April 27, 2011

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Raw Blue has been skirting the edges of my consciousness for awhile now. I knew it was a debut novel. I knew it was written by an Australian author. And I vaguely knew that it wasn't really available here in the states. But I wasn't really interested until a few days ago, when for some odd reason I started investigating it seriously. I'm not sure what made me do it. All I can say is, I saw a reference to it somewhere and I got a feeling. You know what I mean. So I went on the hunt. As far as the cover goes, well, I'm not wild about it. I like the title font and color just fine. But nothing about the rest of it reels me in and, having read it, this neither looks like how I picture Carly, nor does it really capture the many complexities of what is going on in this novel. But. As I looked into tracking down a copy, I remembered I'd read very positive reviews on several of my favorite sites, and after checking out Kirsty Eagar's site, it quickly became clear that my best (and fastest and cheapest) shot would be downloading the eBook and going from there. So I did. And, wowzers, am I glad!

Carly is 19. She's on her own. She dropped out of university awhile ago for reasons both complicated and painful. She lives in a messy apartment, which she shares with a Dutch woman named Hannah. She works nights as a cook at a somewhat dicey cafe. She avoids answering calls from her disapproving mother. But most of all--Carly surfs. She lives to surf. Eats, sleeps, and breathes the sport. And she has very carefully arranged everything in her life to accommodate that one pursuit in the hopes that she'll be so absorbed in it, she'll never have to think about what happened to her two years ago. And life is . . . well, if not precisely stimulating, it's her life. And as unbelievably private as she is, Carly is comfortable with the way things are. Until she meets Ryan--another avid surfer who starts showing up at Carly's favorite spot. Ryan is older and seems to have a slightly checkered past. But he seems genuinely interested in Carly. He's quiet and not intimidating. He loves the sport she lives for. And gradually she begins to wonder if it might be worth responding to one of his many offers of friendship. If she might be ready, finally, to not be alone anymore. At the same time, Carly runs into a quirky kid named Danny. Danny is fifteen and has synesthesia, which means he sees people as colors. For reasons passing Carly's understanding, this young kid latches onto her, and suddenly Carly has two people trying to be her friend, to claim pieces of her heart.

I loved this book from start to finish. It dropped me into another world, full of surfing lingo and weather reports, charmingly different speech patterns, and the ubiquitous word "mate." I have absolutely no familiarity with surfing whatsoever, but I love reading about characters who are so passionate about what they do. No matter what it is. The surfers in this book are bonded together by their common passion and, as a result, the detailed descriptions of waves and tides and impending storms fascinated me to no end. But even more than surfing, this book is a love story. And it is an exploration of what happens after. How survivors survive. And just how much it takes to move on and reach out to another human being in the aftermath of violence. A favorite passage from early on (I know it's long, but it's worth it):
We're still sitting there when my mobile starts ringing an hour later. I decide to leave it, thinking it must be Emilio.

'But Cookie, your phone is ringing.'

So I get up and run inside--leaving a phone ringing is the sort of thing that messes with Hannah's mind.

The phone dies as I pick it up and I check the menu for missed calls. It wasn't Emilio who called, it was Ryan.

I wait to see if the message icon comes up, but it doesn't.

What to do? Maybe my board's ready. Maybe he wants Hard Cut back. Maybe curiosity is killing me.

He answers on the first ring, which sort of jolts me.

'Ryan?'

'Carly, how're you going, mate? Mark's rung to say the boards are done.'

'Oh, okay. Thanks.'

There's a pause long enough to be filled in with static.

'Been getting out much?' he asks.

I clear my throat. 'Yeah, a bit.'

'Haven't seen you down there for awhile.'

'Um, I've been going different times. Because of work. Different shifts and stuff.'

'Yeah? What do you do?'

'I'm a chef. Sort of.'

'Like a cook?'

'Yep.'

'Right.'

Another long pause. The air feels heavy.

I make myself say it. 'I'm sorry for being rude to you the other day.'

'No biggie, mate.'

'And thanks for getting me a board to use.'

'How is it, all right?'

'Yeah. Bit harder to duck dive through, and turn.'

'Don't tell Mark that. He fancies himself a gun shaper.'

