Amanda G. (literatec) - Reviews

1 to 9 of 9
Bag of Bones
Bag of Bones
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 813
Review Date: 6/8/2011
Helpful Score: 2


There aren't many great old-fashioned ghost stories out there anymore, so leave it to horror master Stephen King to bring us a suitably chilling tale. Absolutely loved this novel, from beginning to end. He brings great humanity to his paranormal story. Definitely a must-read, but the faint of heart should be careful - it's quite spooky! I for one will never look at my nephew's alphabet refrigerator magnets the same way again!


Beach House (Point Horror)
Beach House (Point Horror)
Author: R. L. Stine
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 11/26/2008
Helpful Score: 1


One of R.L. Stine's pre-Fear Street YA novels and part of the Point horror label that includes authors such as Diane Hoh and J.B. Stamper.

A story set outside of the familiar Fear Street locale, detailing the happenings of a small group of friends one summer on the beach. The story mirrors two unfolding horror-dramas, one set in the 1960's and one in the 'present day', each one marked with horrific brutal deaths on the usually serene beach.

One of Stine's better YA novels that doesn't follow the formula he would later create for his Fear Street and Goosebumps series. A clever storyline and an enjoyable easy read - highly recommended!


Bury Me Deep
Bury Me Deep
Author: Christopher Pike
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 41
Review Date: 11/26/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Fifteen years after I first read this book, it can still give me a serious case of the creeps!

One of Pike's better outings, telling the tale of a young woman haunted by a man she saw die - or did she really? The mystery aspect of the story is compelling, with the supernatural course of the novel running deep and very intriguing. Definitely a page-turner; though it's a short read, expect to stay up finishing this one, because you'll be dying to know how it ends!


Goddess for Hire
Goddess for Hire
Author: Sonia Singh
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 7/5/2006
Helpful Score: 2


A funny look at balancing family heritage and social culture. The heroine is an imperfect goddess, which makes it all the better. Funny, and an easy read!


Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 499
Review Date: 7/11/2006


A true classic of the Victorian era!


The Legend of Lacy Black
The Legend of Lacy Black
Author: Tory Houston
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/27/2009


"The Legend of Lacy Black" presents a fantastic but poorly executed idea. Filled with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age, it spins the tale of a renowned starlet, from her humble beginnings as abused child Lucinda Blackburn, spanning her career as the legendary Lacy Black and ending with her escape into anonymity.

While the idea of the story and the intrigue of the characters - including near-miss love story spanning the decades - the somewhat cliched dialogue and overall Mary-Sue quality of the main character become something of a turn-off.

Overall, it's a great idea with so much potential that, unfortunately, falls flat. Still worth a read, though it's not going to be making any great book of the ages lists.


Lost Echoes
Lost Echoes
Author: Joe R. Lansdale
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 9/30/2008
Helpful Score: 2


There is an ageless quality to the beginning of Lost Echoes . The opening to the main narrative which arrives only after a newspaper clipping and a brief retrospective thought from the novel's lead character has a quiet sense of timelessness that could lead a reader to believe that this story could be taking place at any time in the latter half of the 20 th century. An ill child awakens from a fevered sleep and wanders through a quiet house in the dark, reveling in his innocence by watching drive-in cartoons through his living room windows, parents all the while unaware. The sweetness of this picturesque scene is soon stripped away, when this single incident leads to a new talent that will haunt this child, young Harry, for much of his life.

The idea is fairly simple: the story of a young man, who, as a result of this childhood illness, sees and hears what is not there. Or, rather, what once was there, but has long since lapsed into the forgotten memories of countless villains and their hapless victims. Where Lost Echoes differs from a bevy of other paranormal thrillers is that the focus is not on the hero learning to use his gift to save the day, but rather learning to cope and bear the weight of knowing, seeing and feeling what others have left behind.

The novel is broken into three basic components, all centered around the story's major player, Harry: a battle against the self, a battle against alcoholism and a twisted little mystery that draws both together. These major components of the story arc are oddly segregated, with the mystery crime-drama aspect relegated to the last and least important position. While the mystery of an accidental suicide that could be a murder, wrapped in the perfumed cloud of a returned childhood crush, is intriguing, it plays only a supporting role to the real drama of the hero Harry's battle with his alcoholism and the terrifying visions the title's lost echoes that come to him carried on waves of seemingly harmless sound.

This is in itself an intriguing idea: bring realism to the idea of a human being plagued by haunting visions of the past. Visionaries, psychics and mediums are a dime a dozen in fiction of a paranormal bend, but rarely do they possess such depth and reality. Lansdale presents Harry as sympathetic figure, plagued by visions he does not want and cannot stop. He is no sage mystic, using his supposed fight when and if he feels it necessary; he is just a tired, overwrought kid, attacked daily by a barrage of horrible images, vestiges of the inhumanity man wreaks upon himself and others. The evil men do, the author seems to subtly remind, can never truly die away. And while most can forget it with the passing of time, there are some, like Harry, who can never ignore it. He must deal with everything the rest of us leave behind: all of our fears, our horrors and our hates, invading the life and mind of the young man.

Unable to escape his gift or, rather, curse, as Harry himself seems to see it he draws himself into an obsessive-compulsive cocoon of padded walls, planned safe routes' and avoidance. Anything he cannot control, Harry drowns in a flood of liquor, numbing his senses and halting the flow of the echoes that torment him. It is only after meeting a fellow barroom regular an older man, perhaps representing the only future Harry will have if he continues on his self-destructive safe' path and an unscheduled deviation from his normal routine that Harry begins to believe that there must be a better way. Enter Tad, a middle-aged martial arts master gone to seed, who drinks a nightly tribute to his own sad memories, a startling contrast to young Harry, who instead uses the alcohol to blot out and numb away everyone else's lingering echoes. Together, the two embark on a quest to regain their control find their centers over their own lives.

Lansdale creates the world through Harry's eyes or, better, his ears; readers find the idyllic quiet of what seems to be modern day small town perfection shattered by the silent reverberating screams left only for Harry to see. Hidden here, and perhaps everywhere, are the dirty little secrets and softly spoken lies that are the underbelly of even the happiest of settings.


The Mammoth Book of Murder and Science
The Mammoth Book of Murder and Science
Author: Roger Wilkes (Editor)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 3/27/2006


Technical and historic accounts of [in]famous crimes. Very interesting, if a little dry now and again.


What Wendell Wants : Or, How to Tell if You're Obsessed with Your Dog
What Wendell Wants : Or, How to Tell if You're Obsessed with Your Dog
Author: Jenny Lee
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 7/11/2006
Helpful Score: 1


Funny and insightful humor, perfect for anyone with a pet - or anyone who KNOWS someone just a little obsessed with their dog!


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