The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken has one of those covers that makes me want to gobble it up. The dark grays and blues and that eerie candle in the background grabbed my attention. I felt like curling up on the floor next to my dog with a fuzzy blanket and a mug of tea and reading this. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, that’s exactly what I did early last December.
In a wealthy family with a rich history and exceptional people, Prosper Redding is comparatively unexceptional… until he discovers a demon his many-times-great grandfather summoned living inside him. The demon, Alastor, gave the Redding family fortune in exchange for eternal servitude. When the Reddings betrayed him, Alastor had one purpose: to destroy them. With the help of his uncle and cousin, Nell, Prosper can see a chance of him having an afterlife without eternal servitude. But there’s a lot going on that Alastor hasn’t told Prosper, and the fox-demon is growing stronger with each night.
With a strong message of keeping promises, this quirky tale of betrayal and family asks an important question. Can you ever right a wrong and truly escape your history? For Prosper’s sake, I certainly hope so, but only time (and the next book) will tell.
I rate this four out of five stars.
Midnight tales and dangerous magic.
The very minute I saw the cover and read the inside flap, I knew it was love. I’ve been wanting to read a Leigh Bardugo book. heck, I’ve owned Shadow and Bone for years but I have yet to break the binding. Figuring that this would be a good way to get a feel of Bardugo’s writing style, I dove straight in.
Drawing heavily form mythology and folklore and fairy tales, Bardugo’s seven short stories are nothing if not gripping. Whether the characters were tromping through thorny woods, dealing with witches, or singing deep under the sea, I felt as if I was right beside them. Each story had a lesson woven into the fiber of each paragraph and it wasn’t preachy. It was prickly and honest, and I hungered for more when each story drew to a close.
I was truly blown away. The Language of Thorns anthology deserves more than five measly stars, but that will have to suffice, because Goodreads doesn’t let me rate higher than that.
Following my discovery of Young Adult novels back in 2010, I spent the next couple of years reading and rereading Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series and whatever Holly Black and Rachel Caine book I could get my hands on. I recall having just finished a book about a fae disguised as a human when the spine of Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood whispered to me. Despite not being remotely about fae or vampires, I let the creepy and blood-dripping girl on the cover lure me in. A four year dalliance had begun!
After his father’s gruesome murder a decade earlier, Cas Lowood has taken up his father’s job: killing the dead. Armed with his father’s mysterious athame, Cas travels around the country with his kitchen’witch mother and spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore and destroy the murderous dead, all the while keeping pesky things like the future and friends at an arm’s length. Catching wind of a ghost, Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects to track it down, hunt, and kill it. So the usual. What he discovers, however, is a girl buried in curses and rage. She’s a ghost he’s never faced before.Wrapped in a blood-soaked dress that she wore on the day of her murder in 1958, Anna has killed everyone who has had the misfortune to step into her crumbling Victorian house.
Yet she spares Cas’s life.
Unfortunately, my sanity while waiting to read the second book wasn’t. Nevertheless, Anna Dressed in Blood and it’s sequel, Girl of Nightmares, was packed to the brim with sarcasm, wit, and epic ghost versus human battles. From the violent beginning to the heart-wrenching end my heart was in my throat. And the chills… I’m still looking over my shoulder whenever I feel something running down my spine.
I rate the Anna duology a four out of five stars.