It’s been a month! Let me tell ya! So … As I’m taking November off… I’m going to post some quick reviews of books I’ve been able to read in the past little while!
Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo: Wow! I mean, of course I was going to buy this book when I read it was a queer, southern, gothic, paranormal story! How could I not? The thing is that this book is fantastic. I loved the pacing, the writing was beautiful and the main character was perfectly imperfect.
It’s cliché, but this was haunting. You won’t forget this story or the characters in it! it’s pretty much my idea book. I love dark and brooding, mysterious and creepy!
Alec by William di Canzio: If you’ve read Maurice by E.M. Forster then you’re going to want to read this. The author has taken the character of Alec (the gamekeeper) who appears in Maurice and fleshed out his story. This novel is remarkable. It’s flawless in the way that it fits with the original novel written so long ago.
Well written, character driven. Beautiful. Visceral descriptions of the war. Although you will get a more full experience if you have read Maurice, I think that this could be read as a stand lone.
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman:I really enjoyed this book. In particular, I liked the world building surrounding the magic and the tournament. I was definitely engaged with all the characters and was quite disappointed to see the ending was one big clliffhanger. There were a few times when I got a little lost because of the amount of characters… but I had my faves. Alistair Lowe was certainly one of the most interesting… his relationship with his brother was one of the best things about the book.
I will definitely read the sequel! This is quite a violent book, certainly gory and has a lot of death! So keep that in mind when recommending it.
Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat: I picked this up because it was on sale at my local bookstore. I was willing to have another go at Pacat’s books. I am not a fan of the Captive Prince series as it’s basically slave-porn and that’s not my thing.
Sadly, I haven’t really been able to get into this book. If you haven’t read the Lord of the Rings, then you will probably enjoy this. But, I felt that there were some similarities to LOTR in the first quarter of the book that were a bit cringy. That being said, it’s well written and the story may appeal to people less familiar with the theme of the book.
Boy Underground by Catherine Ryan Hyde:This was a really lovely story. It’s about friendship, race, intolerance, love and so much more. I really loved the friendship between the four young men. It was touching the way that they grew to support one another. They all had things they were hiding… or not open about but they welcomed each other.
Steven, the main character, was quite remarkable. I liked the way he thought and really appreciated the way that he stood up for his friends despite overwhelming push back from his family. He’s strong and determined and loyal.
The author has written with care and attention about the Japanese internment during the war. It is written from the perspective of a young white man, but he’s always clear about the things he doesn’t understand or feels he should have thought of. It was like actually being in the mind of a young person who was struggling with living in two worlds.
I would gladly recommend this book to anyone. Well-written, well thought out, authentic and important.
Thanks very much for reading my work and for the kind words about ALEC.
One friendly emendation, though: Alec Scudder is a gamekeeper in Forster’s novel, not ‘groundskeeper,’ as you write here. Autocorrect strikes again? Anyway, the same flub appears in the NYTimes Book Review.
Also, I recommend Alexander Chee’s incisive essay in The New Republic, “The Afterlives of EM Forster.”
I can’t even blame autocorrect. For some reason I have always thought Alec was a groundskeeper. HAHAHA. Wow. Clearly my commitment to that was stronger than my reading comprehension. Thanks so much for writing this book… it was truly wonderful