Due to a whole bunch of circumstances, I'm putting these on hold indefinitely. Thank you so much to anyone who's enjoyed them. <3
SYNOPSIS: Spacefaring researchers disturb an ancient horror. An enchanted object curses a grieving widow. A haunted reel torments a film student. A murder trial hinges on a chilling testimony.
In Howls From Hell, sixteen emerging horror writers pave the way for the future of the genre. Fans of dark and macabre fiction will savor this exhibition of all-original tales born from one of the fastest-growing horror communities in the world: HOWL Society.
With a foreword by Grady Hendrix, this anthology unveils the horror writers of tomorrow.
I got a copy of this anthology early in exchange for a review, and I'm SO glad I took them up on that. This book is fantastic (and illustrated!) and I've added several new names to my keep-an-eye-out list.
((I did join the HOWL Society discord not too long ago, but haven't really posted yet, because 80 million things to do + ADHD = what do you mean I haven't done anything except scroll Twitter today. Anyway, moving on))
I liked just about every story in here, but my particular standouts are She's Taken Away, Gooseberry Bramble, Red and the Beast, It Gets in Your Eyes, and Junco Creek.
The intro is perfect. Look at this:
"Horror is always about families, sometimes biological, as in V.C. Andrews, but mostly found. ... Every band of scrappy heroes standing down a zombie apocalypse, every group of parapsychologists investigating a haunted house, every motley gang of vampire hunters or creepy flock of vampires form a family."
Thanks, Grady, now I'm all emotional. <3
Quotes/Lines (spoilers below!)
A CASUAL ENCOUNTER
-- 'Younger men want to call all the shots, and women of any age are much too wary, so I tend to stick to older guys.'
Okay, serial killer or traditional monster?
-- Question answered. EEEEEK
THE PIGEON LIED
-- 1) great title 2) the illustration for this one!!!
-- I love the Hell/demons twist on the mob feel to this
-- "I haven't looked forward to something so much since I convinced Jenny to write her damned book to kick off the anti-vaxxers! The Horsemen and I still get a kick out of the reemergence of smallpox." PFFFFFFT
-- 'Definitely Wayworth's goons. A slight red glow escaped around the edges of their Ray-Bans. Hellhounds, not normal goons.' Nice.
-- The manager just getting the hell out of Dodge is perfect.
-- Futuristic humans exploring ancient Egypt? *heart eyes*
-- "Is this going to be on our exam?" Some things never change.
-- Berry, you dumbass, do not poke at the probably-just-sleeping god
-- 'A strong, undeniable desire to flee, to escape, consumed her. It overpowered the fantasies of promotions, of money, of talks, and travel to other colonies for lectures.' LISTEN TO IT
-- "Leave him. He's dead weight now," hissed the student in her ear, and she both hated him and was thankful to him that he had made this decision for her.'
Berry, you're an ass, and Gab, you're not much better (you do realize that him making the decision doesn't absolve you from going along with it?)
RED PUNCH BUGGY
-- THAT is a weird response to an accident.
-- This guy is gonna pass out behind the wheel and kill somebody.
-- 'I know bumper stickers say 'motorcycles are everywhere' but, rather than engendering sympathy, it makes them sound like cockroaches, an infestation in dire need of a pesticide holocaust.' ...um. You okay there, buddy?
-- And the winner of 'creepiest workplace award' goes to...
SHE'S TAKEN AWAY
-- AE: "Maybe it's not a dysfunctional brain. Maybe she's finally revealed her true self. There could be a bunch of things she's done that we've yet to discover."
JML: "Why are you smiling?"
AE: "I didn't mean to. I don't know. Smiling, I guess, to keep the tears away?"
If this guy had any sense at all he'd be backing away slowly (or very, very quickly) right now
-- AE: "It was only me who saw it, though. Whenever we were at school or in front of our parents, she always acted normal. She only revealed that side of her to me. No one else."
The doctor is 110% dumbass. ((also, even the *mention* of electroshock... I love the idea in this story that the set-in-stone 'we're helping these people by hurting them' mindset can keep people from seeing what's right in front of them))
SUSPENDED IN LIGHT
-- 'Yet here she was, her own image displayed before her, on a film shot eighty years before her birth.' NOPE. Run please
-- 'His eyes brightened until they were so blinding she had to turn away. When she finally looked again, beams of light projected from his sockets onto the wall behind her. He hummed like a machine, the sound spilling from his fully agape mouth.'
Hello mental image I will never be able to unsee
-- "Seems like no matter what I say, y'all got yer sights set on Mr. Ramblewood over there fer the deaths a them dozen children. But I might jest change yer minds, so listen close.'
That is certainly one hell of a story setup.
-- Aaaaaaand there goes my appetite forever.
-- 'I was due fer a whuppin. But if y'all think she scolded me or spanked my bottom somethin' raw, then yer wrong. My grandmammy wrapped her slender arms round me an squeezed me tight- like if she let me go I might melt away.'
God, his poor grandma. Realizing that he was gone and where he'd gone to and believing she'd never see him again...
CLEMENT & SONS
-- 'Vines clung to the veranda like a kraken engulfing a ship.' Love this line.
-- 'She'd finally got her blank slate.' I'm hoping that her son is just grown and moved out, instead of something awful happening to him, too.
-- 'Organizing bookshelves always brought her joy.' Same. <3
-- 'Framed photos of David and the boys' Okay, so more than just Michael. Still hoping they're okay.
-- "Morning, my love." This is when it's time to RUN LIKE HELL thanks
-- 'The closer Lydia floated toward him, the wider his smile grew, stretching to almost unnatural proportions.' nope nope nope
-- That ENDING. augh
POSSESS AND SERVE
((This one was not for me. I got through it and was a little unsure if it was a satire of the more toxic aspects of policing; if the main character was supposed to be a badass heroine when she struck me as fully "I'm not like OTHER girls"; and either way the relentless nastiness toward fat people left a bad taste in my mouth. Looking through other reviews of this book, I'm in the minority-- several people mention this as one of their favorites. To each their own, but here are my original notes))
-- I love the concept of this! As a story, anyway, in reality it'd be creepy as shit.
-- 'What would it be like living this man's life?' ...I'm pretty sure you should've left by now.
-- 'It wasn't professional, but it was harmless compared to the guys in the unit who she'd overheard bragging about the 'racks' they'd felt up when assuming control.'
1) yeah, eating something in someone else's body to avoid calories might seem harmless, but what if the guy you're in has an allergy?
2) WHAT THE FUCK on the entire rest of that sentence. They're assaulting people and you haven't told anyone? You just use it as an 'at least I'm not *this* bad' measurement?
-- "Whatever you're doing tonight, blow it off. What can be so important on a Wednesday night that you can't go out to dinner with me?"
...Netflix. A nap. Reading tax forms. Watching paint dry. Go away, Mark.
-- Yes, your friend Otto is much happier now that he's not-- gasp!-- *chunky*, and the four other women on your team are 'lovely people once you get past the buzz cuts'. Side-eyeing Sarah forever.
-- 'The joke wasn't even that funny. But later, when she thought of it, she couldn't help but chuckle.' And now you're "but he's so *confident*, tee-hee!" over Mark? wtf
-- 'That's not my dad.' Left a message to explain; smart kid.
-- Ohhh shit. Yeah, that whole speech about being proud of your officers' conduct is looking a little off now, huh.
-- 'It would be someone else's problem when she relinquished control.' Yeah, a fifteen year old's problem; please be *careful*
-- 'and- her target- his brachial artery' what in the HELL, did you just potentially kill a citizen who called you for help?? I mean, given that I'm typing this while we're waiting for the Chauvin verdict...
-- 'The fire alarm would boot them all from their rigs, but that meant admitting she couldn't handle the situation.' You can't! He's stronger and you don't want to risk a fight when you're the one who'll suffer the consequences, fine. He's a thief and a would-be rapist-- who gives a shit if someone thinks you couldn't 'handle it', get him *caught*.
-- 'we need to do our due diligence by not assuming his guilt' 'a very serious charge you're leveling' 'you're too emotional' YEP, here they go.
-- 'He was a good man. Without his glasses, without the baby fat, he was something else, too. The heart of her old friend, in a body that was taken care of.' I hate everyone in this story. Except Otto, but there's probably going to be a bait-and-switch and he's going to end up the rapist/thief, and then I can add him, too.
-- So Otto flips about a million deadbolts and then puts the keys in his pocket. Nope. Nothing suspicious here.
-- 'Every value meal I crammed into my gob was a treat that made me fatter, lazier, and more disgusting.'
-- Yep. There's the wallets.
-- 'Something in her head told her to document the evidence and call for backup, but for once she wanted to resolve something on her own.' OH my god. Nobody knows where you are, the door is quadruple-locked...the 'something' is Common Goddamn Sense
-- And naturally, Mark saves her. UGH
-- 'Sarah breathed heavily for a moment before dropping her guard. "You're going to get a fat lip, pretty boy." "It won't look as bad as that goose egg growing on your forehead, Forrester."
I'm just a girl, reading this banter, and reaching for an airsickness bag
-- 'Otto ran at her in an injured loping gait, gun dropped. Forgotten. Anger wasn't expressed with bullets. Bullets flew on fear. Anger ripped and tore and strangled. Anger had claws.' Nice line.
-- So no complaint from the woman Otto assaulted because they're getting paid off to keep quiet. And Sarah's going to 'get her story straight' and not talk about the groping, or anything that Otto did. Yay?
-- I'm glad you're not after the kids, but even though your brother sounds like a bit of a dick he didn't...do anything here? He inherited the house you wanted. And his wife definitely didn't have a part in that.
-- "She has allowed her husband to dominate and control all he desires." THAT'S what the wife did?? Ma'am. I'm thinking there is a reason your dad didn't leave you the house.
-- "I order you to stop! Listen to your master." I really hope the kids don't pay for her being this much of a dumbass.
-- "I am evidence ... those poor children are evidence too." **facepalm**
-- Alternate title: Why You Don't Get Drunk And Summon A Demon
IT GETS IN YOUR EYES
-- This is gonna traumatize me, isn't it. I can just tell from the title.
-- "Have you been diagnosing yourself on Google?" Oh no, Marnie, bad plan.
-- 'I'd never seen Candyman.' *le gasp*
-- 'She got off the couch, saying something about buying yellow wallpaper for the bedroom.' *snerk*
-- "There are circles of hell more comfortable than this." Ohhh dear.
-- AHHHHHHH yep I was right I'm traumatized noooo
RED AND THE BEAST
-- Ooooh, Little Red Riding Hood themed horror story
-- 'Red responded with her own roar, smaller but just as primal.' I love her.
-- "Oh, come on, Beauty," an elder woman said. "Just look at him! A strong man. Your father isn't coming back. You'll need some protection." "Forget it! You're all useless!"
Fairy tale mashup hell yesssss
-- "Never had she beheld such a beautiful woman.'
*Lesbian* fairy tale mashup????
-- "Nonsense. I think they're big enough to share."
There's only one bed trope! This was written for me.
-- The moving furniture is super-creepy in this and I approve.
-- "Your father? ... Well, you'll have to crawl onto that serving platter to replace him." OH MY GOD
-- 'Cars, trucks, motorbikes, and streetlights consolidate into a galactic communal mishmash of glowing rush-hour traffic.' I hope you're not currently driving.
-- 'I shook my head violently--what the fuck am I doing?' I am asking the same question
-- 'I speed clear, seeing tiny, grey, wiggling maggots erupting from its mouth like liquified television static spilling out of a screen.' 1) great imagery, 2) EW
-- 'When my right testicle popped, I think that's when I realized how serious the situation was.'
We have a winner in the opening sentence contest.
-- 'I hardly ate. Food bored me. The memory of her sustained me.' Sir? You okay there?
-- 'The flower in her hair seemed to angle toward me as she turned, a cobra bobbing its head hypnotically.' Poison Ivy?
-- "And now you have taken from us. Eaten from us." She smiled. "And now you cannot leave."
Someone hadn't read his Persephone myth. Not that it would've helped him, really. Yikes
-- (have I mentioned how much I love these illustrations?)
-- Ohhh, Leigh. :(
-- I'm glad Ben agreed to come with her on this trip and listen; that's a tough situation for the kid to be in.
-- I don't care if you're the owner of the cabin, sir, you're approaching a woman and her son alone in an isolated area and it's CREEPY
-- Stalker owl!
-- Mmmm, s'mores. Must run to store soon.
-- "But I'm still your mother. I'm still here for you." "You're not really," he said. "Not how I need you to be." "How do you need me to be?" "Like you were."
-- "A bear?" "Yes, but don't worry. They rarely attack people."
Yeah, no, I've seen The Edge. I'm *gone*
-- Oh SHIT Ben, that is brave as hell
-- Yeah, the car breaks down and the owner just happens to be there to drive you to the hospital. Flee
A FISTFUL OF MURDER
-- This scenario is creepy af
-- I am not reading that paragraph NOPE poor fish
-- Dude. Burn the goddamn money, *quick*
SYNOPSIS: Tananarive Due, a winner of the American Book Award and an Essence and Los Angeles Times bestselling author, brings you her debut short fiction collection! The title novella, Ghost Summer, won a Kindred Award from the Carl Brandon Society (originally published in The Ancestors). This collection includes Patient Zero, The Lake, The Knowing, Herd Immunity, and many other stories.
This book is such an amazing, perfect way to kick off Women in Horror Month. My favorites are the ones set in Gracetown, but none of the stories left me with a 'meh' reaction. ((special mention to Free Jim's Mine, because I started that one, had to get the kids to bed, and then woke up the next morning having somehow sprained my wrist. Couldn't write notes on it, but I *had* to finish it anyway and then read it aloud to anyone who'd hold still long enough))
There's a theme running throughout so many of the stories of children forced to grow up before their time, sometimes to the point of parenting the adults in their lives. The kids in these stories, god; I love all of them.
Quotes/Lines (spoilers below!)
-- Abbie is very much striking me as the 'too much money and too little sense' type. Who drops $150,000 on a house on a whim??
-- 'But there would be boys at the school, strong and tireless boys, who could help her mend what needed fixing. In her experience, there were always willing boys.' UM. This is setting off creeper-bells.
-- 'In retrospect, she was foolish. But in all fairness, how could she have known?' There's just a subtle skin-prickling wariness to the tone of this story that I love.
-- 'No rows of desks would mar her classroom' *how do you do, fellow kids gif*
-- Dismissing the girls immediately and being way too studious of the boys. The way she's thinking about Derek-- he is sixteen. He's a kid. Hire a goddamn contractor like the rest of us lady
-- oh no he's fifteen even worse
-- "But you know, Derek, it's easy for people to get the wrong idea if you say you're going to a teacher's house..." His face was bright red now. "Oh, I wouldn't say nothing. I mean...anything." RED ALERT HELL NO I HAVE READ 'GIFT OF FEAR' THIS IS GOING NOWHERE GOOD this kid better make it through okay i stg
-- "It's all right if you don't have trunks," she said. "My back yard is private, and there's no harm in friends taking a swim." Where's a gator when you need one
-- 'That was what she and Mary Kay had always believed. Anyone who thought differently was just being politically correct. In ancient times, or in other cultures, a boy Jack's age would already have a wife, a child of his own.' The hell is wrong with you?? Is your friend Mary Kay Letourneau?
-- HOLY SHIT IT IS
-- oh god this ending. GAH. **full-body shudder**
-- 'Grandmother had passed three summers ago after a stroke in her garden, and now that she was gone, Danielle had a thousand and one questions for her. The lost questions hurt the most.' My grandma passed from Alzheimer's last year, and the truth in this.
-- 'Danielle wasn't sure if she was patient and wise, or if she was a tragedy unfolding slowly, one hot summer day at a time.' This LINE.
-- 'The baby's legs banged against the crib railings, but Danielle knew her wailing was only for show. Lola was thirteen months old and a liar already.' ...okay, you absolutely need some help before you do something unforgivable. That is PPD rearing its ugly head.
-- So her husband suspects she might have it, but she's determined she's too strong for such a thing to affect her. That's such a common, awful trap.
-- "Only a fool would buy one of those plots." I love connected short stories.
-- *thank you* for calling Odetta. Also hooray for horrifying mental imagery that will never go away, I have never been more glad that my kids are past infancy
-- "I bet there's some folks who see it as a blessing in disguise, even if they'd never say so." I had PPD, and I would have. Ohhh, this is gonna unsettle me for *days*. Just picture me holding the book at arm's length as I keep reading.
-- 'Later, Davie would wonder why he hadn't realized right then that something was very, very wrong. Had known, maybe, but hadn't wanted to.' Poor kiddo.
-- 'Not 'Mommy', he reminded himself. He was twelve years old now. He was going to middle school in the fall, and he'd heard enough nightmarish stories about middle school to know that if any of the other kids heard him call his mother Mommy, he'd come home with a bloody nose every day.' He's not wrong. Middle school = hell on earth
-- 'Watching, Davie remembered that Dad hadn't always been a grown man. He'd been a little boy once, just like him, and he looked like a boy again, clinging to his mother in a way he always warned Davie not to cling to Mommy. Mom.' I'm fascinated by whatever ghosts he's looking forward to seeing, of course, but even without the supernatural elements, the human narrative here, this little boy navigating his way to adulthood, is just captivating.
-- 'Ignorance was the only mercy he could still do for them.' Bless his little heart he's trying so hard and needs a hug
-- 'Neema wasn't just a ghost hunter-- Neema, it turned out, was a kamikaze.' I love this kid too.
-- 'She knows, Davie realized. She wants to know if I know too.' *sound of my heart shattering into a million pieces*
-- 'But he lay that shotgun on his shoulder and walked away. That's the part everyone forgets.' I'm gonna cry
-- 'The secret weighed heavier with each passing moment. But the Timmons boys carried it. They were stronger than anyone could have imagined.' Babies what happened to you oh god
-- 'If the three boys weren't hurting, they wouldn't be trying so hard to be heard. But Neema didn't need to have that spelled out. Like all ghosts, they just wanted their story known.' <3
-- "This one time Davie. I need you to grow up very fucking fast." THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR MY HEART RATE
-- 'Combined, their feet sounded like an army, and Davie hoped they were.'
FREE JIM'S MINE
-- so this was where I sprained my wrist and took no notes but just know this story absolutely kicked my ass and it's amazing
-- 'I guess she fells like she'll be all right if she just runs away from it, as if you could run away from your own head.' What a situation. :(
-- "Mama, it ain't you. Knowing ain't the same as deciding. TV Guide don't decide what's on TV." This kid is amazing.
-- "Telling to hurt somebody is the worst thing a person can do. Even the devil couldn't do nothing worse." ... 'I don't think she can help it. I was only six when she did it to me' Oh look all my sympathy for the mom just evaporated
-- 'When you grow up around someone like Mama and you hear about it all the time, you know everybody has a turn, and you just try and find something interesting every day to make you glad it hasn't happened yet.' Ohhh, hon. That's so mature and a position you never should've been put in. I wish you could've stayed with Rosa.
-- 'So, yes, I understood why Neecy needed looking after. No one else was doing it.' This entire situation is infuriating and heartbreaking.
-- 'Neither of them had learned, after two divorces, that people can't be applied to wounds like gauze.' DAMN.
-- werewolf story ahhhhhhhh
-- "How did you know about me?" "The music. If you didn't have the genes, all you'd hear was Muzak." Worldbuilding adoration ahoy. (also the doctor's sense of humor is perfect)
-- 'Bernadette never said these things aloud like an evil stepmother in a fairy tale, but she didn't have to. Letitia knew words were only part of who people were, and usually the least important part.' *fills out adoption papers for yet another fictional child*
-- No wonder he shrank in her eyes. Also, the sheer toxicity of her father's relationship...
-- "This is one o' them times you got a choice, Letitia. You can do what you want and hope things don't turn out wrong, or you can do what you know will make things right." 1) that is a hell of a line 2) I had a cat named Midnight so I'm just gonna skim from this point on thanks
-- OH thank goodness
-- 'The sound of that purring engine as it drove away was as sweet as the memory of Daddy's laughter with Brother on the porch that night.' my goddamn HEART help
-- 'But Veronica told me the NFL people had a meeting and decided not to have football anymore' This story is going to hit SO hard right now isn't it
-- 'I've been staring at my Dan Marino picture all day, and I think the handwriting on the autograph looks like Dr. Ben's. But I'm afraid to ask anyone about that.' Ohhhh kid.
-- "People are giving it to each other. They don't usually know they're sick for two weeks, and by then they've passed it to a lot of other people." ...so when was this written again
-- Just the little hints of how *badly* things are falling apart outside, brrrrrrr
-- 'She said it was the security code for my door. She said she wanted to give the code to me because my buzzer wasn't working, and I might need to leave my room if she overslept and nobody came to bring me food.' This amazing woman, trying to give him comfort and normalcy as best she can.
-- ZOMBIES!! ((normally not my thing, but at this point I would buy a copy of a restaurant menu if Tananarive Due wrote it so I am curious))
-- 'He'd done what he had to do to save the boy, then shut the memories away where they couldn't sneak into his dreams. Then drank enough to make the dreams blurry.' I love you so much sir
-- 'Daddy, she'd called him. She hadn't called him that in years.' Oh okay so this is going to be a multiple-tissues story
-- His love and practicality with this kid even when he knows the worst is coming I *cannot*. Also going to pick up the two YA zombie novels she mentions in the afterword; neverending TBR list!
-- oh NO not fleas visible like that. We had a regular at the donut shop and you could see the fleas crawling on his white socks when he came up to the counter.
-- My grandma was fortunate to never get bedsores, but all the rest of this, having to move her and her screaming in pain and just not understanding why any of it was happening... worst memories.
-- 'A gunshot exploded inside the house.' Yeah, I thought that was what he was going to do. Jesus.
-- 'He left a trail of candy wrappers. Chocolate bars mostly, always the minis.' My apocalypse counterpart.
-- "People who were careful," he said.' Yeahhh, because everyone else who got sick just wasn't as dedicated to their safety as you are. Jackass.
-- Taking the stuffed elephant from the fair, bless
-- Ohhhh, I don't want to know what's inside the Rescue Center please do not open the door thanks.
-- 'Make sure everyone in your party takes a full cup. Parents, watch your children drink before drinking yourself.' oh god no
-- 'Kyle slept on as Nayima pressed her lips to his.' WHAT the HELL. He SAID he wanted you to stay back. No still means no in the middle of the apocalypse, lady-- and what if he actually did get lucky instead of being naturally immune? Slim chance, but not for you to decide.
-- 'By dawn, Nayima awoke to the sound of his retching. ... Nausea came first. Nausea came fast.' oh christ, this was told in such a sweet way, trying to find connection in a destroyed world, but really you stalked and murdered a man. Go to hell.
-- 'The man didn't turn to look at her as she stood over him and picked through his things.' Go to hell *faster*. Also, I like how he's back to being 'the man' instead of Kyle or someone you absolutely 'can't' live without now that you ignored his explicit wishes and killed him.
-- 'Naymia's sleep had turned restless as she aged' Oh, so happy to see you got to have a long life, asshole
-- 'She fired once into the dark and hoped she'd hit him. Fucking cats.' I remember you being so happy to see Tango after your grandmother was killed. Is that part of you entirely gone, after everything you went through and everything you *did*?
-- ...she named one of her pet cats Tango. I am feeling things against my will here
-- 'Of course he did. Toys and gadgets. That was Raul.' Yeah, god forbid the guy like the read, or remember his family and happier times and want to talk about them. Just awful.
-- 'She jacked a shell into the chamber. "You could've shot me before I did all that work," Raul said.' Pffffft.
-- "She doesn't have one," he said. "What?" "Nobody bothered to name her. In the records, she's called Specimen 120."' noooo, poor baby
-- 'Makeup had yet to make a comeback, except the enhanced red lips favored by both men and women. Full of life.' I love this little worldbuilding snippet.
-- 'the anecdote about her extracted tooth violated guidelines' Oh, well, we obviously can't have THAT. I wouldn't go anywhere near that place either.
-- 'dear Jesus, this angel had Gram's nose and plump, cheerful cheeks' **cries**
-- You seem pleasant. Eesh.
-- I love the story of how this piece came about.
-- 'A mother should see it first, not last.' So much denial and pain, all through this story.
Hi! I've thought about this decision for over a month, and right now the best thing for me is to pause doing these reviews. I don't know for how long. I'll still absolutely be reading and putting up shorter reviews on Amazon/Goodreads, and posting some photos of what I'm reading up on my Instagram. But between writing, crafting, and preparing to homeschool the kids later this year, the longer reviews have made reading more of a task to complete than something to look forward to lately, so it was time to make this call. Thank you so much to anyone who's read these. <3
The second book in an epic series of twenty-six horror anthologies. Within these pages you will find a collection of thirteen stories from some of the finest independent writers on the scene today. From oversized bugs to Kaiju, vicious woodland creatures to giant spiders, B is for Beasts contains a range of terrifying stories in which the humans are always the prey.
I love the concept behind this series: an entire alphabet of creepiness, so you can pick and choose whichever subjects are your favorites. Animal-themed horror is a particular weakness of mine, so this was an easy first choice. And there are a couple of creepy illustrations, which is always a plus.
My favorites: Jack; Night at Maddy's Motel; Waiting for Daylight; Pholcidae; and Angels on Mountaintops.
Quotes/Lines: ((spoilers below!))
-- 'Her hair looked flat, her once effervescent skin was pale, and her eyes dull. Was this even the Lucy he had first met? Tyler felt a bit of himself feel disgusted that this was who he was married to.'
I'm currently rooting for whatever tied you up in that cave, jsyk.
-- 'Tyler's favorite game was to walk into the bar and look for the girl who was talking to a guy. Tyler would then spend the evening winning that girl, while the poor loser watched. It isn't enough to win, Tyler had realized; you need to make sure someone else loses.'
Your poor, poor wife. I hope she remarries well and soon after you get eaten. ((okay, turns out this was premarriage. Guy's still scum.))
-- 'All that changed when the twins came.'
I stg if he's one of those 'wahh, my wife isn't hot anymore and doesn't give me all of her attention now that we have kids' guys...
-- OMFG it's even worse she has postpartum and he resents her for it and is now cheating on her in the age-old guise of 'business trip'. Die slow.
-- 'The cave grew larger and escape was nearly in his grasp when his feet caught something on the cave floor.'
I am pleased
-- 'Why would she let me go?'
-- Ugh, of course you'd figure out a way to take your wife and kids with you, you ass.
-- So this lady gave birth alone, then cleans up the lunch dishes for her husband and kid, and then makes supper for when they get home? **skeptical face**
-- 'And there was blood, a lot of blood, coating the wet clothes in the basket, Jamie's blanket, and the grass around the clothesline.'
REPTILE AT THE CROSSROADS
-- 'Accustomed, as everyone was, to the unmoving monstrosity, Mary Jo had bravely stepped over the serpent to enter the schoolhouse and do her job-- only to lose the baby, and by the looks of it, her mind, the very next day.'
Poor thing!! ((and the scene with her coming into the store... *shudder*))
-- "It ain't gonna get you, Beck." Why was he whispering?
Because he doesn't believe it, but is willing to risk you as long as he doesn't have to deal with a baby.
-- 'She knew her baby was gone- and so was whatever she felt for Gerald. He might as well not be there at all.'
-- NO WAIT NOT GOOD AHHHHHH
MRS. RUMTIFUSEL'S FUR COAT
-- Salem Halloween Street Fair? I'm in.
-- 'If that doesn't work, there's always the five-fingered discount!'
-- I love the Museum of Oddities. Would absolutely work there.
-- "Shut up, Michael! Now I said price isn't an issue, Mrs. Cutler, so how much?" Mrs. Cutler stared at Susan and then smiled for the very first time. "You must have it back before sundown."
You're gonna dieeeeeee
-- "Maybe some evenings I could call by..." "Whenever you like," I said. "Will you have a bite to eat now you're here?" Well, one thing led to another. By the end of the year, we were married.'
Aw, they're cute. This is going to end terribly.
-- 'He could redecorate and redesign every room in the house, I said, take whatever space he needed for himself. Only the annexe was off-limits.'
How very Bluebeard.
-- This is such a strange, sad, and unique scenario.
-- 'I decorated the inside with flowered wallpaper and hid the window bars with curtains.'
That line says so much. These poor kids.
