Tag: 5 stars

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: September 26, 2017
281 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Kim’s Review:

I love the Grishaverse so so much! Ever since I read Six of Crows, I’ve been obsessed. And even beyond that, there isn’t a book Bardugo has written that I don’t like. Language of Thorns is definitely one of my favorites. It’s imaginative and engaging and I have no doubt that these stories are true. They’re all in true Grishaverse form. Dark, rich, cultural . . . And the artwork is spectacular! The more I read, the more I wanted to learn about each of the countries that the stories came from. Bardugo sure better keep writing cuz there’s not nearly enough out there! I would even say these are the kind of fairy tales that I would read to a kid to get them interested in reading. I have no criticisms of any kind and would recommend these stories to any and everybody.

My review of Six of Crows Duology is here.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! This is one of my favorite times of year: Everyone is happy, dressed up, and high on candy. We also had corn mazes, haunted houses, and cooler weather.  (Well not the cooler weather this year…)  Today Kim reviews The Exorcist and gives a video movie comparison! 

The Exorcist
Author: William Peter Blatty
Published: 1971
385 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist is now a major television series on FOX. It remains one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.

Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On opening day of the film, lines of the novel’s fans stretched around city blocks. In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater. In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events; CBS’s Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a true landmark.

Purposefully raw and profane, The Exorcist still has the extraordinary ability to disturb readers and cause them to forget that it is “just a story.” The Exorcist remains an unforgettable reading experience and will continue to shock and frighten a new generation of readers.

Kim’s Review:

The perfect scary story for all horror fans! There aren’t too many that I can say that about, but with The Exorcist, I have no doubts. It is classic horror at its finest. I first listened to this book on audio back when I was working at the car dealership and I had to stop my work, take my headphones off, and check to make sure that the sun was still shining and I wasn’t alone in the office! It was that creepy! The movie is almost as good and will go down in history as one of the most classic and terrifying horror movies of all time. My mom has always said that we were never allowed to watch it and when she saw it in the theater when it first came out, she had nightmares and never really recovered from it. She’s avoided pretty much all horror ever since.

I wanted to read the physical book for a while and when I saw it at Barnes and Noble, the mood hit me and I started reading. Strangely enough, it’s an incredibly easy book to read. I read it in less than 48 hours and I lost a couple hours in between. I was absolutely engrossed. There is so much implied horror and that seems to be the scariest element within the story. The church desecration and terror of Merrin at the archeological dig in the Middle East are fascinating and terrifying. But the characterization of Regan while she is possessed and strapped to her bed is easily the most intense in the book. The little girl who is wasting away and sitting in her own vomit and excrement is one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever read.

Father Karras might just be one of my favorite characters in literature. He’s comforting, sympathetic, empathetic, and likable all at once. Overall, The Exorcist is a book I believe every adult should read, even those who aren’t necessarily horror fans. This is also the perfect book to introduce the horror genre to those who have never tried it. I absolutely recommend it and the movie!


Kim’s Movie Comparison:

Purchase Links:
Novel
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Movie
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Whatever you do, have fun and be safe tonight! Me, I’ll be watching a scary movie after work!

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It’s Time For Some Poe!

Today Kim shares with us some mini-reviews of a few of Edgar Allan Poe’s writings. She also does a video film comparison of a movie based off one of his short stories!

Today she reviews:
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Masque of the Red Death
Some Account of Stonehenge, The Giant’s Dance
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

The Tell-Tale Heart
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe first published in 1843. It follows an unnamed narrator who insists on his sanity after murdering an old man with a “vulture eye”. The murder is carefully calculated, and the murderer hides the body by cutting it into pieces and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately the narrator’s guilt manifests itself in the hallucination that the man’s heart is still beating under the floorboards.

Kim’s Review:

Such a great look at guilt! Once the murder is committed, the narrator is nearly driven mad by his own guilt, manifesting in the loud beating heart under the floorboards! And then, like icing on cake, he throws in some hubris! The narrator has it all under control, until the cops show up and then he literally gives himself away! Excellent short story that everyone should read!

 

The Masque of the Red Death   
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

A short story by Edgar Allan Poe about a wealthy prince who hides out at a masquerade ball with other wealthy nobles in order to avoid the plague known as “Red Death.”

Kim’s Review:
A classic tale of hubris and irony! Also one of those stories that teachers love to dissect and analyze. I remember reading it back in school and trying to figure out the meaning behind all the colors of the rooms … I still don’t know, but I don’t think I’m missing much! However this is a chilling tale that has crazy imagery that gives me goosebumps! You can’t run from death, so don’t even try!

 

Some Account of Stonehenge, The Giant’s Dance 
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

An informative article about the possible origins and functions of Stonehenge.

Kim’s Review:
Poe wrote a historical article about Stonehenge and I found it fascinating! This piece is far from his normal dark fiction, but it is well done and informative. He sticks with facts and we’ll documented speculation from respected historians and ancient writings. My one issue is in his introduction, which is where a writer’s creativity belongs in a work of non-fiction. And I will admit it’s just my personal preference based on my own experience with Stonehenge. I went to Stonehenge with very low expectations, very much like Poe’s view. However, I left with a sense of wonder! There’s something so ancient and magical about Stonehenge and I’m left wondering if Poe had actually been to or seen Stonehenge. But, he didn’t let this color his facts in anyway and gave an impartial view. Very good article!

 

The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether        
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether is a dark comedy short story by the American author Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows an unnamed narrator who visits a mental institution in southern France known for a revolutionary new method of treating mental illnesses called the “system of soothing”. A companion with whom he is travelling knows Monsieur Maillard, the originator of the system, and makes introductions before leaving the narrator. The narrator is shocked to learn that the “system of soothing” has recently been abandoned. He questions this, as he has heard of its success and popularity, but Maillard tells him to “believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see”.

Kim’s Review:
Such a simple tale, yet so effective!! Poe in his typical dark style, tells a story of an asylum where a different sort of treatment is used. One of acceptance and comfort. Pretty unheard of for this time so naturally I’m curious and reveling in the setting!! For such a short story, the twist is nuts … pardon the pun! It’s an amazing story that shows Poe’s genius! It’s easy to read and quick to get through! I absolutely recommend it to everyone!

 

The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether by Edgar Allan Poe vs. Stonehearst Asylum starring Kate Beckinsale and Ben Kingsley Movie Comparison:

Purchase Link:
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
(Barnes & Noble Collectible Edition)

 

 

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