To the people of Salann, the sea is everything. It is a cruel master, harsh and unforgiving, and it is both life and death. Annaleigh Thaumas has sent four of her eleven sisters back to the sea — and each went more horribly than the last. Now, there are whispers that the sisters are cursed, and loneliness has joined the heavy swaths of grief and mourning that encase the family like a black veil. But as her sisters start shunning their charcoals and grays for bright silks and ball gowns, Annaleigh cannot help but dwell on her sisters’ deaths, increasingly confident that they were no accidents
The world is broken. The “Phenomenon” has fractured Verity into the North and the South, led by two leaders who have drastically different ideologies of how to rule. In the chaos, acts of violence and sin are physically manifested in monsters — Corsai, who feed off of fear, Malchai, who feed on blood, and the rare Sunai, who survive on the souls of sinners. August is one of the three Sunai that exist in Verity under the protection of Henry Flynn, the leader of South Verity, and is constantly torn between the desperation of wanting to be a human and the overwhelming hunger that reminds him that
Raven Girl is the story of a girl-raven child produced by a lonely postman and the raven he fell in love with. It's a uniquely illustrated, dark, short novel—similar to Niffenegger's The Three Incestuous Sisters. The story opens with a postman rescuing a young raven who has fallen from her nest. After bringing her home and restoring her to good health, the two begin a life together and eventually fall in love. They produce a child, a girl. Though she appears human, she communicates in squawks and screeches and endlessly yearns for the sky. The story follows her as she approaches adulthood and
This is the first in a six book series, totaling some 3,000 pages, about a quiet man from Norway reflecting on parts of his life. It is boring and breathtaking at the same time. The author ruminates on the death of his father and his own mortality as he shuffles through memories of his childhood and then the more recent past. Day-to-day events such as making breakfast, working at a computer, and making phone calls take center stage. We all do things like this every day and then forget about them. Somehow, Karl Ove Knausgaard makes them memorable.
Flynn Berry's Under the Harrow is a murder mystery turned inside-out, where "Whodunnit?" is overshadowed by "How do you process tragedy and loss?" It's a dark, haunting ride, with a few twists you may not see coming. (I didn't.)
When Nora goes to an English village to visit her sister, only to find her brutally murdered, she immediately decides to investigate the murder herself, despite the police doing everything they can to solve the murder. What Nora doesn't realize, but what quickly becomes apparent to the reader, is she's in no psychological state to do this. The book flashes back and
This thriller slowly unravels to reveal the fragile and desperate mind of a woman with amnesia. Christine's amnesia is so severe that she can't retain memories for more than a day. She wakes up each morning with no idea of who and where she is. She is surrounded by her husband Ben, a doctor, and a friend. She starts keeping a journal on what she learns about herself each day. As Christine begins to rereads previous entries, she finds inconsistencies in what Ben is telling her about her accident, their son, and how all of their family photos disappeared. While Christine is trying to piece
Ten strangers have come together on a remote English island under false pretenses. Each one bears a dark secret that they have hidden from the world. Stranded on the island and as the guests begin to die one by one, they discover that someone in the company has uncovered those secrets and is willing to make them pay.
Before this classic plot became prominent in both literature and film, it was brought to the forefront by Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Previously titled Ten Little Indians (changed and edited to make it more PC), it is not like any of the other Agatha Christie
One part jazz, one part hip-hop, one part space jam, one part funk of the earth, Cinematic Orchestra’s Every Day is (at the very serious and dangerous risk of hyperbole and cliché) truly an album that defies convention and classification. For musicians, there are moments sublime and surreal harkening back to the funk/jazz cocktails of Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter featuring the superb vocals of Fontella Bass (particularly on the opening track, “All That You Give”). Hip-hop fans will discover slick beats reminiscent of the RZA, smooth breakdowns à la Dan the Automator, and a top-draw vocal
Though sometimes classified as Young Adult, Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews hits on several very adult, very controversial topics. At the age of 12, Cathy Dollanganger finds her life forever altered when her father is killed in an automobile accident, and her mother is forced to move the family—consisting of Cathy, her mother; her 14-year-old brother, Chris; and her 5-year-old twin siblings, Cory and Carrie—back to her wealthy parents’ estate. At first all four children seem pleased at the prospect of living in a lavish mansion, but their excitement is quickly stifled when they are told
Sixteen-year-old Victor is brash, arrogant, and brilliant—much like the scowling Frankenstein ancestors who built the looming Château Frankenstein on the shores of Lake Geneva. Together with his twin Konrad, their cousin Elizabeth, and their friend Henry Clerval, they spend their days learning in their father’s vast library or exploring the beautiful world outside the Château. All that changes the day Elizabeth discovers a hidden staircase and a hidden library, full of dusty alchemical books. Contained in that dark abandoned room are the secrets to changing lead into gold, to making
Skin Hunger is the story of two people, centuries apart. Sadima, a girl with strange abilities in an era where magic is forbidden, and Hahp, an unwanted child sacrificed to a school of magic where only one can survive to graduate. Alternating chapters tell each of their stories as they slowly intertwine.
More than the perfect prose, the entrancing characters, and the increasingly dark plot, what I love about this book—and, by extension, the series—is the incredible portrayal of the insidious nature of evil. The best and brightest intentions in the world cannot hold against its taint, and