Green Squall Review

“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.

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Tyrant’s Throne Review

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.

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The Axeman’s Jazz Review

Hell, March 13, 1919

Esteemed Mortal:

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.

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Guadalajara Review

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.

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The Book Thief Review

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak can mean a lot of things to different people. To some it could  be the tale of a girl with an insatiable hunger for books. For others it could be a vivid commentary on the Nazi regime from an insular point of view. It could even be a metaphor for how life is fleeting and death is the one constant uniting all of humanity. Whatever interpretation may be drawn there is a assumption that the reader comes away with a clear message. That is one of many reasons why The Book Thief is one of the most scintillating novels I’ve read in recent memory. Continue reading “The Book Thief Review”

Traitor’s Blade Review

Reviewing this book has been long overdue, considering it’s become my favourite book series. But then finding a good book to read can be like picking the best clothes to wear: There’s many of the same variation but only certain clothes really do it for you. The importance of a man’s clothing comes into play within the swashbuckling debut novel of Sebastien De Castell called Traitor’s Blade. Although The Greatcoats series has been out for a few years, going back to where it all began is still an enjoyable read.

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The Shining Girls Review

The serial killer genre is known to make use of specific tropes. The killer usually suffered trauma in their childhood to make them into the murder machine they are today. The victims are normally helpless to prevent their deaths and the killer is always brilliant and meticulous. These stories can be entertaining up to a point. But when every character becomes saddled with cliches then it’s time for something new. So, what about a novel that breaks away from the traditional journey of the serial killer genre? South African novelist Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls takes something we’ve seen before and offers a new slant.

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