The Wolves of Midwinter

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reuben's Spiritual Odyssey: "Wolves Of Midwinter" Countdown Post #1

This post is available on newly remodeled Wordpress blog, Please read it there! Posts on this blog will only remain here for the next six months.

New Blog's Hyperlink:

Discussion Post #1
     My head has been swimming with various pensive thoughts, surrounding the thematic importance of Teilhard De Chardin's philosophy in correlation with the overall philosophical and spiritual thrust of Anne Rice's The Wolf GiftAs I wait impatiently and restively for the release of Wolves of Midwinter this fall I tried to do something a bit more productive then wishfully think of an Advanced Reader's Copy of the highly anticipated second installment of The Wolf Gift Chronicles being covertly given away at Book Expo America, which I'll be attending for the fourth time tomorrow. Sadly, I must endure the long slog that awaits before October 15,2013 rolls around. In order to help us all make this  unendurable wait much more endurable, I'm planning to pick out certain pivotal sections of the earlier book, and extrapolate on how Anne Rice might develop these mutable plot threads introduced in The Wolf Gift   and theoretically developed  further in Wolves of Midwinter. Knowing her love for Teilhard De Chardin, there is no better way to start then with discussing how Teilhard de Chardin's various spiritual theories relate implicitly with the underlying meaning of Anne Rice's stories.
       In many ways, all Anne Rice's Gothic novels have always dealt with preternatural forces that metaphorically reflect Teilhard De Chardin's highly progressive theories about evolving consciousness. Lestat's own spiritual journey that never goes quite as far as Reuben Golding's novel (in my opinion) ends with a sense of futility in Blood Canticle,in that he never gains complete moral control over his being, all due to the fact that his blood thirst is so intrinsic to a vampire. Invariably,this thirst necessitates murder or immoral action, preventing Lestat from ever gaining the salvation he began lucidly yearning for within Memnoch the Devil.
     Deftly, Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift encapsulates these  moral quandaries introduced in the Vampire Chronicles, but The Wolf Gift goes much further with trying to supply more coherent answers to these quandaries throughout much of the Vampire Chronicle  stories. During Reuben and Jim's confiding conversation at Nideck point in The Wolf Gift, they sit in the Eastern Breakfast room, which has a window that overlooks the dense redwood trees. The descriptions of where Reuben and brother Jim, a priest himself,  reside during this conversation may seem pedantic to some, but these recurrent images throughout the story of the primal woods being juxtaposed seamlessly with a house that is literally part of the woods is extremely reflective of the complex state of Reuben's own psyche. Within his psyche, there is the primal essence of himself jostling restlessly with his own human intelligence, which is the psychological fulcrum of this story's psychological conflict.   Analogously,this wrestling image that metaphorically depicts Reuben's these two psychological twins  image is clearly illustrating the concept of Teilhard de Chardin's evolving conscience.
    Interestingly, Reuben even points to his inner psychological turmoil, being representative of a dynamic clash between his more primeval instincts and his more intellectual self; both of which are an extremely important duality within our psyches that separates us from animals. :
"I seek to come to terms with it. I learn new things from it every time it happens, but I am not devolving, Jim."(The Wolf Gift 272)
    When Darwin first proposed the theory of evolution, many people within the Victorian era feared the revelation that we were closely related to animals. The most erroneous element of our theories of developing consciousness has been a conscious rejection of our primal instincts; those that are represented in Freudian terms by the "ID." Therefore, we have consciously created elaborate religious rituals, which help us to imaginatively divest ourselves of the influence of our baser selves. Except, Reuben provides a very divergent approach, rather than see these two very basic components of our consciousness, the Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or William Wilson  #1 and #2 in Poe terms, being antithetical to each other; he sees them as being closely related and even necessary for a fruitful existence. Reuben's philosophical theory mirrors Teilhard De Chardin's  spiritually progressive discussion found  in  The Future of Man Many of Teilhard de Chardin's theories are very conversant with Darwinian Evolution, and this is why these theories proved to be very subversive to many Catholics, including Reuben's own brother Jim apparently.  Much like Teilhard de Chardin, Reuben believes that both his primeval senses and his more human consciousness are not things to be viewed as mutually exclusive, but parts of our psyche that are indeed mutually inclusive.
     Even though Jim recapitulates the various antiquated notions of moral development and the inherently depraved nature of werewolves, Reuben optimistically finds that the clear fact that his human consciousness remains alive during his transformation into a werewolf signifies the fact that the marriage between his more primeval instincts and intellectual thoughts is very possible. In many ways, Teilhard de Chardin's depiction of our evolving consciousness is extremely Augustinian, in that this theory posits that our overall moral trajectory that is implicit in nearly all our actions is towards the good, even if this moral trajectory can become skewed by our impartial acknowledgement of the full spectrum of our psychological selves. This would explain why Dr. Jekyll is still wholly responsible for the actions of Mr. Hyde because Dr. Jekyll represses these instincts, and never takes full moral responsibility for his actions. Unlike Dr. Jekyll, Reuben struggles throughout the novel trying to make peace with his Mr. Hyde essence and tries to seek ,through  valiant free will, a way to wed these two inextricably opposed twins of his psyche.
     At the very end of the chapter, it is also very important to note that the entire confession, involving his brother Jim, takes place within Reuben's inner sanctum (Nideck Point) rather than the church that is so far-removed from the context of the Redwood forest that imbibes Reuben with a deep sense of his paradoxical self.
     Within the next post, I would love to further this discussion of Reuben's spiritual odyssey, by theorizing how the greatest spiritual conundrum of this novel might be resolved within Wolves of Midwinter:
       "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 super-personality that holds it all together, a super-conscious God, who planted evolving consciousness in each of us." (The Wolf Gift 274)
     Unfortunately, this post only examined the insights that Reuben makes about his own self, in that we must live peaceably with awareness of the duality that exists within our psyches. If our internal psychological personalities are this complex and difficult to fathom, how are we to fathom the potential that a larger force might exist within the universe, like the notion of a God? This is the question that still frazzles Reuben, even by the end of novel. Using another scene in particular, I will continue my next post, in one week or later, with a discussion of the meaning of "midwinter" in different myths that preceded the publication of this novel, and how this may symbolically provide us with  some clues as to how this aforementioned unsolved  spiritual question might be explored further in Wolves of Midwinter.
For now, I have Book Expo America to look forward to! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review of Out Of The Underworld: The Life and Death of Mortimer Drake Book 2

