Tag Archives: #Ghosts

Ward, Matthew: Queen of Eventide (Eventide I) (2015)

Queen of Eventide by Matthew Ward

Queen of Eventide kept me up until I had finished it. It was weird, fun and tense (sometimes all at once). Now that playtime is over, it is time for my review.

Maddie twisted around, wiping blood out of her eyes. She saw only mist, glowing and swirling in the moonlight, but this did nothing to stem her rising panic.

Maddie has reason to panic. She is being chased by several parties and does not know who is for her or who is against her. Keeping knowledge from me, the reader, is a great tool for an author. Mr. Ward wields it well although I do catch on to some things before he reveals them to me.

Nottingham supposedly flourishes with ghosts. Certain signs and portents must be present for some of them to show. In Queen of Eventide, some of these ghosts come from a place called Eventide, and they are of a particularly creepy/frightening nature. All of a sudden a person might find themselves being chased by a huntsman and his wolves. Maddie finds herself being chased several times and for reasons she does not understand. Each time William seems to appear to save her. Or is he really there to save her? Allegiances are an iffy matter in Queen of Eventide.

My favorite character was Charles King. Partly, that has to do with the sense of humor he brings to the story. When Maddie first meets him, he introduces himself as a fortune teller. Maddie tells him she thought fortune tellers were old women and Charles answers:

“Ah, there you have me,” Charles replied. “I am not, in fact, and old woman.” Maddie shot him a long-suffering look, and he pressed hurriedly on. “I do, however, possess a knack for peeking into the future.” He leaned forward, conspiratorially. “I inherited it from my grandmother – who was, you’ll be pleased to know, an old woman.”

Hollows are the strangest and possibly most disturbing creatures of the story. They aren’t creepy because of what they do, but due to what they are. We are talking bizarre. And that is all I can say about them without serious spoilers gotting in the way.

As an Asperger, metaphors can be a challenge. Mr. Ward excels in his use of them. Thankfully most of them are familiar ones. Some of them I use myself. The ones who aren’t add to the humor and fantastical aspect of the story.

Queen of Eventide was well worth the read – as my staying up well into the night is evidence of.

Definitely recommended.


Reviews:


Queen of Eventide is available at Smashwords.com


A copy of the story was given to me by the author


Eventide: [Middle English, from Old English ǣfentīd : ǣfen, evening + tīd, time; see dā- in Indo-European roots.] = aftentid/kveldstid in Norwegian

Marlowe, Scott: Killing the Dead (A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name II) (2010)

Killing the Dead - Scott Marlowe

So, how does an assassin go about killing a ghost? Scott Marlowe has certainly thrown his assassin a seemingly impossible job. Getting rid of a necromancer, who was supposed to be dead, is a task fraught with danger for our unnamed hero.

Killing the Dead is an action story with a happy feeling to it. Yes, there is fighting and death and necromancy, but Killing the Dead stays far away from being a dark fantasy. Definitely recommended.


Reviews:


Killing the Dead available at Scott Marlowe’s website

Miles, T.A.: Raventide (2013)

Raventide - TA Miles

Antiques appraiser and investigator Drayden Torvannes is 33 years old. His great love in life is the study of history. To live out his love Drayden checks out heirlooms and family documents for the wealthy and gives his customers an opinion on the value of what he has been asked to investigate.

Drayden considered survival in his profession to be tantamount to walking a thin line stretched high above the winding lengths of the canals; holding one’s balance and knowing when to risk a leap onto a balcony or rooftop was essential in staying clear of the turbid, and sometimes poisonous waters.

Dealing with the powerful works the same way in the real world. In the world of Drayden Torvannes we also enjoy a bit of the super-natural in the form of angels and demons along with the strange phenomena that sometimes occur when they and humans interact.

People in Raventide embrace many well-known traditions of our regular world. Good and evil, we and them, save the world, and protect the innocent are all parts of TA Miles story about Drayden Torvannes and his adventures.

Cults are confusing yet understandable belief systems for me. I grew up in a faith that many consider a cult. Yet Mormons are innocents when compared with the cults we meet in Raventide. Our Raventide cults are more in line with IS or KKK. In other words, pretty intense people who are willing to do absolutely anything for their cause.

A great many of the citizens of the town of Raventide and the Fannael family suffer from cultism. The story of Raventide is about unveiling the truth of horrors past and present and the role of various people in these deeds. Poor Drayden is going to get his fill of betrayal by the end of the story. Betrayal is, thankfully, not his only lot in life. Unexpected friendships and loyalty comes to him as well.

I loved Raventide. For me the pace worked T.A. Miles’ writing was excellent and engaging. Meeting authors like this is always a relief. Writing isn’t an exact science. There are some qualities that especially appeal to my brain and TA Miles managed to fill those demands.


Reviews:


Raventide available on Raventidebooks.com


Lester, Robert W.: What is a cult?

Ryan, Lea: What the Dead Fear (2011)

Cover art by Lea Ryan
Cover art by Lea Ryan

What the Dead Fear is a lovely novella about acceptance and compassion.