I laugh.
'So anyway, when you're ready to pick it up they're down in Harbord Road,' he says, sounding like he wants to wind this up. 'You know it? I've forgotten what number, but just drive along slow and you can't miss it.'

'I can find it.'

'Big Hard Cut sign out the front. I've told Mark if you try and give him money not to take it. He did it as a favour.'

'Are you sure?'

'Yeah, no worries. All right then, catch you later.'

I put the mobile down and rub my face. I feel like my stomach's dropping away. And that's that, then, I think, walking towards the deck. Before I get there my mobile rings again.

'So, it's me again--Ryan.' His voice is different this time, not as brisk.

'Hi.'

'So, ah, there's supposed to be a big swell building for the weekend, from the south. They reckon it's going to hit Sydney on Sunday. Biggest swell in twenty years or something. Hear about it?'

'Um, yeah.' Coastalwatch has been going on about nothing else all week, sounding like the voice of doom: If you want to live, do not venture out on Sunday.

'So I'll be down at the break, 'bout eight or so. They'll be towing in for sure. And probably off the Long Reef Bombie, too. Be worth a look if you're interested.'

He stops talking as though he's waiting for something. I'm quiet because I'm not sure if he means I should go with him. I'm not sure what he means at all.

'That's if you wanted to--ah shit, this is hard.' He blows out some air. 'I've been thinking about you, Carly. If you want to come down, come down. And if you don't want to come down, don't come down. It's up to you.'

'Okay.' I would like to ask for some clarification, but I don't have the guts.

'So--yeah. I'll leave it there. All right?'

'Okay.'

'Might see you Sunday.'

He hangs up before I can say okay again.

Hannah doesn't look up when I come back outside, and she doesn't ask me who called either. But when I'm sitting down, flexing my feet and pointing them, eyes shut and face raised up to the sun, she says, 'But you're happy, eh?'

I blink at her, surprised. She's right.

My happiness is crunchy. Snapping, crackling and popping in the sun.
I think that passage gives you a feel for Carly and Ryan and the halting way their relationship begins and progresses throughout the novel. I fell for them both immediately. Kirsty Eagar does such a fine job of pacing the story and allowing the reader to really take the time to get to know Carly, her past, and what makes her tick, before introducing new characters and new elements. The result was that I was thoroughly on her side for the long haul. And it should be pointed out that this is not an easy story to read. It is definitely for the more mature reader of YA, as the language, tone, and subject matter are all quite gritty and not for the faint of heart. I, for one, loved it because the characters were a bit older, definitely more in the New Adult region. Carly's out of high school, done a stint at college, and is living on her own and holding down a job. Ryan is a few years older at 26, and he has seen his share of life as well. It's refreshing to read about characters in this particular stage of life. Raw Blue is painful, dangerous, beautiful, and wonderfully romantic all at the same time. For the space of time I was reading it, I, too ate, slept, and breathed surfing. I was with Carly every step of the way, and I was incredibly satisfied with the ending she carved out for herself by the skin of her teeth. Definitely one of the best reads of my year so far.


Linkage
Chachic's Book Nook Review
Forever Young Adult Review
In the Good Books Review
Inkcrush Review
Persnickety Snark Review
Steph Su Reads Review

April 25, 2011

Videocrack: Downton Abbey

You guys. Honestly. I don't know what I did with my time until I discovered Downton Abbey. I mean, I'd heard about it here and there. And, yes, any mention of a British costume drama usually reels me in hook, line, and sinker. But nothing had really pushed me over to investigate until my good friend Holly mentioned that I would really like it. Like, really like it. She was in the middle of it herself at the time and somehow I could just tell from the earnest and excited look on her face that she was right. So I mentioned it casually to DH that evening and, when I got home the next night, he had it all queued up and ready to go.
So, for those not familiar with it yet, Downton Abbey is a British period drama series that was broadcast here in the U.S. early on this year as part of Masterpiece's 40th anniversary season. It stars a few favorites of mine: Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Brendan Coyle (enshrined in my heart for his spectacular portrayal of Nicholas Higgins in North & South), and even Elizabeth McGovern. Set in the couple of years leading up to World War I, it follows the Earl Grantham and his family as they struggle to deal with the death of the family heir and the arrival of the new heir--a third cousin who has the unfortunate and shocking nerve to be a lawyer. The horror. Drama (oh, what drama!) unfolds both upstairs and below stairs, as the Granthams and their servants engage in all manner of intrigue and shenanigans. The whole thing is delicious. And riveting. What with the scheming footmen, the hilarious dowager countess, and the swoon-worthy costumes, DH and I fell immediately under its spell. We dreaded the viewing of the final of the seven episodes and are resting our hopes and dreams on the reports that this supremely entertaining series has been renewed for a second season set to air this fall. If you're a fan of costume/period dramas, excellent casting, and love a good yarn, then I highly recommend you get a hold of it just as soon as possible.

