“The Night Bird” is a psychological thriller about a killer who uses the phobia therapy of a prominent psychiatrist in San Francisco to terrorize said doctor by having her patients randomly commit suicide. Except it’s not really suicide because the Night Bird uses their fears and phobias to make them think that the thing they are most scared of in the world has come for them and the only way to escape is by killing themselves. It’s pretty messed up, going through someone’s mind and memories to torment them like that… The whole book feels like if the classic Dick Tracy noir detective and the movie “Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind” had a baby in 2016. The book is steeped in the ethical questions of whether it’s right or wrong to tamper with someone’s memories. Even if it helps remove a phobia that gives them a better quality of life, is it still the right thing to do? Evil psycho killer aside. The drama, the horror-like feel of the antagonist, and the fast paced cadence of this novel was really what saved it considering that most of the characters felt flat/one dimensional even with a tragic backstory, made frustratingly bad choices, and I simply did not like one of the main characters. Here’s why:
****I received a free copy of this book for an honest review****
“A Boy From The Chesapeake” is a collection of literary essays documenting one man’s sexual awakening, if you will. It’s not sexual in that it’s graphic or gratuitous, in fact, most of the stories are fairly romantic in one way or another. But 90% of the essays document either a romantic relationship with a woman, or the narrator is talking about women / general life experiences that loosely surround his ideas of women and intimacy. These essays are almost like reading prose or poetry than short stories with a plot or story line. So keep that in mind, Roszkowiak will not be holding your hand as you read. He does not introduce his narrator nor link the essays together in an overt way to tell a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. So, know that going into this short read. These essays are just that, small snippets of time that is told in a memoir style where the only “point” is to beautifully describe a particular encounter.
“The Glass Magician” is the second installment in “The Paper Magician” trilogy. In this story, we continue with the whimsical magical world that Holmberg has created in London’s past. This story picks up about three months after the events of the first book and starts pretty much right where we left the main character, Ceony: pining after her teacher, Emery. The first book left a lot of holes when it came to what materials can and can’t be enchanted by magicians as well as never really explaining if having the propensity to learn these skills is something you’re born with or if literally anyone can learn any magic they want. The book hints that it’s the later but that it’s illegal to do so, but that just felt far too flimsy given that only one or two Smelter’s (magicians who can manipulate metal) are in the police force. If you had a force of police who were Smelter’s that could enchant bullets to only hit their targets, then why wouldn’t you? But I digress. Ultimately, I still enjoyed this fast read, but not as much as the first book.
I picked up this book because I saw it on Instagram, loved the cover, and the caption said “If you like the Dragon Age video game series, you’ll love this book!” Well, I love the Dragon Age series by Bioware, but this was not that at all. It has elves just like Dragon Age, but the similarities end there. And they don’t even really feel like elves… But I’m getting ahead of myself. “No One’s Chosen” follows along as four very different elven women, a queen of sorts, a mercenary assassin (she’s a drow if you are familiar with the classic dungeons and dragons version of the dark skinned elves), a warrior, and a street rat orphan (she’s not as suave as Aladdin though), as they go about their lives in a mythical land where they are plagued by the horse people, centaurs and satyrs basically. But these villains only make an appearance for a few of the women, the rest of the time the elves do a very good job brutalizing their own kind.
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