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Revenge of the Witch: Witches

The Spook's Apprentice (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1) - Joseph Delaney

Yes, another re-read. I started this series based off a recommendation made to me by my roommate. I loved the first book and continued on with the series until Attack of the Fiend. My roommates favorite character was Tom, but the reason I continued on with the series is Alice and Old Gregory. Tom is your typical male protagonist, everything just works out for him, he's really quite boring. Alice and Old Gregory, however, are much more interesting.

Alice has been raised by malevolent witches; she's surrounded by people who either despise her or are afraid of her. She 'saves' Tom and requests in return that Tom do one favor for her. Tom does the typical protagonist thing and agrees to this without question or setting any limits. This works out just as you'd expect it to. But, what I like about Alice so much is that knowing that Tom is apprenticed to the Spook, knowing what will most likely be her fate when it gets back to the Spook what she did, she still saves Tom.

 

Which leads me into the reason that I like Old Gregory so much; he doesn't take the easy way out. There are only two ways to stop a witch for good:

“The first is to burn her. But nobody should have to suffer pain like
that. The other way is too horrible even to think about.
It’s a method few have heard about because it was
practiced long ago, in a land far away over the sea.
According to their ancient books, if you eat the heart of
a witch, she can never return. And you have to eat it
raw.


“If we practice either method, we’re no better than the
witch we kill,” said the Spook. “Both are barbaric. The
only alternative left is the pit. That’s cruel as well, but
we do it to protect the innocents ..."

I probably shouldn't like him so much for doing what any decent human would do, but I do. Old Gregory spends a lot of time and effort to keep the witches he's captured contained, so he won't have to subject them to such a horrible death. I also liked how he left Alice's fate up to Tom. Instead of telling him how to handle her, he let Tom decide what kind of person he was going to be.

 

I will say though that the ending was a little too neatly wrapped up. The ending meant that neither Tom, Alice or Old Gregory had to put any thought into what to do with Mother Malkin now that she has become much more powerful.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: Scary Women (Authors)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem

This is the second time I've read this book. I liked it the first time I read it and loved it the second time. Shirley Jackson does an amazing job sprinkling clues throughout about the night Merricat's family dies without revealing too much. I had an inkling the first time through, but was never quite sure until the end. Reading through it again makes me appreciate what a good job she did at not giving it away until the end.

 

I loved Merricat and the relationship she had with her sister. I think Shirley Jackson meant it to come across as a little unhealthy, but I really liked how close they were and how they looked after each other in their own way.

 

The ending brought up some not so pleasant memories from high school, but I think that just shows how accurately she portrayed the way people behave in mobs and how nasty they can be when there's no one there that will speak up.

September 2016 Book Haul

Who Could That Be At This Hour? - Lemony Snicket, Seth When Did You See Her Last? - Lemony Snicket Shouldn't You Be in School?  - LemonySnicket Leaving Everything Most Loved - Jacqueline Winspear

Friday I went to Barnes & Noble to pickup birthday presents for my two nieces. I was planning to get in and out without purchasing anything else, but that didn't happen. While looking for Island of the Blue Dolphins and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, I spotted All the Wrong Questions. They also had a collection of books that they had been placed into deep discount, so I picked up Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear. I've read very few mysteries where the person investigating is female, so it's about time I branch out.

File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents: Black Cat

File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents - Lemony Snicket

File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents is a collection of short mysteries that take place between the second and the third book in the series All the Wrong Questions. The series is a prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events and is written in the same style. It's both humorous and dark; if your not a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events, you won't enjoy this book.  As the title suggests it's a collection of 13 mysteries, including 'The Black Cat Cafe', and 26 solutions. It's set up like the Encyclopedia Brown series and it brought up a lot of good memories sitting in the library and speeding through book after book.

September Wrap-Up & October TBR

 

september

 

Books Read: 12

 

5 Stars: 2

Vision Vol. 1

Clue

 

4 Stars: 6

Boy’s Life

Scary Mary

File Under: 13 Suspicious Events

The Spook’s Apprentice

Curse of the Bane

American Gods

 

3 Stars: 3

Pressure

Cujo

Bourne Ultimatum

 

2 Stars: 0

 

Books I regret spending money on: 1

Ring

 

Reviews Written: 7

 

Reviews I need to write: 5

File Under: 13 Suspicious Events

The Spook’s Apprentice

Curse of the Bane

Bourne Ultimatum

American Gods

 

October TBR

My TBR is the same as it was last month. I’m working my way through my Halloween Bingo list, but I also want to read more Vision.

 

DNF @ 15%

The Monk - Christopher MacLachlan, Matthew Gregory Lewis

I've  only read 15%, but what I've read hasn't done anything to make we want to continue. It's not engaging and the characters that have been introduced to are equally horrible. I've been volunteering for overtime so I would have an excuse not to read this, but I'm tired of seeing it on my currently reading shelf, so I'll have to find another book for the Gothic square.