April 22, 2011

Retro Friday Review: How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! I include roundups from participating bloggers in my weekly post.

I'll just go ahead and start by saying this review is a hard one for me to write. My emotions become tied up in all of the books I have loved over the years, and it matters very little what genre they are or what the writing style is or when they were written and by whom. Those books that I really love, I tend to love with wild abandon and, once given, that devotion is rarely retracted. My friend Janicu recently commented that I am "the queen of re-reading." And this is true. I love nothing better than a cozy sit down with an old friend, and I don't hesitate to put off the shiny new tome I've got in my hand if the battered old one is the one that's calling my name. But there is one book that I can't let myself reread too often. In fact, I've only read it twice in my life. I joke (but, of course, I'm not really joking at all) that I can only read it once every decade, because the contents are too beautiful and too painful for everyday wear. That book is How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn. It sat in my house the entire time I was growing up, and I vaguely knew that it was a favorite of my mother's because of her Welsh ancestry. It was the title that drew me to it. What a wonderful title. I would go over and stroke the spine, but I never pulled it out. I think because I was worried it might not live up to its beautiful title. Finally, one summer I got the courage up to give it a shot. I've never been the same. 

I am going to pack my two shirts with my other socks and my best suit in the little blue cloth my mother used to tie round her hair when she did the house, and I am going from the Valley.  

Those are the the first words the reader encounters in this impressive volume. And they're the ones that made me certain this book and I would have a relationship. Growing up in a small coal mining town in South Wales, the youngest of a raft of five brothers and three sisters, Huw Morgan believed life would always be the same. From helping his mother cook her bottomless, delicious meals in the family kitchen, to taking his weekly penny down to the taffy pullers for a length of homemade taffy, to watching his larger-than-life father and stout older brothers make the daily trek down the hill and home from the mines, Huw's life is filled to the brim with the sights and sounds and people of home. In love with his oldest brother's wife from a very young age, and well aware of his lowly status within the family hierarchy, Huw knows what is his and what is not. But his is a heart that knows how to love and he watches closely over the members of his family as they encounter the myriad trials and heartaches of life and as he himself is put through the painful process of growing up and becoming a man. Along the way, almost everything about his humble life is altered, through strikes, schooling, marriage, betrayal, passion, death, and even boxing. Through it all, Huw struggles to reconcile the life that he knew with the life that is and to remember the good and the beautiful along with the bad and the ugly.    


