76 Followers
49 Following
amonstercalledme

Let's Talk About Books

An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading. 

Currently reading

The Hunger
Alma Katsu
Progress: 100/384 pages
The Deep
Nick Cutter
Progress: 172/352 pages
In cold blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
Truman Capote
Fellside
M.R. Carey
Progress: 300/485 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 384 pages.

The Hunger - Alma Katsu

So far this is really good! I'm digging the mix of historical accuracy and horror. 

Reading progress update: I've read 68 out of 352 pages.

— feeling cry
The Deep - Nick Cutter

I'm not crying over the Fig Men, YOU'RE crying! 

The Hunger - Alma Katsu

There's something about the Donnor party that fascinates me, so I'm excited to listen to this one. Only about 2 chapters in but I've got it for a few weeks. Bless overdrive. 

The Black Painting

So I looked all over on BookLikes for this one and can't find it. So I'll link the Goodreads page if anyone is interested in finding it. 

 

I listened to this one via audiobook on Overdrive. The Black Painting by Neil Olson follows a wealthy and dysfunctional family in the wake of the death of the grandfather and head of the family. Was it just a heart attack that killed ol' pop pop? Who stole his apparently haunted Goya painting and is there a demon making the family a hot mess?

 

I really enjoyed this one. It was very gripping and it was difficult to stop listening. Olson does a good job of keeping the plot moving and creating the interesting twists and turns. The characters were also all interesting. I can't say there's one I didn't like as a character, though many were awful human beings. It's also a good example of an unreliable narrator, though I won't say which narrator was the unreliable one. 

 

The big issue with this book is it was incredibly predictable, at least for me. I figured out pretty much every twist/aspect of the mystery early on in the novel. I don't know if that's me being perceptive or if it's just obvious. He still does a good job of connecting the dots, Olson just makes the final picture kind of obvious. 

 

Final rating: 4 out of 5. Predictable but engaging just the same. 

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34888106-the-black-painting

Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 352 pages.

The Deep - Nick Cutter

Yeah, this is awesome and super creepy so far. I'm loving it!

Sweet Dreams Are Made of Bees

Dreamfall - Amy Plum

Just kidding. There are no bees in this story. But I love that weird joke. Anyway, finished this one last night, just forgot to review it. 

 

Dreamfall is summed up as Inception meets Nightmare on Elm Street. How on earth was I supposed to refuse that? Seven teenagers are offered the chance of a lifetime: To be able to sleep again. All chronic insomniacs for one reason or another, they agree to participate in a highly experimental trial that'll help them sleep again. Of course, something goes wrong, and the seven find themselves in a shared dream world where their nightmares come to life. And, much like in the case of Mr. Kreuger, if you die in the dream...Well, you know how it goes. 

 

I really enjoyed this one. Plum has an incredible talent for building suspense and tension. There were so many points in the story where I wanted to stop listening but couldn't because I HAD to know what happened next. There was some awkward sitting in the car moments. The characters all felt fairly solid. Nothing spectacular but I liked them well enough. Ant was my favorite. Just adorable. 

 

The biggest drawback to the story is it's kind of predictable. I knew there was something up with George from the moment she was introduced (I think the prologue pretty much gives her deal away), knew something would be up with Sinclaire, etc. It wasn't horribly predictive, just enough that I couldn't help but roll my eyes. 

 

The other drawback is the writing can be a little amateurish at times. The character names, some of the dialogue, etc. It wasn't horrible and it might only irk me because I'm not in high school anymore, but there were times where it felt like it was written by a high schooler. A talented high schooler, but one none the less. 

 

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5. Very enjoyable and suspenseful and I plan on checking out Neverwake when it's released. 

Dreamfall - Amy Plum

Listening to this one on Overdrive. I’ve fallen back into such bad reading habits that I figure audiobooks are a must if I want to reach my reading goal. Plus it makes for a good time at work and the commute.

The Want-Ad Killer

The Want-Ad Killer (True Crime) - Ann Rule

As far as true crime goes, this is a great one. I really enjoy how in-depth Ann Rule goes into the cases she decides to cover. This was a fascinating and INCREDIBLY frustrating case. At so many points I wanted to throttle someone because the detectives were SO close to solving the case but lacked that one key clue to do so. 

 

In particular, I love how much detail Rule gives about the victims in the cases. When the story is done, I remember them just as much as the killer she covers, which is important. You finish the story knowing who these people were and why it's important they get justice and recognition. 

 

The biggest con I have about this book is I felt too much time was spent on Kathy Miller's death and story. Perhaps it's because that case never got full closure, which I can understand, but I did wonder if this guy had any other victims or if she was the only one. It's a tough call. 