Be forewarned that this post is only being posted here temporarily. The same post is posted on my newly remodeled Wordpress blog:
Amazon (Kindle Edition)/ Barnes&Nobles (Nook Edition)
*Please Note-This copy was recently re-uploaded and re-edited by Greg Wilkey, thus the print copy is out-of-print on Amazon. The ninety-nine cent copy for both the Kindle and Nook are still available.*

    Interview with Greg Wilkey (More questions to come next week, when the review for the third Mortimer Drake novel is posted)
1.FF: This is definitely the inevitable sequel question, but how was the writing process different this time with Out of the Underworld? What new challenges sprang up? (I'm sure the writing process never become as seamless as the iconic Hollywood scene, where the writer types a whole draft magically overnight on his classy typewriter.)
** Greg: Writing the sequel was very different for me. I think it was because I felt like I was really getting to know my characters. Their actions and reactions were more natural to me. I had a better sense of where I wanted to take the story, but I was also surprised at how much influence the characters had over me. There were times when the direction I had planned suddenly changed because of something I hadn't planned. It was all very exciting. By the time I got to the end of the second book, the outline for the third and fourth books were already forming in my head. Working on Out of the Underworld definitely brought Mortimer's world to life for me.

2.FF:Earning an invitation to Anne Rice's first reappearance at the Lestat ball in New Orleans must have been exciting. How will you be featured at this year's Lestat ball? Will this appearance be your first official book signing?
** Greg:The invitation to the Vampire Lestat Ball was a complete shock to me. I have been a fan of Anne Rice's work since I was close to 25 years now. I have always wanted to attend the Ball, but never had the opportunity. When I received the e-mail from Anne asking me if I would like to attend and be featured as an indie author at Undead Con, I couldn't believe it. Of course I accepted immediately! She put me in contact with Sue Quiroz, the amazing woman in charge of the events, and we began to make plans. I have had a few book signings and I have been featured at a few small festivals and book clubs, but this will me first time at an event of this magnitude. I am very excited and quite honored.

3. FF: What movies have you watched recently that have fueled your inspiration for the fourth Mortimer Drake book that I'm sure the readers of my blog will be anxious to hear about?
** Greg: Oh wow, I love movies almost as much as books. Mortimer's world is a very active and dark place. I love the movie Priest. I like the twist on the vampires in that story. I recently watched The Avengers again. It sparked some unique ideas for the fourth book. I love that movie. The new Iron Man was great, too. I am forever re-watching old horror movies and anything on the Syfy network. I am a big fan of the cheesy movies. I just can't help myself. My books are heavily influenced by my childhood memories of the great super hero comics of the 80's. I love the action and the adventure. I want fast-paced drama in every chapter.

Thanks again Greg Wilkey for taking the time to answer each of these questions, and partake in this interview and hopefully subsequent interviews in the future (for each of the Mortimer Drake books)
Synopsis (Taken From Amazon Product Detail Page)
    " Mortimer Drake and his family continue to work towards a new understanding of how to survive as a supernatural family living in the mortal world. Unexpected events have altered their close-knit family even more as Mortimer’s mother gives birth to a baby girl. Is she human, vampire or something entirely different? A new battle in the war among the Undead begins as the Mother and Queen of the vampire race is discovered."
Review:Warning:This interview is heavily saturated with Youtube clips to enliven the review, plus semi-spoilers, but not real spoilers, not enough to ruin your suspense-filled experience of the book.

As someone that has spend multiple semesters wading through books with the single-minded goal of thoroughly analyzing them for meaning, I am dependent on books like Greg Wilkey's  very fun, action-packed vampire series-The Life and UnDeath of Mortimer Drake-  to spare my mind the madness that starts to set in, once I forget the fact that there books can be purely entertaining, and not just intellectually stimulating. I don't want to say this series is pure camp, only because of the negative connotations related with that word. Even though the plot does indeed pay homage to the adventure-filled plot lines of older adventure shows, cartoons, and movies of everyone's nerdy childhood, there is still quite a lot of subtle depth in both the characterization and plot within this series. Again, it's not heavy duty drama or Downton-Abbey style soap opera filled with an astonishing number of interlaced plot contrivances (good plot contrivances, of course).
   Instead of merely accessing the book for its quality in this review (that's too dull and pedantic for a book series like this), I will reveal three spoilers, all offered up with enigmatic details and suitable allusions to other tv shows and films that reminded me eerily of scenes from the story. Being a complete, die-hard nerd, I cannot help but throw in the pop-culture references in a series of books that really are comic books in novel form.

