The Wolves of Midwinter

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review of Christopher Rice's "The Heaven's Rise"

                                        Barnes and Nobles (Nook Edition) /Amazon (Kindle Edition)

(Ghost Writer: Zombie Iago)

     Wreathed in mystery, Christopher Rice's first supernatural foray into the territory his mother traverses the same phantasmagorical New Orleans world with his own deft, individualized authorial voice.  Now, the beginning of the novel was a bit of a challenge to read, since Christopher Rice calculatedly reveals the mystery that is the life-force of this novel slowly throughout the course of this very exciting novel that moves at breakneck speed at certain points of the novel. I'm not your atypical reader of this genre, mostly because I don't normally read thrillers. Being one of the first thrillers I've read in awhile though, I had to stifle any fleeting feelings of impatience, and settle myself down for a type of novel that stylistically is constructed to be a mystery in all facets: characters, setting, and plot. Each of the chapters are approximately five to eight pages, encouraging you to flip pages faster to reveal more tantalizing details that concern the mystery that is at the core of this novel.
   Amazingly, the unnamed villain (undisclosed in this review to safeguard the novel's complex plot) seems a bit reminiscent of  Iago from Shakespeare's Othello. Then again, aren't a lot of brilliant villains in novels mere facsimiles of brilliant Shakespeare villains. Anyways, this villain is sketched out in ambiguous detail, along with his particular preternatural abilities. Rather than have his abilities and motives be divulged from the first page as with Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, Christopher Rice perfidiously behaves as an Iago himself,  as he brilliantly sketches the villain with clear, decisive details that are revealed slowly, which paradoxically causes the readers to become even more intrigued by this villain.
   Since Christopher Rice writes with his own distinctive style, it is important to not compare his novels too closely with his mother's own novels. Both writers are technically very different in how they envisage a novel. With The Heaven's Rise, the setting works as a subtle homage being paid to his mother's works, but the rest of the novel is uniquely new territory. Most of his characters are clearly human, even though a few (such as the Iago villain) have questionable connections with the supernatural world. Rather than have the supernatural world be the predominant angle of the novel, The Heaven's Rise is very much entrenched in the affairs of the muggle (or mundane) world. Having the supernatural world be shadowy in this novel rather than clearly exhibited on center stage is really the pivotal element behind this novel's excellent sense of suspense.

   At times, Christopher Rice's prose can be a bit winding and muddled at first, until you realize that the fuzziness comes more from the layered mystery that Chris is trying to carefully reveal to the reader. Therefore, saying his prose is either "winding and muddled" is clearly very disingenuous. As I adapted to his style of writing though, I saw that his prose was very competent without being too verbose. It achieves a very careful happy medium between being detailed, but not being too gratuitous with its detail. Some of the long sentences are brilliant in the way that they lull you into a sense of false security before an unexpected event suddenly springs itself upon the reader, meaning Chris carefully juxtaposes his sentences with the mind of a brilliant schemer of suspense.

   While his mother might be more of a Mary Shelley, Christopher Rice is very much the Iago of the family with this novel in particular. Even though I was a bit disheartened by the fact that the novel was firmly settled in the human world as opposed to the supernatural world, I began to accept the novel's stylistic angle and ended up really enjoying it. It was never tedious to read at any points, and the measured way the suspense hurtles the novel along  with exacting alacrity keeps the reader's interest piqued throughout the entire novel. Even if you are not a fan of thrillers, I still highly recommend that you read this thrilling novel, and be prepared to be catapulted into a frenetic world of endless mystery and surprises.

Friday, September 20, 2013

25 Days of Werewolves Day 1: Teilhard de Chardin 101: Omega Point

For all those still reading this post on the old blog, I will keep these posts up for the next six or seven months before closing out the blog. I feel like I am extending the deadline of this old blog's existence ad infinitum, but there seems to be numerous followers of this older blog.
Link to New Blog:

Information About the Book. Preorder Your Copy in Advance of October 15, 2013  Via Amazon/Barnes &Nobles Summary Taken from Amazon Product Page
The tale of THE WOLF GIFT continues . . .In Anne Rice’s surprising and compelling best-selling novel, the first of her strange and mythic imagining of the world of wolfen powers (“I devoured these pages . . . As solid and engaging as anything she has written since her early vampire chronicle fiction” —Alan Cheuse, The Boston Globe; “A delectable cocktail of old-fashioned lost-race adventure, shape-shifting and suspense” —Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post), readers were spellbound as Rice imagined a daring new world set against the wild and beckoning California coast.Now in her new novel, as lush and romantic in detail and atmosphere as it is sleek and steely in storytelling, Anne Rice brings us once again to the rugged coastline of Northern California, to the grand mansion at Nideck Point—to further explore the unearthly education of her transformed Man Wolf.The novel opens on a cold, gray landscape. It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide. For Reuben Golding, now infused with the wolf gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this Christmas promises to be like no other . . . as he soon becomes aware that the Morphenkinder, steeped in their own rituals, are also celebrating the Midwinter Yuletide festival deep within Nideck forest.From out of the shadows of the exquisite mansion comes a ghost—tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection . . . As Reuben finds himself caught up with the passions and yearnings of this spectral presence and the preparations for the Nideck town Christmas reach a fever pitch, astonishing secrets are revealed, secrets that tell of a strange netherworld, of spirits—centuries old—who possess their own fantastical ancient histories and taunt with their dark, magical powers . . .
25 Unrelenting Days of Wolfish Ferocity, Festive Music with Pagan Underpinnings, Supernatural yarns with Febrile Passion, and Everything concerning the Wolfish World of Anne Rice's Opulent Gothic Wonderland.......

Countdown to The 
Wolves of Midwinter

Teilhard de Chardin 101: The Omega Point & Its Relation to Anne Rice's Wolf Gift Chronicles

Reading Teilhard De Chardin's text can be brutally difficult for individuals like myself, unaccustomed to reading abstract philosophy. Whenever I try to read hardcore, abstract philosophy, my brain feels shuttered and nonfunctional, as though the scattered neurons in my brain are struggling with valor and unabated enthusiasm to comprehend the deep implications of Teilhard De Chardin's theories. Strangely enough, I don't really feel particularly religious at this point in my life, but Teilhard De Chardin's ideas still deeply enthrall me with his ingenious theories about our place in the universe. For those who may not have heard of this brilliant, unorthodox thinker, Teilhard De Chardin was a very smart, progressive thinker in the field of biology during the early portion of the twentieth century. He believed that the theory of evolution shed a much deeper, more sophisticated light on the nature of the universe and how it may have been brought into being. Unfortunately, the Vatican at the time in the early twentieth century condemned such forward-thinking as blasphemous. Teilhard de Chardin was pressured by the Vatican to not publish his rather subversive works about his theistic evolutionary ideas. As such, they were not published till the sixties during the time of Vatican II, when the Catholic Church grew more accepting of a theistic idea of evolution.

