Nameless

I’m not even sure that I want to write this review. If I hadn’t started out doing this as a way to reread and review all of my books, I probably wouldn’t. I don’t like the idea of writing something negative, because I believe that writing a book and getting it published is commendable, even if there are people who don’t like it.

There are very few books in my life that I haven’t finished. When I first bought this book, I didn’t make it past the first chapter. The writing is not good and the story meanders. It doesn’t make much sense, but mostly my problem with this book is its writing style. I read the whole thing this time, because it wouldn’t have felt right to have a review of a book I didn’t even finish. I’m really not happy I did finish it though, and I have no idea why I kept it after not being able to get through it the first time.

The idea is an interesting one, a story told through the eyes of a fallen angel. Unfortunately the interesting story does not translate over into a good book.

However, I do find it so worthwhile that a young man who grew up in a homeless shelter was able to write a novel based on the works of his imagination. I hope he builds on this desire to write and creates more works of art and imagination, that with each one he will become better and better because the only way we get better at things is to continue to do them.

Although someone else might like this book, I cannot recommend it. However, it is always good to support authors, especially young ones, and if you want to allow Kyle Chais to receive proceeds from this book, purchase a copy for a library or donate it. Just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean the author doesn’t deserve praise for a real accomplishment and support as he continues to make more.

 

 

for next week:

THE A.B.C. MURDERS

by Agatha Christie

The Sacred Blood

Eh.

Where I thought the first book fell in line with plenty of other good old fashioned Indiana Jones type stories, this one fell flat.

It kind of got weird and introduced a whole ‘nother plot line that wasn’t touched on in the first book and felt like an afterthought. Maybe it wasn’t, it was all planned out before he put pen to paper with this series, but it felt tacked on. Like maybe because the first book had some success (I’m assuming?) he thought to capitalize on it with this sequel. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that I would prefer an entirely new idea as opposed to a random and chaotic sequel to an idea.

But maybe this is your kind of thing and you’ll love it. I hope so, because everyone should have a thing to love no matter what other people may think of it. It’s not my thing, but I’ve got my own thing. You go do you, and I’ll be happy over here being me. Probably without reading this one again, unless I hold onto it and forget how I felt about it this time around. Which is entirely plausible.

Want to read it despite (or maybe because) of my awesome review skills? Great. Try it here:

 

for next week:

NAMELESS

by Kyle Chais

and it ain’t gonna be pretty

 

The Sacred Bones

This is an interesting cover to me. I think it’s instantly recognizable to anyone who’s familiar with the idea of crucifixion. It also irritated me a little bit when I first saw it because one of the first things I remember learning about actual crucifixion is that the nails went through the wrists, not the hands.

Anyway. This book is one of those sort of re-writing history tales. As in, hey look, we found this cool old thing and it completely changes lots of important things we thought we understood about history! Also there’s a beautiful woman (but ONLY ONE because no one wants to read about women you fool) and a crazy bad man and hijinks! So many hijinks! Read it read it read it READ IT. Or at least, that’s how I perceive this brand of book that seems to have risen in popularity after The Da Vinci Code made a crap ton of money.

The story of this particular book was at least a little intriguing to me when I bought it, because even though we already know that I’m a cheaposaurus, I’m still not spending my hard earned three dollars on a book that doesn’t sound good.

So, there’s not much I can say here without sharing too much of the point, although I think the cover of the book as well as the title has done a pretty good job of telling us exactly what to expect. I mean, okay. Sacred Bones. I wonder whose bones? Oh, crucified hands you say? Gee, I just can’t think of any person that has been deemed sacred who could have been reduced to bones after they were crucified.

definitely not this guy

Are you interested in books about discoveries of historical things that would have a humongous impact on the world? Do you like hearing about Jesus? Try this book on for size. It ain’t shabby.

Do you not want to hear anything about Jesus ever? Don’t read it. You definitely don’t want to read a fictional story about Jesus’ historical possibilities? Okay great, why are you still reading this?

But if you do think this sounds like it could be a fun read even if the main woman character is so beautiful she knocks people breathless all the time and we hear about how great her eyes are for just way too long, check out this link! It’ll take you to a place where you can buy it!


for next week:

THE SACRED BLOOD

by Michael Byrnes

okay yes i also bought the sequel so sue me

Those Across the River

I’ve got to admit, I love scary stories.

There are a couple of my friends that will go to scary movies with me, I love the collective feeling of an entire audience holding their breath or hiding behind their hands while peeking through their fingers.

