Book Review: Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Rating:  ★★★★

I’m going to write a spoiler laden review here, because this book is older than I am.  You’ve been warned.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King.  That one time, the movie was better than the book.

I can’t believe I just said that about a Stephen King book.  The thing is- most movies based on Stephen King books just suck.  Sometimes, if we’re really lucky, like in the case of The Green Mile, the movie will be at least as good, but I’ve never, ever, said the movie was better. (I’m excluding IT, because I’ve never technically finished reading IT.)

I always read the author notes or introductions or whatever else there is to read in a book.  There was a wonderful little intro to this, a letter from Stephen King to his constant readers, in which he introduces Pet Sematary as the book he personally thinks is the scariest he’s ever written.  The one book in which he felt he might have actually gone too far.

And having already watched the movie, I could completely understand.  Because the movie was fucked up.  In a good way.  I was pretty much stunned into silence at the end.  It did feel like the movie went too far.  It was one of the best horror films I think I’d seen in a long time.

And with the ending in mind, I happily jumped into the book.  I patiently waited through 400 pages of the mundanities (spell check is telling me this is not a word, I’m making it a word) of everyday family life in small town Maine.  And I actually did enjoy most of it.  I liked Louis as a character.  I loved Jud.  I loved the backdrop and the creepy Pet Sematary, and loved knowing how King came to write the novel.

There is very little action in the book.  Sure we get a few glimpses of the horror to come- Church the cat, Pascow’s ghost, the ORINCO truck.  But nothing really happens until the end.  This is the slow burn he’s so well known for.

I think, maybe, if I had read the book before the movie, I might have felt more surprise and more suspense.  I watched Pet Sematary knowing nothing about it.  I read Pet Sematary thinking I knew what was going to happen.  So all the parts where Louis is in the graveyard digging up his two-year old, Rachel forging ever onward to her untimely demise, I get the sense the reader was supposed to be thinking, OMG NO!, but the impact might have been a little lost on me.

The thing is- I was expecting the book to languor in the horror of an evil two year old going all stabby stabby.  I was expecting there to be some slow realization by Louis that what he’d brought back was, in fact, not his son.  I was expecting there to be a longer ending.

What actually happened, is that Louis seems to surface from whatever fever dream possessed him to bring his son back from the dead in the first place, makes a very clear choice to undo his mistake, and then lapses right back into the fever dream.

It almost felt like, to me, King thought, “Oh shit, I’ve gone too far.  I should probably wrap this up.”  And then wrapped it up.  The whole ending, in this 500+ page book, takes maybe 30 pages?  It was disappointing to say the least.

Especially knowing what I know about King’s work.  There are times when it seems like he’s gone too far.  The opening to Mr. Mercedes for example, exploring all the gory and gruesome details of a sociopath driving a car into a crowd of people in need.  Or that short story he wrote, Survivor Type, which I read 15 years ago at my mother’s kitchen table on a sunny summer day and still gives me nightmares.

This, in comparison to those things, in comparison to it’s own movie, seemed tame.

That being said, though I was disappointed with the ending, I did enjoy most of the book.  And I read through all 500 pages insanely fast.  So- it’s worth reading, sure.  Just don’t read it after you’ve seen the movie.  Or if you can’t wait, just don’t expect the book to match the movie.  You’ll end up a little disappointed.

Pet Sematary can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.

Book Review: War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell

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Rating:  ★★★★

I realize I’ve been talking about this series a lot lately (I’m sorry!) but it’s only because I’m so excited for the next book, Sword of Kings, due out in November.  I had put off reading this one, scared it was finally going to be over, but with another book scheduled for release it felt like it was finally time to put my fears aside.

I read a handful of other reviews on GoodReads when I finished, and multiple times I saw this series accused of being formulaic, and perhaps it is, but I’m not one to mind formulaic when the formula works.  What I love about these books is the characters.  This late in the game I do find myself missing some of the older characters, Alfred, Brida, Ragnar… and Aethelflaed, but aside from being Uhtred’s story, this is really the story about the making of England, and in a story that epic the characters will inevitably change.

Uhtred is in his 60s for this book.  He’s more cautious, superstitious, he’s less impulsive, less confident, anger doesn’t control him the way it used to.  I found myself missing some of his other qualities as a younger man, but his wit is still fully intact and there were several parts of this book that made me laugh out loud.