My reasons for choosing a story varies. In the case of What the Dead Fear  it was the title that drew me. I found I had to know what the dead do fear. Well, they fear Gareth. But more than Gareth they fear

for the fates of the living, despite their witness to the hereafter. They fear retribution, but perhaps even more, they fear helplessness and insignificance.

Helplessness is an interesting sensation. Two of the characters (Juniper and Nikki) from the story suffer through acknowledging the need for different strategies. Acceptance is such a difficult choice but usually it is the only way to change. At least it is for me, and Ms. Ryan’s characters all either fight their way through it or remain stuck as they are.

I like the way the story plays out in Limbo and in the land of the living. What the Dead Fear is a ghost story riddled with strange creatures and plenty of action and humor. Definitely recommended.


Review:


What the Dead Fear on Barnes and Noble Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, It’s also available in audio HERE.

Stewart, Sean: Nobody’s Son (1993)

 

Nobody's Son - Sean Stewart

In looking for a beginning to the story of Shielder’s Mark, one point could be the abandonment by Mark’s father when Mark was four years old. We never discover his father’s story but Mark carries the wounds from that abandonment until almost the very end of the story. Part of his coming of age / growing up entails coming to terms with the scarring from that long-ago day and the years after.

Another beginning could be with the other father/son story of the novel, one the lies one thousand years into the past of Mark’s present. This father/son tale is much, much darker than the one of Mark and his father. With its revelation to Mark and the reader comes an understanding of the magic of the land and how Old men and ghosts play a part in it.

Nobody’s Son is a painful and riveting tale. When I look around I see so many people who have sought approval of the previous generation yet never received it. Having two sons myself I worry that they will feel that they do not measure up to whatever they might perceive our expectations of them to be. Both parents and children go through growing up processes that entail letting go of things, people and pasts. Growing up hurts. At least that is my experience and it is one that never ends.

Gail is the prize Mark has chosen as his reward and what a reward. Both soon learn that the other is a person in their own right and not just some imagined object that will fill an empty spot in their own lives. The development of their relationship shows clearly the sacrifices women of the nobility had to make compared with the sacrifices of the men. Watching Gail come to realise the necessity of her sacrifice and her willingness to make that sacrifice hurt. We demand too much of our daughters and not enough of our sons.

Even after my third or fourth reading of Nobody’s Son, I am still left with a with sense of having read something wonderful.

Happily you can borrow this at the link below as an ebook.


Reviews:


Nobody’s Son on Open Library


1993 Aurora Award, Best Canadian Science Fiction or Fantasy novel published in English

1993 Canadian Library Association Award, Best Young Adult Novel of the Year

Lee, Yeongdo: Over the Horizon (오버 더 호라이즌) (2004)

Over the Horizon

Yeongdo Lee (李英道 / 이영도) is a new discovery for me. Considering how poor my Korean reading abilities are, that is no wonder. Again, it was the cover that drew me in.

Over the Horizon is the first novella in a three-story collection. It was released on Kindle for free and boy am I glad I downloaded it. While Amazon shows this short story to be 92 pages long, those pages include a whole lot of intro information at the end about Yeongdo Lee and his other work.

I love the cover. It is a perfect introduction to our story and true to both the spirit and the letter of the novella.

Tyr Strike, our main character, happens to be a human with an orc for a boss. He is the assistant sheriff who does not want to go out into the snow to visit Professor Mataphi at Thuja Hall. Professor Mataphi is acting decidedly out of character and the sheriff wants to know what is troubling him.

What Tyr Strike ends up having to deal with is the rescue of the soul of a violin from the thief Horizon.

In a sense it is almost as if Over the Horizon is a ghost story in the way it is presented. But it isn’t. Not really. But it is eerie and thought-provoking. Most of the thought-provocation comes from me being a Viking caught in the grip of the faery world presented in a Korean manner (translated into English).

Highly recommended by me.


Jacks, Jon: Wyrd Girl (2013)

Wyrd Girl

Jon Jacks has written his story in first person and it took a couple of pages for me to settle into this uncommon style of writing. Wyrd Girl is written in British English.

Ghosts, ghasts, the nyxt, after-life, the under-world, possessed. Being able to see and communicate with the other-world has never been usual practice in the world. Not even the world of Twice Hadday. Zoofelt, Dunnstedt & Ernst Advertising are the go to people in the area of life/death.

Twice/Tracey/Trace came into contact with ZDEA after she and her boyfriend, Chris, had witnessed the death of one of their couriers. Or was that really how Twice came into contact with them. As the story unfolds we discover that Twice’s world is seldom as clear-cut as we might at first think.

There’s something more powerful, more frightening, than all these things.

Something that could tear every connection apart with an angry squint of an eye.

We only get to know people through Twice’s point of view and are therefore limited in our knowledge by what she focuses on.

Wyrd Girl is clearly meant for young adults (or new adults as Jon Jacks calls them). Mr. Jack’s writing is highly accessible and strange and interesting. I believe I have become a fan.


Reviews: