So, this is a series about four families who were cursed by a witch centuries ago and now a family member is chosen every year to face the witch. The family member is chosen by receiving a music box. The members of each of the four families that are chosen then have to hike through the ancestral woods of the witch (and the families) to search for keys and to lock the music boxes. If they don’t find their keys, a demon will escape and they’ll be tormented forever.
So, the premise was good. The main characters we’re likable. The villains were villainous. This was a fun little read to prepare for spooky season. But each of the novellas ended quite abruptly. I suppose we could call them cliffhangers, but it didn’t feel cliffhangery. It felt unfinished. This was a little disappointing because there were storylines I would have liked to know a bit more about.
I would read more by this author (or more in the Scare Street series… if only because I love that they’re knock-offs of Fear Street) but I’m in a hurry to do so.
So, 6/10. Entertaining and quick but nothing that will really stick with me.
I don’t know why I have waited so long to read or at least listen to his book. It’s just a fun world that Neil Gaiman has created. We have Dream. A cranky, emo boy who gets himself kidnapped and then has to rebuild his world and meet the most interesting and somewhat unhinged characters. Even though some of the stories are short and at times not connected to each other it was still a lot of fun. The audio production with voices of James McAvoy, Kat Dennings and Michael Sheen really brings out the story and brings even more life to the story.
I think I what I liked the most about the story is how messing Morpheus is. For a being that is eons old. He has no idea about who people are or who he is either. He has a long history of falling in love with human history only to spurn them when they don’t reciprocate his feelings or do as he wishes. The most egregious example is the story of Nada, an African Queen. They fall in love but when Nada realizes who he is and how impossible their relationship would be tries to break up with him and eventually kills herself. Upset that she choose to end her own life instead of being his Queen, he condemns her to torture in hell. For Thousands of years she suffers and he still feels that she wronged him until he is finally called out by his own family and he goes to free her. Speaking of her family, the Endless are the dysfunctional family we all love. They equal parts love each other as much as they hate each other. While they support they also scheme against each other and it’s fun. Not to human characters who get stuck in the middle but for us as readers. Desire, doesn’t have a big of a role so far as I thought they would but they are a treat all the less. They like the drama and I’m here for it. So yes, I do hope that Audible releases a volume 3 soon because I do love listening to it.
So, I have been recently going through my subscriptions and canceling things that I haven’t been using. The pandemic has killed my interest in many things, I think this is what we call burnout? And I’m taking this as an opportunity to try new things and see what I like (and maybe save a little money). I’m obviously not abandoning reading or abandoning audiobooks, but I’ve got some credits built up and a TBR that exceeds my life expectancy, so it might be time to pause my audible subscription for a while.
And just in time for an audible sale (that is ending tonight), I log in to take a look at my wishlist. So, I thought it might be fun to see what I got with my surplus of credits.
First up, we have The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers. This is a sci-fi book about a truck stop sort of spaceport on the galactic road. The description makes it seem like it might be slice of space life/centering a mother-child relationship. I’m excited to see if I’m right.
Next up we have Jake’s Magical Market by J.R. Matthews. This looks like it is going to be about a clever child during an alien invasion. I’m hoping it is fun because it appears to be the first in a series.
I will be honest and say I picked the next one because I was pulled in by the cover art. This is a YA novel by an award-winning author to promises to be full of mystery and magic.
My next selection is Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. This is, I believe, YA and Sci-fi. It also had a neat cover. I’ve heard that Rebecca Roanhorse is a good writer and I don’t think I’ve read anything by her yet, so I’m excited to try this one.
My next pick is the Girl who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh. This seems like it is going to be full of magic and heroism and I am so excited for it. The main character is a young woman who makes a sacrifice to save her brother and then goes on a quest to save her people.
My last pick (which was actually my first pick) is These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. This one is set in 1920s Shanghai and appears to be about gangsters and flappers. There may be some disease and mayhem and mystery. I couldn’t tell you why but I love novels set in historical Shanghai, so I am very pleased this was an option for me to pick.
And thus ends this haul post. Hopefully, I will get to some of these sooner rather than later and I can follow up on them.
Have you bought any books recently? What have you picked up that you’re excited to dive into next?
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I SLEPT ON THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK FOR SO LONG?? HOW? How??? It’s lovely and wonderful and good and heartbreaking and uplifting in all of the right ways. 10/10. If you’ve not read it, you should go read it (or get the audiobook and then Lin Manuel Miranda will read it to you.) That’s it. That’s the review. Done.
Okay, fine, I’ll say a little more. This is the story of Aristotle, who is a weird kinda angry teenager who goes to the pool and meets a weird kinda know-it-all teenager named Dante. They have very little in common, it seems, other than they are both kind of loners and they’re both Mexican. It’s the story of their friendship. It is about how their friendship grows and how they grow and how they deal with big life stuff. No magic (except the everyday magic of friendships, love, relationships, and personal growth), no monsters (except for the very real human monsters we’ve all met), just two teens living their lives and learning truths that feel like unlocking the secrets of the universe. Maybe it is that the world feels very dark and precarious right now, but reading a novel about just normal life stuff that had a good ending felt really great.
So, I still agree with the first paragraph. 10/10, would definitely recommend.
Remember, 3,000 years ago, when Larry Wilmore told Milo Yiannopoulos to fuck off? Well, Malcolm Nance was also on that episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. Crazy, right?
Anyway, this book turned out to be a really timely read as it is about Russia, the 2016 US elections, hacking, foreign interference in American politics, and the first family. You know, the people getting patents in China while also working in the White House and shooting endangered sheep. I’m glad I read it because it gave a lot of detailed background on things (like the FBI investigation Crossfire Hurricane) that have been popping up in the news lately. So, if you’re looking to go into Christmas armed to do battle against your conspiracy-theory-believing Uncle (understanding, of course, that a lot of cognitive research notes that “just presenting people facts” is not a particularly effective way to change people’s minds. I know, humans! Why are we like this?!), then this is the book for you. If you’d like a very clearly laid out description of Russia and their involvement in the 2016 elections, I also recommend this. If you’re teetering on the edge of “fuck it” or “burn it all to the ground”, then give this one a pass.
So, I still have half a Pop Culture Homework Assignment book to finish, but I already had this downloaded when I went on a yarn crawl last weekend, so I started it on the road. I will finish Strange the Dreamer…I just have to figure out what format I’m going to finish it in.