Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!!!

It's Halloween!!!!! My very favorite holiday is finally here!! Stay safe and have fun!

I won't be posting anything for a little while. I'm super swamped with work, but more reviews and fun later!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Winners of September Zombies Giveaways!

Sorry it's a little late, here are the results for the September Zombies Giveaway! The following are winners of awesome zombie books!

Wrighty wins This is Not a Test!

MAD wins Dearly, Beloved!

PuttPutt1198Eve wins the big prize pack of zombies!

Congrats to the winners. I will be contacting you today to get addresses and such. Keep an eye out for more giveaways soon!

Friday, October 26, 2012

God Save the Queen

It's 2012 and Queen Victoria still rules England with an iron fist due to the mix of disease and genetics that  creates vampires. Only aristocrats can be vampires, half-vampires, or goblins due to their genetics and experience extremely long lives, a stronger constitution, inhuman strength and sense, an abhorrence to light, the list goes on. Xandra Vardan is a halvie and a member of the prestigious Royal Guard. She has set records in her schooling using her exceptional strength and speed and believes wholeheartedly that the aristocrats need their protection against the treacherous, vermin-like humans. Then her sister dies, but she knows that her sister has really gone missing. Her quest to find her sister plunges her into a plot that will turn her world upside down.

 God Save the Queen is a unique steampunk novel in that it takes place in an alternate present day where Queen Victoria is still alive. This idea results in a world wherea version modern day technology is meshed with Victorian fashion, style, sensibility, and mentality. Both fashion and technology are permanently stunted because the country is led by one really old woman who knows what she likes. There are some changes and advances, but are much more slow moving because the aristocracy is basically immortal. Women are still wearing bustles, corsets, and the like. Hysteria is a common diagnosis for female behavior. Cell phones and computers exist, but not in the same way they do now. It just feels less developed and more clunky, like modern technology through a steampunk lens. Cylinders are used to store audio and video files and cell phones still have rotary dials. Science has also progressed and plays a large role in the novel.  Historical figures from the past 175 years are still walking around and looking pretty good for their age, like Winston Churchill. The only thing I think is out of place is the acceptance of homosexual relationships. It's not even fully accepted currently, so I don't think a stunted, decidedly old world would fare any better.

Another aspect of the society I love is the disease. The plague mixed with the aristocratic genetics creates either vampires, half vampires, or goblins. (The same is true for werewolves.) The plague mixed with run of the mill commoner genes results in death. Upward mobility is now impossible for humans because of their genes. This clear distinction and huge difference between classes makes tensions run extremely high. The Great Insurrection of 1932 made matters worse when humans tried to overthrow and eradicate the aristocracy, but they failed, leaving both factions bitter and angry. Both are typically prejudiced of each other except for an underground faction where a few can work together. I love this system. It makes for great political intrigue and just a fascinating new world.

The characters are pretty awesome. Xandra is a hot head and throws herself wholeheartedly into everything she does. This fiery red head is strong and completely prejudiced against humans. She loves her family and will fight to the end for any them. Her sense of justice and familial fealty are huge parts of her character and change over time. I love seeing this world through her eyes. Throughout the novel, her prejudices and preconceptions change as she sees the truth. I honestly can't get enough of her humor and sarcasm. Vex is her lover and the leader of the werewolves. Werewolves are usually awful and obnoxiously alpha male and abusive. Vex is the opposite. He's quite sweet and the romance between him and Xandra is both steamy and tender. He manages to be protective and strong without being condescending or overbearing. He is the best male interest I have seen in a while.