Semi-Spoiler #1-There is a heart at the center of the plot.

  Uncannily, Out of the Underworld bears a lot of resemblance to  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,  except Alexander's sister Lena and Alexander's mother have a formidable charm to them that is incomparable with Indiana Jones' blonde hair sidekick that screams incessantly for help all throughout this rather lackluster sequel. Why do I bring up Temple of Doom? Well,there's an important, treasured item within the story (not divulging the full title because I don't want to disperse the novel's rich air of mystery) that involves a heart-the literal organ in our body.  I will offer this comforting spoiler- this heart is strikingly different from the way hearts are barbarically torn from highly memorable, traumatic scene from the weakest of the Indiana Jones film. Thankfully, Out of the Underworld  is not the weakest of the Mortimer Drake novels.


Semi-Spoiler #2-The chamber that holds this precious heart is a cave . 

    Relating back to the atmosphere of the story, there is a mysterious cave sequence that conjured certain recognizable images of cave tropes from both recent television series and movies. There are a panoply of these types of cave images, but the role that the cave plays within the series recalled images from Aladdin, which prominently featured the good old-fashion image from classic mythology of a treasured genie lamp or some other esoteric treasure being buried within a cave, and the intrepid hero can discern these various hazards and recognize then how to see  through their deceptive qualities. In the end, it will be this hero that will have the capacity to find the mysterious item in the cave, thereby unlocking a treasure that will have serious ramifications on the rest of the plot. Without spoiling anything for new readers of the Mortimer Drake  series, Out of the Underworld  does feature its own Cave of Wonder sequence, along with an intrepid hero and his respective sidekicks that will indeed find the famed "heart." Since both  Indiana Jones Temple of Doom and Aladdin  are being compared in this review; I decided to throw in the cave of wonder scene with audio from Indiana Jones that was cleverly woven into the video.

Semi-Spoiler #3- Adding intrigue to the mystery of the cave and the heart, there is mythology that works as the fabric of mystery that fully ties together this entire plot-thread.

    In the previous installment of the Mortimer Drake Chronicles,  Growing up Dead,  there was a rich mythological origin story that refashioned the myth of Persephone and Hades as the purported tale of the origin story of vampires. Let's face it! Nearly all adventure stories that contain high stakes and great suspenseful moments need their layer of mythos, which adds to the novel's preternatural atmosphere. This is the well-formulated element that effectively suspends our disbelief, and fully believe temporarily that the world of the novel might very well be a truly tangible realm all of its own.
   When reading of the way that Greg Wilkey builds on the same myth and puts it into question by adding parallel explanations of it, I became more and more intrigued by the very notion of there existing multiple forms of the same story. If these myths were passed down generation to generation in the oratorical fashion (spoken aloud in a dramatic tone, normally before an audience of engrossed people), the accounts that proceed from the supposed, unidentifiable original myth cannot be found.
    In the nineties, there was an excellent television series, and while the series, appropriately entitled Storyteller,  does not explicitly feature the Persephone myth. It does feature a Persephone cameo, during the sequence where Orpheus entreats Hades to revive his deceased lover, Eurydice. Has anyone noticed that Hades has this malevolent ability to just snatch away those we love? Interestingly, the exploration into what or whom represents Hades in the Mortimer Drake  series is one that kept interesting me all throughout my reading of the second novel. Anyways, watch this scene play out, and you'll also recognize that I have managed to feature a cave in all three of these clips. Basically, caves are an important symbolic architecture, when you're trying to build up a plot from the cement base of the first novel. Fittingly, Out of the Underworld serves as the book that explores some of the ensuing results of the aftermath of the huge plot twists at the end of the last novel. More importantly, it  symbolizes Mortimer's deeper exploration into his complex identity as a vampire, a human, and the complex legacy that he puzzles over throughout this novel. With so many well-timed plot twists within this novel, I cannot wait to see where the plot of third book leads.


      With all these awesome hijinks and intriguing mysteries that make this series truly gripping entertainment, a paltry 99 cents for the Kindle edition never looked more enticing.

            If you're interested in starting the series and rediscovering vampires without all the Twilight-esque elements, this is the series for you!!

            Check out the below links for more information about Greg Wilkey's Mortimer Drake series:
Greg Wilkey's Author Website
Greg Wilkey's Facebook Fan Page
Amazon Link for the First Book in the Series

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review of Emilie Autumn's Gargantuan "Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls," Book

Be aware that this post is now posted on my new blog on Wordpress! This post and other new posts will be here for six months. The link to this blog is

