Quick Lit #4: What I’ve Been Reading

Hey Fellow Readers,

Before I dive into my mini reviews I just want to say that I hope you are doing well through this very stressful time. I have generalized anxiety, so I’ve spent most of the past few days doing everything in my power to stay calm. Reading and writing has helped me, along with sitcoms and snacks, but it’s a struggle. 

If you’re in a country that’s fighting this virus….

Do whatever you need to for your mental health.

Wash your hands.

Stay inside as much as possible.

And even though it is hard, cling to positivity and kindness. ❤

Trail of Lightning –  Rebecca Roanhorse

I haven’t ventured far in Urban Fantasy, probably because most stories don’t spark an interest in me. I decided to try Trail of Lightning because the central mythos is Native American, and if I’m going to endure another dystopian book I need something interesting. The mythology coming to life was by far the biggest win of the book and made for an enjoyable read, along with some stand out characters. 

Sadly the book had some major issues for me, especially the leading lady, Maggie. Even with my limited experience of Urban Fantasy I found Maggie to be a walking stereotype, the ‘badass female character’ that can’t do feelings right because of her traumatic past. I think this is fine, especially in a dystopian setting, I just found her to be one-note… and then there’s a makeover scene. 

I noticed that the second book in the series (looks like it will be four total) has a higher rating on Goodreads, so I plan to give it a shot. 

The Open Curtain – Brian Evenson 

The month prior I read Under the Banner of Heaven, which looked at religious violence through examining Mormonism and the FLDS (think prophets, compounds, and polygmy). One of the topics touched upon heavily was Blood Atonement, the idea that you can sacrifice someone to atone for a major sin you commit. 

The Open Curtain is a psychological horror book that focuses on teenager Rudd as he discovers that William Hopper Young (grandson of Mormon prophet Brigham Young) was tried for the murder of a young woman, and the theory that blood atonement was the motive. Rudd’s fascination becomes obsession as he tries to uncover the truth while his own life is falling apart. 

I really liked this trippy book. There’s a point when the rug is pulled out from underneath you and then the third act is bonkers. Make no mistake, this book is dark and explores some tough places, but I think the story was amazing. 

Snow, Glass, Apples – Neil Gaiman & Colleen Doran

Oh boy.

Recently the Stoker Award nominees were announced and I decided to dive into graphic noms since the best novel ones were hard to come by in the library. I’ve only read a couple of Gaiman’s books, and both were geared to a younger audience, so color me surprised by this Snow White retelling.

I do have to hand it to Gaiman that he put another twist on top of one that’s already been done to death. We’ve gotten the ‘the wicked step-mom wasn’t that evil’ angle, but this is one where the Snow White’s stepmom is clearly the hero, as Snow White is a blood-sucking monster.

I actually like this twist, because of how Snow White’s looks are always described and the horror of a china-doll child being a cold-hearted monster is always interesting. I have to warn others, for such a short story there’s alot of sex, which wouldn’t be an issue except that Snow White is twelve throughout some of this. There’s also something she does that has sexual overtones when she’s like six/seven… it’s a bit much. 

I wish I could recommend it, the art work alone is gorgeous, but this is one that might be a bit rough for some. For me if a couple things were left out and a little more was explained I think I could’ve rated this higher. 

Quick Lit is a monthly meme hosted by Modern Mrs. Darcy where you can post short reviews on the 15th.

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