There is non stop action and some interesting surprises. I could not put this one down. Sisters Before Misters - 2. Ultimately, Sisters Before Misters was just okay. I think it is worth reading if you have the anthology as it is a quick read. To read more of this review or others like it check out Badass Book Reviews.
May 04, MissM rated it did not like it Shelves: library-borrow , couldn-t-finish , read Further fooled by talk of angels, demons and such on the back cover. But it's not. It's horror. It was NOT what I thought it was going to be at all and I gave up halfway through the book because it was just disturbing and highly unpleasant. Beyond the graphic nature of the stories, they just weren't very good. I did not find any of the ones I read to have any solid depth or world creation.
I know it's hard to make a complete world in a short story, but these didn't even seem to try. Total pass. Didn't even finish. Would not recommend. View 2 comments. This anthology of collaborative works between authors of dark fantasy and horror includes "T. Rhymer," a novella written by me and Jonathan Maberry. We had great fun doing it and hope to pursue Rhymer further in a few novels-to-come. Jan 21, Terry Weyna rated it really liked it. Christopher Golden explains in his introduction to Dark Duets that writing is a solitary occupation right up until that moment an alchemical reaction takes place and a bolt of inspiration simultaneously strikes two writers who are friends.
Golden has found that the results of collaboration are often fascinating and sometimes magical, as when Stephen King and Peter Straub teamed up to write The Talisman. Writing is an intimate, very personal process, Golden says, and finding someone to share it w Christopher Golden explains in his introduction to Dark Duets that writing is a solitary occupation right up until that moment an alchemical reaction takes place and a bolt of inspiration simultaneously strikes two writers who are friends.
Writing is an intimate, very personal process, Golden says, and finding someone to share it with is difficult but exciting. Golden therefore undertook to create a book full of such difficult, magical, exciting stories, and Dark Duets is the result. Many of the stories in this anthology are solid, engaging works. As a general rule, I found the stories in the first half or so of the book to be better than those that came later, suggesting to me that Golden may have used a different structure than the usual one followed by editors in ordering stories.
Normally an editor places the best stories at the beginning, the end and in the middle; Golden seems to have started with his strongest stories and worked to the weakest, with a few exceptions. Homicidal maniac kidnaps and butchers girl…. The homicidal maniac is finally caught after nine more murders. He writes to the boy, who writes back, and then begins to visit the murderer in prison. On the day the murderer is to be executed by lethal injection, the boy is there, listening to the murderer whisper exactly what he did to his victims and how they resisted.
The boy suffers from migraine headaches, which he often develops on his visits to the prison, and Execution Day is no exception — at least not in that way. This black tale will stay with you for a long time. One morning Emma dreams about a pair of crosses and the faceless woman who is planting them as she watches from her car; a handsome man with yellow eyes sits next to her. Emma manages to dismiss the dream when she sees two crosses on her way to work, reasoning that they must have triggered the nightmare. That night, Laurel brings friends home for dinner, one of whom is Tyler — the first time a boy has ever made an appearance.
Things go well until Tyler catches her alone and asks why she gave him up. This seems like a common tale of a teenage mother who could only manage to raise one child; but that assumes that Tyler and his father are human. Things unravel quickly and horribly. The story ends a little too neatly, but it is powerful nonetheless. Wesley and his eleven-year-old daughter, Angelina, squabble as they drive about why she has to be with him instead of her mother and stepfather this weekend.
The real question is whether he genuinely deserves what he actually gets. Those golden eyes on him have her in some sort of spell. Stacey follows him out of the club before they even say a word to one another. A very good looking man, as it turns out, who knows how she came to have the deed and key to the home he calls his own. His mood varies between amusement at her circumstances to cold and demanding that she leave in the blink of an eye.
But the ferry she took over was the last of the night and there is nothing else on the island, so she must stay the night. The story has all the trappings of a Gothic romance, which is precisely what this turns out to be. And then physically attacks her.
