Review of David Mitchell’s “The Bone Clocks”

Amazon/Barnes & Nobles/ Books-A-Million/Goodreads

    From the fantastically visceral film adaptation of another David Mitchell masterpiece “Cloud Atlas,” the Cloud Atlas sextet serves as the musical underpinning that really weaves together all the disparate elements of that story.

  
There is so much needless, and even at times, inordinate effusion and tomfoolery in this review, so you really should stay away from it, for your own good. That is, if such praise to you, seems unworthy and unqualified for any writer. In this case (in my opinion) it’s not…..Enjoy the review! :D

    Post-modern tales can either cast a cynical pallor over the notion of magic or alchemyletting the antiquated sophism be shown  as something silly and irrational even within the template of a fictional story. Some post-modern tales allow this magic, though, to coexist in largely an atheistic world, and allow it to be one more singular force in a world embroidered with many different subatomic reactions and such. Isn’t magic just the code word for all the large meta or microscopic reactions occurring somewhere in the wide expanse of space? In David Mitchell’s multifarious new novel The Bone Clocks, magic is a potent, mostly a psychic force that deepens the appreciable scope of the psychological landscape of the story, as told through six or so disparate perspectives or stories that can all be read separately. But like a quantum reaction, examining the story, or the interrelated parts or intricate cogs of the six stories, as a whole, allows different readers to glean many different interpretations of the story. Is The Bone Clocks  a story of magic, an existential allegory broken up into six different small fables, a narrative about one character’s life that really inadvertently begins another character’s lives as well, or is this story an enigma whose mystery only paradoxically deepens after the story ends?

   The beginning of the story begins with the seemingly simplistic yarn of a runaway teenage girl-named Holly Sykes- who has the spunk, and marked rebellion of every story of a teenager ever told in earlier novels. Her apparent disorientation in a very confusing, oftentimes bewildering world, where heartbreak and other classical vicissitudes of human life exist to inspire poetry, lugubrious rantings and ravings of every so-called teenage lunatic,who thinks they are existential detritus in a wasteland of a universe. Even though, Holly is born in the eighties, where things are reasonably civilized, especially if you were living in England. All the environmental, apocalyptic fears are merely alarmist scares. No, the most immediate and pressing drama is the woes of unrequited love, and it is her story that slyly begins as just a  merely mundane story, that allows David Mitchell-the story-wizard  capable of creating wild tales-spins of stories with ridiculously puzzling cosmologies- to throw us all into transient disarray as we are swept into a world that is even more wild and unprecedentedly unorthodox than we ever foresaw from the outset of the novel. We didn’t know that the mystical voices of the mythical radio people (referring to the mysterious voices appearing in Holly Sykes minds, would serve as a portent, of the deeper mysteries that will erupt simultaneously in the psyches of the readers and the story itself. These things are very cleverly interwoven, and they magically appear in the novel, like clock-work, without any sense of false contrivance that many other writers with great talent can easily be stymied by in a fraction of an imprecise word. Like fortune, that one imprecise word betrays to the reader they are no longer inhabiting the story, but just reading a mere script, all contrived by a so-called writer. 

   Much like any master writer, David Mitchell, a writer whose masterpiece Cloud Atlas that deeply inspired my own magnum opus in works Chronosphere, has more than competently harnessed the skills of writing subtly, not ponderously, and he slowly springs a trap on us, as the unconventional enigmas  of the Bone Clocks ensnares us into the story-captures us unawares- and leaves the reader falling deeper and deeper into the psychological landscape of the novel, until we are convinced that our very souls are making an ingress into the story itself. We will read about Holly Sykes, and fall irrevocably in love with her spunk, her tenacity, and her very dynamic personality. Forcefully, we will need to read slowly and fastidiously, contextualizing certain scenes and trying to understand these scenes in a larger story scheme, which does not become unraveled until our souls make an egress away from the story itself and back into our minds. From our minds, we will be swimming in a wide, seemingly endless ocean of poetic images, unforgettable characters, and loose fragments of emotions and dilemmas of the many characters, as seen through the eyes of Holly, who resonate deeply with us. 

