Tag: fiction

Book Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2
Author:
Joe Hill

Published: April 30, 2013
704 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Kim’s Review:

First Joe Hill book … worth it! As soon as I read the description, I was hooked. And he had me almost the whole time. The only reason I took away a star is because he unfortunately falls into the same flaw as his father, sometimes he just drew out the story when it should have been condensed. However, I still really enjoyed this book! I liked his timeline within the story. I loved the characters! There was a lot of growth and emotions. I didn’t know how it was going to end, but when the end came, I loved it. There were so many scary elements that kept me on edge. The mystical, metaphorical elements, I actually got most of them! I feel like I understood the story and I don’t always say that with these ambiguous plots. I really liked this book a lot. It kept me engaged (most of the time), I cared about the characters, and I understood it! I can’t wait to read more Joe Hill!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre
Author: Max Brooks
Published:  June 16, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  June 3-11, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars     

Book Description:

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now.

But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing—and too earth-shattering in its implications—to be forgotten.

In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it.

Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that.

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before.

Jessica’s Review:

The title of the novel tells you everything you need to know and expect: a volcanic eruption, Sasquatch (what!?!?!)  and a massacre (Everyone is gonna die!!!  Right?????)   and I was ready for this adventure of horror. I listened to the audiobook version which was superb!

Devolution is formatted through Kate Holland’s journal, investigations, and more.  Through the novel we get a first-hand account of the Mount Rainier eruption and the small town’s fight for survival.  Due to the eruption, the already well isolated town becomes even more isolated as they cannot reach anyone outside and have to fend for themselves.  Then comes…. Well you know what is coming.

I cannot give the novel 5 stars as the beginning did really drag for me.  I was even tempted to DNF it, but the fact that I knew Bigfoot and disaster was coming kept me going.  And once the monsters appear, you can’t help but HAVE to finish this novel!  Kate totally transforms from housewife to a badass warrior and I really liked her and rooted for her.  Devolution has multiple meanings and we see Kate evolve or more so devolve throughout the course of the novel.

If you have ever had any interest in Bigfoot/Sasquatch then Devolution is a MUST READ book!  If you are picturing Bigfoot as in Harry and the Hendersons, these are NOT that kind of Sasquatch!  These are big, hairy, animalistic, and downright frightening monsters! 

From the title you know what is going to happen and I was ready for this frightful adventure! I hope that is becomes a well-done series for TV. I would totally watch it!  The main narrator for the audiobook is Judy Greer.  You may not know her name but if you look her up you WILL recognize her as an actress who has been in many films, but never in the starring role.  As I listened to Devolution I pictured Greer as Kate Holland and really hope that when and if a mini-series comes around that she has the starring role!

There are other narrators in addition to Greer: Nathan Fillion, Kimberly Guerrero, and Max Brooks with special appearances by Jeff Daniels, Mira Furlan, Kate Mulgrew, and Steven Weber. The audio also included Terry Gross and Kai Ryssdal as themselves. But Greer was the star of the audiobook for me.

Brooks is very descriptive and you can picture everything from the way the monsters are portrayed. I even liked the way the novel ended.

Devolution is recommended if you can get past the slower pace of the beginning!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

The Night Sister
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Published:  March 8, 2016
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel’s past, something that ruined their friendship forever.

Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock’s next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

Kim’s Review:

I listened to this book on audio and thankfully, the narrator was a good one! It was a very easy listen and I was able to keep up without any trouble. The characters were mostly likeable and interesting. Even though many of them were younger during most of the story (different timelines), there wasn’t all that horrible YA drama. I was a little confused by the paranormal aspect. It was hinted at at the beginning, but I wasn’t really expecting it. Here I was, looking for metaphorical meanings, when in reality, the paranormal aspect was actually weaved through the plot. I get that paranormal is not supposed to be overly realistic, and unfortunately, I think it took away from the story. It felt a little anticlimactic.

Overall, this was a pretty good book; it’s got a horror tinge, without being super scary. I did very much love the Tower Motel as a setting! So I’d say it’s a good book to recommend to those who enjoy mysteries.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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