I can't get enough of this vibrant world that merges the present day with the Victorian era. I like that science and technology can be an integral part of a magical fantasy world, showing that science fiction and fantasy can support each other and produce amazing results. In a growing genre, God Save the Queen manages to stand out in the crowd of steampunk. The only flaw is the beginning takes a little while to gain momentum. There is a little too much time before anything really happens. I eagerly await the next installment of the series.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Velveteen Monroe is dead. At sixteen, she was killed by a serial killer called Bonesaw after being kidnapped and tortured. Now, she resides in the City of the Dead, or as it's usually known, Purgatory. Something holds her back from moving on, so she becomes part of a squadron that saves captured souls used for magic that create devastating shadowquakes in the City of the Dead. They cause cracks throughout Purgatory. In her spare time, Velvet visits her killer and haunts him, destroying his stuff and freeing his other victims. Her ultimate wish is to kill him and make him pay for his disgusting crimes, but unsanctioned hauntings are against the rules and those caught are harshly punished. Aside from all of this, a faction of citizens that are calling for a Departure from the City of the Dead starting with burning effigies and quickly escalating. How they expect to accomplish this is unknown, but Velvet must stop them to save Purgatory.

Based on the description of the novel, I was expecting a book about a ghost girl getting revenge on a serial killer, which would be pretty cool. What I got with Velveteen was so much more. Daniel Marks' view of Purgatory is the most unique I've ever read. It's dull, dusty, and decaying, made up of a hodgepodge of different architectural movements. Everyone there has a job to do, whether it be fighting to free trapped souls like Velvet or something more mundane. They are productive and make a real life for themselves instead of marking time until they cross over. Even though no one really wants to be there, there is a nice sense of camaraderie between the residents. Every night, they gather for salon to perform and to share their stories with each other. Everyone is forced to be there and has something that they need to do or overcome in order to move on to the unknown. It is also interesting to see old souls in young bodies. Some people died young, but have been there for a very long time, making their level of maturity and mental age not equal to their appearance.

Velvet is a pretty cool character who is strong, no nonsense, and isn't afraid to take leadership.I like how intelligent and sensitive she is despite her hard, sarcastic outer shell. She feels an immediate attraction to Nick, but recognizes it as such and tries to push him away. I like a girl that can recognize the difference between attraction/lust and love. I also like a girl that stands up to her killer and tries to sabotage him at every turn. I do wish there was more about the serial killer because I find them morbidly fascinating. Nick is a far cry from the alpha male jerks that have become so prevalent in the genre. His vulnerability is the first thing we see because he has to come to terms with the fact the he was killed and is stuck in purgatory after he was trapped in a crystal ball. He keeps it together pretty well because he's strong and tempers his anxiety and fear with humor, but he still shows emotion and freaks out a little. This type of male love interest is so enjoyable because not all guys are borderline abusive and emotionless. Men have emotions even though society tends to mock those that don't act or think like a "manly" man should.

I love Velveteen. Although pretty long, I breezed through it in a couple days. I was totally sucked into this cool and twisted version of Purgatory. Each page that went by was more addictive than the last and I felt compelled to finish it as fast as possible. I enjoyed being confused for a couple of parts in the novel. Daniel Marks just throws the reader into the deep end of his world and doesn't spell everything out for them. I respect an author that trusts that I as a reader don't need every little thing fed to me. I am definitely reading the next book and anything else Daniel Marks writes.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Horror Villains Who Adore Classical Music

Continuing in the classical music in horror films vein, I noticed a great many villains of horror love classical music.

1) Lestat de Lioncourt from Interview with the Vampire

Lestat de Lioncourt is a vampire who can read minds. Although not strictly a villain as seen in later books, whiny Louis doesn't like that Lestat kills humans. Lestat is the best character in the film with wit and dark humor, not to mention his love of classical music. He makes Claudia take piano lessons even when she eats her teachers occasionally. When he returns from the near death, he accompanies his dramatic appearance with Joseph Haydn's Piano Sonata in Eb major.

2) Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs

Hannibal Lecter, although a cannibal killer, is nothing if not a man of class, sophistication, and distinction. One of his murders that landed him in jail was his reaction to a bad trombone player in the symphony. His unblinking, intense stare and enigmatic nature are what made The Silence of the Lambs so interesting, even though he didn't have a lot of screen time. His musical scene comes when he asks for an extra dinner, exploiting his privileges for helping Clarice Starling with her investigation. His musical selection is the Aria from the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach.The serene look on his bloodsplattered face while he loses himself in the music is an amazing end to the scene, but also very chilling.