     The Bone Clocks left such an indelible impression on my soul, my psyche, and my own writer’s heart with its own stalwart aspirations to weave a wholly different tale with the same depth and uncanny ability to really transform the three dimensional world we assume is reality.  This is the power of David Mitchell’s writing, and I swear I might just start weeping unremittingly, in a week or so,  as more insights about the nature of this story or its assumed overarching purpose and significance rears its head, unpredictably, like a Joycean epiphany.  If you need a story that goes beyond the bounds of mortality, rational reasoning, genres, The Bone Clocks is an enigmatic story, which will deepen your idea of the extent of where art can take us both philosophically and psychologically, as active, conscious observers of the huge universe. And David Mitchell reminds us aspiring writers or daring readers that our story’s cosmologies should really do as the medieval mystics believed quality spirituality should achieve with adherents of a certain esoteric; it should tip our minds over into transcendence. In plain atheistic speech outstripped of religious or metaphysical undertones, good or competent art, like David Mitchell’s wonderful The Bone Clocks, should imbue the reader’s mind with an overall enhanced psychological vision of the deeper depths of the universe from without.

          While everyone is poring over this novel for the next few days or so, I will be continuing to work on my own novel Chronosphere, as long as the elation imbibed from reading this novel, doesn’t suddenly taper away too quickly. Even though I should be writing some bit of criticism to make this review more nuanced, my only complaint that this novel, easily my favorite of 2014, ended far too quickly, and it will be difficult to find anything to matches the visceral experience of reading this novel!! The Bone Clocks, as the name suggests, is a mesmerizing, decadent clock of a novel, that will chime in strange synchronization, as your mind sinks deeper and deeper into its pools of ineffably nourishing depths of refreshing nuance and mystery.

    Oh, BTW, I totally am dedicating the first part of “Chronosphere” (my inter- and multi- dimensional English steampunk novel) to David Mitchell, who has now made me love the artistic wonders, intrinsic to great literature, two times now!! 

         

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New Chat Format Change Policy/ The Vampire Lestat Wrap-up Discussion Post

**Click the cover image above for Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned, to be taken to Amazon, to purchase the newest edition, containing the first chapter of the much-anticipated Prince Lestat.**

Discussion for Queen of the Damned  begins September 1st, 2014, so be sure to have your copy prepared to read analytically, for the next few weeks, all leading up to October 28, 2014: the official release date for Prince Lestat!!

More information about Pre-ordering Prince Lestat:

The book is slated to  be released October 28th, 2014, and has been honorably put on embargo, to ensure that the secret of the very enigmatic, wonderful plot remains unspoiled, non-tampered till that most auspicious, exciting day comes before us…

Dare to click the book cover below, to pre-order your copy, because this is a book you will not want to miss, if you view yourself as a serious fan of the Vampire Lestat…

Note about new format, for remainder Queen of the Damned-specific discussions, occurring over the next few weeks:

Over the last few weeks, many of you have braced my haphazard scheduling ways, in order to make sure you attended and partook in our live discussions, taking place on Google Plus Hangouts on Air. I really loved the format, for the most part, because I was finally able to somewhat emulate the feel of a real discussion, at least from my end. But increasingly, from no fault of any of the fine members of the coven, I began to feel slightly detached from the other members discussing;and even worse, the limited format of having one person be the leader of the discussion via video format (on one end) and having everyone else be restricted to mostly text-based message that no other members could see created a certain overwhelming feel of conversational artificiality, for the most part. There was no natural fluidity in these live chats, and I felt like I was the most important presence on the screen, as though I was the leader of the discussions and had the most important views on Anne Rice’s books.

   Feeling beset by this strange wall of silence and artificiality that has hindered the flow and efficiency of our conversations (through no fault of anyone’s own), I have decided to return to the original format of having (1) a weekly newsletter w/ discussion posts, posted on Thursdays here on my blog; (2) discussion posts, answering one of the discussion questions; it will be brief and somewhat ambiguous, to promote more of everyone’s own thoughts and considerations on a given issue or strand of significant meaning from the book (3) all discussions will either be in the comment areas of these blog posts, or occurring at all times on the Lestat Book Coven Facebook Group Page.

   On the Lestat Book Coven Facebook Group Page, there are many discussions occurring in real-time, and you are welcome to post quotes, songs, images, or really anything related to the expansive world that Anne Rice has created. Right now, there are approximately 1,500 members, and there are bound to be more, as October 28,2014 (the release date for Prince Lestat) comes ever closer in the light of our immediate reality.

