Out of the Shadows…

lavinia-portraitRIP1Happy Halloween!  Beware of ghosts and ghouls! :)

The end of October also marks the end of the Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) Challenge.  This two-month challenge focuses on horror and mystery…and while I don’t usually consider those my top genres, I always have fun with it!

Here’s the list of what I watched and read from the darker side…

  1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  2. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
  3. Rivers of London/Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
  4. Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  5. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Peril on Screen

  1. Jane Eyre (1983 BBC Miniseries)
  2. The Invisible Man (1933)
  3. And Then There Were None (1945)

I seem to have trended towards the classics…which I can’t say really surprises me!  It’s been a fun and shivery fall, and now I’m looking forward to some sci fi for the winter…and I always look forward to fairy tales in the spring!

More immediately, the end of October also means National Novel Writing Month begins tomorrow.  I’m planning to participate for my third year, so come back tomorrow for my launch post, with some sneak peeks at writing plans.

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Book Review: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

After not enjoying The Invisible Man, it may seem a little odd that I went on to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I think I’m determined to find some piece of classic sci-fi/horror that I can like!  And it’s the right time of year, with R.I.P. going on.  Jekyll and Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson, and I always have trouble keeping that in mind—it feels like such a completely different book than Treasure Island. It feels much more like it ought to be part of the canon of H. G. Wells. Unfortunately, that includes some of Wells’ issues!

Jekyll and Hyde is fascinating to read from a historical perspective–because I think it’s a book that’s been ruined by its own success. Do I even have to say “spoiler alert” before mentioning that Jekyll and Hyde are one person? Everyone knows that—and unfortunately that’s the one big mystery of the book! Continue reading

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Classic Review: Bloody Jack

I’ve been reading the Bloody Jack series since high school, and recently completed a re”read” of the series by audiobook (highly recommended!)  The final (twelfth!) book in the series will be out next week.  I can’t wait to find out what finally happens to Jacky Faber–and today I’m re-sharing my review of the series!


The Bloody Jack series follows the adventures of Jacky Faber…sailor, soldier, pirate, fine lady, spy…oh, and Lily of the West.  Among other things.  Set around 1800, it all starts in Bloody Jack, when orphan Mary Faber decides that the way out of the gutter is to sign onto a Royal Navy ship as a Ship’s Boy.  Obviously that second word presents complications, so Mary becomes Jacky and disguises herself as a boy.

Jacky is an incredibly fun character.  She’s endlessly creative with her schemes and ideas, wildly emotive, rarely depressed no matter what life throws at her, fiercely loyal to her friends and endlessly ambitious to better her life and the lives of the people she cares about.  She has dreams of creating a worldwide shipping industry, and despite usually being only one step ahead of a vast number of people chasing her, she also manages to keep chasing those dreams.  Honestly, she’s like a cork–the world keeps trying to push her down, and she just keeps bobbing merrily up again. Continue reading

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Imaginary Illustrations #7

Just because we passed Release Day for The Storyteller and Her Sisters, that doesn’t mean we’re done with Imaginary Illustrations!  Today is a quote from The Wanderers, with reference to one of the more serious moments of the book.  In the first chapter, Jasper encounters a magician.  When the magician gets angry…bad things happen.  And he has an alarming number of statues in his garden.

Never trust a magician


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Blog Waltz: Guest Post on The Bookworm Chronicles

Storyteller Cover 1 - SmallContinuing the dance around the blogs for The Storyteller and Her Sisters, today I’m happy to share that I have a guest post on The Bookworm Chronicles.  That’s the online home of Jessica, who you may have seen around here as a commenter. :)

Jessica posts frequent book reviews, and is so much better than I am at responding to comments from lovely readers!  She also does a monthly post on film adaptations of books–I always enjoy it, and it inspired my guest post.  I wrote a bit about movie retellings of fairy tales…Disney’s, specifically!  I mention a few favorites, a few that make me groan, and how Disney’s adaptations have changed over the years.  And why I hope they’ll do a “Twelve Dancing Princesses” retelling soon!

Head over to The Bookworm Chronicles to read the post!

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