The Perfect Project

From prompt Write a story that includes someone saying, “You’ve got this.”

See my Reedsy profile here.

“No, no, no! That’s all wrong!”

I look up from my work at my mentor who is shaking his head, long scraggly white beard swaying with the motion. His bushy white eyebrows are drawn into a frown, nearly covering his eyes. I use my forearm to wipe the sweat from my forehead, trying not to smear anything from my gloves onto my skin.

“My boy,” my mentor continues, “you are a bright and promising student. You have done this before, and done it well. What is the problem today?”

I drop my head in shame. “I’m sorry, master. This project has taken much longer than any other. I am very tired.”

My mentor nods knowingly. “I understand, my boy. This is delicate work and you have done very well thus far. Only now do I see you begin to falter. Steady yourself. You know you cannot stop now. If you do, the project will be ruined.”

I squeeze my eyes shut, nodding at my master’s words. Yes, I think. I must focus. I cannot stop now. I’ve got this. I can do this.

I take a deep breath through my nose and exhale slowly through my mouth, centering myself, gathering my confidence. I can do this.

Opening my eyes, I examine the diagram I am following again. For a second, my vision swims under the bright lights of the workroom and I fear I may faint. I lock my knees to keep from collapsing. No, I tell myself, I will not faint. I will not shame myself or my master. This piece will be completed and proudly displayed with the others. The project would not be complete without this last piece.

Breathing deep a few more times, I resume my work, carefully, delicately, my hands steady. From the corner of my eye I see my master’s beard bob up and down as he nods in approval. The sounds coming from my work table threaten to distract me, but I hold firm. I will not be distracted. This piece will be finished and it will be my finest work to date.

My stomach roils. How long since I last ate? How many hours has it been? No, concentrate!

The table rattles a little as my work in progress writhes. I absently tighten the restraints and pick up the next tool I need. The project is coming along nicely now and I am pleased with my work. A quick glance shows my mentor is smiling and I know he is pleased as well.

“Well done,” he compliments and I allow myself a small smile. “This line here is particularly fine.” He runs a finger along the line in question and the subject writhes again. The restraints hold much better this time and the table barely even shivers.

I place a small magnifying tool over my right eye, select the finest needle in the collection, thread it and begin on the truly delicate work. My subject attempts to scream around the gag, but the sound comes out dull and low. No doubt the throat is raw from many previous attempts.

My mentor shivers will delicate and removes the gag. This has always been his favorite part. When the final touches are being added, the subject is weak and nearly expired. Standing at the head of the table, my mentor gently places his hands on either side of the face and leans over, his lips nearly touching that of the subject.

I finish the last of my work and straighten up, my spine popping. The subject exhales for the last time and my mentor breathes it in with a shudder of satisfaction.

“My boy,” he says, ecstasy evident in his voice. “You have outdone yourself. I always knew you would be my greatest apprentice and you continue to prove me right. I know you will continue to exceed my expectations.”

Exhausted, but thrilled, I allow myself a prideful smile and survey my work. It is indeed the best I have ever done. I pull the bloody gloves from my hands and wipe sweat from my forehead again.

“Shall we set it up, master?” I ask, a little breathlessly. He nods and together we hoist my finished project up off the table, and carry it to the far side of the room.

We set it up at the end of the existing line, positioning it just so. A few adjustments are made as each of us steps back a moment for a wider view. When we are both satisfied, we back up several paces. I stop as the work table makes contact with my lower back.

Crossing my arms and blinking my tired – no doubt, red – eyes, I survey the completed project with pride. Before me, my work is displayed. A line of what used to human females, seven of them, in a row. Each one has been dismembered, their parts exchanged between the bodies and reattached according to our designs.

The right arm of the first corpse was now on the left hip of the third corpse. The left leg of the second now attached where the right arm of the fifth used to be. So on and so forth, as had been decided long in advance. The drawing of the plans had been only step one, taking days to meticulously draw and tweak.

Step two had been obtaining the subjects. An endeavor that also took days. The third step was the work itself, the cutting and sawing, the dismembering and sewing. Nearly forty eight hours of unstoppable work and now it was finally complete. Now that it was done, I suddenly realized how hungry and thirsty I was, but I didn’t want to move just yet.

Anticipating my need, my mentor handed me a glass of cold water. I took it gratefully, swallowing several large gulps. He clapped me on the shoulder, “truly fine work, my boy. Truly fine work.” A large grin splits my face.

I knew I could do it.

Ok, well, I surprised even myself with this one. It’s pretty sick and disturbing. I think I need to have my head examined! hahaha

Scarlet and The Wolf – Chapter 1

Scarlet and the wolf

The moon is full. 

Her light shines on the freshly fallen snow, illuminating the slowly falling flakes. The night is still, calm. 

Slowly, I rise to all four paws, stretching first my front legs, then the back. I shake off the dusting of snow from my midnight black fur. I raise my snout to the sky, inhaling. The time has come. I let out a howl. 

Within seconds my cry is being answered. The silence has been broken. It is the Blood Moon. It is time to hunt. 

I trot out from where I was hiding, sniffing the air, testing it for signs of prey. A slight breeze stirs and I smell it. I smell her! 

Confused, I turn to follow where the scent leads me. The howls of my brothers grow louder. Have they smelled it too? 

The wolf is near the surface, it is difficult to keep my wits, to not simply fade into the background and let the wolf do what the wolf does. My heart pounds louder as I leap into a full run. The scent is stronger and my brothers are near. I must get there first. They must not get to her. 

The wolf is as frantic as I as I run. What is she doing out here? She should be protected from being named Sacrifice. Why is she out here on this night of all nights? 

The scent is stronger now and with it comes the unmistakable tang of blood. She’s bleeding! Am I too late? Have my brothers found her already. 

A flash of red threw the trees catches my eye. I halt and slowly move toward a clearing. It is her hair that I saw. It is loose and wild, streaming around her in loose curls, the colour of fresh blood. She is dressed all in white with something embroidered in silver along the hems. From this distance I cannot see what the embroidery is but from past experience I know that it depicts running wolves. All the Sacrifices wear this. So, it is not a mistake. 

Her breath steams before her face, surprisingly even, as she scans the trees. She is no stranger to the forest. Often she ventures out where she should not be. She is tense. She knows what awaits her. She is ready to run but I know all too well how the heavy white robes will hamper her, especially in the new snow. 

I study her closely as I creep forward. I see no sign of injury. The others have not arrived. So where does she bleed from? Did someone hurt her before leaving her out here? 

I shake myself again. The wolf is growing frantic inside me, demanding to know what injury she has suffered. I steel myself, push the wolf down as much as possible and walk slowly into the clearing. 

She sees me almost immediately and startles. She relaxes a fraction when I do not attack. I try to keep my demeanor as nonaggressive as possible. I want to reach out to her, to whisper soothing words, but the wolf has no voice she would understand. Instead, I wag my busy tail in a friendly manner. 

She blinks, confused. She has the most extraordinary eyes. A kind of golden green with flecks of pure gold. I could stare into her eyes forever. 

No! Focus! The wolf has moved forward while I daydreamed. Sniffing, circling, searching for the injury. She follows as I circle, keeping her eyes on me. 

Suddenly, the source of the blood becomes obvious. The wolf lunges forward without my permission and all but buries my nose between her legs. 

“Hey!” She cried out in shock, tripping over the long robes as she stumbles back and lands unceremoniously on her butt in the snow. 

Oh. I understand but the wolf does not. I wrestle my body back until control, trying to soothe the wolf and keep him from embarrassing me further. 

Barks and snarls break into my mind. My brothers have arrived as I was distracted. They fan out in a circle, surrounding the maiden, preparing to attack. 

Her breath comes faster now, her heart pounds loudly to my sensitive ears. Her scream as one of my brothers lunges at her nearly drives the wolf insane. All rational thought flees my mind and my instincts take over. I must not allow them to touch her. 

