Book Club The STRAIN

Here is my last book club post on this page! Let’s go out with a boom!

I very much enjoyed The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. See the full write-up on this book here. I don’t want to go into too many details and create  a spoiler if you haven’t read the book yet or you are still finishing it, so I’ll do a little bit of a sell on it instead :-).

Del Toro is known for his movies, but man oh man does he have some good books out there. Chuck Hogan is a New York Times best-selling author. The two together… wow. I’ve seen this book marked as a Thriller, Science Fiction and most notably Horror. I agree with the first and the last.

Science Fiction has a formula (this may be in my head, but I’m calling it like I see ’em.) 1/4 of the book is usually designated to “telling.” There is a lot of information that needs to be set up before the actual story can start. In some ways this did that, as it was a slow start before we started getting slammed into the action. One might argue the science is in there, and I won’t disagree. There are some rules it didn’t follow in that regard, which I’ll leave off in an effort to not bore you, but suffice it to say, I’m scratching off the Sci-Fi label right here and now.

I want to point out that the first 1/4 of the story NEVER ONCE put me off. I wanted to keep going from page one. Bravo!

Now, the story line says it’s about vampires. I don’t hate vampires, in fact I was drawn to the sexy vamps of the 50’s for a very long time. Twilight kind of squished my love for them, though I’ll be honest I LOVE GLITTER. Just not on humans. Or maybe, not on my villains. Even sexy villains. Anyhow, these are very different vampires, creepy, nasty and not at all like anything I’ve ever seen/read. Again, Bravo!

It’s a trilogy, and perhaps was written with that in mind. So a fair warning the end will leave you craving more. I am personally thrilled about this as I want to learn how they do this intoxicating pacing thing that they do. I’m off to my library’s website after I finish up here to see what formats the next books come in. Bring it on!

Lastly, I want to finish all of the books before I re-watch the series. My first attempt was abysmal. It felt like they changed the story line too much for me. I was in love with the way the writers set it up, and when it didn’t fall in line I kinda just gave up. BUT. Maybe when I’m done with the books I’ll have more patience.

Anyhow, yet another beach read for those that don’t wish to read romance all the time. Go forth and ask/answer questions!

FOR NEW COMERS THE COMMENT SECTION WILL HOLD THE QUESTIONS, AS TO NOT MAKE THE BLOG ITSELF A SPOILER. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK YOUR OWN QUESTIONS AS A SEPARATE THREAD.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Book Club Update

The book club, if you hadn’t noticed, is kind of a bust. Folks wanted me to set it up, so I did. Over on Facebook we have a page where we communicate and I’ve been reminding people to read their books, giving updates and such there.  But it’s been kind of one-way. Well, three or four way really? But you get the picture. I have been posting the book club posts here so that my non-FB friends can participate too, but there doesn’t seem to be any energy behind that one.

Anyhow, I’m not much into self flagellation (in public anyway,) so I’m going to give it one more chance to make this a go before I make it a FB page only thing, and leave it there, without doing the actual book club-y questions. Cheerleading all by yourself is a mute point if you know what I mean.

A note on how I pick the books that *I* bring to the table. I’ve long been a stalker of librarian blogs when I’m looking for new reads. Many of the books I’ve shared and asked if anyone wants to read came from those adventures. It’s pretty cool but I’ve yet to hear a single person complain about a book I’ve requested – including my friends who don’t read horror. Oh wait I take that back, I have one friend who doesn’t care for ghost stories and she *may* have balked at a few, but that’s okay. The folks that have actually read my picks have been very happy.

I’m currently reading the October book, Strain. It’s kind of disgusting in a good way. I was trying to explain the difference between splatter horror (it’s a thing) and what del Torro wrote, and I came up with this: He writes more clinical, less visceral when it comes to blood and guts. For me anyway, it makes it easier to read. I’m about halfway through that one, and I’m honestly shocked. Every time I sit down to read it, time disappears and huge chunks get read. Another beach read, as it turns out. Laugh if you want, but I’m enjoying it.

That’s it for now.

I expect the October 31st (ha funny, just realized we’re reading a horror story for a Halloween) to be the last thread for book club here. Do not fear I cannot stop babbling about books so there will be threads here and there about my faves over time.

See you soon.

 

Horror Rant

I’m feeling better but my head is still in the clouds just a bit. This isn’t altogether a bad thing, being the weather has been so nice :-).

