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  • Writer's pictureChristina Pfeiffer

04/28/2024 Christina Critiques




Hope you are ready for a pastiche of insanity because there is a book here for anyone and everyone.


Let’s get into them!

 

TROLLSLAYER (GOTREK AND FELIX #1)

By William King


For anyone who worries that they can’t get into fantasy, worry no more. I was hesitant to start this because well, I don’t do well with what I assume are “men” books. High fantasy, Warhammer 40k, etc. I just didn’t think it would have anything I would enjoy. … friends, was I wrong.


TROLLSLAYER is a collection of short stories (and possibly one novella) of the travels and escapades of Gotrek, a dwarf that has a date with Death but just can’t seem to make that great of an impression that Death wants to take him home, and Felix, the gentle wuss that somehow keeps surviving. As the reader moves through the carnage and mysterious lands, we learn so much more about the characters than meets the eye. And don’t get me started on the banter between these two.


I found myself laughing throughout the stories. Gotrek (imagine a Viking Brad Tierney if you will) is an onion character (more layers than you realize) and Felix swore an oath to Gotrek… but he was drunk and constantly regrets his decision. The world building and imagery hooked me immediately. If you know me, you know fantasy is an Achilles heel in my reading but this and DRACHENFELS has proven maybe I can get into this world.


A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND as I am immediately starting the next in the series. 5/5.


Order Here:

 

CARMILLA VOLUME 2: THE LAST VAMPIRE HUNTER

By Amy Chu and Soo Lee


Athena has lost everything and so travels to San Francisco, specifically Chinatown, attempting to hunt down more about her past. Along the way she finds her past is full of ghosts… and vampires. Finding her past, new friends, and a visit from Carmilla makes things a bit more complicated.


I REALLY liked the first 70% of this one and it would have been a 5 star but the last 30% just didn’t work at all for me. It was waaaaay too fast and the events that happened felt thrown together at the last minute. BUT! The story telling is much better and much less convoluted than the first one and I still enjoyed the second volume.


I would still recommend this to anyone who likes vampires, queer storytelling, or cultural mythology. 3.5/5.


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GRIM VOLUME 3: LUST FOR LIFE

By Stephanie Phillips, Flaviano, Rico Renzi


Issues 11-15 are collected in this latest volume of the crazy shenanigans of the relucant Grim Reaper named Jess. Annabel has delivered Marcel’s soul back to Hell while simultaneously handed over Eddie and Jess to Adira. The problem is, the soul Annabel wants is the one soul Hell was ACTUALLY made for… and it’s a doozy. Lilah buys what Life is selling but it isn’t what she expected. But what happens when the three muses, Jess, Eddie, Marcel and a preacher must defeat original sin again. They will need an army.


I am so damned addicted to this series. Continuing the perfection of the characters and the arcs they all are going through is prevalent in this volume as well. The muses are slowly become some of my favorite characters and really hope to see more of them in the coming issues/volumes.


Three volumes in and I’m still a sucker for it. A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.


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STOKER NOMINEES SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL


SHE IS A HAUNTING

By Trang Thanh Tran


“Sometimes, the things we want to hear, it’s better that we don’t ask for them. It’s more meaningful that way.”


Jade Nguyen wants to go to college but her mother can’t afford it even after the scholarships so she is resigned to spend time with her dad, Ba, who ran left the family four years earlier. The problem is the house that her father and his business partner are restoring may be haunted. With her sister, Lily, and her new friend Florence, she must deal with family secrets and a father she desperately wants to let go of.


Wow. That’s the first thought I had when I finished this. Tran mixes so many story lines and tropes into the novel but somehow it all works. While Jade struggles with her sexuality she is also forced to work through her family’s disapora (the dispersion or spread of a people from their original homeland.) Culturally, she attempts to navigate not only the rituals of her ancestry but also how not knowing her family’s native tongue of Vietnamese enough is a detriment to her life in more ways than one.


Such a superbly written novel. A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.


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YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DIE TONIGHT

By Kalynn Bayron


Charity has worked her butt off at the Camp Mirror Lake giving her customers the best slasher experience they can stomach. With a ragtag crew of co-workers, Charity has finally received the most coveted job in the simulation — the final girl. When things get a little bloody for real, no one can be trusted. What really happened at Camp Mirror Lake and why is no one safe?


Hmm. I love slashers as most know so this started out amazing. A slasher within a slasher? Say less, friends. But then it gets weird… then weirder… then kinda silly, sadly. And I hate having to say that because it was so damned well written. Now, I also have to step back a bit because this is YA. I loved the embracing of Charity and Bezi’s sexual identity and how secure they were in that. I love the diversity of race and cultures.


It’s still a good read and very entertaining. I would definitely recommend it for slasher hounds that can deal with a bit of double belief suspension. A solid 3.5/5.


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