3) Annie Wilkes from Misery

At first, Annie Wilkes seems like a sweet, maternal, lonely nurse who loves romance novels. She was nice enough to nurse Paul Sheldon, her favorite author, back to health in her home because it's too dangerous to take him to the hospital. She shows her true colors after she discovers he killed her favorite romance character, Misery, forcing Paul to write a new novel bringing her back to life. Her favorite artist is Liberace and she plays his versions of classical works throughout the film. The following scene, backed by Liberace playing Ludwig van Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata is one of the most iconic and frightening scenes.

4) Ernessa from The Moth Diaries

Ernessa is a cultured, British girl new the all girl's boarding school that Rebecca attends. Rebecca grows more and more jealous and suspicious of Ernessa due to her friend stealing ways and odd habits, like pacing outside at night. The real question is whether Ernessa is a vampire or not arises after Rebecca's best friend Lucie gets more and more sick after spending time with her. One clue towards this suspicion is her ability to play pieces by Frederic Chopin flawlessly and memorized. The specific piece is Nocturne op. 9 no. 1 in Bb minor. The Chopin-esque score also gives a great mood to this atmospheric, feminine film.

Did I miss your favorite classical music-loving villain? Please share below!

The Suburban Strange

Celia Balustine is shy, unsure of herself, and new to Suburban High School. By chance, she meets a girl named Regine, who changes her life. At her new school, Celia is accepted into a small group called the Rosary who all act aloof, listen to music not on top 40 lists, dress in grey and black, and generally set themselves apart from the rest of the school population. Celia conforms to her group and has a good time at school for the first time in years. Then strange things start happening at her school. Every girl with who has a 16th birthday suffers some sort of misfortune on the day before consistently throughout the year. As her own birthday nears, she tries to investigate what is causing it. Could it be her chemistry lab partner Mariette, who seems to have odd, impossible things happen around her? Or is it someone completely hidden?

The Suburban Strange has a gorgeous cover that mixes mediums in a very cool way. Despite its beautiful trappings, the actual story is a mixed bag of good and bad. Let's start with the good. I like a lot of the characters, especially Celia. At first, I thought she was a mindless sheep that just cared about being cool, but as the novel goes on, she becomes a force to be reckoned with. She really comes into her own and becomes comfortable with herself, acting how she thinks she should act instead of how others want her to. Her strength and resolve near the end of the novel serves to support her friends and helps her in the main conflict with the villain. She also has amazing artistic talent, which I am always fascinated to read about because I just draw stick figures. Mariette is probably the strongest character because she always stands on her own. She doesn't conform to other people's views or style and accepts that not everyone will like her. For most of the book, I also liked the Rosary. They are basically pretentious, hipster teens who like 70's and 80's music and act like they are better than everyone else, which I know doesn't sound flattering at all. However, they lead Celia into an exotic world of indie clubs, new music, new literature, new clothes and style, and a new way of viewing the world. Kotecki recreates for me how enchanting things are when they are just discovered and how magical they feel.

There are also a lot of flaws in this book. Tomasi is a tolerable character, but the instalove after knowing each other for like two seconds is ridiculous. The pacing of the book is odd. Long stretches of the book have basically no action at all and are just ham-handed infodumps. I get that the world needs to be explained, but there's a better way of doing it through showing rather than telling. The buildup to the end where Celia is doubting herself and trying to find answers is way too long, making the actual finale and denouement rather short. Also, the references to music and art are cool, but made the story completely halt at times, stilting the pace further. It should be used as flavor and not as the substance of the story. I really enjoyed the Kind and Unkind supernatural world aspects. The Unkind are said to be mistaken for creatures like vampires and werewolves. This book doesn't delve completely into that world. Both sides are rather untrained and bumbling, not letting us see the depth and breadth of this very promising world. I did hope that the Rosary were enmeshed somehow in this world, but they proved to be normal, pretentious teens.