 Being raised in a Protestant Fundamentalist world that was stubbornly myopic about scientific matters, I never heard of Pierre Teilhard De Chardin until two years ago. Then again, I barely even knew about the existence of Philosophy, mysticism, or the notion that Biblical text could be read in the same way people read fantasy books or poetry. Then again, most people raised in the unenlightened, darkened world of secretariat religion or separatist fundamentalism tend to build their concept of God within a small, dark space that obdurately refuses to accept mystery, doubt, and paradox that are an essential part of the make-up of the universe. This type of restrictive fundamentalism believes the existence of all things is rudimentary, dry, and unsophisticated. Teilhard De Chardin's theories, including his concept of the Omega Point,  are the antithesis of the mainstay fundamentalist theories that dominate the current Christian way of thinking. Again, his theories are not exclusively for Christians or evangelists. Teilhard De Chardin really wrote his theories to a more universal audience that goes beyond the cloisters of labels, and concerns himself with much deeper questions that go beyond the scope of convention. In many ways, he is no different than Carl Sagan, who was chiefly interested in the same types of existential questions:Why are we here? What is our purpose? Why are we even consciously inhabiting this universe, if we are led to believe that this universe has a beginning and endpoint with no underlying purpose for "being?" It is the latter question that the theory of the Omega Point strives to understand.

Definition of Omega:(Definition taken from

"omega [ˈəʊmɪgə]
n1. (Linguistics / Letters of the Alphabet (Foreign)) the 24th and last letter of the Greek alphabet (Ω, ω), a long vowel, transliterated as oor ō2. the ending or last of a series"
    Unsurprisingly, this word "Omega" designates an ending point, either within the realm of the universe's existence or a certain phase within someone's life. Essentially, it is a very agnostic word, when it relates back to the unanswerable God question. Teilhard De Chardin was an ordained, Jesuit priest, so his omega point theory definitely has Christian connotations. For agnostics or even atheists though, the word,omega point,   can still cohere with our view of the universe being intrinsically mysterious or beyond our knowledge. Certainly, Teilhard De Chardin thought the same thing, as many other intelligent religious thinkers do. Sadly, some of the more boisterous religious thinkers are the often the more puerile, limited thinkers of this group, who would have made Teilhard De Chardin's theory of the omega point  yet another dogmatic theory that adherents merely believe without question, but never really strive to reconcile or accept the paradoxes inherent in this theory. I think religious thinkers like Teilhard de Chardin or Madeleine L'Engle thought exploring and accepting paradox was a crucial part of their more relaxed notion of the word, belief.  

     Anyways, I was taken aback that Teilhard De Chardin's theory, though, was still very agnostic in my understanding.
According to his theory, Omega Point simply relates to his theory that as the universe evolves and unfolds, material and conscious life progressively becomes more complex.  Of course, his theory does relate back to the divine, when Teilhard de Chardin postulates that the omega point is the highest, predesignated stage of consciousness, where humanity or some other form of more evolved conscious life reaches the last phase of consciousness. Of course, my agnostic mind has no problem with this theory because it simply explicates the possible trajectory of conscious life, but it never provides any clear, determinant theories, as to when the omega point will be reached or any tangible sense of the factors that are constitutive of  beings that have reached the highest stage of consciousness.  
  Relating to Anne Rice's works, this theory was very influential in the theistic evolution that was presented in Anne Rice's Memnoch the Devil, where Memnoch leads a reluctant, atheistic Lestat into the heavenly realms. This is where Anne Rice provides a much clearer illustration of Teilhard De Chardin's theory of the Omega point through her mastery of creating a complex, Faustian myth that presents a hero struggling with the meaning of existence and possibility that the whole construction of the universe was created through a form of theistic evolution. This form of theistic evolution is presented in Teilhard de Chardin-influenced way, where  all material life is progressively evolving to an indeterminate end-point, where the highest stage of consciousness and material complexity within life is reached. In terms of Lestat's own development, the immortal consciousness of a vampire is already proof enough that biological life itself has the capacity to evolve and change over time. In Blood Canticle,  Lestat strives to be a saint, as though to reach that higher level of consciousness as a vampire that will allow him to potentially transcend his more primal urges as a vampire. It is this insatiable primal urge, which St. Augustine would have phrased as concupiscence,  that is still frustratingly intrinsic to all material life.

   In Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift, the duality of the man-wolf is one of Anne Rice's most interesting mythological hybrids, which further emphasizes her continued exploration of the Teilhard de Chardin's notion of the omega point. During one particularly poignant scene when Reuben is seeking contrition from his Brother Jim, a priest, Reuben broodingly reflects upon whether God can really exist, when all material and conscious life seems to onerously struggle with the knowledge of one's own vices and paradoxical motivation within a theistic or even agnostic sense of the universe:

    "Do you think Teilhard de Chardin could have been right? That we fear God does not exist because we can't spatially grasp the immensity of the universe; we fear that personality is lost in it when maybe it is a superpersonality that holds it all together, a super-conscious God who planted evolving consciousness in each of us-"(The Wolf Gift 221)
This quote brilliantly encapsulates Anne Rice's own contention about Teilhard De Chardin's omega theory, which is a struggle to comprehend within a universe that seems as ineffably complex as our own selves or more evolved forms of biological life, such as werewolves or vampires.  Interestingly, Nideck Point (the mansion that Reuben Golding eventually purchases) and the woods that surround this majestic, divine oasis are coexistent, and they structurally mirror the interior of dual nature of Reuben's own psyche. Even with this greater psychological complexity, the omega point is still an elusive end-point for any of the Morphenkind (Anne Rice's clever monicker for werewolves).

    In The Wolves of Midwinter,  the forest plays an even more pivotal role, as Anne Rice reveals more forms of highly evolved species with preternatural senses that continue to present Anne Rice's creative way of experimenting with the implications of  the omega point within a world, where all biological life naturally has certain primal urges or limitations at all stages of evolution that sometimes can prevent a spices for a certain span of time from evolving to the next stage of existence until reaching the indeterminate Omega Point. Again, the omega point was never meant by Teilhard De Chardin to relate to New Age theories about the end of the world being caused by alien intervention. It was merely his theory of trying to understand the mechanics of evolution and a hypothetical look at where life will continue to evolve, according to his theistic understanding of the world.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stormlight Archive Book#1: Way of Kings Read-Along

For all those still reading this post on the old blog, I will keep these posts up for the next six or seven months before closing out the blog. I feel like I am extending the deadline of this old blog's existence ad infinitum, but there seems to be numerous followers of this older blog.
Link to New Blog:


Preorder your copy on either Amazon (Kindle)/ Barnes and Nobles (Nook)

Way of Kings Readathon Information:

   Yesterday, I managed to announce the impending "25 Days of Werewolves: Wolves of Midwinter Countdown" without much fanfare. Without much further ado, I am also divulging some details about an upcoming readathon of the first of Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive  books that will take place at the start of this October. For anyone that knows of my history of failure on this blog, you are more than abundantly aware of my previous failed attempt to do both a Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time  Readathon that garnered no interest. With that in mind, you might be asking, " why the hell would you be trying again, when a Stormlight Archive Readathon  in the planning stages serves to remind you of how both previous readathon attempts failed in the end?"
(Goodness, the self-deprecatory tone of the above post does nothing to capture the overall epic nature of any readathon, involving a fantasy series with such a wide scope and myriad number of characters, like Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series.)
   Even if no one partakes in this readathon this time around, I plan on doing this readathon mainly for myself. See, the current job market has given ample time to be lazy and intellectually inactive, as though I have been lying in hibernation for months. Therefore, the planned Way of Kings  readathon is my attempt to reawaken my mind, and revitalize my excitement for the upcoming sequel to one of my favorite epic fantasy novels of 2010.

    Each week, I will be doing a very thorough post about 5 chapters of the book until the beginning of March, when the next book in the series is released. I am already having some acute doubts about this daunting plan, since my past readathon record is a statistical failure. Nonetheless, I want to try to do this readathon properly this time without confronting the problem of spontaneously losing interest or getting easily sidetracked by other things. Lately, my days have recently felt very interminable and long,; I am hoping this regimen of reading five chapters a week to help rebuild my energy reserves.

How can I participate in the readathon? 
   Later this week, I will be constructing an additional page at the top of my blog that will be ideally next to the one, entitled "Countdown to Wolves of Midwinter." This one will bear the title "Way of Kings  Readathon," which might not sound regal enough for such a majestic book title and appropriately large-scale promotional campaign for the release. Either way, I think "Way of Kings Readathon" supplies all my interested readers with a succinct, enticing summary that will hopefully interest them in joining with the readathon.
   Stop being so damnably discursive, how can I participate in this upcoming readathon, featuring such an epic novel??
    Starting on the first week of October and coinciding with the first of my weekly blog posts here, you can tweet your instant responses to areas of the text by using the hashtag   #WOKreadathon. I'll be following suite, and using the same hashtage for all my eloquent or non-eloquent responces to certain areas of the novel that excite, frustrate, or enlighten me. You can add questions, quotations, grievances, youtube links with power metal songs that seem to reflect the high-octane energy of a particuliar action sequence. Essentially, you are free to write anything you want, as long as it is under the Twitter character limit of 150 characters or less.

   More updates will be coming soon, Keep checking my Facebook fan page for more updates!!

   Also, you are allowed to start tweeting under "WOKreadathon," before the readathon officially starts, only if you are are metaphorically dying of impatience about the upcoming release of Brandon Sanderson's sequel to the Way of Kings.

  If you are not gleeful or feeling enough fervor about the release of Words of Radiance,  here are some pertinent and intensely exciting links that will surely make you extremely excited for the upcoming sequel:
**    TOR.Com Blog post About the Lavish Cover Reveal for Words of Radiance
**Download the cover as a variegated, expansive wallpaper that will pervade your mind with wandering nerd thoughts about the upcoming large-scale battles, new worlds, and comprehensive characters guaranteed to make you "geek out," come March 2014!!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

25 Days of Werewolves: Coming Dangerously Soon!

For all those still reading this post on the old blog, I will keep these posts up for the next six or seven months before closing out the blog. I feel like I am extending the deadline of this old blog's existence ad infinitum, but there seems to be numerous followers of this older blog.
Link to New Blog:

25 Unrelenting Days of Wolfish Ferocity, Festive Music with Pagan Underpinnings, Supernatural yarns with Febrile Passion, and Everything concerning the Wolfish World of Anne Rice's Opulent Gothic Wonderland.......

In more succinct terms, this day shall be officially named "The 25 Days of Werewolves:" The Witching Hour before either the ghoulish daze of Halloween or the  nightmare that exists during the midwinter days that encapsulate the twelve days surrounding "Christmas"

Details About "The Twenty Five Days of Werewolves"

Start Date:9/21/2013

Frequency of Blog Posts: Every single day!!

For fans of werewolves and Anne Rice's Wolf Gift Chronicles, I'm very excited to help assuage your impatience, and help sublimate the raging excitement for the The Wolves of Midwinter into something productive. Rather than wile away the hours in fretful anticipation until October 15th comes about, why not spend some parcel of your time here at A Bibliophile's Reverie,  pondering the literary history of werewolves, the ways that films and music in the past has represented this supernatural creature. I also have some posts planned that will provide an introduction to Teilhard De Chardin's theories called "Teilhard De Chardin 101." There will be a spate of posts that any seasoned werewolf/ Anne Rice fan will practically howl over!!

      Remember that Day 1 begins this Saturday, September 21, 2013? Also, there will be contests galore during the countdown period. I assure you that I will try to remember to post on all twenty-five days. If I do commit such a grave, unforgivable error, a stampede of werewolves will surely have my head!!

Be extra vigilant during these next 25 days, beginning this Saturday! If you miss one of the posts, you'll be incurring the wrath of the "Midwinter Wolf Vengeance Demons." (Rest assured that these wolves don't really exist!!)

Check out my Facebook Fan Page that will be keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest events for the "Twenty Five Days of Werewolves"

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Day 2 of Five Smoldering Days of Cthulu

For all those still reading this post on the old blog, I will keep these posts up for the next six or seven months before closing out the blog. I feel like I am extending the deadline of this old blog's existence ad infinitum, but there seems to be numerous followers of this older blog.
Link to New Blog:

                   Amazon(Kindle Edition)/Amazon (Print Copy)

 Five Smoldering Days of "Cthulhu:" The Epic Review of the Lascivious Masterpiece, Dripping with romantic alien slime

    It appears that our regularly scheduled blog post for the last two days have gone inexplicably missing. Then again, it was the inappropriately named holiday, Labor Day, yesterday, thus there was no cause for posting anything new for today.  As promised, here is my gushing review of the year's best romantic story, paying homage to one of the great writers of supernatural fiction: Serra Elinsen. Serra Elinsen has set all our hearts aflame and aflutter with one of the

Warning: This review contains overwrought prose/purple prose. The writing style is apt, matching the precise vividness of Serra Elinsen's eye for detail. 

Serra Elinsen has set all our hearts aflame and aflutter with one of the most romantic, poignant pieces of literature  ever since William Faulkner confused, but positively dazzled everyone with The Sound and the Fury.  Just as that masterpiece was William Faulkner's magnum opus, Serra Elinsen's brilliant expose of the nuances new-found love and instantaneous romance is her own magnum opus, and deserves literary accolades of all types. How is this story different from Twilight? It takes Stephenie Meyer's own purple prose, stilted dialogue to the next level; it makes purple prose that would have made Ernest Hemmingway shoot himself at the sight of the wholly complicated overuse of such powerfully dynamic adjectives. Shakespeare might have sighed dramatically, and drowned himself Ophelia style at Riley's preciously prosaic Shakespearean speech. The level of detail in the prose renders such a rich image in our heads that I felt my brain oozing in a viscous liquid that might have radiated like toxic ooze and inadvertently created the Teenage  Mutant ninja turtles.
    I apologize for not conducting any research for this review or carefully moderating my speech. Serra Elinsen's prose is written in free-form; it is a stream of conscious purple-prose that would put Virginia Woolf to shame.  The overcooked sentences are reminiscent of Sylvia Plath's poetry that portentously speaks of death by an oven. If Adromeda Slate does not have any gloriously hot man to fall deeply ad irrevocably in love with him, she would meet the same fate as Sylvia Plath, all due to her own self-abasing ways. The only difference is that Andromeda Slate has more insipid reasons, which will confuse any snobbish readers. Yet readers of superficial, yet strangely deep fiction (the purple prose has the power of rich duplicity) will somehow see depth in Andromeda Slate's romantic torment over whether or not Riley (the super smexy Chthulu monstrosity) reciprocates her feelings. When Andromeda Slate blankly describes her empty lifestyle, devoid of Riley's reciprocated feelings, the tumult of her sadness plucks at our feeble heart strings, as though our heart strings could be plucked to play sophisticated piano concertos.