      Discussion Post: A Wandering Minstrel/Vagrant Vampire Musician’s Road to Paving out a Legacy: A Wrap-up post for The Vampire Lestat:

In the midst of the calamity that ensues in the closing pages of The Vampire Lestat, we see Lestat, reenacting his first appearance on the theatrical stage of human existence, as a rock star in a ninety-eighties rock stage, outfitted with all the technical accoutrements that make these performances dazzle, and almost mime the preternatural features of vampire senses.  Earlier in the story, we were given a very energetic scene, where Lestat made his first stage appearance, in the guise of being a vampire. For the most part, the audience was generally very enthused by Lestat’s dramatic appearance, after being first introduced to Lestat’s stage wiles, when Lestat had made several appearances, as a human, as a tragic comical character fittingly named Lelio. Anne Rice called the story of his emergence in the world of the Parisian theaters-Lelio Rising- to chronicle Lestat’s own rapturous rise in his life. At this point though, we know the daunting, far-reaching ambitions Lestat has for his life really exist beyond the boundaries of life and bypass the generalities of death. We live in a culture, deeply influenced by the theatrical, dramaturgical nature of Greek-French drama (French theater, influenced by Ancient Greek theater; I came up with this terrible hybrid word myself), and the high peaks of drama in these plays, and the catharsis felt through the variance of emotions that many of the dynamical forces or characters, face in a play, often lucidly mime our own. And, the structure of these plays, much like the dramatic structure of The Vampire Lestat, models then a play, with many high operatic peaks of different emotions.

Through this dramatic play that goes through a number of different acts in Lestat’s mortal life and immortal life (a continuing story-thread), we learn of Lestat’s dramatic quest to have a distinctive odyssey, and legacy, that will be known to both mortal and immortal observers.  In Blood Canticle, he goes from the quest of being an iconoclastic dramatic actor or figure in the world of vampires, to becoming a saint, after having a divine Faustian vision, and plummeting to the depths of a self-induced hell of sorts, or his own catatonia of his crippling sense of failure in completely figuring out his ultimate purpose, behind his insatiable need to etch out a purposeful existence.

Conjecturally, I sense that after feeling his quest to become  a saint, a rock-star,a dark tragic-comic hero (in essence of Lelio), an enlightened man in the late eighteenth century, or even a priest at some earlier juncture in the novel,he feels a need to salvage the quest to form his own unique legacy that effectively subverts the classical trajectory of a vampire’s life, as outlined by Marius (who haunts history, only as a conscious observer of social progression), and Armand (far too encumbered with his own desire to perfectly understand his spiritual connection with what he vaguely recognizes as God), or Magnus, who effectively abides closely by all the antiquated laws of being a vampire and retreats into nonexistence and peters out  into the shadows of never being known again by later vampires. Does the voice, who appears in the first chapter excerpt of Prince Lestat, manifest itself as the voice of a distinctly earlier form of a conscious immortal, who has their own motives, machinations, and purpose for existence?

Strangely enough, the doppelganger of sorts mirrors Lestat’s visage and feline form, and is perfectly rendered in the mirror Lestat happens to be glancing, in romantic appraisal of himself, in this first chapter excerpt of Prince Lestat. The Voice could be attracted to Lestat’s need and fervent desire to carve out a unique legacy of his own that defies time, logic, and all codified or otherwise accepted social laws and mores. Could the voice, perhaps be some type of representation of something Lestat, repressed in his subconscious, in the vein of a Hyde composite, much like in Robert Louis’ Stevenson’s famous tale-Jekyll and Hyde? In respects to all you read in The Vampire Lestat, what does the voice represent to you? What does this voice represent to Lestat? Why is this voice- this enigmatic, weirdly conniving thing- seem so drawn to him?

Could it be Lelio, or even that much reviled resentment he still holds over his own distant relationship with his father? Maybe, the voice itself serves as a corporeal representation of Lestat’s father, someone who Lestat never resolved his complicated feelings about, or resentment, at any course in the novel. He has dealt with his complicated feelings, about his mother, through a Freudian projection, in terms of Akasha in Queen of the Damned, where Lestat makes peace with the burden of the need for female power to have a tighter anchor and influence in reality, after being long ostracized by the historical development of more patriarchal religions What about Lestat’s father, though?? I think we seriously need to consider this long-buried, repressed part of Lestat’s subconscious self- his unsatisfactory, unresolved relationship with a father- who could never truly accepted him for the person he was.

Leave your own thoughts below in the comment section, and be sure to check out this Thursday’s discussion questions, for what to ponder and think about, while reading the below assigned section for Queen of the Damned?

Reading Assignment for Queen of the Damned: Read part 1 up to the  “Mr. Khayman” section, so the last section for the first Queen of the Damned reading will be “The Story of Daniel.” This assignment is for the first week of September, 2014, and the discussion questions will be posted this Thursday, September 4, 2014, with a discussion post, answering one of those discussion questions, on September 7, 2014 (might as well stick with Sundays).

