Dinosaur Boy: An MG Read-it-if Review…

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If you are looking for a a very earthly sci-fi, friendship, foiling-an-evil-villain-while-embracing-vegetarianism tale for a middle grade audience, then today is your lucky day!  Today I have Dinosaur Boy by Corey Putmun Oakes, a fairly wacky story about championing your true self when the going gets tough.  Engage eyeball thrusters! Launch review!

Sawyer is enjoying his summer holiday before entering 5th grade when he unexpectedly sprouts bony plates and a tail.  Well, it isn’t entirely unexpected – Sawyer’s grandfather was part Stegosaurus and it is obvious that Sawyer has also inherited the family dinsosaur gene.  As if being a fifth grader wasn’t tough enough, Sawyer now has to contend with the stares and taunts of his classmates and only has his vertically-advantaged friend Elliot, and weird new girl Sylvie, to hang out with.

When Principal Mathis instigates a tough new zero-tolerance policy on bullying in the school, Sawyer’s tormentors begin to disapper, one by one.  Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Sawyer, Elliot and Sylvie investigate and uncover a shocking secret that goes all the way to the top.  But can the intrepid trio keep themselves out of trouble or will they too fall victim to the nefarious plot?

DINOSAUR-BOY-COVER-227x300Read it if:

* you’ve ever been required to protect the safety of others by attaching tennis balls to any part of your anatomy

* you see nothing wrong with changing your appearance – even if it involves modifying your existing clothing to accommodate extra extremeties

* you like your middle grade fiction to contain at least one hybrid gene

Dinosaur Boy was a really strange creature in my opinion.  It’s a little bit of a triumphing over the bullies tale.  It’s got definite sci-fi elements.  There’s a theme about being yourself running throughout.  It’s got a bit of a detective vibe to it.  So really, you could either take the tack that this book has got something for everyone….or say that this book didn’t really know what it was trying to be.

By the end of the tale, I was fairly convinced that the author had settled on this being a story that would (in the next book in the series, at least) stake its claim in sci-fi territory, but up until then I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all.

Sawyer is a bit of an “everyman” character (despite the plates and tale) – he’s likeable, generally average, a good friend, and an authentic representation of a boy of his age trying to get along in life while everyone else seems to have it out for him.  I enjoyed the contrast that was set up early on, between Sawyer’s tentative delight and curiosity at developing the family mutation, and his subsequent shame and confusion as he endures the slings and arrows of classmates that seem to have nothing better to do than pick on the kid who looks a little bit different.

The narrative comes together in the end, despite some very odd plot twists, and overall, I did enjoy the story.  I would have loved to have seen more made of the whole “dinosaur-gene” and how it came to be.  The author focuses on this a little at the start of the book and then it sort of falls by the wayside as the plot twists are revealed.  I’m not sure that this will bother middle-grade readers particularly, but I wanted more than just a cursory explanation for why the main character needed to be part-dinosaur.

This certainly wasn’t anything spectacular from my point of view.  I suspect it will make a nice addition to the “Wimpy Kid” area of the library and will garner some laughs from the target audience, but I felt that the world building was a little lacking here and as the second book seems to be taking things off-planet, I would have preferred a stronger foundation to be built on familiar terra firma first.

I received a copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley for review.

Until next time,

Bruce

 

 

Billy Lovecraft Saves the World: Blog Tour GSQ Review!

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billy lovecraft banner

Well in case the enormous banner just above these words didn’t get your attention, allow me to alert you to the fact that you have arrived at my stop on the Blog Tour for middle grade, sci-fi horror tale Billy Lovecraft Saves the World which will be released into the greater populace by Curiosity Quills tomorrow.  This tale is not for the faint-hearted by any means, but if you are stout-of-heart and prepared to jump into a classic world of Lovecraftian alien adventure (previous experience not required), then read on! I thought that, given the bizarre nature of Lovecraft’s work (both Billy’s and HP’s) it would only be appropriate to pull out the psyche-triplets and deliver a GSQ review.  Enjoy!

billy lovecraft cover

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The last thing Billy Lovecraft’s parents sent him before the crash was a photo of something on the wing of their plane.

Now he’s stuck with a horrible and heart-breaking mystery: What was that awful creature, and why were his parents targeted?