What can she do, as the finger lops off parts of her body? She has to fight back! As the story opens, the narrator is leaving prison at long last, but is feeling strangely unjoyful about it. Almost without his willing it, he becomes fixated on a particular woman. What I find fascinating is how the old tropes play out, and the philosophical discussion of just what happiness means. Amber Benson and Jeffrey J. Her captor, the male protagonist, has created a narrative in his head in which the woman is an actor, and he is shooting a scene.
Jenni, the protagonist, has been dreaming about a particular oak tree for a long time. She thought it entirely a piece of her dream world until one day she catches a glimpse of it in a random search of the internet. We never learn why Jenni is interested in the tree, though we learn more about the tree. It seems that the authors were searching for bittersweet, but the story never quite gets there. Rasheeda Basemore is the owner of the funeral parlor, an unusual profession for a woman in the late 19th century; but there is more to Rasheeda that at first appears.
Rasheeda must anoint each of these slaves once a month to keep them from becoming berserkers. Things are going well until the wrong corpse is reanimated. The father and daughter team of Joe R. One man mesmerizes every woman who gazes at him except for the first-person protagonist. Which leaves it up to the protagonist, of course, to rescue all the other women from his clutches. Comstock hires John as a trapper for sixty cents a week, working 12 hours each day for six days a week. That means John sits in the dark and cold, waiting to open the mine shaft doors for the mules bringing coal to the surface.
Things are looking grim for John until his mother buys him a box of colored chalks, and he uses them while on the job to draw animals on the doors by the light of his small lantern. It seems like a sentimental story until the sharp edges come through. This is one of the best stories in the book, a stand-out in the otherwise weaker second half of the book. Nate Kenyon and James A.
In the intervening years, the house on the estate has fallen into disrepair — in fact, it looks far more decayed than five years should have caused.
Dark Duets | Sherrilyn McQueen
While Christian is reading the letter, a storm comes up, catching his daughter in the woods, where she is having an odd sort of orientation, a reordering of her world to better align with nature. What lurks in those woods, and how will it affect the family? The reader is not surprised by anything that happens here, for the story is not a new one, though it is well-told. I was disappointed at such a mundane answer to the mystery. This is clearly another story that is supposed to be funny, but falls short of the mark.
He makes it through the days only with the help of liquid morphine, which he carries in a flask. He wants to make peace with his ex-wife before he dies; their marriage had not survived the murder of their only son, who was only seven years old. He moves through not only a fog of pain, but a miasma of self-pity that makes the reader impatient with him instead of sympathetic.
Is it because the sin he has come to confess is so dark? It is a finely wrought story, making a strong conclusion to the anthology. Three stars rolled up to four to compensate for different grading systems. This book is what it is, an entertainment, nothing more. It doesn't claim to be anything else. It is the modern version of stories told around a campfire.
And as an entertainment it is quite good as long as you don't expect a literary masterpiece. A fun read, there were only a couple of stinkers. The gag of course is each story is a collaboration between two authors. The stories are surprisingly good given who some of the authors are. I wouldn't have expected good horror stories from some This book is what it is, an entertainment, nothing more.
I wouldn't have expected good horror stories from some of them, but perhaps they were saved by the other author or the collaboration process pulled the best out of both. It would have been nice to have had a little dissertation on how each pair approached the collaboration: did one outline the plot, did they write subsequent parts individually, etc.? It isn't easy to tell. Caveat to those who consider reading this, it is long on horror and short on fantasy. View 1 comment. Sep 21, Christy LoveOfBooks rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , arc-galley , e-book.
Since this is an anthology, I read a story or two a day. I don't usually read anthologies, but there was such a great list of authors paired up with other great author, that I couldn't resist. Some of the stories are really short, while some are pretty long. Either way, I enjoyed them all. I love this collection of short stories because they all feature some sort of classic campfire horror stories full of evident warning signs or fantasy stories with creative magic. Jun 12, Jeff McIntosh rated it really liked it. A simple concept - pair authors together, have them write a tale of horror and dark fantasy Try it Jeff McIntosh.
