Category Archives: 09 OTHER FICTION

Edition Review: American Gods x Anansi Boys (B&N Collectible Edition 2016)

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The moment I saw this beautiful edition online, I knew I just had to have it. I’m a big Gaiman fan so imagine my excitement when I learned that it’ll be available in my country.

The cover art was designed by Jim Tierney. I love the silver and blue theme. The typography design really stood out against the black leather base. It’s a truly gorgeous piece.

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The exterior theme extends to the inner jacket. The page trims are also coated with silver.

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The paper is smooth and thin, kinda like The Bible. The book also has a ribbon marker, so no need for bookmarks.

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The book is a bit heavy so I don’t recommend it for casual reading. I bought this book with the intent of displaying it so I don’t really mind the weight. Overall, this is a beautiful edition that any Gaiman fan would love. Definitely worth every penny!

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Eight Minutes by Lori Reisenbichler

3 Stars

The publisher has given me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What happens when we die?
Where do our souls go?

Does afterlife exist?

These questions may have different answers for everyone. We all have different beliefs, some are skeptics, and some are believers. These are questions that have prodded my mind since I was little—which is why I’ve always been fascinated by real-life stories about near-death experiences and astral projections.

On the night that Shelly Buckner finally became a mother, she very nearly became a widow. Her husband, Eric, seriously injured in a car accident on the way to the hospital, was dead for a full eight minutes before being revived—all while Shelly was in labor. Those eight minutes changed everything Shelly thought was possible.

Three years later, their son, Toby, brings home an imaginary friend. But he’s no ordinary playmate—John Robberson is a fighter pilot and Vietnam vet. As Toby provides unlikely details about John’s life—and Toby’s tantrums increase—Shelly becomes convinced that John was real and now wants something from Toby. But her husband has his doubts, and as Shelly becomes involved, even obsessed, with finding out the truth, their marriage begins to disintegrate. Torn between protecting her child and keeping the peace with her husband, Shelly desperately searches for a way to finally put John Robberson out of their lives.

It’s hard to discuss the book without spoiling too much of the story so I’ll be very vague. The story’s focus is on Shelly and I liked how the author built up her character. You’ll really sympathize with her and feel for her even if she can get a bit crazy at times. All the characters, not just her, were very well-written (although, I didn’t like Eric very much). Personally, I liked how realistic the book portrayed relationships and the impacts one aspect of your life could have to you and the people around you. I was able to put myself in Shelly’s shoes—what if my boyfriend or someone close to me suddenly changes like that? I honestly don’t know how I would deal.

The story can be a little creepy at times but that’s part of its charm. I actually thought this could easily have been a horror story, but don’t worry, it isn’t. I just wish the pacing was a bit faster but overall it was a really good story. If you’re into books like If I Stay or Lovely Bones then you would love this book.

My First Book Depository Experience

One of every bookworm’s worst nightmares is not finding a certain book in your area, or worse–in your country. And sometimes, e-books just aren’t enough. This was exactly what happened to me, so I turned to Book Depository. I’ve known about it for ages but I’ve never really bothered availing its services. For one, I just can’t wait that long to get a book, second, most of the books I want are available in Fully Booked (a local bookstore)–until one wasn’t. For some reason, Fully Booked didn’t have Joe Abercrombie’s Half A King. And by “didn’t” I meant they never had it and probably never will. Which in my opinion is absurd because, hello, it’s Joe Abercrombie! I desperately wanted a copy because I wanted to gift it to someone for his birthday (he’s been looking for it for ages), so I finally gave in and tried Book Depository.

Half a King

I’ll admit, the experience wasn’t perfect. The original 7-10 business days shipping (as stated in their site) didn’t push through and I was on a deadline. I had to get the book before my friend’s birthday. Three days after I sent my order (the book was available according to their site), it still hasn’t been dispatched. So, finally, I decided to contact them for help–and I have to say, their customer support system is beyond commendable. Their customer advisor, May Sherif, was very attentive and they don’t send “template” replies. They really answered my every mail. When my order still didn’t arrive after a week, they decided to dispatch another copy for me!