Written in 1939, How Green Was My Valley is a tribute to the Welsh people and culture. Prior to reading this book, I don't think I'd ever felt as immersed in a version of our own world as I did in this one. Many a fantasy novel captured my imagination, but a work of historical fiction set only a few decades in the past? That was a first. Llewellyn's storytelling is second to none. To this day I'm in awe of the compassion and loving attention to detail that went into the telling. A very favorite passage (from so many it's impossible to count): 
Bronwen came over plenty of Saturdays after that, but I was always shy of her. I think I must have fallen in love with Bronwen even then and I must have been in love with her all my life since. It is silly to think a child could fall in love. If you think about it like that, mind. But I am the child that was, and nobody knows how I feel, except only me. And I think I fell in love with Bronwen that Saturday on the hill.
I fell in love with Bronwen (and Huw) that day on the hill as well. And I have been in love with them both ever since. That simple, measured, and certain way Huw has of narrating his story sort of swallowed me from page one. Told in alternating passages between the present and the past, the man and the boy, the narrative incorporates the reader in such a way that it becomes almost immediately painful to contemplate your inevitable extraction from it all at the end. This is one of those ones where you dread the turning of the final pages. And, if you're me, you're having trouble seeing them because the tears are welling up so quickly and so close together. Yes, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and loss pervades all 600+ pages, but somehow it stops well short of being trite or cloying. So much of it is the beautiful, beautiful language. I would love this book for the language alone, if for nothing and no one else. It is unmatched. It haunts me, tripping after me out of nowhere sometimes. The sing-song sentences, the inverted wording, and the lovely names come back to me over and over again, and I'm once again in the Valley with Huw and Bronwen, Ianto and Angharad, Gwilym and Dai Bando. I read this aloud with my husband (then-boyfriend) and I really can't overstate how beautiful it is read aloud. And shared with someone else who appreciates the endless nuance and the inviting whisper of a language used to its fullest capacity, wrapped in and around characters who wring you out and own a piece of your soul by the time it is through. Truly the most lyrical and beautiful book I have ever read, I'll be all set to pick it up again in another ten years or so.  

April 19, 2011

House of Silence by Linda Gillard

I've been a fan of Linda Gillard's books ever since I read Star Gazing and Emotional Geology last year. I will never understand why her books aren't more available here in the States (and just in general), and I love talking them up so that more readers can find and enjoy them just as I do. So when Linda alerted me to the imminent publication of House of Silence, I knew I would have to get my hands on it. It sounded deliciously fun. The story of this book's publication is very interesting indeed. Linda's been trying to get it published for more than three years, but publishers seemed reluctant to attempt to market this cross-genre novel. Linda describes it as Cold Comfort Farm meets Atonement. And, of course, I'm sitting here thinking to myself, who in their right mind wouldn't want to read that book? Sometimes the publishing process mystifies me. So finally Linda decided to publish the book herself as an e-book. I applaud the move, and I was lucky enough to receive a copy for review.
My friends describe me as frighteningly sensible, not at all the sort of woman who would fall for an actor. And his home. And his family.
Gwen Rowland is precisely that--frighteningly sensible--though she has shockingly good reason to be. Raised (and I use the term incredibly loosely) by the unholy triumvirate of her drug addict mother, her nymphomaniac uncle, and her alcoholic aunt, Gwen's life has been one long exercise in pure anxiety, solitude, and longing for someone--anyone--she can trust. Orphaned and alone by the age of sixteen, she's since grown up and made a life for herself as a costume mistress. One day, while working on set for a BBC period drama, she meets the charming and offbeat Alfie Donovan, an actor playing a supporting role in the production. They strike up a friendship, which eventually leads to romance, and by the time Christmas rolls around Gwen feels it only natural Alfie might invite her to his home for Christmas. Seeing as she has no family to speak of. The usually composed and dapper Alfie is oddly reluctant, but he eventually agrees, and the two set off for his family manor in Norfolk. Though Alfie has prepped her for the eccentricities of his four sisters and mother, the reality is much more than Gwen expected. And soon she finds herself entangled in the unfolding drama surrounding the hapless and disturbing inhabitants of the Creake Hall.

What an absorbing read House of Silence is. I will admit to a slight case of nerves as I sat down to read Linda Gillard's fourth novel. I had loved Emotional Geology so much, and I suppose I was somewhat worried about the self-publishing aspect, etc. But my mind was immediately set at ease as I found myself intensely fond of the characters right off the bat. I chuckled aloud at least a handful of times within the first few pages, and the writing was decidedly assured and the pacing even and extremely smooth. I loved the setup. Gwen (short for Guinevere, much to her distress), is a wonderfully sympathetic character, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her work her way into the hearts and lives of Alfie's family. A favorite passage early on:
We were kindred spirits in a way. Detached, self-centred, yet both obsessed with the past. Our past. The difference was, I had no family and Alfie did. He had a family-- a large one --but mostly he behaved as if he didn't, as if he wanted no part of them, however much they might want a piece of him.

As a lonely child, then a solitary adolescent, I used to fantasise about having a family--a proper family, teeming with rowdy siblings, jolly aunts and uncles and of course doting parents. Alfie had that. But I suspect his fantasy was that they all died, leaving him in peace as sole owner of Creake Hall.