My lips pull back from my impressive teeth as I snarl at the one who lunged. I give one warning bark and then I am on him. My jaws close on his neck before he even knows what is happening. He yelps in surprise and pain as I shake my head, lifting him from his feet and tossing him to the ground. 

The others are confused. They whine at me questioningly. Why are you doing this? They say. She is the Sacrifice, ours to hunt. 

I am the eldest, the largest, though not by much. I make myself as large as possible and stared them down, growling, snarling. Do not touch her! 

They take the hint and slowly back away. All but the one I threw to the ground. As I focused on the others, he had gained his feet. The maiden’s yelp of surprise was the only warning I had before he was on her. I turn to aid her as quickly as I can. She is on her back in the snow, my brother on top of her, his powerful jaws clamped around one forearm. His back paw digs into her stomach, tearing the fabric of the robe. The renewed smell of blood fills the air. 

The wolf goes ballistic. I am on my brother before I am even aware I am moving. I tackle him, my jaws once again around his throat. This time, I will not let him get up so easily. It is over quickly. My brother lays bloody in the snow, still breathing but too weak to try for the maiden again. I look to my other brothers. They fall to the ground, roll over and expose their bellies to me, acknowledging my dominance. 

I bark once in their direction. They rise to their feet and vanish into the forest. They can find something else to hunt this night. 

When I am sure they are gone, I turn to face the maiden. She is sitting in the snow, her injured arm cradled to her chest. She stares at me with a wild look in her golden green eyes. I take a step closer and she flinches. 

I sigh. This isn’t going to work. I cannot talk to her as a wolf. I look to the sky, the full moon still shines brightly.  

This is going to hurt. 

I muster all my will power. When the moon is full I must run as a wolf, though I can change at any other time I please. Changing back while the moon is still out has never been attempted before to my knowledge. 

I reason internally with the wolf. I can’t help the girl unless I am human. The wolf concedes the point and he fades to the background. Gritting my teeth, I command my body to change. 

I hear her gasp of surprise and the rustle of cloth. No doubt she is trying to get further away from me. Watching a wolf change shape into a human is a shocking thing even if you are expecting it, even if you have seen it before. She has never witnessed it before. I hear a moan and a whimper as my bones crack and pop. The dark fur recedes into my body, leaving behind my own brown skin. 

It is over within a minute or two. I stand on the bloodied snow a short distance from the girl I nearly killed my own brother to protect. She stares are me wide eyed and slack jawed in all my naked human glory. Then those beautiful eyes roll up in her head and she collapses into the snow. 

Monthly Wrap Up – August 2023

Is August really over already? Wasn’t it just Easter? Seriously, where has this year gone?

Well then, what did August bring my way? Well, unfortunately I got a stomach infection that I am just about recovered from. Sadly, though I was home for a few days, I couldn’t focus to read. I was too light headed and nauseous. I don’t recommend it.

I did manage to read 2 books this month though.

I finished The Oasis and The Horus Road, which completed the Lord of the Two Lands trilogy by Pauline Gedge. Both were enjoyable though a bit slow in places.

Currently, I’m reading Sorcery Rising by Jude Fisher, the first book in the Fool’s Gold trilogy. I’m around half way through and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet.

After that, I plan to read the two sequels to complete the trilogy, Wild Magic and The Rose of the World.

Depending on how my health cooperates, that may be all for September, but if I do get through these more quickly, I’ll decide then, what to read.

What was August like for reading for you? How many books did you read?