-- 'What had possessed me, my mind screamed, to imagine I could share my life with both?'
-- 'He never meant to hit Reika, not really, but after noticing another dried speck of egg yolk on one of the dishes, Toshiro backhanded her with enough force to make her nose bleed.'
Die soon, and die horribly.
-- 'Like the kaiju itself, Toshiro also hated human beings.'
-- 'How was he supposed to work under these conditions?'
noooo not the whine of misunderstood "artists" everywhere
-- 'What kind of animatronic puppet bleeds red ink?'
-- 'Surely, she would still recognize him despite his monstrous appearance. Reika wouldn't run away from him in fear like the others.'
Dammit leave your poor wife alone you've put her through enough.
-- 'Perhaps, he thought, stepping back from the apartment, he deserved this punishment. He was once, after all, a a monster in human form who tormented his wife with violence and viciousness. Nothing much had changed except for his size.'
-- Sympathies, Connie, bad sunburns are the WORST.
-- "No." Connie put a hand to one hip. "We paid in advance and don't have anywhere else to go for the next several days." "We are closing." She mustered up her best poker face. "Not my problem."
-- "Look, I haven't had a chance to even mind out what's going on. I don't speak the language."
Of course you don't.
-- Hitchcock would be proud.
NIGHT AT MADDY'S MOTEL
-- 'This man had a face as pinched as a puckered penis and a body as warped as a lightning-blasted tree. His skin looked desiccated, his eyes bulged as if he'd caught the Pope masturbating, and his hair-backed hands resembled something found dead in a forest.'
WHAT a description.
-- It was time to kick shit over the stinking life he'd been leading out of no more than habit or, maybe, a perverse and misplaced sense of stubbornness.'
If you weren't in a book like this one, I'd think you might make it.
-- 'He was about to pull into the car park but something indefinable wormed its way into his mind, something trouble and desperate, urging him to drive on.'
I love this.
WAITING FOR DAYLIGHT
-- 'Having survived World War 1, he'd seen his share of death, and knew more than he cared to about fear. He was confident this was their last night on Earth.'
Ouch. Also, the Alaskan setting is automatic 30 Days of Night/The Thing isolation-horror vibes. <3
-- 'As beautiful as they were, there'd been an instinctual fear from the beginning, like a brightly-colored serpent warning people not to bother it.'
-- 'Poor Ardor Hammond had been left lying on the pier.'
Poor nothing; he should've let those who wanted to leave go.
-- 'Returning, he turned out one lantern and gave a silent prayer, asking to die as best he could. He just hoped it would be quick. Several of the corpses had held horrified looks on their faces-- the ones who hadn't been relieved of their heads.'
-- "Come here, my pretty." The bloody farmer is greeting it. "What have you brought me?"
I'm thinking you should've found a Holiday Inn, guys.
-- 'Then I climb inside the remains of the farmer to disguise myself. THe carnage is warm and sticky. I pull his skull over my head.'
ooookay there Ed Gein yikes
-- 'The Platts took him in, James and Haman, fathers already to little Abigail.'
<3 <3 <3
-- 'Amos could talk to them. The dogs and cats and especially the goats, who loved him best of all. Even the chickens, a little.'
That's a heck of a talent.
-- I love this kid and this is not gonna end well :(
-- 'And Amos went home that night with ruination tucked painstakingly into his satchel for safekeeping.'
-- 'The town was already found of the young couple with their twin girls- now they fell in love.'
Cheer at your coronation and also your beheading, etc.
-- 'They did sleep at daytime, but they woke up when the little ones peered into the pit.'
No no no no
-- 'So much anguish can hinge on a split second's misfortune or miscalculation. The nudge that veers life off-course can be so small that it makes a mockery of order; the falling rock, the moment's murderous passion, the weakness of sleep when one is supposed to be watchful.'
That's an incredible paragraph.
-- 'Does every monster's father know, in some lockbox in his soul, that it will all come to a reckoning?'
-- Esther was right. Amez had brought the sun with him wherever he went. Now, that little sun was extinguished, gone forever down a dark hole of cobwebs and shadows because of Amos's carelessness. Because he had invited danger into his home and danger had struck not him, but an innocent.'
-- 'attacked by my stock, terrible accident, so sorry, come talk to me about recompense-'
Leaving his body for his parents to find? Writing a note? Recompense? AMOS.
-- 'A split second's thought--are they in my mind? Are they changing me?--then it was stifled.'
-- 'We both have blood on us, she wrote, get rid of those murderous animals. Come join me. My sister has room. It's not too late yet to be clean again.'
-- 'The pholcidae felt his mind go and cried out in mourning for him.'
Poor little things; they're just what they are. I hate Rigel, though.
-- 'The music, alongside the popping and crackling of logs on the fire, almost drowned out the gut-wrenching sounds coming from beyond the window.'
-- Margaret, I only knew you for a page but I adore you.
-- 'Kathy was full of smiles, but Jonathan saw something hiding beyond that, a look in her eyes which could have been a mixture of fear and guilt'.
Trust your instincts, buddy. Also, Kathy, you are an asshole.
-- Oh good, she's got asshole's address.
ANGELS ON MOUNTAINTOPS
-- Oooh, summer-camp scary story!
-- 'better safe than lawsuit'
-- 'I shook my head, suppressing a grin. "Miranda has a roll of toilet paper. No itchy butts for anyone." The girls giggled. No matter how old they got, at least butt jokes were still funny.'
Awww, kiddos. <3
-- "You can't keep wandering off like that. You could get lost, or hurt..." She dragged the toe of her boot in the dirt. "I thought I heard the angels. I was going to find them." Oh boy. I'd picked the crazy kid for my group. Fucking fantastic.'
You work at a Christian summer camp. She's a little kid. Settle it down.
-- "Well, people are trained to make certain associations with different types of insects. They believe that some are good, and others are bad. Like ladybugs are good, and wasps are bad.'
That's not belief, wasps' evilness is a well-documented fact.
-- "I'm looking for them. If I find the angels, they'll take me to my parents. We can be together again."
-- Hi, Riley needs a punishment harsher than just saying her name sternly after that shit.
-- 'Next year, I was picking a different group.'
Or you could tell Riley's parents that she's not welcome back.
-- Awww, Amber telling campfire stories about Mothman. <3
-- You just let kids go off looking for a missing child right after your tent was destroyed by an unknown person/animal? Because they have twine to guide them back? Worst. Counselor. Ever.
-- 'This kid didn't need camp, she needed a therapist.'
I have decided to fully commit to hating you.
-- 'She looked stricken. She took two steps backwards, her lower lip trembling. "I'm sorry, Sammy. I didn't mean it, I--" She didn't wait to hear the rest. She turned and ran.'
I repeat- worst counselor ever.
-- ((also wtf actually happened to Abby?))
When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses.
They didn't expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn't expect those mermaids to have teeth.
This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench…and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.
Killer mermaids. Do you really need to know anything more than that? ;)
This is a fun, fast read that gives exactly what it promises on the cover-- creepy death-at-sea and horrifying creatures. I love ocean-based horror, and this was fantastic. There was also obvious thought given to the mermaids' biology and why they would evolve the way that they have, which was a great touch. I wish I'd known more about some of the characters before they became mermaid snacks, but-- novella.
Quotes/Lines: ((spoilers below!))
-- "Some of the people sailing with you will be spending time on private projects as well; this has been approved"
*flashbacks to Aliens* One of them is going to try and bring a mermaid back alive, aren't they?? ((and man, going into this knowing that nobody is going to make it?))
-- "While our viewers are aware that we fals--er, fictionalize certain elements in our documentaries"
-- 'Maybe that was why she wasn't allowed to smile that way on camera. If she looked too real, she'd become less of an idealized fantasy, and half their viewers would run.'
-- "We're not porters." "Which is good, since you didn't port anything," replied his boyfriend Anton'
On-page representation at 8% into the book ILU MIRA
-- "They're bringing the interns with them." Thirty fresh-faced young things recruited straight out of college by Imagine, lured in with promises of publication and television experience.'
-- I love the Captain. And Alexandra seems to have a good head on her shoulders.
-- "Captain Seghers just went to peel the mermaids out of the bar"
I cannot explain how much I adore the idea of a drunken troupe of mermaid performers.
-- 'watching the ocean as it slid by around them, featureless as a mannequin's face'
-- "Is it really safe to have a deaf man involved with piloting a vessel of this size?"
She is gonna throw you overboard and be 110% justified
-- "Even Christopher Columbus wasn't immune to their charms, and left several accounts of having seen these elusive sirens."
Would that he'd just gone into the water after them.
-- Wheelchair-using instead of wheelchair-bound yesssss
-- The fact that it all starts because of a misunderstanding rather than someone pulling a 'let's capture a mermaid!' makes this even more awful
-- "I'm on this ship because I actually do believe that there's something out here, and more, I believe that whatever it is, it's going to need protection once we prove it exists. Humanity destroys the things it loves. Something mysterious and unique enough to be the source of mermaid legends? We're going to be all over destroying that."
I like you, Sonja.
-- GET OUT OF THE WATER
-- nnnnnnnn I like everybody so much this is gonna hurt
-- No wait I take it back Bobby and Adrian can get eaten, and then everyone else can transport to an alternate dimension so they don't all die
-- 'The official record says that all hands were lost at sea. We believe that something far worse occurred. We believe that they were found.'
-- 'All the needed to do was dive. And so she did.'
-- 'somehow having managed to put on a full face of perfect makeup using her reflection on the side of a coffee pot. This skill, among others, was why she was Imagine's most popular convention correspondent. She had once fixed her lipstick in the shine off a Wolverine cosplayer's claws.'
I love this little character tidbit.
-- "This is clean, open ocean, with very little pollution and very high levels of the protein tags and chemicals that indicate a healthy ecosystem. So where are the predators?"
DO NOT ASK THAT
-- 'She could be angry. She could be devastated. But blaming Captain Seghers wasn't fair, and she refused to let grief make her into someone she wasn't."
-- The description of the mermaid's face. the eyes 'bioluminescent green and horror movie black'. 'This was a creature that could pucker up for kiss right before biting someone's face off.' PERFECT.
-- 'Anne Stewart, first woman to bring back proof that mermaids existed. Anne Stewart, journalistic hero.'
Oh honey. :(
-- 'Was there any reason in the world to expect a deep-sea predator with that many teeth to be friendly?'
Alexandra with the important questions.
-- OH SHIT Anton no do not poke the mermaid
-- "All the stories about mermaids drowning sailors, all the men lost at sea...we never took those into account. ... We turned monsters into myths, and then we turned them into fairy tales."
-- Yeah I'm starting Into the Drowning Deep right tf now
Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there's something sinister--almost otherworldy--afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes.
Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark's presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past--as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.
Brilliantly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.
It's not often I find a book that's catered 110% to me: historical horror? Check. Romance? Check. Queer characters? Check. THE TITANIC? Check. ((I played Mrs. Widener in a college production of the musical, and this post will forever be one of my favorite things. I LOVE THE RMS CARPATHIA SO MUCH)) Add in that it's written by the same person who wrote one of my favorite historical horror novels ever, The Hunger? Cue me checking the website every day to see if preorders were available yet.
It's a beautiful, heartbreaking read, and I loved every minute of it (even when I was mock-yelling at Alma Katsu on Twitter because WHYYYYYYY)
This is also one of those books that I can't wait to reread, so that I can spot little hints and foreshadowings and then cry even more.
Quotes/Lines: ((spoilers below!))
-- 'Someone once told her that the stars were merely sewing pins, holding the black sky up so that it did not come down on the world and suffocate it.'
-- 'She is our only daughter and, despite her frailty, her weaknesses, despite anything she may have done, we love her dearly.'
I trust you about as far as I can throw you, Mr. Hebbley.
-- 'I shall never forget the last time I saw you, jumping into those dark, icy waters. We thought you had lost your mind, made senseless by the terrible shock of it all. But only you had seen the baby tumble into the water. Only you knew that there wasn't a moment to waste. Annie Hebbley is the bravest girl I have ever known, I thought that night.'
Annie. <3 And then to never see the baby again, oh man. No wonder she's hidden herself away.
-- 'What they say in the newspapers is true: this is surely the war to end all wars, for we could never surpass its horrors.'
-- Violet Jessop!!!! *Titanic history nerd freakout*
-- 'Gotten used to being surrounded, once again, by strange voices and smells and sights, even if she still felt them like a film of cobweb against her skin.'
-- "You're coming to us with no nursing experience, Miss Hebbley. In just a few days' time, we'll be in a war zone taking on fresh patients. You have a lot to learn and there's not a moment to spare."
-- 'Her most important job, Annie quickly sees, is to listen when they want to talk. ... It's nice to be on the other side for a change, the one helping instead of the one being helped.'
-- 'He's not as young as many of the infantrymen, maybe in his early thirties.'
-- 'This is all her fault. Was there something she'd missed when she'd been talking to him before? She can't help but feel she should have known he was about to try to take his life. Should have felt it, sensed the will to live slipping away from him like a visceral loss, like a change in air pressure.'
*gives Annie all the hugs and cookies*
-- "So, tell me, how was your first day?"
Not great timing there, Charlie.
-- I *love* time skips in novels, going back and forth in a certain character's life. One of these days I've got to try my hand at it.
-- 'The Catholics on staff had been warned to keep their religious insignia out of sight for the duration of the voyage.'
Huh. That's something that had never occurred to me.
-- Aw, bless, Annie loves this ship so much.
-- 'The baby felt comfortable--almost familiar--in Annie's arms, even though she had little experience with infants, having been the baby of the family herself.'
...I'm going to be sobbing uncontrollably by the end of this book, aren't I
-- I'm getting the feeling that Dai and Les have something going on, or at least Dai wishes they did? I may just be wishful thinking because hiiiiiiiii constant grabbyhands at representation.
-- 'Waves like blue wolves. He could see their white fangs. Were the wolves singing? No, there was a woman who controlled the wolves, a witch of the depths, and it was her song. ... The rail was there and no one was looking and the metal felt cold in his hand when he began to climb.'
How does she write something so gorgeous and so creepy at the same time I AM COMPOSED ENTIRELY OF ENVY
-- "Look, I know. I heard it, too. It's all right. You're safe now."
Dai, you have now moved into my Favorite Character space (Annie is a veryvery close second; she just started getting a little creepy as soon as Mark came into the picture so I'm waiting to see how that turns out)
-- "That's enough, Teddy. You should know better than to speak out of turn."
*prepares laser eyes*
-- Oh yes, such an unconscionable oversight to have only two thousand bottles of wine on board for a week's trip. *boots Lady Duff-Gordon into third class and moves Dai and Les into her quarters*
-- 'The other advantage to cocaine is that it is not thought to be addictive, as is laudanum. Better to err on the side of caution.'
Oh nooooo, please be okay, Caroline.
-- Lillian? **curious**
-- 'Sometimes it made her want to cry, this playacting. As if she could still be protected. As if the sickness and hte horror hadn't touched them both.'
I deeply need to give Caroline a hug.
-- Ondine, that's a beautiful name. And something sea-related, if I'm remembering right.
-- 'And then there was the baby. No matter how much help she received, she couldn't avoid the fact that motherhood simply wore her out.'
-- 'Caroline had been drawn to her (Lillian) immediately, had envied the intensity of her and of Mark's passion for her. Had wanted--no, needed--to be part of that in some small way.'
Are we actually heading for an OT3 (however tragic) in a historical novel that I'm not writing because I will just cry tears of happiness forever.
-- Ohhhhh noooo, Teddy! (and man, I keep forgetting that Madeleine Astor was only 18)
-- 'Besides, Eliza and this Anne Hebbley looked nothing alike. And yet there was something about the stewardess that unsettled him. Made him feel sad and...guilty. Terribly guilty. A guilt he was unable to escape. He thought he'd made his peace with that. Had served three months at Coldbath Prison for what was, he insisted to this day, an honest miscalculation.'
What kind of 'honest miscalculation' did you have with a 13-year old?! Keeping an eye on you, Stead.
-- 'She'd rather wait on patients than pernickety rich passengers.'
Some things change, but retail remains constant. (that guy going on and on about quail or duck eggs, chicken only if absolutely no other option? I was so proud of her for not whapping him on the head with her tray)
-- I need to look up dubheasa. (and I love Annie comforting the poor man who was having a panic attack)
-- 'And this time, he belongs to no one else. He is alone. He is hers.'
Uh, Annie, sweetie, the creepiness is coming back by the truckload.
-- 'It was as though the sea were conspiring in this funeral for the dead boy by conjuring up the fog to hide him from prying eyes. Cossetting him in the softest blanket of cloud for his last journey.'
-- 'Rather than comfort her, she watched as his bearded face grew red with fury, the kind that always seemed to be boiling just below the surface of his skin. ... That was the last family picnic with Auntie Riona and Granny Aisling, and Annie wasn't allowed to visit her grandmother ever again.'
I knew Annie's dad was a dick.
-- 'Mrs. Astor came unaccompanied to our meeting, insisted on coming without her husband. (Note: no evidence of husband's permission. Follow up with him separately?)
UGHHHH. Also, Example #381340329 of why when people start talking about 'being born in the wrong decade' I side-eye.
-- 'She'd wanted to be there, but John Jacob--Jack, as he liked to be called--had put his foot down. 'You're emotional enough about it...the last thing we need is for you to faint and a servant's funeral.'
Time to get the Baseball Bat of Justice ready.
-- "It's not like he was your child," Jack said under his breath.
-- I really hope the 'g*psy curse' thing doesn't play more of a role than this. Occultism was the big fad, yeah, but...
-- "I know you feel bad about Teddy," Jack said. "I quite adore seeing your sensitive side. But you must try to put it out of your mind. All t his melancholy can't be good for the baby." She rolled her eyes. As if he knew what was best for the baby.'
-- 'How he'd gone undercover to purchase a 'hired' girl--a girl of only thirteen, no less--and taken her to a boardinghouse for the night, all in the name of 'research'. His goal had been to expose the ease with which the sex trade was conducted right under everyone's noses, right there in civilized England.'
-- 'The kind of people who would call for his public execution if they ever found out the desire he harbored in secret"
I KNEW IT. Dai <3
-- 'He made you want whole, impossible worlds. As if wanting Les Williams wasn't impossible enough.'
-- 'The tale (girl who wore the ribbon around her neck) had always chilled Annie- its taunting nature, the embedded warning, and yet she could never decide what its warning meant. Was it that girls were fragile--fragile as a simple-knotted bow--and must be protected at all costs? Or was it that the only way they may prove their story true was to die for it?'
Well damned if that's not a throatpunch of a line
-- 'The factory where Lillian spent all her daylight hours burned to the ground, killing nearly every one of the women she worked with.'
I understood that reference
(couldn't have been the Triangle Shirtwaist, wrong location, but I wonder if this was based on it. Either that or there was a similar incident there because Let The Corporations Regulate Themselves never freaking works)
-- 'No, please God. You've just reunited us. Don't take him away from me now. I've been a good girl. It's time for my reward.'
Were you by any chance named after Annie Wilkes? STOP.
-- 'There was a coldness in Caroline's voice. She had become a different person-- not the vivacious, chatty one who'd boarded the ship two days ago.'
Well, given the potential PPD and the definite use of cocaine...
-- 'She was fine. Perfectly fine. That left only one alternative.'
Annie, whatever you are thinking, quit thinking it.
-- 'Maddie's attention was riveted on the pale wraith in the gray uniform making her way through the crowd. That searching empty face with hungry eyes was like something in a mausoleum frieze.'
...that is a disturbing-as-hell mental image and I love how eerie this is.
-- 'Even when he hated a con, it still felt good in the moment, to be in it with Les. To be on the same side.'
<3 <3 <3
-- "I've barely been married a year and I can't say I recommend it."
a) I can understand, given that your wife is on drugs without ever intending to be, but b) he is a stranger; quit complaining about your wife to a stranger.
-- "Why don't you have a reflection? Don't you think that's odd?"
Does she really not, or is Maddie so paranoid and panicky that she's imagining it? I love the "what's the actual truth" aspect so much but when I actually get the answer it's probably going to break me.
-- 'Surely he wouldn't ask for a change (of nurse) if he knew he'd be losing her.'
...what did you do?
-- Also quit with anything else but telling him that his kid is alive
-- Oh Caroline, honey. She's trying so hard and just doesn't know what her 'medicine' is doing.
-- 'The silver watch had been so beautiful, so touching--exactly what he would like to be able to give Dai one day, when he won his first big match in America, perhaps--that he couldn't help but lift it.'
Awwwwwwwwwww ((I know, yes, don't steal, but awwwwwww))
-- 'To marry for love sounded incredibly wild and rebellious. She wasn't entirely sure she approved--she'd made her bed, hadn't she?--but it was fun watching someone else try.'
I officially adore you, Maddie.
-- "Yes, poor little boy. But he was just a servant," Mabel blurted.
Cone of shame time, Mabel.
-- The fact that Annie reminds Stead of Eliza and Mark of Lillian...
-- Dai and Les are breaking my heart they're both trying to protect and help each other in completely opposite ways and please let them have the time to sort this out
-- "Who are you conning, Les? Am I just another mark?"
-- 'She's gone and gotten herself pregnant.'
Now that's a neat trick...
-- 'While he slept, she gently strapped his arms down to the bed so that he could not protest or push her away.'
Okay, so there's going too far, going WAY too far, and then wherever the heck you're at right now.
-- Oh thank goodness, at least she told him about Ondine surviving.
-- 'I dove into the water after her. I helped save the baby.'
Did Caroline drown naturally, or did she have help? Because...yeah.
-- 'It was more powder than she was supposed to take in one dose, but she gulped it down anyway. A little more now and then, what difference did it make?'
-- "I'm going to try to patch things up with Caroline. We're going to America to start a new life together--and I'm going to give it a proper go."
-- "You can't pin this on Dai. He was trying to get me to do the right thing. He's a good man. Too good to be friends with the likes of me."
These two had BETTER make it I stg
-- Annie dammit they told you to stay out
-- 'If I were married to Mark, this would be room. My things. My baby. My life.'
Yeah. She's gonna kill Caroline.
-- 'Caroline had been making Ondine sick. On purpose.'
God I want to go into this book and protect Caroline from Annie so bad I know what's coming and noooooo
-- "But half the seats are empty." "And we need a couple of your men to row." She wanted to tell him to save his breath; she knew what was needed and would make sure that it got done. Nothing mattered except that she survived. Honor didn't matter, nor chivalry. The story would be written by the survivors, in any case. Stories always were.'
I...there are not sufficient words for how intensely I dislike you
-- 'Dai would be looking for him for all the good it would do; no one was going to give him the key and even that great sweet lummox would not be able to tear that metal door off its hinges.'
YES HE WILL DAMMIT
-- MADELEINE omfg I love you so muuuuuuuuch
-- "Me, I'm on one of those lifeboats if I have to dress in me grandmother's Sunday best."
Understandable. (the reason why I'm pissed at Lady Duff-Gordon and not Les is because of course you'd want to save your own life or the lives of your loved ones. But she made sure that a lifeboat went down half-full. Do your best to get a spot, absolutely, but don't kill dozens (hundreds? I have to look up how many those boats held) to do it.
-- "It's going to be hard, but you're going to be fine. I can't see all of the future, but I can see that. You have to be tough for your baby and your husband. They're both depending on you. Now, get into this lifeboat."
I love you Les please live
-- 'He felt a jostle beside him and there was Dai.'
-- "Never doubt that I chose you."
HEY WAIT NO HELP ;__________;
-- 'She turned away, resigned to taking her seat, when a miracle occurred.'
Terry Pratchett's quote from Interesting Times comes to mind here: "Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that's a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events--the oil spilled just there, the safety fence broken just there--that must also be a miracle. Just because it's not nice doesn't mean it's not miraculous."
-- "Hang on to Ondine, Mrs. Fletcher, and I'll keep you afloat." She would save them both. No matter what Caroline had done, it didn't mean she deserved to die.'
Ohhhh thank goodness. At least poor Caroline's last memory isn't going to be Annie killing her and making off with the baby.
-- "The mother is a lost cause. That's damned irresponsible of her. They could all drown."
I don't see you jumping in to help, jackass.
-- "Hold onto the side," another woman said. "You shall be safe enough."
Again, I don't see you volunteering to take turns.
-- 'Caroline--sweet Caroline. She says she will help me. Help us. She has asked Mark and me both to move into her home. I will have better care there. And though it is unusual--crazy, even--I am tempted to accept. ... We are both in love with each other and in love with her. It is a wonderful thing.'
I'm gonna go live in an alternate universe where everybody lived and they raised Ondine together in an adorable triad thanks
-- OMFG THIS JUST GOT WILD
-- 'Ever since Ondine had arrived. ... He'd always loved the dark, complex winding of her thoughts, but now they seemed always to tremble at the edge of an abyss.'
The idea of trying to make it through PPD before it was acknowledged...
-- 'Only then would he tell Lillian about his plan. He didn't want to get her hopes up, not when she had been so black of late.'
TWIST THE KNIFE WHY DON'T YOU
-- This BOOK. I'm just floored. Also, I think this may have replaced Turn of the Screw for my favorite "unreliable narrator" story and that's a damn hard thing to do.
Each year, people all over the world celebrate special festivals and days, shining light on what they wish to remember and revere. But sometimes, inhabitants of the dark arrive with the desire to disturb proceedings. Dark Celebrations is a collection of twelve short stories... and the holidays will never be the same.
I had nothing but good things to say about Demmer's previous collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, so I'm not surprised that I loved this one, too. I love themed story collections, especially if a group of unrelated ones somehow all tie together at the end. There's not one in here that I regret reading or found boring, but my standout favorites are Hungry Ghosts, Trick or Death, Three Dead Men, Dying Valentine, and She Will Rise.
Quotes/Lines: ((spoilers below!))
-- 'Ten Tips for Surviving the Hungry Ghost Festival'
...I love this already. The list is creepy as hell (8: Do not swim. Drowned evil ghosts seek victims for their rebirth.' brrrrrrrr)
-- "That's why the old guy alongside the road fumed with anger when you knocked over the bowl of food. It was for the ghosts. You should've just apologized."
Ahhhh, so Ray is a dick. Good to know.
-- 'Before the stage were a few rows of empty seats cordoned off from the public. Apparently, they reserved seats for any ghosts who wanted to catch the performance.'
I love this.
-- "Come out, little critter," Lara said to the bush as she kneeled.'
Lara. Lara no. ((and I say this as somebody who would absolutely do the same thing because I am a dumbass about animals))
-- 'Slowly, something seemed to be coming up from beneath the surface.'
Time to haul ass, guys
-- 'Ray had also grown more curious and crouched down onto his knees, pushing his head between two beams of the wooden railing.'
All the better for something to decapitate you...
-- 'Instead, she turned and pointed at the bushes, straight at Lara.'
NOPE. TIME TO SPONTANEOUSLY LEARN HOW TO FLY
LABOR DAY HUNT:
-- 'Two hundred dollars cash for two hours' work, according to the ad he had seen.'
*alarm bells go off*
-- "We're going to serve some people a meal. Nothing to it, really, and I sure do appreciate you helping me out."
This guy has absolutely got a copy of To Serve Man in his pocket RUN
-- 'Jared hadn't even realized there was a back entrance until Tim pushed a huge dumpster away, revealing two green steel doors.'
Sweetie. Your survival instincts. You've got to have a couple somewhere, right?
-- 'There was a thick red substance in the bowls, reminding Jared of homemade tomato soup.'
JARED. The Frog brothers would be so disappointed in you.
-- Ohhhh, I like where this went!
-- 'He stopped when he saw a piece of flesh stuck on the edge of the pipe lying on the floor. Peering closer through his narrow view, he realized what it was. His right eye was looking up at him.'
-- "Good, you're alive," Tim said. "Oh yeah, I cut off your arm."
TRICK OR DEATH:
-- "I'm sorry, Miss Grady. I'm shooting some footage for my YouTube channel. Is it cool if I use your reaction?" "Um, well, okay, but wait," Miss Grady said. Her face had returned to its normal color. "I think I swore. Did I swear? You can't use it if I did."
I love this lady. Now quit being a dumbass, kid, you're lucky you didn't give the poor woman a heart attack.
-- 'Polly screamed, punching in his direction. The blow hit Barry on the right cheek.'
Serves you right.
