Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Quick Reviews | Every Dead Thing and Gwendy's Button Box

Every Dead Thing is the first book in the Charlie Parker series by John Connolly.

Every Dead Thing (Charlie Parker #1) by John Connolly

When former New York City detective Charlie Parker is pulled into the search for a missing woman, he finds insight into the murderer responsible for the slayings of his own wife and daughter -- a monster/artist/serial killer who uses the human body as his canvas and takes faces as his prize.

Aided by a beautiful young psychologist and two career killers, Parker becomes the bait in a trap set in the Louisiana bayous and faces a brutal confrontation with the killer known only as the Traveling Man.
Charlie Parker. Every time I come across the Charlie Parker series, I see nothing but high praise for it.

My first introduction to John Connolly was last year when I read his young adult novel The Gates. I was struck by his sense of humor, and I knew I needed to read more of his books.

Every Dead Thing was a great introduction to the series. I didn't find the dark humor I expected after reading The Gates, but I did find a solid thriller. The introduction of the Charlie Parker character took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting such a rough and heavy introduction. I'm taking it as a good sign that this will not be your average series.

I'm looking forward to continuing on with the next book. There are fifteen Charlie Parker books at this point so I may have a long treat in store.

7/10: Recommended Read

Review copy provided by publisher

Gwendy's Button Box is a horror novella from Stephen King and Richard Chizmar.

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told... until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: "Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me."

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat...

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!

I think I've changed as a reader. They say no two people read the same book. I truly believe that. Back before I had kids, I loved books with kids in peril. I remember the night I started reading Mary Higgins Clark's Where Are The Children? I stayed up all night reading it in one sitting. After devouring Greg Iles' 24 Hours, I passed it around to family members. I remember how mad I was at Stephen King after reading The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I couldn't wait to read the story of a little girl lost in the woods. It was going to be scary, and King was going to show her no mercy. But it wasn't, and he did, and I became one of the folks who simply wasn't a fan of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

Gwendy's Button Box reminds me a lot of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Old me probably would have hated Gwendy's Button Box, but current me really enjoyed it. I'm not somehow a better reader, but I'm probably a changed reader. I won't even go near a book with kids in peril now that I have kids of my own.

I'm really curious what other readers thought the buttons would do? I did not expect the buttons to do what the buttons turned out to do. This has me thinking - do the buttons do the same thing for each person who becomes the proprietor of the box? The man with the hat said something along the lines of "you already know what they do". If Gwendy believed the buttons made it rain, would it have rained when she pushed the button?

I've read way too many magic treehouse books so you can probably guess what my buttons would do. My buttons would be far less sinister than Gwendy's buttons, but my responsibility as a button proprietor would also pale in comparison to what Gwendy had to face.

So Gwendy's Button Box has left me pondering quite a bit which is a great thing. Stephen King is an amazing writer. This book is worth reading just for the touch King puts on everything he writes. This is possibly my first Richard Chizmar story.

I don't know what else to compare a King story to other than another King story. (Who else compares?) There was an 11/22/63 feel to Gwendy's Button Box, but it's obviously a much, much smaller tale in scope. I feel like Captain Obvious when I recommend a Stephen King book, but fans shouldn't miss out on this one.

8/10: Great Read

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | July 15

Last night I got to meet Rachel Caine at a book reading/signing. She was fascinating! I am in awe of how fast she can write. I could have listened to her stories forever.

Posted Last Week

This past week I posted my review of Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero.

Read Last Week

An Angel Fallen by Andy Graham Every Dead Thing by John Connolly

An Anger Fallen was a quick read which was just what I needed. I'm almost done reading Every Dead Thing (the first book in the Charlie Parker series).

I'm still reading (and enjoying!) Stephen King's IT. It's a nostalgic read so far. There are things I remember well, and things I don't remember at all. It has a tough beginning! Right now we are taking a look at the adult lives of the characters in IT, and it's not pretty.

Review Copies

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti Kind Nepenthe by Matthew V. Brockmeyer

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti - The Blackbird Season is getting a lot of early praise. The blurb has a definite psychological thriller feel, but it makes no promises and there's no mention of "Gone Girl" or Paula Hawkins so my expectations are mercifully grounded.

Kind Nepenthe by Matthew V. Brockmeyer - Kind Nepenthe is one of this month's horror releases. Rebecca thought she'd find a hippie paradise when she moved to the desolate back hills of Humboldt County. A place to commune with nature and teach her five-year-old daughter how to live off the land. Instead she discovered a nightmare.

Current Distractions

  • I've decided to DNF The Mist TV show after 3 episodes.
  • I did start watching The Exorcist TV show last night, though! I'm really excited about the atmosphere so far. It's rare for TV.
  • Last night I figured out I can pair my bluetooth headphones to my TV! This is going to open up a whole new world for me while the family is asleep.
  • Wimbledon! My hubs and I decided if both Federer and Nadal won on Monday, we would both take vacation Friday. DAMN YOU, MULLER! But what a match between Nadal and Muller! I'm happy Muller got the win even though I was stuck in the office working yesterday. I feel like I'm getting a time capsule this weekend!! Federer AND Venus?! I love it so much. Do not forget Roddick and Clijsters will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next week. I haven't given a hoot about women's tennis since Clijsters retired, but I'm all about that Venus match today!
  • Crochet: I'm currently making this Remembering Bruges Throw for my mom. I've been looking for a pattern with shells that wasn't all shells for a long time. I was very excited when they posted this pattern last week. It's stitching up fast.
So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Tynga's Reviews' Stacking the Shelves, and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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