It’s A Pond, No, It’s An Ocean (The Ocean At The End Of The Lane – A Book Review)

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2013

Ocean at the End of the Lane

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Attending a funeral, a man comes back to the remnants of his childhood home and then is drawn to the house at the end of the lane where he sits at the edge of a pond. This pond is special. It isn’t a pond at all, but a a sea…an ocean. That’s what Lettie Hempstock called it and she was right. She, her mother and her grandmother, women who were mysterious and mystical had more than once told him how they came there across this ocean. That there was a world there beyond his wildest dreams and worst nightmares past it.

As the narrator sits there, he begins to remember when he nearly choked in his sleep from a coin being lodged in his throat, and an Opal miner turned up dead, and how his friend, Lettie, who promised to protect him, had to defeat a supernatural creature that came in the form of Ursula Monkton, the new housekeeper/babysitter that came from another world and was taking over his home. There was something magical and frightening in that memory, down at the end the end of the lane. As he recall every minute detail he relives a world that shouldn’t have made any sense, but it did. And as quickly as he remembered, he forgot.

I do not know how to express how much I’ve come to love Neil Gaiman and his magic. Having read American Gods, I was ready to read his other works wherever I could find it. Down at the bottom of a dusty box, in the stockroom of the bookstore, Ocean At The End Of The Lane stared up at me like a beacon and I was so excited. I can still recall jumping up and down faster than the speed of light and getting to set it on the back counter so that I could buy it on payday.

Excited

Gaiman’s riveting detail still surprises me to no end. It’s so beautiful and frightening in a single breath. The storytelling comes from a unique standpoint as well.

As I read, I became enchanted and amazed by the world that was created just between two houses. This story didn’t take place across a large setting like a country or a town. There was no road trip. More so, the world seemed so much larger than just these two places, in the memory of one man. I can’t pinpoint it precisely, except to say that I was deeply reminded of The Spiderwick Chronicles and the harrowing adventures in the small series. This was like the grown-up, more intense version.

Ocean at the end of the Lane - Spiderwick

 

One of the most important elements (to me anyway) that I’ve come to notice in Gaiman’s books, the ones that I’ve read so far, is the great detail he gives to the moon. It is such a magical and fantastical being, though it’s so far away and, maybe it’s just me, but we can’t help but want to reach out and touch or let it swallow us whole in its beautiful, pale light or even just talk to it because it’s such a great listener. I’m taken over by a bout of warmth and fuzziness with how Gaiman writes about the moon and that it’s more than just a rock in the sky. It gives light in the dark, shining a way home.

Moon

While I was deeply enveloped in the magic of the book and I do believe it was all magic, there is a question to be posed. Was this memory all in the narrator’s imagination? Was this how he coped with serious events that rocked his life, like for example, the man’s death that he and his father discovered? After all, this book takes place in the narrator’s memory and people remember things differently from other people.

 

This book was phenomenal. If only I had enough words to describe how extraordinary Gaiman’s storytelling is. All I can say is, you have to read it for yourself.

 

Quotables:

“Can’t drink the water from the sea, can you? Too salty. Like drinking life’s blood.” (Grandma Hempstock, p. 7)

“Small children believe themselves to be gods, or some of them do, and then can only be satisfied when the rest of the world goes along with their way of seeing.” (narrator, p. 51)

“Adult stories never made sense, and they were so slow to start. They made me feel like there were secrets, Masonic, mythic secrets, to adulthood.” (narrator, p. 53)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Runaway by Thriving Ivory. 
Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J. 

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The Family Business? (Unbreakable – A Book Review)

Hey everybody! I love you, my dear bookworms! I hope you are doing well. While I do have a new book review for you here, I am also messing around with a new way to format it. Not any major changes. Just ways to highlight new paragraphs and separate subjects to help with transitioning.

Also, enjoy the solar eclipse today! Just be safe and don’t go blind. Please.

 

Unbreakable (The Legion Book 1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Published: 2013

unbreakable

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Protect yourself. What you can’t see can hurt you.

From the co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series comes a book about the forces of darkness.

Kennedy Waters is your average teenager with the exception of having a photographic memory. After discovering her mother dead, she’s nearly killed by the same force, a deadly spirit when twins, Jared and Lukas Lockhart, break in and save her. Kennedy’s quickly swept into a world of fighting and protecting the world from vengeance spirits and demons.  Jared, Lukas and the rest of the misfit group known as The Legion believe that Kennedy is the missing member of their group. She isn’t so sure.

Only after receiving a special mark will she be one of them and the more she tries the more it seems unlikely. Everyone is sure she’s the missing member, especially Jared. Unlike the others, there’s nothing special about her, and this fight is turning into more and more of a nightmare.

Unbreakable

She joins them on the hunt for a special artifact that could help avenge her mother’s death as well as the death of others. It may also confirm her position in The Legion.

 

Where to start…

My heart raced like Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” as I became quickly enthralled with this book. All of the dark and twisty surprises were enticing and. I haven’t had a book do this to me in a good little while. Couldn’t put it down. I live for the supernatural world. I found myself holding breath a couple times.

 

I really enjoyed this book. That’s a good place to start as any. I think one of the big reasons behind why I enjoyed it so much was because of how close it was to Supernatural. Yep, the TV show. Now, it wasn’t a replica. Not what I’m saying, though there are similarities since mom dies in the show and the book. But the usage of lore is what connects the two. The use of devil’s traps and what affects a spirit is impressive. I will say that this book goes into great detail about this. More so than Supernatural, I believe. You get the basic gist from the show, but in this book you get a really feel as for why these traps work and how.

