Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
[Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.]
A lot of blurbs and reviews touted this as reminiscent of Jeff VanderMeer. Originally, that really put me off requesting it on NG, because I am not a fan. City of Saints and Madmen was an interesting book, but not my reading preference. I thought it was confusing and a little gross for my taste. I never picked up another one of his books because I didn't like his writing style.
But then I read a review by an author I have been following for a while. I feel that we often like the same books, and dislike the same books. So when she said that it really wasn't anything like VanderMeer's work, and that it was really quite good, I figured what the heck. A little apprehensive, I began.
What started out as a normal classical Victorian family story with a little adventure thrown in, quickly devolved into demons and blood. Now I'm always one for a classic, so reading this was like being back in familiar territory. But when things went south, and boy do they go south, holy cow what a ride.
Admittedly, it was predictable. I called several of the major "twists" before they were explained, because the foreshadowing was a bit obvious. Nonetheless, the ride was enjoyable and the writing was fantastic. Even when blood comes, it's graphic but not chainsaw-massacre-horror-movie-style graphic. I could manage it, and I'm not one for gore. So to any typical fantasy reader, I don't think it would be too horrible. I've read a lot worse.
The statement that it's based on The Picture of Dorian Gray was pretty obvious. For someone who has degrees in English Literature, I'm not exactly the most well-read in the "big names." I preferred a lot of lesser-knowns. So I have never read Dorian Gray, but after reading this it may show up on my to-read list. Who knows, maybe eventually I'll get around to it. I know the basic idea of the story but not how it unfolds, and not exactly how the painting works. I think that even not knowing that, you can still make the connection with this book. The way the painting was used in this one was quite interesting, and I'm curious to see how it aligns with the original.
For not being in my normal wheelhouse, this book was great. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it. The only reason I gave four stars is for the predictability, although to be fair, I don't really know how the author could have been more subtle.
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It's time for my 2018 reading challenge goal! Last year I set the goal at 75, and when it got to be December and I was nowhere near it, I lowered it to 60 (yes, I'm a cheater). I couldn't bear to not have the "completed" banner across my challenge again :( But this year I'm setting it at 75 again.
What I am planning on reading this year:
What I am planning on reading this year:
- The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, plus The Hobbit
- CS Lewis' Space trilogy (once I get my copies back...or maybe I'll just buy the pretty new editions I've been drooling over...)
- Several series I've been enjoying have new installations releasing this year, and I plan on getting my hands on them!
- My husband bought me the annotated Wuthering Heights a couple Christmases ago after I told everyone and their mother I wanted a copy, and I didn't read it. So I'm going to this year.
- My annotated editions of Jane Austen's books
- Charlotte Brontë's Villette, which I bought an annotated copy of so that I could have footnotes for all the French
- Any other interesting books that come my way over the course of the year
Good luck to all of you who are setting reading goals as well! My widget is on the sidebar so you can keep track of how I'm doing.
What are you planning to read this year?
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