Mini Reviews: 1/15-1/21

The Company of Demons
by Michael Jordan

In what seemed to be the A plot, we have a serial killer returned after thirty years. In what becomes the A plot, our protagonist gets charged with a murder and has to clear himself. And then the original A plot comes back for a second round and ends… well, it just ends. No closure.

It’s not, strictly speaking, a bad book. In fact, I rated it four stars for the serial killer plot, but it loses in being so obviously written by a white guy. He can’t seem to help himself from hitting on the woman who comes to him as a client, even though he has a wife and daughter. This turns into a major plot point in the book, which is about as exciting as it sounds. This whole subplot that takes over the serial killer plot really kills the book’s flow.

I’d still recommend it for the serial killer plot, as that’s pretty unique and is actually based on the real Torso Murders of Cleveland.

The Premonition
by Chris Bohjalian

This is a set up to the novel The Sleepwalker. It focuses on the eldest daughter finding her mom sleepwalking, and covers meeting some new neighbors. It’s actually more interesting than I make it sound, but there’s no easy way to sum it up. In any case, it’s a good prelude to the novel and gives a little more background into the characters, so I recommend reading it before you read The Sleepwalker (or read it if you’ve already read The Sleepwalker).

Over the Garden Wall Vol. 3

Continuing the search for the Hero Frog, our intrepid adventurers get closer to Frog Town. Sara is a character in these stories, so that’s exciting if you, like me, always wanted to see more of her interacting with Wirt.

Each story is super cute and the art is always a charm, no matter what issue you read. I highly recommend this series for all ages.

Murder in the Dark
by Margaret Atwood

Murder in the Dark is a “collection of short stories and prose poems”, according to the book itself. This was my first experience with Atwood’s writing in total, so I was interested in digging in. I didn’t actually know what I was getting into when I bought it. I won’t lie, I had hoped it was a murder mystery.

As it stands, it’s an interesting assortment of stories. Each is only one to a few pages long (the whole collection is only 62 pages). One set of stories centers around a trip to Mexico, the stories people tell when they come home, the discomfort they leave by being tourists in a place that doesn’t belong to them. It’s interesting.

If you like Atwood, I recommend it. If you’re not, I’m not sure it’ll make you a fan, but it wasn’t a waste of a read.

Sleep No More
by P. D. James

Boy, I can’t recommend this one enough. Six short stories of murder, each one nicely crafted to give you that eerie feeling that you know a dark secret you shouldn’t. Sometimes you follow the murderer, sometimes you follow someone involved in it. In each case, the characters are fleshed out by the text and each individualized. There’s no bleed between the stories, so each one has to stand on its own, and they sure do.

Definitely check this one out if you’re into solid murder mysteries.

Stillhouse Lake
by Rachel Caine

I won’t lie, I half read this book while watching something else. I could only take so much repetitive paranoia and stress from the main character. The writing wasn’t bad, but the story just dragged on and on. There was a decent twist as to who the villain was, with some good clues planted just right so you could figure it out yourself. However, it’s set up for a sequel (out now, Killman Creek), which is apparently set up for another sequel. How long can this go on? As long as the author can stretch it, I guess.

by Tom Gauld

Mooncop is a story about the sole cop on the moon. We follow him as the moon’s inhabitants leave to go back to Earth, until there’s only two people left on the moon. It’s a solid meditation on dreams and the way capitalism crushes those with changes that serve no one. It’s a quick read, but a good one. I definitely recommend it.

You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack
by Tom Gauld

A collection of comics done for The Guardian, they focus on literature, life, the classics, and the future. There are some really great ones in there, and I definitely recommend it if you like your humor subtle and wry.

About Fleet Sparrow

Writer, Reader, Critic, Bear.
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