K. Aten‘s latest, I must say, took me to a whole new level of intrigue!! The subject matter, the significance of the metaphysics, psychic abilities including telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, telesthesia, levitation, clairvoyance, the lot! As if not enough, Aten also injected the divine connection of soulmates, not to mention, higher consciousness, aliens, other universes… the whole nine yards! With all these ingredients mixed together to create a uniquely engaging and intriguing story about two royal babies, princesses, born from two different planets, Tora and Reyna, in the Q’orre system, who were bonded as soulmates (Q’sirrahna), but as a result of their respective planets being under attack, they were inevitably shipped off to Earth for their own protection, kept under watch by the Watchers. When I read this prologue, I couldn’t help but be reminded a little bit of “Superman.” Just a little bit. But what really piqued my curiosity and intrigue was how Aten moulded the back story of the entire situation with the MCs’ planets of origin, the system, the battle, and the nature of the soulmate bond and the circumstances in which the two MCs, Zendara Inyri Baen-Tor (Zen), Princess of Tora, and Amari Losira Del Rey (Amari), Princess of Reyna, were separated on Earth, living separate lives but were meant to be reunited when the timing was right. I won’t elaborate here except to make reference to the following: Wes Penre and Robert Morning Sky. It’s uncanny how Aten’s story here reminded me so much of these two people. If you know either or both of them, you’d understand. Simply remarkable! Obviously, this is just my own interpretation regarding the parallels between what Aten brought into this brilliantly weaved and told sci-fi/speculative/paranormal/supernatural/metaphysical story, and Penre and Sky’s observations. If you don’t know what in the world I’m referring to, don’t fret. Read this story as is. But if you do, then, it really is extraordinary, innit? Hmm.. I wonder…
Noble and the Colby sisters are back in Book 2 of K. Aten‘s very promising debut urban fantasy series, Blood Resonance! Book 1, “Running From Forever,” (my commentary here if you’re interested) was highly entertaining and enjoyable and I’m a big urban fantasy fan especially of the vamp-were kind. So, I was curious about what story Aten had in-store for Noble & Gang in the sequel, or as I’d like to dub them, “The Lesbian Vamp-Were Scooby Doo gang!” Well, as usual, Aten didn’t disappoint.
After reading and thoroughly enjoying Eden Darry’s debut published novel, “The House,” I was looking forward to reading her sophomore effort, “Vanished.” Although after reading its blurb, I realised that it wasn’t going to be a horror story, rather, a speculative fiction, more like. I was intrigued to see how Darry weaved an apocalyptic/dystopia story, even though this particular sub-genre of spec fic isn’t my usual cuppa.
In the first few pages, I realised that this “end-of-the-world” story was going to have a heavy religious connotation throughout. Two words: NOAH’S ARK. Even if you’re not from the Christian/Muslim/Jewish persuasion, I’m sure you’ve heard about it since it’s been so mainstreamed already. Anyway, Darry started off the book with a huge storm and then a massively blinding white light descending upon the MCs (and the rest of the world), which caused the vanishing of just about everyone overnight! Well, except for the select (“chosen”) few including Ellery and Loveday, the 2 MCs, along with their pet dog and cat.
Once again, it was solely the book cover that lured me to read the story. When a cover is spellbindingly aesthetic and subversively revealing, I avoid the book’s blurb because I want to experience the story organically based on my supposition of what the cover and/or the title has revealed to my imagination. THIS cover of Charlotte Greene‘s latest lesfic horror/supernatural story, “Legacy,” with a compelling romance, literally held me captive. It’s the well. The. Bloody. Well. I always had this strange fascination with the well. Perhaps because of what it represents (to me): the abyss of hidden secrets, dark mysteries, lost time, trapped past. So the sight of a well on this cover was like a calling….an ominously eerie calling for my attention. With the cabin looking on from afar like it was scared of the unassumingly imposing well, not to mention, its intimidating title towering over its insidious mouth, my resolve to devour this book was sealed good and proper. I trusted my instincts that its story would give me the kind of satisfaction that I always crave for when reading. In particular, stories in the horror/paranormal/supernatural genre, because of my unusually high expectations and selective pickiness. I don’t usually read books solely based on their covers but the few times that I did, they all came up on top, believe it or not. No exception with this one. Yay to intuition!
