My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Synopsis: “When Jessica marries David, he is everything she wants in a family man: brilliant, attentive, ever youthful. Yet she still feels something about him is just out of reach. Soon, as people close to Jessica begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, David makes an unimaginable confession…” (source)

My thoughts: My Soul to Keep is the second book I’ve read by Tananarive Due, and now I can confidentially say two things: 1) Due writes in a way that I’m instantly drawn into the story; her characters, all of them, come alive from page one; and, 2) She breathes new life into old ideas/ seemingly overdone, overused fantasy tropes.

I loved the premise of My Soul to Keep especially where the Living Blood originated. It was interesting to look at how the immortals viewed humans, excluded females, dealt with threats to their anonymity. And while I was slightly teary-eyed at the ending, I loved Jessica’s transformation. To me that’s the true strength of a woman. I won’t say more because spoilers!

The only problem I had with this story, and why I had to set it aside a few times, was that I did not like Dawitt at all. Yes, I understand that the centuries and the traumas have changed him. That maybe it’s unfair to hold him accountable to human standards because he’s immortal. I sympathized with him, but he went too far, over and over again. His love was unhealthy.

Jessica, I liked; she was smart, sensitive and strong. Though, she doubted herself way too much. I guess she’s meant to be all the women who are like her in real life. It makes me sad to think of the women who settle for “the perfect guy” because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. How they’ll consciously overlook warning signs and red flags just to avoid rocking the boat. But, like I mentioned above, Jessica gradually opened her eyes and tried her best to rectify the mistakes.

Recommended to anyone looking for dark fantasy with a strong mythic vibe.

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(Review cross-posted on LibraryThing and Goodreads.)

Note to Self: The Between by Tananarive Due

What do you do when your power goes out on a Friday night?

You read a book, of course.

The Between by Tananarive Due caught my eye whilst browsing the paperback section at my local library. The blurb on its back cover enticed me into taking it home:

Hilton was seven when his grandmother died, and it was a bad time. But it was worse when she died again…”

I read The Between on January 29, 2010 between the hours of 5 PM and 12 AM EST after coming to the realization that our power was going to be out the remainder of the day. It cut off at 1 PM EST. Damn underground cable vaults. At least that’s what DP&L blamed it on. But, despite nearing popsicle status by the time I turned the last page, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. …continue reading

Note to Self: Broken by Kelley Armstrong

Broken by Kelley Armstrong was recommended by someone from the Think Sideways forums. After reading 200 pages of the 480-page novel, I had to put it down for good. Why?

I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

Elena seemed like an interesting woman, being a pregnant werewolf and all, but I wasn’t able to connect with her. It felt like something was missing or that I missed something. Her relationships, all new to me, were written as if they’d been around for 15 years or more. Secondary characters were, again, brand new to me, but written as long-time acquaintances of Elena and the Pack. “Mutts” were never defined so I was forced to draw my own conclusion.

After doing a little research on the book, …continue reading

The Echo (2008) – Horror Movie Review

Supernatural elements? Check.  An attractive, vulnerable but not totally helpless, somewhat damaged protagonist? Check.  A formidable antagonist with a penchant for violence? Check.  Spooky setting? Check. A well-written story? Check.

What more could a fan of scary movies ask for?

4 stars out of 5

I rented The Echo (2008) from Netflix on 11/28/2009 and watched it at 1 AM, which I only advise if you can handle being disturbed late at night. Personally, I wouldn’t watch it again any later than 11 PM. …continue reading

Sunshine – Book Review

I borrowed Sunshine by Robin McKinley from the Logan County Library on 11/6/2009 and I started reading it on 11/13/2009. I finished it on 12/6/2009. Now, let me tell you, I am a fast reader. Normally I finish 250 pages in a few hours max. Sunshine is 389 pages and it took me nearly three weeks to force my way through it. Needless to say, I was disappointed by my first experience with McKinley.

2 1/2 stars out of 5

Robin McKinley’s name came up during my hunt for fairy tale retellings. I actually wanted to read Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of the Beauty and the Beast, but the day I went to the library, there wasn’t a copy available at the library. So I went with Sunshine because it was available, the cover boasted a review from Neil Gaiman that it was “pretty much perfect,” and the story sounded interesting. …continue reading