I found myself tripped up again and again by the names.  Specifically the Aethelhelms, Older and Younger, (or was it the Aethelweards? seriously I can’t remember).  Then there seems to be a whole slew of other Aethel-somethings..  sigh.  I remember Svein of the White Horse and Ubbe Lothbrok, and the Ivars and Haesten and Odda… I can’t remember where the heck the Aethelhelms came in.

Anyway- this book actually felt less formulaic than the previous 10.  I think it had a lot to do with Uhtred’s character development, but also, this is the weakest he has ever been physically.  His victory in this book never feels guaranteed.  There are no last minute, evil genius save-the-day plans (like bee-bombs, although there is a hysterical smiting).  A looming dread blankets the whole book, from beginning to end.

The other elements of a Saxon Story are all there: the fun action scenes, the witty comebacks, the general disdain towards Christianity from Uhtred.  Most of all – the laughs.  It’s what generally what keeps me coming back, so I’ll end this review with a little pagan humor:

“You’ve got dirt on your forehead,” I said, “so has he,” I pointed to the other priest.
“Because it’s Good Friday, lord.  The day our Lord died.”
“Is that why they call it good?”

War of the Wolf can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher

Title: The Twisted Ones

Author:  T. Kingfisher

Publisher: Gallery/Saga Press

Genre: Horror

Length: 400 Pages

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Blurb: When a young woman clears out her deceased grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, she finds long-hidden secrets about a strange colony of beings in the woods in this chilling novel that reads like The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show.

When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?

Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.

Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.

From Hugo Award–winning author Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher, The Twisted Ones is a gripping, terrifying tale bound to keep you up all night—from both fear and anticipation of what happens next.

Why I’m Excited For It:  I almost always hear good things about T. Kingfisher (pen name for Ursula Vernon).  The virtual book club I read with on occasion is often singing her praises, but for whatever reason I just haven’t gotten around to reading her yet.

Beyond that- although The Blair Witch Project really was an awful movie, it’d be a lie for me to tell you I didn’t love the format and the concept.  I’m obsessed with urban legends and various folklore.  I guess because it feels to me like there are still things left to discover in the world, things that people still can’t explain.

I don’t know how The Andy Griffith Show factors in, so I’m choosing to ignore that for now, and hoping for a fantastic and chilling horror novel.

The Twisted Ones can be found on GoodReads or preordered on Amazon.

What about you?  Which new releases are you excited for?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Fall TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is books on my Fall 2019 TBR!  Although fall is not my favorite season, it does have a certain charm, pumpkins, farmer’s markets, arts festivals, and halloween!  So my plan, of course, is to cram as many scary, spooky and dark reads into fall as I can.

People of the Lake by Nick Scorza

People of the Lake by Nick Scorza – A girl named Clara receives a note written in a secret language she once shared with her dead twin sister Zoe, regarding the suspicious death of a local boy in a very strange and suspicious town.  I’ve never heard of this author before- but I have high hopes for the book, which should make a great October read!

I will make you pay by teresa driscoll

I Will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll – This was a NetGalley Read Now (not sure if it still is) that I picked up on impulse.  The title is pretty self explanatory.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a fast paced thrill ride with lots of twists and turns.

Sword of Kings by Bernard Corwnell

Sword of Kings by Bernard Cornwell – With the release of this looming on the horizon, I finally sucked up my fear of reading the last book.  I’m excited to read them back-to-back, but also scared, because we seem to be getting closer to the end of Uhtred’s life and I don’t think my heart could take it.

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Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo – I don’t often read YA anymore, but the description reminds me of a magical Six of Crows.  I’m trying not to be too hyped about it.

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski – This is my designated Halloween read.  Honestly I have no business adding backlist titles to my TBR right now, I am already behind and have way too much to catch up with, but I need at least one solid horror novel on the list.

 

The First Law Trilogy and A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie – I’m not being delusional about my ability to cram all three First Law books in before my planned buddy read of A Little Hatred on October 22.  Nope.  That’s not me.  This is all a totally reasonable plan.