Elementary school is pretty much the only time in my life that I constantly checked books out of a library. I like to have new books that are my own and have never been anyone else’s – unless they are really, really old. I come by this honestly. My mom doesn’t want anything that has ever been used by another human being. One time my dad was going to buy her a gift card for a present and thought about getting her one someone else was selling, you can buy it for the same price you would buy a new one, but the used one generally has more money on it. Thankfully I was able to convince him that my mother would not appreciate that gift at all.

Anyway, back on point. I used to check out this series of books called Scary Stories to Read in the Dark. 

The stories themselves were scary, but the artwork was terrifying. I routinely gave myself nightmares after reading them. Why are they available to little kids anyway?

And I’m a total scaredy cat. Even still after watching a scary movie I’ll turn off my light and quickly bundle myself under the covers, because obviously bad things can’t get you under the covers. Also, I refuse to look at mirrors in the dark. Won’t do it.

So, this book.

It’s not a horror novel or anything. It’s not even scary in the sense I’ve described earlier, it’s just good and spooky. Got a little bit of a creepy factor. It’s one of those where you might be reading on your own and something creaks somewhere else in your house and you get a delicious little shiver up your spine.

I like it, but I’m not going to tell you what it’s about. Not really. It’s too good for me to clue you in on much. It’s based after WWI, when a man and his lady go back to his roots in a little bitty town in Georgia that’s been tainted by the blood of his ancestors. Creepy hijinks ensue!

It’s good and you should read it. This was my second time through, and already knowing what went bump in the dark didn’t make it any less enjoyable this time around, so that’s a definite success in my book.

Taking my advice? Already have an Amazon account? Marvelous. Click right here!

for next week:

SACRED BONES

by Michael Byrnes

Catfish Alley

Oh. This book is hard.

When researching it a little bit for this second read, I realized it has been compared to The Help an awful lot. I don’t really find this fair, but maybe that’s just because I wasn’t the biggest fan of that book. But, I guess the comparisons should give readers a clue that they are going to be reading about relationships between black people and white people living in the south.

I don’t know that I consider myself Southern, or that any actual Southern people would either.  I was born in North Florida, so close to the Georgia line my parents would drive up there to get 99 cent gas. Florida is kind of it’s own world, but it’s still the South. I grew up in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex, what we affectionally called “the heart of Texas” in elementary school. Texas is more southwestern than southern, but you ask a Texan and they’d be more likely to tell you they are something entirely of their own.

My mom’s family is from Tennessee. The American part of my dad’s family is from North Carolina. Although I’m no Southern Belle, the ideals and way of life are just a part of who I am. Because of that, I’m no stranger to the discomfort that can come from talking about our history, especially as it concerns anyone who’s black.

Most of the time, I don’t think too much about race relations. When I do, I get really angry. I think about how recent history really is and even though I can see how far we’ve come, what overwhelms me is seeing how far we have to go. And as I think happens with most who are from this particular part of the country, it’s awkward. And what a whiny thing to say. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to think about those things because yes they were horrible and it makes me sad, but also it’s just a little bit awkward. Can we change the subject?

I like to read books and hear stories and see movies and experience things about this part of history because I don’t think it’s right for us not to talk about it. I don’t think it’s right for us to say, “oh, but we’ve moved on. what’s the use of dredging up those horrible memories?” Well, maybe it’s just me, but I want to be damned sure that we as a human race move forward and never sideways or backwards. If we ignore history because it’s awkward, how easy will it be for our children to forget history because it’s easy?

To me, this book is much better than The Help. One of the reasons I didn’t really like that book/movie is because it was so feel goody. You can go see it with your (white) friends and leave and think about how yes, it was awful back then, but look! Good white people existed! We helped! We did it! Let’s all pat ourselves on the backs because it’s so much more likely we’re related to these fictional good white people than to the ones who lynched and raped and enslaved and when finally something changed pushed back against it with every bit of strength they had. Surely we’re not culpable for that.

And we aren’t. We are not responsible for the sins of those who came before us, just because we had the misfortune of being related to them. As history has proved, we humans have done a really awful job of taking care of each other. This is why it’s important for us to see how and why were wrong and work to make things better for those we wronged. But you don’t get to stop just because things aren’t as bad as they were. That’s not how it works. Books like this one, which examine these relationships in more recent times, show us exactly how long the road is and how far we’ve left to go.

Also Lynne Bryant does a really marvelous job of fleshing out all of her characters, no matter the color of their skin. None of them felt like caricatures, which was a problem I had with the other book.

Read it. It’ll do you good.

Taking my advice? Going to buy it from Amazon anyway? Use this link!

 

for next week:

THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER

by Christopher Buehlman