Presented here is my reading list for 2017 so far. Below are books I have read, with brief reviews, and what I am currently reading (about 4 books).
The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp: As the title suggests, this book follows the final days of Jack Sparks, a writer who will go to extremes to give his readers and his scoail media fanbase a true and up close account of what he researches and experiences. Example: when he became a drug addict to write an honest account of what it’s like to be addicted to various drugs. His final book is on the occult and after he attends an exorcism (mocking it) strange things begin to happen and the tale of Jack’s final days of research unfolds.
Final Thoughts: There were parts of this book I liked and other parts that sort of just rambled on. It’s a twisty turn story with an unreliable narrator that wasn’t very likeable. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be creepy mixed with dark humour but I didn’t find anything creepy about it. In the end, I do recommend this book. 3.5 gravestones out of 5.
Hekla’s Children by James Brogden: I love that feeling of wandering around a bookstore, finding that story that catches your attention and taking home that unexpected find and enjoying it. Well, part of that happened with this book. The story begins with a group of teenagers on a field trip along with their teachers, in Sutton Park England. The teachers let the students go on their hike with a plan to meet up at a designated point. The teachers get “distracted” and the next thing they know 4 students have simply disappeared but one student is eventually found and won’t talk about what happened. No trace of the kids is found and their teacher that was supposed to be supervising, Nathan Brookes, is ruined. Several years later the disappearances are once again in the spotlight as a body is found in the park and everyone thinks it’s one of the missing kids. It turns out to be a bronze age warrior but he is indeed connected to the missing teens. The story goes from there as Nathan and Osteoarchaeologist Tara Doumani try to put together the puzzle of the mummy and the strange things that begin to happen after he is dug up.
Final Thoughts: Back to the beginning when I said that wonder feeling of finding a possible gem on the bookshelf but not quite with one – here is why. The first half is good. It’s engaging and seems to be going to an interesting place with the story. Unfortunately it begins to fall apart just after the half-way mark. I stopped at one point and said “what the fuck did I just read, what is going on, it this the same book?” I didn’t like the turn it took and I think it could have been a better ending if it didn’t take such an odd diversion from the interesting story that had been told. I can’t recommend this one. It may intrigue some people but I can’t get past the turning point in the story that made me want to throw the book across the room. 3 bronze age mummies out of 5 (only because the story had potential and was well written until the middle).
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt: An entire town virtually isolated and haunted since the 17th century by the ghost of the Black Rock Witch – her eyes and mouth stitched shut, she pops up anywhere at anytime – should be a creepy and intriguing read. I was disappointed. After reading so many positive reviews and a great premise, this didn’t work for me. The teenagers in the town have had enough of hiding their ghost and are pushing the town the rules by threatening to post videos of Katherine the Witch on social media. Things go badly from there.
Final Thoughts: I did not enjoy this and skimmed over the parts where the result of the characters actions were predictable. This is another one I don’t recommend. Great premise but it just didn’t work for me. 2.5 17th century witches out of 5.
Little Heaven by Nick Cutter: Why do I do it, why do I keep buying every one of this man’s books when I’ve been disappointed? Because he can write and his ideas have elements of interest (and I will continue to buy his books). This is by far my favourite book from Nick Cutter. The tale jumps through time telling the story of 3 bounty hunters who are drawn to a mysterious cult in the southern US and discover something far worse than a fanatical leader and blindly devoted followers.
Final Thoughts: I know, I generally have a disdain for stories that do the Jim Jones cult like thing but with this one it was the horror, absolute horror and gore that kept me interested along with wanting to see how it turns out for the 3 main characters whom I actually did like. Definitely recommend but be warned that some of the descriptions are graphic and nauseating. 4 cult leaders out of 5.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven, Or How I Made Peace With the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process by Corey Taylor:
Yes, that is one hell of a title for this non-fiction book about the paranormal – loosely – and penned by Slipknot front man Corey Taylor and he is what drew me to the book. I was deeply curious to read Taylor’s experiences with the paranormal and he did have some interesting tales such as the first one from when he was 10 years old and the one in the Mansion/recording studio in L.A. It derails at points with the heavy science talk and it can be repetitive in spots however, the writing is fluid and Taylor can tell a good story. This is a fun book and I liked getting to read about a side of Corey Taylor that isn’t shrouded behind a mask. 4 stimatized zealots out of 5.
Books for me are like TV shows – I can’t just watch one show. I watch the type of show I’m in the mood to see. Same with books. I read what appeals to me when I sit down to relax which means I can’t just read one book. I read what suits my mood at the time. Which is why I’m reading 4 books.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón: This marks the introduction of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books tales. I like this one a lot so far. It’s falls under the literary fiction genre in my opinion.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware: This is the second book from this author, I’m pretty sure anyway, and my first time reading her work. So far I like it. A powerful opening and introduction to the main character, it will be interesting to see how this mystery unfolds.
The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King: The second book in the Dark Tower series, this is my second time reading it. I re-read The Gunslinger last year and decided to keep going. I only got to book 4 when I stopped reading the series. I do recall this was my favourite of the ones I read.
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton: Guilty Pleasures says it all for this vampire, necromancer, wereanimal story. This is what I’m in the mood for when I want a supernatural soap opera that is written decently. Not as good as the Dresden Files but still a naughty bit of fun. Guilty Pleasures is the first in the Anita Blake series that now has 25 books in the collection. And you thought Stephen King wrote quickly. While the sexy vampires are kept mostly tame at first, by about book 6 they start to get a little to soft/hard-core porn for me. The stories seem to just be about Anita banging everyone. Obsidian Butterfly was one of the best books as it had a lot of Edward, the cold-blooded assassin in it.
And there you have it. Many more books sit on the to be read list. And that is all she wrote. Cheers!