Needless to say, the cover and the title did its job and then some in personifying the nature and intent of the story. “Legacy” was utterly brilliant! For me, it was one of the most arresting, richly multi-layered, spine-tingling, bone-chilling horror/supernatural stories ever written and I’m proud to place this as one of my favourites in the genre, lesfic or otherwise. The tone, the rhythmic flow and design of Greene’s dark, hair-raising nightmare of a tale was reminiscent of Henry James’ “The Turn Of The Screw,” Stephen King’s “Doctor Sleep,” mixed with the visual shudder of “The Ring,” “Amityville Horror,” and “Cabin In The Woods,” all of which are on my favourite horror “proverbial” book/blu-ray shelf. But the icing on the cake for me was what “Legacy” had that these aforementioned books/movies didn’t…. LESBIANS! To top it off, it also featured a prominent lesbian romance that Greene ever-so nonchalantly weaved into the story amidst all the otherworldly ruckus throughout the entire journey! To say that I was utterly satisfied and satiated after devouring this book is an understatement. Naturally, I shall be revisiting the cabin, the well, the woods, the fascinating cast of characters, particularly the primary MCs and the “shadow” MCs…yeh, you have to read it to gauge who I’m talking about!
Who is Stephanie Ahn? What is Harrietta Lee series about? Truth be told, I had no knowledge, whatsoever, about the existence of this author, let alone her series! That was until Lex‘s review of “Deadline,” Book 1 of Ahn’s Harrietta Lee series, showed up on my GR timeline recently! At first glance, the cover threw me a little bit because it looked like a manga book. Why? Because having been a fan of manga since I was a kid, I never thought I’d see the day where there would be manga in lesfic! Hence, my initial double-take! Then almost immediately, I was curious as to how this could be in lesbian fiction! See, when “Legend of Korra” finally gave us Korrasami, I finally dared to hope that manga would expand into lesbian fiction!
*Ha! I finally found a good reason to include Korrasami images on my blog! Fancy that! If it weren’t for the cover of this book and writing style, I prolly wouldn’t find any rhyme or reason to! So, cheers, Ms. Ahn!*
So far, though, I’m still a little “obsessed” with Korra and Asami so I haven’t actually actively looked for others in manga so I don’t know what the current situation is.
Oops, I digress!!!
Back to my point…. and I DO have one, mind! Wait…
OK, so back to Ahn’s “Deadline.” First and foremost, it’s NOT manga. Well…I’ll get back to this in a bit. Anyway, at Lex’s mention of a demon girl, Lilith, that was it. With my curiosity already spilling over because I kept wondering why the book cover was in manga art form, and now a demon girl in the mix?! I just HAD to read to find out more!
Lesley Davis has once again sucked me in with something that I’ve always been fascinated with and a believer in the “Nothing is what it seems. Nothing. Open your mind” way of life! With “Raging At The Stars,” I felt an immediate connection to it because…. The X-Files! It was like Davis wrote it especially for me! All the conspiracy theories, the mindset, circumstances that she described were as if she tapped into my mind, retrieved them and crafted into this truly captivating, engrossing and positively exciting tale! Or, that she and I just happen to share similar mentality where this subject matter’s concerned! Plus… “The X-Files!!!” I would be shocked if Davis isn’t an X-phile herself! She literally took the mythology of the phenomenally ground-breaking cult series, compiled them altogether and ran with it, putting her very own unique story and writing stamp on it! Even better? Infinitely, I’d say? LESBIANS!!!!! Lesbian romance in the midst of it but not so much that it’d distract from the massive plot! That’s the genius of her tale-spinning. As much as I was enamoured of the entire collection of conspiracy theories that were brilliantly deconstructed as the plot unfolded, Davis also soothed it with a lovely, charming romance and…let’s not forget, which I now know to expect from Davis…. The WIT! The HUMOUR! The HILARITY! In the dialogue between the protagonists and the other always-interesting secondary characters making the entire reading experience…FUNFUNFUN!!