Doll Bones by Holly Black is a childrens book about imagination, childhood and growing up.
Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zachs father throws out all his toys, declaring hes too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice.
But one night the girls pay Zach a visit and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll which claims to be made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .
A delightful comedy of post-millennial manners, apocalyptic career moves, and a woman’s last chance to get life right…
RULE #1: DON’T PANIC-IT ONLY ATTRACTS SHARKS It’s not the end of the world. That’s what 39-year-old Tess Eliot has to remind herself after losing her job writing a newspaper column (“Tess Knows Best”) and being dumped by her boyfriend for a younger woman (a feng shui expert? Really?) Then Tess is hired to write an etiquette guide preparing readers for the Ancient Mayan doomsday of December 21, 2012, and she has to ask herself: Could the world really be coming to an end?
RULE # 12: LIVE EACH DAY AS A JOYOUS ADVENTURE At first, Tess fakes her way through chapters like “Boundaries in the Bunker” and “Cannibalism: Yes or No?” But after uncovering a secret plot for world destruction, she is forced to embark on a life-changing odyssey of her own-involving all-too-close encounters with touchy-feely survivalists, conspiracy theorists and one handsome guy who seems way too perfect.
Filled with wit and insight (including Tess Eliot’s “Twelve Rules to Live and Die By”), Etiquette for the End of the World is a deeply funny novel of romance and self-discovery.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, um. It could have been better. By a significant amount.
I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.
Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.
Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?
This was an interesting little read that stayed with me a long time after putting the book down.
Shifting Selves by Mia Marshall is book 2 of the Elements series.
Aidan Brook’s world was shattered when the actions of a brutal murderer revealed long-buried secrets about her past. A powerful elemental, Aidan discovered she possesses the wrong kind of magic. It’s a secret that could cost her sanity—or even her life.
What she needs is some peace and quiet. What she gets is a phone call from a division of the FBI so secret it doesn’t even have a name, asking for her help with a series of shifter disappearances.
Before Aidan can settle into a new routine of pancakes and evenings by the fire, the case develops claws. She quickly finds herself caught between uptight bears, deadly mountain lions, overprotective parents, and unhappy federal agents. Throw in a stalled romance with an enigmatic shifter and the slow dissolution of her chosen family, and it’s hard to say which will drive her mad first: her magic, or her chaotic life.
These are not great literature, but I’m still a fan of the series.
‘Set by Luke Walker Is a dark fantasy/horror with supernatural and apocalyptic elements.
Between Heaven and Hell, there is another world. To save her daughter’s soul, Emma Cooper will tear that world apart.
After the loss of her baby, Emma Cooper feels as if she’s just going through the motions of her life. That’s until an angel and demon knock at her door with news dwarfing life and death.
Emma’s daughter’s soul is trapped in a world of the dead, a world of permanent sunset. This is ‘Set and it’s to this world that Emma must travel after she is chosen by the celestial and infernal management. By working with Above and Below, she has a chance of helping her daughter and countless other souls move on from ‘Set.
In this world, recently deceased George Bryson has declared war on Heaven and Hell. But this fight with his maker has opened doors he cannot close. The forgotten remnants of Creation are coming to consume all worlds. If Emma can’t stop Bryson’s war, her daughter will be lost forever.
And so will everybody else.
Double special today: Not only was ‘Set provided to me free by Luke Walker, but Luke and I know each other from online. I do not intend this to bias my review, but it’s possible I will subconsciously treat this more kindly than a book from a stranger, so be aware.
Shakespeare v Lovecraft by D R O’Brien is exactly as the title promises – a mashup of Lovecraft and Shakespeare.
Get ready for the War of the literary Worlds in the raucous new horror comedy, Shakespeare v Lovecraft!
In the same putrid vein as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shakespeare v. Lovecraft slithers hideously onto the literary mash-up scene, whispering of cosmic horrors and eldritch tales whilst espousing sweet soliloquies and profoundly contemplating mankind’s place in the universe.
The book follows the story of the powerful magician Prospero, driven dangerously insane by prolonged exposure to the dread Necronomicon, makes a terrible pact with the titanic alien beast known only as Cthulhu. Now only his enchantress daughter Miranda and a handful of history’s greatest heroes are all that stand between humanity and blasphemous eternal subjugation.
Macbeth, King Henry V and more clash with some of Lovecraft’s most memorable monstrosities including Dagon, The Colour Out Of Space, Night-Gaunts, Ghouls, a Shoggoth and, of course, the Great Priest himself. And which sides will the Dream-God Oberon, the monstrous Caliban and ethereal Ariel favour in this savage clash of worlds?
It sounded silly and fun, and I wanted to read something silly and fun.
“It’s happening again, Aidan. We didn’t stop it, after all.”
Aidan Brook has spent ten years hiding from everyone she once loved, plagued by memories of a single horrible night. When her former best friend appears on her front porch, her exile is brought to an abrupt end. An elemental killer is murdering her friends, forcing her to return to the scene of her own crimes. Lake Tahoe proves more than she bargained for. Between a sadistic killer, some clever FBI agents, an annoyingly attractive landlord, and way too many new roommates, she has a pretty full plate. Add in a past she’s desperate to escape and her own uncontrollable powers, and Aidan Brook is having a very, very bad month.
My review copy was a free eARC provided by Red Queen Press through Netgalley.
Intrigue! Subterfuge! Circus Folk! In a time when the Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare, mad science rules the world… with mixed success. With the help of Krosp, Emperor of All Cats, Agatha has escaped from the massive airship known as Castle Wulfenbach. After crashing their escape dirigible, Agatha and Krosp fall in with Master Payne’s Circus of Adventure, a traveling troupe of performers dedicated to staging Heterodyne shows – dramatizations of the exploits of Bill and Barry Heterodyne and their allies – who are unaware of Agatha’s connection to the Heterodyne line. Pursued by the ruthless Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, his handsome son Gil, and their minions (not to mention Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer), Agatha hides in plain sight among the circus folk, servicing their clanks and proving herself adept in performing the role of Lucrezia Mongfish, nemesis to – and later wife of – Barry Heterodyne. She also begins training under Zeetha, swordmistress and princess of the lost city of Skifander. Together, Agatha, Krosp, and the performers travel across the treacherous wasteland of war-torn Europa, towards Mechanicsburg, and the ancestral home of the Heterodynes – Castle Heterodyne.But with many perils standing in her way – including Wulfenbach’s crack troops, mysterious Geisterdamen, savage Jagermonsters, and the fabled Storm King – it’s going to take more than a spark of Mad Science for Agatha to get through.
I’m a big fan of the Girl Genius comic, so when I saw this in my local Oxfam, I had to pick it up. Continue reading →