Book Review – Trixter

Title: Trixter

Author: Alethea Kontis

Format: E-book

Year Published: 2015

Trixter is the first in a companion series to The Woodcutter Sisters. It follows the story of Trix, the baby brother of the Woodcutter family (although he’s technically a cousin). Like Dearest, the story starts shortly after the opening events in Hero. Trix has been contacted in dreams by his birthmother, and doesn’t dare allow his foster mother to forbid him to go to her. Instead he doctors the family stew into a sleeping potion, and runs.

He doesn’t get far before he is overtaken by the ocean that his sister Saturday calls to the land, saving the lives of several creatures along the way (for he is, after all, The Boy Who Talks to Animals). There he meets Lizinia, a girl turned to gold as a gift by Papa Catto, the head of the cats that she had lived with and worked for. Together, they continue to head for the Abbey where Trix’s birthmother is sending them.

For most of the book, Trix doesn’t make a misstep. He’s wracked with guilt over dosing his family, but he still rescues several creatures and makes the correct choices when meeting Lizinia for the first time. Even when he does choose wrong, there are no lasting consequences from it. However, while I’m pretty sure I’d want to strangle him if I knew him in real life, his cheerful outlook on life and willingness to take things as they come allowed me to overlook the lack of true conflict in the book. I do believe that the second book will contain more chances for Trix to grow as a character, as he heads off to meet his father at the end of this one.

A solid offering in the Woodcutter world; if you enjoyed the others, you’ll enjoy this one. 3.5/5.

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Book Review – Raising Hell

TITLE: Raising Hell
AUTHOR: John G. Hartness
FORMAT: Paperback
PUBLISHED: 2015

Okay, full disclosure because I believe in that kind of stuff. I happen to know John because we travel in the same extended circles. So when I stepped up to his table at Con Carolinas to say hi to him, he told me to buy a book, I told him to give me one to review, and after pimping the blog, I ended up with a copy of this in my hot little hand. Mostly his choice, although I did request something short.

This is a novella that follows around a demon hunter named Quincy, who happens to know Dracula. Yes, that Dracula. From what I gather, it’s the 2nd in the series, but I didn’t really need the first one to understand anything happening here.

In this book, Q has to get a demon out of a teenage girl who is too far gone already and then gets revenge for the girl by the frat boys that turned her and their uber rich father who lets it all happen.

I’m not a huge fan of horror (which is funny because the story I finished writing not 24 hours ago was a horror story for a charity anthology), but this one wasn’t bad. I liked the length, which I guess means less novels and more novellas or even novelettes for me, mainly because my brain is often mush after work and I liked being able to read this in a short amount of time and actually get through it unlike the book I’ve been reading since January and am still not halfway.
There was some gore in this one because, well, exorcism and demons and the like, but it wasn’t too over the top (Side note – all gore feels over the top to me. I really am not into that sort of stuff), and it all felt necessary. For the most part, it was more about a bad dude versus a badass, so I was okay with that.

I think there are a few places that could be polished, and I’d like a few things fleshed out a wee bit more. Even for the length, there were a couple places that I seriously wanted to have a few more paragraphs added in. I think 500-1000 more words over the course of the book would have made it awesome.

But, if horror is your genre or you just really like seeing frat boys and their rich daddies get their just desserts, you should check this book out. It’s good for what it is. And for that, 4/5.

Book Review – Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix

Title: Grim Tuesday

Author: Garth Nix

Format: Hardback

Published: 2004

 

Grim Tuesday is the second book in a series of seven known as the Keys to the Kingdom series each book named after a day of the week. The first book Mister Monday was a book I reviewed a long while ago. I had a desire to go through and finish the series but needed to re-read the first two and a half books in order to do so. In my review of Mister Monday I expressed that I was bored and kept tying to remember the events of this book as the events of that book. Coming to this book I knew there was less to get confused and there was only one event that I wasn’t sure it if was this book or the next that I remember reading it but I was certain it was the next book – but overall it wasn’t a major event and didn’t disturb my reading.

 

Going through this book a second time wasn’t bad – the book held my attention and it was vaguely amusing. Having a familiarity with the book I began to wonder how the main character Arthur got out of one situation that I didn’t remember at all to the next situation which I remembered. Over all I did not remember much of the book but one main event which made things a whole lot easier to read.

 

The general plot of this book picks up where Mister Monday left off. Arthur awakes to a new day (Tuesday) glad that the events of Monday are well taken care of and happy to live his normal mortal life for the next several years to discovered that Grim Tuesday has set out to collect a past debt left behind by Mister Monday that Arthur now owes. Arthur finds that everyone is in financial ruin and there are Denizens (the people/creatures of the house where Mister Monday and Grim Tuesday reside) causing problems as well.

 

Despite the fact of not wanting to go back into the House and fight another trustee (as Mister Monday and Grim Tuesday are known) he goes in and is faced with various challenges to try to get what he needs to fight off Grim Tuesday and take ownership of yet another region of the house just like he had done in the first book only with new challenges. Which also included an issue with creatures based out of nothing called nithlings which are hell bent on destroying the House structure something that Arthur cannot allow as said destruction would destroy the entire universe considering that the house is also known as the center of the universe. It is a bit of a whirlwind of a tale and there are hits of something more nefarious going on than just the present issues at hand.

Overall I think I would give the book a 4 out of 5 pages as it was rather good and kept my attention. I will also say that this book is very much a children’s middle grade book, but still something that an adult can enjoy as well.

Book Review – Maplecroft

I might have enjoyed the story more had I been able to sit and read it in one sitting, as I was continually being interrupted and therefore unable to immerse myself into the world. As it stood, though, the story bothered me because it felt like the characters were constantly chasing their tails, unable to solve the mystery and unwilling to work together (until the doctor finds out, and even then there’s very little of them working together).

Like I said, I can see how this book would appeal more to people who really enjoy the horror end of things, and the writing was easy enough to read. For me, however, this book came out as a low 3/5 and I have no interest in reading the sequel.

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