Announcement

I ask you all to pardon the changes made to the site.  I’m trying out some new themes…and until I can scrounge for the upgrade to customize this thing more, it won’t be up to the best it can be for right now.  You’ll still be able to access everything so…please just stay with us for a bit.  I’m trying to keep things organized for you kids so you don’t have to scroll through every post.  We’ll see how that works.  Alrighty. Enjoy!

In Which I Discuss Halloween-Like Things

Ahhh Halloween.  Long has it been my favorite holiday.  There’s something about the sudden leap in creepy, freaky and scary things that just gets my blood going.  During this time of year, no one looks at you funny if you talk about serial killers, ghosts, monsters and random factoids about how the early Christians completely ruined a festival of the harvest.  This is the time of year when everyone wants to jump on the freaky band wagon.  People (most people) try to find the eeriest, most bizarre costumes.  Others like to dress up like hooker cops….This is the time of year when you can walk through bloodied halls of an abandoned mental institution being chased by actors who really just want their big break. Yes. I love everything about Halloween.  I have loved it since I was a kid.  I suspect that I always will.

Needless to say I was extremely excited when I moved to Brooklyn last month because I was gearing up for the Halloween parade.  I was going to go, have an amazing time.  In all the years that I lived in NJ, only a path ride away, I never went.  This was going to be the year!  So…naturally mother nature swings in and ruins that plan.  The Halloween parade, for the first time in its 39 year history, was canceled.  They are talking about rescheduling it but who knows. And believe me I understand.  The city is in total chaos right now. Subways are flooded and transportation in and out of the boroughs is all but impossible.  Half of the city is still without power, and a lot of neighborhoods are still flooded.  So. I get it.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about it.

So what does one do on Halloween when all normal avenues of fun and horror are closed?  One sits at home, drinking cocoa and watches scary movies. That’s what one does.  Sure, there will be a little cleaning today. Typical household chores. But I refuse to not observe Halloween in some fashion.  So, I have a list of movies that I plan to watch. I will drink cocoa, gorge myself on candy until I am nearly in a diabetic coma and probably try to convince my other half that telling scary stories (or reading aloud from one of my many H.P. Lovecraft books) is a good idea.

Later I will walk around the neighborhood to look at the Halloween decorations that didn’t get thrashed by the storm, and avoid cable t.v. as all they are showing is storm coverage.  Yes. I will celebrate Halloween this year.  I look at it this way, with all the branches and leaves in the area, the streets nearly devoid of cars and the cold chill in the air- I can pretend I’m in a zombie wasteland for the day.  It’s something at least.  Maybe I’ll even get some writing done.

Onto the first cup of hot chocolate.  I hope you all have a safe, fun and frightening Halloween.  If anyone affected by the storm has an interesting way they’ve celebrated it (or if anyone anywhere has an interesting way to celebrate it for that matter), do send us an e-mail.  Pictures are always fun, but if you don’t have don’t worry.  If we get enough, we’ll compile them into a story to post sometime later this week.  Stories, pictures and any other fun factoids can be sent to admin@bleakreads.com

And now I leave you with this awful Halloween joke:  Why did the ghost go to the club on halloween?   Because that’s where all the ghouls were!

Corny jokes aside. Have a safe, happy and terrifying halloween.  We’ll see you all soon!

In Which I Discuss “Soul Trade” by Caitlin Kittredge

But first, Holy Hurricane Batman!  We ended up very lucky here in my part of Brooklyn.  We didn’t lose power. Sure it flickered amidst the insane winds and even though I watched the blue arcs in the distance of other neighborhoods losing power, we were very very lucky.  The subway system is reported to be out for 4 to 5 days- which means there’s no way I’m getting out of this borough anytime soon.  My very best wishes to everyone who got hit a lot worse than me.  I hope the cleanup and recovery goes smoothly.  And I hope that everyone reading this is safe, happy and on the road to recovering from this storm.

“Soul Trade”, the newest addition in the Black London series by Kittredge is on my favorite book list.  So much so I bought an electronic copy for my kindle as well as the hard copy.  I don’t always bring hard copies with me when I travel so I wanted to make sure I had it in both forms. Yes, I’m slightly neurotic about the books I like the most.  In ANY CASE, slight warning.  This review/discussion may mention bits from other books or the plot line throughout the series. So if you haven’t read it yet (and are like me never wanting to know what happens) then I suggest you don’t read this. Last warning. Okay? Okay…we’re moving on.  I’ll ask all guests to keep their arms and legs inside the car, make sure that you are securely fastened into the car and please refrain from screaming in your seat-neighbor’s ear.  And….here we go.

