Thursday, October 5, 2017

Time for warm apple cider and pumpkin pie

Fall is in full swing up in the mountains.  The mornings are crisp and smell like autumn harvest.  The days are perfect for being outside working without getting heat exhaustion.  The leaves are beginning to turn.  And best of all, Halloween is right around the corner!


The Fifth Doll by Charlie Holmberg

To get you in the spooky spirit, I highly recommend the lastest book by Charlie Holmberg.  She is quickly becoming my favorite author because no book has disappointed me yet.  I really feel like I cannot lose if I pre-order her work.

The Fifth Doll has been given a horror label by the publisher, but I'm not sold on that distinction.  The entire time I was reading the novel, I was waiting for that big tingling moment that made me want to hide the book in a chest at the bottom of the ocean, and it just never came.

There is a distinct creep factor to the story from several characters and the overall mechanics of the magic in the story.  But I actually found that The Paper Magician raised more hairs than The Fifth Doll.

What really made me love this story as much as all of Holmberg's works was the depth of moral inspection.  We once again have a heroine that is presented with the two sides of loving someone and the moral questions that can bring forth.  I am always up for a good book that makes me introspective.

What would happen if you opened your first doll?  You'll just have to go get a copy and read this amazing story to figure out what that question means and how you would answer it.  Now it's time for me to go off and do lots of autumn stuff.

I can say that I have been on a definite Slavic folk kick lately with both my video games and stories.  Now I'm working my way through The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, the sequel to the amazingly gifted The Bear and the Nightingale. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Happy Release Day (again) to Christina Soontornvat

I previously raved about the excellent middle grade fantasy Changelings last September.  Here we are one year and one month later to welcome the conclusion to the duology surrounding Izzy and her fairy friends.

In a Dark Land by Christina Soontornvat

If you'd care to hear more of how amazing the first novel is, head back to my previous post.  Today, we are going to continue the raving with this succinct conclusion to Izzy's wonderful tale.  And boy, oh boy, does it have a completely different feeling.

A whole summer has flown by and Izzy still isn't back where she is supposed to be.  Or so she feels.  This is not the high adrenaline adventure story as the first novel.  This is dealing with all the lessons that were discovered in the first novel.  The fun spirit of all the characters are all still there but hiding behind the struggles of growing up and finding where you fit in the world.

The darkness and doubt are all just a part of growing up, and this novel handles it beautifully.  This is what a middle grade coming of age novel is all about.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story even if it wasn't the page turning adventure we got last time.  In a Dark Land really proved to me that this is an author who can grow along with her characters.  I look forward to future works.