Tag Archives: paranormal

Review of The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, by K.J. Charles

I purchased an ebook copy of K.J. CharlesThe Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal and then later bought the audiobook. In the end, I listened to it.

Description from Goodreads:

A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell
September 1914

Review:

So good. So So good.

I bought this audiobook some time ago on the strength of being written by K.J. Charles. Then put off listening to it, uncertain if it was actually a series of short stories (a format I’m not overly fond of). As it turns out it is a series of cases, but there is enough of a plot flowing through them that I still consider it one story. And I loved that story! Robert and Simon ae characters I could get behind and the reader could absolutely feel how they became important to one another. But mostly I just adored the narrative style. The way Robert told the story. No doubt part of my love was because Gary Furlong did such a wonderful job bringing it to life. But it was such a good story, to begin with. I really struggled with wanting to listen more and get to the end and listen less so it never actually ended.

Review of Craven Street, by E. J. Stevens

I received a free Audible code for a copy of Craven Street, by E.J. Stevens.

Description from Goodreads:

The discovery of bricked up skeletal remains at 36 Craven Street point to something more diabolical than an illegal anatomy school. The tool marks on the bones, arcane sigils of great power, indicate more than mere butchery, more than enlightened experimentation. The signs, omens, and portents support the crown’s greatest fears. A great evil is being unleashed upon the gaslit streets of London, a blood-drenched shadow reaching skeletal fingers beyond the slums of Whitechapel.

We must stamp out this demonic plague for the sake of our Queen, our Country, and our immortal souls. – Cora Drummond, Whitechapel Paranormal Society 

Collecting human souls is a thankless job, nearly as tedious as acting as solicitor to the fae. But when the demon Forneus enters an opium den searching for men eager to trade their souls for the ill-smelling weed, he stumbles on a plot so devious, so heinous, he’s jealous that he hadn’t thought of it himself.

There’s nothing like a maniacal plot to unleash Hell on earth to break the boredom of immortality. – Forneus, Grand Marquis of Hell 

Review:

This would have made a great novel. But it makes a somewhat disappointing novella. I liked the characters and the premise. But too much is just sketched out, major events are simply relayed passing, and there isn’t time for the reader to get truly engrossed in the story. 

Also, as I’ve often complained, why is it that so often in such books only women are murdered? Do you suppose the demonic hordes care if the sacrifices are male or female? But invariably the victims are always women and any reference to the killer is male. The language is painfully gendered, always it seems. Once you start to notice, it’s hard to stop. 

The narrators did a wonderful job, Melanie A. Mason especially. 

Review of Crystal Gardens, by Amanda Quick

It’s mid-December and, like every December in recent memory, I have reached this point in the year and have yet to read a Q, U or X book for my author-alphabet-challenge. *Cue panic.* I did try and read Q book earlier, but ended up DNFing it for being horrible. So, I was officially without a Q book and the local library didn’t have a single one that interested me on hand. (Interest me can be defined a in the sci-fi/fantasy section.) On a whim, I thought to check the audio books. I was literally walking by the shelf on my way to the door after discovering nothing in the fantasy section. Here, I came across a light historical paranormal title by Amanda Quick, Crystal Gardens. SOLD. I didn’t even fully read the description before whisking it away to the check-out deck and home with me. 

Description from Goodreads:

Evangeline Ames has rented a country cottage far from the London streets where she was recently attacked. Fascinated by the paranormal energy of nearby Crystal
Gardens, she finds pleasure in sneaking past the wall to explore the grounds. And when her life is threatened again, she instinctively goes to the gardens for safety.

Lucas Sebastian has never been one to ignore a lady in danger, even if she is trespassing on his property. Quickly disposing of her would-be assassin, he insists they keep the matter private. There are rumors enough already, about treasure buried under his garden, and occult botanical experiments performed by his uncle—who died of mysterious causes. With Evangeline’s skill for detection, and Lucas’s sense of the criminal mind, they soon discover that they have a common enemy. And as the energy emanating from Crystal Gardens intensifies, they realize that to survive they must unearth what has been buried for too long.

Review:

Considering I picked this book up with a very vague idea of what it might be about, I ended it happily enough. It’s light and fluffy, and so long as I don’t think too deeply about how rapidly people fell in love and made drastic life decisions, I have few complaints. I did find Evangeline’s determination to not see that Lucas obviously intended to marry her for real annoying. And considering that one of the things I liked best about the book is that the couple spoke plainly to one another, avoiding any unnecessary, drama-inducing misunderstandings, this irked me. But for a quick, cotton candy read it was a success. As was Justine Eyre’s performance.