 

Final rating: 4 out of 5. Highly recommend. 

Reading progress update: I've read 250 out of 304 pages.

The Want-Ad Killer (True Crime) - Ann Rule

Okay, technically I'm listening to the audiobook, but still counts. This case is so twisted, I'm loving it. 

Reading progress update: I've read 96 out of 485 pages.

Fellside - M.R. Carey

Fun fact: Pandora makes a lovely reading buddy.

Permanent Reading Buddies

Everyone, say hello to my new reading buddies, Dipper (right) and Pandora (left)! 

 

I adopted them on Wednesday and they've made themselves right at home. Pandora is super cuddly and Dipper can be, though he's a bit more aloof. I love them so much. I think they'll be good reading buddies. 

Reading progress update: I've read 38 out of 485 pages.

Fellside - M.R. Carey

Slowly but surely getting in the habit of reading again.

Evil Under the Sun

Evil Under The Sun - Agatha Christie

I don’t have a ton to say about this one. It’s not my favorite of Christie’s but I enjoyed it all the same. I adore Hercule and aspire to be as fabulous as him one day.

The Ritual - Movie

So if you remember my review, The Ritual was one of my favorite books of 2017. The movie adaptation was released this weekend and all I can say is I highly recommend it. In fact, it's honestly one of the best book adaptations I've ever seen. It's not 100% accurate, but it captures what made the book so wonderful. There are a lot of differences, especially in the third act of the movie, but it's all within the same spirit, if that makes sense. 

 

In fact, my big critique was that the book didn't meld the Blair Witch and Deliverance parts as well as it could have. The movie does, in my opinion. So there's a benefit to that. 

 

Biggest critique is that they're showing Modur, which was always kept very secret in the book. However, I love their interpretation and it doesn't bother me as much as it normally would have. 

 

Here's the trailer for those who are interested: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsZkHrIFJxQ

So...

I got an amazing new job with the Department of Justice that's finally taking me over the mountains and into Denver. Trying to keep up with reading but there's so much to do it might be a little while before I actually finish a book again. 

Satan's Harvest

Satan's Harvest (Ed & Lorraine Warren Book 6) - Mark Merenda, Michael Lasalandra, Lorraine Warren, Ed Warren

I've been curious about this book since the first Conjuring movie. Satan's Harvest covers the possession of Maurice Theriault, a French-Canadian farmer. His possession is considered one of the most publicized and one of the few exorcisms actually recorded. 

 

Now, just to get this out of the way, I do believe Theriault was possessed due to the footage of the exorcism that I have seen. It's an interesting video and due to the time period I'm skeptical it was faked. Not impossible, just not convinced. That said, if I had to use this book to make that decision, I'd say both Theriault and the Warrens are major frauds. 

 

Despite claims of photographic and video evidence, there were very few photos taken in the book. Most were just of Ed and Lorraine, actually, which I felt contrasted very differently from the other books of theirs that I had read. I hate when paranormal books do that, saying they have evidence but never showing it. I'm reading this book to learn and be convinced. The author is the one making the claims so they better do all they can to convince me. 

 

The Warrens themselves, who I've always considered a decent enough couple, came across very differently in this book, especially Ed. He seemed arrogant, pretentious, and close minded. I was especially chuffed during the chapter on the psychiatrist's interview with Maurice. This is a man who went through incredible abuse throughout his life and I was genuinely interested in what those findings would be. But Ed basically shot down everything the man said if it contradicted the theory of possession. This portrayal of the Warrens is very in line with criticisms skeptics pose about them. If this book were my first exposure to them, I'd be fully convinced they were frauds as well.

 

The book also glossed over some pretty major factors of Maurice's life, namely his criminal charges. During the times where his possession was most blatant, Maurice was accused of arson and sexually assaulting a child. You would think the book might want to explore that a bit more, given that it's awfully convenient that he's possessed and therefore wasn't in control of his actions (/sarcasm). Additionally, his treatment of his first wife sounded rather awful and I didn't appreciate how sympathetic the book portrayed him. You can be possessed and still also just be an asshole. 

 

Like I said, I do believe something paranormal was happening with Maurice. I also think he is fully responsible for at least the sexual assault and probably the fires. The Warrens say so themselves, usually someone has to either invite the spirit in or be doing something incredibly amoral to open themselves to demonic possession. At the very least it's a Chicken or the Egg kind of question about his possession and I really wish the book had explored it more. 

 

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A lot of fun spooky stuff to read but oddly narrow minded compared to the other books I've read by the Warrens.