Monday, 3 September 2012

RIP VII - the scary fun begins!!

   Oh, it's my favourite time of the year!  Autumn, glorious leaves and colours, the tinge of sadness and decay in the air as the growing year ends, the smell of wood fires, the last of the fall flowers......Thanksgiving Turkey and pumpkin pie.....and the best of all, Hallowe'en. I can't think of a better way to slip into autumn and the ending of the year than by participating in Carl's RIP 7 challenge.  Readers Imbibing Peril. As Carl explains it on his site (go here to sign up):

The purpose of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII is to enjoy books and movies/television that could be classified (by you) as:
Dark Fantasy.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

There are two simple goals for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII
1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.

  R.I.P. VII officially runs from September 1st through October 31st. But lets go ahead and break the rules. Lets start today!!!

I'm glad he wrote the above, because I did!  I have already read two short stories and two books for this challenge!

Before anyone says how, I confess I am still on my holidays  - which end today, with Labour Day Monday.  Tomorrow I am back at work.  Summer is over, and although the calendar year says there are still two weeks left before the equinox and the seasonal change, I know in my heart that autumn is here.  So I celebrated by reading as soon as Carl put his post up, Wildwood Road by Christopher Golden, Find Me by Carol O'Connell, and two short stories from The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories.            
I am doing Peril the First, which is reading 4 books in any of the categories above.  I will also be participating in Peril the Short Story, and Peril the Screen. 

So, for the first time ever, I'm starting with two book reviews: 
 Wildwood Road - Christopher Golden
   - a ghost story.  It has some very creepy moments, some chills, and is very sad, too.  Here is the Amazon book description:
 Michael and Jillian Dansky seemed to have it all–a happy marriage, two successful careers, a bright future. But late one October evening, all that changed. Driving home from a Halloween masquerade, Michael momentarily nods off behind the wheel–and wakes to find nothing is the same.

Standing by his car is the little girl he came within a breath of running down. She leads Michael to her “home,” an empty house haunted by whispers, and sends him away with a haunting whisper of her own: “
come find me.” But in the weeks to follow, it’s clear that someone–or some thing–doesn’t want Michael to find her: ominous figures in grey coats with misshapen faces are following him everywhere. And then Jillian wakes one morning replaced by a cold, cruel, vindictive woman Michael hardly recognizes as his wife. Michael must now search not only for the lost girl, but for a way to find the Jillian he's always loved, and to do so he must return to where the nightmare began. Down an isolated lane where he’ll find them, or die trying.

It was very well written, and contains an idea about ghosts and essences that I found intriguing.  A very good ghost story. 4/5

Find Me - Carol O'Connell.  A Kathy Mallory mystery, and one of the best.  At it's heart, a serial killer has been working old Route 66, killing children and burying their bodies over a large span of time, along the roadside.  Due to the nature of city and state police forces, no one is alerted for many years that these cases are related.  Not until Mallory starts to ride down the old route 66 because she has discovered that her father drove this very route when he was young.  He was before now almost a mystery to her, and when she obtains a series of letters that he wrote, she decides to follow his route to try to learn more about him.  As she starts out, a grisly discovery is made: a body of a man is discovered at the start of route 66 in Chicago, only he has one hand chopped off, and the bones of a small child's hand point up the road, the same route Mallory is taking.  The killer wants his victims found, so that he will be known for how many he killed.  Along the way, there is a caravan of parents who are being guided by a online psychiatrist, all of whom are parents of missing or dead children.  And the killer starts to pick off parents, one by one.....
This was a fabulous, gritty mystery, filled with police force/state/FBI politics, Kathy discovering more about her father, and Riker and Charles Butler, her partner and her friend respectively, chasing her as they think she is falling apart.  How the New York police intervene and figure what is going on is nothing short of brilliant.  How Kathy discovers that all is not lost for her, is a grand moment in this series, for up until now, she has been alone except for her foster parents, who gave her a home, loyalty and love when she needed it most as a child.  This is one of my favourite mystery series, not the least of which no one is perfect - all the characters are slowly being changed by their proximity to Mallory, who is brilliant if amoral as a detective.  The hardest part is the number of children who have been killed, and how the killer finds them, and the way the FBI have treated the parents in this novel - or rather, one officer in particular.   A gripping mystery, one of the best. 5/5

I will review the short stories another time, this post is long already!