It’s up to Billy to gather a team of like-minded kids and lead them through a dark new reality where the monsters are real, not everyone is who they seem to be, and an ancient alien wants to devour the world.

billy lovecraft

About The Author:

Billy Lovecraft is the young leader of the Cthulhu Detective Squad, which he formed after the death of his parents when he was twelve. He is a writer, scientist, occult scholar, and frequent savior of the world. The things in his basement will give you nightmares.

Find Billy Lovecraft Online:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Now onto the review….

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imageThe Good

Right off the bat I can say that this book will be every early-teen male sci-fi/horror/adventure enthusiasts’ dream.  Not to discount the ladies who also enjoy a walk on the terrifying and bizarre side, but this book called out to me in a voice that said, “I will appeal to reluctant male readers – place me in their clammy hands!”

Leaving the Lovecraftian elements aside for a moment (Quirky will get to those in a moment), the story has fights, guns, bullies, scary aliens, helpful aliens, magic, evil cultists, evil principals, danger, slimy glob creatures and angry vengeful gods from outer space.  Add to that some solid friendship and leadership threads and  the back-and-forth cheeky banter of a group of young lads and you’ve got all the makings of a coming-of-age tale that will surely engage even the most book-adverse teen male.

The plot runs along at a quick pace throughout with a few spikes of extreme alien-whacking action.  The climax, which involves Billy and his group, the Cthulu Detective Squad, in a pitched battle against some local evil adversaries who are attempting to summon a planet-eating demon-god in order for it to…well…eat the planet, is fast and frenetic and a fitting end to such a complex lead-up.

Admittedly, I have not read any of HP Lovecraft’s classic works – I am familiar with them only through internet memes and pop culture references so therefore my knowledge is slim, but it certainly appears as though Billy Lovecraft is well in the know about The Writer and has attempted to use HP Lovecraft’s creations faithfully.  But as I said, with no real background knowledge of the original Lovecraft, I may have to leave it to the traditionalists to comment more fully in that area.

imageThe Sad

I feel I have to say that while I was reading this book, I had to constantly remind myself to suspend my disbelief.  Not with regard to the aliens but with regard to the fact that Billy is only supposed to be twelve years old.  One of the members of the Cthulhu detective squad is only ten.  It seemed to me that this was a bizarrely young age to choose for a protagonist in such a complicated story.  Even though this is tagged as a middle-grade novel, I think it would have to be a pretty advanced middle grade reader who would appreciate the nuance in both the sci-fi elements and the general action-packed plot.  In my opinion, I’d be putting this one squarely in the 13-15 years age bracket, as I think anyone younger than that would have trouble with the more grown-up themes in the book.

I also was mildly disappointed that there is only a token girl in the Detective Squad.  While she plays a reasonably large role in befriending Billy, the only other girl in the story was the (unashamedly scene-stealing) Cthulittle, a squidish, danger-detecting pet.  It was only a mild disappointment, as this story reeks of maleness and boy-men forming a tribe and fighting against other men (in a positive sense, you understand) but I thought I should mention it.  Oh, actually, there is another girl (lady) in the story – but she dies an alien-related death about halfway through, and as she was involved in summoning alien monsters in the first place, some might argue that she had it coming.

imageThe Quirky

If you, like me, are only vaguely familiar with the works of HP Lovecraft, then this story is going to be an eye-popping, mind-expanding, sci-fi experience.  I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty well out of left field to base a book for young readers on works of such deeply imagined classic horror.  It did take me a little time in the beginning to sort the world-devourers from the reasonably harmless moonstone-gatherers and so forth, but there is a wealth of information about Lovecraft’s classic creatures that is deftly woven into the characters’ dialogue. 

Again, I’m not sure how humour-filled the original works are (although I’m guessing not much), the author has done a great job here of including plenty of age-authentic humour and antics that mitigate the somewhat terrifying elements of evil cultists, mind controlling nether gods and imminent death from monsters oozing out of the plumbing. 

All up, this was at once an intense and exciting reading experience.  There was a lot here that had me questioning whether I would be giving this book to an eleven or twelve year old, but as an older reader I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the tale was complex, compelling and laced with dry comedy.  I predict that this is going to be the sort of book that develops a niche audience – it certainly won’t be for every young reader, but for those who are drawn to the story, it could certainly be a launching point into classic sci-fi and horror writings and a gateway into strange new worlds.