The Oasis by Pauline Gedge – Book Review

The Oasis, book 2 of the Lords of the Two Lands trilogy by Pauline Gedge

Title: The Oasis

Author: Pauline Gedge

Series: The Lord of the Two Lands

Sexual Content: None

Objectional Content: Incest

Target Audience: Adults

Synopsis: Using subtle means of political power and economic control, a foreign power known as the “Rulers of the Upland” has taken over Egypt to plunder its riches and eradicate its religion and culture. In “The Hippopotamus Marsh”, the stunning first volume of Pauline Gedge’s Lords of the Two Lands trilogy, the family of the last true King of Egypt chose to end 200 years of submission to King Apepa, and attempted to resurrect a dynasty, Seqenenra Tao began a courageous and tragic revolt that almost led to the destruction of his family. In this thrilling second volume, Seqenenra’s surviving son Kamose refuses an inheritance of failure, and chooses instead to continue his father’s fight for the freedom of Egypt and his family. He begins his desperate sweep north, collecting fighting men from the loyal towns and villages he passes. Will his savage brilliance bring him victory or defeat? And will his acts redeem him or drive him to the brink of madness?

My Review

The Oasis picks up where The Hippopotamus Marsh left off. Kamose begins his campaign to retake Egypt from the Setiu.

For a novel all about a war, The Oasis isn’t really that exciting. The focus is less on the war that is happening and more the mental and emotional impact it has on Kamose. This novel feels much like a character study and an in depth look at the toll being the leader of an army can have. The guilt of the things he has done weighs heavily on him. While at the same time he knows it is the only way to recapture Egypt and restore his family to their rightful place on the throne.

I never knew what to expect from this book. If I had any expectations, I don’t know what they were. I find that something amazing about Pauline Gedge’s books. I truly don’t know what to expect and I can’t predict how anything will go. Her writing is amazing. I love how well she describes the world without having to go into great detail. You can practically feel the hot Egyptian sun beating down on you.

The Oasis is a bit slow at points but in the last 100 pages it really picks up and I’m pumped for the next book!

My rating for The Oasis is 4 out of 5 stars and I would recommend it to anyone who likes Egyptian fiction. Just read the Hippopotamus Marsh first.

Fantasy Book Review – Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

Synopsis: Maeve, daughter of Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, was badly burned as a child and carries the legacy of that fire in her crippled hands. After ten years she’s returning home, a courageous, forthright woman. But while her body’s scars have healed, her spirit remains fragile, fearing the shadows of her past.
Sevenwaters is in turmoil. The fey prince Mac Dara is desperate to see his only son, married to Maeve’s sister, return to the Otherworld. To force Lord Sean’s hand, Mac Dara has caused a party of innocent travelers on the Sevenwaters border to vanish—only to allow their murdered bodies to be found one by one.
When Maeve finds a body in a remote part of the woods, she and her brother, Finbar, embark on a journey that could bring about the end of Mac Dara’s reign—or lead to a hideous death. If she is successful, Maeve may open the door to a future she has not dared to believe possible….

I had certain predictions going into this book, that I thought would happen. I’m happy to say that those predictions didn’t exactly come true. I don’t want to say what those were because I don’t want to spoil anything.

It’s unusual to see a disabled protagonist in fantasy novels, at least in my experience, especially one who can’t use her hands. Maeve was burned in a fire as a child and as a result her hands are basically useless. She’s aware of her limitations and has accepted there are things in life she will never have. But Maeve has a gift that most others don’t: an affinity with animals.

I really liked Maeve. She is brave and practical, but she still has the longings of woman her age. As the reader, it’s hard not to feel for her, to want her to have the things she knows she can’t.

Honestly, I can’t think of a lot to say about this book. It’s a very good book and a satisfying end to the Sevenwaters series (at least as far as I know). I enjoyed the entire series overall and would recommend it to any and all lovers of fantasy, especially Celtic fantasy.

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

5 Fantasy Series I Will Never Stop Recommending

We’ve all seen those threads in one place or another on the internet when the poster is looking for recommendations. We all have those books that we always recommend and here are my top 5!

Kushiel’s Legacy by Jacqueline Carey is an amazing series. It is made up of 3 trilogies and if you only read one I’d highly suggest Phaedre’s trilogy. It is by far the best.

There is some graphic sexual and violent content that some readers may not like.

The Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop is another series that I adore. The magic system is unique and the characters can be quite intense. Anne Bishop is an author that I will auto buy her books without knowing anything about them.

The Witches of Eileanan series by Kate Forsyth is one that I read near the end of high school and it has stuck with me to this day (over 20 years later lol). I may not remember all the details but I remember how much I enjoyed it at the time.

The Sirkara trilogy by Laura Resnick is one that I really resonated with me when I read it. In this world, people with red hair and/or green eyes are persecuted as they are believed to be evil. I have red hair so I felt this.

Also, Tansen is amazing.

I bought the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks for a friend of mine and she passed it around her friend group. As far as I know most of them didn’t read fantasy novels, but they all loved it.

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve read it so I can’t think of much to say, so just read it. It’s amazing, I swear!

The order I put these books in does not a ranking of any sort. I love and recommend all these books for lovers of fantasy.

Have you read an of this? Which are your favorites? What are books you always recommend?

Finding Miss Write – By Gena Webb – Book Review

When suspense novelist Carla Williams is accused of planning an actual murder, her life takes on more plot twists than one of her books. Sure, her life’s in danger, but she’s also caught the attention of handsome detective, Roger Graf, so that kind of evens things out. As Carla nears the end of her novel, it’s up to Roger to catch the killer, or it might be the end of Carla’s life story as well. 

This book was a fun light read.

It starts off in hilarious fashion as Carla and her best friend, Maggie are having lunch in a restaurant and start talking about murdering someone. Of course, Carla is referring to a character in the book she is writing but the couple who overhear the conversation don’t know that. This sets off a chain of events that turn Carla’s life upside down.

I really enjoyed Carla as the main protagonist of the novel. She is smart, quirky, with a great sense of humor and a moral compass. Too often in books when a new romance starts there always something about how the main character never does such and such thing (like jumping into bed with the hot guy she just met) and then does that exact thing! Carla isn’t like that. She’s still grieving the death of her husband from two years ago and although she does start a new relationship it’s much more how a real relationship would go. There’s actual time for the bond between them to grow emotionally, not just physically.

The side characters are fun and interesting too. I especially loved the dynamic between Carla and Maggie. They’re been best friends for years and it shows in the way they interact.

I may have watched too many psychological thrillers in my life so my brain was going a mile a minute while reading, coming up with different scenarios based on small details that amounted to nothing. Yes, there is a killer and yes, its a mystery that needs to be solved, but honestly, it felt rather anti-climactic compared to all the stuff going on in my head.



A dog is murdered in this book. That is a warning for anyone sensitive to animal violence. The scene isn’t graphic and it isn’t particularly described. I’ve read worse accounts of animals violence. However, having recently lost a very loved pet, this was definitely a trigger for me. After that reading session I cried for at least ten minutes straight.


Overall, I wanted more from this book. I wanted some little detail to turn into a huge plot twist. I didn’t end up getting that, but that is no way a bad reflection on this book. It was my own over active imagination that lead to my personal disappointment.

My rating for this book is 3 out of 5 stars. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a quick murder mystery to read.

As always, thanks for reading!

Miranda and Caliban – By Jacqueline Carey – Book Review

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A lovely girl grows up in isolation where her father, a powerful magus, has spirited them to in order to keep them safe.

We all know the tale of Prospero’s quest for revenge, but what of Miranda? Or Caliban, the so-called savage Prospero chained to his will?

In this incredible retelling of the fantastical tale, Jacqueline Carey shows readers the other side of the coin—the dutiful and tenderhearted Miranda, who loves her father but is terribly lonely. And Caliban, the strange and feral boy Prospero has bewitched to serve him. The two find solace and companionship in each other as Prospero weaves his magic and dreams of revenge.

Always under Prospero’s jealous eye, Miranda and Caliban battle the dark, unknowable forces that bind them to the island even as the pangs of adolescence create a new awareness of each other and their doomed relationship.

Miranda and Caliban is bestselling fantasy author Jacqueline Carey’s gorgeous retelling of The Tempest. With hypnotic prose and a wild imagination, Carey explores the themes of twisted love and unchecked power that lie at the heart of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, while serving up a fresh take on the play’s iconic characters.

