READ TIME: 4 MIN
So, um, “Sacrifice” by Andrew Boylan.
I read this little book way back in 2017, and I’ll admit, I didn’t love it. So, when it came time to write this review, I put it off for a few days. Which turned into a few months. And then into a few years.
My procrastination skills are top-notch.
But now, the time has finally come. Let’s talk about it, shall we?
I stumbled across “Sacrifice” while browsing Kindle’s 99-cent bin. While I don’t normally gravitate toward the horror genre, I found the synopsis of “Sacrifice” intriguing, and I was in one of those collect-all-the-books-I’ll-never-have-time-to-read moods, so why not?
The book, which blends fact and fiction, opens with struggling filmmaker Benny Hernandez photographing the scene of a gruesome car crash in which the passenger (or victim?) has some nasty wounds that seem eerily familiar.
Later, Benny learns that his ex-girlfriend is convinced that a deadly, ancient cult has resurfaced in their small New Mexico hometown.
Benny decides to investigate. This could be his big break!
But in his pursuit of a blockbuster, he becomes entrenched in a secretive world characterized by drugs, religion, and all things danger.
Despite all its compelling ingredients, the story didn’t hold my attention, primarily because I kept getting distracted by the convoluted writing.
Written by Lauryn Smith
One book, two authors. I must have been living under a rock, because apparently stories written by multiple authors are relatively common.
Case in point: "Nightfall" by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski. (Shout out to G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers for introducing me to "Nightfall," my first dual-authored novel. Thank you for the free copy!)
“Nightfall” is a piece of young adult fiction that portrays the peculiarities of the remote, forested island of Bliss. On the island, Sunrise comes only every 28 years, resulting in 14 years of Day and 14 years of Night. The island's residents spend weeks preparing for Nightfall, completing a number of odd rituals, such as removing locks from houses, leaving doors partially open and strategically rearranging furniture. Come Nightfall, they hitch rides on furrier ships in order to flee to the Desert Lands, where they will live for the 14-year interim.
That is just how things work on Bliss, no questions asked. Any and all reasoning is shrouded in mystery. No one understands or speaks of what happens on the island during the cold years of Night, but everyone knows that the place should be avoided. This Nightfall, however, an unfortunate few are left behind. Once the furrier boats take off, three teens—Marin, her twin brother Kana and their mutual friend Line—are left to their own devices, and they come to understand the mysteries of the island uncomfortably well.
Review: “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
Written by Lauryn Smith
Everyone knows Jekyll and Hyde. They have been portrayed everywhere, from Broadway’s stage to PBS’s Arthur. The story of Jekyll and Hyde is unprecedented, a tale depicting an omnipresent internal struggle—good versus evil.
Despite its spread, it was not until recently that I actually read Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Heck, I listened to the audiobook before finally venturing into text itself. When they are hanging out in your “to read” pile, Stevenson’s stories can be daunting. Sure, his works are classics. But they are also from the nineteenth century, so the language is not the most accessible to modern readers. Or so I thought. We will talk about that in a moment, but first, let’s get familiar with the story.
Described as both a thriller and an allegory, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is an anecdote that demonstrates the duality of man. Predominantly told from the viewpoint of the honorable lawyer Gabriel John Utterson, the story depicts the struggle of Henry Jekyll, a highly respected doctor with suppressed desires that go against public mores. A man of chemistry, Jekyll concocts a potion that he uses to transform himself, to free his repressed, more wicked self, whom he calls Edward Hyde.
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