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Memes of Loss and Devotion: A Review

This ebook was given to me by the author, Darren White, in return for my review.

Memes of loss and devotionInside is a collection of short stories and I must admit I really didn’t like the first one. It was very slow going and full of purple prose. I put the book down only a few percent in and then had to come back to it, which is a real shame because the later stories are much less over the top in terms of description.

While a lot of the stories feature around romantic devotion they are also pretty much all of a sci-fi sort of nature, apart from a couple that were more horror based and that felt out of place to me. There was one with what seemed to be a serial killer in it that seemed a lot like it didn’t belong in the collection at all.

A few of the stories I thought were very good, mostly the more heavily sci-fi ones that had a bit more plot to them and a little less waffle about strange things happening. I don’t want to plot spoil so I can’t really say which bits were overdescribed but often the more supernatural or strange stuff was described far too much.

All in all a bit of a mixed bag. I’d skip the first story or two and get into the third one and read from there.

Dracula: A Review

This is one of those books most people probably don’t expect me to have read. I don’t read horror and don’t tend to enjoy it, but this is a book I’ve just finished reading for the third time! It’s amazing and not really horror in the way we think of horror today. So here’s my thoughts.

This has got to be one of the worst of the many covers Dracula has had over the years but it definitely has a point. You’d be surprised how Christian this book is. Through out the story are references to God, trusting in Him, and defeating the demonic to honour Him and aid in His work. I suppose this stems from the book being written at a time when pretty much everyone went to church and believed that this sort of thing happened, at least in the spiritual realm even if not in the physical.

I also thought it was well written for a classic. A lot of them drag and take a while to get going, but this one plunged right into the action with Jonathan Harker on his way to visit Count Dracula and although it had a few lengthy paragraphs of description here and there (no worse than George R. R. Martin’s like of description) it was still a relatively fast paced read for a classic.

For a horror novel, the accounts of the gruesome side of things are quite tame and few and far between, instead the book relies on making you feel the dread of the characters and their fear of being cut off from God and eternally walking the earth as something that will never honour Him. There was a brilliant quote that summed up the emotion behind that sentiment in a way I can only wish I’d thought of. – ‘But to fail here is not mere life or death. It is that we become as him, that we henceforth become foul things of the night, like him, without heart or conscience, preying on the bodies and the souls of those we love best. To us forever are the gates of heaven shut, for who shall open them to us again? We go on for all time abhorred by all, a blot on the face of God’s sunshine, an arrow in the side of Him who died for man.’

In short, I love this novel, partially for not being what’s expected of it, partially for being so honest about the belief system behind it, and partially for being inspiring and encouraging in the face of great fear. This is everything a good horror book should be.

Super 8: A Review

Super 8 was one of those films I saw the trailor for and thought, yeah that might be worth a watch. I didn’t go to see it at the cinema but borrowed the dvd from a friend as soon as I could.

The trailer implied the film was a cutesy kids action film with a little bit of a serious alien undertone and for the first 30 minutes that’s exactly what it was. The kids making their own film were so stereotypical it was brilliant and, although a little like watching an old kids film, it was retro in all the right ways.

For kids, the acting was superb and the whole cast of miniature adults had me won over pretty quickly and they never let me down the whole way through the film.

The let down came when the film got a lot more serious than the trailer implied it would. The alien’s introduction scene was actually really rather violent and gory for what appeared to be a more childlike film. The alien was the kind of alien you would expect in an alien horror film and not a Stephen Spielberg kids film and the way the film was put together was a lot more jumpy than I’d have liked. I don’t mind a film that makes me jump one or twice but I think I jumped at four separate points in more of a horror film way.

I loved the cast and routed for them the whole way but when the film had finished I felt a little like I’d been miss-sold it. It was far darker than I was expecting and I really don’t think I’ll be buying it, which is a shame because I was hoping for another ET moment.