Ebook Edition/ Print Edition
Emilie Autumn's Treatise on the Imperfections of our country's Mental Health System, or our continued ignorance of the ramifications of mental health problems....Just Read the Book Summary of Book from Asylum Emporium (Store on her Website)
"Straddling the bookshelves somewhere between psychological study, historical horror story, and fantasy fiction sits Emilie Autumn's debut autobiographical novel, "The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls." Written and illustrated by the notoriously manic-depressive rock star, this chilling tale combines humor, tragedy, and suspense to produce a blood-curdling account of the nightmare that is life inside an insane asylum, comparing those from the Victorian era with our modern day version, and proving, through her own personal experiences, that not much has changed from then to now. Culled directly from EA's real-life diary entries, the story begins with Emilie's suicide attempt and prompt imprisonment inside a psychiatric hospital. Sparing no detail, Emilie shows us exactly what goes on inside this house of horrors, exposing secrets that the general public could never have guessed at. Narrated with the sarcastic and self-deprecating humor present in all of EA's works, much of the subject matter may be considered controversial. Still, as in her song lyrics, Emilie tells the truth at all costs, thrusting the brave reader into a play-by-play narrative of her bi-polar episodes, even providing photos -- blood, cuts, and all. The tale takes an unexpected turn when, whilst still in the psych ward, Emilie discovers evidence of a parallel dimension -- a world that soon becomes indiscernible from her own. As the days go by, the seemingly disparate worlds of the story's two lead characters (Emilie and Emily, EA's Victorian counterpart) begin to merge, leaving the reader, as well as the book's author, rather confused as to whether the accounts are truly autobiographical or whether EA has managed to seamlessly morph from true-life tale to extremely well-researched historical fiction. "The Asylum..." is not all gloom and doom however. It is a reality-bending thriller as well as a profoundly empowering tale of suffering, sisterhood, and revenge that culminates in what is perhaps one of the most suspenseful cliff-hangers of all time. The book's colorful cast of characters (diabolical doctors, mental patients, and the talking plague rats and blood-sucking leeches that fans of EA's music are already familiar with) thoroughly entertain, educate, and engross the reader with prime movie material. "The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls," will leave fans shocked and readers everywhere gasping for air. Each full-color page of this beautifully bound, 266 page hardcover is positively packed with hand written memoirs, fanciful paintings, and sketches of the Asylum's inhabitants. In perhaps the most perverse twist of all, this Rated R publication is cleverly disguised as a high-end children's activity book, complete with interactive elements including notes, craft patterns, and reader quizzes designed both to disturb and delight. This monumental show of literary and artistic talent demands a place on your tea table as well as on your nightstand, although, readers, take care -- you'll never think of your doctor in quite the same way again. Prepare yourself to enter a world most pray never to visit. But beware: It is much easier to get into the Asylum than it is to get out..."
        Reading Emilie Autumn's gargantuan book Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls,priced at sixty dollars at her online store (the aptly named Asylum Emporium), is quite frankly one of the most thrilling, most revealing accounts of the parallel differences of the world of mental illness out there. Working on different levels as pure historical fiction, contemporary about the world of mental health institutions, and also a reflection of our continued perpetuation of dangerous sexist attitudes about women, this book is not merely just drivel, but sophisticated literature, coming from one of my favorite recently-discovered indie techno-goth artists, Emilie Autumn. In the world of music with so many stale pop songs that lack any eclecticism, Emilie Autumn's industrial gothic music shines brilliantly out of the din of uninspired rap and pop music that is so often heard. More importantly, the messages in her music, which revolves around psychological reflections about deep issues such as rape and suicide, have caused Emilie Autumn to be one of the most divisive artists out there. Perhaps, this divisiveness has caused this book, in particular, to be ignored.
     When any story touches such touchy subjects like cutting, suicide, and bipolar disorder, the instant reaction from people is a condescending attitude that this is all just "emo whining" or something so unsophisticated that it can't be worthy of reading with a serious critical lenses. Except, this story is more than a tawdry account of the difficulties of a life lived with a mental illness. Rather, the story is deeply cathartic, plumbing psychological depths that other books rarely venture upon. Structurally, the book is a marvel for any serious psychoanalytic critic.

     From the beginning, the story begins in modern times with a rather doleful, but slightly sarcastic account of Emilie's own admission into a mental institution. For more sensitive or prudish readers, they might never be able to suspend their judgement, when they read that she tried to kill herself, but successfully had an abortion. With such depth and introspection, Emilie reflects on the confusing emotions that she faced, when suffering a terrible mental breakdown and a horrible break-up with her boyfriend. Resigning herself from explicitly offering details of the events that preceded her suicide attempt, we get only scattered details about what drove her to madness. The inexplicable factor of this whole scene that might cause some people to lash out with indignant moral judgement is the grey area that exists in the psyche of those with bipolar disorder, much like Emilie  Autumn herself.

       In all her music, there is a ingenious sense of depersonalization, authentically reflecting the deep emotional and intellectual detachment that occurs   as a result of having a serious mental disorder like bipolar disorder. In the psyche, there exists two polarized worlds, and the scheme of the novel reflects the deep division that artistically exists within the narrator's psyche  As we venture further into the conscious reflection of Emilie's appropriately discursive account of the emotional hardships faced in a mental institution, she begin envisaging a parallel world in nineteenth century England that features the title character named "Emily," who is sent to a musical institution all due to her exceptional talents as a violinist  The plot then abruptly segues its way to a disturbing account of emotional and sexual abuse, all too common for women during the nineteenth century England. While Emily manages to escape from the prison of this abusive master, she is then placed in a terrible prison called the asylum. The drama of the "Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls," is populated with many clever, fictitious elements, but the underlying commentary on the mistreatment of women during this time is what is amply reflected throughout this small section and in other sections of this large volume.

      Without spoiling the rest of the book, I will say that things get much more interesting from here on out in terms of the psychological nature of the story. We are never quite sure whether Emilie's perspective from the modern mental institution is real, or the bleak asylum in Victorian England  that her parallel self "Emily" inhabits are real. The story masterfully never ascertains for the reader which perspective is completely real. Many literary critics would simply declare the narrator "an unreliable narrator," and completely dismiss  this text altogether. There is something so richly fascinating and subversive about this book that it is certain to turn people immediately away in disgust. Some people might even have the gall to read it and ignore the underlying analysis of the comparative look at the treatment at women between the worlds of nineteenth century and twenty-first century. In the one lucid frame of our minds, we should be asking ourselves: How much has really changed for people with mental disorders; thereby, what is the state of our mental health institutions?

      In terms of commentary on women's rights, are things really rapidly progressing as it should in respects to the way we treat women? Within some Christian circles, the treatment of women, who comprise the majority of membership to some of these more fundamentalist branches, still actively seek ways to denigrate women by either not allowing them to be pastors, or still preach from the pulpit that they are intrinsically inferior to men. If some churches have abandoned their sexist overtones, they ostensibly still preach frightfully sexist things by neurotically obsessing over the immorality of male homosexuality (not lesbianism as much..very interesting..). Feminism or Egalitarian concerns in society are not just important to women; it concerns all of us.
    Essentially,it reflects the darker shade of our psyche that has the propensity  to not only patronize those we deem as "others," but find ways to propagate the idea  that they are intrinsically less intelligent, less beautiful, and less capable of civilized behavior. The way we treat fifty-one percent of the population by declaring that they're servile sandwich makers is blurred with our perception of those with mental disorders, who we still see as being untrustworthy and crazy. Many women, who are viewed as strong, are still cast as being insane. A man that might have a more socially defined "feminine" or "emotionally-sensitive side"     might be seen as suffering from not being a full male.These were mental health obsessions for those in the nineteenth century: a marked obsessive fear of men perhaps showcasing some emotional traits that are  viewed as more feminine traits in a limited fashion.

    For being so brash, clever, and unapologetic, Emilie Autumn is often called "a misandrist"(a word that curiously does not exist in the dictionary), a drama queen, and some people have even said that her bipolar disorder makes this whole account ( a pastiche of fictional and non-fictitious elements)  suspect. Weirdly enough, everything that Emilie writes about in this book is reflected with the mixed emotions, surrounding this book. In the end, this is remarkable art, where the chiefest, most essential thing is not to merely entertain the reader, but to implore the reader to think deeply about issues that pervade our existence everyday. Those who fear books like this really believe it will make their children suicidal or have dark ideas in their mind; wouldn't Hamlet or any Shakespearean tragedy do the same thing with its accounts of psychopaths and lovers bent on suicide stories? I'm not recommending this book for children of course, all due to the mature subject matter, but people often act petulant nonetheless about adult fiction (as though adult readers should be treated as children, like at some fundamentalist schools that ban PG-13 movies for adults that are 18-23 yrs. old).

      It's surprising  but very commendable  that Emilie Autumn sought to publish her controversial magnum opus herself. Are there more people willing to seriously scrutinize and handle this work as a serious book, worthy of a scholarly analysis? Much like the works of Anne Rice, the gothic theme still signals the words "tawdry pulp-fiction, written by a sex-deprived cat ladly," thus it is then forever easy to permanently dismiss this book as something frivolous. This is a book written with expert prose and great narrative structure. It imbues us with the sense of being in a different world, much like Hayao Miyazaki's animated films  allows us to escape. But, this darkly humorous account harbors a dark side, and this dark side will make us all reflect on a multitude of issues beyond those described as "feminist concerns;" this is a work that diversely explores the deepest depths of our psyche, and makes us wonder just how truly sane  both society and ourselves really are. If you consider yourself a fan of psychological works, I highly recommend this, even if you are not a fan of her industrial gothic music.  This is not yet another self-described emo work. Rather, this is a work that is heavily inspired by the very tragic and dramatic archetypes that Shakespeare once utilized to make the audience members, who watched his plays, seriously reflect on the state of their inner and outer world; their very delicate grasp of what we postmodernists weakly declare "reality."

 Simply put, Emilie Autumn is a widely talented artist that deserves serious attention!

Check out her recent music video for the main single for her newest album:Fight Like a Girl. The music video is directed by the same talented team behind Repo the Genetic Opera  and
Devil's Carnival.

Links of Interest:
Emilie Autumn's Website Emilie Autumn's Facebook/ Twitter

Friday, May 17, 2013

Making the Complete Shift to Wordpress

Click the above picture of migratory birds to be directed to new WordPress blog

   Wordpress page ( will indeed be interminably slow, and that is because not all my readers are checking every update on this page as frequently as I would. For every subsequent post on here, I will be sure to include a very noticeable link to the same post on my new page. This process will continue for about six months, and after that six months transitory period, I will finally be deleting this blog on Blogger permanently. The WordPress page will hopefully proper without the awful intrusion of any spam-related activity.
  Yesterday, I frantically posted a rather angry tirade, venting my rather negative feelings about Blogger as a whole. I'll still be updating both pages. It will be plenty tiresome to have to keep up with both for now. But, the migration of my readers over to my new blog is naturally going to be a very slow process, and I don't want to needlessly confuse people by ceasing all posts on this page without explicit warnings.

      In the post from yesterday, I made my grievances about Blogger quite clear. I hope that the domain name change does not confuse any publishers, readers, and self-published writers that have been visiting here and sending inquiries over the years. This change will hopefully keep me more alert to some of your very well-written inquiries that I have sometimes neglected, due to college obligations that will no longer exist due to having only one more class left to take for the summer (before I finally graduate).
    Thanks again for your patience and understanding during this move,
     Fantastyfreak aka. Justin/ (Writer and Owner of A Bibliophile's Reverie)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Escape from Blogger Hell:Blog Moving to Wordpress or Elsewhere

    Update: The blog has officially moved to Wordpress! While doing so, I decided to grant my blog its own privileged hyperlink that is completely void of the names Wordpress or Blogger. Wordpress has been fairly easy to acclimate myself to; the interface of the site itself is far more user-friendly/blogger-friendly from this dusty site called Blogger. I really believe that Blogger needs some much-needed changes.
New Link to Wordpress Blog:

Thanks for reading this blog for as long as you have! Please be patient during the transitional period that will take place, as I finalize all layout changes on Wordpress. Once all is set and done(even though it never is), everyone will be happy that the Blogger page is forever gone. For now, it will remain up for another year, so that all future visitors to this blog will be reminded of the location of the new page. 