Until next time,

Bruce

 

 

An Oddball Double Dip: A Smallgoods Saviour and a Shambling Detectives…

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Welcome, fellow oddballs, to this double-dip of silliness.  Today I have adult fiction and YA fiction for you and they are linked by their commitment to the advancement of character groups too often overlooked in literature – specifically, undead detectives and homeless delicatessen workers.  Load up your bizarre (and slightly gross) savoury snack of choice and let’s jump right in.

Slimy Underbelly by Kevin J Anderson follows zombie detective Dan Chambeaux (“Shamble” to his friends) on a few cases with a definite supernatural twist.  Dan lives in the Unnatural Quarter, home to all manner of supernatural and/or formerly living residents whose existence came to be after an accident with a Necronomicon.  Now undead, not-human and ordinary folk rub along together in this interesting part of the city.  When a worsening stench overtakes the detective’s offices and a pre-pubescent supervillain presents with a case of wrongful eviction from his underground lab, Dan is forced to descend into the sewers to get to the bottom of the problem.  There he bumps into Ah’Chulhu, a tentacular-faced real estate mogul who is playing hardball with his tenants and the whole Unnatural Quarter property market.  As the plot (and the stench) thickens, Dan discovers that he must unearth Ah’Chulhu’s real motive before the entire Unnatural Quarter sinks below the level of social acceptability.  Throw in an Ogre opera singer who has lost his voice, a gang of violent garden gnomes on a spree of armed robberies, and an election campaign that could literally cause the earth to move, and you just know that things are about to get interesting.

18184424Dip into it for…

…a fun and silly detective romp that bursts with characters who reside slightly left of centre.  This book really worked for me as light refreshment during a heavy review period and I was most appreciative of the brain-break.  The highlight of the book for me was most definitely the array of oddbod characters, from Dan himself, to the beleaguered Ogre Stentor, who spends most of the book shouting (in a stage-whisper), “Help! Someone’s stolen my voice! If found, please call the police!”, to the Aussie-accented Ah’Chulhu, who reads very like a slimy-faced Steve Irwin, to a helpful barbershop quartet of toad demons.  Really, the book has everything.

Don’t dip if…

…you’re after serious noir or detective work that doesn’t involve werewolf prostitutes.  There. I said it.

Seriously though, if you aren’t up for a gobful of silliness and disbelief-suspension, you should probably be moving right along.

Overall Dip Factor

This is the perfect book for when you don’t want to have to work too hard and you’re looking for something that is original and fun and will give you a hearty chuckle or two (or more).  I did feel that the plot dragged in a few places (mostly for me it was during the sections involving the weather wizards and their constant bickering.  Although admittedly, one of the weather wizards becomes an important character later in the story and therefore redeemed this plotline a little).  Being a country-monster of Ah’Chulhu, I was slightly affronted that an Australian was cast in such an evil light, but he has his soft side as well, so I ended up forgiving Anderson for that one.  Overall though there are plenty of intertwining plotlines and original characters here to keep even the most cynical, cranky reader from getting too snarky.  Slimy Underbelly is a great pick for when you’re sunning your skin/tentacles/fur/scales/rippling bubonic flesh on a beach (or similar) and you just want to relax and escape into a world that is slightly more bizarre than your own.

**I feel I have to point out that I did pick up one little flaw in Ah’Chulhu’s authentic Australian-ness.  At one point, while dismissing the zombie detective, Ah’Chulhu uses the word G’day. Typically Australian one might think, except this term is only ever used by native speakers in greeting, never in parting.**

Now onto some oddness for the young adult market….

Welfy Q. Deederhoth: Meat Purveyor, World Saviour by Eric Laster is a humorous sci-fi romp set partly in a delicatessen and partly in an alien world in the midst of an invasion (by a second alien species).  The book opens with Welfy, hungry teenaged lad of no fixed address, attempting to find work in exchange for something to eat.  Morton, owner of Grammercy Deli, takes pity on Welfy and gives him a job, thus beginning Welfy’s exposure to the aliens among us (well, kind of).  On descending to the deli basement, Welfy is transported into an alien world, in which he is immediately mistaken for “The One (with a dirty apron)”, a prophesied hero sent to save the Brundeedles from the oppressive and violent Ceparid race.  Along with the alarming discovery that he can now pull weapons from his deli apron pocket, Welfy meets a whole host of Brundeedles, including Princess Nnnnn and her little brother Raoul, and her husband, the jealous Prince Ffff as he fights alongside them to save the Brundeedles from assured destruction.  But hang on – how is it possible for a deli basement to hide a portal into another point in space?  Welfy is going to need all the help he can get from both sides of the galactic divide  (as well as an apron pocket full of weapons-grade salami) in order to save the Brundeedles and figure out his true destiny.