The Suburban Strange has a lot of good things going for it, but a lot of mediocre things hold it back. The writing is engaging and made me forgive a lot of these flaws. I would definitely read another book and give Kotecki another try because of his ability to capture emotions and build characters.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Lo and Celia are both not normal girls. Lo is a soulless ocean girl with no memory of her previous human life as Naida. She and her ocean sisters wait for the time when the angels will come and take them away. In the meantime, they can try to make human boys love them and drown them to return to get their souls back and return human form, but it has never worked, as far as any of them can remember. Celia and her two sisters are triplets, which is uncommon, but they also have special powers that allow them to see into various aspects of people's lives through touch. Celia considers her power to see into the past is basically useless, but finds purpose when she and Lo meet. They work together to save a boy from drowning. Celia, curious about Lo, looks for her later and works to help her remember her human self and how she came to be an ocean girl. They find themselves building relationships with the boy, Jude, and working against each other. Celia wants love, but Lo wants her soul back.

I love fairy tale retellings and Jackson Pearce's have been the best in the genre so far. Fathomless lives up to the rest of her novels and puts a new, dark spin on my favorite fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. The original tale by Hans Christian Andersen has some very dark elements, including the stabbing pain every time the mermaid steps in human form, her option to kill the prince to become a mermaid once again, and the unhappy, weirdly religious ending. Fathomless makes great use of these elements by slightly altering them instead of entirely omitting them like many other retellings. My favorite example of this is the ocean girls waiting to become angels. After they forget who they were and transform into cold ocean beings, an angel comes to free them and makes them into angels. Instead of being something beautiful and redemptive like in the original story, where the mermaid becomes an air spirit to earn her soul after she dies, this transformation is revealed to be something much more nefarious.

The characters and the plot are much more fleshed out than in the original tale. Lo is kind of like two people in one. The Lo personality is a soulless ocean girl, inhuman, cold, and dangerous. The Naida personality tries to hold on to every single human memory discovered with Celia's help. She is desperate to get her life back and return to human form. Celia is my favorite character. She has never really had an identity of her own and lives beneath her sisters' shadows. Lo presents her with a unique opportunity to use her special power to see into people's pasts, which she has always found to be patently useless. Jude became her first friend separate from her sisters and her first date. The romance is organic and sweet and also didn't overpower the story as is typical in YA books. These multidimensional characters really elevate the story and bring it into the modern age.

Fathomless is the best retelling of The Little Mermaid I have ever read. I love that Jackson Pearce chose to embrace the darkness of the original story while adding her own spin to it. I also like how it relates to both Sweetly and Sisters Red. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Cold Spell, a retelling of the Snow Queen.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sweet Shadows

Gretchen, Grace, and Greer could not be more different. Gretchen has known for years that she is a descendant of the gorgon Medusa and that she must fight the monster and return them to their own realm. Grace is a environmental activist and a computer geek who doesn't know if she is strong enough to fight against monsters. Greer is a rich, spoiled girl who takes charge in every situation, but isn't sure if she's willing to give it all up to save humanity. While they are still getting to know each other (and bickering), warring factions on Olympus are trying to either kill the sisters or wait until they break the seal between worlds (as it is said they will in prophecy) and then kill them. Only one faction seems to care about their survival. As more and more creatures make their way into the human realm, these sisters must find out which faction to trust and where their fate will ultimately take them.

Sweet Shadows starts with a bang right where Sweet Venom leaves off. Again, it's narrated by the three sisters who have clear and distinct voices. It's easy to figure out who is narrating any given chapter. In the last book, the sisters were basically strangers. Now, their relationship is growing and they are becoming close both because of their efforts to save the world and just getting to know each other. I really like these characters and their different backgrounds. Even though much of the novel involves the supernatural, they bring real life issues and problems to the story. Greer deals with her distant parents and the constant pressure to be perfect in every aspect of her life. Gretchen still feels the effects of having abusive parents as a child and not having many people close to her all her life. All of them have different reactions to being put up for adoption. These experiences make the girls easy for readers to relate to and make the story grounded in realism.