It was a macabre joke we shared that he lived on grim expectations. I used to chide him for his callousness and he would get angry, which was unlike him. He'd say, 'You have no bloody idea, Gwen! You don't know how much they expect of me.'

And it was true. I had absolutely no idea.
The comparison to Cold Comfort Farm and, I think, to Rebecca is very apt. I was amused, touched, and effectively creeped out in turns. And I had a very good time attempting to decipher the mystery, to figure out just exactly what dark secret lay lurking under the quirky surface. The answer, by the way, doesn't disappoint. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the touch of romance in this book. I've loved that aspect of Ms. Gillard's previous books, and she comes through once again here in an extremely moving, tasteful, and unexpected way. The elusive and so often painful threads of our lives--happiness, family, grief, most of all, perhaps, forgiveness, as well as the daily struggle to hold them all together within one's consciousness--are at the heart of this engaging story. House of Silence is a perfect choice for a rainy day or an evening in front of the fireplace. It has a little bit of everything and I definitely recommend it.


Linkage
The Book Jotter Review
Cornflower Books Review
I Prefer Reading Review

April 18, 2011

Contemporary Pretties

Apparently, I'm all about the covers lately. But don't these three look great? I've only read one of these authors before, but all three covers (and synopses) have me interested and excited. Quite different in tone, they each represent an upcoming young adult contemporary fiction title currently residing on my list. 

You know how much I loved Donna Freitas' This Gorgeous Game, and I have pretty much been looking forward to the release of this book ever since. I love the juxtaposition of photo and drawing on this cover, as well as the great font and title spacing. When Rose's mother passed away, she left her a brown paper bag "survival kit" to help her daughter get through the loss. As she ponders each item, she moves closer to that goal. Also, there is a gardener/hockey player named Will. Sign me up!
Due out October 11th.

I've not read Ms. Alexander's previous novel--The Sweetheart of Prosper County--but I've read the rave reviews (and love the title) and it is on my TBR. This one has an entirely sexier different look going for it. Paisley Tillery (I know, right?) is a drummer in a rock band in a small Texas town she's dying to break out of. Enter a singer from a town called Paradise and things become . . . complicated.
Due out July 5th.

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Can you believe this cover? I just want to hang it on the wall. Shades of the exquisiteness that was the cover of Marcelo in the Real World. This is Ms. Sloan's debut novel, and it follows a boy named Sam and his younger brother Riddle who, after a lifetime of being on the move, meet a girl and her family who welcome them into the normalcy they've always craved. 
Due out May 3rd.

April 14, 2011

Fate's Edge Cover

And here's the cover for the third novel set in Ilona Andrews' Edge universe--Fate's Edge. Due out November 29th, there's no synopsis yet, but you can read a very intriguing snippet from the beginning of the book over here. I love the cover. Love the women and swords theme this series has going. Kate would be proud.

National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, a favorite: 


He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
by W.B. Yeats
HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

And, should you like to hear Sir Anthony Hopkins reading this lovely poem, here's the clip of him doing so in the marvelous film 84 Charing Cross Rd

April 13, 2011

Paperback Makeovers

I was browsing through upcoming books, and I came across these paperback releases of fairly recent young adult titles. One I've read and one I've not. But isn't it interesting the differences between the hardback covers (left) and the paperback covers (right)? In this case, both hardback covers for Jandy NelsonsThe Sky is Everywhere and Gayle Forman's If I Stay are done in bright, eye-catching colors, and are somewhat abstract and simple in style. The paperback covers, on the other hand, opt for more detailed photographs depicting the female protagonists themselves, both lying down. I find them certainly more concrete, perhaps a bit grittier. I'm not sure I'm sold on the switch in either case. What do you guys think? I wonder sometimes what goes into the decision to repackage a book for its paperback release. I'm sure it's about widening the potential audience and perhaps catching the eyes of those readers who might not have given the original cover a second glance. In this case, just out curiosity, which covers do you prefer? Would either one be easier to hand to a friend you're trying to talk into reading it? And do you ever purchase a second copy of a book when it comes out in paperback because you just love the new cover and want to have both hardback and paper on your shelf? Or is that just me? I may have done that with a certain paperback copy of Sunshine . . . or two or three.

