Today, I’m happy to present the sequel to one of my favorite books of 2012. You can read my review of Reckoning by Molly M Hall. It’s one of those books that were so good that I purchased a second copy after reviewing just to share with friends. If you like paranormal romances with creepy scenes, then you’ll love this series. Check out the cover to book two! Beautiful!
Relentless (Dark Prophecy #2) by Molly H Hall
“Out of the darkness and into the fire.
The truth changes everything.”
The discovery of who and what she is changed Kat Matheson’s life forever, revealing a world she never knew existed. A world filled with ominous spirits, mystical beings and dark magic. And a powerful ruler who will stop at nothing to achieve his ultimate goal: her death. Now, in her fight to stay alive, and to protect those she loves, Kat begins the battle to take back what’s hers.
Teaming with the enigmatic Lovell, Kat searches for the clues that hold the secret to her destiny. Clues that take her to places she never imagined, exposing her life—and her heart—to dangers she never saw coming…
Coming soon…Relentless, Book 2 in the Dark Prophecy series.
Reckoning (Dark Prophecy #1) by Molly M. Hall
”They say the truth can set you free. I found out it can kill you.”
Seventeen-year-old Kat Matheson has never revealed the dark secret that sets her apart from everyone else: She can see and hear the dead. Until now, she has been able to ignore the strange apparitions and whispering voices. But it may not be that simple anymore. Haunted by eerie visions and increasingly frightening nightmares, Kat begins to fear she may be the target of a dark and ominous force from beyond the grave. Complicating matters is the arrival of her new neighbor, a young man she instinctively distrusts but is inexplicably drawn to. Gorgeous and mysterious, he seems to hold a disturbing knowledge of her long-held secrets.As she desperately tries to maintain control, events take an unexpected and violent turn. Discovering that nothing is what it seems and that her psychic abilities may involve far more than just communing with the dead, Kat may be forced to confront her worst fears and the powerful curse that controls her destiny.
I’ve spent most of my life in Colorado and currently live just outside of Denver. I write my books on a laptop perched atop a rather creaky desk, surrounded by two crazy and loving cats. I love to travel and have visited 27 of the 50 states, as well as Canada, Ireland and England. And there are still a lot of places I want to go.
I spent entirely too many years in the gray dullness of the corporate world, imagining something more exciting as I punched numbers on a keyboard. During that time, I worked on a degree in English Literature, but never quite managed to complete it. Mostly because I was too busy reading and creating fantasy worlds in my head. It’s actually my love of reading and imagining that led me to take up writing full time. I thought I should finally give all the characters in my head a voice.
Music is a huge part of my life and plays a big role in the creation of my books. Although I listen to everything from Johann Sebastian Bach and Dvorak, to Glen Miller and Bobby Darin, to Rihanna and Nox Arcana, as well as movie and video game soundtracks, there are two bands whose music is practically my lifeblood: Daughtry and Linkin Park. I will listen to or see them live anytime, anywhere.
I’m a fan of British television, Doctor Who (favorite doctor? David Tennant. Let the debate begin!), The Vampire Diaries, Japanese animé, Ghost Hunters, MI-5 and Eureka. And anything featuring James McAvoy. And I probably would never be able to unwind without That 70′s Show.
When I’m not reading and writing, you’ll probably find me listening to music, practicing yoga, working on my very inadequate French, playing piano, enjoying a lovely glass of red wine or champagne, or looking for inspiring landscapes to photograph.
I have written and rewritten this post countless times. I’m still not completely happy with this post, but I can’t grant my conscience any peace until I’ve said something on this situation. Goodreads is a war zone. I’ve been watching the drama on Goodreads rather intimately since my incident with that author nearly two months ago.
It was not a fun experience for me. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to piss on this author’s book today because I need some more fucking page views.” The truth was there were only 14 reviews in a 60 stop tour. Forgive me for saying 1 or 2. I didn’t LITERALLY mean one or two. But, it was my mistake for accompany that information with the review. It didn’t pertain to the book itself. I really feel guilty that it was my mistake that prompted the author to attack me. Theoretically, if I didn’t make a mistake, the whole incident never would have happened.