The Menace From Farside by Ian McDonald

The Menace from Farside by Ian McDonald – Another planned buddy read for when it releases on November 12.  This is a novella and it’s one of my favorite series and I’m pretty much dying to get my hands on it.

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia.jpg

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia – Tuesday Mooney embarks on an epic treasure hunt left behind by an eccentric billionaire!  I’m not really sure where the ghosts come in to play, but with a title like Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, how could I turn it down?!

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys – I requested this way back in summer when I thought I had plenty of time to read it.  I’m actually hoping to cram it in before the end of September, but who knows.  I’m excited to be getting more Historical Fiction on the list, since it was really kind of my first love in the reading world and the amount of it I’ve read this year is abysmal.

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Fortuna Sworn by K.J. Sutton – The author was kind enough to send this to me in exchange for a review, which is long overdue.  However- with a cover like that and a tale of the Fae I feel like it will make another great fall read and I’m really looking forward to it!

That’s it!  I’m seriously excited for absolutely every one of these books, but also terribly overwhelmed looking at them all.  What about you?  What’s on your list?

Book Review: Limited Wish (Impossible Times #2) by Mark Lawrence

Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence

Rating:  ★★★

I think these books are just too smart for me.  I have zero understanding of the science behind it, and on occasion this just felt way too technical.  I’ve never taken a physics class and thinking about time travel makes my brain hurt.

It didn’t help that I was expecting a direct continuation of the previous book One Word Kill.  While this is another chapter in Nick’s story, it branches off on it’s own tangent, with other possible character’s from Nick’s future coming into play.  While it isn’t totally out of left field, it just seemed weird not to be given more of Demus’s story and mission, and instead be fed this whole other separate side story.  I was looking forward to getting more of that, seeing Nick and Mia finally together, and within the first chapter or two I realized that wasn’t going to happen.

There’s plenty of action and life or death moments, so the pacing isn’t slow, but my inability to connect with Nick as a character (and honestly just the 80s in general) left me feeling cold about them.  I think the action scenes lose some of their impact while the threat of cancer looms large.  These scenes also lost some of their impact for me with the introduction of the new characters.  I was already invested in the old ones, and being given more to care about just felt like too much across a grand total of 400 pages.  I almost wonder if they both wouldn’t have benefitted from more pages and more time for character development.

I did like the ending (although if I’m being honest, I didn’t understand parts of it, wtf is a time hammer?!).  What I enjoyed was the choices Nick made and what ultimately happens to our villains.

I think I will finish the series out when Dispel Illusion comes out later this year. It’d be a shame not to find out what happens in the end.  I did have some of the same struggles with book one though, so if you enjoyed that one, you might enjoy this more than I did.

Limited Wish can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.

Book Review: Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Rating:  ★★★1/2

I enjoyed most of this humongous book a lot more than I normally enjoy what I would rate as a three star read- so I gave it an extra half star.  I don’t know if I’ve ever said this before- I think I have my ratings broken down on my about me page, but for me: three stars is what I think of as “safe to skip”.  1 or 2 stars is a recommendation to avoid and 4 and 5 stars is recommended to read.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend skipping Imaginary Friend, especially if you were looking forward to it, but I was a little disappointed with this.

I want to start by saying the first 60% or so is really pretty good.  I loved the picture we were painted of Christopher and Kate Reese and their lives together.  I loved how we got to know the town and all the little folks populating it.  It actually reminded me a lot of one of my favorite authors, Stephen King, in that way.

Here’s another way it reminded me of one specific book by King, what started out feeling like Under the Dome with a less evil villain, ended up feeling like The Stand with a scarier villain than Randall Flagg and a whole lot more confusion.  There’s a heavy dose of religion and Catholic guilt in this book, and it frustrated me, because I wasn’t prepared for it to be included.  As someone who doesn’t identify with any particular religion, it just isn’t my favorite way to present a classic good vs. evil story.  

I was around the 500 page mark or so, thinking the ending was coming soon, wondering what in the heck was populating those last 200 pages.  Well.  The end.  The climax.  The climax is 200 pages long.

It was confusing and it bounced around a lot (multiple POVs) and at times I wasn’t sure if the characters were actually experiencing the events of the book or if it was all in their imagination.  I was frustrated with my inability to pay attention to the events, distracted by the amounts of symbolism and questioning the meaning of the whole story.  It just wasn’t what I want in horror.  I think that’s why the term “literary horror” is one we don’t often see.

The author uses baby teeth as a recurring theme, and while it’s probably the ultimate symbol for childhood lost, or adulthood gained, I wasn’t sure it was entirely necessary, and it felt like an odd choice.  I mean, who really describes a tree house ladder as looking like baby teeth?  I do think there were some other interesting events that were meant to be metaphoric, that provided plenty of food for thought, but I won’t spoil them here.

I did like the pacing.  It’s 700 pages but most chapters were only a couple pages long.  This is 100% my favorite way to structure a book.  It makes me feel accomplished because I’m reading so “fast” and it’s easy to pick up and put down.  I realize this is a silly thing to get hung up on, but I just find reading a book like that much more satisfying.

On another positive note, there was no way I ever would have guessed the ending, so be wary of spoilers as you read reviews for this one.  The book does reference some child death’s, though I don’t recall any of them being too graphic, just a heads up for people who are sensitive to that.

Overall this is a long book that reads quickly and would make for good, creepy October read.

Imaginary Friend releases on October 1, 2019 and can be found on GoodReads or preordered on Amazon.  Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.

 

 

The Seven Heavenly Virtues Book Tag

This tag was originally created by Ola G and Piotrek at Re-enchantment Of The World as a new spin on The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag.  Thank you to Lashaan at Bookidote for tagging me!

Chastity

Which author/book/series do you wish you had never read?

Listen.  It’s rare that I one star a book.  I picked it up because something about it interested me.  It’s so rare there are only four books out of four hundred on GoodReads I’ve listed as one star.  Even my DNFs I usually give three stars to because I’m more likely to DNF something that’s simply boring me rather than something I straight up hated.  (I guess I am sometimes fueled by rage in my reading…)  So here are three that I did in fact finish (or at least skimmed to the end) and wish I could get back the hours of my life I wasted on them.

Blindness by Jose Saramago – I realize this is supposed to be literary and ooo SYMBOLISM!!! But OMG GIVE ME A BREAK GUY.  This book is ludicrous, the symbolism is obvious, the portrayal of the wife, sickening… I just wouldn’t even recommend this to my least favorite person.  And don’t even get me started on the lack of punctuation.

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James – I won’t even lie about it.  I read it.  I held a funeral for the brain cells I lost in the process.

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich – I read this book in it’s entirety, and it’s probably the least deserving read here, but the ending was rage inducing enough to make me retroactively hate the whole book.

Temperance

Which book/series did you find so good, that you didn’t want to read it all at once, and you read it in doses just to make the pleasure last longer?

Uhh yeah.  It just occurred to me that I don’t actually embody any of these seven heavenly virtues…  I just don’t practice that level of self control.  If I love something, I love it til death do us part:

Elmyra

And if it’s a series, forget it. I’m not reading anything else until I’ve finished the whole thing.

So instead, here are three books I loved enough to read more than once:

Under the Dome by Stephen King – I know I’m a broken record with this one.  I’ve read it three times.  I don’t care if the ending sucked.  Which by the way I found totally reasonable (hasn’t every kid who remembers the year 2000 played The Sims and devised 7,293 ways to kill them?).  Anyway, it’s not about the end.  It’s about small town dictators and all the little people that overthrew him.

The Green Mile also by Stephen King – I’ve read it twice.  When people tell me they haven’t read Stephen King, this is usually my go-to recommendation.  Because if you don’t like it, chances are you aren’t human and we probably can’t be friends.  Ha.  Just kidding.

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer – Okay so I’ve technically only read this one once so far, but I plan to reread it later in the year.  (Like closer to when book four comes out, because I’m so going to fangirl all over that ish.)

Charity

Which book/series/author do you tirelessly push to others, telling them about it or even giving away spare copies bought for that reason?

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell.  Within five seconds of meeting someone, I will casually mention Vikings, segue into the related Last Kingdom Netflix show, and then insist that they read this book, because the show is good, but also the show is doing it wrong, and they should really read the book.  It’s scary really, how often I manage to do this.

Diligence

Which series/author do you follow no matter what happens and how long you have to wait?

Yes I understand these are “complete”.  There’s still prequels and novellas, and all kinds of stuff De Castell could do with the Greatcoats, and I’ll be over here.  Waiting.  And watching the clock.  And waiting.

On a more serious note- most of my favorite authors put out a book at least once a year so there aren’t many I have to worry about waiting on.

Patience

Is there an author/book/series you’ve read that improved with time the most, starting out unpromising, but ultimately proving rewarding?

Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy was a really frustrating read for me.  I had trouble following the dialogue, the brutality was unspeakable, and the ending, supremely unsatisfying.

Despite that, I read (rather, listened to) The Road a few months later because I couldn’t get Blood Meridian out of my head, and very much enjoyed it.

My next planned read by McCarthy is All the Pretty Horses.  I don’t know why.  Seems romantic.  I’m sure he’ll find a way to ruin it with brains spilled over cow dung and a lack of quotation marks but I’m willing to give it a try.

Kindness

Which author would you consider your role-model in the hassle of everyday life?

SK

Because it’s my dream to be blocked on twitter by @POTUS.  At least once.  #LifeGoals

Humility

Which book/series/author do you find the most under-rated?

tmato_jk

The Moon and the Other by John Kessel – Of the books I’ve ever rated 5 stars (okay, technically I gave it 4.5) this book has less than 1,000 ratings and it’s not because it’s brand new.  I think the issue is this one is harder to find.  If you have an opportunity to read it, please do.  Life on the moon is brilliantly imagined, the writing feels literary without being obtuse, and it provided a lot of food for thought.

And that’s it!  I know there weren’t many new books to look at here, if you’ve read any of my Top Ten Tuesday posts, but I still had a lot of fun with this!  I’m not going to tag anyone- mostly because I can’t keep straight who’s done what tags, but if you’d like to participate, please consider yourself tagged.  I’d love to read your answers!

 

Book Review: The Institute by Stephen King

Before I get to that review I know you’re simply dying to read- I just wanted to note that I know I haven’t been as consistent in keeping up with the comments not only on my blog but just generally following what all of you are doing.

Remember back in June when I was unemployed?  It only lasted a month (it’s a good thing, but also an exhausting thing).  I am now commuting an additional hour each day to and from work, getting home an hour later than I used to, and rushing to get the dog walked and dinner on the table and the kid ready for bed.

So please forgive me!  I am trying to keep up with everyone still.  Don’t feel obligated to reply to my flurry of comments on last week’s posts.  I know I can be kind of obnoxious returning to comment again and again, but the conversations about books is why I blog. Sure I love the reviewing and stuff- but I honestly just don’t have enough people in my day-to-day life to chat books with, which is why I come and bug all of you :).  On to other things.

The Institute by Stephen King

Rating:  ★★★★

I added myself to the library waitlist for this back in April.  Not kidding.  And by then I’d already been checking to see if I could add myself for a few months.  That’s how long I’ve been waiting.

Anyway- while it wasn’t the epic I’ve been wanting to read since the last time I read Under the Dome, it was still thoroughly enjoyable and well worth reading.  The opening was perfect.  We meet one of the side characters, Tim Jamieson, as he finds his way to the small town of Dupray, South Carolina.  Slowly, we are introduced to some of the background characters.

It was everything I love about King’s characters, the subtle detailing that brings them to life.  The homeless woman who follows conspiracy theories and wears a sombrero, the motel owner who’s too nosy for his own good, the brothers who no one can tell apart and run the convenience store… it never ceases to amaze me how he can paint a full portrait in just a few lines and make the world feel as populated and colorful as the one we live in.

I was so enchanted by these opening chapters and feeling like I was going to get exactly what I’d been hoping for, it was really jarring to switch to Luke’s POV and not see Jamieson again for another 300 pages or so.  I just kept thinking, yeah, but what’s going on in Dupray?  Surely there’s a reason we were introduced to Jamieson so early?

But sadly it wasn’t.  And I think I was so taken with Jamieson as a character and Dupray as the setting that it detracted a little from my enjoyment of Luke and his friends.

A heads up to all the parents out there- this novel focuses heavily on kids, and nevermind happy endings, they don’t have happy stories, period.  What they are put through is horrible.  I think it was made more tolerable by the very fantastic premise, feeling like it was a far departure from reality, but it was still difficult at times.