Vision: Buddy Read with BL friends

Vision Vol. 1 - Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Tom King

I went it to this not knowing much about Vision and I regret that now. This was amazing and I need to read the next five issues. There were a lot of themes present in these five issues that attracted me to the X-Men when I was younger. Vision was awesome, but I found myself relating to Viv and Vin's struggle to fit in at their school more easily than I could Vision or Virginia.

The story starts off with Vision and his family moving to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. They struggle to fit in and build a life there. One horrible moment with the Grim Reaper torpedoes their attempt. It sets off an avalanche and the happy life Vision has built with Virgina, Vin, and Viv is snatched away. None of this comes as a surprise to the reader; the narration throughout sets you up for the downhill slide and the way their neighbors and classmates treat them is a dead giveaway that there is no happy ending.

Boy's LIfe: Full Moon

Boy's Life - Robert R. McCammon

I first read Boy's Life in 2012 and I vaguely remembered enjoying it, but that was it.I had read a similar book at the same time and I managed to combine the two books in my head, so it was really like reading this book for the first time. In some ways that was good, I got to experience all those happy moments again and Cory's fight with Old Moses. Unfortunately, that also meant I was once again blindsided by events later in the book. This is one of those books, that while I enjoyed it, I probably won't read again. It brings up all these happy feelings and memories from your childhood and than rips your heart out.

Scary Mary: Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses

Scary Mary - S.A. Hunter

I've had this ebook for several years now, it kept floating to the top of my TBR pile and being pushed aside for another book; I wish I had read this sooner. I was happy to see when I updated my reading status that it was actually part of a series because it was just too short for me. Mary is sarcastic, funny, and very much aware of how the world really works. She's joined my list of favorite female protagonists and I really need to read the next book in the series.


"She really did want him to like her again, but
telling him his house was haunted wasn’t the way to do
it. It was funny how saving a boy from danger didn’t
guarantee him liking the girl. It always worked for the
guy in the fairytales. The damsel always married the
hero, and they lived happily ever after. Fairytales were
sexist, and the real world was unfair."


"She swung her arm back to smash the window
when a thought occurred to her. She reached down with
her free hand and pushed on the window. It swung
inward. She handed the brick back to Rachel."

Pressure: Genre: Horror

Pressure - Jeff Strand, Michael Prescott

Jeff Strand is one of those authors that I can generally pick up any of his books and know I'll enjoy it, but not this time. It may have something to do with the fact I was still recovering from reading Ring, but I just couldn't get into Pressure. There's nothing I can even point to and say this is why I didn't enjoy it. It's most likely a case of right book, wrong time. For now I'd rate it three stars.

Halloween Bingo 2016: Update #4

halloween-bingo

 

Read by candlelight or flashlight: 

 

Magical Realism: 

 

Witches: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney (Ebook)

 

Genre: Horror: Pressure by Jeff Strand (Library)

 

Black Cat: 

 

Diverse author can be spooky fun: Ring by Koji Suzuki (Paperback)

 

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses: Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter (Ebook)

 

YA Horror: 

 

Scary Woman (Authors): 

 

Reads with (Booklikes) Friends: 

 

Grave or Graveyard: The Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney (Ebook)

 

Genre: Mystery: 

 

Freespace: 

 

Gothic: 

 

Creepy Crawlies: 

 

“Fall” into a good book: 

 

Locked Room Mystery: 

 

It was a dark and stormy night: Clue by Michael McDowell (Paperback)

 

Set in New England: Cujo by Stephen King (Paperback)

 

Full moon: Boy's Life by Robert McCammon (Paperback)

 

Vampires vs Werewolves: 

 

Supernatural: 

 

Classic Horror: 

 

Pumpkin: 

 

Set on Halloween:

Halloween Bingo 2016: Update #3

halloween-bingo

 

Read by candlelight or flashlight: 

 

Magical Realism: 

 

Witches: 

 

Genre: Horror: 

 

Black Cat: 

 

Diverse author can be spooky fun: Ring by Koji Suzuki

 

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses: 

 

YA Horror: 

 

Scary Woman (Authors): 

 

Reads with (Booklikes) Friends: 

 

Grave or Graveyard: 

 

Genre: Mystery: 

 

Freespace: 

 

Gothic: 

 

Creepy Crawlies: 

 

"Fall" into a good book: 

 

Locked Room Mystery: 

 

It was a dark and stormy night: Clue by Michael McDowell (Paperback)

 

Set in New England: Cujo by Stephen King (Paperback)

 

Full moon: 

 

Vampires vs Werewolves: 

 

Supernatural: 

 

Classic Horror: 

 

Pumpkin: 

 

Set on Halloween: 

SPOILER ALERT!

Ring: Diverse authors can be spooky fun

Ring - Koji Suzuki, Glynne Walley

The following review will have spoilers, because while a lot of terrible things happen in the beginning of the book, some terrible things happen later in the book which need to be mentioned. The following review has triggers for rape, domestic abuse, suicide, and victim blaming. Here we go.