    For all my blog readers and publisher contacts, my blog will be immediately moved to Wordpress with a few minimal changes to the blog. If you are confused by this seemingly impulsive action, I have taken it upon myself to move my blog due to the influx of spammers that have seized my blog's link and have maliciously utilized the link for their own advertising gains. Essentially, porn sites that probably fund the barbaric practice of sex-trafficking are engaging in the most perfidious of activities; they are using my link and blog's reputation to use my link as a way for their porn-site to appear through Google searches for any blog posts from this blog.  Every-time a user tries searching for "A Bibliophile's Reverie," they will inadvertently be getting results for this nasty porn empire of a site that has taken other blogger's links without any consent, and used our links to have more visibility for their garbage heap of a site.

    I'm deeply disgusted and very frustrated right now with blogger's lack of support for smaller blogs, who have had this horrible, invasive insurrection being launched against their blog. I use the word "insurrection" to garner your serious attention to just how awful this practice is. Sometimes, I think the squalor of the internet, aka. the spammers, are clearly launching a full-scale war against bloggers for the purveyance of porn-related spam. I don't want my blog's name associated with these trashy sites, and I am deeply disappointed with the lack of security tools that Blogger offers to their users that nearly all computer users have in the form of Norton Security on their computers. You'd think  by now that Blogger might grow up for once, and adapt themselves to the new state of the internet that includes spammers, viruses, and spywares. This kind of malicious activity on the internet is not necessarily new, but Blogger's unwillingness to deal with it accordingly has sunk many good bloggers into a state of obsolescence. Nearly all the clicks on my blog for the past year have been that of Spammers.

    It is with great anger that I leave this horrid blogging site. I will leave my blog up on Blogger for three more weeks, giving enough time for people to find my new link possibly on either Wordpress or elsewhere. The bottom line is that there is absolutely no way it will stay on this cesspool of a blog site. Blogger needs to wake up, and offer more security options to subvert the seedier elements of the internet. As a user of Blogger for six or seven years, I declare Blogger as one of the worst sites to use for running a blog!

    That is why I haven't posted for a week; I've been toying with the idea of abandoning Blogger for weeks. But, I don't feel that leaving Blogger behind without audaciously voicing my negative sentiments about this awful site will do much good. I plan on writing an email directly to blogger, and voicing the opinions held by other small blogs that I have seen become overrun with spammers. I feel like my small, quaint bookstore  of a blog has become invaded by feral zombies, and my overseers gave me no tools to fend off these grisly beasts.

   Well, Blogger thinks that they don't need to provide any security tools for your blogs: "Here is a small comment area option that will allow you to control comments. Of course, you'll have tons of spammers linking through your blog and be done underground work to slowly tear your blog to pieces. There's nothing we can do; we're controlled by Google. This is your problem." I'll see if Wordpress is really any better. At this point, I think these blog sites are all deluded into thinking that spammers are mostly harmless nonentities.

Friday, May 10, 2013

What Makes You Die review

Click picture above for more information about the book

Book Synopsis:(Synopsis, Courtesy of Apex Publications)

"To see more is to find oblivion... Screenwriter Tommy Pic fell hard from Hollywood success and landed in a psychiatric ward, blacked out from booze and unmedicated manic depression. This is not the first time he's come to in restraints, surrounded by friends and family who aren't there.
This time, though, he also awakes to a message from his agent. The first act of his latest screenplay is their ticket back to the red carpets. If only Tommy could remember writing it. Trying to recapture the hallucinations that crafted his masterpiece, he chases his kidnapped childhood love, a witch from the magic shop downstairs, and the Komodo dragon he tried to cut out of his gut one Christmas Eve. The path to professional redemption may be more dangerous than the fall.
...This is what makes you die."


    Echoing the sentiments of another reviewer, from the TOR fantasy blog, Tom Picirilli's fragmented, unorthodox novel What Makes You Die really threw me for a loop. I was not expecting such depth, and such a myriad number of great passages that exemplified Tom's talent as a writer throughout this rather terse, but highly enjoyable work (the book is approximately 150 pages). If you read the blurb above for the book, you are probably a bit perplexed and even mildly disturbed. On a cautious note, some of the readers of my blog will probably not like this book; they may find some of the more graphic or explicit passages that are very adult in nature to be vulgar and puerile. Personally, I think they did nothing but excellently augment the realistic, yet darkly humorous drama that is maintained throughout the book.

    For those like myself who are willing to bravely read something that is part-psychological thriller and part-eccentric memoir , you will find plenty of things to love about this book. First of all, the plot revolves around a failed Hollywood script writer, whose talent ranges mostly around writing scripts for low-budget films. Basically, the book methodically acts as Tommy's weird psychoanalytic session, pertaining to some of the stranger occurrences of his life. The first-person perspective of this manic depressive scriptwriter, Tommy, is appropriately fragmented, yet there is a rich coherence to each of the memories that Tommy recollects upon during much of the novel. In a weird existential twist of events, we are thrust into the questioning stance ourselves about whether or not we have any ounce of sympathy for Tommy's turbulent life; can we entirely fault him for the ruination of his life?