The tiffs between authors and reviewers is an everyday occurrence. But who is the bully in each situation isn’t as black and white as the participants want you to believe. It’s understandable if you stand up for your friends when one of them is attacked. That’s what friends are for. What’s not okay is for you and your friends to belittle and bully the other person until they never want to step foot on Goodreads again. Too many times what was originally said is blown out of proportion and what ends up happening is nothing short of childish.
It might be that many of these incidents occur because the reviewer does go slightly off topic and includes information that isn’t limited to the content of the book. It might not be a stretch to say that an author sucks at writing if several of their books have been sub-par, however, including what an author does outside of their books doesn’t have a place in a book review.
I wish that reviews would follow these two rules:
- Don’t post a review unless you read part or all of the book – Sample counts.
- Review the book and not the author – Tell me why the book sucks, not why the author sucks.
Shelving a book you’ve never read
I don’t use shelve books on my do-not-read list if the author behaves badly, but I’m not against it. I completely know why they do it. If I know that an author has gone after a reviewer previously I am much less likely to read/review the author’s books. I’m not on some moral mission to read only books by authors with good manners. Fact is that I don’t want to end up in the hot seat again because another author didn’t like what I wrote in a review. I’m not shifting the blame to the reviewer, but I really think that if WE were more proactive in not inciting drama that there would be less of it. Not only do some reviewers go outside of what should be in a book review, but some members on Goodreads actively LOOK for drama. (Screenshot taken from one of the comments on my review.)
There is an entire crew of people that search out and bait naive members of Goodreads. I don’t want to list people and I don’t need to. If you compare the comment logs of these incidents and you will see the same half dozen or so individuals making everything harder on the rest of us.
These people are trolls.
They have no purpose other than to make the rest of us fucking miserable. There will still be some drama between authors and reviewers without these trolls, but I DOUBT that it would be as severe as it is now. And it’s dangerous for bystanders too. Once you show any inclination that you think of one side favorably, you will be publicly called out and every post you make will be trolled. There is shady things going on with both sides, which is why I’ve tried to stay out of it. I’ve sent my <3 through PMs, but supporting someone that is on the current shitlist will only get YOU on the shitlist.
The Master List – Authors Behaving Badly
Something else that I’ve been pondering. How can authors that have behaved badly earn a second change? How can these people who we have blacklisted and humiliated clear their name? At the moment Goodreads works just like a sex offender list. Once an author is on that master list, there is no way for that author to step foot on that site without the label following their every post.
I think that there should be some path for retribution. Granted, there are some ‘special snowflakes’ that will be repeat offenders, but what about those that have learned from their mistakes. The reviewers shun these authors and then they’re surprised when these authors turn to the one place that offers them support and direction – STGRB. Whether or not they give rejected authors good advice, well…you can decide that for yourself.
I think people forget that authors are human beings too. We all make mistakes. What’s important is that it’s not repeated.
New Reviewers – They don’t understand that some authors care only about sales. Some authors will do ANYTHING to have only positive opinions of their book(s) available.
New Authors – They don’t understand that everything they say will be taken out of context and perceived in the worst way possible. They don’t realize that their Twitter and Facebook pages are opened to the public and therefore everything said on these sites will be screen-shot and forever associated with them.
Indie Writers – It’s implied that if an author did something wrong they were self-published. The well-known incident involving Wendy Darling and the author of The Selection was traditionally published. The author I had an incident with was from a small press publishing company. There are self-published authors that do behave badly, but avoiding books by self-published authors won’t guarantee that you will escape the drama. It’s like avoiding pregnancy. The only way to guarantee you won’t get pregnant is to not have sex. The only way to guarantee that you won’t get bullied over a review is to not write reviews.
I don’t know how to end this post anymore than I knew how to begin it. I apologize if it sounded like preaching. It’s something that I felt needed to be said. Feel free to disagree or agree with my opinions in the comments below.Read More
Disclaimer: This review is a little more personal and author orientated than my typical review. I am an
stalker fan of Anne Rice and she’s been my favorite author for over 15 years. I haven’t double checked any of my facts so please feel free to comment and correct me if I’ve made an error. Any assumption I’ve made about her are purely based on my own opinions and despite my disappointment in this book, I still absolutely adore her.
The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
Released February 14th, 2012
The time is the present.
The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.
A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.
As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.
I worshiped Anne Rice throughout most of my childhood and teen years. She’s part of the reason horror is my favorite genre and why I was so confused when Stephanie Meyer transformed vampires into a creature much more cuddily than I imagined. I learned what an eunuch was from her book Violin and I received a crash course in the human side of pedophiles in The Vampire Armand with the character Marius. I learned that not all heroes are as nice and obedient as Prince Charming when I met Lestat. I can give you a plot summary of every single book she’s written ten years since reading because I’ve read each book so many times. As a fellow ex-Catholic, I found most of the religious part of her books very relatable to my own life. She was a Catholic and so she understood that it’s not only a set set of beliefs, but also a culture that is VERY different from ‘Christian’ religions. There’s a dark side that few people (until recent years) have ever spoken out about. I followed her books through her husband’s death, and though it pained me to read Christian literature through her words, I understood why. I waited semi-patiently for her to return to the genre she writes best.
The Wolf Gift is her most recent novel. Her first supernatural book since her husband’s death. Though it is a return to the supernatural, it has a completely different feel from her earlier novels. Throughout the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witch series, her characters are searching for redemption and carry around guilt from their supernatural association. Even Lestat (a name she made up!) was on a constant search to discover the meaning of his life and his purpose. Reuben in The Wolf Gift doesn’t search for the meaning of his ‘gift’. He’s complacent with what he has gained and I can’t help but think that this reflects a peace Anne Rice has finally found within herself.
There is not one thing technically wrong with the story. All the descriptions are vivid and present a mural of each scene for you to enjoy. The employments, histories, and personalities of each character are so carefully selected that every minor detail about even the minor characters impacts some part of the plot. If Anne Rice mentions a piece of lint on a character’s suit, you better believe that it will be important chapters later. The mythology involving the well-known werewolf is so unique that I can imagine that like her vampires, future authors will borrow pieces of it to use in their own story. I wish that she’d write a book just on mythologies of various creatures because her creativity is limitless. My problem with the book is that I didn’t enjoy the characters or the plot. To be completely frank, werewolves are my least favorite mythological creature. Even Anne Rice couldn’t make me fall in love with them. I did get a sliver of the old Anne Rice with the werewolf sex scenes. I love how she remains faithful to her characters despite the taboos and reveal exactly what they do and never sugarcoat it (bestiality with this book).
Plot — Reuben is a wealthy kid who has no ambition in life. He gets bitten by a werewolf (Wolf Man), finds a woman with zero personality and ambition, and seeks to hang out in his newly acquired mansion with her for the rest of their life. Reuben is about as unlikeable of a character as you can get – although, his woman, Laura is plain intolerable. She’s obedient distant, and there for the sex scenes and moral support. Nothing else. Every time the characters got together, it felt like a bunch of old rich folk chatting over tea and I can’t relate to those type of people. The characters in The Wolf Gift all feel middle-aged instead of the coming-to-age characters of her other books. Reuben is only 23, but he sounds and acts like someone decades older.
My rating of this book reflects how I think of it against every other book Anne Rice has ever written. If I were to judge this book with her expert craft in storytelling and description against the average novel I’ve read, it would be four stars. But this isn’t a four star novel for Anne Rice. She’s written a dozen books that I’ve enjoyed so much more than this one. This book is a two star book compared to the rest. Somehow, I like it even less than Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. Even after reading this book, Anne is still my absolute favorite author. I’d love nothing more than to meet her in person. I used to think about visiting New Orleans just to stalk her home in the French Quarters, but thankfully the opportunity has never come up (otherwise, I might have a mug shot). I don’t think that she’s lost her ‘touch’, but I do think that she no longer strives to horrify readers with books about stories too dark for mainstream. If you’ve never read a book by her, I strongly recommend her Mayfair Witch series. I loved it more than the Vampire series, although they’re more popular. If you’re a lifetime fan of hers, I recommend skipping this book. Take one of her other books off the shelf and re-read it and immerse yourself into the tragic but beautiful world she creates in each book.