Everything is a little more intense than in the first book. The action is exciting and more consistent. The problems facing the sisters are practically impossible to overcome. The world beyond ours is explored and reveals some shocking revelations. There are mythological creatures that are on their side and will greatly suffer if the door between worlds is closed. They challenge the girls' views and complicate matters, plus they are pretty awesome. What was previously a fairly clear decision is now murkier than ever. I'm very glad this series didn't fall into the second book pitfall that simply sets up for the final book in the trilogy.

Sweet Shadows is an impressive teen read that melds mythology and modernity beautifully. The fast pace and realistic characters make this a quick, fun read. I can't wait to see what the future holds for these heroines. I would recommend this to fans of mythology and YA fantasy.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Anna Girl of Nightmares

Anna Korlov, better known as Anna Dressed in Blood, has been gone for months. She opened a door to hell in the basement of the Victorian house she haunted in order to defeat Cass's archenemy, the Obeahman. Unfortunately, she was sucked into that door as well. Cass, a formidable ghost hunter, is in love with her and has unresolved feelings. He knows having her at rest is better than having her hang around the living world, cursed to kill anyone who disturbs her house. Then, horrific visions of Anna pop up everywhere: at the mall, at his house, at school, while he sleeps. Desperate to find out how to get her and save her, Cass starts to research ways of opening up his own door to hell. Unfortunately, other occultists (like Thomas's grandpa and his own mentor) discourage him from even looking into it and want him to leave Anna alone. Anna saved his life and he loves her, so he continues his search. Their warnings did have some merit, made apparent when he invites the attention of an old cultish order that knows much more about Cass and his power than he does.

I read Anna Dressed in Blood, where the amazing and frightening Anna Korlov is introduced, last year and it shot up to the top of my favorite horror reads. Of course I had to read the follow-up novel that once again brings together Cass, Thomas, and Carmel, our intrepid ghost hunting trio. I can't get enough of these characters. All of them are amazing in their own way, but also not perfect. Cass is singleminded and unrelenting in his quest to free Anna. He would do the same for any of his friends, but she's also the girl he loves (even though he realizes how weird and fucked up it is). His sense of loyalty and morality makes him one of the best characters. Rather than follow someone else's belief system blindly like that creepy cultish order, he figures out his own moral code to follow. He also has a dark humor and wit that colors the narrative beautifully. Thomas once again proves his badass witch skills and sticks with Cass like a real friend even though everyone else thinks he should give up. Carmel is a little infuriating through most of the novel, but still has her good qualities even though she makes mistakes. Her fear doesn't deter her from fighting fiercely against things that outmatch her. These characters are so realistic and fun to read, making it even sadder that this series is over.

The scares are spaced out, but phenomenal. I was expecting more because of the previous book, so I was a teensy bit disappointed. The suicide forest scene and a couple of others (I don't want to spoil too much) were pulse pounding. This book is more about an emotional and psychological journey for Cass and completely different than the first book. I was also slightly disappointed that Anna didn't have a huge role in the book. She's talked about a lot and she definitely has a presence in the novel, but not as pronounced as the first book. I also didn't like seeing her as an damsel in distress, but when faced with a power so much stronger than her, I guess it was unavoidable. I have mixed feelings about the ending (among them being sadness, happiness, and anger), but I felt it was a truly satisfying end.