Oct 08, Bunny rated it really liked it Shelves: audio-book , read-in , anthology. You are home, Pug. Anthologies are like neighborhood garage sales. You're not going to like everything at every house, but you can find some true gems if you're willing to look. Christopher Golden has well established that his story neighborhoods are well stocked. And I was infinitely intrigued by the idea of this anthology, there are some well established authors in here, as well as some I've never heard of.
And they're all pairing up to bring you one story. Some of these combinations are truly You are home, Pug. Some of these combinations are truly magical. As with all garage sales, not all houses had something I wanted. All the focus on tertiary characters helped slow the pacing. What was that entire "romantic" subplot This is filled with big-ideas the narrative never addresses. Sooo much of what I loved in the first book was the big introspective themes.
The idea that violence breeds more violence in creepy physical manifestations is awesome.
It raises all sorts of interesting ethical questions and then… does nothing with them? It plants the ideas there, and then drops off at the end. Which brings us to, my biggest problem. The complete lack of an ending. Nothing has been resolved?? Being vague to avoid spoilers.
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The fridge is full. This particular character was intriguing, complicated and had tons of potential. What happens was a forced attempt at some kind of closure… and they deserved better. Her mastery over words never fails to impress me. I loved the way it was written, I just hated everything that happened? In Conclusion: Please form an orderly line before throwing tomatoes. View all 42 comments. Life was hard. And so often, living hurt. So make it worth the pain. View all 68 comments. EDIT: so I've been thinking I'm willing to put myself through this numbing agony again because I miss my sweet child, August, like crazy.
Probably not wise though My soul is not okay. Schwab has a way of making me feel numb with the ending of her books. Ugh, I don't know how to review this. Fuck you, Schwab. You've left me completely devoid of feeling any emotion. One thing I will mention though is the interesting take on what killing human beings can do t EDIT: so I've been thinking I'm willing to put myself through this numbing agony again because I miss my sweet child, August, like crazy. One thing I will mention though is the interesting take on what killing human beings can do to ones soul.
That the murderer could eventually lose and corrupt it, but at times, their sense of humanity is still there and their moral compass still slightly intact, despite the fact it constantly wavers. Yet they're unable to stop committing such acts, because it returns some sense of familiarity back to them. The killer.
I absolutely love stories that delve deep into the psyche of the human mind and Schwab did an phenomenal job showcasing it in this duology. Jun 24, Frankie Lovely rated it it was amazing Shelves: release , june-release , tbr View all 5 comments. View all 12 comments. How did you hunt something that had no shape, a shadow that made puppets out of people? How could you destroy a void? Sweet baby August was put through some rough stuff and it was like watching your kid go to preschool alone for their first time.
And his CAT. What makes beauty work as well as pain? View all comments. Jun 23, April rated it it was amazing. The world was complicated. I loved it so much yet hate that it's all over now. View 2 comments. Jun 24, sofia sam willows rated it it was amazing Shelves: hardcover , in-english , read-in-one-day , 5-stars , own , death , worth-the-hype , , favorites , own-in-english. All spoilers are marked. Actually, I'll never be done. This book has skyrocketed its way into the second place my favorites list let's be real, the first will always be Vicious and I can't stop thinking about it.
I cannot do justice to how amazing and incredible this book is. I also can't describe the characters. How the actual fuck did schwab manage to develop them so much in less than pages? It might not seem that impressive, but the things they go through and the way they grow and how it's written, no author can compare. They are so flawed and they are so real, it's impossible to not care about them.
I can now say without doubt that Victoria Schwab is the best author of our generation. This book messed with me, made me question my choices and it made me question why the fuck I put myself through this suffering that is reading books, especially Victoria's. All I can say is, if you didn't like This Savage Song that much, please give this a try. It's so incredible, it will blow your mind. I don't know what to do with my life now.