 Now to the best part:
my pool of books (and this is by no means final, if I find something  catching my eye):

Beyond Black - Hilary Mantel (currently reading)
Underground - Kat Richardson (book 3 in the series)
Deadline - Mira Grant  (book 2 in the trilogy)
The Silent Land - Graham Joyce
Raising Stony Mayhall - Daryl Gregory
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
Hell Train - Christopher Fowler
Wolf - Gillian Cross
Graveminder - Melissa Marr
The Vampire Tapestry - Suzy Mckee Charnas
Alice Hearts Welsh Zombies - Victoria Dunn (local Ottawa author)
The Hypnotist - Lars Kepler
Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - Alan Garner *thanks to Geranium Cat over at Geranium Cat's Musings for putting this on her list!
The Moon of Gomrath - Alan Garner **and the final sequel Boneland if it comes out here
Stephen King: either The Shining, or 11//22/63
The Hallowe'en Tree - Ray Bradbury

and assorted short stories in various collections:
Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories  - ed Michael Cox and R.A Gilbert
Hallowe'en  - ed Paula Guran
The Best Horror of the Year, Vol 1 - ed Ellen Datlow
The Dark - ed Ellen Datlow
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010 - ed Paula Guran
Haunts: Reliquaries of the Dead - ed Stephen Jones
Ghosts by Gaslight - ed Jack Dann and Nick Gevers

 Yaaaay!  I love this challenge reading experience.  I wonder if I can fit some poetry in there too?

Now to come see your lists and see what you are reading, my dear blogging friends.


Cath said...

Let's see, I've read the 2 Alan Garners and also The Vampire Tapestry - all good. Is Hell Train one of the Bryant and May series? I have the first three of those on my tbr pile... I might read the first for RIP.

And I just bought Ghosts by Gaslight... it literally arrived today! How odd is that?

I think The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories is the definite ghost anthology for me. Although the Virago books are also good, and so is The Ghost Now Standing on Platform One. Hard to choose. :-)

Great list, Susan. I just finished the Terry Pratchett I was reading, the family have all gone home, so I'm now free to start my RIP reading. Can't wait.

Susan said...

Cath: Hell Train is a stand along horror novel, along the lines if Hammer films filmed a horror train ride! lol it looks great fun.

It is odd that Ghosts by Gaslight just arrived for you! Should we read a couple of stories together for the challenge? we have the Morville Hours to finish, too :-)

ooh, haven't heard of The Ghost Now Standing on Platform One!

Enjoy your RIP reading, Cath! I'll email you this week :-)

Susan said...

stand-alone, not 'stand-along'. lol

Cath said...

Yes, I took a look at Hell Train and saw it was not a B&M book. It looks interesting I must say!

Yep, I would be up for reading a couple of stories together for the challenge. I'll take a closer look at it soon and see what's actually in it.

This is The Ghost Now Standing on Platforn One:

It's obviously all railway based ghost stories - I love it although this is not what my copy looks like. As well as fictional short stories it also includes 'real life' reports of hauntings which I *love*. For some reason I really like railway based ghost stories.

Look forward to hearing from you... I must admit I've not touched The Morville Hours in weeks but now autumn is almost here I'll probably feel like returning to it.

Chris said...

Oh wow!! Wildwood Road sounds SO good!! Totally going on my wishlist. And you MUST read Let The Right One In and The Halloween Tree!!!! They're two of my favs :)

Stefanie said...

Wow! you are off to a roaring start! I read I am Legend and enjoyed it and Vampire Tapestry is also pretty good. I didn't find either of them especially scary, but still fun reads for sure.

Debi said...

Oh my goodness, it seems like everyone's off to a rip-roaring start but me. LOL

I've never heard of Carol O'Connell or this series before, but OMG--I want to read Find Me so badly after reading your review!!! But tell me, should I read all the ones that came before it in the series first, or will I be okay just jumping in with this one?

Anyway, Susan, I so hope you have continued success with all your RIP reads! :D

Carl V. said...

Awesome that you are already racing out of the gate! LOL! I too got an early start. Autumn started in my heart at the start of August when we got some unseasonably cool weather and I started out with a Jim Butcher novel to be followed by an obsession with Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series, and obsession that is ongoing. My entire month of August was R.I.P. reading. :)

Lovely to have you in again and am thrilled that you are sharing the same excitement level I am. Great pool, hope whatever you choose is wonderfully creepy.