Anna Girl of Nightmares isn't as good as Anna Dressed in Blood, but it's still one of my favorites reads of this year and a very good novel with amazing writing and memorable characters. The more introspective and personal journey aspects are different from the first novel, but interesting and important to the story nonetheless. I will read anything Kendare Blake writes from now on and I highly recommend this to horror and YA fans.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Classical Music in Horror Movies

A lot of films use classical music in their soundtracks, but horror films tend to use it in a unique way. Most of the time, the beautiful music is creating contrast to the horrible images on the screen. Other times, the classical music serves to unnerve the audience and enhance the disturbing scenes. Here are some films that use classical music in awesome ways.

1) Battle Royale

This film uses Verdi's dramatic Dies Irae for the intro of the film where the Battle Royale program (where one class out of all of Japan is chosen to fight to the death on an island) is being introduced and the winner from the previous year is seen, covered in blood and smiling eerily.

It also uses a Schubert Lied (or art song) call Auf dem Wasser Zu Singen. This beautiful song backs the tragic story of Chigusa Takako, a runner who finds out the boy she likes also likes her back just as she is dying.

2) Ravenous

This film is about cannibals in California during the Mexican-American war. The song Hail Columbia, which was considered the US unofficial national anthem before 1931, accompanies a scene that should be fairly normal: a group of soldiers eating a celebratory steak dinner. However, the eating and the meat look so grotesque and disgusting, it's stomach churning. Hail Columbia in the background is at first played normally, but as the scene gets more disturbing, the balance falls apart and it's played just as grotesque as the scene. (I unfortunately couldn't find the clip and the music sounds fairly normal on the actual soundtrack, but watch the film to hear it!)

3) Oldboy

Oldboy is a complex revenge film. The Allegro non molto movement of Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons is used to accompany a fight scene and the following torture scene (not for the faint of heart). The intensity and speed of the music enhances the feeling of the scene, but I wouldn't think such a beautiful piece would go with such a gruesome scene.

4) The Exorcist

The Exorcist is an interesting and disturbing film of a young woman possessed by demons (or just becoming a woman if you read it the way I do). An equally disturbing piece of music is used to enhance the feel of the movie: George Crumb's Night of the Electric Insects from the Black Angel's string quartet. It sends chills down my spine with no visuals at all.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Bridget Liu isn't just a moody, combative teenager that just wants everyone (including her parents, her mom, and the cute son of the police sergeant) to leave her alone. She can communicate with demons and send them back to where they came from. Fearing her loved ones reaction to her power (or her belief in her power), she confides in Monsignor Renault, who then guides her and asks for help on increasingly more dangerous exorcisms. On one of these, Bridget hears a demon say something frightening that turns her whole world upside down. She has to figure out a demon's plan before it's executed and find out who around her is working for it.

I usually don't really like exorcist stories, but the awesome metallic blue cover and the good things I've heard about Gretchen McNeil's writing made me ignore my misgivings towards the genre. I was pleasantly surprised by most of the story. Bridget is a smart, capable heroine that has special powers over demons. Even though she can be too whiny and annoying, her good qualities outweigh those annoyances. I liked seeing the story through her eyes because she adds her own sarcasm and unique point of view. Her character develops throughout the novel and she gets much less annoying and much more mature by the end of it. My favorite scene is the one where a doll shop is infested with demons. There are some pretty creepy moments, but nothing mindblowingly scary. Possessed dolls are just disturbing by themselves. Gretchen McNeil's writing is what made the book enjoyable. Despite my problems with it, I read it pretty fast because she built up momentum really well and grabbed my interest. The plot moves swiftly after the exposition with the demonic activity increasing as it goes along.

I did have some problems with this book. The minor characters are paper thin with little to no character development. A boy is in love with Bridget and literally stalks her around school and sends her frightening and obsessive text messages. This situation gets way out of control and totally could have been prevented if she had just told an authority figure about it and gotten him help. It just makes her look horrible and like she doesn't really care about her friend and the other people he could hurt because of his obviously unstable mental state. I really had to suspend disbelief with the religious aspects because I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic schools. It did pull me out of the story a couple times at the beginning, but I was so interested in the story by the end that it no longer mattered. There were some twists and turns in the plot, but I could see most of them coming a mile away.