welfyDip into it for…

…a wholly original take on the “undiscovered hero” plotline for the upper-middle grade, lower-YA audience.  This reminded me of nothing so much as Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smek Day, not only because of the sci-fi themes, but also because both books feature a fun balance of humour and action with a healthy side order of silliness.  Books like this work, in my opinion, because although they contain situations and/or characters that defy logic and disbelief suspension, the characters within the story take the story seriously, and because of this it’s much easier to get sucked in to the plot.

Laster has also managed to create a pretty complex protagonist in Welfy.  He’s a homeless kid with an uncertain family history and a more recent track record in foster care.  He’s also a mature and humble sort of guy, prepared to work to get ahead.  I appreciated also the poignant moments amongst the alien chaos.  The author has really done a good job here providing insight into why life on the street might be preferable for some young people than staying in the foster care system.

Don’t dip if…

…you expect your sci-fi to be heavy or serious, or you find characters with unpronounceable names irritating.  There is a fair bit of “Brundeedle language” spoken in certain sections here and I can imagine that some people might find it a bit annoying to read bits of…well, unreadable text.  You’ve been warned.

Overall Dip Factor

This is going to appeal to sci-fi fans of all ages and those who are prepared to take a chance on a story out of left field.  Vegetarians need not apply.  The cover actually gives a pretty good overall impression of the contents and atmosphere of the story, and I would love to see this story in graphic novel form in the future.

To add to the whole “this book is a bit different to your average” theme, Laster has thoughtfully provided an appendix  which outlines how to translate Brundeedle language into English.  And for those stout-hearted code-breakers among us, he’s also included a news article written in Brundeedle language in order for you to practice.  Finally, the book includes a little teaser of a story called “The Case Files of Erasmus Twiddle”, so you can’t complain that Laster hasn’t given you some bang for your buck.

Give it a go if you want to pull something different out of the hat apron.

Until next time,

Bruce

* I received both titles from their respective publishers via Netgalley*

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Death and Dentistry: A Double ARC Read-it-if Review…

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Morning me hearties.  Today we will journey together into the depths of the human soul…face deep philosophical musings about our very existence…question everything we know about what happens after death…and talk about a really cool book I just read.  It’s book number one in a new series and it’s called The Terminals: Spark by Michael F. Stewart.  I received a digital copy for review from the publisher via Netgalley – thanks!  After that, we’ll examine in close detail why it’s never been more important to get your teeth checked regularly, preferably by a Mormon dentist, with Extreme Dentistry by Hugh A. D. Spencer.  I also received a digital copy of this one for review from the publisher via Netgalley – again, thanks!

But let’s begin with death, shall we, and work our way up to the far more frightening world of dentistry.

The Terminals begins with a death. Well, a lot of deaths really, as we are first introduced to Christine Kurzow – Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, recent accidental “murderer” of eleven of her unit’s finest, and even more recent suicide attemptee.  On her almost-deathbed, Christine is coerced into joining a secret government unit known as the Terminals, made up of terminally ill soldiers who are being kept alive in order to die at the right moment.  Working with the Terminals is Atilla, a young psychic who can form a connection with the soldiers after they embark on their final mission to glean important information from criminals, terrorists, secret-keepers and others who have also passed on.  Essentially, those in the Terminals elect to die in order to chase unsavoury characters into a given religion’s afterlife in order to …persuade…them to spill the beans on where they hid the body, when exactly that bomb they hid is going to explode, or where they left the car keys. Okay, maybe not that last one.

Just as Christine is brought into the unit, Hillar the Killer, a prolific serial killer who has stashed eleven (still living) children away somewhere meets an untimely demise.  The race is now on to find Hillar in the (Gnostic) afterlife and get him to give up the secret of the children’s whereabouts before their time runs out.  And after that….well, things get a bit complicated.  Do you have the ticker to jump in with the Terminals and ride this mystery out until the bitter, blood-splattered, eyeball-dangling end? Yes, I thought you might.