RTC if I can make the mess that is my thoughts coherent post-review update: I still can't You know when you want to absolutely devour a book, but it's the last book in a series you love, so you're torn between reading it in practically one sitting and savoring it for as long as you can? The first book, This Savage Song , was pretty fantastic, too.
Horror anthology DARK DUETS publishes today
See my original review. It didn't have teeth or claws, didn't feed on flesh or blood or hearts. It simply reminded you of what happened when you let people in. Kate's father was a notoriously power-hungry man who harnessed the monsters that roamed the half of the city he controlled, and then charged the city's residents for his protection from them. August is the adopted son of Henry Flynn, who wants to keep the residents of his half of the city safe by controlling the monsters, not harnessing them as pawns in a shakedown. August is also a monster, the rarest of the three breeds, who can steal a person's soul by playing his violin.
He simply wants to to be kind, to live a good life, and not face the reality of his familial responsibilities, but he cannot escape what he is. He and Kate were thrown together, and after weathering fear and mistrust of one another, they built a relationship, more than a friendship, and each became indebted to the other in a bloody battle for survival.
Six months later, after fleeing her home city, Kate has become the monster hunter she always knew she was destined to be.
But when another breed of monster appears, the so-called Chaos Eater, one who feeds on bystanders' emotions and fears in order to reap violence, she finds she has some sort of dangerous connection to it, and it lures her home to Prosperity, where old and new nemeses await her. Meanwhile, August has assumed his rightful place as heir apparent to his father's task force, but he is still conflicted between what is expected of him and what he wants from his life.
She saw a girl who wasn't afraid of the dark. She saw a girl who hunted monsters. And she was damn good at it. She faces the resentment of those who hate her for who her father was, and don't believe in her capabilities. She doesn't understand what happened to August, where the boy she once knew has gone. And she knows that in order to fight the Chaos Eater she must unleash her own inner monster, and there may be no turning back once she does. There's a lot more to this book, but I don't want to ruin it for anyone.
I would say if this interests you, read This Savage Song first, because this book builds on that one. I loved Our Dark Duet immensely, because Schwab pulled me right back into the amazing, dark world she created, and gave me even more emotion, conflict, and epic battles. I haven't read her other series but I definitely will have to, because she is an incredible storyteller. I loved these characters and their relationships, and my only frustration is that the series ended so soon. Schwab's words and imagery deserve to be read, but this incredible world she has created deserves to be seen as well.
I'd love to see how August and Kate, their family and friends, and those monsters translate onto the screen. So sad to see this end, but Schwab has a huge fan in me!! View all 19 comments. Something between that and 4 stars, anyway. It was easy to brush everything up once I got started, but the first pages had me a little lost.
And then something strange happened: my difficulty to get in sync with the story remained, only its cause shifted from my temporary lack of basic information to something that I'm still not really able to pinpoint with precision, but that is most definitely internal to the book. I know I'm difficult to follow. That's kind of my thing. Just bear with me. Of course we all know fictional stories always are the children of someone's mind.
And of course we accept that without giving it even half a thought: suspension of disbelief, narrative covenant, call it what you will, the core doesn't change: I'll happily believe anything as long as you don't allow me to notice it's all a lie. Now, I think Our Dark Duet misses this fundamental target when it comes to the storyline —but mind you, the storyline and nothing else. The rest is as perfect as we've learned to expect from the one and only Victoria Schwab, and sure enough, unsurprisingly, I enjoyed it.
But the plot was somewhat awkward, it couldn't hold my attention, and it even bored me , which is a first for me, with Schwab's name in the equation. Like I'm not supposed to notice the whole sequence is just an excuse to view spoiler [get Henry into Sloan's hands hide spoiler ]? This is only the clearest example I can think of, but I perceived this effect more or less throughout the whole book.