-- "Miss Cutler, it was a little prank. It's a video for my channel. Would you mind if I use your reaction?"
Punch him again, Polly, I don't think the first one took.
-- 'He tried the handle. Unlocked.'
You are gonna get *shot*.
-- Okay, or worse. O_____o
-- Lucy Fern? Yeahhh, *that* name doesn't have any ominous connotations. ;)
-- moving tattoos eeeeeeeek
-- "It's not a drug. It's natural. Been around for ages."
SAME WITH HEMLOCK WTF ARE YOU DOING c'mon kid no one-night stand is worth this
THREE DEAD MEN:
-- Yes, you should absolutely call your parents and tell them you can't find your uncle stop investigating places alone
-- "You must get out now." Her uncle banged on the door. "Run, Maiko. Run and get help"
And then Maiko proceeds to argue for several paragraphs. This is not how you survive a horror story.
-- So head shots work with zombies *and* mummies, good to know. ;)
-- Maiko! <3 Going after mummies with a garden fork, I love you.
-- "I doubt that telling your parents what happened would be a great idea."
Understatement of the year...
HAPPY DARK YEAR:
-- 'Kendall hadn't moved. Guilt tugged at him, but he ignored it. SHe would be fine. Everyoene knew Roy, who ran the motel, and he was an okay guy. Kendall would surely ask him fora lift to the party once she accepted how immature she had acted. ... Kendall would be fine.'
....I do not like this foreshadowing AT ALL.
-- "Well, Hannah. You found the right man. I know the perfect place."
I'm guessing she's a succubus who's going to eat you and you deserve it, Mr. 'repressing the thought that he had a girlfriend'. ((and the place he takes her is one of Kendall's favorites? UGH.))
-- 'The panic crawled throughout his limbs like a million tiny newborn spiders.'
-- 'Daniel Hill's musky cologne permeated the interior of his car. He had doubled his usual amount when applying the fragrance.'
Ohhhh, your poor date.
-- "Please get up," Daniel muttered. "Please, please get up." The woman didn't move.'
-- "Here," he said. "Let me help you." "You've done enough. Now back the fuck up."
Completely understandable, ma'am.
-- 'Surely it would all be plain sailing from here.'
-- NICE TWIST. And very Elizabeth Bathory.
-- oh my GOD that ENDING aughhhhh
-- Aw, poor Gwen.
-- 'She didn't see Hayley. She saw no one.'
Oh no no no, the 'everyone else is suddenly gone' is SUCH a creepy trope.
-- 'A cooler box sat unattended, filled with drinks. A set of keys lay on one of the towels, along with an expensive smartphone. Farther on, someone had even left a wallet behind.'
-- 'He held a severed limb in his right hadn. If not for the colorful butterfly tattoo on the pale blue foot, Gwen might not have realized it was Hayley's leg.'
Worst. Vacation. Ever.
-- SHARKS. VERSUS. ZOMBIES. Calvin Demmer, ilu
-- Nooooooo. I knew it, you can *never* trust the military in a zombie story.
SHE WILL RISE:
-- 'Her thinning gray hair fell over the side of her face like the spiderwebs Luna recalled from the attic of their first home.'
Another nice line!
-- 'Sometimes Luna stood before a mirror and imagined herself with different hair and the colorful, eccentric clothes her sister loved, as if that would give her a glimpse of the sibling who should've been.'
-- 'He had hit her mother once.'
*cues up Little Shop of Horrors* The guy sure looks like plant food to me!
-- 'The fifth tip is stop any motherfuckers who intend to do you or your family harm.'
HELL YESSSSSSS MY GIRLS.
-- "How am I supposed to teach her everything she needs to remember?"
She's not a dog, you jackass. Go get eaten by a werewolf or something.
-- Have her back by midnight? Some kind of monstrous Cinderella? If so I love
-- 'He had been excited for prom all year. Why did his ex have to dump him days before?"
No idea, you seem like such a charmer. Who wouldn't want to date someone who refuses to go back for her medication because then he might be late to showing up his ex at prom?
-- I love Fay, btw
-- 'He was good at communicating, maybe he could speak some sense into this guy.'
Kid no BAD idea
UNIDENTIFIED FATHERLY OBJECT
-- 'On Father's Day, he was going to sneak into the military base outside of town and find out what happened to his dad.'
-- 'The handle turned, unlocked. It all seemed too easy.'
-- Ohhhh, here's where all the stories get tied together YAY
-- 'Fred dug into his backpack and pulled out his uncle's firearm, which he'd liberated before leaving home.'
You just get smarter and smarter.
-- Well, that's a new take on Mousetrap. Ughhhh.
-- Brad, you'd probably be able to stay awake longer if you ingested something besides beer.
-- Ocean creatures! Cthulu mythos, or something else?
-- Do NOT go to a warehouse alone because of an anonymous note have you no regard for your own life
-- "You are safe now, and once the rest of the world has been cleaned up, we will start a new world, a better world."
I would say run, but you kinda lost that chance already, so...have fun with the scary-ass cult, I guess?
Ghosts have always walked there. Now they’re not alone…
In the depths of Edinburgh, an evil presence is released.
Hannah and her colleagues are tour guides who lead their visitors along the spooky, derelict Henderson Close, thrilling them with tales of spectres and murder. For Hannah it is her dream job, but not for long. Who is the mysterious figure that disappears around a corner? What is happening in the old print shop? And who is the little girl with no face?
The legends of Henderson Close are becoming all too real. The Auld De’il is out – and even the spirits are afraid.
This is an odd review to write, because for about 80% of it I loved and adored it and it was an easy five-star rating: ghosts! Unique, incredibly detailed setting! Accidental time travel! Reincarnation!
And then came the graphic rape/murder of two prostitutes (who were naturally never mentioned again, because what purpose do sex workers serve in a horror narrative but props in a Jack-the-Ripper homage?) and the entire thing kinda fell apart for me from there. And the reveal for the main whodunnit had some implications I didn't care for.
That said, I will absolutely read Cavendish again- the idea behind the novel is fantastic and I loved her descriptive writing. Endings are hard to stick, especially with as many mysteries as she had going by the end. ((I did look up a couple of short documentaries on The Real Mary King's Close after finishing the book. Instant claustrophobia. Brrrrrr))
Quotes/Lines: ((spoilers below!))
-- 'They couldn't understand why she did this. Helping those too feckless, in their eyes, to help themselves.'
I love you, ma'am. Also you need better friends.
-- 'On cue, a corner of the room lit up gloomily to reveal a lifelike waxwork of a sickly looking woman, her face frozen in an agony of childbirth. She wore a filthy greying shift streaked with 'blood' and lay on one side, on the straw mattress Hannah had just described. The light shut off.'
I don't know. A history tour of the Close sounds fascinating but something like that...there's a line between "times were dangerous and shouldn't be romanticized" and sensationalism.
-- 'Mairead rummaged in the side pocket of her dress. "Damn. I've left my keys down there."
Don't go alone!
-- "I'll get changed and pop down for them. Won't take a sec."
Dammit, Mairead, I liked you
-- "This isn't funny. No one is supposed to be down here. Show yourself. This instant." "I don't think you'd like that."
-- "Come on, Beth, you're making a spectacle of yourself." "Sir, I'm sure if your wife doesn't want to come down here, she doesn't have to. She can always wait for you upstairs." "No," he retorted. "I paid good money for these tickets."
Now why didn't the ghost eat him? So fickle, I swear.
-- "We've had a request from a group of paranormal investigators based in Leith. They want to do an all night vigil."
This will end well
-- OOOOOH, reincarnation?
-- Ailsa is pissing me off, with the 'I'm worried, too, perhaps more since I've known the missing girl longer' and 'if she saw something (which Mairead told her she had; it's not like she'd made a huge habit of this before).
-- "The little girl in the mist. She has no face."
Yep, that'd be the rest of my life spent on a wide-open beach in Hawaii. No more claustrophobic alleyways, ever
-- "Alone," Scott said. "It wants you to come alone." "No chance!"
Atta girl, Hannah. You'd know how to survive a horror movie.
-- 'Sorry about the letter, but I thought it was best this way. It must be a huge shock for you and this way we can avoid a scene and maintain our dignity.'
You mean this way you won't have to face direct repercussions, you ass. (admitting to years of cheating and then breaking up with her in a letter? If the book had ended with Hannah tying you to a stake in the Close for the ghosts, I don't think I'd have blamed her)
-- YAY using 'Romany' instead of the slur
-- I'm thinking something is up with Ailsa (I mean, aside from her generally being a jerk)
-- I am well and truly baffled by wtf is going on here.
-- At least Mairead remembers things like involuntary committals to asylums and what medicine was generally like back then.
-- I love Miss Carmichael offering to repair and clean Isobel's doll. ((well, technically, I'm sure her servant/maid is going to do most of the actual work, but still))
-- So Robbie does go with her! But he wasn't mentioned at the beginning flashback. Ohhh, what happens to the poor kid? Please don't tell me his parents made that horribly hard decision to let him leave home so early to get a better education only for him to have an accident in the supposedly-safer New Town.
-- Yeah I'm just gonna skim over the rape/murders, thanks. Also, where the hell are their ghosts? They have just as much motivation to get rid of this creep as Miss Carmichael does, if not more (at least most of her killers were caught; I doubt their murders were much investigated at all). If we're going to veer toward Jack the Ripper style killings of sex workers mixed with the supernatural, can I for once please get the ghosts of his victims teaming up to kick his ass?
-- 'Only the pressure of their hands on hers told Hannah the others were still there.'
