Book Review – Bloodlist (Vampire Files #1) by P.N. Elrod

Bloggos,

My brain is all melty from the 16+ hours I worked on editing The Steel Armada over the last two days. It was a wild time, where each chapter got about two hours worth of work, including three separate read throughs. I added a total of 68 words to the manuscript, and that’s after counting all the stuff I cut.

My brain is pudding dribbling out of one ear right about now.

So, let’s talk about Bloodlist!

Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars

vampire files #1

You’re probably looking at that rating and cringing. You’re used to my other three star reviews, which are usually pretty negative. I’m not one to give a low rating lightly, and giving anything under a four usually brings me physical pain.

But, I’m not angry at this book. I’m not upset or even all that disappointed. I listened to it. It was interesting enough to ensure I kept coming back to it, although I didn’t think the narration was anything mind blowing. It’s hard to compete with James Marsters though, let’s be honest.

So, why the low rating then? Because I have no strong feelings about this book. I am neither disappointed by it nor would I recommend it. I read it. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t necessarily good either. It just was.

The book is set in post-Prohibition Chicago, and the lead character has just become a vampire. It has a lot of noir storytelling elements, which I appreciated, but it also featured a lot of mobsters being the 1930s equivalent of dudebros.

The man character, whose name literally just escaped me for two whole minutes, Jack Fleming was all right, but I didn’t really root for him. I liked the side character, his Private Investigator buddy… Escott? Yeah, that guy. He was intriguing.

But, there was little to no explanation of what the rules of Elrod’s brand of Vampirism were. I mean, I think Jack didn’t really know and we’re learning along with him, but… still. It was a little boring. It took awhile to get going and actually get to the plot. Which is a really common problem with the first book in a series.

I would say Bloodlist definitely suffers from that. My Goodreads rating said, “I feel neither glad to have read it, nor upset that I took the time.” I think about this book and my reaction is… *shrug*.

That being said, I’m open to giving the second book a try, if I ever find myself with a lull in my audiobooks. It wasn’t bad it just wasn’t good either. I do wonder if I would have liked it more reading a hard copy. Sometimes the audiobook leaves something to be desired.

However, I did enjoy listening to it when that migraine struck. Always gotta have a audiobook queued up, just in case.

I just went to read the synopsis for the second book in this series, and it really didn’t pique my interest either. Maybe someday, when I’m real bored, I’ll come back to it. But for now I’m going to stick to the Peter Grant books.

I am glad I gave this series a shot though! You never know what you might like if you don’t give new books a try!

I don’t think I’ll be back again this weekend. I’m going to take some quality time to decompress from my editing marathon and just enjoy my time off with a good book. I’ll be back to talk at you all on Monday!

Until then, Blogland!

 

BZ

 

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Book Review- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Why hello there!

I know it’s been awhile. And I know you all know why by now. I can only complain about my hectic schedule so many times, so just insert rant here.

School’s going well, and my classes are bomb.com this term. Anime Art History and The Literature of Mars. Yes please. I just finished reading H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, and Trevor and I watched the 2005 movie with Tom Cruise. I’d seen it before, but had forgotten just how intense it was! Definitely a nail-wrecker.

Anyway, book club met a couple weeks ago to discuss Gone Girl, and I’m finally here with a little time to give it a review. In general, the Book Club felt pretty much the same about Flynn’s uber-popular novel: Great book, but we have a strong hate/love relationship with it.
gonegirl

*Here come the spoilers*

The first half of the book is spent split between the two main characters, Amy and Nick. Nick’s point of view is in the book’s present, detailing life since the morning Amy went missing. Nick’s chapters are pretty condemning, and though I wanted to root for him (He quoted The Sure Thing the first time they met, he’s gotta be a good guy, right?), the evidence was impossible to ignore.

Especially since Amy’s chapters are all diary entries spanning their entire 5 year marriage. And as the chapters get closer and closer to the day Amy disappears, the chapters get darker and darker. The diary tells the sad tale of a marriage gone sour after years of miscommunications, negligence, and indifference. It broke my heart to read, and it also terrified me. Amy’s chapters showed just how easy it is to take your spouse for granted, and as someone just through with their first year of marriage, it was a cautionary tale.

And then I got to part two.

So, you see, Amy’s chapters? Yeah, they’re bullshit. Turns out, Amy is a complete psychopath. And I mean that in the clinical sense. She has an utter disregard for anything but her own goals. She feels no remorse for her actions, and has no qualms with fabricating her own murder and pinning it on her husband.
amazingamy

So then I cheered, because I’d been right, Nick was a good guy! His wife is just fucking crazy (excuse my French). And then you find out that Nick’s been cheating on Amy for over a year, and that’s why she’s doing all this.

