Posts Tagged ‘book reviews’

Music Review: Dreams in the Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera

Published by Kirsten on September 30th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

  Dreams in the Witch House:  A Lovecraftian Rock Opera

Presented by The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, executive producer Mike Dalager

Platinum West, 2013

Available: Pre-order (MP3 and audio CD)

Running Time: 65 minutes.


Adapting H.P. Lovecraft into other media has not always been the easiest thing for writers, directors, and producers. It is one of the many reasons Guillermo Del Toro’s forthcoming $150 million epic take on At The Mountains of Madness has generated so much interest and dread among lovers of the author’s work. He just doesn’t translate well to other media. Films like The Thing or Alien, though not created from Lovecraft works, are often considered more stylistically Lovecraftian than the films actually adapted from his stories. However, I have now discovered a very faithful adaptation of Dreams of the Witch House, and quite an unusual one: a rock opera. It’s the most interesting tribute since the silent film Call of Cthulu.

The audacity of executive producer Mike Dalager’s project is my favorite thing about it. Writing a rock opera based on a beloved story is challenge enough; try doing it with over a dozen voice actors, a six member rock band that lives in various countries, organizing recording in LA, Sweden, and Denmark, and then paying for it all without a record label backing you financially. It is quite a feat.

The opera tells the story of Miskatonic University mathematics student Walter Gilman, who is having nightmares while staying in Arkham’s infamous Witch House.  Brown Jenkin (Chris Laney) is a hybrid humanoid rat-like creature who torments the sleeping math genius as he unlocks the secrets of universe and opens up travel to other planes of reality. The songs range from operatic metal to straight rock, some with a 90s feel.

To say I am impressed by this project is an understatement. I think every Lovecraft collector or library should have this in their collection cross-referenced to his books. Highly recommended, with a big thumbs up for horror fans, and anyone who collects rock and metal music. Appropriate for ages 12-up


Reviewed by David Agranoff

Book Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Published by Kirsten on September 28th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

   Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Delacorte Press, December 2014

ISBN: 978-0385743891

Available: Pre-order (hardcover and Kindle edtions)


Hot on the heels of her two previous books (Timeless, Timekeeper), author Alexandra Monir gives us Suspicion, a tale of secrets and suspense that lurk behind the iron gates of a modern day “Downton Abbey,” the magnificent and mysterious Rockford Manor.

Imogen lived in New York as a young girl, but she would often spend summers in Wickersham, England with her family at the grand estate known as Rockford Manor. One summer, while Imogen, her cousin Lucia, and friends Sebastian and Theo, are busy helping the groundskeeper plant flowers, Imogen accidentally discovers that she has supernatural powers – and a remarkable green thumb.

One night as she and Lucia are asleep in the boathouse, Imogen wakes to a raging fire in the garden, and sadly, both girls lose their parents to the devastating blaze. But not before Imogen’s father reveals there’s something special hidden within the garden’s curious maze. It’s decided that young Lucia will stay on at Rockford Manor in the care of her grandfather and a house full of servants, while Imogen is whisked back to New York, to live with friends of her family.

Over the years, the girls lose touch. Yet right before her high school graduation, Imogen’s past catches up with her. She receives word that both her grandfather and cousin have died, making Imogen sole heir to Rockford Manor and all of its twisted secrets.

For fans of The Princess Diaries or the classic Rebecca, this is a good fit –  and it looks like the author has left some wiggle room for a sequel, too. Recommended for ages 12 and over.

Contains: Teen Romance


Reviewed by Tina Mockmore


Book Review: Incarnate by Lawrence Weill

Published by Kirsten on September 15th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

 Incarnate by Lawrence Weill

BlackWyrm Publishing, March 2013

ISBN: 978-1-61318-142-3

Available: Paperback

Lara Joyner is a wife and mother of three children. She is very religious. She sees signs all around her that lead her to believe that her son, Dale, is the second coming of Christ. He just doesn’t know it yet. In the midst of a storm, she leaves her her home, taking her two sons with her, in the hope that she can reveal Dale’s hidden potential to become the saviour of mankind by pressing him to perform miracles. As she discovers unlocking Dale’s ability to create miracles is not easy, Lara spirals out of control. Her beliefs and faith are put to the test repeatedly. Her money runs out and desperation sets in. She turns to writing bad checks, theft, and, ultimately, selling herself, to keep the dream alive. Meanwhile, her husband, Frank, frantic to reunite their family, pursues the trio cross country: a reunion that will take a miracle.

Incarnate was an okay read. It is a psychological journey into delusion vs. reason. These are also the main themes throughout and were revealed nicely. The characters had distinctive voices and were consistent. Weill’s depiction of Lara, the religious, sign-seeing mother, is powerful. The descriptions were good without being overly graphic. The religious aspects of this book were a bit heavy-handed for me. That being said, it made sense for the story and characters. I also found the pacing to be a bit slow at times. As a result, it took me longer to read this relatively short book (it is only 224 pages). The story wasn’t compelling for me, and as a result, finishing it was not a strong priority. The concept was really interesting, but the delivery just didn’t work well. I have not read any of this author’s work in the past.

Contains: Sexual Situations, Rape, Adult Language

Reviewed by Aaron Fletcher