The only thing that really kept me reading this terrible book was the hope that Asakawa and his friend Ryuji would meet a horrible, painful death. Asakawa and Ryuji are just straight up horrible people and I really can't think of anything positive to say about either of them. Our first introduction to Ryuji comes with a discussion of how many women he's raped. Ryuji practically brags about it to Asakawa. Cementing his status as third most terrible person in this book, Asakawa goes on to say that Ryuji disgusts him, but he still hangs out with him, because there's just something about him. Asakawa proceeds to bring the confessed rapist into his house with his wife and young daughter after his wife has begged him never to bring Ryuji home, which is a totally reasonable request. It gets worse.

 

Asakawa, fully believing that after watching the tape he will die, attempts to off everybody he has a passing acquaintance with. He first shows the tape to Ryuji, which can be somewhat forgiven because Ryuji insisted on watching it. But Asakawa then goes on to offer to show it to his boss and a colleague. It gets worse.

 

I guess at this point the author didn't think there were enough reasons to hate his characters, so he added another one. Our budding serial killer leaves the tape laying around his house, unmarked and his wife and young daughter watch it. No warning about the tape, no note, just leaves it laying out. His response, he calls his wife an idiot
several times and thinks about hitting her for endangering their daughter, never mind that he was the one that left the tape out. It gets worse.

 

Asakawa and Ryuji discover that the tape was created by a woman named Sadako who was killed by Dr. Nagao. Dr. Nagao raped her, killer her, and then dumped her body in a well. Dr. Nagao tells Ryuji and Asakawa that some force compelled him to rape Sadako and then kill her. Way to shift the blame to somebody else. It gets worse.

 

It's revealed that Sadako was intersex and that she was a virgin. Asakawa goes on to misgender her several times (I hate these characters). Asakawa and Ryuji then proceed to theorize that Sadako was unable to have sex with anybody (really hate them) and so fed up with life, she forced Dr. Nagao to rape her so she wouldn't die a virgin and then kill her (these people are the worst). Asakawa then comes to the conclusion that maybe, note the maybe because he's still unsure, she didn't force Dr. Nagao to rape her, but she definitely forced him to kill her. I can't really say it gets worse from here because I think we've reached the peak of this books awfulness, but it certainly doesn't get better.

 

It's revealed in the end that Ryuji has never actually raped anybody and he just told Asakawa that to impress him (I can't even). Moving on, our horrible excuse for a human being, I refuse to use hero to describe this guy, rides off into the sunset to save his family, by showing the tape to his wife's parents.

 

As far as plot goes, I was too focused on the casual attitude to rape, spousal abuse, victim blaming, misgendering, suicide and Asakawa's horror that anybody should die a virgin to focus on it. Did I mention how much I hated Asakawa?

 

Halloween Bingo 2016: Update #2

Halloween Bingo.jpg

 

Read by candlelight or flashlight: 

 

Magical Realism: 

 

Witches: 

 

Genre: Horror: 

 

Black Cat: 

 

Diverse author can be spooky fun: 

 

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses: 

 

YA Horror: 

 

Scary Woman (Authors): 

 

Reads with (Booklikes) Friends: 

 

Grave or Graveyard: 

 

Genre: Mystery: 

 

Freespace: 

 

Gothic: 

 

Creepy Crawlies: 

 

"Fall" into a good book: 

 

Locked Room Mystery: 

 

It was a dark and stormy night: Clue by Michael McDowell (Paperback)

 

Set in New England: Cujo by Stephen King (Paperback)

 

Full moon: 

 

Vampires vs Werewolves: 

 

Supernatural: 

 

Classic Horror: 

 

Pumpkin: 

 

Set on Halloween: 

Clue: It was a dark and stormy night

Clue - Michael McDowell

Going into this, I had a faint feeling of dread. The book was either going to be so bad, it would ruin the movie for me, or so good, it would ruin the movie for me. This novelization nailed it. I don't think I've ever read a movie novelization that so perfectly captured the movie. Some of the humor didn't quite carry over; it's kind of hard to capture the visual aspect of Wadsworth's explanations at the end, but it did a decent job of it. I really only have the one complaint and that is the fourth ending; it was pretty awful. I'm actually glad it was left out of the movie because it was so over the top and cliche and the tone of it was just jarring compared to the other three.

Cujo: Set in New England

Cujo - Stephen King

I liked this book, or rather I like parts of it. King as always, did an excellent job building the suspense and setting all his characters into motion. The scenes with Donna and Tad locked in the car were especially well done, with King managing to capture both the fear and hopelessness of the situation. The ending, I won't go into detail, was horrific in a good way. Looking back at everything that led up to the ending, it seemed inevitable.

 

What ruined my enjoyment of this book however, was King's fascination with bodily fluids and functions. I noticed this somewhat in Firestarter, but it seemed to have reached an excessive level in this book and I'm starting to see a pattern. At one point it seemed like every other page there was a mention of sex, urine, or somebody farting. The only thing missing was repeated references to boobs and it could have been written by my teenage cousins.