     Dear Reader, I sobbed so much whilst reading this highly eloquent piece of literature. Unlike Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson might have no criticisms  for this fine work of art. It supersedes Hamlet  with sophisticated superficiality,its voluble love interest,  and exceedingly blank female heroine. Eventually, colleges will use this text for psychoanalytic studies that scrutinize the attraction of such shallow literature. Eventually, Serra Elinsen will write three more books that will hopefully extent this plot into infinity, and possible throw in a pedophile werewolf-alien into the mix that imprints on the half-alien, half-human infant that Riley and Andromeda conceive

    I really love Serra Elinsen's work, and I cannot wait to read more of her work! She is a mesmerizing talent and a luminary in a world of young-adult fiction that just isn't as preciously romantic. No one writes such great purple-prose, calculated to dispose us into believing in the existence of romance that requires no hardship.  After reading this, I'm definitely Team Riley because he is affable, intelligent, and speaks in an antiquated Shakespeare diction that is no longer in use.  For guys like myself, we can really take a lot of inspiration from him; why we'd even look as much as fools as the Brady Bunch did in that 1996 remake of
the show?

Links of Interest
Author's Website
Author's Twitter
Author's Facebook Page

      Be on the lookout for the insider's look at Serra's backstory on how her dream transfigured her life, and took her out of the doldrums of her "stay at home" mother lifestyle. Here at "A Bibliophile's Reverie," we are the place that will help bring Serra the needed attention that she deserves!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Five Days of Awoken

For all those still reading this post on the old blog, I will keep these posts up for the next six or seven months before closing out the blog. I feel like I am extending the deadline of this old blog's existence ad infinitum, but there seems to be numerous followers of this older blog.
Link to New Blog:

                   Amazon(Kindle Edition)/Amazon (Print Copy)

 Five Smoldering Days of "Cthulhu"

   The greatest YA book has been unleashed into the world. I'm so excited to be featuring a five-day promotion of one of most innovative, deliciously romantic books on my book blog. Get ready for a tale laced with beautiful prose that boasts superfluous prose. It is bursting with more romance than your usual corset-ripper and Pantaloon dropper. It doesn't need to have a perpetual rattle of chains or handcuffs to make the romance scenes more titillating than they already are.

    Since, I have not read the whole heart-rendering romance just yet, I will grace your eyes with a teaser of my upcoming review

     "So far, Awoken is enrapturing, and the main squidllike creature ,named Riley, will definitely become as popular as Edward Cullen. Be prepared to see a HP Lovecraft monster be tamed by a clumsy heroine! The creature himself even speaks with an antiquated Shakespearean diction because all monsters speak with a lofty, expired manner of speech. I'm so excited to review this for my blog! It will definitely change the YA world with it's purple prose and classic romantic plot." 

   Peruse the excerpt below and feel free to click on the Amazon link, if you find that you are already instantaneously smitten with the sublime premise. Feel free to shamelessly read this book because it makes fantastic literary allusions to the legendary supernatural works, written by HP Lovecraft himself. There is no need to make any expiation for your sins of reading supposed drivel, for this specific book is neither frivolous or drivel.

"In his house at R’lyeh, great Cthulhu lies dreaming... of her.

What would you do if you discovered you were the only one in the world with the hidden power to keep it from being utterly annihilated?

What if you had no idea what that power might even be?

Andromeda Slate, the self-proclaimed most ordinary girl in America, can’t figure out why the gorgeous but mysterious new boy at high school seems to hate her so much. It couldn't have anything to do with the strange dream she had the night before he first showed up in class, could it? The dream where the very same boy rescued her from a giant, green, tentacled sea monster?

And it couldn’t have anything to do with that time she read aloud from that ancient tome of eldritch magic, the Necronomicon... could it?

Andi Slate never imagined she’d find herself in a situation where somehow she was the key to saving the world.

Her life is about to get a whole lot less ordinary."

Do you feel your heart aflutter already? Is it Calgon time? Remember this book was geared just for your supposed subversive, indulgent appetite for Harlequin "Monster" romance?

Links of Interest
Author's Website
Author's Twitter
Author's Facebook Page

      Be on the lookout for the insider's look at Serra's backstory on how her dream transfigured her life, and took her out of the doldrums of her "stay at home" mother lifestyle. Here at "A Bibliophile's Reverie," we are the place that will help bring Serra the needed attention that she deserves!!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Sony Classics Insinuates "Jane Austen" is Not for Men

For all those still reading this post on the old blog, I will keep these posts up for the next six or seven months before closing out the blog. I feel like I am extending the deadline of this old blog's existence ad infinitum, but there seems to be numerous followers of this older blog.
Link to New Blog:

Why are these male creatures besmirching my male-exclusionary Jane Austen fantasy?
Tread Carefully: Snarkiness Abounds!!

 As many of you may not be aware of, Shannon Hale's hilariously smart "chick-lit" novel, Austenland, that rhapsodizes one woman's obsessive love with all things pertaining to Jane Austen  is becoming a film. It is slated to be released August 15th, 2013. Everything about the marketing of the book has always screamed "Excuse me sir, you might not want to emasculate yourself with this book that is ostensible chick-lit." Bravely, I read the book without writing abashed Facebook statuses that clarified that my masculinity was still preserved, after reading this book. I howled with laughter and loved every page of this clever, well-written book.  The book pays homage to an author, who has supplied endless amounts of witty pleasure, since the beginning of the nineteenth century.

 Acknowledging my bravery, I even attended a Shannon Hale book signing without any fear of gathering cooties (the modern colloquial phrase used to pejoratively describe "emasculation"). I remember telling her about how much I enjoyed the book, being someone that has always loved "Masterpiece Theater" productions of Jane Austen works. Even if the book featured  a female protagonist and a romantic plot line, the humor and witticism would be appreciated by any reader of well-written fiction, regardless of gender.    

Alas, Sony Classics felt the urge to implicitly inform me that no man would ever dare endeavor to see Austenland.

"Girlfriend, why would any gentlemen, including Mr. Darcy himself, want to attend this screening?"
Thanks to the wonderful writers for the Mary Sue for first enlightening me to this problem with Sony Classic's marketing of this entire thing. As evidenced by the banner advertising the upcoming Philly screening, they are essentially implicating that this movie is restrictively for females, in a sense. I've seen tons of ads for chick flicks before in the newspaper. One of my favorite of those films, Easy A,  relied on the film's evident cleverness and snarky attitude, rather than trying to propagate a gender exclusionary message. Again, the Mary Sue highlighted this problem with the marketing, by summing up in much better words than I can even muster myself:
"The way that the media surrounding the situation sounds, they mean “women-the-completely-homogenous-group-who-will-all-like-the-same-thing-because-they-are-women.” This marketing assumes that ALL women want to watch period reenactments and romantic stories and pretty dresses, that there is no variation in taste. This also, by extension, assumes that all men who are “real men” won’t be interested in those same things because that’s not “what men like.” Well written Quote taken from Mary Sue article, written by Brooke Jaffe
As exemplified by this quote from a very informative article about the marketing problems for this film, this kind of marketing may have a very prudent focus. At the same time, it makes cultural assumptions that men are inherently uninterested in this type of flick. While I may not like Michael Bay action films, the advertising behind a high-octane action film never has this type of gender-stereotyped advertising that has this strange subtext that remarks that "Women are inherently not interested in dude films like Transformers."

   The Mary Sue also makes a good point that it also stereotypes women by saying that period reenactments are supposedly something ALL women enjoy. Based on what many of my female friends watch, they watch the same shows that I enjoy such as Buffy:the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Doctor Who. None of these shows have such superficial marketing campaigns that represent the entire work, as a whole, as being a supposed frilly, shallow film adaptation of a book that was really clever (and reminded me of something written by Jasper Fforde).

More importantly, history attests to the male interest in Jane Austen's stories. 

One thing that our gender stereotyping society has never willfully acknowledged that there has been a spate of men throughout history that have made their admiration for Jane Austen an open secret. Let us read this post, by Rudyard Kipling, for example.  Many people are not wholly aware that Rudyard Kipling, the sturdy male author that seemingly represented ostentatious machismo, was a diehard Jane Austen fanboy himself. Courtesy of the following webpage, the Rudyard Kipling Society in England,  the following quote essentially shows his undying fervor for the early nineteenth century writer:
“the more I read the more I admire and respect and do reverence… When she looks straight at a man or a woman she is greater than those who were alive with her - by a whole head… with a more delicate hand and a keener scalpel.” (Rudyard Kiping, disclosing his diehard love of Jane Austen to a friend in not so strict confidence)
During the same time period, the horrors of World War I were barraging the minds of English citizens. Soldiers were particularly stricken with a slew of debilitating psychological disorders, as a result of some of the unpleasant and stomach-turning scenes of violence that they were witness to on a daily basis in the war. Not knowing of Sony Classic's belief that Jane Austen was only privy to woman-folk, Jane Austen books were actually prescribed as an antidote/psychological curative of the highest witty potency to help these war-weary men overcome their deep-seated melancholy. Thanks to this article from "The Telegraph,"  we have certifiable proof that Jane Austen not only helped women to escape the horrors that plagued reality sometimes.
     “Jane Austen was prescribed to shell shock victims after the First World War as an antidote to mental trouble. She was read in the trenches. She was a prescribed script for tortured, troubled souls." (Quote Taken from "The Telegraph" article, entitled "Jane Austen Prescribed as antidote to the Horrors of WW1)
Why did Sony Classics feel the need to market the film in such an inept way? I guess that is something left up to the bloggers to speculate and ponder about. In the meantime, I still plan on seeing the film. Hell, I feel like being a revolutionary, and attending the screening dressed as Mr. Darcy himself. Now, that would a hilarious subtle protest against this terrible marketing campaign that only reinforces the sexist idea that chick flicks are not generally more superficial somehow than action films (geared for men, though not explicitly), but that the realm of feminized entertainment somehow too puzzling and emasculating for men to watch. Why is it hard for more creative marketing forces to not focus on the merits of the film, and allow the audience to grow organically without implicitly informing people that this film somehow is socially unacceptable for men to watch?

Requisite Update!! Blog is still alive!

For all those still reading this post on the old blog, I will keep these posts up for the next six or seven months before closing out the blog. I feel like I am extending the deadline of this old blog's existence, but there seems to be numerous followers of the older blog on there!
Link to New Blog:


Much like Tombstone pizza, this blog was frozen for some time, but now has been revived from it's frozen state..

 I've had to dutifully play the reverse role of a real coroner, informing everyone that this blog has not really died. Sometimes, the long hiatuses, like the dry spell of July 2013 on this blog, may have spawned some death hoaxes about this blog. I thank all my readers for not dashing off to Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr to misinform the masses that this blog were somehow dead. There was a drought, but not a death.
   Anyways, I apologize, once again, for not providing any updates, as planned, for most of the month of July. I've been re-reading the entire Harry Potter series, which I believe is a very good excuse for not being able to fulfill my usual blogging duties.
   Throughout this week, I will be updating the "Upcoming Books for Review" section and cleaning out the cobwebs that have accumulated there. August 2013 signifies requisite summer cleaning on this blog.
   As always, Check the Facebook Fan Page  for further updates about upcoming contests and other related updates about this blog.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blog Updates: More Reviews Coming in July 2013

  Remember? This blog has been moved to Wordpress:

  This always happens!! I apologize greatly for another hiatus, and this time it comes from reading classics rather than any books to review. With other bloggers, I always wonder how people have any time to read fiction/nonfiction books that are not recent releases from publishers. I've always been very curious about that. Oh well, I've never been one for quantity over quality. I cannot write like that, and yet that is what is in high demand in this frenetically-paced world.

    More reviews should be coming in the month of July, and for now, you'll just have to use a certain British tv show (highly addictive one at that) as a scapegoat for depriving me of much-needed reading time! I'll keep all my dedicated readers abreast of news to come about giveaways and other assorted news!!


EVIL/Dangerously Addictive

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review of Hope Against Hope:Third Mortimer Drake book

Synopsis (Taken from
The world has changed for the living and the undead alike. Mortimer Drake and his family have been forced underground in the wake of the Dark Revelation. Humankind has learned of the existence of vampires and society has crumbled into chaos. The centuries old conflict between True-born vampires and Cross-blood vampires has taken a backseat to a new war that has spread across the globe. HOPE, an organization determined to wipe out the vampire race, has risen to power under the absolute authority of the Director. HOPE promises to restore peace, safety, and security, but that promise has a price. Vampires have been forced from the security of the shadows. They can no longer hide behind the myths and legends. If Mortimer wants to survive, he will have to learn to trust new friends with supernatural secrets of their own. If he fails, the world will never be the same again.
Interview with Greg Wilkey

1.Justin:About your newest book covers, what are your thoughts on Ran Valerhon's work (a fellow "Person of the Page" on Anne Rice's FB page) on the cover-art for the first two Mortimer Drake novels?

**Greg: I could not be happier with the new covers for my series of books. I was introduced to the amazing talent of Ran Valerhon through Anne Rice's FB page. I remember seeing his posts and his artwork and commenting on their beauty. As my books gained popularity, I started to look at making changes and upgrades to increase their appeal. I have no skill in the graphic art realm, so I started to research people who did. Then it hit me -- Why not contact Ran? So, I reached out to him via Facebook and we worked out the details. I think that he has done an excellent job in capturing the feel for Mortimer's world. I am very impressed and I will recommend his artwork to indie writer I know. He is truly helping me take Mortimer to the next level. Also, I have now hired a professional editor. Todd Barselow, also an Anne Rice FB friend, has helped me proof and edit all my books. Like Ran, Todd is professional and very skilled at what he does. I have been very impressed with both Ran and Todd. Mortimer Drake has had a complete facelift!

