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Month in review

Reviews:
Alphabet Rescue by Audrey Wood
The Avenger of Love by Jack Skillingstead
Blaze by Stephen King
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
The Brave Little Toaster by Thomas M. Disch
The Eighth Day of the Week by Marek Hlasko
The Elephants of Style by Bill Walsh
Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki
Father Malachy's Miracle by Bruce Marshall
Free to Be... You and Me by Marlo Thomas
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Harold's Fairy Tale by Crockett Johnson
Hunger by Elise Blackwell
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Look at Me by Anita Brookner
Lost by Gregory Maguire
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Randy Udall
Poor Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston
Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright
The Ride by Tom Brandner
Shadow-Below by Robert Reed
The Sneakiest Pirates by Dalton James
Sorcerers of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
The Spiral Briar by Sean McMullen
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist
Through Endangered Eyes by Rachel Allen Dillon
Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans
The Tribes of Bela by Albert E. Cowdrey
The Valley of the Giants by Peter B. Kyne
"A Wild and Wicked Youth" by Ellen Kushner
Without Sin by J. Thomas
Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth

Ulysses:
Episode 10: The Wandering Rocks: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Episode 11: Sirens: Our Man in Havana
Episode 12: The Cyclops: Pick-a-Little Episode 13: Nausicaä: Petting in the Park
Episode 14: Oxen in the Sun: The Critic in the Cabernet


Miscellaneous:
Susan Vreeland

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Ride

The RideThe Ride: 05/18/09

There is an expected flow to time and the powers that be don't like it when the natural order of things is ignored. Thaddeus A. James gets his chance to break the rules of time and space in the form of a red truck last seen in 1965 before a fatal crash outside of a gift shop in a rural North Carolina town. Thus begins The Ride by Tom Brandner, a horror-thriller that crosses time and the realm between the living and the dead.

A well written horror will have a definite sense of place, a setting that can be rendered as normal, abnormal and terrifying. The Ride has this quality, being firmly set in North Carolina along winding blue highways and back roads and later through distorted, sometimes hellish versions of the familiar landscape.

The Ride had me hooked by the first page, a rare thing for a book. It was a combination of classic cars, a creepy setting, time travel and memorable characters. Brandner doesn't fall into the trap of loving his characters too much. If they need to die to forward the story, he kills them. He establishes this fact early, thus building the sense of danger and suspense as Thaddeus and the other major characters being their perilous drag race.

When I first finished the novel, I got so wrapped up in the story that I had high hopes for a sappy ending. I've since then been ruminating over the ending. Though part of me would still have preferred the tight, romantic conclusion, The Ride isn't a romance. It's a horror novel themed around the bittersweet tragedies of life. With that in mind, the conclusion is as it should be.

If you like books like Michael Marshall, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft or Daphne Du Maurier and have a thing for fast cars, you'll enjoy The Ride.

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