Past Features

Turning Off The TV #10: Supernatural

tottvheader

Welcome to my regular Thursday feature, Turning off the TV! In this feature I recommend books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both series and specific episodes.

The TV series this week is: Supernatural.

Supernatural

Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as “hunters” fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.

This is the third of this feature covering Supernatural, as I hope to be looking at this series in more detail. So many creatures and urban legends are featured that it opens up a choice of so many more books!

Enjoyed ‘Provenance’ (Season One, Episode Nineteen)?

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co #1) by Jonathan Stroud

This episode is about a haunted painting that Sam and Dean have to somehow obtain from an auction house, and then dispose of. So what would be a better choice than The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde? This infamous story follows the eponymous Dorian Gray, who sells his soul in exchange for eternal youth and good looks. However, his recently commissioned portrait reflects the extent of his sins, whilst the real Dorian remains perfect – at least in appearance. It was a pretty scandalous book when it was released, and there’s also a fairly recent film adaptation starring Ben Barnes which only builds upon and adds to the scandalous moments. And then there’s The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co #1), the first in a brilliant new series by Jonathan Stroud, about young members of a ‘supernatural agency’. Like the Winchesters, Lockwood & Co have to deal with many haunted and possessed objects. I reviewed this book earlier in the year.

Enjoyed ‘Devil’s Trap’ (Season One, Episode Twenty-two)?

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates

After their father, John Winchester, is captured, Dean and Sam along with Bobby succeed in trapping the demon Meg, who reveals that their father is in Missouri. Unfortunately, he has been possessed by Azazel, the yellow-eyed demon that killed their mother. There are countless books on demons, demon possession and demon worship – and quite a few episodes to do with Ol’ Yellow Eyes throughout the show, so I’ll just recommend three books for now. Firstly, there’s the super obvious one – The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. Do I really need to explain the plot?? A more recent release, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea tells the story of Violet, who lives in a sleepy little town where nothing much happens – until River makes an appearance. It’s a classic tale of that enticing new stranger being not quite what they seem… And finally, The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates describes how a whole town falls under the influence of a supernatural force. Although it’s part of the Gothic Saga, it can be read as a standalone as the series is more a collection of gothic novels by the same author, rather than novels containing the same characters and similar events.

Enjoyed ‘Everybody Loves A Clown’ (Season Two, Episode Two)?

It by Stephen King Joyland by Stephen King Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

The Winchesters investigate a series of murders at a travelling carnival, which turns out to be a Rakshasa (of Hindu mythology), transforming into a clown in order to trick children, before then murdering their parents. Of course, the first book that came to mind linked to this episode was It by Stephen King, which I won’t be reading any time soon thank you very much. Clowns are already creepy enough as it is. Another Stephen King novel with a carnival theme (maybe we should just avoid carnivals and funfairs??) is the more recently released Joyland – now this one I definitely want to read sometime. And now for a non-Stephen King book: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, in which a creepy carnival (*makes a mental note to avoid carnivals in the future*) comes to town, and two young boys have to save their home from its evil clutches.

Are you a fan of Supernatural? Do you have any recommendations to add?

Advertisements
Review

Review: The Daylight War (Demon Cycle #3) by Peter V. Brett

17207972.jpg

4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

I devoured the first two books in this series, so when I saw the ARC of The Daylight War on Edelweiss I immediately requested it. And reading this ARC has shown me just how badly I get on with the Kindle.

This is a book I’d been anticipating since I finished The Desert Spear. One that I couldn’t wait to start – but even then I didn’t pick it up until June, despite getting a copy of the ARC at the beginning of the year. And I didn’t finish it until a couple of days ago, in early September.

But I’m not actually sure if it was just the fault of the Kindle.

Whilst I can’t fault Peter V. Brett’s wonderful writing style and vivid imagination, there was just something about this book that just didn’t match up to the other two. We spent a vast majority of it in the past, with Inevera – which whilst explaining her behaviour and perhaps justifying (some of) her actions, really made me feel like there was far too much background. In fact the book barely advanced time wise, because so much of it was spent in the past.

I also got irritated by Arlen and Renna, eventually. Their relationship was sweet at first, and it was nice to see the real Arlen Bales that I knew from the first book, rather than the Warded Man, but their way of talking to each other started to bug me. This volume of the series certainly tends to focus a lot more on relationships, with even Rojer getting some action. He lost my respect though – although he may have been embracing Krasian culture, it felt kind of… creepy.

However, Leesha was her usual headstrong self, and has some problems she will have to face in the next book. As well as this, we will see the conclusion of the cliffhanger – and I can’t decide if that frustrates me or gets me excited for the next book!

Sorry this review is so short. I didn’t take very comprehensive notes because of the time it took me to read it, plus I read a large majority on a long train ride home so didn’t manage to make any notes during that time. I just want to express that The Daylight War keeps up the wonderful world-building of the first two books, whilst lacking most of the excitement. There was just far too much of the past, and not enough of the present, where the demon threat is. Although some of the developments (Rojer’s talent in particular) were exciting, it fell flat compared to the action of the first book in particular.

However, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a four star rating. Keep writing, Mr. Brett.

Review

Review: The Painted Man (Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V. Brett

The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V. Brett

5 out of 5 stars

**spoiler alert**

After finishing Mass Effect 3, I really wanted to read some sci-fi. So I went down to my local library, and browsed the (rather pathetic) sci-fi and fantasy section. I came back with four fantasy books, and just one sci-fi. Luckily, one of the fantasy books was this one, because it was amazing. I was first drawn in by the cover – rather mysterious – and then the blurb.

The entire concept of demons (or ‘corelings’) springing up out of the earth after the sun has set – or even when it is dark enough during the day, caused by storms and the like – really interested me. The people of this fantasy world live in fear of the dark, because there is actually something out there, and to prevent demon attacks they must ward their homes, businesses, cities etc, or travellers must create ward circles in which to hide at night. But the wards can be easily disturbed – washed away by rain, covered by snow or leaves, even just a person treading on one of the wards can break the circle. Everyone lives in constant fear, and no-one has the means, or courage, to face up to the demons. That is until Arlen finds a warded spear in the ruins of an ancient city, and using murals and the spear itself begins to recreate the wards, even going to far as tattooing his entire body – hence the ‘Painted’ or ‘Warded Man’.

I have to admit when I first opened the book and read that the main protagonist was a ten-year old boy, my heart sunk a little. I often get annoyed by such young protagonists, but Arlen really surprised me. He was clever and a realist, and very, very determined. And his transformation into the Painted Man was fantastic – strengthened by past losses, and desperate to not turn into his father. In fact, all three of the protagonists were very likeable and it was interesting to follow them from their pre-teens (or earlier, in Rojer’s case), to adulthood. I like Leesha for her sense of morals and her determination to live her life as she wanted.

Often with fantasy novels, the authors understandably want to create something new, a new world, but some times it can get very complicated. The Warding system was very understandable, and I can’t wait to find out more of its back story, along with the history of the Core and corelings – which I hope will be coming up in the next two books.

I really loved the pacing of the book. Brett didn’t switch between POVs too quickly, nor too slowly. It felt like just as something big was building up for each character, the POV would switch, which definitely kept me reading to find out what happened next. The action scenes were brilliant and fast paced.

As much as I love fantasy, I haven’t found too many series that have really gripped me. The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire go without saying, but I feel this series (trilogy?) could soon join them. I will definitely be looking out for book two, and book three when it is published – apparently February 2013.

View on Goodreads