Anyone who has read any of my previous reviews on any of Kittredge’s books know that I have a soft spot in my little book slut heart for her work.  Soul Trade is no different.  In the last novel, we were left with news that Pete (the story’s heroine if you don’t know) was preggo by the sexy Jack Winter.  (Alright people, yes…I love women, and yes he’s a character in a book but seriously you can’t tell me you don’t agree. )  I’m going to admit that I was TERRIFIED how the story was going to progress from there.  It’s not everyone that can pull off giving a character a child mid-series and do it well.

In Soul Trade, Pete and Jack are approached by super secret magical society The Prometheus Club.  Which, as an aside, I love the name.   I’m a huge Greek Myth buff and I’m quite possibly assigning meaning that isn’t there (don’t know, I didn’t write it and I’m not going to make any assumptions) but yeah…gotta love it.  The invite to join them at a gathering isn’t so much an invite as it is a threat.  But with big things going down in the magical world, they go.

I don’t like to say too much about the plot when I review books, for those who haven’t read it yet, but I will say that Kittredge does (as usual) an amazing job with character growth and development.  I had an unsubstantiated fear that Pete and Jack having a child would make the story drag, or bring to it an element that would soften the dark feel of the novels.  Thankfully, Kittredge is a master of her craft and the new addition to the Caldecott/Winter family doesn’t make the story drag in the least.

In fact, having a child seems to have made Pete and Jack stronger in their own way.  Everyone says being a parent changes you and Kittredge does a wonderful job of reflecting that in this novel.  Pete also grows in her Weir-ness (as I affectionately refer to it), and it’s pleasing to see a consistent attitude from her from book to book.  Too many books with female protagonists border on weakling or Mary Sue.  Kittredge manages to navigate in the center line, giving us a kick ass heroine who sometimes takes ridiculous chances and suffers the consequences.  But through it all you never leave Pete’s sideline.  You root for her, and for Jack- who we get to see (for a moment) a vulnerable side to.   It’s nice to see that their relationship has grown in its own way.  It sometimes feels strained, when you have a protagonist team that is in a relationship and so bound together, but Kittredge does a marvelous job at not only furthering the story but growing the characters together.

It reads, in a way, like life. If Life was filled with angry goddesses, demons, mages and creepy magical societies hell bent on taking over the world.  If only right?  Life then, would at least be an exciting adventure.  The story kept me wanting more.  It kept me engaged, and I read it twice through because I wanted to make sure I caught everything.  I have to say that this is my favorite book in the series thus far. Because of the character growth and how well it was crafted, I’m certain that a lot will feel the same.

I’ve been hooked on this series since book one, and with the addition of Soul Trade to the line up- Kittredge has made a fan out of me for life.  This little bookworm cannot wait for the next book in the series.  I only wish I had a TARDIS so I could go forward in time- to the next one’s release date. Yeah, these books are that good.

I give this one 5 our of 5 stars.  Ms. Kittredge, keep up the good work and I will keep being a patron.  I know that I have said it on here before but I love your work.  This bookworm will continue to review her work- because you all need to read it. and READ IT NOW.

 

Stay tuned next week for more updates to the site, possibly another review….this time of Sinister. Which will either be done by myself or my new resident movie reviewer.  Either way!  Again, happy and safe thoughts for all affected by the hurricane.  Stay safe folks!  If you have internet access go buy Soul Trade- it’ll keep the cold at bay! It probably won’t but at least you’ll be so engaged you won’t be thinking about it!

 

Something Bigger, Something Brighter

So, big things are coming.  Officially this is now bleakreads.com ,  and in effort to make things more official-like, we’re going to have menus, categories and some other goodies on here too.  I already have a few things in the works and thanks to the amazing expertise of my good friend, this place is going to get a makeover- Fearnet style.  I can’t promise anything since it’s all still in the early stages.  But, I ask you bear with us while we get things underway.  I promise you the end result will be fantastic.

 

And I already have a few reviews I’m writing. So, once the new and improved site gets launched- you can look forward to those.  We’re going to branch into movie reviews as well.  So, if there’s anything you’d like to see on here feel free to email us at admin@bleakreads.com  .  We’ll work on getting that underway.  Keep on the lookout for updates, contribution requests and other such deliciousness.

 

See you all soon!