Terminals Read it if:

* you like your fiction filled with action…blood-splattered, eyeball-dangling, retch-inducing action

* you like your murder mysteries filled with the reckless pursuit of justice … and the promise of criminals being pursued even after they’re dead

* you like your paranormal filled with philosophical and ethical conundrums…like whether commiting suicide to chase a criminal into the afterlife to potentially save some children is more or less worthy than living out a few extra months of a terminal illness because…well, you quite enjoy breathing

Now for some reason, despite the look of the cover and the tone of the blurb, I was under the misconception that this book would be funny.  I have no clue why I assumed that.  Sure, there are some funny bits, but this is mostly a gritty, complex novel that has lots of layers.  There’s lots of action and violence, there’s a bit of philoshopy and religious debate, there’s ethical conundrums a-plenty, there’s romance (well, sex), crochety old bastards with dubious moral standards, gods and hells and pain and suffering, and there’s eyeballs. On strings. So you can tick that one off if it happens to be on your list of must-haves in your crime/murder mystery fiction.

This was a lot darker than a lot of the fiction I usually read, so while I was engaged throughout the book, I don’t think I’ll be going back for the next in the series.  Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book because the premise is so different.  The paranormal aspect of the book allows for a whole range of afterlifes afterlives religious theories about life after death (or the absence of the same) to be explored and delved into.  The coupling of paranormal with what is essentially a murder mystery (not so much of a whodunnit, but a wherewasitdun) through world-building rather than through giving a character a particular power or gift is something that I haven’t come across before.  For those who read a lot of either crime or paranormal books, I think this will provide plenty of new fodder for the collective imagination.

One of the best aspects of the book is the way the author shifts the perspectives with each chapter so that the reader really gets a good chance to take in as much of both the paranormal and crime elements as possible.  In some chapters we get taken along with Christine as she attempts to make sense of her own life (or lack of it) and her efforts to find the missing children before it’s too late.  In other chapters we are dumped into the afterlives of various religions, following terminal agents as they try and get the information the unit needs.  It breaks up the book nicely and allows time for the reader to decompress between reveals so as not to suffer from plot twist overload.  It also provides a nice balance between the spiritual/paranormal and mundane action, so as to avoid becoming too much of one or the other.

Overall this book has a great new twist on your standard crime novel and I think it will appeal greatly to readers of crime fiction who are looking for something different that will leave them with something to think about long after the crime has been solved.

The Terminals: Spark was published on April 15 by Non Sequiter Press.

Now onto the really frightening topic – festering gum infections!

Extreme Dentistry follows the recent life experiences of one Arthur Percy, lapsed Canadian Mormon, as he undergoes some fairly major dental surgery and in the process, becomes acquainted with a race of parasitic alien beings sharing communal intelligence.  This exciting new race of predators is known as the Hive, and appear to latch onto their victims through the sharing of bodily contact.  After experiencing toothache of quite spectacular proportions, Arthur, through his new (non-lapsed Mormon) dentist Cal, discovers that he has been exposed to the alien race.  From this point forth, things get a bit weird, and it is up to Arthur, Cal and a range of other alien-whomping Mormons (and others, on a need-to-know basis) to take on the Hive and take back humanity’s retail and consumer outlets.

extreme dentistryRead it if:

* you believe that the only reasonable explanation for the exhorbitant fees charged by your dentist is that s/he is not merely placing a filling in that molar, but also protecting you from invasion by parasitic, shape-shifting, mind-absorbing aliens

* you are a Mormon (lapsed or otherwise), and were hitherto unaware of the role your church has been playing in the fight to keep humanity for the humans

* you like your tea warm, your beer cold and your science fiction utterly and completely bizarre

This was undoubtedly a weird reading experience.  I requested this one because the blurb sounded both hilarious and reasonably believable and on both counts the book has acquited itself quite well.  This is my first encounter with Spencer’s writing and I’ve got to say he knows how to keep you reading.  For some reason I couldn’t put this book down even though I had a hard time managing the format (which I’ll get to in a bit) and there were big chunks of the book that had me wondering about their relevancy to the overall plot.  More than halfway into the book I still only had a vague notion of what was really going on.  There were a number of sections in which I thought to myself, “Hang on, why am I being treated to (for example) an outline of the basic tenets of Mormonism?”  And yet I kept reading because even though I couldn’t see where these bits were going…they were pretty interesting nonetheless!  That’s got to be a mark of good writing.

So there are a few elements to this book that some people will love and others will hate.  Foremost amongst these is the use of multiple time periods and multiple points of view to tell the story.  The first bit of the book jumps around from Arthur’s experiences in various bits of the 1980s and 1990s as well as the time in which the story is currently unfolding.  About the first third of the book is told solely from Arthur’s point of view, and then without warning Cal is introduced as a co-narrator and from that point forward the story jumps back and forth between Cal and Arthur.  We’re also treated to a bit of Cal’s back story too, so there is a remarkable amount of jumping around and for some readers this may be enough to give up on the story, because in certain parts it can be quite difficult to follow who’s who and what’s what.

On the other hand, the book is funny, the premise is certainly attention-grabbing and the main characters are likeable, distinctive and fun to hang out with.  So I suppose that overall, this one is going to appeal to fans of Spencer’s work first and foremost, and then also to those who like a funny read that has lots of weird twists, a bit of rumpy pumpy, some treatises on the development of the modern shopping mall and a lot about Mormonism.  I suspect that I shouldn’t recommend this to Mormons (lapsed or otherwise) unless they’ve got a decent sense of humour.

Extreme Dentistry was published on April 4th by Patchwork Press.

Until next time,

Bruce

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Haiku Review: Hunter and Collector….

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And a Merry Easter season to fleshlings one and all! Mad Martha with you again, and although my review today would probably be better suited to the feast of All Hallow’s Eve, I will soldier on regardless.  Today I’ve got a little ripper of a book, Hunter and Collector, by S. Carey…Please note the fantastically punny word play of the author’s name….it took me a little while to notice it.

This is the first in a brand new Australian series for young readers, titled the Eerie series; obviously these stories are on the macabre side, but are sure to appeal as either read-alouds, or first chapter books for the slightly creepy mini-fleshling.

I was drawn to this series immediately due to the highly appealing cover art, and only later discovered the extra nugget of goodness in the books: an ongoing serial featured as a chapter at the end of each book, so that when all eleven stand-alone books are read in order, one ends up with a bonus story.  Another cute feature in the books is a little flip-picture in the top right-hand corner of each page.

So to the first book.  Hunter and Collector follows the exploits of appropriately named Mrs Hunter who is highly interested in young William for reasons unknown, but undoubtedly nefarious.  As the story progresses however, we find out that Mrs Hunter herself had better watch out, because young William seems perfectly capable of taking care of himself…..And so to the haiku review!

hunter-and-collector

Macabre contest ‘twixt

Alien and Predator

Hunter now hunted

At a mere fifty-four pages, this is a quick but satisfying read for horror-lovers of all ages (and hopefully, will turn out to be super-appealing to reluctant young male readers).  The first four books in the series have just been released in print and e-version, with more to follow later in the year.

Yours in sp-sp-sp-spookiness,

Mad Martha

Read it if…..: Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling

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Today I’m bringing to you some good reasons to pick up Michael Boccacino’s first effort (and a pretty darn impressive effort it is!) at a full length novel, Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling.  It is a delightfully different hybrid of ghost story, science fiction and Victoran gothic, but comes together in a very satisfying and spooky fashion.

Read it if…..

* you like books authored by people whose name resembles a tasty foodstuff (in this case cheese, but really, it could be any foodstuff)

* you have ever had a dream about a lost loved one and wished that it (a) could go on a bit longer or (b) make some sense

*you enjoy a spooky, traditional ghost story that seamlessly integrates creatures that could have escaped from HP Lovecraft’s imagination

*you enjoy stories in which Death appears as a cheerful and amiable chap

*you’re a sucker for a plucky young governess who is drawn into events beyond her wildest imaginings and somehow finds the strength within herself to fight back

This is a great little read – I finished it in just a few sittings and was drawn in from the very first page.  Boccacino delivers some startlingly good prose here and I’ll be keeping my eyes out for any further efforts on his part.  So do yourself a favour and wrap your suckered tentacles around Charlottel Markham and her quirky, creepy, deadly adventures.

Until next time,

Bruce