Jacqueline Carey is one of those authors that I absolutely adore. When she writes a book, I buy it, no questions asked. She has never disappointed with her novels and she continues to live up to the pedestal I have placed her on in my mind.

I, personally, have never read The Tempest, the Shakespeare play this novel is based on, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have done so before reading this book. I did look up a summary of the The Tempest so I had some idea of what to expect. A part of me wishes I hadn’t because it gave away much of the story.

Anyway, this novel begins when Miranda is only 6 years old. She has been living on the isle with her father and several elementals that act as servants to her father. Except for a random wild boy that sometimes leaves gifts for her, there is on one else on the isle. When Miranda’s father summons the wild boy and essentials binds him into servitude, the plot truly begins.

Caliban, the wild boy, has lived alone on the isle since the death of his mother. He is unable to speak until Miranda begins teaching him. For the first time, Miranda has a friend and companion to spend her days with. As they grow up together, it is only natural for them to form a strong bond.

Jacqueline Carey captures the essence of a Shakespeare play without actually using the same type of language his plays were written in.

I loved Miranda and felt a great deal of compassion for her as she grows up knowing only obedience to her father, who is quick to punish any kind of disobedience with physical pain. She is little more than a pawn in her father’s plans with no real choice in what her life will become.

Caliban is also an interesting character. Seeing through his eyes as he learns how to speak and comprehend and more and more is amazing. Prospero, Miranda’s father, I feel, is the true villain of the story even if Caliban is made out to be so at certain times. If someone bound you against your will, forced you to do all the chores and punished you for the slightest infraction, you’d probably want to kill them too.

I particularly felt for Miranda when she got her first period. She had absolutely no prior knowledge of what to expect and of course was alarmed when she suddenly started bleeding. Even thinking that she was somehow bleeding internally. It was a very stark contrast to the current time when girls are educated about puberty and what to expect to happen to their bodies. I try to imagine not knowing that such a thing was perfectly normal and then have it happen. It would be a terrifying experience to say the least. The description of Miranda’s confusion and symptoms were so very apt.

The ending felt a little vague, perhaps leaving it open for a sequel. I would love to read one if one was ever written. It was also rather bleak, as you don’t know what might come next. My imagination could certainly fill in a few dark happenings afterwards.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Shakespeare retellings, fantasy novels, and well, anyone who just loves good books.

Have you read Miranda and Caliban? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

The Redemption of Althalus – Book Review

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

Althalus is a young thief and occasional killer known for his skill and incredible luck. A number of capers end without much monetary reward for him, until he stumbles into a shrine built to the fertility goddess Dweia. Soon afterward he meets with the wizard Ghend, who hires him to steal the Book, a magical tome that can be found in the bizarre House at the End of the World. There, Althalus discovers Dweia in the form of a black cat and learns that she has chosen him to aid her in a war against Ghend and her evil brother, the destroyer god Daeva. Together Althalus and Dweia use the power of the Book and gather together a small team of questionable heroes who must battle Ghend’s supernatural forces and armies. The thief Althalus can only hope his luck holds out for this one last task, since the very fate of humanity is at stake.

What to say about this book? Well, first, this book is fairly long, clocking in at just under 800 pages and is actually a stand alone novel, which is a bit unusual for a fantasy novel. (if you know of others, I’d love to know too)

The tone of this book very much has a feel of when it was published. First released in 2000, it reminded me of other books published around that time that feel heavily influenced by Lord of the Rings. Of David Eddings’ other books, I’ve only read his Dreamers series, which I don’t remember much of, so perhaps this is simply his writing style, I’m not sure. I don’t really know how to describe the feel I got from the tone either.

Anyway, at first I felt like the pacing of this book was a bit off. There seemed to be a bunch of stuff at the beginning that didn’t really matter to the story overall and it would jump ahead in time fairly often. Turns out that in the end, it all mattered, so that changed my feelings about the start of the book.

