Book Review

What’s worth a read and what’s not!

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, review by Nadia Farah Mokdad

The simplest way to describe Angela Carter’s collection of short stories is fairytales gone dark. She takes familiar children stories and folktales like ‘Blue Beard’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Snow White’, etc. and draws on their already bloody nature to create absorbingly dark stories.

The narrative is lush and sensual, with sexuality being one of the most explored themes in the book. The atmosphere is filled with classic gothic elements that can satisfy even the most demanding tastes: forsaken castles, dark forests, luxuriant chandeliers, sadistic counts, and countesses in scarlet heels.

Share
Read more

Killing Cupid, by Mark Edwards & Louise Voss, Review by Nuclear South

I bought Killing Cupid for my Amazon Kindle after browsing for cheap books which looked fairly interesting. The cover art caught my eye first, a scantily clad woman holding a gun with rose petals portraying blood. A second look showed me that the price of this book was only 49p, so even if the book didn’t live up to its first impressions I wouldn’t have wasted much money. Better a book than a chocolate bar anyway!

Share
Read more

Smack, by Melvin Burgess, reviewed by Kinberly Warner-Cohen

Wasn’t quite sure about Melvin Burgess’ Smack when I first picked it up. Just seemed like another book about another set of junkies. What I wasn’t prepared for was the raw honesty of the story, combined with the ease in which I got caught up in the narrative.

Share
Read more

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, Reviewed by Stacey Panton

Heart-Shaped Box, Joe Hill’s follow-up to his limited-release first novel 20th Century Ghosts, is an adrenaline-rush of heart-pounding moments, combining the macarbe with the everyday. The result is a terrifyingly believable experience that will latch on to your mind and refuse to budge, even if the book is stored in the freezer…

Share
Read more

the Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, reviewed by Kimberly Warner-Cohen

The Screwtape Letters is one of those books that I’ve been told too many times to read, always from those whose tastes are much more conservative than mine, which is why I avoided it. Or it could’ve been because Lewis was heavily religious and I was worried that his point of view would be shoved down the reader’s throat.

Share
Read more

Vurt, by Jeff Noon, Reviewed by Kimberly Warner-Cohen

I wasn’t too interested in reading Vurt when it was first recommended to me. Sci-fi is one of few genres that I avoid (few novels in that category have held my attention), but since it got such rave reviews, decided to give it a chance. Took the book out of the envelope, and the clashing neon colored cover made me sigh, rolled my eyes at the blurb on the back that it was a “Clockwork Orange for the ’90s”. Twenty pages in, though, I was hooked.

It’s a rabbit hole without the rabbit but plenty of “drink me’s”, in the forms of feathers. Set in a futuristic Manchester, the story is narrated by Scribble, who is searching for the elusive English Voodoo as a way to retrieve his sister (and lover), Desdemona, who is stuck in a bad Vurt. He runs with the Stash Riders, who both help and hinder him, as he makes his way through Bottle Town, harboring an illegal extraterrestrial that he needs to exchange to get Desdemona back; and maybe listening to the Game Cat along the way, who knows all and dispenses advice when it sees fit. The rhythm of Noon’s words feels like being in a rave, vibrancy of some scenes coming at the reader like glowstick-induced hallucinations on a dancefloor.

I don’t agree with the book jacket’s assessment of Noon’s first novel, but not everything published has to be the Next Great Thing. It’s a fun romp, and a must buy for fans of Gibson or Philip K. Dick. Easy to digest and with its quick pace, even I couldn’t put it down.

Share
Copyright © The Independent Voice 2018