7 Days in Hell by Iseult Murphy
“Run,” screamed the primal, fight or flight part of her. “Run before they eat you.”
I don’t read a whole lot of horror. (I still need to finish The Exorcist, which I’m like 1/3 of the way through.) But pitch me a horror novel (really, a novel, poem, song, etc) set in Ireland and I’m so there.
This book follows Vicky and Irene, twin sisters, and their dog Ronnie, as they take a sojourn to a small Irish town and quickly find far more than they bargained for.
DUN DUN DUN.
THINGS GET SCARY QUICK, M’KAY???
I loved how immersive Murphy’s writing is. There’s such great detail and atmosphere in the scene setting. She really paints a vivid, terrifying tale. Poor Irene, Vicky and Ronnie 😦
This is a book horror fans should definitely check out – and it appears there’s a sequel, too!
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly [lgbt+, historical fiction]
that strange love between us. Like when you fumblin’ about in the darkness and you light a lamp, and the light comes up and rescues things. Objects in a room and the face of the man who seem a dug-up treasure to you. John Cole seems a food; bread of Earth. The lamplight touching his eyes and another light answering.
5 HEARTS-IN-MY-EYES STARS for Thomas McNulty, Handsome John Cole, little Winona, and an epic historical fiction novel whose central cast is a gay couple and their adopted daughter.
A man’s memory might have only a hundred clear days in it and he has lived thousands. Can’t do much about that. We have our store of days and we spend them like forgetful drunkards. I ain’t got no argument with it, just saying it is so.
*faints from prose fangirling*
We knew what to do with nothing. We were at home there.
READ IT. READ IT. READ IT.
Today I finally finished Gold Rush Manliness. It was really good, I just kept getting sidetracked. It was a great examination of how race and gender impacted the gold rushes in California and British Columbia. This line really stuck with me: In short, the notions of white manhood established in the nineteenth century persist today, and their legacies can be seen everywhere, from the least-threatening practical joking to the most menacing expressions of white male superiority. There were loads of things in this examination that really wow’d me. Definitely recommend!
I also read Warm Up, which is a prequel story to V. E. Schwab’s Villains and Vengeful. I really liked it! If you’re curious, the book is available on Tor, here. It was dark and eerie and very well done. I loved this quote: It didn’t catch fire. Nothing ever actually caught fire. No, it all simply burned.
Beyond the Dragon’s Gate by Yoon Ha Lee is a new Tor original. Read it online, here. I quite liked it! The new issue of Uncanny Magazine is also out and I’ve started with poetry this time!
Girl, you best stop setting yourself on fire,
you may be the phoenix,
but these bones aren’t kindling
to keep others warm—
Ali Trotta, ‘Athena Holds Up a Mirror to Strength’, here.
Still working through Everything You Love Will Burn, Agnes Grey and A Small Revolution in Germany, all of which I’m liking, although Everything You Love Will Burn is something I have to listen to in small doses. I also started Cage of Souls. It’s my first Adrian Tchaikovsky. He’s such a big name in the science fiction genre, so I’m glad to have finally picked up one of his. I’m also about halfway through Louise O’Neill’s Almost Love. The prose is really good and the storyline sucks you in, but I’m having trouble liking the main character.
What’s everyone else reading? Have you read any of the above? What’d you think?
Our family tree blew down in a gale and we are the bad apples it shook off.
I read Moïra Fowley-Doyle’s Spellbook of the Lost and Found last year and absolutely adored it. Set in Ireland, the book has a sweet f/f pairing, bi rep, great relationships between siblings and friends, and lovely prose. It’s a magical realism novel and does the genre proud. It totally captivated me and I really wanted to check out her other works, so I bought All the Bad Apples recently. I’m really enjoying it so far!
If you love books with magical realism set in Ireland, definitely check these out!