Book Review — Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

Servants of the StormServants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book entirely on Halloween and I can’t think of anything better to do while ignoring trick-or-treaters, lost in the dark and haunting world of Servants of the Storm.

The first half had me completely hooked. Of all the YA I’ve read, Delilah S. Dawson wins in terms of prose quality, and she uses this skill to great effect painting a vivid, yet mysterious and hazy setting.

Servants of the Storm dealt with themes of grief and loss and friendship more truly than I’ve ever seen. I can’t describe it (you’ll have to read the book to see for yourself), but it had me in tears at more than a few points.

The atmosphere and the treatment of loss are the novel’s greatest strengths.

However, call me a horror newbie, but there’s a twist where we enter the supernatural world and the book sort of lost me. The first half is terrifying, but as is always the case when the monster is revealed, it’s never as good as what your imagination can come up with.

We go from a creepy atmosphere and a strange little town where you don’t know what’s going on, to a world of demons that are cool, but just not on the same level of horror potential.

It’s a bit like peeking behind the curtain. No, it’s exactly like peeking behind the curtain and having that magic ruined. I’m not sure how to transition it better, but for me as a reader, the story lost a lot of its charm once the plot kicked in and the atmosphere went on the backburner.

All that aside though, it was still an incredible read that finishes strong. I loved the ending so, so much. It wasn’t all neatly wrapped up, and you finish with eyes wide, more terrified than when you began and with more questions than you’d expect from an ending.

Overall, a horror YA that’s worth your time. It’s a quick read, but the image of a haunted Savannah won’t soon go away.

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Book Review — The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

The Slow Regard of Silent ThingsThe Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the most beautiful story I’ve read in years.

Think about that word, beautiful, and what it means to you. It could be a memory, a place, a loved one, an emotion.

Keep thinking.

It’s not the best analogy, but it’s the best I can do because The Slow Regard of Silent Things is in a class all of its own and it evokes a response that no other book has managed to elicit from me.

It is strange, it is gentle, it is true, it is heart-warming, it is poetic, it is pure Rothfuss.

I don’t know about you, but I fell in love with The Name of the Wind because of the attention to language and the sheer beauty of the story. Now imagine if Pat could concentrate only on those things and say “fuck it!” to conflict, action, and dialogue.

This is a story only he could pull off, and I can tell you that yes, yes he does.

This is one of those books you need to set aside some time for, brew a mug of coffee, and bundle up undisturbed.

I want you to read The Slow Regard of Silent Things to understand what a story is and what it isn’t. To explore the boundaries of language. To feel the cadence and the beat and the lilt and the rhythm of the words. To revel in one of the most fascinating characters the genre has to offer. To know that you are not alone in being a broken thing.

One last fun little tidbit: I got the real Rothfuss to sign my book, not that fake Pat fellow.

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Book Review — Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight ClubFight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What did I just read. Holy shit.

Believe the hype about Fight Club because it’s a masterfully written book that is dark, haunting, yet indescribably beautiful story.

It’s definitely in a more literary and stream-of-consciousness style than I’ve ever read, but once you get used to it it’s hard to put the book down (I guess it helps that it’s less than a quarter of the size of books I usually prefer, too).

Because it was such a unique reading experience, I’m having trouble describing it. I’m going to cheat and just say: you have to read it to understand. This is one of those books that will have you questioning everything about your own sanity.

For most of us, we’ve probably seen the movie first. I actually think it was ideal already knowing the central conceit: Tyler Durden is the embodiment of the unnamed narrator’s id and they are the same person. The subtle hints dropped throughout were satisfying to notice.

(I’m tempted to believe Marla Singer is also the same as Tyler Durden. Discuss in the comments.)

Fight Club is a wild, manic, thought-provoking ride that’s short enough to make it a must-read before you die. Though, honestly, I’m back to my regular fiction now…because this was depressing. Call me an optimist, but my worldviews and those presented in this book couldn’t be more different. I totally understand where he’s coming from and what it’s trying to do—I just don’t agree with it personally.

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