2.Justin: By the end of second installment of the Mortimer Drake books, your books have progressively gotten much darker. For a series targeted towards young-adult and middle-grade readers, I was humbly surprised by this unpredictable descent into darkness. Momentarily, I thought we were going to get the Mortimer Drake parallel of the Red-Wedding scene in the Game of Thrones books. Without spoiling anything for new readers to the series, did you foresee this inevitable change in the tone of the plot from the beginning?

**Greg: Oh yes, I knew from the beginning that Mortimer's journey was not going to be a pleasant one. When I set out to create his world, I wanted him to struggle. We all know that growing up isn't a pleasure cruise. I didn't want my characters to get everything they wanted. I mean, I write fiction, but let's be honest, life sucks (even for vampires.) In order for the last two books to work, I had to get Mortimer to a dark place. He had to go through some serious stuff. I think that YA books are the perfect place to explore the unfriendly side of life. YA readers of all ages can identify with hardships. I am not a neat and tidy ending kind of guy. I don't do "happily ever after."

3.Justin: On your Facebook fan page, you mentioned that you were starting another new series. Will the plot revolve around vampires again or a host of new supernatural characters?

**Greg: My new series will most definitely be a YA supernatural thriller. The hero of my new novels will face everyday and paranormal challenges, but there are no vampires in these books. My new series will take a fresh, dark, and adventurous look at the dearly departed.

4.Justin: Will Star Blood be the definitive end to the Mortimer Drake series? If Mortimer Drake fans beg enough for a new series, is there room in the plot for a sequel series?

**Greg: I have wrestled with this question for a while now, and to be honest, I still don't have an answer. WillStar Blood be the definitive end? I'm not sure. It's an ending, but maybe not the ending. I will have to wait and see if Mortimer still has more to tell. I guess we'll all find out together :)

      Once again, the high-octane action sequences and intricate plot that were so intrinsic to the success of the last two installments of Greg Wilkey's Mortimer Drake  series reach a dramatic crescendo in this third volume. Hope Against Hope  successfully outwits the threequel curse that has afflicted other books and movies that are part of a long-running series, and continues to be one of the freshest vampire stories out there. Much of this success stems from the fact that Mortimer Drake  clearly avoid the romantic melodrama that mars the quality of many other vampire series within the YA vampire genre.

     As with the last installment, the journey of Mortimer Drake progressively takes a very dark, gruesome turn in this installment. Rather than have these more morose sequences become overwrought or purely frivolous, Greg Wilkey utilizes the grim quality of these scenes, in order to effectively portray the twisted malevolence of the regime that has taken over Mortimer's world, after human society finds definitive proof of the existence of vampires. Without spoiling any more specific details, the series even has an interesting scene that viscerally affected me towards the beginning of the novel. Fascinatingly, this scene and several other gut-wrenching sequences seem to pay homage to the Hunger Games, which most readers of my blog are well-aware happens to be one of the most popular YA series in recent years.
      Masterfully, the tropes of the corrupt totalitarian state and the imaginative dealings of human society's growing tension over how to coexist with their vampire neighbors (paralleling True Blood)  are fused together in an ingenious way that reflects Greg's profound knowledge of the two most popular genres within the YA market: vampire fiction and dystopian fiction. Some authors are fearful of experimenting with these two genres that they see as being polarized opposites. In reality,both genres have great appeal for the post-modern audience, as both genres reflect a burgeoning sense of our own  apathy and hopelessness with regards to the hope that our world will maintain some appreciable measure of stability.  Both totalitarian regimes and vampires are identically manifestations of that very disillusioning fear that festers in our subconscious that the semi-secure world that we believe is completely impenetrable can be easily shaken and destroyed by some eruption of chaotic violence in this post-modern world. In the last hundred years, the various world wars and smaller wars with intrastate guerrilla factions has also made our clear sense of the division between good and evil became even more muddled.

     While the above discussion may seem wholly irrelevant to a vampire series targeted to middle-grade readers (though realistically for any type of reader), Hope Against Hope  has become much more sophisticated in its construction. As Greg Wilkey continues to grow as a writer, he is beginning to unconsciously (or consciously) develop a story that has much more underlying meaning. As with the other books, this book is extremely entertaining, and that is something that Greg has always deftly accomplished. Starting with the end of the last book though, the series has become something deserving of closer inspection. The development of his first three stories of the Mortimer Drake  series unwinds as seamlessly as Anne Rice's own Vampire Chronicles.  Again, this might seem presumptuous, but I really feel that the dark overtones of this series and the more challenging ethical questions raised in this third installment are some of the very same ethical questions that were beginning to become more fleshed out in Queen of the Damned, which was also another "threequel" that avoids the "threequel" curse.

   Written with flourish and the keen eye of a very talented writer, Hope Against Hope is the novel that cements my feelings that Mortimer Drake is a comic book drama of the highest caliber. Like X-men, Watchmen, Batman,the plot plumbs interesting ethical depths that other series in the middle-grade genre stray away from discussing. Hope Against Hope is a very dark book, but the darkness of the this novel is the substantive type that is also balanced with moments of levity and genuine hope. The darkness of the series never becomes onerous or excessive to wade through. Different from the more superficial incarnation of action heavy story , all the books in the Mortimer Drake  series invariably questions violence and debates ethics in a way that fantastically coheres with the heart-stopping action and well-orchestrated suspense that has made this entire series a true pleasure to read.

    I really look forward to the final installment of the Mortimer Drake  series, entitled Star Blood, that should be arriving right on the coattails of this review! Again, this entire series comes with my highest recommendation. While some readers may want more sophisticated prose, this is a series aimed for middle-grade readers, and I think the succinctness of Greg's prose is truly a very hard thing for any writer to achieve. Of course, there were some minor editorial errors in some of his other books, but he has recently re-released  newly edited versions of all his books with the help of Todd Barr (serving as his excellent editor). This has never taken away from my enjoyment of the series because I always saw an extremely engaging story, even  in what some would term it's "roughest form". With that said, I'm really excited for Star Blood,which will be covered on this blog once it's released later this summer.

For More Information on Greg Wilkey's series of books; Check out the below links!
Mortimer Drake Facebook Fan Page

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Book Covers for Mortimer Drake

    If you have been checking Greg Wilkey's updates on Anne Rice's Facebook page, you are well-informed then of the exciting release of the newest cover art for his "Mortimer Drake" series. As though the premise of the series was not enticing enough, these new covers, created by talented graphic artist Ran Valerhon, should hopefully persuade more people to check out this series.

