Novel Musings |

opinionated reviews of fictional literature
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Laura Bickle
Embers by Laura Bickle

Laura Bickle delivers a surprisingly diverse debut novel in Embers. A vague statement to be sure but true as there are some truly wonderful and refreshing elements of this book but they get overshadowed by some bad plot lines and unrealistic character interactions. To put it simply everyone will enjoy some aspect of this book whether it is the arson investigation, Sparky the Fire Salamander, or the author’s articulation of Detroit and the paranormal. However it is ones ability to take everything at face value that will really decide how much you enjoy the novel.

Christopher Pike
The Secret Path - Book 1 of Spooksville by Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike is one of those authors that all teenagers should be familiar with. As he wrote the series Chain Letter, The last Vampire, and Remember Me in addition to a multitude of Teen Classics. In my opinion some of his best work is the lesser known children’s horror series Spooksville. These short imaginative stories can be read as stand alone novels to the readers immense enjoyment, but when you read the story from start to finish you are totally immersed in a fun but scary world full of magic and unknown that every child dreams of.

H.P. Lovecraft ed. S.T. Joshi
The Dreams in the Witch House And Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft

For me, a lack of development can be excused in shorter pieces where getting the readers skin crawling is more important, but from “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath” onward the stories go on and on, feeling more like an encyclopedia; fact after fact. This attention to detail could be good for creating a new world for a novel, but the longer stories fall short. I did enjoy the earlier stories, but on the whole, I need much more character in the longer pieces to justify their length, or I would have liked to see them hacked down to a more manageable length.

Margaret Ronald
Fantasy edited by Sean Wallace & Paul Tremblay

Have you ever read a story and know that it would have been better if the author had only paved their own path instead of following the normal archetypes and plot lines. Goosegirl is that story you were wishing for, Margaret Ronald takes the classic fairy tale of the same name and manages to create a unique and riveting tale of magic and personal choices sure to delight readers of all ages.

K. E. Mills
The Accidental Sorcerer by K.E. Mills

If you are a fan of traditional fantasy then The Accidental Sorcerer is for you. This novel by K.E. Mills (a.k.a. Karen Miller) is an interesting tail combining common elements of fantasy: wizards with their staffs, witches, crystal balls, a princess in distress, even a dragon or two. However this story of Gerald Dunwoody was surprisingly entertaining with a well paced story.