomach before being born. Small was removed to allow Michael to thrive, but that does not mean he has gone away.
Small is accounted for at meals, on birthdays. He is Michael’s main playmate, chess opponent and extra space to store memories and knowledge. Small has been twinned throughout his personality and circumstances since Michael was born. But when Michael makes his first friend he starts to drift away from his dead twin. On his 16th birthday and with a chance meeting with a dog and its owners, Michael starts to change.
But Small cannot change. He is dead. And he is not accepting of changes with and distance from his twin.
‘Being Small’ is one of the most human things I have ever read. From Michael, who always wants to be bigger and cannot handle being called small and his nomadic and very specifically mad mother, to the household of adults and the ill man that is the center of their lives it is a stunning look at the struggles that fill growing up, dealing with loss, trying to survive. It is rich with humanity, all the terrible tragedy and utter joy that makes up the human experience.
‘Being Small‘ is a coming of age story thick with ghosts. It is a look at identity, at learning, at human relationships, at coping. And it is beautifully written. Highly recommended.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
“This story is for all the slightly broken people out there.
I am one of you. You are not alone. You are all beautiful to me.” – Patrick Rothfuss, Author’s Endnote, Slow Regard of Silent Things
Pat warns his readers, in the Author’s Forward, that they might not want to but this book, that it is a strange story, and deals entirely with a side character from the Kingkiller Chronicles. It is a strange story, but it is strange as a result of all the perfect and beautiful ways one can use words. How one can look at a character and get so snug inside their head one starts to look at the world differently.
It is a book that is hard to wake up from. You break out slowly, your head still thick with and tangled in words. It is beautiful and it is perfect.
It is not a book for those looking for grand adventure, action, dialog. It is a novella that sneaks up on you, quietly draws you in and is loath to let you leave. A lot of that is Pat’s words- the way he plays with them, coaxes them into new configurations and meanings. Part of that is the character of Auri herself, enthralling, exceptional, unique, and so very broken.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things is for anyone who wants to know more about Auri, not necessarily how she fits into the grand scheme of the Kingkiller Chronicles- you will not get plot advancement or hints here- but just…Auri. Herself. What she does and why and how she does it. It is a look at seven days of her life, in her head. And it is magnificent.
It is, indeed, a strange story. But it is exactly the story I wanted.
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.