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Book Review: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)

Book Review: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)


The Gunslinger by Stephen King
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

So begins what Stephen King considers his magnum opus, The Dark Tower. The line above is among the most well known opening lines in modern literature, and it perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the short novel. This first installment, The Gunslinger, is the only book in the series I’ve read before, and I knew I needed a refresher before I dove any deeper into The Dark Tower. While The Gunslinger isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, with areas that drag and a last quarter that goes too hazily ephemeral to maintain an emotional connection, it’s a fun and very original introduction into what I’ve heard is an incredibly powerful and unique series.

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Book Review: The Hunger, by Alma Katsu

Book Review: The Hunger, by Alma Katsu


The Hunger by Alma Katsu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Readers know how this book will end before even starting the first chapter. After all, the Donner Party is one of the most famous factual examples of cannibalism in the Western world. If you’re reading a book about the Donner Party, you know without a doubt that things aren’t going to end well. No matter how these characters strive toward their goal, you know most of them will not only not make it to the end, they will end up being eaten by the members of the party who remain. Because of this, every page of Alma Katsu’s The Hunger ratchets up the tension and unease as you close in on the inevitable outcome.

“Evil was invisible, and it was everywhere.”

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Book Review: The Fold (Threshold, #2) by Peter Clines

Book Review: The Fold (Threshold, #2) by Peter Clines

The Fold by Peter Clines (Narrated by Ray Porter)

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Threshold (Book 2)

Genre:  Science fiction, mystery, Lovecraftian horror

Published: 2nd June 2015 by Crown (US)


The Fold is yet another utterly absorbing and entertaining genre-bending novel by Peter Clines, which was impeccably narrated by Ray Porter.

I didn’t even realise that I’ve read the first book in the Threshold series, 14, almost exactly a year ago. It must be something related to this bizarre universe that Clines have created in his series of connected stand-alone novels which triggered such a coincidence. The Fold is the second book in the series, with a completely different story and new cast of characters in the same universe.

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Book Review: Locke & Key: The Complete Series (Volumes 1 – 6)

Book Review: Locke & Key: The Complete Series (Volumes 1 – 6)


Locke & Key: The Complete Series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

Two or three times a year, I get a random and powerful craving for graphic novels. This is not generally my genre of choice, but it makes for a fun departure from my usual reading. That craving hit early this year when I saw that Netflix was developing the Locke & Key series of graphic novels into their own original series. Since I have this thing about reading this book before seeing the show or movie, I knew I needed to read these immediately. They’ve also been on my TBR list for literally years, so what better time to take the plunge? I’m so glad I did. For the first time in my life, I think that a series of graphic novels might be contenders for my favorite reading experience of the year. And it’s only February!

“Dying is nothing. I’ve died a thousand times and I’ve always come back. Ideas can’t really be killed. Not for good.”

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Book Review: Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill

Book Review: Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill


Full Throttle by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vary rarely do I review the audio of a book. Though I’m a big audiobook reader/listener, I tend to swap between the physical and audio versions of I’m reading and generally just review the actual book itself, not the audio production. There have been a few notable exceptions, most especially Daisy Jones & The Six, but those exceptions are few and far between. Today, I have another exception to add to the list with Joe Hill’s most recent short fiction collection, Full Throttle. And it was such a strong collection! There were only two stories that I really didn’t care for and two that I felt were just okay, as opposed to the nine stories that were either 4, 4.5, or 5 star experiences.

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Book Review: Misery by Stephen King

Book Review: Misery by Stephen King


Misery by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

October is all about the spooky for me, and King is my preferred supplier. I’ve read roughly a third of his body of work and, while I’ve enjoyed all of them for the most part, most of them have been suitably creepy without actually scaring me. Exceptions to this have been Revival and IT the first time I tried to read it. I can now add Misery to that list. This book legitimately gave me nightmares while I was reading, because, though not probable, every event in the book is actually possible.

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Book Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Book Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

The origin of this novel is almost as famous as the book itself. A group of friends seek to outdo one another with their ghost stories. Mary, the youngest and least famous of the group, writes not a ghost story but a brief novel that has far outlived the works of every other member of the party, and that is often cited as the first science fiction novel. I recently attended a lecture on Frankenstein, in which the lecturer pointed out that there was no real science present in the novel as Mary had not been well educated in the subject, and so cannot really be considered science fiction. While I admit that she has a very valid point, I still believe that Frankenstein is indeed science fiction because the plot could not have existed without some nebulous and unexplained scientific discoveries, and helped propel this speculative genre into the popularity it still enjoys today. Even though Shelley was poorly educated in the sciences, she created something that continues to entrance and repel members of the scientific community hundreds of years after she first penned her only famous work of literature.

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Book Review: The Institute by Stephen King

Book Review: The Institute by Stephen King


The Institute by Stephen King
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

“Great events turn on small hinges.”

I love Stephen King. This has not been a lifelong truth, and my infatuation began a mere 5 or so years ago. Since then, I’ve read a third of his body of work, and I’ve been largely impressed. While I do believe that King would benefit from a harsher editor, and that he often fails to stick that landing with his endings, Stephen King has an incredible mind. The plots he dreams up, and the characters he creates to populate those stories, are pretty spectacular and always feel original. While I’ve enjoyed everything of his I’ve read at least in part, some of his books are more successful than others. The Institute is just such a book. The plot was disturbing and vaguely supernatural without seeming implausible. The cast of characters was beautifully fleshed out and varied. And the ending didn’t suck!

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In Defense of IT: Chapter Two

In Defense of IT: Chapter Two

I’ve heard so many mixed opinions on IT: Chapter Two.  I adored the first IT (not the Tim Curry one, the 2017 one), so I was super hesitant to even give Chapter Two a try, fearing that it would sour its predecessor in my mind.  I bit the bullet and watched it anyway, and now I am both confused and just a little angry with the internet.  Chapter Two was AMAZING.  How anyone could watch that movie and not think it was incredibly well done is beyond me.  It was thoughtful and well balanced and more than I even hoped it would be.  

**Beware: Mild spoilers ahead, because I didn’t know how to write this without referring to the ending.**

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Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Revisiting a famed story over 35 years after its original publication has to be terrifying for any author, even the King of Horror. However, King handled this with great aplomb and, though I was skeptical in the beginning, I feel that he did right by Dan Torrence. In his author’s note King said that this story spawned from two questions: “Whatever happened to that kid from The Shining?” and “What would have happened to Danny’s troubled father if he had found Alcoholics Anonymous instead of trying to get by with what people in AA called “white-knuckle sobriety”?” Through Doctor Sleep, we get answers to both of these questions, but with Danny himself standing in for Jack Torrence in the alcohol department.

“There are other worlds than these.”

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