My Swordhand is Singing, Marcus Sedgwick

 Sedgwick has been on my radar for a few years now, creeping into the shortlists for the Carnegie Medal regularly. I’d previously read his White Crow, and Midwinterblood. The first of those I had thoroughly enjoyed, bouncing between time zones; the second was breathtaking, tracing echoes of a story back through generations and encompassing wartime…

The Strain, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Oh dear. What a let down. I was really looking forward to this one. And now I feel just… let down. I’ve read some great books recently: emotional, lyrical, beautiful. I wasn’t expecting any of that from The Strain. I was looking forward to an enjoyable, rollicking horror vampire fantasy in the style of del…

Intertextuality in the The Woman in Black

Intertextuality is a strange idea. It’s reasonable and intuitive that texts refer both backwards and forwards within themselves: how many stories and tales begin and end at the same place and setting? Detective fiction is built on the importance of small early details turning into clues to be resolved later. Anton Chekov went so far…

Let The Right One In, John Ajvide Lindquist

Its odd how my book reading lurks in certain genres for a while: after a crime spree, I notice a range of horror books collecting on the pages of this blog – with more on my to-be-read list. I wonder what it is with Scandi-Lit. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy; Jo Nesbø; Mons Kallentoft … There…

The Bloody Red Baron, Kim Newman

After reading a couple of extremely well-written, moving but rather serious books, picking up The Bloody Red Baron was intended to be a welcome piece of light relief: a bit of fun vampiric horror. Kim Newman takes up the reigns of his alternate history some thirty years after the events in the previous Anno Dracula. Having fled from England…

Anno Dracula, Kim Newman

I have a confession. I love Dracula. Both the character and Stoker’s novel. And I love vampires. Not the sparkly, fairy, effete version populating Meyer’s asinine attempts at fiction (“Dear Dracula, do you remember that one night seventeen years ago? Well, we need to talk. Sincerely, Tinkerbell”) but full blown raging bloodlust sensual sexual visceral…