When I first started writing this blog, I had barely read any Neil Gaiman. Now, I am slowly making my way through his oeuvre. My latest read was Stardust, one of Gaiman’s earlier novels. I had heard about this story before, mostly in terms of the movie adaptation (which I still haven’t seen), but it’s not usually the first book that comes to mind when you think “Neil Gaiman.” I was pleasantly surprised, then, to find how much I enjoyed this book, especially compared to how disappointed I’ve been with some of his more celebrated works. Continue reading Stardust Review–A Neil Gaiman Fairytale
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett is quite an interesting twist on the genre of devil and demon literature. Collaboratively written by two of the biggest names in fantasy, Good Omens is a humorous tale of the apocalypse starring an angel, a demon, a witch, a witchhunter, and the Antichrist. It’s been on my to-read list for quite a while, as I’ve long been a huge fan of Gaiman and have been meaning to read something by Pratchett. Once again, finding the audiobook in my library helped me to knock this one off my list.
An amazing series is back from the dead—and full of new, vibrant life! You may have noticed by now that I love Leanna Renee Hieber’s gaslamp fantasy novels. I have previously read and reviewed Darker Still and The Eterna Files, the first books in her Magic Most Foul series and Eterna Files series, respectively. My obvious next move was to go back and read her first published series, the Strangely Beautiful saga. The only problem: it’s been out of print since the publisher went out of business several years ago. But we have good news! Leanna is re-releasing the series with her new publisher, Tor! Strangely Beautiful—the updated “author’s preferred edition” of the first two books of the series—comes out April 26th.
Preorder the book now, or pick one up from your local bookstore in just over a week. If you’re in the New York City area, you can also come hang out with me and Leanna for a Strangely Beautiful event at the historic and haunted Morris-Jumel Mansion on Saturday, April 30! Grab a book, get it signed by the lovely Leanna, and stick around for refreshments, storytelling, and sartorial extravaganza. And if that’s not enough Leanna for you, check back with The Gothic Library next week—I’ll be hosting a guest post by the author herself on the varieties of feminine strength as it relates to the protagonist of her Strangely Beautiful series. Continue reading Strangely Beautiful Review—New Life for a Strangely Beautiful Book
First things first, congratulations to Ewan for winning our Eterna Files giveaway! Ewan, who has been notified by email, will be receiving a signed copy of the brand new paperback edition of The Eterna Files directly from the author herself!
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, last week I wrote a review of Leanna Renee Hieber’s latest gaslamp fantasy novel The Eterna Files. In brief, The Eterna Files chronicles the efforts of two secret teams established by their respective governments on either side of the Atlantic and tasked with finding answers in the quest for immortality. As always after finishing a good book, I am currently in a state of mourning over no longer being able to live in this fantastical world, especially in this case a world so full of exciting international drama and paranormal intrigue. Luckily for me (and any of you that decide to read this dark Victorian masterpiece), the second book in the series, Eterna and Omega, is coming out in August!
Until then, author Leanna Renee Hieber has graciously decided to help us get through these six long months by answering some questions on behalf of her characters. I asked her a question directed at Clara Templeton—one of the main characters of The Eterna Files and the one inadvertently responsible for sparking the American government’s interest in immortality. Clara is more sensitive to aspects of the paranormal than most people are, particularly to ghosts and apparitions—though it was another power of hers that intrigued me throughout the book: Clara can remember details from her past lives. Continue reading Eterna Files Character Questions and Giveaway Winner
Yup, you read that right. The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber is a Victorian paranormal spy drama—and so much more! This book has been sitting at the top of my to-read list for a while, and I’ve mentioned several times how excited I was to read it. Leanna Renee Hieber is one of my absolute favorite authors, largely because her aesthetic tends to line up perfectly with my particular brand of gothic tastes. Well-researched gaslamp fantasy with dark paranormal elements and nuanced feminist characters who kick ass in their fashionable Victorian finery? Count me in! Darker Still, one of Leanna’s previous books, was one of the first books I reviewed on this blog and it still holds the title of my favorite. But The Eterna Files did not fail to live up to my high expectations. Be sure to read through to the end to find out how you can enter to win a signed copy of The Eterna Files for yourself! Also, make sure you tune in next week to see Leanna answer some of my burning questions on behalf of her characters. Continue reading Eterna Files Review and Giveaway—Victorian Paranormal Spy Drama
Prophetic ghosts, kings from Celtic mythology, and our favorite gothic birds…what more could you want in a paranormal romance? Oh, I know, how about the threat of death should any romance actually occur. These elements and more are what made The Raven Boys, the first book in Maggie Stiefvater’s latest young adult series, The Raven Cycle, my favorite book of 2015!
