Imagine my surprise when I opened the mailbox a few days ago and there was a little brown package from one of my favorite people. This little brown package contained a book. *That is obvious right* My last couple of weeks have been horrible. So over the last couple of nights I read this amazing little novella. It also speaks to how well she knows me. Myth, folklore and legend mixed with horror is my jam. Some of the scariest stories are rooted in the folklore our grandparents heard from their grandparents. Baba Yaga is one of these myths. After I read about the little sorceress that flew around in a mortar and pestle and lived in a house that walked around on chicken legs I was hooked. She is nether good nor bad, I really believe that she is the personification of human kind. Finding Baba Yaga was a beautiful story of a girl and finding the baba.
Summary: A novella in prose about a young girl who leaves home and finds Baba Yaga.
What I liked: Honestly, I loved the entire novella. The story is heartbreaking but at the same time it isn’t. It is modern and beautiful. I personally believe using verse makes it even more enchanting. It is a old fairytale wrapped up in modern gift wrapping.
What I didn’t like: There was nothing that I didn’t like about this novella. It was perfect.
My thoughts: I love when authors update myths, fairytales and legends. You can tell that Yolen really cared about the story that she was trying to tell. The care and the deliberate use of words really showed how much Yolen cared. This little tome took two weeks of hardness and washed them away. It was like magic. Like Baba Yaga herself was helping me out. Spinning her magic taking the worry and the stress from my shoulders.
What is it about the horror genre that lends to stories about serial killers. Is it the horrific things that some serial killers do? Or is it the idea that there is someone out there that doesn’t have the same respect or empathy for human life that the rest of society “should” have. I have read quite a bit of true crime and horror about serial killers. But….it is very rare to read a story about a female serial killer. Which is why I was so happy to read Without Condition by Sonora Taylor.
Synopsis: Coming of age story with a murderous twist.
What I liked: I really appreciated the multifaceted way that Cara was written. She was well written and three dimensional. She may have been a serial killer but there was a lot more to her. There was some many different sides to her character. I appreciated Cara’s story in general. For me it was more of a coming of age story with murder. It was more about Cara and growing up and how her relationship with her mother changes as she is maturing and falling in love. The ending really surprised me. I really enjoyed how the story ended. I wasn’t left feeling lost or empty.
What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like.
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
My thoughts: I truly enjoyed this story. I think that Taylor really hit on something with this story. Even though Cara was a killer you felt for her. You felt for the child that she was….the woman that she was growing into. I really can’t wait to see what else Taylor has up her sleeve. If you don’t haven’t gotten this in your brain you are missing out.
A big thank you to Sonora for sending me a copy for review.
Over the last year, I have really gotten into collections. Short stories with a smattering of poetry makes my black heart sing. I had seen Ms. Addison perform spoken word on line at a writers event and I loved the way he wording flowed. A couple of my friends reviewed How to Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend and naturally they had good things to say. So when I had the opportunity to meet Linda Addison I grabbed a copy and took it with me. I didn’t make it to the panel that she was moderating but I did get to meet her in a signing line. I was so thrilled to meet her.
Synopsis: Collection of horror short stories and poetry.
What I liked: I loved the whole thing. It made me so happy just reading through the stories and poems. The darkness and the horror that is bubbling under the surface of so many of the stories. Many aren’t in your face but rather a slow burn that creeps under your skin. There are short stories that I would love to see expanded. Addison is also such an amazing poet. The poems are complex, heartbreaking on one hand and horrifying on the other. AND….the best part
What I didn’t like: There is nothing I didn’t like about this collection.
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
My Thoughts: There is something very special about this collection. Two of the stories are linked. I loved this because the first story was so good and I wanted more of the two characters. I enjoy how Addison uses language. From her word choices to the voice in which she writes. It is uniquely hers. I read a lot of horror and the cadence in which she writes is different then many of the authors that I have read before.
My dad is a believer. He believes that we as people have the ability to be magic. Not like Magic that was in The Craft but rather magic that is fluid and calls upon nature. Over the years he has had the most amazing library of books about natural power that I have always been a believer. Recently my father had a small surgery. Nothing earth shattering but just enough to worry me. He came out of surgery fine. At his post op appointment later that week his doctor remarked on how fast my dad heals. My dad just chuckles and tells the doctor “I told my body to heal”. My dad just seems to get it; he always has. I was was really stoked when Raw Dog Screaming Press asked if I would review Witches by Donna Lynch.
Synopsis: A illustrated horror poetry collection about witches.
What I liked: I loved the mixed media used through out the book. I have a deep love for mixed media art and it’s use in a literary context. The poetry was viscera and I loved the history that was sprinkled throughout like little gifts. What I really enjoyed was that the book was like a graphic novel or comic book with horror poetry!! The first poem gripped me by the eyeballs and kept me reading through it. Lynch is very talented and I can’t wait to read more from her.
What I didn’t like: There was nothing I didn’t like
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
My Thoughts: I want to hug this poetry collection. I have revisited a few of the poems and they still give me the feels. I really appreciate the time that went into this collection. The thought that went into the illustrations and how well they worked with the poems. Lynch’s writing is like a gut punch. Pretty words that are meant to make you feel something that isn’t necessarily pretty. Which we all know is the way to my heart.
2018 was the year that I decided to do things that are outside of my comfort zone. One of the things that I decided to do was to read more poetry. At first I was like I will read some non-genre poetry. That went pretty well. So I started venturing out into horror poetry. I am glad to say that I am never looking back. I have read more poetry in the last year then I had since I was in school. I love it though. There are so many talented poets. Christina Sng is defiantly one of the top tier.
Synopsis: A amazing poetry collection based on nightmares.
What I liked: Sng’s ability to weave nightmare scenarios with pretty language really made my heart happy as I read this. She is so skillful at choosing just the right imagery to create the creepy feeling of many of these poems. Sng takes these dreams that we all have at night and puts them to words. It is like she has snuck into our minds while we are sleeping and took all the bad dreams and put them between the cover of this book.
What I didn’t like: It ended to soon.
Star Rating: 5 Stars
My Thoughts: I really loved Sng’s writing style. I had a really hard time putting this collection down. The art on the cover was beautiful. This collection made my heart happy and I can’t wait to read more from Sng. If everything else is as wonderful as A Collection of Nightmares then I can’t wait!!