I wouldn’t call the story particularly original. The basics of the plot are the basics of most high fantasy novels: an likely group of individuals come together to fight against evil in order to save the world. The people making up this particular band are a bit stereotypical. You have the charismatic thief, the warrior, the priest, the beautiful girl with a special gift, a young noble woman, and a smarter than can be believed kid. Leading this group is the maternal and loving goddess, Dweia.

There’s only one race in this fantasy world: humans. As for magic…there is magic, but only Althalus really uses it and not even that much. It’s more like divine power from a Knife and a Book.

There were a few things that bothered me about this book. One was Leitha’s insistence on calling Althalus “Daddy.” Yes, he establishes the group to be a “family” and as the male leader he takes on the role of the father, but why “daddy?” It felt ripe with sexual innuendo and I cringed nearly every time she said it. The tampering with time also bothered me. That’s a really difficult thing to pull off without thinking through every little detail and I don’t think it was.

What did I like? Well, considering how generic I thought the basic plot was, there were actually a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. I couldn’t for the life of me think how everything was going to be wrapped up by the end of the book and not have a sequel. Well, it all came together nicely and you could probably tack on a “happily ever after.”

Overall, this wasn’t a bad book. I didn’t stop reading it, though I didn’t spend long periods of time on it. I wouldn’t say it was bad either. My rating for this is 3 out of 5 stars. I’d recommend this to people who are maybe just getting into the Fantasy genre and just want to dip their toes into without getting into a long series. Also for fantasy fans that don’t want to get in to a long series, this could be a good read.

Have you read the Redemption of Althalus? What did you think? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

Adventures in TV – American Horror Story – Murder House

I know I’m very late getting on the American Horror Story train. This is a show I’ve long wanted to watch but didn’t have access it, until I recently discovered that it’s available on Star through Disney+. Discovering this, I immediately started watching. I devoured it in two sittings. I probably would have gone through all 12 episodes in a single sitting if not for the annoying fact of having to sleep and go to work.

The plot of the first season of American Horror Story is a fairly typical one. A family moves into a new house for a “fresh start.” Naturally, the couple is having marital problems and their teenage daughter is unhappy and bullied at school.

Although this is a fairly common premise for a horror story that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good one. From the first moment, I felt drawn in to the story and engaged. We start off knowing that the mother of the family, Vivien, has recently had a miscarriage and her husband, Ben, was unfaithful. The dynamic between the two as they try to rebuild their life is really interesting. Vivien’s struggle to forgive her husband and let him back into her trust is very real. Vivien wasn’t a character I could immediately relate to, having never been in a situation like hers but I could empathize. As the story moved along, I felt for her more and more and was rooting for her until the very end.

Ben was not a character I liked. I don’t think the audience is meant to sympathize with him over much. He made a lot of stupid mistakes and brought on a lot of the things that happened to him all on his own. Violet, the family’s teenage daughter, isn’t the most unique character. She’s moody, and angry with her parents and the world, much like a typical teenager. That’s not to say I didn’t like her. She had her purpose in the overall narrative.

Over the twelve episode run, the history of the house is slowly revealed in flashbacks, showing all the unspeakable tragedy that the house has been host to right from the original owners. The show doesn’t shy away from showing a fair amount of gore, so anyone who doesn’t like to see that kind of stuff may wish to steer clear of this particular show. That being said, the gore isn’t really gratuitous. There’s a good mix of mystery and horror there that leaves room for the audience’s imagination to run a bit wild.

There’s a few good twists that I didn’t see coming that will keep you on your toes and have you eager to get to the next episode each time one ends. Once the season ends, there’s lots to look back on and think of that will have an even harder impact the more you think about it. Like any good horror, this one will stay with you long after you turn off the TV.

Overall, I really enjoyed this show. There isn’t much that I can think of to name as a flaw or something I really didn’t like. 5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this to any lovers of horror out there who haven’t already discovered this show. I can’t wait to start the next season.

Have you watched American Horror Story: Murder House? Let me know what you thought in the comments! Thanks for reading!