*waiting for the 'whose hand was I holding' Haunting of Hill House reference*
-- Yep. <3
-- "I vote we go to the pub, sink a couple and try and come up with some sort of plan."
I like the way you think, George.
-- The psychics here have both been super helpful. "Oh noooo, this is bad! You are in such trouble. Can't help though, bye!" "...thanks?"
-- I love that Murdoch Maclean is starting to get used to weirdly-dressed strangers popping into his shop.
-- "You'll be safe there. As long as you take your medication and attend your appointments."
I swear if this turns into some 'it's all in your head' nonsense...
-- 'but even he couldn't be in two places at once'.
You are currently fighting a murderous demon and traveling back and forth in time from an old newspaper shop.
-- seriously what is up with Ailsa
-- "Ye'll pass on our thanks to Miss Carmichael and ye'll tell her we'll manage fine from now on. Say goodbye to yer ma now. Ye'll no' be seeing her again." ... "Yer faither's right, Robbie. Ye're not one of us now."
Oh, kiddo. :( (well, not exactly a kid anymore, given that he's in university, but that'd still be rough)
-- 'Damn Miss Carmichael and her do-gooding ways! Damn Kirsten! Damn them both to hell!'
Are...are we really going in this direction?
-- We are.
-- 'Finally, her mind cleared and she had her answers. All the ones that mattered anyhow.'
CARE TO CLUE ME IN? Because--
What was Ailsa; cult member or possessed all along or killed and taken over sometime during the book? What was the random reference to Mairead needing to 'take her medication'? Why was Mairead's mother there and her house lived in for some people and then boarded up and empty for others? Why those brutal sexual violence scenes from Bain's pov if he's just a red herring? (not that I much care to read stuff like that anyway, but it seems especially unnecessary when that's the only role the women played in the narrative) What was going on with Isobel? Why did they have to stay in the pentagram? I wouldn't think they can protect the lines and keep the spirit contained from inside the thing.
-- The one thing that is plain and clear is that Robbie had Miss Carmichael killed, and I honestly can't stand that ending, because he was an adult. Told to stay away by his parents because he didn't belong in Old Town anymore, but also rejected by the girl he liked because he didn't come from wealth? Yeah, that's tough, but there are lots of Fish Out Of Water narratives without the subject murdering people. Miss Carmichael, our main pov to the past, being murdered by someone she tried to help just comes across as an endorsement of the quote at the beginning-- that if she'd just stayed where she 'belonged' and left Robbie in Old Town, she'd still be alive.
And I'm sure that's not what was intended. This book has a bunch of 4 and 5 star reviews; it's obviously not what most other people took from the text. This might just be a 'me' thing, which is partly while I'll be giving Cavendish another shot.
SYNOPSIS: The Himalayas, 1935. Kangchenjunga. The sacred mountain. Biggest killer of them all. Five Englishmen set out to conquer it. But courage can only take them so far. And the higher they climb, the darker it gets.
I was recommended this one in a thread where people were asking about winter horror. I'm a sucker for isolation/survival themed horror, so, trifecta. ;)
This one reminded me a bit of Saturday Night Ghost Club-- completely different settings and themes, but very character-driven and the ghost story is something deeply tied to those characters. It's a slow-burn horror story, which I love (though for a while the scariest thing about it was all the racism. There was an author's note at the back about it--given that it's set in the 30s, with a bunch of white climbers who're dependent on their Sherpas but not wanting to admit it, the racism is accurate but still makes for a rough read at times). Not that some climbers treat the Sherpas any better now...
Quotes/Lines: ((spoilers below!))
-- Me, reading the intro: 'this Sir Edward is a douche'. Next page- 'Edward Lyell is a pompous windbag'. Thank you for the agreement, other character.
-- 'She guards Charles Tennant like a dragon'.
No wonder, with people reacting with 'perhaps I shall be the one to persuade him to break his famous silence!' If he wants to talk he will; don't hassle the poor guy.
-- "What problem could there possibly be," he rasps, "on the most dangerous mountain in the world? Know the Himalayas, do you? Climbed here before?" "No, sir. First time in India." "Good God in Heaven."
-- "What were you doing, blundering in on Captain Tennant? And why the hell didn't you fetch me?"
...I do not like you
-- 'A couple of years ago, someone came upon Irvine's ice-axe on Everest's northwest ridge, and Kits sulked for weeks. Why wasn't he the one to find it and get the glory?'
I am sure this mature, well-adjusted person will be a wonderful companion when shit hits the fan.
-- "I hear there's a rather jolly bazaar. Have you been?" Kits snorts. "Usual native rubbish."
Heeeeeere, yeti yeti yeti
-- 'and is the only one of us who's done any climbing in the Himalaya'.
You are all going to die.
-- 'Charles Tennant didn't think we could do this. I want to prove him wrong.'
Do not let your brother's dumbassery rub off on you.
-- "it's the coolies' wretched superstitions"
If the people who live around here are freaked out by what you're planning to do, might want to listen? Esp. since a guy you admire seems to agree?
-- 'He gave me a cool look. "I do know these people, Dr. Pearce. The coolie is half child, half devil, and an inveterate liar. You'd do well to remember that."
I do hope the yeti is hungry today
-- They only carry what they need for the day while each of their workers carries at least eighty pounds. 'God knows what it's doing to their cervical vertebrae'? Are you going to pay for their medical visits or pay them enough to prevent them from having to do this again and again if they don't want to?
-- 'I slipped the man twenty rupees-- that's about three weeks' pay--'
You at least tried, and so may live.
-- 'I'm worried about the coolies, most of whom are still barefoot.'
They are WHAT
-- "Time to call a half and issue those boots," I tell McLellan. "Not till Nepal," he pants.
-- 'while Cotterell, who's prone to rheumatism, crossed on the back of his servant: a six-foot Englishman atop a small, staggering Sherpa.'
I've read about this in other mountaineering books and I'll never get over how gross it can be. To save someone's life, yes, absolutely, but just as a "well, this is too hard for me"? And then some of these guys dare to be all "Look, we conquered the mountain!" and don't take the time to thank the people who not only made it possible for them to get to the top, but are likely the reason they didn't die trying.
-- I like that he added some small stones to the cairn and added one to replace the one his asshole brother took.
-- ''Like seen music', some climber once said.'
-- Oh no. McLellan got hurt. *plays tiny violin*
-- If anything happens to the dog I riot
-- 'and there was a glitter in his close-set eyes that made me wonder if his feelings for Kits mightn't run deeper than friendship'.
*Potential Queer Character Radar engaged*
-- 'What matters is the fellows I'm with, and the knowledge that if I have a near thing, I can count on them--as they can count on me.'
As much as I want to thwap most of this group, I do love the camaraderie.
-- 'Kits is miffed because Garrard's near thing has brought me into the fold. He'd rather keep me on the outside of the cosy little coterie he's found with Garrard and Cotterell. It makes me wonder what he said about me before I joined them in Darjeeling.'
-- ...asthma cigarettes?
-- 'Besides, I like these people, and they could do with a good doctor. ... I came across lots of inflamed eyes and chest infections, and I did what I could with those supplies I could spare, but there's so much more I could do. When all this is over, why shouldn't I stay on in India, or Nepal or Sikkim?'
-- 'The first surprise is that I can't stand Lyell.'
It shows you have good sense.
-- 'When I was a boy, the avalanche was my favorite part of the story, but reading Lyell now, I find it nauseating. He makes it sound as if he and Tennant managed the rescue practically single-handed: digging their comrades from the snow, raising a cairn on the knoll for Freemantle and Knight, bearing the injured Stratton and Yates back over the Yalung. There's scarcely a line about the two hundred coolies who did the actual work. Or the four coolies who'd also lost their lives in the avalanche.'
-- "He (Ward) had it with him. So there's every chance that the body's down there, too! Now d'you see? We've got to go back and find it!"
While you're at it how about you walk out into the woods at night after saying 'I'll be right back'?
-- "For you, Doctor Sahib. For the climb." I'm astohished. It's the white ribbon-like scarf he wears around his neck, the one with the prayers.'
That's so nice of him. I love the friendship they're building.
-- "But why does it haunt? ... And why is it angry?"
My guess would be that his death wasn't quite the 'oh oops and now we can't retrieve the body' that Lyell said. I'm guessing someone killed him, or that he didn't die in that fall: could've been saved but Lyell didn't help him. Seems like the kind of thing that creep would do.
-- Yaaaay the dog has left to a lower camp.
-- 'Isn't it strange that we laugh at the Sherpas for putting their faith in amulets, when we're really exactly the same, except that with us it's a whole rabbit's foot, or a crucifix?'
-- 'The truth about Arthur Ward.'
-- 'That was when I realised. We all knew. We knew that Ward was alive up there, and yet none of us spoke out. Perhaps we felt that it was easier to keep quiet, to let nature take its course.'
No WONDER he's haunting everybody Jesus H. Christ
-- 'The expedition leader had taken matters out of our hands.'
...yeah. Lyell might be (okay, is) the worst, but you guys don't exactly come out smelling like roses either.
-- 'I've assumed it must have a reason-- to right some wrong, or be avenged-- and that once I knew why, I can fix it, and this will all be over. But how can you right this wrong?'
-- 'The others had collected what they could find, but it wasn't enough to fill a coffin. Only a small packing crate. Or maybe a rucksack.'
-- It's really a testament to Paver's writing in the last section here that I was legitimately sad about the death of a character who had to that point been nothing but an asshole.
A WORLD WITH A BLUER SUN
My reviews are set up a little like live-tweets: I write down lines I like/impressions as I read, and then transcribe. Reviews will contain spoilers, but I'll give a warning before they start.