Unbreakable trap

I do feel like the Winchesters of Supernatural and The Legion live in the same universe.

 

The pacing of the book is fast. Don’t trip or you’ll miss something. You basically his the ground running after the prologue-ish beginning. Just like Kennedy, you’re swept away and while I feel like there were moments that we should’ve slowed down, it still worked. Kennedy did well in contemplating why they moved so quickly. She took the opportunity to question everything and not all main characters do that. It made up for the pacing.

The images that emphasized certain symbols that Kennedy saw were a beautiful addition. Not a lot of books add imagery to their story, but this book did just that for the readers and I loved it! Not because I wouldn’t have been able to picture it for myself, but because it pulled me into the story even more as if I was there standing in from of them and seeing them with my own eyeballs. I find that adding certain artwork or images to a story can really amplify it.

There was a peeve. Oh man, I wish there wasn’t. But there is. The Jared and Kennedy love connection. I’m not against love forming in the face of danger. In fact it gives me a thrill because who has time for that!? You may die any minute, any second, and you’ve discovered you might be having feelings? Alright! But—a nasty word, I know—it happened to fast for me. It was like getting smacked with a fish. Completely random. I couldn’t find the connection that would’ve sparked this. Maybe it was just plain, old attraction. I’m not sure. I just wish it would’ve been more solid.

Unbreakable huh

 

Do I recommend this book? I do. It’s fun with twists and turns and while they seem predictable at times, they’re still a hell of a lot of fun.

Unbreakable yes

 

Did I overload this post with too many Supernatural gifs? Hell no. No such thing.

 

Quotabes:

“The full moon glowed above the rooftops. It reminded me of my mom. She used to say that a moon like this was full of wishes and that if one of those wishes belonged to you it might come true…” (Kennedy, p. 129)

“How much pain could I withstand before I finally broke?” (Kennedy, p. 181)

“I was never destined to save the world. I was the one who destroyed it.” (Kennedy, p. 305)

 

P.S. Song today? Come As You Are by Nirvana.

Trapped in the Underground (Survive the Night – A Book Review)

Survive the Night
Author: Danielle Vega
Published: 2015

Survive the Night

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

“We’re all going to die down here.”

Casey’s first night out of rehab, she’s taken to a party by her friends where her ex’s band is playing. After hearing about the wild rave, Survive the Night, she and her friends go on the hunt. Finding the rave down in an abandoned subway, Casey is overwhelmed by the enclosed space and drugs and alcohol; everything she worked hard to get free of. She puts on a brave face and tries to have fun anyway…until she finds the body of her friend, Julie, completely mutilated. Her friends think she was just seeing things due to withdrawal, but Casey knows what she saw.

The rave is broken up by the police, and Casey and her friends search for a way out of the tunnels only to discover that they’re trapped…and they’re not alone in the darkness. By who or what, they’re not sure. All they know is that it has claws and teeth, and it’s hunting them and there doesn’t seem to be a way out.

Creepy - Rebloggy

First things first. I’m a horror junkie. I live for the blood and guts when I’m not being a hapless romantic or thriving on paranormal adventures. If you’re searching for somebody to watch scary movies with then I’m your guy…girl. However, if there are clowns then I’m out. They eat people and are scary as hell. *shivers* Just no thank you.

 

This book was a lot of fun. It really made me think about the 90’s movies: I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream and The Faculty. Not so much because of plot, but because of the theme and style. I grew up with these movies and so many others, but this is the era that I flashed back to while reading. It made me giddy.

giphy

There was the group of friends, but not really friends, and there was the drama between exes and of course, the big bad. I finished this book all in one day and then discovered that my mom took and read it. Now, she listens to audio books (big fan of Stephen King and Dean Koontz), so I was surprised she picked up this book, since it’s the first time she’s picked up a physical—pages and all—book in years. She enjoyed it as well.

While the plot was predictable, the story was still a lot of fun. I loved the exciting feeling of wondering what was to come and most importantly, when. With a perfect amount of gore, I couldn’t get enough. My heart ached with sadness and burned with anger on this trek (in a good way, of course). Now, I can’t say it terrified me and kept me awake at night. It takes a little work to do that, and I don’t just mean the occasional jump-scare. But it did give my blood a bit of an adrenaline rush here and there as well as making my breath catch in anticipation.

A fun read. Certainly no holds back on the gory details and to make it better, you’re stuck in complete darkness. It’s got my approval.

oh yeah - giphy

Quotables:

“I inhale, trying to calm myself down, but the air tastes like fish and rot and something else, something sweet and familiar that makes me gag. I need to get out of here, The air’s too thick. I can’t breathe.” (Casey, p. 92)

“Then we’re running. Our shoes slap against the damp, trash-strewn ground and our breathing comes in gasps. My heart pounds in my ears, like a drum. We’re so loud. Everyone in the tunnels must hear us. I glance behind me, but the darkness is perfect. It presses against our backs like a solid thing.” (Casey, p. 134)

“I clench and unclench my hand, ignoring the sweat gathering on the back of my neck. I turn and stare in to the darkness. The sound cuts off abruptly. Like someone holding their breath.” (Casey, p. 189)

“This is it. I’m going to die.” (Casey, p. 249)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Trip Switch by Nothing But Thieves.