     Throughout much of the novel, Tom Picirilli leads the reader through his many sordid affairs towards some of the more lachrymose moments of his life. As though written as a stream of conscience, the reader is forced to question the morality of the character's actions and decide whether or not Tommy ever feels complete remorse for his actions. Does his metal illness make asking any question about ethical behavior and responsibility for his immoral actions? Can we lay the blame on the lascivious lifestyle that is inherent to the seedy underworld of Hollywood that takes place far away from the limelight of Hollywood glamour or the  fleeting flashes of cameras from the voyeuristic members of the paparazzi?

     From the chaotic ruminations of one character's mind, the reader is thrown into a cerebral whirlwind of deep psychological questions that Tom, as with any truly skilled artist, is unafraid to penetrate without fear of upsetting more prudish readers.Does this character's perspective cleverly seek to hoodwink us  Iago-style into believing that is inculpable for the supposed crimes that he committed? Could this whole account be merely mendacious? Does our preconceived notions or stigmatized preconceptions of those with bipolar prevent from truly grasping the nuances of Tommy's character? The fact that this book stirs up so many questions about the reliability of Tommy's narration shows Tom P.'s skills as a writer.

    Using just the precise measure of levity, and tense, dramatic moments, Tom succeeds with writing a fascinating study of the human psyche. Being an established author and having won the Bram Stoker prize for horror fiction, it is no surprise then that this book is written very well,even if some of the more graphic sequences left  my mind feeling besmirched at times with tolerable unease.. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but some of the scenes were just a bit of an uncomfortable read, not enough to detract from the quality and enjoyment of the book. On that note, this level of realism kept the sex scenes in this book from being lurid or artificial.  This is a earnest work of fiction;therefore, the author has no time to prettify the true complexity of sexual or romantic relationships, as they are in real life. (Good art emulates one's life)

    Again, this book comes highly recommended from me, and I implore anyone with an open mind to read something that is a bit unconventional and disturbingly revealing. Also, it has intervals of true, knee-splitting humor in the midst of gripping psychological intrigue and hardship. By the end of it, I really quite loved it, and will be looking for more Tom Picirilli books to read. If you're a Chuck Palaniuk fan in particular (like myself),  this book is definitely one that you should check out! It has just the right amount of "American Psycho" esque  intrigue with a dash of Chuck Palaniuk's signature dark, twisted humor to boot. Tom does it in his own way excellently, and leaves fans of stories with a darkly humorous tone  and slightly melodramatic flair with a need to read more.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Gothic Emporium Thursday:The Resurrectionist

Every Thursday on A Bibliophile's Reverie, Indulge in all things preternatural and Gothic.
Features Include Anything about the Latest in Gothic Literature


"I am a Scavenger
A Resurrectionist
Yes, I enjoy my work
I'm a perfectionist
Supply and demand...
Supply and demand..."
-Emilie Autumn-Scavenger-
Song of the Week, From Gothic Industrial Artist:
Emilie Autumn 
      Given the fact that this week's highlighted book features such a morbid theme centering around the perverse desire of one doctor's plan for resurrecting bodies for the sake of scientific discovery, Emilie Autumn's Scavenger from her musical-themed album "Fight Like a Girl" thematically fits with Quirk Book's exciting new title "The Resurrectionist." Interestingly, this song was inspired in part by another Goth favorite from the eighties: Jim Henson's "Dark Crystal." While you are reading the below information about The Resurrectionist, be sure to listen to the song, as it will certainly set the right mood in your mind before you ever read the book later this month. (That is if you decide that you are intrepid enough to read about the abnormalities of this particular scientist's experiments This goes beyond the pale of Dr. Frankenstein's sole unnatural creation.)
      Gothic Book for May (Review Forthcoming):
The Resurrectionist by E.B. Hudspeth; From Quirk Books

Synopsis (Courtesy of Product Details Page on Quirk Book's Website)
"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 Resurrectionist tells his story."

Conversation With the Author: E.B. Husdpeth

Book Trailer 

Where the links and synopsis too horrifying and unsettling for your modest mind? Is the premise far too cadaverous to behold?

Gothic Emporium will most assuredly keep you abreast of anything that pertains to Quirk Book's The Resurrectionist before it's released into the world, come May 21, 2013.

Check out the links below for more information about this exciting new release!
Author's Website
Product Details Page (Includes links for Kindle,Nook, and Print Editions)
Facebook Page for The Resurrectionist

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Anne Rice's Wolves of Midwinter Cover Reveal/Official Book Release News

Click the above picture for the official news, courtesy of Anne Rice's Facebook page

