Book Review Quickie: Red Rising by Pierce Brown


So there I am, minding my own business, reviewing the options for library ebooks and I see Red Rising. I was unaware of the story, I just remember hearing that it was good from someone. When I told my co-worker that I was next in line for the book, he excitedly told me how much he loved the book. 

I loved it too. 

I spent the next 6 weeks reading the trilogy. It was lovely, well written, gory as fuck, and had space fights.

Normally I would zone out at any mention of war or military strategy, but Pierce Brown is an incredible story teller. He made these huge 600ish page books incredibly engaging. Every night I squealed for one more page. 

I hope you read this, I hope you follow Darrow into a new world and that you enjoy every bit of Sevro. 

Book Review: The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy

I rarely read book reviews, I rarely read any sort of explanation of a book, I realize that this site is hypocritical.

I assumed that The Dark Net was about the Dark Net, and yes, in some parts it is, but it goes into a whole different place.

At first I was a bit confused because the author switches characters point of views and the first character we meet, we don't see again until about halfway through the book. So the entire time I'm thinking, Hannah? What's with that? When do we find out about that?? Don't worry, we find out.

The Dark Net is partially a cyber thriller, but also demons are involved. DEMONS, ya'll. I really, really enjoyed this book. It was fun and dark and I couldn't put it down.

The Dark Net comes out on August 1, and I really hope you treat yourself to a copy.

Book Review Quickie: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I know its not fair to judge a book against its predecessor, especially when it's predecessor was The Girl on the Train; however, it's hard to be impressed by Into the Water knowing what Hawkins is capable of writing. 

Into the Water is fine, it's not captivating in anyway but its an easy, candy read. Similar to The Girl on the Train, the narrating voice shifts between chapters, but Into the Water doesn't shift as well. There are so many character shifts that it gets really confusing. 

I enjoyed the main story line, I enjoyed the witchy folklore of the small town in which the story takes place. I also enjoyed the characters of Jules and Lena. 

I wouldn't say that this is a skip, though I would suggest moving it down your to-read list. 

Book Review: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays is a debut novel by Elan Mastai ... and it is amazing. 

Our narrator is Tom Barren who starts us off by saying that he is from the world we should have had but he messed it up. A quarter of the book is following the steps that Tom took to get to the point where he fucked up the present. Then we move on to the act itself then the consequences of that act. 

Tom is a failure in his world. His father dispises him. His mother is tragically killed. He cannot hold a job. He is unable to have meaningful relationships. His father, who is a distinguished scientist and the pioneer of time travel, is preparing for the first trip back into time to allow Chrononauts to witness the point of history where the technology of the world was propelled into unending clean energy and expansion.

Tom is given a pity job at his father's company. He's the backup to a brilliant Chronoaut named Penolope. He is mesmerized by Penelope and one day she finally shows interest in him and this is where it all goes downhill. 

I don't want to spoil this for you guys. If you have any interest in science-fiction I highly suggest this book. It was enthralling. Tom is a lovable, interesting narrator. The author created a fantastic story here, go and devour it. 

Book Review: Let the Old Dreams Die by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Not many people are aware of John Ajvide Lindqvist but are somewhat familiar with his work due to the movie "Let the Right One In" (which, in my opinion is the best vampire movie to date). Lindqvist is a Swedish, horror writer, who is frequently compared to Stephen King. 

If you've seen the "Let the Right One In" movie but haven't read the book, stop now, come back in a week. 

Let the Old Dreams Die is a collection of short stories by Lindqvist. Generally I refrain from short story collections, I tend to feel disappointed with the lack of closure that short stories tend to provide, however, Lindqvist's short stories are thorough enough to be consider novellas. 

The writing is fantastic, the care to ensure that character development was thorough is evident. Lindqvist has a delightfully dark sense of humor. It took me a long time to get through this book, but at the same time I didn't want to put it down. 

If you are aware of Lindqvist's work, you'll be happy to note that this collection contains mini-sequels to Let the Right One In and Handling the Undead.  My favorite of the collection was the Fight Club style story regarding older women sick of society. 

Book Review: My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

This book was so damn charming. It's a fun but scary read about two friends (best friends) who grew up together. They met awkwardly at a birthday party for Abby, where Gretchen was the only attendee. Abby was more worldly, came from the wrong-side-of-the-tracks, etc. Gretchen grew up in a white collar family, sheltered from anything that could possibly harm her. 

The book jumps ahead to Gretchen and Abby in High School. One night, while out at a friend's lake house, they and a couple other girls, decide to try LSD. Gretchen strips off her clothes and disappears into the woods. When Abby finds her, she's disheveled and visibly shaken. 

The friends head back home and Gretchen changes, dramatically. 

The novel takes place in the 80's in a private, Christian school. There's a lot of nostalgia in this book which makes it fun, the whole demonic possession makes it scary, and the relationship between the Gretchen and Abby makes it touching. 

Book Review: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood pays homage to Shakespeare's The Tempest in her latest work, Hag-Seed. Atwood's main character, Felix, is a top theater director who was usurped by his assistant Tony. Tony teamed against Felix and orchestrated his dismissal in a very humiliating fashion.

At the time of Felix's embarrassing exit, he was just starting work on his production of The Tempest to honor his daughter, Miranda, who died at 3 years old. Felix doesn't leave in tears, he leaves in red-hot anger. He then sells his belongings and moves into an isolated country shack for the next nine years.

This is very different from what I've read in the past from Atwood. This is an entertaining clash between Atwood's amazing ability at character development and a well known Shakespearean classic. One of my favorite things about this book was that Felix's voice in my head while reading sounded like David Rakoff, and that delighted me.

If you are new to Atwood, I'm not sure that I would suggest this as your first experience. If you want to dip your toe into some fucking amazing books, check out The Handmaid's Tale or The Robber Bride.

Hag-Seed will be available for sale on October 11th!

Book Review Quickie: Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett

Feminist Fight Club has some great aspects. Its funny, its spot on in many points. I think it really is a good guide for women entering the workplace for the first time. There are some excellent scripts on requesting raises and equal pay. 

My qualm with this book was that it pushes the definition of feminism past the equal rights to supporting only women. My suggestion is that when you read this, take it lightly. Accept the good but don't be crazy with it. 

Book Review: The Dollhouse: A Novel by Fiona Davis

The Dollhouse revolves around the legendary Barbizon Hotel. For those unaware, the Barbizon was a women's only hotel/hostel where models, editors, secretaries, etc lived in "safety" away from the men of New York. The narrative switches between Rose, a journalist in 2016, and Darby, a secretarial student in 1952. 

Rose lives in the updated condos of the Barbizon with her boyfriend Griff. She runs into a woman in the elevator that rarely speaks and wears a veil over her face. Rose becomes fascinated with the woman, Darby, who has such an air of regal mystery about her. 

Rose asks around about Darby and finds that she was one of the original residents of the Barbizon, currently living in a rent controlled apartment on the 4th floor. She also finds that Darby's veil covers a large scar that happened Halloween night of 1952. Darby ended up with a disfigured scare, while Esme, a maid at the Barbizon, fell to her death from the Sky Terrace. 

Rose becomes obsessed with the story of Darby, and crossed journalistic ethics to find out more. While Rose's live unravels she becomes more and more obsessed with the story of Darby and Esme. 

This was a fantastic read. It was a quick book, I gobbled it down like candy. It reminded me of The Valley of the Dolls. I loved the developing relationship between Darby and Esme. The end was a bit too quick for my tastes but definitely worth the read.