  Also, be sure to check out the contest details below, for more information on how to potentially win a first edition, signed hardcover copy of “The Vampire Lestat”

 

Contest Details:

WIN A SIGNED, FIRST EDITION HARDCOVER OF THE VAMPIRE LESTAT!!

** VERY IMPORTANT CONTEST RULES:**Due to high prices for international mailing, this contest is only open to those, living either in the US or Canada. I apologize in advance for neglecting to post these rules, but they are very important, for my budget is tight. And while I would love to be able to open up the contest to all Lestat fans, living somewhere around the world, the exorbitant costs with mailing things kinda prevents that from ideally happening.

Also, the contest associated with the Vampire Lestat musical is now completely eradicated; this is the newest contest for winning a SIGNED, FIRST EDITION Hardcover copy of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat.  Unlike past contests, due to my error in judgement, the contest’s winner is selected completely at random, and having the most entries on the Rafflecopter App. does not guarantee winning the contest, but only increases the likelihood of winning!!

The contest is being run to help promote my new editorial and publicity services, open to any interested Self-published writers. I don’t feel like rehashing all the details here about the reason for its development, and the descriptions of the services provided for this service, so I advise you click the hyperlinked text- A Bibliophile’s Workshop-to read more about this very exciting new service for self-published writers

 

** To access the Rafflecopter contest to enter this contest, Click one of Jo Vee’s two beautiful artworks, out of many more as displayed on the recently published art galley on my blog, to access the Rafflecopter App for this contest.**

**Random House recently released these new editions of the first three novels of the Vampire Chronicles, with the first chapter included in them. Click the corresponding images to be taken to the Amazon Product Page, for each of them, for more information on how to attain one for yourself!!**

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Lestat Book Coven Newsletter 8/28/14- Details about Armand Live Chat& Book Giveaway Details

 

Get your copy now of Queen of the Damned!! Discussion starts in September 2014…..More to come next week!!

**Read the entire post to find out more details on how you can win a genuine signed, first-edition hardcover edition of The Vampire Lestat!!**

 

 

Partake in the most lively brouhaha, coming out of the mouths of the living dead, by joining  the Lestat Book Coven!! We are counting down, with style and intelligence,for the very exciting release of the The Vampire Lestat. Over at the Facebook Group Page for this esteemed group, there are always many discussing occurring about issues related with specific characters and events from the Vampire Chronicle novels, the best actor to portray our favorite damnable rascal of a vampire Lestat, and who is the voice, and what is the motive, or ethical viewpoint of this pernicious, enigmatic voice, as seen in the first chapter of the upcoming novel Prince Lestat  (being released everywhere October 28th, 2014).

Beginning with next week’s newsletter (posted always on Thursdays, for your convenience), there will be more exciting new features to further streamline the next two month wait period for Prince LestatWe are almost there, and this group will continue to keep your excitement below the stage of being unendurable!!

 

NEWS ABOUT Coven of the Articulate: A Scholarly Compendium of Anne Rice’s novels. (Click the hyperlinked text, to read more information about essay submission guidelines and the ultimate deadline for all essays!!)

** All Essays are now due on November 13, 2014.  The anticipated date of publications, through any site where ebooks are made available, will be anywhere between January-February 2014.

For those that have been out of the loop in terms of news about Coven of the Articulate, you should know that this is an all-new scholarly compendium, being published just in time for Lestat’s much awaited return. Thus far, I have received three wonderfully comprehensive essays, pertaining to Anne Rice’s works, and the  writers of those articles will be hearing word back from me soon, about whether or not their essay will be included in this new volume.

Right now, you are more than welcome to begin working on your own essay, as long as you follow the guidelines as list on the separate blog link I linked above to! This is yet another brazen attempt for me to further encourage more intellectual discourse about Anne Rice’s underappreciated literary masterpieces (not under-appreciated by fans, but the more pretentious members of academia).

If you have any questions about Coven of the Articulate, send any inquiries,questions and suggestions to narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot) com.

 

HEAR THE FIRST CHAPTER OF PRINCE LESTAT READ ALOUD, BY YOUR ESTEEMED COVEN LEADER!

