Book Review: Destroy All Monsters by Jeff Jackson

Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel (Jeff Jackson, 2018) – A murder epidemic spreads across Arcadia, where musicians are the victims.

Verdict

Music has the power to connect, as it does to destroy. It is in our nature to do the same, and Destroy All Monsters puts it all on display.

5/5

Review

Arcadia is suffering an inexplicable wave of murders at concerts, and the epidemic has strangely little to do with the politics of gun violence. The horror is however real. Jeff Jackson’s prescient terror tale sees the sanctity of music getting tainted for reasons unknown.

Suddenly, rock n’ roll loses all of its meaning – joy, liberation, pure adrenaline – as it becomes nothing more than a harrowing death trap. At the centre of it are young musicians Xenie, Shaun, and Florian, whose sanctuary no longer feels safe. What else then do they have to hold onto?

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Book Review: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley (Hannah Tinti, 2017) – After years spent on the run, Hawley moves into his late wife’s hometown with his daughter Loo, who has begun to question the cause of her mother’s passing.

Verdict

On love and loss, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is rich with poignancy, evoked by perfect cadence and thoroughly beautiful prose.

5/5

Review

Every scar tells a story. The twelve on Sam Hawley’s body reveal his dark past, where his reckless crimes have left him trapped in a cycle of endless retribution. What is his to bear, afflicts his family just the same. A constant shadow looms over his indisputable yet tainted love for his child Loo.

In unravelling the reasons for Sam’s broken self, author Hannah Tinti adeptly weaves the complicated lives of father and daughter in The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. Tinti captivates with her beautiful prose, making astute observations of selfless familial love that is not always visible.

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Book Review: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim (Richard Kadrey, 2009) – After eleven years in Hell, James Stark plans his return to Earth for revenge and absolution.

Verdict

Ever wish Hellblazer‘s run went on a little longer? You may want to add Sandman Slim to your reading list.

4/5

Review

Beware the monster who kills monsters, be wary of Sandman Slim. After eleven years of torture in Hell, James Stark has hardened his heart for vengeance. Now, the magician is reborn out of hell fire, almost bullet-proof with a knack for snarky comebacks.

Imagine John Constantine and his flair for the dark arts. Leave his usual British quips aside, and thrown in some American colloquialisms. Make sure his cigarettes, black humour, and massive ego stay intact. There, you have yourself a picture of Stark, a familiar but worthy anti-hero ready to unleash his rage back on Earth.

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Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel, 2014) – Intertwining fates are uncovered as The Travelling Symphony roams Earth after a devastating epidemic.

Verdict

Station Eleven sifts through forgotten memories, examining what it means to be human.

5/5

Review

Of intertwining fates and post-apocalyptic longings, Station Eleven shares the elegance of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and emotional complexity of Stephen King’s The Stand. These similarities do not draw away from its brilliant originality. An elegiac storyteller, Emily St. John Mandel has painted a beautiful picture of the world as we know it, and a hopeful vision of the future.

Her large band of characters begins their journeys at different points. But they are united in that common struggle to find purpose in life that we all seek. Take Arthur Leander, who has committed his whole life to showbiz, only to find that success in fame is not the answer.

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The Candy Book Tag

I don’t do tags often, since there hasn’t been much free time of late. But this one seems fun. Besides, it’s a holiday as I am drafting this. (Confession: All my posts are scheduled and I’m not really here.)

So thank you to the lovely sisters at Twin Bookmarks for the tag! Do check out their wonderful list here. Now, let’s get going.

Apples – Ah. Healthy food. It is deep, meaningful, and probably won a lot of awards but, um, it really isn’t your thing.

Dear David Foster Wallace, you are an enigma. A genius, but a puzzle all the same. No matter how daunting a book gets, I try to finish them all. Sadly, Infinite Jest turns out a challenge that I just cannot accomplish.

It is admittedly brilliant. I have had lines highlighted and re-written, for I truly fell in love with his poetic observations. Yet my focus meandered as the story did. For a year, this book has sat at 26% on my Kindle. Someday, I intend to get back to my personal Everest.

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