Lastly, I just wanted to highlight the upcoming paperback release of a favorite of mine from last year--This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas. The cover makeover in this case sort of trends the opposite direction from the ones above. Both feature photographs of young women, but the paperback (right) certainly adopts a lighter tone, and I really think there's more detail as to what goes on in this book on the cover of the hardback (left). Honestly, I like both. And if you haven't read this lovely book, now would be an excellent time. You can read my review here.

April 8, 2011

Retro Friday Review: The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! I include roundups from participating bloggers in my weekly post.

I'd been hearing lots and lots about Meredith Ann Pierce long before I ever picked up one of her books. For the longest time I associated her in my head with a book called The Woman Who Loved Reindeer. And neither the title nor the cover did anything for me. But, as is so often the case, I had several friends who highly recommended her Darkangel trilogy. And they were persistent enough and vociferous enough that I finally picked up the The Darkangel (much more interesting title and premise) to give a new author and a new series a go. This was probably somewhere around ten years ago. And I'm still so glad I gave in and picked up the trilogy. That way I didn't even have to wait before diving into the second book. And this really is a series that builds upon each previous book until the final showdown is indeed something to behold. This was Ms. Pierce's first book, written when she was just 23 years old, but you would never be able to tell. It's a treasure trove of creepy ambiance, layered characterization, and suspense. First published in 1982, this is a real Retro Friday book, though the entire trilogy was fairly recently rejacketed nicely and released to (hopefully) a new crop of readers.

Ariel is a slave. Accompanying her mistress on a flower-gathering expedition, Ariel is dismayed when her mistress is abducted by the terrifying Darkangel--a vampyre who is destined to only come into his full power when he acquires his fourteenth and final bride. Yes, you read that right. He's got twelve of 'em locked away in his fortress and Ariel's mistress gets to be unlucky thirteen. But not if Ariel has anything to do with it. Somewhat taciturn by nature (and life status), she sets off in pursuit of her mistress, determined to fetch her back before the Darkangel drains her all but dry of life like his other wives, finds a fourteenth, and ascends to the dizzying heights of power of a seventh son and a full vampyre. Then he will be immortal and have truly left the last of his humanity behind. Unfortunately, Ariel herself is captured on her journey, and the Darkangel forces her into servitude to his bevy of wraith-wives. Soon Ariel begins to form a plan to kill the Darkangel and set the wives free.
His hair was long and silver, and about his throat he wore a chain: on fourteen of the links hung little vials of lead.
I remember reading that line and feeling chilled, wondering just exactly what he carried inside those little vials. This is a vampyre novel of a different kind from the sort you may be used to. The mythology is woven very densely here, as the title character himself is more of a icarus-vampire hybrid than your typical broody night dweller. Everything about this dark fantasy/scifi is slightly left of what you expect it to be, and I love it for that very reason. Ariel is at times shy, furious, fearful, and bold. Her captor is coldly indifferent, with his black wings and his all-but-dead heart, but with a multitude of reasons lurking behind his violent search. And once Ariel discovers the truth of his history, his family, and his existence, she becomes determined to go on her own quest to recover the one object that might release him from his terrible fate. She makes this decision on her own, in the face of his certain disapproval and the possibility of her own annihilation. She is strong and sympathetic and her motivations never struck me as weak or dubious. The world these characters inhabit is as frigid as the Darkangel himself. Craggy and desolate, it provides an excellent backdrop for each character's isolation. Plus, it has friendly gargoyles, crafty dwarves, and one incredibly terrifying Lorelei. And this is only the beginning. It gets endlessly complicated through the course of the next two books as the reader grows fonder of both Ariel and the Icarus. I adore the entire trilogy and highly recommend it to anyone tired of the same old paranormal rigmarole. This one is different. A keeper.

Reading order: The Darkangel, A Gathering of Gargoyles, and The Pearl of the Soul of the World


Retro Friday Roundup
One Librarian's Book Reviews reviews The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Linkage
Dear Author Review
Muse Books Review
3 Evil Cousins Review