         News of the sequel to one of my favorite Anne Rice books,other than Interview with the Vampire, has been made officiated. For fans that are always keeping abreast of the latest news on her Facebook page, many of you are already aware of the news. For those of whom on here, who are solely followers of this blog, this will come as surprising news for all of you. If you haven't read the first novel, The Wolf Gift, it comes highly recommended from me. I recently included it as part of a psychoanalytic paper on the psychological progression of Anne Rice's hero/monster characters. Her books are imbued with so much psychological depth and intrigue.
      They are truly at the pinnacle of what supernatural fiction can succeed with in terms of relevant discussion about existentialism, philosophy, metaphysics, and the evolution of art. The Wolf Gift  is certainly no exception in the way it psychoanalyze the psyche of the vigilante hero, and how Reuben Golding really represents the first prime example of the stabilizing "ego" figure of so many of Anne Rice's multitude of different characters that represent distinctive parts of Freud's model of the unconscious mind. These books are thankfully ambiguous enough in these details to allow for any analysis; they are truly that well-written, in my modest opinion. Recently, I wrote one of the most enjoyable academic papers of my life, and it was all due to the intellectual discourse that underpins the seemingly frivolous action of these books. I cannot wait to see what depths of either the human psyche and spirituality that Anne Rice plans to explore within The Wolves of Midwinter.  As with any of you, I just can't bear the long slog that this wait presents for many of us. Therefore, the below plans for my upcoming blog theme should assuage our impatience
News about Pertinent  Blog Theme for the Summer
"Werewolf Renaissance"

     I'm so excited about The Wolves of Midwinter  to the point, where I feel the need to establish a blog theme that will act as an ongoing countdown for the release of The Wolves of Midwinter. Starting today and ending sometime in October around the release of The Wolves of Midwinter, I will be offering relevant posts that will involve a re-read of The Wolf Gift, along with deeper explorations into what makes that novel such an intellectual feast for our minds. Discussions will include the role of nature within the novel, more discussion about the various references made to other books within the Gothic fiction cannon that are alluded to throughout the book, and how The Wolf Gift  reads analogously as a metaphorical portrayal of some of Teilhard De Chardin's many unconventional ideas about spirituality. Anne Rice does not just simply make artful references to it in her book. Many of the events within the novel, particularly Reuben Golding's development from a idealistic journalist to a complex, hybridized man-wolf, reflects Teilhard De Chardin's interesting reflections on the ongoing intellectual progression of humanity. In some ways, The Wolf Gift  goes more into the depths of Lestat's image of "The Savage Garden." More will be discussed in the coming months, of course, about this and various other issues for the novel.


Queen and Commander Blog Tour


Queen and Commander
Author: Janine Southard

On a world where high school test scores determine your future career, six students rebel. A pair of star-crossed lovers plot to stay together, rather than be separated by the system's college plans. A former off-worlder instigates: there's a ship in orbit, he says. We could take it and run away. But to take the ship, the three conspirators need more friends. Enter Rhiannon, the girl who set herself up for the ultimate success on this planet. She made sure her test would give the desired result: Queen. But her best friend begs her to take control of this plan to run away. So she drafts a would-be doctor who believes in following his Queen with all his heart. She finds a genius who can't seem to make the system work for him. And then she gets them qualified for the ship in orbit. The ship to freedom. Now what will they do with it? And was freedom what they really wanted?  
Excerpt Winning a ship means surpassing the competition. The three competing Queens swiveled their heads, hare-quick, to home in on new prey. They’d ignored her until she’d made that noise. Now they had the scent of fresh insecurity and would peck away until they laid her meager confidence bare for the massacre. “What a sweet little girl,” gushed the one in red. “Where’s your mother?” Dead, actually. Well, if this Queen planned to come after her for her age, she’d show her appreciation in the way only a younger person could. She raised her eye­brows and furrowed them down the middle, then pulled her head back onto her neck as though repulsed or doing a proper sit-up. From the way the older woman cringed back, Rhiannon knew she’d succeeded in making the derisive Did you seriously just say that to me? face that she’d seen on her more critical peers. A teenager can out bitch-face you any time, Queenie. Don’t try that tactic with me. The eldest cocked her head, more curious than cruel. Perhaps she found it as difficult to gauge Rhian­non’s age as the other way around. As far as Rhiannon knew, this woman had been one of Dyfed’s first Queens, self-made and just as untrained as herself. “Why do you think you deserve Ceridwen’s Cauldron?”

About the Author


 Janine A. Southard writes speculative fiction and videogame dialogue from her home in Seattle, WA. She sings with a Celtic band and is working on the next book in the Hive Queen universe. She’s also been known to read aloud to her cat. The cat appreciates all of these things. Maybe

. Website
  Amazon - US UK B&
N Nook-USUK iTunes- US UK Kobo- US UK

I'm still pretty exhausted, after just finishing my last semester a few days ago. Nonetheless, I will offer what paltry words that I can manage to type about this book. I really wish I had more energy to write about this novel. Perhaps, I'll write something expanded, when I get the time.
    With the hype not set to die anytime soon for Hunger Games, there is a mad scramble for desperate readers to find something equal to the engrossing quality of that stellar series. No, Queen and Commander does not come exactly close to that high standard, but there is still plenty to be entertained by. The novel really is something fun, and points of the story has some very amusing, eccentric developments. Having finally gotten off the tiring slog of running on the analytic-treadmill for English majors, this fun novel with great banter, well-constructed characters, and an inventive story-line was the perfect antidote for English major burn-out. It's really just one of those handy YA novels that is neither too frivolous or too complex, but it has the right dosage of action and adventure to give anyone with a crazy, frenetic schedule a book that reminds them books have therapeutic benefits.
    With that said, it was probably unfair to make that latter comparison to the Hunger Games.  Queen and Commander has a plot that is differentiated enough to make it completely different in tone and style from that story. I was only using that very well-known book as a way to recommend this book to anyone, who feels that they haven't found anything worthwhile or entertaining to read in the YA section after reading Hunger Games. So, grab a cup of coffee (wine/beer for those like myself, who are over 21), and start giving your brain the break it deserves. (Okay, I'm speaking mostly for myself here).