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After a few days, my book finally arrived. It was in pristine condition and came with a bookmark. In the end, my first Book Depository experience turned out to be a very pleasant one. I’d definitely buy from them again!

 

 

 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

3 Stars

“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.”

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I should, but I didn’t. The Night Circus had a very good story, a solid concept, it sang a distinct sound. I get why some people saw some splashes of Gaiman in this novel. This book is incredibly descriptive and visual, the settings are always described in a way that make them very easy to imagine. I believe this book is a treat for imaginative minds. At first, I truly felt like a kid being thrust into a candy shop for the first time—but too much sugar can harm your teeth—and I think that’s what happened to me here.

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”

This is probably one of the most visual books I’ve read, and therein lies its greatest strength and weakness. The introduction to the circus was marvelous. In fact, I personally think the Prologue was the strongest chapter in the entire book. The first encounter with the Circus was enchanting. I could smell the caramel, popcorn, warm cider and candied applies in my head. It seemed as if I was literally there at the circus! But as the book went on, it felt forced and redundant. There were moments wherein I felt like the narrator was trying to push how great, grand and magical the circus was every chance he could get, raining the reader with a barrage of adjectives. It became too wordy. It felt like I was being forced to believe it—forced to smell the deliciousness and sweetness of the liquid caramel whose scent wafted through the air as it was drizzled in a slow pour, like maple syrup on a hot plate of pancake, on top of the warm and freshly-popped popcorn with melted buttermilk butter, held inside a fantastic bucket of black and white stripes with a sprinkled print of glittering stars. See what I did there? Too much of a good thing is not always good, and I think that’s why I found it difficult to truly love this book.

The characters were interesting, so varied, and likable in their own right but they felt so far away. Do you get what I mean? I liked them but I never got to invest myself in them. It never became personal, never intimate. At the end of the book, I knew I read a good story but I didn’t feel anything—except perhaps a slight craving for caramel-drizzled popcorn.

Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears by Ken Wheaton

3 Stars

The publisher has provided me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. First I just have to mention that the cover art intrigued me—and the title as well. It took me longer than expected to finish this book because I’ve been a bit busy with work-related things, but better late than never!

Stephen Chbosky once said “We can’t choose where we come from, but we can choose where we go from there”.  We all know we can’t choose our family and I’m sure many of us have at least once thought of how it would be like if we were born in a different one. I believe this book’s main character Katie-Lee, or Katherine, represents a lot of women and I’m sure many will be able to relate to her. Continue reading Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears by Ken Wheaton

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

4 Stars

The relationship between book and reader is private.

When Mr. Penumbra asked Rosemary the question, “Why do you love books so much?“, I felt as if he was asking me, because it was something I’ve been asked countless times. This book was like an adventure, a silent tribute, for book lovers like me. It’s hard to describe. While reading this, I felt so at home, so in my element. This book was written for people like me who simply love to read.

It’s an easy read, no stress, no too elaborate complexities. Reading it was a breeze, a fun breeze. I put off reading this book, but this morning I finally decided to scrap it off my reading list and be done with it and it’s a good thing I did. This book was a happy mystery that kept me guessing. It kept me reading because I just wanted to know what the bloody hell was the secret behind Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. The way the mystery was built up was great. It really made me ask the same questions Clay did: What the hell is happening here?

Although the big reveal was not what I expected or hoped for, I wasn’t disappointed by it. I was satisfied and the epilogue was probably one of my favorite bits of the novel. This is a great and simple story I’m sure all bookworms would enjoy. Now here I am wishing there’s a real store like Mr. Penumbra’s Bookstore somewhere here on Earth… oh how I’d love to visit that.

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

1 star

In a world where vows are worthless. Where making a pledge means nothing. Where promises are made to be broken, it would be nice to see words come back into power.

Lullaby is the first Palahniuk novel that I was able to finish, and it will probably be the last. Not that it’s bad. It was good for what it’s worth. The plot was decent and it was a light-read… but for some weird reason I had a hard time reading it on a continuous basis. I had to stop every few chapters or so because it became tiring. Not in the sense that it was difficult to read, maybe the writing style simply didn’t suit my taste. I guess Palahniuk’s books are an acquired taste, something that falls on the “either you like it or you don’t”.

Continue reading Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk