Ακολουθεί μια σειρά από μικρές βιβλιοκριτικές που δημοσίευσα κατά καιρούς στο Goodreads.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – 3/5 stars

Rachel Joyce

86.Rachel Joyce-The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold FryWhen Harold Fry leaves home one morning to post a letter, with his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.

Harold Fry’s adventure is definitely a very peculiar one.. What starts out as an act of ‘faith’ seems to transform into something deeper. If I would describe this book with three words these would be: life, love, loss. Joyce’s writing style is so simple and yet powerful that it definitely moves you along with the story, you literally can feel the protagonist as if he is standing right in front of you. It may be like a sad story to follow but I believe that the reader (young or older) can definitely get so much out of it.

The Memoirs of Lord Byron – 4/5 stars

Robert Nye

memoirs of lord byronByron’s manuscripted memoirs were destroyed – possibly because they contained revelations of his varied sexual proclivities. This novel aims to bring to life the man condemned as mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Perhaps this was Lord B., perhaps not.. we will never find out. Does it matter? He is a legend nonetheless. Anyway, I found this book very interesting to read, quite sensitive to his memory and constructed around many well-documented anecdotes from the poet’s life. But one needs to be careful and to read it only as fiction. The facts are facts but how they might have been really perceived by Lord B. no one can really tell.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – 2/5 stars

Stephen Chbosky

perks of being a wallflowerCharlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his year yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sidelines forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

I’m afraid I found it pointlessly melodramatic and not very convincing.

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse – 4/5 stars

Chris Riddell

goth girlMeet Ada Goth. She lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her father, Lord Goth, lots of servants and at least half a dozen ghosts, but she hasn’t got any friends to explore her enormous, creepy house with.

Then, one night, everything changes when Ada meets a ghostly mouse called Ishmael. Together they set out to solve the mystery of the strange happenings at Ghastly-Gorm Hall, and get a lot more than they bargained for…

This book was a recently-made discovery and a very good one! It is such a cute little book, with adorable illustrations and so fine allusions to many classic Gothic texts and artists that it is almost a must-read for every fan of Gothic fiction. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the ‘Goth Girl’ series.

If someone tries to convince you that this is a children’s book don’t listen to them!

The Night Circus – 2/5 stars

Erin Morgenstern

the-night-circus-2The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads: Opens at Nightfall. Closes at Dawn.

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.

Le Cirque des Rêves – The Circus of Dreams. Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.

Although I was intrigued by the idea of a Night Circus and everything the book was meant to be, this book failed to deliver. The characters seemed flat, their actions unjustified to a great extent and there wasn’t much of a mystery or something to make me want to read it until the end.

I just want to congratulate the publishing house who made me think that this book might be extraordinary and attracted my attention. Kudos to an excellent cover and a very intriguing blurb. If only the author’s writing and plot development were a bit better. I think Morgenstern had all the material available to make something really great but she obviously lost it along the way.

Santa Evita – 4/5 stars

Tomas Eloy Martinez

santa evitaAmong the great corpses of our age are Lenin, Mao Tse-tung and Stalin. Mao, at least, is still on view for the masses to see, some two decades after his demise. But no corpse engendered as much intrigue as that of Eva Peron. Elevated to near sainthood in Argentina after her death in 1952, her perfectly preserved corpse was seized by the Argentine Army following the ouster of her husband in 1955. By then her corpse had acquired the status of a sacred relic, and while army officials wanted to keep it out of the hands of Peronists, they were loath to destroy the corpse for fear of the backlash that might follow. Tomas Eloy Martinez has reassembled the story of the corpse of Eve Peron in Santa Evita, and in the process, produced a riveting, rich book that not only tells the tale of one of the more bizarre sagas in the history of South American politics, but that also gets to the heart of the age-old human impulse to create myths and tell stories.

I remember reading this book when I was relatively younger and what a funny feeling it gave me: totally crept me out. Very well-written and sarcastic nonetheless.

Για την αγάπη της γεωμετρίας – 5/5 stars

Σώτη Τριανταφύλλου

geometria“Για την αγάπη της γεωμετρίας”: το πικρότατο χρονικό της νιότης. Κεντρική ηρωίδα η Ανατολή Μπότσαρη που μεγαλώνει όπως μπορεί σε μια μεσοαστική οικογένεια στο κέντρο της Αθήνας… Μια οικογένεια συνηθισμένη, ίσως όχι και τόσο… 1971, 1972, 1973… 1990, 1999…

Τα γεγονότα: ένας εφηβικός έρωτας, μια εγκατάλειψη, μια ακόμη εγκατάλειψη, δυο αποτυχίες απανωτές, ύστερα αρρώστιες, αναρρώσεις: να γονατίζεις εφτά φορές και να σηκώνεσαι οχτώ… Ίσως και να μη σηκώνεσαι την όγδοη φορά…

Ακολουθεί μια αυτοκτονία, ο συνηθισμένος εφιάλτης του εγκλεισμού: πριν απ’ αυτά, ταπεινώσεις, απώλειες, συμβιβασμοί.

Το πικρότατο χρονικό της νιότης.

Πρόκειται για ένα από τα πιο καλογραμμένα βιβλία της Σώτης. Άμεσο, “to the point”, καυστικό, πολυεπίπεδο… Η δε σύνδεση με τα μαθηματικά που επιχειρεί η συγγραφέας και οι μεταφορές που χρησιμοποιεί είναι πάρα πολύ εύστοχες.

Για όποιον ενδεχομένως περιμένει ένα ανάλαφρο ανάγνωσμα, δυστυχώς το “Για την αγάπη της γεωμετρίας” δεν είναι κάτι τέτοιο. Το διάβασα σε τέσσερις μέρες και ο λόγος ήταν ότι μου δημιούργησε τόσο ισχυρά συναισθήματα που δεν έπαυα στιγμή να το σκέφτομαι.

Για μένα το τέλειο βιβλίο είναι αυτό που με κάνει να ζηλεύω τον συγγραφέα του και να σκέφτομαι ότι θα ήθελα πολύ να μπορούσα κι εγώ να γράψω κάτι τόσο όμορφο. Το “Για την αγάπη της γεωμετρίας” ανήκει σίγουρα σε αυτή την κατηγορία.

Το εργοστάσιο των μολυβιών – 4/5 stars

Σώτη Τριανταφύλλου

to_ergostasio_ton_molivionΤο Eργοστάσιο των μολυβιών είναι ένα μυθιστόρημα για την επανάσταση και τους επαναστάτες. Επίσης είναι ένα μυθιστόρημα για τα τρομερά γεγονότα που συγκλόνισαν τον κόσμο, και για άλλα, λιγότερο τρομερά, που τον συγκλόνισαν επίσης. Η ιστορία αρχίζει το 1866, στο Κάιρο, όταν χτίζεται η διώρυγα του Σουέζ, και τελειώνει στην Αθήνα λίγες μέρες πριν από τον B’ Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο. Πρόκειται για το χρονικό μιας ελληνικής αστικής οικογένειας που δεν μοιάζει με τις άλλες, και που δεν συμμορφώνεται με την ηθική του δέκατου ένατου αιώνα. Ακόμα, πρόκειται για την ιστορία μιας μεγάλης φιλίας, που αρχίζει στη Ζυρίχη και που συνεχίζεται στις ταραγμένες πόλεις του κόσμου: στο Βερολίνο και στην Αγία Πετρούπολη. 

Στο Εργοστάσιο των μολυβιών οι ήρωες βρίσκονται στη δίνη των πολιτικών γεγονότων, από τις αιματηρές εξεγέρσεις κατά της αποικιοκρατικής εξουσίας μέχρι την Οκτωβριανή Επανάσταση, κι από την παραφορά της μετεπαναστατικής Ρωσίας μέχρι τα εγκλήματα του σταλινικού καθεστώτος κι ανάμεσα σ’ αυτά τα γεγονότα συμβαίνουν άλλα, όχι λιγότερο συνταρακτικά: ο έρωτας, η απελπισία, η αρρώστια, και τα παιχνίδια της τύχης. Το Eργοστάσιο των μολυβιών είναι ένα βιβλίο για τον άνθρωπο-τεχνικό και για τον άνθρωπο επαναστάτη, που είναι συχνά το ίδιο. Και για το μεγαλείο τού να πεθαίνεις μ’ έναν τόμο του Μαγιακόβσκι στην τσέπη – αλλά όχι προτού ζήσεις μια υπέροχη ζωή.

I feel a deep connection with this book because it was the one who introduced me to Soti’s literary world. The story was engaging and the prose was so real that really got me into the characters’ world. With this book Soti managed to restore my faith to contemporary Greek literature and I will always be grateful for this.

Inferno – 1/5 stars

Dan Brown

infernoIn the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

I rarely quit a book but this book is repetitive, badly-written, I couldn’t care less for what’s going to happen (not that I don’t know already) and seems more than a travel guide to Florence (not even an inspiring one -how can you make such a lovely place look such a boring destination escapes me!). Having read all the Robert Langdon books I am pretty convinced now that Brown writes the exact same story every time by simply changing the names and cities. I definitely have more worthy books in my books-to-read list so I’m not gonna bother any longer. I killed enough brain cells already! If you have a long list of books you want to read, you might as well avoid this one.

Lasher – 3/5 stars

Anne Rice

lasherThe Talamasca, documenters of paranormal activity, is on the hunt for the newly born Lasher. Mayfair women are dying from hemorrhages and a strange genetic anomaly has been found in Rowan and Michael. Lasher, born from Rowan, is another species altogether and now in the corporeal body, represents an incalcuable threat to the Mayfairs. Rowan and Lasher travel together to Houston and she becomes pregnant with another creature like him, a Taltos. Lasher seeks to reproduce his race in other women, but they cannot withstand it. Rowan escapes and becomes comatose as her fully-grown Taltos daughter is born. The Mayfairs declare all-out war on Lasher and try to nurse Rowan back to health.

Michael remains entwined in the Mayfair family and learns how he comes by his strange powers. Michael’s ghostly visiting from a long-dead Mayfair reveals the importance of destroying Lasher. In the investigation, Lasher’s origins are revealed, the new Taltos Emaleth returns, and the climax of death and life engulfs the family.

I enjoyed the insight into Lasher’s story, the twist and turns of the story and the information regarding the origins of the Mayfair family. It was another trip around the world, Italy, Scotland and of course New Orleans; the usual places and civilisations Anne Rice likes to travels her readers.

Despite not considering “Lasher” at the same high level as its prequel, I found it very enjoyable and I would totally recommend it to all those who read the first book of the Mayfair trilogy. As for myself, I can’t wait to start reading the last book.

Odd and the Frost Giants – 4/5 stars

Neil Gaiman

oddThis simple and warm story is a fantasy about a 12-year old boy named Odd, a lucky name in Viking tradition, who has had two pretty rough years. But Odd has a kind heart and a positive attitude. Life took on a better light for Odd when he met three chatty animals – supposedly Viking gods sent by the Frost Giant.

That’s a cute little story for children but not exclusively which I read in an hour or so. Ideal for the summer heatwave as it talks about frost giants, cold and snow! This was a present from my little sister which made this book even more special to me.

Φάδερ Ημών – 1/5 stars

Μάνος Βουράκης

fatherΟ Θεός θεωρεί τον Ιησού στιλιστικά ακατάλληλο για τη Δευτέρα Παρουσία. Πιστεύει ότι για τα σύγχρονα δεδομένα είναι ντεμοντέ, βαρετός και κάπως αστοιχείωτος, γι’ αυτό επιλέγει στη θέση του τα μικρότερο γιο του, τον Τζες. Ένα μοντέρνο Θεάνθρωπο που έχει όλα τα φόντα να κάνει μεγάλη καριέρα ως Σωτήρας – είναι πάνσοφος, πανάγαθος, πανέμορφος και πανσπάταλος. 

Ο Θεός του δίνει εντολή να κατέβει στη Γη και να λύσει το επικοι¬νωνιακό πρόβλημα των ανθρώπων – να τους απαλλάξει δηλαδή από την ιδιωτική τηλεόραση και τις πιστωτικές κάρτες. Ο Τζες μαζεύει δώδεκα εντυπωσιακές μαθήτριες κι αρχίζει να περιπλανιέται στην υφήλιο διδάσκοντας μεγάλες αλήθειες για την ψηφιακή ευσέβεια, το θρησκευτικό μάνατζμεντ και το ντιζάιν εσωτερικών κόσμων, φιλοδοξώντας να εντάξει δυναμικά τη θρησκεία στο γήινο λάιφ στάιλ.

Με το σταυρό στο χέρι δεν καταφέρνεις πλέον τίποτα αν ο σταυρός δεν είναι Cartier, διαδίδει παντού, χαρίζοντας απανωτά εγκεφαλικά στο Μεγαλοδύναμο, που βλέπει με τρόμο το δευτερότοκο γιο του να αναδεικνύεται σε απόλυτο sex symbol ενός απελπιστικά ανώριμου πλανήτη!

Αυτό το βιβλίο ήταν πραγματικά μια εμπειρία, αλλά δυστυχώς όχι πολύ καλή. Δεν ήταν βέβαια ότι με ενόχλησε το θέμα αλλά είχα την αίσθηση ότι διαβάζω περισσότερο ένα κείμενο κάποιου συντάκτη του Nitro παρά λογοτεχνία. Κρίμα γιατί ίσως με ένα πιο προσεγμένο και συμμαζεμένο ύφος το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο να είχε κάτι να πει.

Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story – 3/5 stars

Ashley Marie Witter (Illustrator), Anne Rice

claudiaA richly-illustrated adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, told through the eyes of the vampire Claudia, who was just a little girl when she was turned by the vampire Lestat. Though she spends many years of happiness with her two vampire fathers, she gradually grows discontent with their insistence upon treating her like a little girl, even though she has lived as long as any mortal man…and her lust to kill is certainly no less than theirs…

The artwork was incredible and it certainly gets 5 stars.
However, I didn’t feel that the story-telling provided a better understanding to Claudia’s character or had anything special to add to the series. I didn’t feel that the viewpoint presented was original. The lines and the plot was too similar to Louis’ viewpoint. It’s difficult to believe that someone who narrates past events would use exactly the same phrases or will put the same focus on the past events. A more creative approach would clearly make the reading more interesting and less repetitive. I understand of course that the illustrator may not have had the permission to be more creative or this may have required a better treatment, with Anne Rice perhaps contributing to the development of the character but as much as I enjoyed this book, I cannot say that I was amazed by it.

The Garden of Evening Mists – 3/5 stars

Twan Eng Tan

The Garden of evening mistsIt’s Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambridge and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan.

Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice ‘until the monsoon comes’. Then she can design a garden for herself.

As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day. But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling’s friend and host, Magnus Praetorius, seems almost immune from the depredations of the Communists? What is the legend of ‘Yamashita’s Gold’ and does it have any basis in fact? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all.

Though I found the prose very sophisticated at times, I have to admit that the story didn’t blow me away. There was always something that I felt it was missing. Perhaps it was the distant, disinterested tone of the narrator that did not convince me about the impact of all the events she was narrating in her life. Another ‘flow’ that distracted me a bit from really enjoying this book is the fact that all the characters seemed to be one and the same person. They all seemed to have lived similar lives and have developed similar personalities. I think if something was missing from the book to make it really a masterpiece was the development of the characters.

Despite this the book was a worthy read for all the background information it provided about Japanese and Malaysian culture and it was really interesting to read about places and events I knew little about.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – 1/5 stars

Stieg Larsson

girl with dragon tattooA murder mystery, family saga, love story, and a tale of financial intrigue wrapped into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.Harriet Vanger, scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pieced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

** spoiler alert ** I don’t know what happened here but this has been one of the most boring books I’ve ever read. Didn’t seem to have a climax but a series of interwoven never-ending stories. I think in the end I lost completely focus and I wasn’t interested at all. In my opinion, the book lacked some serious editing. The story had potential but didn’t seem too engaging, at least to me. Unfortunately, I made the mistake to buy all 3 books in advance but I haven’t managed to convince myself to start reading the second book.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!! (don’t read this if you haven’t read the book)
The English title is so so so wrong. It gives you the impression that the whole book is about a girl with a dragon tattoo whereas clearly this is not the case. I kept trying to connect the girl with the stories in the novel only to find that she wasn’t the main character of the novel and almost nothing revolved around her. Extremely confusing!!

City of Bones – 1/5 stars

Cassandra Clare

City_of_BonesWhen fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder – much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. 

It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing – not even a smear of blood – to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. 

Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

If I could give a title to this review would be as such: ‘When Buffy met Harry Potter’. I found nothing new or original about this story, it had no real characters to sympathise with, the plot line was so basic and it had so many similarities with the Buffyverse and the world of Harry Potter and the writing style was not really great…

I only give credits to the author for some interesting twist and turns in the last 50 pages which after a second thought I realised that they were interesting not because they were unexpected but because the author managed to surprise me. DID she really decide to shake things up? Yeah that was a shocker!

Will I go on and read the rest of the series? I don’t think so because honestly I am not interested at all to find out what’s happening with these characters. I managed to finish this book as I already paid for it and I guess this was a form of self-punishment. Clearly when a book of this genre is not a page-turner there is something wrong with it. I started questioning myself, whether I am too old to read these books. But soon I reminded myself how much I enjoyed the Hunger Games and then I started feeling good again. So clearly it can’t be my fault.

The Road – 4/5 stars

Cormac McCarthy

the-road-bookA father and his son walk alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast. This is the profoundly moving story of their journey. The Road boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which two people, ‘each the other’s world entire’, are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

** spoiler alert ** Gripping, haunting and weirdly simple. I would give it a 5 but I don’t think that the ending was of the same standard as the rest of the book. It seemed quite needy to give a specific ending which wasn’t much to my liking. I would expect something more open-ended and vague. But overall it was a very good read and I would definitely like to explore other works by McCarthy.

American Gods – 5/5 stars

Neil Gaiman

american-godsA storm is coming… Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Reading American Gods was not easy. But it was very rewarding! Oh yes, indeedy! Going through its pages, unravelling the hints Gaiman was leaving behind was magical and empowering. It was one of the rare moments of active reading when nothing is taken for granted. No, don’t get me wrong. Don’t be alarmed! This is NOT high-brow literature. No, it is fantasy but the rare kind that does not take the reader for a fool or an action-seeking junkie.

The author actually researched his topic and has something particular in mind to say. You can tell this by the development of the stories and the characters. Each one carefully chosen to reflect/comment upon different aspects of the American culture.

There are so many things still to pick up from the book that I think a single reading is not enough. Especially, considering that I am still making connections days after I finished reading it. And if that doesn’t make for a good book then I don’t know what it is!

Strongly recommend to give it a go and see for yourselves.

Dark Places – 5/5 stars

Gillian Flynn

dark placesLibby Day was just seven years old when her older brother massacred her family while she hid in a cupboard. Her evidence helped put him away. Ever since then she has been drifting, surviving for over 20 years on the proceeds of the ‘Libby Day fund’. But now the money is running out and Libby is desperate. When she is offered $500 to do a guest appearance, she feels she has to accept. But this is no ordinary gathering. The Kill Club is a group of true-crime obsessives who share information on notorious murders, and they think her brother Ben is innocent. 

Ben was a social misfit, ground down by the small-town farming community in which he lived. But he did have a girlfriend – a brooding heavy metal fan called Diondra. Through her, Ben became involved with drugs and the dark arts. When the town suddenly turned against him, his thoughts turned black. But was he capable of murder? Libby must delve into her family’s past to uncover the truth – no matter how painful…

And when you think it can’t get any better! Sharp Objects was really really good, but Dark Places was really mind-blowing!!

Prince Lestat – 2/5 stars

Anne Rice

prince lestThe novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned… Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco. As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles—Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures—come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who—or what—the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why…

And, at the book’s center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw—the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat…

For all those who know me they know too well how much I love Lestat and The Vampire Chronicles. So when Anne Rice announced that two new books would come out I was thrilled! Like a good fan I even went to the British Library on the release date to pick up my signed copy. So imagine my disappointment when I read a book without any believable plot, with a bunch of old and new characters who all talked in the same manner, and almost had the same habits (reading literature, listening to exquisite music, being well-dressed, etc). I ended up forgetting who is who and how s/he is related to other characters simply because they all seemed the same person. The read was boring, took me almost a month to read it not because I was savouring the end but simply because to my horror I was not interested in the story at all.

Perhaps Anne Rice wanted to get a new story, anything really out there so that she can make Hollywood interested in the VC again. In this respect, mission accomplished! 😉 But maybe she rushed things too much. This book definitely introduced some new interesting material but it didn’t have to be so repetitive and superficial. For example, it was pretty clear from the very beginning who the Voice was and to have Lestat exclaim his astonishment in this revelation towards the end of the story, this is not believable at all. I’m pretty sure that Lestat must be cleverer than that!

It pains me to say it but this book is no par to the Interview or The Vampire Lestat neither proselike or plotlike. I’m really sorry Anne if you happen to read this but I have to be true to myself. You make some good points, for example the story with Victor could be just a book on its own, but the book needed some serious tidying up and better editing. It’s Lestat after all, the most amazing vampire in modern vampire fiction so excuse me if I had high expectations…

One thing I liked and found helpful for new readers was the glossary and the information in the end. Good to have everything in one place! 🙂

Σε ξένο κόσμο – 4/5 stars

Γιάννης Μαργέτης

se-kseno-kosmoΈνας καθημερινός άνθρωπος κάνει τυχαία μια ανατριχιαστική ανακάλυψη που ανατρέπει όλα όσα ήξερε, για τον εαυτό του και τη ζωή του. Ένα τηλεφώνημα μετατρέπει ένα ήσυχο βράδυ, σε μια δύσκολη νύχτα που το πρωί πρέπει οπωσδήποτε να ξεχάσεις. Ένα τέρας γεμάτο αγκάθια, γέννημα ενός εφιάλτη, οδηγεί στο «Γνώθι σαυτόν». Ένας φιλήσυχος πολίτης γίνεται αναπάντεχα ο αρνητικός πρωταγωνιστής της ημέρας, σε μια οργουελική κοινωνία.

Στη δεύτερη συλλογή διηγημάτων του, ο Γιάννης Μαργέτης αφηγείται τέσσερις παράξενες ιστορίες, μια νουβέλα και τρία διηγήματα, για τον άγνωστο που βλέπουμε κάθε μέρα στην άλλη πλευρά του καθρέφτη, για τη Σκιά που κοιμάται στο υποσυνείδητο και ξυπνά στα όνειρα… Τέσσερις ιστορίες για τις διαφορετικές εκδοχές της πραγματικότητας…

Ο Γιάννης Μαργέτης έκανε δυναμική εμφάνιση στην ελληνική λογοτεχνία με τη συλλογή διηγημάτων “Παράδοξη Περιπέτεια”, μια σειρά από μικρές ιστορίες που διαβάζονται σαν σφηνάκια δροσιάς. Στο δεύτερο βιβλίο του συνεχίζει να χαρίζει μοναδικές ιστορίες, άρτια δομημένες που καταφέρνουν να καθηλώσουν το ενδιαφέρον του αναγνώστη από την πρώτη σελίδα.

Η νουβέλα “Σε ξένο κόσμο” που χάρισε τον τίτλο της και στη συλλογή ξεκινά σαν μια απλή καθημερινή ιστορία που όμως ανέλπιστα και πολύ γρήγορα παίρνει άλλες διαστάσεις, εκπλήσσοντας τον αναγνώστη. Ακολουθούν δύο μικρές ιστορίες που θυμίζουν περισσότερο το στιλ που είχαμε συναντήσει στην πρώτη συλλογή ενώ τη συλλογή συμπληρώνει ένα πιο εκτεταμένο διήγημα, “Το χαμόγελο του Κυρίου Μ” που βαδίζει στα εφιαλτικά δυστοπικά μονοπάτια που χάραξε πρώτος ο Κάφκα.

Πρόκειται με λίγα λόγια για μια συλλογή-πρόταση που κινείται σε πολύ διαφορετικά μονοπάτια από αυτά που έχουμε συνηθίσει και η οποία σίγουρα αξίζει την προσοχή μας.

Παράδοξη περιπέτεια – 4/5 stars

Γιάννης Μαργέτης

paradoksi-peripeteia[…] Ξαφνικά, στέκομαι στο χείλος του πεζοδρομίου μιας πολυσύχναστης λεωφόρου. Δεν θυμάμαι πώς βρέθηκα στο συγκεκριμένο σημείο. Δεν υπάρχει κάποιος πρόλογος για την ιστορία τούτη. Απλά στέκομαι εκεί που στέκομαι. Νιώθω πως το σώμα μου έφτασε στον τόπο αυτό πριν αφιχθεί η συνείδησή μου. Υποθέτω ότι θέλω να διασχίσω κάθετα τη λεωφόρο, αλλά δεν στέκομαι καν σε διάβαση πεζών. Στρέφομαι προς τα εκεί όπου νόμιζα ότι ήταν η διάβαση και αρχίζω να περπατώ. Η πορεία μου δεν θα έπρεπε να διαρκέσει πολύ, αλλά κατά έναν παράξενο λόγο, η διάβαση, που νόμιζα ότι είχα δει, δεν υπήρχε […].

H πρώτη συλλογή διηγημάτων του Γιάννη Μαργέτη ξεχωρίζει για τον γρήγορο και κοφτό τρόπο γραφής του συγγραφέα, που μας χαρίζει μικρά συνήθως διηγήματα, των τριών σελίδων κατά μέσο wtcόρο. Τα κείμενα φαίνεται να ακολουθούν από πολύ κοντά τα μοτίβα του μαγικού ρεαλισμού, έντονα επηρεασμένα από την τεχνική του Λατινοαμερικανού συγγραφέα Χόρχε Λουίς Μπόρχες, του οποίου ο συγγραφέας δηλώνει μάλιστα θαυμαστής. Ο Μαργέτης σίγουρα αποτελεί μία από τις πολλά υποσχόμενες νέες φωνές της ελληνικής λογοτεχνίας.

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