Tag Archives: paranormal

Capable by Lisa

This isn’t really YA. Read it anyhow.

He was almost surprised that the gas station was running as he pushed the dusty metal handle of the glass door.

Dusty. As if it would be anything else. This was the desert—everything was dusty.

It didn’t exactly look like a five-star establishment, either. The refrigerated shelves lining the walls were sparsely filled and water dripped sporadically from the corner of a swamp cooler on the wall. The fluorescent lights buzzing over his head gave much less light than the mind-dazzling sun outside. Part of him welcomed the change—the familiarity of it—and part of him wanted to run back to the vastness of outdoors, something that had been denied him for too long.

He headed towards the beverages, reached in for a sports drink, gritting his teeth as the fabric of his long-sleeved shirt chafed against his wrists, where the skin was raw and red. He chuckled softly. Finally free of their metal restraints, covered in soft cotton, the welts there ached more than they had in years.

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The Night the Sky Split by Lisa

It happened the night the sky split.

It was all over the news. The Milky Way would be extra-visible due to atmospheric somethingorother. The scientist were explaining it left and right. The pictures, they said, would be breathtaking. And they were.

But no one saw what I saw.

I was out at the lake with my family that weekend. We were all staying out to watch the sky darken, to watch the stream of light that seemed to tear the sky in two. I’d seen the Milky Way before, but only as a dim trail across the sky. Not this vibrant, violent thing.

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Gimlet by Lisa

I was seven when we moved into the house.  It was a huge place—a mansion, really.  I remember tiptoeing through the rooms like it was a museum, afraid to touch any of the ornate furniture.

My parents got it for a ridiculously low price.  Mom thought it must mean the house was a lemon, but Dad’s a contractor, and he checked the whole thing out himself.  I guess the reason it was so cheap was because people thought it was haunted.  Things would happen in the house… furniture would move, messes would be made that no one in the house saw happen.  It spooked people.  The house had been relisted seven times in the past five years.

My parents don’t believe in things like that, so it didn’t stop them from snapping the house up.  Little things did start to happen, but usually they just blamed me for it.  It wasn’t me.  It was him.

I liked to call him Gimlet.  We’d lived in the house for almost six months when I first saw him.  He was a tiny little man, maybe eight inches tall, with disproportionately wide hips and an oversized nose—everything else about him was thin and bony.  He was a very strange little man.

He was angry when I discovered him, toppling over the bobbins of thread in my mother’s sewing room.  He screamed at me in a language I didn’t understand, jumping up and down in a rage.  I think he was mad that we’d come and lived in his house without asking him.

I tried to tell my parents about Gimlet, but they thought I was making up stories.  When I showed my mother the sewing room, she folded her arms and gave me a lecture about how I should never blame things on other people—especially imaginary ones.

After that, Gimlet wouldn’t let me sleep at night.  He’d come in and pull my hair and pinch my nose and make a ruckus, right next to my ears.  I didn’t know what to do.  I tried telling Mom about him again, but she was still mad about the sewing room, and she just ignored me.

And then it hit me.  Maybe Gimlet wasn’t so bad… maybe I just wasn’t treating him the way I should be.  I was a Girl Scout, after all… I knew what Brownies were.  Brownies were helpful creatures.  I didn’t know if Gimlet was a Brownie, but it gave me an idea.

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Book Geek Wednesday: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

As I’ve often stated on this blog, I have a weakness for great covers. They’re often the first selling point for me when it nterscomes to books, which is why it should come as no surprise that I picked up this book when I saw the striking cover at the bookstore. What captured me most were the markings on the male’s body. I have a ‘thing’ for markings, as anyone who’s read my book, Zerah’s Chosen, knows (mini-plug!).

The storyline was simple enough: when Clary Fray witnesses a punkish blue haired boy get murdered by three teens (who have weird silver markings and fight as comfortably as they breathe), she is hurled into the world of the Shadowhunters, which oddly enough are called Nephilim. Now, this book seems to be a down is up kind of book, because according to the Bible, the Nephilim were human/angel hybrids who wreaked havoc and caused terrible violence in the world, while in Clare’s world, they’re the heroes, saving the world from ‘demons’. These demons are from another dimension and occassionally form human crossbreeds that live as vampires, werewolves, and other magical supernatural creatures.

There were some things I feel Clare really got right. The mythology she created is fascinating. In particular the very memorable Silent Brothers, the visual of the City of Bones being below a populated metropolis like Manhattan, and the history of the war and the mortal instruments. It made for interesting reading and made the world feel pre-existent, rather than it all suddenly starting with the heroine’s discovery of her Sight. Clary’s best friend, Simon, was also a wonderful anchor to reality amidst all the new paranormality. He made me smile and he melted my heart a few times. His loyalty to her made him a very sympathetic character. And Jace, despite being unnecessarily obnoxious most times, had great chemistry with Clary, so the tension kept me reading.

Despite these pluses, the book suffered from one very MAJOR minus. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what it is, as it’s a huge spoiler of the ending. Ha ha. Terrible, aren’t I? I’ll just tell you this: I became invested in the story, started to cheer on the characters, and then was so blindsided (and not in a “wow, that’s clever” way) that I actually ended up giving away the book. I still haven’t been able to pick up any of the sequels. While it might have been about a B+ before the ending, it turned into a C-.

Harsh? Maybe. But I don’t seem to be the only person who feels this way. In fact, from the reviews on Goodreads, this is one of those love or hate books. No real inbetweens. From what I understand, Clare borrowed heavily from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and pulled lines from some of her old Harry Potter fanfiction, which has pissed off LOTS of people. But you know what? You can’t go by other people’s reviews. In the end, you have to read for yourself.

Book Geek Wednesday: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

I’ve heard some really great things about this book. In fact, it was recommended to me by one of my coworkers at the bookstore. I’d been eyeing it on the shelves for a while and it had been singled out on the YA recommended reads section so I thought it might be worth a try. I loved the cover and was excited by the prospect of reading a good fantasy/paranormal historical (because historicals are a bit of a weakness for me). Unfortunately, it hasn’t been going as well as I’d expected.

The book centers around Gemma Doyle, a sixteen year old sent to Spence Academy after her mother dies in India. The situation surrounding her mother’s death is mysterious and help us understand that Gemma isn’t like other girls – she suspects she is having visions of the future. At Spence she finds herself among snobby elitist girls and for a while she’s forced to be an outsider. But the more time she spends at the Academy, the more secrets she unravels about her mother and about her own power – if it wasn’t for the young man constantly warning her she shouldn’t pursue these visions.

For starters, I was thrilled about the setting. India and then Victorian England?! I expected to fall in love. Unfortunately, it didn’t wow me. The only time I ever really felt the setting was when the gypsies appeared or when the girls talked of their male prospects, usually disgusting older men waiting for them to finish their grooming so that they could be young trophy wives. Other than that, Gemma seems very much a modern day heroine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not what I expected.

The mystery is well done and it is revealed slowly, perhaps too slowly for my taste. The book delves in gothic undertones and definitely has a creepy factor, delving into dark aspects of magic and clairvoyance. Some people love that. In this case, it just didn’t really work for me.

But if you like a chilling mystery, the romance of a historical time period and paranormal elements, then this book is for you.

My Rating: C+/B- (prepares to receive hatemail)

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