After finishing the first chapter excerpt for the first, I had nothing but effusive words about the text. The same familiar fluidity of prose, and impeccable degree of detail and philosophical sophistication suffuses the text. It is easily some of Anne Rice’s best writing yet, thus far in her long writing career, and it definitely has made the long, seemingly interminable wait for Prince Lestat, many degrees more unbearable

The book is slated to  be released October 28th, 2014, and has been honorably put on embargo, to ensure that the secret of the very enigmatic, wonderful plot remains unspoiled, non-tampered till that most auspicious, exciting day comes before us…

Dare to click the book cover below, to pre-order your copy, because this is a book you will not want to miss, if you view yourself as a serious fan of the Vampire Lestat…

 

   **Since some people may subjectively find my reading voice to be either cacophonous or annoying (finding someone’s voice to be unpleasurable or unseemly is subjective), you may decide to read the first chapter excerpt of Prince Lestat yourself.

**Random House recently released these new editions of the first three novels of the Vampire Chronicles, with the first chapter included in them. Click the corresponding images to be taken to the Amazon Product Page, for each of them, for more information on how to attain one for yourself!!**

BIG MOVIE NEWS; Lestat has spoken!

This piece is the most pivotal quote from the article, published on the website Joblo, and you can read the rest by clicking the hyper-linked text below:

“Universal has acquired the rights to Anne Rice’s anthology of novels, “The Vampire Chronicles”. The deal is for every book in the series including the ones that have already been adapted (the awful QUEEN OF THE DAMNED too). Imagine’s Brian Grazer will produce with Imagine Entertainment alongside Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci who seem to want to own everything these days.”

So, what does this mean for fans of the Vampire Lestat? Well, it means that we will hopefully be seeing a film adaptation of Anne Rice’s sophisticated vampire novels, sometime in the next four or five years, that is an adaptation that is faithfully rendered and  has fidelity to the text.

In other news….

At Thrillerfest this past summer, I had the wonderful, very much unforgettable opportunity to interview Anne Rice (and, I do not need to elaborate on her writing credentials; you know who she is). Thanks to both Anne Rice and her wonderful assistant Becket for making this interview a very enjoyable, stress-free experience.

For me, this was a remarkable opportunity, since in many humble respects, I am just a passionate book blogger, who has been mainly writing rather in-depth posts about Anne Rice’s books for nearly four years and counting. It is not the group itself that allowed this opportunity to happen. Incidentally, this interview came mostly about because of the unwavering support of all 900 (approaching 1000) or so remarkable members of the Lestat Book Coven over at the Facebook Group Page.

I posted the two parts below, and I know there is some continuity issues between the end of Part 1 into Part 2. Due to some inevitable technical glitches, the transition between both parts seems kind of abrupt.  Enjoy it, nonetheless, and thanks again to everyone that enthusiastically has joined in our coven discussions, for all the various individuals that produced such thoughtful questions, finally to Anne Rice and her assistant Becket for making this entire thing possible!!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Procure your copy now, for our upcoming discussion!

Don’t let the coven start without you!

.  I’ll always be posting Facebook post updates about each post either on Anne Rice’s Facebook Fan page, the  Lestat Book Coven Facebook Group page, and the mailing list for the Lestat Book Coven (embedded hyperlink will take you to page to sign up for this)Our next live chat will be August 31, 2014 at 2pm. Eastern via Google Hangout on Air, and we will be discussing the character of Armand in-depth; his unique machinations of deceit, his subtle moments of vulnerability, how his story is one of abuse and how it can deeply affect someone (and how this sheds light on the moral complexity and ambiguity of Marius and Armand) More details about this live chat, and contest details can be found by clicking “More” below, if you’re reading this from the main home page for my blog.

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Dani Hoots’ Review of Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

Bound by Night, Book 1 of The MoonBound Clan Vampires, by Larissa Ione

Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Published by: Pocket Books

Review by: Dani Hoots

Bound by Night follows Nicole Martin and Riker, a human and vampire, as they try to right wrongs of both of their pasts while also trying to survive. As a young girl, Nicole’s family was killed by rioting vampire slaves and she was left scarred both physically and mentally. Now she is the president of her family’s company that performs experiments on vampires to help with medicine and science. Riker had lost his wife to Nicole’s family, making him hate all the Martins and wanting revenge on what they did to her. Now he needs her to help save a fellow vampire from being killed. As they start working together, Nicole and Riker start developing a relationship that neither of them can explain, and the more they dive into her family’s company, the more they realize how corrupt it is.

Will Nicole betray her family’s company and side with the vampires? Or will she betray her new love and help go back to performing unethical experiments?

The author does a great job giving all her characters a unique voice and attitude. I love her scientist vampire and how “off” he is at times, reminding me of some of my professor in college. She can easily make you terrified with the creatures she created, but later have compassion and love them as well.

I really enjoyed Riker as a character, more than Nicole, due to his depth and what he was willing to do for what he felt like was his duty to the clan. He is also drop dead gorgeous and sexy, like a lot of vampires I know…

As for Nicole, there is some things I don’t think she would do that Larissa Ione has her do, such as falling in love with this vampire so early in the book. I think could have been more interaction leading up to it, especially after the traumatic experiences she had as a child. She reminds me a bit of Buffy mixed with Jesse Reeves from Queen of the Damned…

The novel has a very gripping plot, with many ups and downs, surprises and twists. One problem I did have, though, is the change of view midway through the book to a different character other than Nicole and Riker. This only happens once or twice and really breaks up the flow of the story. This and some of the flashbacks made the story feel less connected and could have been stronger if they were executed better.

So I give this novel a 4.0/5.0. I really enjoyed it and found the story to be fascinating, but there were a couple of things that I thought could be better. I will also be reviewing the second book in this series soon, so check back for that review as well as an interview with the author!

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A Review of Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Amazon/Barnes & Nobles/Books-A-Million/Goodreads

*Broken Monsters* is not your run of the mill, average, ordinary read. It becomes a mind warping, engrossing read that’s full of suspense and unimaginable horrors in all different shapes and styles. The title itself leaves the reader to question if whether everyone in some way or another is broken, and if perhaps deep down we are all monsters. Broken Monsters focuses on a handful of characters that find themselves joined together thanks to a serial killer that leaves disturbing signatures of when it comes to their work.

The reader is introduced to Detective Versado, the investigating officer in the Detroit Monster case, her teenage daughter Layla, a freelance journalist Jonno who is desperate for his breakthrough piece, and Thomas Keen a man familiar with the streets and all of its natural horrors.

I dreamed I was a dream of a dream

In a serial killer’s mind the perception of a dream, well let’s just say… The Dream… is for others a nightmare. In a serial killer’s outlook destruction of life is art, and taking lives is setting a person free. To reform and redesign is the nature of the Dream. The Dream guides the serial killer to help him make his victims become what they always dreamed. Yes… it all sounds so bizarre and hard to wrap your head around, but that is what Broken Monsters is. The book is bizarre and twisted and unnatural but you cannot stop reading. It pulls you in and much like Night Film by Marisha Pessl you find yourself questioning as you read what is ‘reality’ and what is delusion, hallucination, fear, and imagination.

…evidence of the dreaming everywhere. There is a world beneath the world that is rich and tangled with meaning.

Beukes leaves her reader fascinated and left questioning… is this how the mind of a serial killer works? It seems like the Dream itself is left to the reader’s imagination because the purpose of the Dream is never truly explained. All we know is that the Dream wants to make your wishes come true. Wishes and dreams where a little boy is cut in half and given new legs of a deer so that he may perhaps become a fawn, a sculptor becomes her own work of art, and a cop is reborn into a phoenix rising.

The end of everything

The visuals are disturbing and visceral. One in particular left me questioning any future choices of tattoos. Not all of the horrors are part of the Dream. Not every horror is so much a fantasy, a dream in Broken Monsters. There is the reality of other horrors of the struggling homeless, or the interactions of Layla and her friend Cas as they play vigilante against a pedophile.  No matter what shape the monster takes in this book, there are plenty that haunt Broken Monsters as shades and spooks of the night. If anything Broken Monsters helped me reconfirm that horror comes in all shapes and forms, and doesn’t always have to do with blood and guts. Sometimes it comes in the shape of despair, the feeling of loneliness, the drive of desire and need. The Dream understands and wants everyone to know what it understands… that there are doors to be open.

…and their seeing will be horror and glory and wonder and it will pierce the skin of the world, collapse dimensions, and open the doors and the work will breathe and dance in his shoes and the dream will be able to escape.

Escape, freedom, transformation. Horror, glory, wonder. All these words describe the nature of Broken Monsters so well. It is not what is to be expected, but coming from Lauren Beukes, maybe we shouldn’t expect anything less. Even the interaction of the serial killer and Jonno is something transfixing and cinematic it leaves the reader drawn in to the possibility of the Dream and what it stands for. Killing to make someone become what they wanted to be. Isn’t what we always wanted deep down? To become what we always wanted? Obtain our dreams. It is human nature after all… and maybe being human is what breathes life into a monster within, what makes it all cracked and broken.

