The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue: A Review

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Goodreads Synopsis: Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Maine, Jack Peter spends his time drawing monsters. When those drawings take on a life of their own, no one is safe from the terror they inspire. His mother, Holly, begins to hear strange sounds in the night coming from the ocean, and she seeks answers from the local Catholic priest and his Japanese housekeeper, who fill her head with stories of shipwrecks and ghosts. His father, Tim, wanders the beach, frantically searching for a strange apparition running wild in the dunes. And the boy’s only friend, Nick, becomes helplessly entangled in the eerie power of the drawings. While those around Jack Peter are haunted by what they think they see, only he knows the truth behind the frightful occurrences as the outside world encroaches upon them all.

In the tradition of The Turn of the Screw, Keith Donohue’s The Boy Who Drew Monsters is a mesmerizing tale of psychological terror and imagination run wild, a perfectly creepy read for a dark night.

Review:

The Boy Who Drew Monsters is a book I randomly picked off the shelf because the title intrigued me. The black and stark white text of the cover also drew my attention because I’m kind of a sucker for a good book cover.

Following the story of a young boy named Jack Peter who suffers from asperger’s, this book explores the thin line between dream and reality. Jack begins to draw monsters that begin to come to life and terrorise his family and friend, Nick. Jack Peter also has severe agoraphobia having almost drowned a few years before the story begins and refuses to leave the house.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: A Review

ocean2.pngGoodreads Synopsis: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

Review:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the first Neil Gaiman novel I have read, and I absolutely loved it. I picked it up randomly in the airport one day because the title appealed to me, and it was a purchase I do not regret at all. I could not put this book down, and when I did, I felt a strange twinge of nostalgia and sadness overcome me. This book is truly beautiful and magical; a story about friendship, growing up, and how experiences shape us. But enough gushing, I think I have made it evident enough that I absolutely adored this book and it immediately made its way to my favourites list. Let’s talk about the story itself.

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Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman: A Review

29964674Goodreads Synopsis: The year is 1850 and Great Britain is flourishing, thanks to the Royal Society of the Esoteric Arts. When a new mage is discovered, Royal Society elites descend like buzzards to snatch up a new apprentice. Talented mages are bought from their families at a tremendous price, while weak mages are snapped up for a pittance. For a lower middle class family like the Gunns, the loss of a son can be disastrous, so when seemingly magical incidents begin cropping up at home, they fear for their Ben’s life and their own livelihoods.
But Benjamin Gunn isn’t a talented mage. His sister Charlotte is, and to prevent her brother from being imprisoned for false reporting she combines her powers with his to make him seem a better prospect. When she discovers a nefarious plot by the sinister Doctor Ledbetter, Charlotte must use all her cunning and guile to protect her family, her secret and her city.
Brother’s Ruin is the first in a new gaslamp fantasy series by Emma Newman.

Review:

Brother’s Ruin is my first journey into the steam punk genre of literature. I picked this novel off the shelf due to the intriguing title, and in an effort to support more female fantasy writers, I purchased the book.

It was not the most thrilling story I have read, but it was short and quick to read. It is the first of a new series by Emma Newman, and it did leave me intrigued to continue the story.

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