The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell: ⭐⭐⭐
This was a super short and quick read. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty elements galore. Gave me flashbacks to Kissing the Witch as it is a female dominated story with queer aspects, which I don’t mind usually but it sort of felt like literary click bait. The illustrations are gorgeous though. Exhibit A:
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (Translated by Keith Gessen, Anna Summers): ⭐⭐ (2.5 stars)
As you can tell, I’ve been on a fairytale kick lately. I wanted something that was like Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber but more creepy and sinister. ‘There Once Lived a Woman…’ is definitely those things but it’s also disgusting and depressing. Sometimes I do enjoy the odd twisted and dark novel but man, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya made me test my boundaries. The first few stories in ‘Songs of the Eastern Slavs’ are tamer, and deal with revenge. I enjoyed the final section called ‘Fairy Tales’ too, particularly the last story called The Black Coat. The middle section was pretty meh.
Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really loved Lying In Wait and wanted to check out her debut novel. This did not disappoint at all. Nugent has great opening lines: “I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.” This is not a domestic thriller though. I would categorise it as a psychological crime. Oliver Ryan, our protagonist, is an author of children’s books and is married to Alice who illustrates his stories. They lead a pretty normal life… or do they?
Liz Nugent has an ability to craft masterful plot-lines that take me by surprise. She weaves multiple characters, multiple storylines and multiple twists with ease. I’m really impressed with her writing and will read everything that she writes. Forever.
Mini TBR for the rest of August:
- Geekerella by Ashley Poston
- Red As Blood by Tanith Lee