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52 Books in 2013—Update 03

February 13, 2013

7. Zorro by Isabel AllendeZorro

When I was little, Zorro was my superhero. I wanted to be him when I grew up. (Yes, I’m female. Your point?) I’d watch the old black-and-white Disney show and make up my own adventures with Diego and Bernardo. So when I saw Isabel Allende had written a Zorro novel, I was stoked. And then I was disappointed. She’s an amazing writer, but her approach to the story just didn’t work for me. Maybe it’s because I’m so in love with the Disney show. Maybe it was the fact that she wrote it in the style of a biography or memoir. A lot of the story and action were watered down by the fact that it was told secondhand. And she took some artistic liberties that just rubbed me the wrong way.

Haunted8. Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror edited by Monica Valentinelli

Another book of short horror stories! Overall, I’ve had pretty good luck with this lately. This one was no exception. Sure, not every story was a diamond, but they ranged from pretty good to awesome. I enjoyed the read, and there are some authors I’ll be looking up to see what else they’ve written. Also, I really like ghost stories. So I was biased going in.

9. 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz77 Shadow Street

Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas books are sheer brilliance. They’re amazing. They make me want to read everything he’s ever written. And every single thing I’ve picked up that he’s written that wasn’t an Odd Thomas book has thoroughly disappointed me, from Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein to What the Night Knows. And 77 Shadow Street falls firmly into that category. First of all, there are too many characters. As soon as you start to care about what’s happening to one, it shifts POV. Second, never name a character Sparkle because that is distracting. I never noticed what she was doing because I was too busy going. “…Sparkle?” Third, putting an electronic voice that says, “EXTERMINATE. EXTERMINATE,” is a quick way to go from horror to humor. Instead of being creeped out, I just thought of daleks and chuckled. Totally ruined the entire atmosphere for me. It just feels like he’s trying too hard. Everything I read of his just screams, “Look at me! I’m edgy and dark! Look, damn you!” Does this mean I’ll stop trying to find something non-Odd Thomas of his that I like? No. If you read all the wrong Stephen King books, King comes across as a boring idiot (I tried to read Lisey’s Story and had no idea what was going on for the first two hundred pages. I gave up). Read the right ones, and you’ll be spellbound. So I’ll keep trying. But so far, I don’t have a lot of faith. Though to be fair, 77 Shadow Street did pick up towards the end. It just took 350 pages to get to that point. (P.S. If you haven’t read Odd Thomas, go do that right now.)

One for three isn’t terrible, and I don’t regret reading either 77 Shadow Street or Zorro. But I can’t wait to find something that really inspires me again.

Link to first update:

Link to second update:


From → Book Reviews

  1. Haven’t read any of those books, so no thoughts on them…have read several books by Dean Koontz and have never been crazy about any of them…I hate to be disappointed by a book that sounds like it should be good.

  2. Mhmm, I just tried to find the Haunted one on Amazon, I’d really like to read some quality horror/mystery again… is the link above the only shop that sells it? Because I can’t buy anything that requires a credit card :S
    Zorro is still on my to-read-shelf. Is it really not as good as everyone says? All I’ve heard was praise.

    • Well, it didn’t work for me. But I’ve spoken to a number of people who did enjoy it. So I’d say read it yourself and see how you feel about it. You can get the Haunted one on Barnes & Noble, too. Unfortunately, it’s not on Amazon.

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  1. 52 Books in 2013—Update 04 | writingatmidnight

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