(I borrowed this book from my local library. It is probably the only book she’s written that I have no plans to own.)
(Information and picture borrowed from Goodreads.)
Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.Read More
Wash by Margaret Wrinkle
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Released February 5th, 2013
In this luminous debut, Margaret Wrinkle takes us on an unforgettable journey across continents and through time, from the burgeoning American South to West Africa and deep into the ancestral stories that reside in the soul. Wash introduces a remarkable new voice in American literature. In early 1800s Tennessee, two men find themselves locked in an intimate power struggle. Richardson, a troubled Revolutionary War veteran, has spent his life fighting not only for his country but also for wealth and status. When the pressures of westward expansion and debt threaten to destroy everything he’s built, he sets Washington, a young man he owns, to work as his breeding sire. Wash, the first member of his family to be born into slavery, struggles to hold onto his only solace: the spirituality inherited from his shamanic mother. As he navigates the treacherous currents of his position, despair and disease lead him to a potent healer named Pallas. Their tender love unfolds against this turbulent backdrop while she inspires him to forge a new understanding of his heritage and his place in it. Once Richardson and Wash find themselves at a crossroads, all three lives are pushed to the brink.
(I’m using the terms “negroes” and “white folk” because it’s what the author uses in the book.)
Wash is both a fascinating and disturbing historical novel set after the Revolutionary War in Southern USA. I thought that it was set in Memphis, TN; however since Tennessee doesn’t border Indiana it doesn’t work. Wash is set in Memphis, state unknown. This book challenges some of the stereotypes of slaveholders and slaves and paints a seemingly accurate picture of what these people could have been like. The book never does give a good answer as to why negroes were slaves and white folk were the owners.
My favorite character in the book is Richardson. He reminds me of Schindler in the opening scenes of Schindler’s list. Richardson is a businessman who uses slaves because free labor is the best when trying to dig one’s self out of debt. Richardson feeds and clothes his slaves adequately, but because it’s cheaper to keep slaves healthy than to pay to nurse slaves back to health or buy new ones. He grants them more freedom than some slave owners yet he reasons that he doesn’t want to stress himself over micromanaging. Does he change his stance on slavery, well, that you have to read to find out.
Wash was a very unusual character. His situation is sympathetic and he’s treated by crap by several white folk throughout his life, however he has a mean temper. He’s quick to strike at people, especially women and I have trouble retaining my sympathy when he’s such a mean individual. Wash’s duty for Richardson adds to this womanizer personality, since he’s a stud. Richardson decided to breed Wash because of his strong attributes. I think the concept of forced breeding disturbed me more than the slavery. I mean, some of these woman Wash had to take by force in order to impregnate them. It’s just awful. I’m not sure whether to be mad at Richardson for making him do this or be mad at Wash for doing it.
This is absolutely heartbreaking to say, but I was so glad to be done with this novel. Reading it felt like I was listening to a veteran tell war stories. Not the beginning – middle – end type either. No, the “let me tell you every dish I ever ate, every person I ever met, every wound I ever got” type of story. Wash is the complete story of Wash, Richardson, Thompson, Eli, Palis, and every other person who ever had an impact in Wash’s life. I’m sure that some people will absolutely adore how the story is told, but it made me want to DNF it from beginning to end. There’s no plot. The plot is Wash. I’m not used to having a character be a plot.
I don’t know how to rate this book. I didn’t get much enjoyment from reading, yet I feel like this book has the potential to one day become a literary classic for how well it handles this sensitive topic. I can see this book both as a one star and as a five star, so I guess I’ll place it right in the middle. If you love historical fiction and want to experience an authentic look into real slaves and real slaveholders in pre-civil war USA, then this is a must read. Otherwise, I would wait until your English teacher puts it as required reading for Black History month.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)
Week In Review
Since I’ve been too busy to post this weekend, I wanted to recap all the awesome posts you might have missed earlier. I did recently finish reading If You Find Me by Emily Murdock, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, so expect reviews of them soon.
I currently have a 3 month waiting list for reviews. I’m still not accepting tours, but I am looking for more authors to interview (no genre restrictions). Email me at lizzylessard (at) gmail.com for more details.