Sunday, February 10, 2013
Just as the title suggests, Adam Strand experiences death. He kills himself repeatedly, but he’s back to the life of the living, mysteriously intact, every time. His parents send him to a therapist. There are some colorful characters in the way of friends and a “transcendentalist” teacher, but Adam himself is lackluster. I didn’t connect to him in any way.
Concerning his suicides, it seemed like they were listed in between scenes. He kills himself, then again…oh, and again. I didn’t care for the repetition. I believe I would have liked this more if the story had revolved around a few suicide attempts. Still, I would read Galloway in the future. Despite certain areas of characterization and plot that I didn’t enjoy, his writing style is compelling and I even added another one of his books to my wish list. I received the galley from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
King Boric has been killed by a traitor, but at least he can look forward to the afterlife, Avandoor. When an Eytrith, a beautiful woman atop a creature, tries to take him there he’s unable to go with her. His soul’s hand is stuck to his bodily hand, the two joined together by an enchanted sword. His soul snaps back into his body and he’s a wraith, the walking dead. Boric must find the person who gave him the sword. He travels across the six kingdoms of Dis, looking for this man so that the spell can be broken, and it's not an easy journey considering that his flesh is rotting. Along with a zany cast of human and non-human characters, the author reveals layers of royal and wartime intrigue. I can't recall reading any other book quite like this. This was a fun, medieval fantasy novel.
Annie leaves Detroit to move to San Francisco. She’s leaving behind a painful past to start fresh. She’s going to be a nanny to adorable Zoe, daughter of the Cohens. Zoe’s parents are wealthy and sophisticated. Walker is handsome and his younger wife, Libby, is flawless. Annie is going to live in their lovely abode while she takes college classes.
But things quickly take a turn for the worst. First off, Annie is haunted by what happened in Detroit; she believes she’s at fault for her little sister’s death, and here she is taking care of Zoe. Annie loves working for Libby, but their relationship becomes strained after Annie accidentally knocks down a box of files in the garage; she read things about Walker and Libby’s past that she shouldn’t have.
Life becomes odder and odder for Annie. She imagines things, or does she? Libby removes Annie’s bedroom door so it can be fixed, causing her to sleep fitfully. Libby calls her “Annie,” but all she can hear is “Nannie.” Boundaries are blurred, with Libby acting like a friend and other times like a tyrant. Annie starts going out with Owen, the gorgeous boy next door, and Libby becomes pushy about how Annie should handle the romance. Annie isn’t sure if Libby is doing things for her own good. Libby must be looking after her, because Annie is going crazy when the past continues to resurface and she sees things that aren’t there.
This is an interesting novel dealing with mental illness. There was plenty of tension and suspense that kept me riveted until I finished the novel. Throughout I felt ill about Libby, but then really wondered whether Annie was losing her mind or not. I understand why Annie was vulnerable, thanks to her past and how she was manipulated in the present, but towards the end I wished she had been stronger. Owen was too much of a savior. I received the galley from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
I devoured this in one sitting, laughing the entire time. The church signs and accompanying commentaries and essays are hilarious. It was pure joy reading this.