Still no critique’s but I’m sure they will show up any minute now – if the post man didn’t deliver them to our evil neighbor that is. They have the same exact address except we’re Street and they’re Place. And they *say* they don’t speak English, but they do, and just use it as an excuse to steal my freaking mail. True story. Jerks.

Anyhow! Yes, I’m rambling, and it’s ’cause I’m not all there (I’m not here either – but that’s another story.)

I have a horror rant to share with you all.

To catch everyone up to speed (seems to be my catch phrase of late) I went to Crypticon Seattle on Memorial weekend. This may be confusing to some, as in, why would a women’s fiction writer got to a horror convention? So I want to clarify my standing on horror and everything scary here, after seeing a blurb on Crypticon last night that my friend Sadie shared with me. The main focus of the clip, aired by Evening Magazine, is that Crypticon is for the family.

I humbly and whole heartedly disagree. No matter the flavor of horror, I still believe there are things that children should not see. You can’t un-see some things, as the dh says. There are all kinds of reasons that I could go into about just why we need to let our kids grow up first, before they see arterial blood spray and intestines being pulled out of corpses. None of which I’ll go into here. I’m guessing you all are intelligent enough to figure it out on your own.

I have a different taste for horror than the mass audience. I use to call it vintage horror, but now I’m wondering if it would be more accurate to call it horror for women, along the same lines as porn for women. Don’t laugh, I’m serious. When they started filming porn for women, the idea was that women need more emotion, more relationship to their sex to make it appealing. For what is sex without foreplay? I think the same goes for horror. What is horror without the relationships and emotion? It’s about the thrill of it all for me, not the blood, is where I’m going with it.

Now remember, I just equated horror with porn? Yeah, for good reason in my book. You have to be a certain age before you can digest this kind of information, make sense of it, reduce it to what it really is. Now I know, I know, there are a select group of humans who mature faster and won’t get scarred from such things, but these are really, in fact, few and far between.

Which brings us to the role of family at the convention. There were a lot of people there. The majority were adults, with a smattering of 13 year olds. And yet there were still young ones walking around wide eyed and scared looking. A part of me really wants to swap out scared with scarred.

At the con, my friends, dh and I, wandered around displays of blood and dismemberment – while our kids were at home with a sitter. The displays of gore were comical most of the time, yes. And yes, there was a star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer present. That show is on the creepy side, but not, all together, a freak fest. I want to be clear there were NOT any Vampire My Little Pony booths, or Curious George in Zombie Land actors present attempting to lure kiddos in. Not a one.

According to the above mentioned video, it seems it’s a fact that at least some of the people bringing their kids to such an event condone showing their young ones horror. Perhaps Friday movie night at their place is “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or a screening of the “Saw” movies. They are all like “Did you see how realistic that beheading was, Junior?” and “Did you see that chainsaw cut through that woman’s thigh bone like butter Baby Jane?”

Meh. And we wonder what’s wrong with this world?

 

Crypticon Seattle: Where Have I Been?

I mean really.

I’m a soft horror fan. More along the lines of Stephen King, old Clive Barker and vintage horror. I have never really gotten into the slasher stuff. So I wasn’t like jumping all over the band wagon when I heard about this con. I think it may have crossed my periphery once or twice before, but honestly? I was thinking, “Ew, gross.”

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Then a friend of mine had a story chosen for their writers contest. A finalist! Woot. So we agreed to go along with another friend and our dh’s. So. Much. Fun. Their dealer room is loud and busy and chock full of books and all sorts of goods.

From cool puppetry to Elvira, there was something for everyone. Except maybe kids. There were even tattoos!

IMG_0246I went to a Q&A session for Nicholas Brendon. Don’t laugh at me: when I first saw him I was like “Who’s that cute guy?” Yes I’ve seen a bazillion episodes of Buffy. But Zander’s hair is shorter now, he had a hat on and some pretty hefty glasses. Anywho, the guy is a crack-up. Made me want to go rent Psycho Beach Party even.

IMG_1756The paranormal fair was meh. It’s the second one I’ve been to, and that one was meh, as well. Maybe ghosts are more exciting in our heads then at a convention? When I asked for library recommendations, every single one of them said “Read my book.” Not very helpful actually. I’m more wondering what their go-to books are. They only circled these questions whenever I brought them up. Go figure. We sat in on a discussion on haunted houses. That was interesting. Especially when I’m sitting here, writing this and my untouched cup just up and crashes to the floor into a million pieces. Go figure.

Looking forward to next year already :-).