Susan said...

Cath: the railway book looks fun, and I like real life haunting stories as well as fiction ones, so I'll see if I can get it. Thanks! we are so bad for each other! lol

We ended up shopping tonight for schools supplies for the kids, so I'll email tomorrow, much too tired now. Yes to reading some stories together and finishing MOrville Hours together! We're Tauruses, we'll get it done this year sooner or later! lol

Chris: I know, when I do my post up for Hallowe'en Tree (when I read it) you are totally getting bad blogger points, since it was your glowing review that put it on my radar! LOL I really like the movie of Let the Right One In, so not sure why I haven't read the book yet. Fingers crossed this is the year for me :-)

I'm so glad you like the sound of Wildwood Road :-D

Stefanie: thanks, it's so much fun to be reading for this challenge! I have seen I am Legend (all the versions) and I always find it creepy - that sense of being all alone, and things moving at the edge of your eyesight *shiver* and I am hoping the book will have the same effect on me :-) Even if they aren't super scary, as you say, they are fun reads :-)

Debi: oh, don't worry, just please join the challenge! I have a particular liking for horror, so it's easy for me to find things for it. Find Me can be read by itself, I think, it has enough back history in it that it fills in what you need to know. I'm so thrilled you want to try it! yaay! then of course, you can go back to read them all, because they are all very good... :-D

Susan said...

Carl: Thanks so much for hosting it! I love that all of August you read RIP too! lol I have to read more Jim Butcher, I have the 2nd book on my shelf. I'm at Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny - I may yet read it for RIP! I'm delighted you are enjoying her so much, that is such a thrill that a Canadian author is writing books that are thrilling readers everywhere. Thanks, Carl :-) I really love this series too.

Carl V. said...

Book 2, Fool Moon, is the Butcher I just read. Wow was it intense, especially the second half. A real page-turner.

Bury Your Dead was truly the best Gamache novel I've read yet. I love how she manages to do something new with each novel while retaining all the things you love about the series. This one had a nice historical story line in it. Do read it soon, it is a good one.

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Sounds like you're off to a great start :D And yay for The Halloween Tree! Bradbury is just perfect for RIP. I read Wolf by Gillian Cross a few years back and I thought it was interesting, although it DID have a very clear late 80's/early 90's feel to it. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it's funny how YA from that time period just feels different.

Geranium Cat said...

LOL, I'm guilty of adding to your list again - I'm so bad!

I am reading Boneland really slowly because I like it very much and don't want it to end.

Susan said...

Carl: Bury Your Dead sounds really good if you enjoyed it the most, so far! I will get to it soon, then :-) I agree, she does manage to do something new with each book she does, which makes for a new experience and lots of anticipation for each one she writes, doesn't it?

Ana: you do realize that it's you who brought Wolf to my attention, right? lol with your review all those years ago! You are right, YA has a different feel from the 80's and 90's....I quite like it though, so I'm looking forward to Wolf. The Hallowe'en Tree looks good, too.

Geranium Cat: LOL! We are all so bad for each other! I quite like too how we get each other to read books we otherwise wouldn't have have heard of! :-D

I tried to find Boneland here, it's not out yet. I might try to get it through The Book Depository (my desperate last resort for books). I'm glad you are enjoying it so much, too.

Nan said...

I am interested in the O'Connell series. I've put the first two in my library book bag. Thanks.

Susan said...

Nan: Oh, I'm so delighted! They are so very good. I hope you enjoy them.

Gavin said...

Great list, Susan, and thanks for the reviews. Someone mentioned O'Connel to me a while ago and now I must add the series to my TBR list. I also want to get a hold of the Garner books. R.I.P. tends to add losts of titles to my want to read pile!

Susan said...

Gavin: I know! RIP lists from people always add to my own. I think for me that's part of the fun, finding new books to read from other blogging friends.

I've just started the Garner book, but I have it hard cover so I can only read it at home. I might try to find it in softcover tomorrow at a second-hand store :-)

Oooh I hope you, like Nan, enjoy the O'Connell series! I'm so glad my reviews are encouraging you to try her :-)

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