The book leaves the reader thinking. I don’t believe it is Beukes intention to make human nature seem so bleak and hopeless, and make us believe we are damaged and all deranged deep down. The characters that defend themselves against the serial killer and the Dream do come together as a unified front to help each other. That in itself should prove that no matter how flawed any one is, there is always the opportunity to rise above it all. Like a phoenix.

Better have a happy ending…

And that’s not such a bad thing… even if the Dream is still alive… but that’s a story for another time…

Yes. It was all real. It lives in me now. If you’ve seen it, there’s a splinter of it in you too. We can change the world. You just have to open the door.

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Interview with Mary Weber- Author of *Storm Siren*/ Giveaway of “Storm Siren”

Enter to win a copy of Storm Siren, by clicking the cover image below of the book (to access the Rafflecopter app)!!

**Only those living in the USA are eligible to enter the contest to win a copy of “Storm Siren”**

The amazingly talented writer of Storm Siren was gracious enough to take time of her busy schedule to respond to my questions and queries. Just by her responses alone you can tell she is as much an amazing person as a writer. Thank you again for the opportunity to interview you, Mary Weber, I appreciate this and your talented story weaving. I hope the readers of A Bibliophile’s Reverie enjoy the interview! Till next time!

For A Bibliophile’s Reverie

1.) Who inspired you to start writing? Thank you for having me!! And my parents inspired me to start writing! Growing up, I spent many an evening on my dad’s lap while he read Tolkien, Lewis, and every other fantasy author to us. Sometimes my mom would sit in and listen – other times she’d be in the other room writing her own books. Also…the Twilight series may have motivated me as well. ;0)
2.) Is there any particular book or author that influenced you in any way growing up or as an adult? When I was ten, a teacher gave me a copy of The Secret Garden (because the main character’s name was Mary and she and I might’ve had the whole “quite contrary” thing in common, ha!). I still have that book and it’s one of my most cherished. As I got older, I encountered the books of Stephen Lawhead, Baroness Orczy, and of course J.K. Rowling, and they pretty much rocked my world. Now as a writer, I’m still heavily influenced by those authors as well as Marissa Meyer (her heroines rock!), Tahereh Mafi (her prose – gah!), and Maggie Stiefvater (can I just BE her?).
3.) The characters in *Storm Siren* are so colorful and diverse. Was there anyone you had in mind when creating them? *laughs* Well, I’m pretty certain Lady Adora might be my alter ego. (My husband agrees with this, ahem.) Nym has hints of my sister (whom I ADORE) probably more than anyone else. As far as the rest, I live in a wonderfully colorful and diverse community, so the characters are bits and pieces of the beautiful people I know.
4.) Can you give the readers any clues about what we can anticipate in the future for Nym, Eogan, and the Kingdom of Faelen? Okay, do I confess this here or no? Um…Nym’s future is going to get a bit darker for a bit in book 2. (Don’t hate me!!) However, she’ll spend much of it in the Bron kingdom, which I think will be fun. And Eogan is…well…(*walks off whistling*)
5.) What do you hope your readers take away when they finish *Storm Siren*? Ooh good question! Hmm. I think those who’ve read it to the end will probably understand when I say I hope they take away my peace offering. Ahem. ;0)
6.) What inspired you to write *Storm Siren?* Admittedly, STORM SIREN is totally might be my obsessive ode to all things Last Airbender, Joan of Arc, and superheroes. :0) Along with that, it was inspired by the teen girls I work with – by their passion and amazing hearts as well as the struggles they face, especially regarding self-image and cultural-imposed expectations.
7.) What are you working on right now? What is your next project? Ooh yes! I’m currently hashing over the plot for book 3! And let me tell you – the wraiths are being completely unruly. Sigh.
8.) Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans? If I could, I’d hug all your faces for being so AMAZING. Gah! I adore you!!! Also, on a more helpful note (and to quote William Goldman) – never start a land war in Asia. Cuz reasons.

Thank you for having me!!!!!!!

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Review of “F,” by: Daniel Kehlman

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Novel Released Today: August 26, 2014, from Patheon/ Knopf Publishing Services

    Ever since the nineteen-fifties or sometime around there, philosophy has practically been bogged down in existential vexations: questions and intellectual extrapolations surrounding the meaning of human existence and consciousness in a century that has been bursting with the revolutionary psychological ideas of Freud, or the scientific theories of Einstein. Both formulated easily recognized, momentous theories, which have throw our cozy, stable, dryly linear perception of the world into disarray. And in the disarray, the existentialists have been wracking their brains over what defines “reality,” when our minds, in of themselves, are never completely stable, but are sometimes mired in problems like cognitive dissonance, or some severe psychological condition- like anxiety,post-traumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia- that are chiefly to blame for our more unstable perception of the world. These are the things that profoundly interest and obsess writers, during the post-modern literary era, which continue this obsession over trying to figure out the abstruse conundrums of the meaning of life, the reason or origin of consciousness. If we are living in a purposeless vacuum of space with non-celestial, planetary bodies, and organic and inorganic matter that just exists self-evidently, then what is the purpose of our lives, if there is any meaning in our lives that is, especially if our mind-set of reality is both subjectively dependent on the conscious viewer (with their own neuroses). Plainly put, the existential novel, either containing or not containing pastiche (a story that  is really combination of elements from traditional, more orthodox styles of storytelling), is very much the novel that is not always centered around a cast of characters, and a clear novel structure, but it takes up the styles set by the modernist writers, and tries harder to take these things to the next artistic level of sorts.

    How does any of the aforementioned stuff, relate in any way, to Daniel Kehlman’s cerebral, sometimes purposely disjointed novel, enigmatically titled     One of the more fascinating characters in this novel, Eric, the fraudulent ponzi schemer (stockbroker of sorts), suffers greatly from a tumultuous, chaotic mind; his thoughts are always churning so much that his narrative flow of thoughts is never clear, and it is fragmentary to the point where time and place (default orthodox markers for a classic novel structure with an authorial narrator) seem to vanish entirely. We are left with his own neurotic preoccupation, with his murderous ideals, almost as if to reflect an obsessive-compulsive personality, or schizophrenic mind, where action and thought, two things that are more seamlessly bridged in tighter, more stabler minds, seems to come apart for Eric. As such, the reader must pay attention to a certain repetition of certain words just to be aware of where Eric is in the story, in a certain scene, and if there is even any tangible pattern or coherence to all his chaotic thoughts. This section, for me, wonderfully reminded me of some of the most challenging sections of William Faulkner’s The Sound and Fury, especially the perspective of the one college-aged boy, who is set on committing suicide while spending a semester at Harvard (or was the school Stanford?). His thoughts were often just as inscrutable, if read too fast, and the reader didn’t take the time to slowly put together everything 

    And, the whirlwind of thoughts continues with Martin’s perspective, who happens to be a priest who knows that his religious ceremonies are served as subterfuge (known only as such to him) to a group of devout Catholics, who may not be aware of Martin’s own marked doubts in religion. For someone like myself who is agnostic, Martin’s section made a lot of sense to me, especially his feelings that his duplicitous method of feigned belief for the followers, and the  deeply-entrenched doubts in his mind  compounding this, shows the psychological challenge (and even impossibility)of doubtless, unflinching religious belief in a post-modern world or sphere. One of the other monks at his church, says, that one’s faith goes beyond the limits of reason, and do not necessitate the same kind of notional belief, held by scientists or logicians. Yet, Martin cannot make sense of this logical paradox, between belief understood as faith in some forms of religion and the belief that demands evidence and corroboration of knowledge, etc. While Martin’s religious faith gives the otherwise wandering, even reclusive, socially unfit person he is a stable, even revered vocation (among some people), he still feels, constantly, on-edge and out-of-sorts, when either serving in the confessional booth or at the pulpit. He feels like a fraud, or an inauthentic person for having such thoughts in his mind.

     Beyond these two perspectives, this multifaceted, and really multidimensional, literary novel really demands the reader this very difficult question for all of us: What about us, and  the true paradoxical nature of our own psyches, is really authentic, and how much of ourselves, as represented by  our  visible, daily actions, in the everyday world is inauthentic?  We are going further, psychologically-speaking, than Frankenstein and Edgar Allen Poe’s stories, in the sense that the ideas of the subconscious are now filtering even more into our conscious minds, and are becoming more ever-present in post-modern literature for that reason. While being difficult and sometimes not-so enjoyable of a read, as it is convoluted and even glacially-paced at times, Daniel Kehlman’s  F:a novel is still a deep, probing psychoanalytic, existential novel that deserves to be read, and pondered.   Remarkably,the sub-textual layers are such vast in number that this novel is bound to keep readers, prepared for a intellectually-stimulating read, focused on figuring out all the various puzzling levels of meaning of this novel, as though this novel were a literary Rubik’s cube.

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