Stop Putting Razor Blades on Covers Pls

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects
Gillian Flynn

I have determined that Gillian Flynn is the M Night Shymalan of literature.

…because boy does she love her plot twists, and throwing plot twists in the middle of her plot twists.

I probably would have enjoyed this book more when it came out, or before I had read any of Flynn’s other stories. Or before Gone Girl, and anyone who hadn’t read her books could remain ignorant of this reputation. But I have read some of her other stories, and I know all about her love of plot twists. I wasn’t really on the lookout for the Big Twist, but knowing that it was coming made both the twist and its red herring painfully obvious. I can’t say I’m surprised to find that her first novel contains the characteristics she’s become known for (twists, unlikeable female leads, shock factor). I guess it’s just good to know that she’s consistent.

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My Kind of Horror

Through the WoodsThrough the Woods
Emily Carroll

I have a…complicated relationship with the horror genre. For most of my life, I avoided it entirely, more afraid of the fear and uncertainty that would come as a result of the scary thing than the scary thing itself. But I loved those books and movies that existed right on the edge of horror–Frankenstein and Dracula were just creepy enough to satisfy my desire for something mildly frightening, but weren’t so scary that I found it difficult to sleep at night.

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Review: King of the Cracksmen

King of the CracksmenThis debut from TV and film writer Dennis O’Flaherty, dubbed “a steampunk entertainment,” is an alternate history adventure that explores what 1877 in America might have looked like. What if Lincoln had never been assassinated? What if Andrew Jackson had sold the territory obtained through the Louisiana Purchase? What if Tesla had lived long enough to further develop his technology? King of the Cracksmen holds answers to all these questions and more.

After the Civil War, Secretary of War, Eddie Stanton stepped up to run things when an attempted assassination of President Lincoln leaves him mysteriously absent from government proceedings. Russia has purchased the territory west of the Mississippi, renaming it Little Russia. Secretary Tesla (yes, that Tesla) has advanced American technology far enough to create an army of machines: steam generators power Helios light globes, voicewire machines have revolutionized communication, automated soldiers called Acmes roam the streets, and giant Black Deltas patrol the skies.

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Review: Sharpen

SharpenThis is probably the first book I’ve read that falls under the category “experimental literature.” Rich Ives has written what seems to be a series of connected vignettes, each introduced with a diagram by Nils Davey and concluded with an illustration from Jack Callil. Each chapter is named for its diagrams, each of which illustrates a common tool. Even the final chapter, “Ghost Twins” shows a tool, though a more complex one: “the twins may not reveal their purpose easily.”

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Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle

Sleeper and the Spindle, TheThe fairy tale is such an underrated genre for adults. I think sometimes when we talk about fairy tales we forget just how twisted the genre was at the beginning, and that many of the original stories weren’t intended for children.

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