Cover for Growing Up Dead: Book 1

Cover for Out of the Underworld: Book 2

   In other news about the Mortimer Drake series, the upcoming review and interview for this upcoming Friday will feature the third book:the penultimate installment in the Mortimer Drake series. The series will conclude with the fourth book, Star Blood,  which should be released sometime this summer (my bets rest on either end of July or beginning of August)

Upcoming Book Review/Interview (Posted Simultaneously on both this blog and my newest Wordpress blog)
Friday, June 14th

Hope Against Hope (the third installment of the Mortimer Drake series)
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Amazon (Kindle & Print Edition)Facebook Fan Page for "Mortimer Drake"/Author Website

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Review of "The Resurrectionist"

   Note: My blog has recently moved to WordPress  but I will keep posting posts on both blogs for the next five months. After five months, this blog will be completely deleted. I advise you to check out the post here on my new wordpress blog (



Excerpt Taken From Quirk Books Product Detail Page:Philadelphia. The late 1870s. A city of cobblestone sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages. Home to the famous anatomist and surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a “resurrectionist” (aka grave robber), Dr. Black studied at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs— were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?
The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from his humble beginnings to the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed black-and-white anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionistells his story.


  Quirk Books has always excelled in publishing some of the quirkiest books out there, as the name of this awesome indie publisher's name aptly suggests. What is the novelty, or more appropriately, quirky element of their latest release The Resurrectionist then? First of all, it is a Gothic-horror novel of sorts that is written in the vein of Gothic classics like either Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Unlike these classics, Dr. Spencer Black outdoes Victor Frankenstein in the department of depravity, since he endeavors and succeeds in creating multiple hybridized creatures that are partially human, but also experimental replicas of such noteworthy mythological creatures like either minotaurs, mermaids, and satyrs. Anatomical sketches of all these rather subversive creatures are preserved for posterity in the back section of the book, and it is being published for the first time in an attempt to regale readers with some of the most disturbing monstrosities that have ever been created in the name of science (For more sensitive readers or those inclined to gullibility, I only jest by saying that this account is by any means a non-fictional account; well, it might be a bit nonfictional)

 One of the more outstanding qualities of this book is just how believable this disturbing account could be taken as. I'm talking suspension of disbelief that is used very effectively. When I started reading the finely detailed prose of the beginning sections of the book, I had to ask myself: Has this really occurred? Knowing the Philly area really well, I also had to contemplate whether or not these mythological creatures were buried somewhere in Philly. If they were buried, where would they be buried? Hopefully, this kind of grand conspiracy wouldn't inspire Disney to make another National Treasure movie, starring the infamously weird Nicholas Cage of Wicker Man fame? Then, I remembered that this book is reassuringly a fiction book, and I could relax that a more skilled resurrectionist couldn't somehow resurrect Dr. Spencer Black's mythological creatures, emulating the unnatural scientific experiments that he chronicles within this exciting book. This is an entertaining novel, not an instructive piece on how to make people suspect that you've gone completely out of your mind.

 Throughout the narrative portion of the book (the book is part-narrative/part-art book), the question about the ethical limits of science are raised. Currently, we live in an era that fortunately has laws in place that protects human beings from having unwanted experiments conducted on them. Increasingly, there is more controversy about animal rights and whether certain types of experimentation on certain species of animals are unethical. While this book never explicitly delves into such contemporary issues, the novel broaches these questions nonetheless, as it implores the reader to think about the continued debate of the ethical limits of science. In the last hundred years, science has awed us with miraculous drugs and vaccinations that have offered us the means to outwit death. At the same time, we have created such horrific weapons, like the nuclear bomb, that was an abominable weapon that murdered many people's lives during World War II.

  Returning to the plot of the novel, the real ethical dilemma that Dr. Spencer Black's  actions raised lies with whether or not the dead bodies of human beings are truly sacred property: Is it unethical for him to utilize these dead bodies for the creation of new life in the form of hybridized creatures? Are the ethical sanctions of religious organizations relevant to a scientist's endeavors? Even though the narrative section is fairly short, E.B. Hudspeth does an adept job, raising these interesting questions in the frame of a truly engrossing Gothic tale.

     Fascinatingly, the book is skillfully juxtaposed with an entire art section at the end of the book that is filled to the brim with meticulously drawn images of the various creatures that Dr. Spencer Black managed to create during his fictitious lifetime. While paging through this section, I wish I had the means to order poster versions of some of these drawings. They would be the perfect artwork to hang next to my delightfully macabre Edward Gory poster of The Gashlycrumb Tinies. In many ways, the Gothic art style seems partly inspired by Edward Gory, but it really is uniquely its own brand of Gothic art. Of course, the actual shape of the figures pays homage to the monsters from comic-books as well. E.B. Hudspeth's style is really his own eclectic style, and I really loved these well-drawn illustrations, along with some of the accompanying notes that give some brief descriptions of each of the mythological beasts that the infamous Dr. Spencer Black managed to create during his lifetime. If you are either an Edward Gory, Mary Shelley, or Bram Stoker fan like myself, this is the book to check out because it will both entertain and fascinate you for many immeasurably long hours!! For More Information about the novel or its author,

Check out the below links:
Quirk Book's Facebook Page
Event Page for Upcoming Signing at Indy Hall in Philadelphia,PA

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

BEA Wrap-Up 2013

   Please note:I know I'm belaboring this point, but I am planning to delete all posts on this blog in five months, as many of you know, this blog has henceforth been moved over to a new Wordpress location:
    These posts are still only posted here to serve as a reminder to readers of this blog that I have moved. Thank you!



     Every year, BEA is greeted with the same unadulterated fanfare, and a long slog of a sleepless night during the evening prior to the event. For this year, I decided only to attend Thursday because, to be quite frank, Book Expo America normally overwhelms me and expends every last ounce of energy that I paradoxically exerted being excited about prior to the event (can someone please explain this weird adrenal phenomenon?) Anyways, the best way to convey just how exciting this year was is by writing up highlights. Unlike book reviews, this type of writing can become very taxing for me, as I hate  summarily writing a bunch of of things that happened this year in chronological details. It is far easier to discuss certain highlights piecemeal both for the sake of your sanity and my own. 

Highlight A: Interviewing Gugor (star of Razorbill's upcoming The Creature Department)

      Yes, I interviewed a computerized AI monster with the eccentric name of "Gugor." It was really quite a lot of unexpected fun. My notes were very disorganized and haphazard to the point, where I cannot even come up with an accurate transcription of how the interview went between Gugor and myself this past Thursday at the Penguin's fantastic BEA display for  The Creature Department,  written by Robert Paul Weston

     Anyways, I can say confidently  that Gugor has some apprehension about being in a musical, mostly due to being semi-self conscious about the whole business surrounding musicals and  unease with singing. For now, his first feat as a public figure will involve starring in this upcoming book. By scanning the below synopsis, you'll see that his upcoming adventure in novel format will be something to look out for, from Penguin, this upcoming Fall. I'll definitely have more information to provide readers about this exciting project in the future.
           "    About The Creature Department: Elliot and Leslie visit their Uncle Archie inside the glass and steel towers of DENKi-3000, the world’s fifth or sixth largest electronics company. They’ve heard rumors about a creature department hidden somewhere inside and they beg their uncle for a look. And it’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen! They meet creatures with wings, creatures with tentacles, creatures with horns, creatures with three heads, creatures who are nothing but head, and even a couple creatures with extremely unmanageable hair. Elliot and Leslie become friends with these hilarious creatures. And then Uncle Archie disappears and the menacing Chuck Quickweather arrives with an announcement that he is going to streamline DENKi-3000 and discover its secret. Elliot and Leslie must team up with the ringleader of the creatures: Jean-Remy, a remarkably perceptive Parisian fairy-bat with sartorial flair, to motivate the creature department into inventing something incredible that will save them all from Quickweather, his evil henchmen, and downsizing." 

    Interestingly enough, our conversation began with a conversation about Gugor's favorite vampire character. He ecstatically began acting out Nicholas Cage's hilarious scene from the film,     , where Nicholas Cage stars as one of the campiest vampires out there. Just, how frightening is Nicholas Cage's "I'M A VAMPIRE, when it is spoken without any gravitas whatsoever!"

    If Nicholas Cage can star in campy films like Vampire Kiss, I reassured Gugor that he'd be fine, potentially starring in a future Creature Department film as himself. Perhaps, if The Creature Department  gains enough interest upon its release this fall, Gugor may very well be on our movie-screens in a short after a release that hopefully won't prove cataclysmic in the wrong sense of the word.

    I wish all my readers had the chance to have the fun opportunity to interview an AI monster that is exceedingly smarter and more friendly than the inferior being named "Cleverbot," who has been fairly popular among internet users for far too long. Perhaps, his ingenious marketing and publicity team will have him tour nationwide, giving readers the first true interview with a fictionalized character that otherwise is some abstract nobody.
   Eventually, the website for the book ( will feature a downloadable App that will enhance the reading experience, and bridge the technological gap between the page and the latest technology that is available on both e-readers and tablets like the IPAD or the Google Nexus. While this book is being targeted for children's fiction market , I am not the first to admit that most of these books have very wide appeal (For example, Harry Potter readers range from the ages of five all the way to, most likely, 100 years old). Interestingly, the visual effects studio, Framestore, that created Dobby in the Harry Potter films and other CGI creations from films like The Golden Compass  are the ones responsible for creating some of the awesome visuals for the planned Creature Departments App in the future.
Lasting Impressions: As evidenced by Penguin Publication's The Creature Department,  publishers are becoming far less apprehensive about the advent of the latest technology, and clever seeking out ways to optimize the latest technology to provide a new dynamic reading experience for the newest generation. Personally, I have seen nothing but more interest in reading overall due to technology. On the HBO front, Game of Thrones is making people accomplish the unthinkable, by reading books that are 1000 pages each.
    With The Creature Department, the planned App and the sheer cleverness of the book itself might help younger readers feel more enticed to read and gain much more enjoyment out of what they are reading. Believe me, this is not the last time you'll be hearing of either Gugor or The Creature Department  on this blog.


Highlight B: Brandon Sanderson YA books


When it comes to fantasy fiction, I veer more towards Brandon Sanderson’s books more so than George R.R. Martin’s book. If I were go into my reasons, I might end up inciting a mad hive of debate, and I feel that would be disingenuous to the marked differences between the types of writers that Brandon Sanderson and George R.R. Martin are (both competent writers with very different writing styles and story interest). I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson’s past works like the wildly creative, Warbreaker, and the truly epic Mistborn series. His long-spanning series (well, there is only one book thus far, but there is bound to be more in the future), the Stormlight Archives, begins with truly dynamic characters and some of the best writing in recent fantasy fiction. In my personal opinion, a lot of fantasy books are extremely ponderous. The problem that plagues many fantasy books is this excessive dumping of exposition in many fantasy books that is not cleverly done, and just makes the reading experience become as laborious as paging through a textbook about Elementary Physics.

Being extremely judicious with my fantasy fiction, I have admittedly read very few adult fantasy books, and this is a very hard admission to make. There is a lot of very strange pseudo-psychological rhetoric that wants to diagnose readers like myself, as being ADD. Except, I think people, including myself at times, seem to lapse in remembering that readers have varying tastes, and no one should ever feel obligated to either enjoy or like a book just for the sake of conforming to popular expectations. Personally, I am sometimes both thrilled with the popularity of Game of Thrones, and extremely annoyed at times. There has been a truly discouraging trend going on, which revolves around some people insisting that people, interested in the fantasy/scifi genre, should only read Game of Thrones, as it is purportedly the only well-written fantasy book out there. I think this comes from a very fervid, elitist minority of fans. But, I have heard some other disenchanting things from people I know, who show no interest in the series due to the strange, hostile behavior of fans. Most fans aren’t like this, and many of them are huge fans of the other books in the genre that are written with varying writing styles. That is why I like fantasy fiction because there is truly an inherent variety in the genre.

The popularity of Game of Thrones is the perfect opportunity, though, to show newcomers to the genre just how diverse the market is, even if some of the aforementioned elitists wish to dissuade people from exploring other titles. Brandon Sanderson was really the first author to make me understand the mechanics of magic systems, see that action sequences can be written without feeling interminable, and having exposition that is actually integral to the plot. Instead of seeing Patrick Rothfuss, George R.R. Martin, and Brandon Sanderson as vying for the iron throne, we should see all three as equally competent fantasy writers that meet the needs of different types of readers, who have varying interests.

Personally, I have found Brandon Sanderson’s style to be my favorite though among the three most recognizable faces of fantasy fiction right now, and I think it is the witticism in his dialogue that seems completely missing in the more rough and serious Game of Thrones. That is the reason I waited nearly two hours for Brandon Sanderson’s signing for The Rithmatist, which has a magic system that revolves around chalk. I knew, in advance, that this book, andSteelheart that I received at a later signing would offer me hours of endless entertainment without the agonizing periods of boredom that greet me during reading some other fantasy books. Of course, authors like Maria V. Snyder, Jon Sprunk, DB Jackson, and several others have helped make me reconsider all these limiting preconceived notions that I have about fantasy fiction.

Lasting Impressions I keep making some lazy assumptions just because I haven’t gotten around to other author’s books in the genre. Anyways, the main point of the above rant was to drive home my point that it is important that we civilly discuss books with other people in the spirit of knowing that everybody loves different books. There is no one series that is magically the single best fantasy novel.

Having seen the excitement people have for The Rithmatist and Steelheart has shown that HBO’s Game of Thrones has above all convinced large numbers of people to delve into a genre that does have its thorny side. Personally, I hope to review both titles in hopes of highlighting just how versatile in style that the genre is, and how Brandon Sanderson contributes to a growing YA market that also is much more diverse than the stereotype of it predominately being mostly Paranormal Romance books.
   Lasting Impressions I shouldn't judge other authors so harshly because there really is a diverse number of different writers in the genre, and I keep making some lazy assumptions just because I haven't gotten around to other author's books. Anyways, the main point of the above rant was to drive home my point that it is important that we civilly discuss books with other people in the spirit of knowing that everybody loves different books. There is no one series that magically makes you both smarter and superior to other people.
   Having seen the excitement people have for The Rithmatist  and Steelheart has shown that HBO's Game of Thrones  has above all convinced large numbers of people to delve into a genre that does have its thorny side. Personally, I hope to review both titles in hopes of highlighting just how versatile in style that the genre is, and how Brandon Sanderson contributes to a growing YA market that also is much more diverse than the stereotype of it predominately being mostly Paranormal Romance books.

Thanks to all the bloggers and other fantastic people I talked to at BEA!! Tomorrow, reviews will return as usual. Sorry for the delays, as of recently, with my reviews!