Short story collections and novels have the ability to make us feel, yet poetry collections seem to exist in another world. They’re a lot shorter, which means the writer has to do a lot more to make each section resonate. There’s also the chance to be creative because a poetry collection doesn’t have to follow the structure of a traditional novel. As far as poetry collections go I find Factory of Tears by Valzhyna Mort unique, most notably for the Belarusian dialect accompanying the poems.
It’s safe to say that Wonder Woman is one of the most recognisable superheroes in the world. As Princess of the Amazons, Diana is the perfect balance of strength and beauty. But how closely does she live up to the real life Amazons? This is one of many questions that are addressed in John Man’s Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World. The book takes the reader through the entire history of the women who became known as the Amazons, and the answers might surprise you.
Over the last decade, superheroes have shot into the mainstream, creating two cinematic universes. You might think the formula for a superhuman tale has become worn out with all the origin stories. But there’s still plenty of room for innovation, as writer Stephan Morse has shown with his novel, The Fiasco In News. The book tells the story of 21-year-old Adam Millard, whose superpower involves causing all sorts of mayhem to happen. Morse sent me an advanced copy of his self-published eBook in exchange for an honest review and here are my thoughts.
“I am -, I am buried. Here.”
An emphatic conclusion rounds off a collection that captures the beauty of nature and a persona able to find beauty in a world they’ve grown tired of. Jay Hopler’s Green Squall is some of the most impressive garden-centric poetry I’ve read.
Reading the final book in a series can be like saying goodbye to a friend who’s moving on to pasture’s new. As much as you’ll miss them, you know they have to go. That’s what it felt like when reading Tyrant’s Throne, the last book in The Greatcoats quartet. Written by Sebastien De Castell, the book follows Falcio Val Mond’s struggle to fulfil his dead king’s dream of bringing justice to Tristia. Falcio is more determined than ever to put Aline, the daughter of King Paelis on the throne, but he faces his greatest challenge yet. Here is my spoiler free review.
Hell, March 13, 1919
They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.
Ray Celestin’s debut novel, The Axeman’s Jazz, begins with a macabre letter that sets the tone for the rest of the book. The story is set in New Orleans in 1919 and is built around the real life case of the Axeman. The letter was written by the real killer, making the novel even more intriguing.
After reading through Guadalajara, a short story collection by Catalonian author Quim Monzó, I’ve come to the conclusion that people can be bastards. Uncaring, fickle, hypocritical bastards. The short story collection features historical figures like Robin Hood, William Tell and Odysseus, and it’s often the people they try to save who turn on them. They take the form of the poor folk who exploit Robin Hood’s obsessive need to bring justice until they become the very monsters he fights against. Or, a family who religiously cling to their traditions of cutting off their fingers.