Saturday, August 26, 2017

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

I was at the library uploading a video yesterday when I came across a graphic novel in the Young Adult section. It reminded me of one of those old Scary Stories books I loved as a kid. Except this was quicker to read and more visually good looking. The drawings in those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books freaked the s#!t out of me as a kid. The one story about the girl with the green ribbon around her neck has especially stuck with me.

This book had some creepy stories and the drawings can leave you with a little chill. I was entertained enough to read through the entire thing while I waited. It didn’t take long but I highly recommend it if you like that kind of thing. Obviously not that gross since it was in the YA section. But the mostly white, black, and red color scheme was really cool. All of the writing was hand-written instead of typed and the layout was visually appealing. If you want a quick, creepy YA graphic novel read I recommend it! You can find it here!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wordbound #3 (I Skipped #2)
So to preface this I should say that I skipped the last one because it scared me, because it meant that I would have to share fiction writing. I love fiction, and I love writing it. Sharing it on the other hand... not so much. It is easy for me to write my thoughts (on certain non-meaningful topics) but when it is something that is basically a window in to my brain I get skittish. So here is my first attempt at really sharing my writing. I should also say that I'm free-writing this so it isn't polished, but I had an idea from this prompt so I'm going from there. There is more of an explanation for Wordbound here. I moved over to the book section for this because it is fiction and doesn't really fit in my normal blog.


There is a door in front of me that is closed. If I were to go through it it would contain moments of my life that are "important". These moments shaped my life and the lives of those around me. I am afraid to go through the door because while it could show happy moments like my first kiss, it is also likely to show the things that I did wrong. Who did I cause pain to with a thoughtless word? How many sad or angry faces will I see while I am oblivious?

I stare at the door. The hallway is bright but comfortable and the floor, wall, and ceiling is grey. The hallway has multiple doors that are all different colors. Doors are red, blue, green, brown, some broken, some with windows. On and on they go, seeming endless. Each door is different because they belong to different people. I thought this would be different but when you think about it you really don't know what to expect. I don't know how exactly I got here but I expect I will find out when I go through the door. If I go through the door. You have a choice, but I don't know what the alternative will be. Would I be stuck here forever until I finally go though? When you get here you walk until you find the door that is yours. There is no sign, you just know. Your door speaks to you in a way you don't understand. You recognize it in some way. Mine resembles the door to my home, where I felt most comfortable and myself. Strangely, one door I passed was for a dive bar. To each their own. Staring at my door I am scared, yet I want to see.

Our lives shouldn't be scary. What happened can't be changed, we simply watch what happened like we're using one of those Pensieve's from Harry Potter. I am here and I am dead and I am afraid that the life I am shown will not appear fulfilling because I had no "excitement". I didn't go on big trips or make a lot of money and my "success" in life was limited compared to others. I made no real contribution to society other than trying not to be an asshole. But I had a family and friends who mattered and I watched my children grow. I felt and reacted and was angry and sad and happy. I lived and tried my best as my wisdom grew to live each day well and without regret. I stand up straight, gather my courage, and step through the door.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Will o' the Wisp by Tom Hammock

After her parents' accidental death by mushroom poisoning, young Aurora Grimeon is sent to live with her estranged grandfather on Ossuary Isle, deep in the southern swamps. Joined by her grandfather's pet raccoon Missy, Aurora explores the fog-covered island of graves. Along the way she meets its sinister residents who care for the tombstones and mausoleums, living out their lives by the strange rules of Hoodoo magic. When ghostly things start happening out in the swamp and island residents start disappearing, Aurora thrusts herself into the middle of the mystery, uncovering secrets that might be better left buried.
This isn't the type of graphic novel I would typically read, but I was able to get an advance digital copy so I thought I would give it a try and I'm glad I did. It has a creepy feel to it without going in to any kind of gory territory, so I think this would be OK for younger readers (young teen/preteen). The story kept me interested and the drawings themselves were a bit different. I don't mean different in a bad way or anything, just the style itself isn't something I've seen a lot of. It seemed to be based on a certain color palette and I think that's how the illustrator gave it the spooky/mysterious quality.

I liked the characters a lot (and Missy the raccoon was really cute). The pacing and drawings were very well done. The story wraps up nicely at the end but I'm hoping there will be more to the story.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Runner by Patrick Lee

Published February 18, 2014
by Minotaur Books
Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.

Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. Although Dryden is only one man, he’s a man with the extraordinary skills and experience—as a Ranger, a Delta, and five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. But, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel’s own unremembered past be the most deadly of them all?
This book was so good! It was fast paced and exciting and I never knew which way it was going to go next. This guy (Dryden) is like a Jason Bourne level of bad-ass. While there isn't much hand-to-hand fighting, his smarts and skills keep you on your toes. Just when I think Patrick Lee wrote his character in to an inescapable situation, he makes an unexpected a move and the action continues.

Well done and exciting, I didn't want to put the book down.While the traditional parts of a "thriller" are there, there are also some sci-fi elements there as well. I don't want to give too much information because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I went in not knowing much and I think that's probably the best way to read it. I can't say enough good things about this book. If you like a good thriller, this is one of the best I've read in years.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Troop by Nick Cutter
Published January 7, 2014
by Gallery Books*
Lord of the Flies meets The Ruins in this frightening novel written in the bestselling traditions of Stephen King and Scott Smith.

Boy Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” However, nothing can prepare this group of young boys and their scoutmaster for what they encounter on a small, deserted island, as they settle down for a weekend of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.

Everything changes when a haggard stranger in tattered clothing appears out of nowhere and collapses on the campers’ doorstep. Before the night is through, this stranger will end up infecting one of the troop’s own with a bioengineered horror that’s straight out of their worst nightmares. Now stranded on the island with no communication to the outside world, the troop learns to battle much more than the elements, as they are pitted against something nature never intended…and eventually each other.

“Lean and crisp and over-the-top....Disquieting, disturbing,” says Scott Smith, author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan, The Troop is a visceral burn of a read that combines boldly drawn characters with a fantastically rendered narrative—a terrifying story you’ll never forget.
This book was... gross. But that was only due to the fact that scenes were described so well. I mean, they were pretty gory and I had a hard time reading some of the scenes. I actually had to skip some of them because I wanted to gag a little bit. It was weird because I can usually deal with gross scenes, but in this case I just couldn't do it.

The story splits between what is going on on the island where the Boy Scout Troop is and interviews conducted by the government about what happened that caused the events (for example, a scientist who created something bad that spread). I don't want to give away too much, but it makes people so insanely hungry that they will eat anything (though thankfully not humans- if there were zombies this would have been beyond horrifying) while quickly wasting away no matter how much they eat.

The content was good, but as I said before you probably need a stronger stomach to get through this. The story was fast paced and kept me coming back to see what would happen next despite the creepy shivers I'd get every time I got to a gross scene.

*I received a free digital copy to review.