Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Isn’t Dead Is Dying – The Messenger by Stephanie Pippins

This morning, I woke up to find a number of approved galley requests in my inbox. And one of those was this one. I had been anxiously hoping that I would approved to get this galley.
1) Because it’s poetry. Duh.
2) Because the main theme is death and desolation.
3) Iowa Poetry Prize. (Guaranteed good stuff)
Needless to say, I started it right away and finished it within the hour. Then read it two more times to absorb it properly.
Oh boy oh boy. This poetry collection was so my kind of thing. It is something that I would write if I possessed as much talent as Stephanie Pippins. The death and metamorphosis is in your face. There’s not much blood, but I’m willing to excuse that because the poems are so damn good.
The ARC has 35+ poems, all having to do with change, dying, rebirth and bad, bad, things. It must have been a trick of the mind, but I kept thinking black sludge was devouring the words as I swept my eyes over them. There is horror in these poems, not the kind with ghouls and ghosts, but a more natural horror, the kind that you could see happening everyday, if only you observed.
The poems are heavy on nature. Bird references, animal behaviour, and the likes create the perfectly dark setting for what Pippins is trying to say. This book is beautiful in a weird way. It is something that you would want to read over and over and over, only to feel this aching and dread which in turn makes you feel more aware and alive.
Like Pippins says.
“What isn’t dead
is dying.”

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed In Blood
Kendare Blake
Rating: 5 stars
Anyone who really knows me, would know about my obsession with blood and dead girls. So it was no surprise that I would want to read this book as soon as I saw it. (And the cover, oh, the cover!) Whether I’d like it or not was an entirely different story. I’ll have you know, that I absolutely love Lenore. Poe’s Lenore and Dirge’s Lenore. But there are countless other books with dead girls that I can’t even care to remember them, they were that bad.
The thing with horror books is that they can be as scary as you want them to be. When watching a movie, you get a package deal of horrific images that may scare or be just meh, depending on your own spook-o-meter. But books give you the liberty of imagining those scary ghosts and creatures in any way you want to, providing just the base. My imagination is crazy. Parts of this book had me freaking out and seeing shadows around my room. The fact that I read in absolute darkness (on my Kindle) may have contributed to my fears.
To be honest, in hindsight, this book isn’t all that scary. It’s about a young guy who kills ghost who are out wreaking havoc and murdering people. And then he comes across Anna, who is the most vindictive, bloodiest ghost he has ever faced. Saying more would be giving out spoilers.
But I have to say, after Lish McBride’s Necromancer books, this is the only one that kept me up all night to finish it. I’ll be reading the sequel soon.

Maryam M.