Blue Sargent has been raised by a family of psychics who have been warning her for as long as she can remember that when she kisses her true love, he will die. This prediction has turned Blue quite off the idea of romance, and she is content to never kiss anyone. But then Blue, not generally prone to psychic powers herself, sees a vision of a beautiful boy dying. He is wearing the raven-emblazoned uniform of the local pretentious prep school, and he says his name is Gansey. Could he be Blue’s true love? Continue reading My Favorite Book of 2015: The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
Witches, vampires, and demons, oh my! I can never resist a good paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I’ve been seeing this Deborah Harkness series absolutely everywhere, and though I had no idea what it was about, I decided I needed to buy the first book just based on the number of times I’ve seen its intriguing cover. And now that I’ve read A Discovery of Witches, I can tell you it does not disappoint. It’s got everything—a variety of supernatural creatures, a centuries old mystery, secret organizations, magic, time travel, romance… On that note, the love story here is rather Twilight-esque, so if human women swooning over hot vampires is not your thing, this book might not be for you. But A Discovery of Witches stands quite apart from your average teen vampire romance—mainly because, well, it’s not about teens. Continue reading A Discovery of Witches Review–Paranormal Romance Beyond High School
Zombies. In some ways they are my least favorite among the multitude of supernatural creatures—they don’t tend to have terribly interesting personalities, and the new trend of zombie romance is just far more disturbing than the classic vampire love stories. Nonetheless, zombies can be very interesting in what they represent. While vampires embody our complicated yearning for immortality and power, zombies represent our fear of death at a downright primitive level—the finality of death and decay, the simple meaninglessness of it, the shift from human to inhuman, and the loss of the self. Meanwhile the survivors of zombie pandemics fight for meaning, and humanity, and for living one more day. My latest read captures this struggle on an epic global scale: World War Z by Max Brooks. Continue reading World War Z–An Epic Zombie Tale
I’m finally really getting started on my BEA haul, which I first wrote about back in June. One of the books that I was most excited to read was Netherworld by Bram Stoker Award-winning author, Lisa Morton. This little 282-page novel promised to be one of the quickest reads in my pile and a fun little romp through Victorian demon slaying. Netherworld tells the story of Lady Diana Furnaval, whose world changed forever when she married her beloved William. Her late husband had been the guardian of a portal to another world, and he taught her all about the gruesome and dangerous creatures that sometimes cross over. But then William fell victim to some of those creatures, himself. Now it is Diana’s job to take over the family business, find out what happened to her husband, and try to stop the forces of evil. Continue reading Netherworld Review–A Victorian Demon-Slaying Romp
So, as you may have seen me mention on twitter, I attended the Brooklyn Book Festival last weekend. It was my first time attending this event, and even though I went all by myself, I had a ton of fun! Not only did I pick up a bunch of new books to add to my immense to-read list, I also got to meet some really cool people—like the representatives of the delightfully goth-y publishing house StarWarp Concepts.
Steven A. Roman, publisher and writer at SWC, directed me to his new dark urban fantasy series, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback. Are you a fan of vampires, werewolves, demons, goblins and other creepy creatures? Do you like reading about teenage goth girls kicking some monster butt? If this description intrigues you, but you’re still not sure you want to commit yourself to a new series—not to worry! You can check out a sneak peak of Pandora’s story and see how you like it. Just head on over to www.pandorazwieback.com and click the link on the sidebar to download a free introductory comic! Continue reading Sneak Peek at The Saga of Pandora Zwieback