The pacing was pretty quick, with shortish chapters, and I was never really bored at any point in time.  I made the mistake of thinking I knew how it would end, and I was terribly, horribly, wrong.  I wish I had let my expectations go a bit, so that I would have felt more of the suspense.

WARNING: If you are uber sensitive to spoilers- I recommend stopping here.  I won’t actually talk about plot or events, but more themes and ideas.

 

The ending was pretty shocking, and I don’t often say that of a King book.  Usually I have an idea… good wins out over evil… the villains are served their just desserts…

This ending is much more ambiguous- but it was ambiguous in a good way that made me think.  I know what physically happened to all of the characters, I don’t feel like I’m left wondering about where they’re headed.  But I was given a lot to think about.  Right vs. Wrong.  Moral and Immoral.  How one weighs the greater good against the rights and freedoms of a few.

All in all – this felt like classic King while also feeling like something new.  I enjoyed it for the most part even if it won’t go down as an all time favorite.  If you like King, this is definitely worth checking out!

The Institute can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.

 

Book Review: A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan

A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan

Rating:  ★★★1/2

This is my first experience with Anthony Ryan. I don’t expect it to be the last. This novella isn’t bad, but it’s one of those times where honestly, I just wanted more. I wanted to know more about the world, more about Pilgrim and his intrepid band of… Pilgrims..

In A Pilgrimage of Swords, we follow a man called Pilgrim and his cursed sword on a trip across the wastelands to make a prayer to the Mad God.  It’s a very difficult and dangerous journey, and few are ever known to have come back from it alive.

The reader understands that Pilgrim has a dark past, but as we travel we also come to understand that Pilgrim isn’t a bad guy, he’s trying to do right by the people he believes are innocent.  His character is a lot of fun.  He has a few lines that made me laugh out loud.

However, I just felt like there wasn’t enough “room” in this short book (128 pages) to get the details I really wanted. I felt like we were skipping from locale to locale without really knowing why or developing the characters enough to really care about them.

As the book goes on, we do get snippets of information here and there about why each of the pilgrims has embarked on this journey, and by the end of it I did care about a few of them.  Still, it was a little frustrating when I could see there was easily enough story here to explore a full length novel about the characters and this world, and felt like this novella was a tease.

The ending was really fantastic though, and the action scenes were exciting and well written.  If Ryan decided to write a full length novel about Pilgrim, I’d definitely pick it up, and the ending seems to leave that possibility open.

I do think it’s worth picking up as it can be read in just a couple hours. Thank you to Subterranean Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC for review.

A Pilgrimage of Swords releases on September 30, 2019 and can be found on GoodReads or preordered on Amazon.

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Escaping ExodusEscaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden

Author:  Nicky Drayden

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Genre: Science Fiction

Length: 368 Pages

Release Date: October 8, 2019

Blurb: Escaping Exodus is a story of a young woman named Seske Kaleigh, heir to the command of a biological, city-size starship carved up from the insides of a spacefaring beast. Her clan has just now culled their latest ship and the workers are busy stripping down the bonework for building materials, rerouting the circulatory system for mass transit, and preparing the cavernous creature for the onslaught of the general populous still in stasis. It’s all a part of the cycle her clan had instituted centuries ago—excavate the new beast, expand into its barely-living carcass, extinguish its resources over the course of a decade, then escape in a highly coordinated exodus back into stasis until they cull the next beast from the diminishing herd.

And of course there wouldn’t be much of a story if things didn’t go terribly, terribly wrong.

Why I’m Excited For It: First I want to thank Acqua di more @ Acquadimore Books for bringing this one to my attention!  I hadn’t heard of it before.

Nicky Drayden is an author I’ve been meaning to try for awhile, and somehow just haven’t gotten around to reading yet. As soon as I saw it and heard “biological spaceships” I knew this had to be the one I read first.

I love books set on spaceships, especially when they are city sized, which to me says that there enough people living there that it’s possible to remain totally anonymous and not know every single living creature onboard.

I’m also super curious about “the beast” they are excavating.  Like – what kind of space monster has this crew dug up?

Escaping Exodus can be found on GoodReads or preordered on Amazon if you’re as excited about it as I am!

What about you?  What new books are you most excited about?  Leave me a link below so I can check it out!