Possess was kind of uneven for me. The character development was great for Bridget, but most of the other characters were basically cardboard. I do wish it were a little more scary. Most teen horror is kind of underwhelming. Despite the problems I had, Gretchen McNeil's writing kept me interested throughout the book and I will definitely be reading her new release, Ten.

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lies Beneath

Calder White was perfectly happy in a nice warm climate when his sisters called him back to the icy waters of Lake Superior. Being a merman, ignoring this call is impossible. He is bound to his sisters and reluctantly returns to them as slow as possible. When he gets there, he is offered the opportunity to be released from his bond if he helps them murder the son of the man responsible for their mother's death named Jason Hancock. Calder agrees and plans to use his good looks and hypnotic merman suggestion power to manipulate one of his daughter, but things don't go as planned. He didn't think he would fall in love. Torn between being free from his family and wanting to be with his new human love, Calder doesn't know what to do.

I had high hopes for Lies Beneath even though I wasn't crazy about the cover. Mermaids are one of my favorite mythical creatures, but these aren't really mermaids. They are basically aquatic vampires, which takes away everything that makes these creatures interesting. Vampires have overflooded the YA book market and I was looking for something different. These mermaids prey on people and feed on their positive energy and emotion because they can't produce them themselves. They can also communicate with each other telepathically, manipulate humans with their beauty and hypnotic powers, and produce electricity similar to eels. This would have been interesting if it didn't make the relationship between Calder and Lily into a carbon copy of Twilight. He wants to eat her but he's in love with her and it's going against his nature...blah blah blah. I have seen this so many times before that it's ridiculous. Plus his stalker status rivals Edward's in Twilight and he kills people regularly to survive. It got really creepy. The murder aspect seemed to be justified by the fact the he doesn't kill anyone during the course of the book, but that doesn't make his past murders disappear. The romance did not wow me because it was the typical instalove with no development at all.

The characters are fairly flat and uninteresting. Lily is a rebellious girl who wears weird clothes and doesn't mind that her boyfriend has killed people in the past. His sisters are the most interesting characters in the novel, but we don't get to see much of them. All the characters could have done with richer backgrounds and dimensions. The two things that did work for me are the writing and the poetry in the novel. Despite not being very invested in the characters or the plot, I kept reading because the writing really moved and kept me interested. I am a huge sucker for classic literature cited in books. I get to discover new things I didn't know about or nerd out over things I like. I had no idea about some of these poems and it was nice to discover them.

Lies Beneath is a mediocre teen novel that had a lot of promise with the dark mermaids, but it turned into a Twilight rip off. The ending is definitely open for a sequel and I'm frankly not interested in reading it. Hopefully some of the other mermaid books will be less disappointing.

My rating: 2/5 fishmuffins

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's October!!!

It's October!!! My very favorite month of all. I basically celebrate Halloween for 31 days, so stay tuned for horror book and movie reviews plus horror themed Internet Awesomenesses and music posts. There are cool Halloween themed bloggy stuff happening around the blogosphere (which totally reminds of the Nightosphere from Adventure Time) like vvb32's Keep Calm and Carry On: Zombie Edition event. She will post intermittently throughout October more awesome zombie stuff (in case you are going through withdrawals like me). Plus I will be doing a guest post there on October 11. Yay! Please share any other October events either you or someone you know/follow are having so I can join too. October is the BEST!!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

September Zombies: The End

It's the end of the month. I hope you all had as much fun as I did with a zombie filled, brain-nomming month of awesome. I will leave you with one last giveaway!!

One winner will win this lovely zombie prize pack:

* Feed by Mira Grant
* The Zen of Zombie by Scott Kenemore
* Soulless by Christopher Golden
* Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
* Dust by Joan Frances Turner

Just leave your email below. Only open to US. Sorry international readers. :( Giveaway ends 10/31.

There may be a zombie week sometime between now and next September, so keep an eye out!