It was as if the frame of the plot , which should be invisible, showed through all the time. It sounds so futile a thing, but if you think about it, those are always the ones that really ruin it. And probably, had the author been anyone else, I wouldn't have even noticed it. Poignant, beautiful, absolutely heart-rending , and sadly necessary. Leigh, Bardugo, just so you know, this is how you view spoiler [kill a main character in the last pages hide spoiler ].
I love your books but on this you should take some notes. But Schwab's name on the cover alone should be enough to melt your doubts like snow in the sun Jun 19, Candace Robinson added it. Book one is still my fave, but I really liked this one! It took me a while to get into this book since Kate and August were separated for so long.
Kate's snark was the best, and that ending was so good!!!! View all 7 comments. It was good, but maybe my expectations were too high for an over the top ending. I do think I did myself a disservice by listening to the audio instead of reading the print copy, as the many similar scenes seemed to run together in my head. Oct 13, Sana rated it it was amazing Shelves: to-reread-the-fuck-out-of , family-of-strays , siblings-till-the-end-of-the-world , so-intense-i-cried , would-recommend , chunky-as-fucking-possible , girls-make-everything-better , these-family-dynamics , characters-who-are-everything-to-me , team-up-or-die.
Like just all the things that this series is about always guts me and this book definitely intensified that by a lot, a lot. View all 4 comments.
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Jun 22, Heather rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , all-time-favorites , ya-fantasy. This book was amazing!! If I am honest with you, I wasn't expecting it to be. I read This Savage Song last year and while I really enjoyed it, I just didn't love it so when this book came along I was expecting those same feelings. I am so happy to be proved wrong. I loved the second book! It was easier to get back into the world of Verity and the monsters in them because you already know them.
This book isn't happy. It's a dark, gritty book about monsters and fighting and wrong vs. Please let me know if you would like me to do a series review on both of the books! Oct 03, mith rated it really liked it Shelves: maaaagic , supernatural-creatures , male-mains , publication , fantasy , kindle-or-ebook , dystopia-post-apocalypse. I won't be reviewing this but I did want to leave a small thought or two.
The book wasn't bad--it was a grey finale and I think if you liked This Savage Song , you'll like this one too. The reason it fell a little from my expectations is that it felt a bit slow at times? The book is over pages and it feels like it. Somewhere around the middle, I wasn't eagerly awaiting what was going to happen next; I just wanted things to pick up the pace. This, however, is probably just a me thing, so don't I won't be reviewing this but I did want to leave a small thought or two. This, however, is probably just a me thing, so don't take it to heart! Like I said, it's a really good finale.
I finished this book the other day but I forgot to update you guys because I was That's okay? You sadistic human being And in 9 hours, I didn't breath, eat, drink or feel my heart beating. Not once. That book was just something else. I'm legitimately struggling for words because I'm trying to hold myself together, but I'm failing miserably. My hands are shaking, I'm having heart palpitations and I just cannot for the life of me think of anything over the sound of heartache.
Someone call emergency! Because of all this, I apologise to you in advance for this review as I cannot guarantee that this will be in any way, decent. I said this in my review for This Savage Song , where I mentioned that I always find it hard to not compare A Darker Shade of Magic to her other books, but to be honest, this one might come close, so very close to topping that trilogy. I mean, an urban dystopian and maybe a bit of fantasy setting, music, monsters who are ugly AF completely and utterly perfect characters. What more could you need? It's also beautiful when she throws you head first into a raging pit of fire that leaves you feeling so numb afterwards.
I'm so sad this we have seen the end of this series and that I'll won't see more of these beautiful, beautiful characters, but honestly, I'm pretty glad. I don't know if I'd come out alive after reading more. I barely made it out alive today Brief, because I don't have it in my to dive into too much rambling after that fucking ending. Kate and August both had such a huge character development in this book and I feel like it needs to be at least acknowledged.
Don't worry, this is a spoiler free review.