Saturday, November 10, 2012
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was introduced to Ethridge's work last year with Black & Orange which easily became one of my favorite books of the year. Ethridge's talent for turning folklore and myth into his own device stays strong in his new book, Bottled Abyss. The story initially starts off about Herman and Janet, a married couple who lost their young daughter recently to a hit and run driver, and all the trauma which that entails. While looking for their lost dog, Herman meets Charon the Boatman, and learns first hand the power of the Boatman's bottle. This spirals Herman and Janet's life down a dark spiral of horror, insanely dark realms of Greek mythology, and a glimpse of how genuinely damaged people can be.
Honestly it was that last facet of the book that made reading it such a visceral experience. As mentioned before, Ethridge is a master of creating a new world out of old myth. His legendary figures take on a new life that is vastly entertaining to read. I, however, was just amazed at how well he fleshed out the four main characters of the book, and how each of them were experiencing lives that were broken to a point where the dark myths that permeated the story almost took a back seat. It made the book incredibly hard to put down.
The resolution of the story is as terrifying in implication as it is in what is made known. If he ever did a sequel to it, I'd honestly be intimidated to read it. All in all, a fantastic, dark read from a consistently talented writer. Five stars definitely.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been a huge fan of the series since I first discovered A Madness of Angels. Griffin's world of Urban Fantasy makes me think of what Jim Butcher would do if he was stuck on an island with a copy of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, a complete collection of the Hellblazer comics, and no coffee. The world that main character Matthew Swift lives in is one of an amazing mythos, but it's a very modern one. There are beings within it that are from folklore (Such as the Neon Court in this book.) but they're existing and identified in a contemporary setting. This creates a fantastic atmosphere that gives one the feeling that Magic exists if you just look down an alley the wrong (or right) way.
The Neon Court differs slightly in tone from the first two books in the series in that the storyline pretty much takes place in the world that Swift has created/been thrown into as it stand right now. The first two books dealt with his resurrection and his advancement into the role he plays in London's magical underworld right now. The Neon Court has no real advancements of the character plot-wise that I could see, but I haven't read the fourth one yet, which could make me look like a complete idiot for saying this.
One stand alone comment: Griffin likes to break her toys. I did not see some things that happened to what I thought were major characters coming.
Definitely a good read and time well spent. Four stars.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I've been trying to get into using Twitter more simply because it's proven to be an absolute treasure trove of great ideas coming together in real time. As I'm going to start the horrendous process of moving (Moving is intrinsically horrendous, even when it's simple. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.), I decided that I will tweet about it in the style of H.P. Lovecraft. Also, I just want to use the #uhaulofcthulhu hashtag.
Also, if you're in tweet space, add me. I add you back like an unquestioning whore. @ajbesson
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Just finished reading this
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
A Movie You Should See: The Woman in Black
I lurves me a good ghost story, and this one hits all the marks. Tense atmosphere, bleak settings, and loads of "Oh shit, I just flung my popcorn everywhere." moments. Daniel Radcliffe plays a very non-Harry Potter lawyer who is sent off to a 'orrbly goffik village in Victorian-era England to assess the property of a recently deceased client. The villagers shun him when he gets there, as 'orrbly goffik villagers will do, and do their best to impede him for reasons unknown. When he gets to the desolate mansion of the client out in the marsh (You're gettin' beat over the head with 'orrbly goffik at this point. It's wonderful!), he sees a woman dressed in a long black dress. Shit gets real after that. Here's an example
Popcorn. Popcorn everywhere. I guarantee it.
Books you should read: The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin
*What the hell am I going to do with this ham my co-worker gave me?
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
As you may have guessed, this is a disturbing, harrowing read. I'm not saying this in a "I frikkin' dare you!" type of way, it's just a warning. If the combination of the potential bleakness of the human condition and supernatural darkness that's never fully explained is your thing, you do yourself a great disservice by not reading this. Otherwise, consider something that'll let you sleep at night. At any rate, I'll definitely be checking out McMahon's other work after this. Rating: Five out of five cracked-out monkeys.