Now, I don’t think that infidelity is grounds for putting a man in jail for life. Especially when the wife is as unfeeling and removed as Amy. It’s understandable that Nick would cheat, really. But that doesn’t make it right either.

As the story progresses, Flynn twists things so hard that the feelings you had toward Nick circa part one are gone, and replaced with an unruly mixture of shame, fear, and awe. Shame, that he cheated and he continues to make poor decisions in that regard. Fear, because you can’t see how he’s going to get out of the web of lies Amy has set up for him, and you really want him to. And awe, because this crazy bitch thought of everything.

Seriously, everything.

And all you want is for Nick to get away. Which was a nice touch. Usually in these kinds of stories, it’s the wife who needs to get away, but Flynn takes the trope and spins it in a new direction. Refreshing.

But, and I hate to burst your bubble, but there’s no happy ending here. By the end you’re left with a sour taste in your mouth, a simmering loathing in your gut, and a tingling in your brain, like a waking limb.

This book is complex, and distressing. Hell, it’s just plain stressing. It keeps you guessing and it keeps you reading. I couldn’t put it down.

But I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it.

This story is beyond memorable. The characters are vivid, and the stakes are high. Also, I read this book while I was taking my Noir Lit and Film class, and it was really neat to see conventions from the genre linger in Flynn’s writing, and equally nice to see he recognize them and then make them her own.

Gone Girl is an extremely well written story that took root in my imagination. And though the story left me uncomfortable, it’s a good thing. Because I think that’s exactly what Gillian Flynn was going for.

Achievement unlocked.

Next up for the Book Club, The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I look forward to a much lighter, humorous read after this story.

As always, thanks for getting this far. I’ll see you next time!

BZ

Feeling Chatty

Hello again, Blogland!

I find myself with spare time, and all I can think of is talking to you.

I’m finally getting my life back together. It was a much longer adjustment period than I anticipated, but it’s coming together.

The other day I actually edited two chapters of Vessels, meaning I only have five left before it’s in the Second Draft! Whaaaat? Is that a thing? It’ll still take a lot of time, because the edits are all physical. Nothing has been changed in the computer yet, which means there’s a lot of work to do yet. But, a milestone is in sight!

I’m keeping up on my Caladria responsibilities, which is good. There’s a lot of projects upcoming, but I’m feeling good about it.

I’ve read The Maltese Falcon and watched the film with Trevor last night, while we listened to fireworks outside. I liked the film, but the book was just so incredible. I’ve liked both my forays into the Noir genre, so now I’m really looking forward to the rest of this course.

What else?

I’ve only got 120 pages left of The Republic of Thieves, which has me happy. Especially since the fourth installment is set to release in September! And, I’ve got some books on hold at the Library ready to pick up, so that’s good timing.

Anyway, I should be winding down for bed. Tomorrow’s my first day running the show at the Library, so I need to be on my A game. Wish me luck!

See you all soon, Blogland!

BZ

Somehow, Progress

Well, hello again!

This hasn’t happened in a while. Back to back posts? Is that even a thing anymore?

Well, it is today.

I finished reading The Maltese Falcon today. I loved it. So much so, that I placed a hold on Dashiell Hammett’s short stories, so I can read more of Sam Spade.

Today has been relaxing. I mean, I worked earlier, but I have most of the day off. Reading, eating Mexican food, catching up on homework and Caladria stuff. These are the kinds of things I find relaxing…

I seriously need a vacation.

In case you weren’t aware, Fab Fables #6 is out now! As usual, there’s some great stories waiting for you.

What else?

Oh! I actually edited a chapter of Vessels the other day. I know right? Who saw that one coming? And, I think I’m going to do another one today. I’m over halfway through with the first round of edits. Then I retype it all up, and have at it again.

If I don’t get my ass in gear, this novel is going to take years to edit. That is not acceptable. Granted, if we took just the actual time I spent on it, it’d be maybe a month or two…

Which is still not OK. I should never have neglected it so badly. But, I kept my promise. I haven’t looked at Cards at all. And I won’t, until I’m satisfied with Vessels.

Man, I’m going to be editing these manuscripts forever.

I got a B in my first Summer Class. Better than I anticipated, since I really didn’t try very much. Bummer that it’ll drop my GPA, but I figure I can bounce back. Especially since I’m loving this Noir class so far.

If you’re keeping tabs on me via Goodreads, you’ll see that I’m 70% done with my reading goal this year. Really, 30 books wasn’t enough of a challenge, not with school bolstering my TBR list. But, I don’t think I’ll be able to hit 52. I’m 6 books behind, and I just don’t have the free time to make up the gap. So maybe 45 will be a good place to aim for.

Anyway, I’m gonna go do things. I’m feeling motivated, and this migraine is finally fading.

Have a happy 4th Blogland!

BZ