Monday, June 29, 2015

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel by Paul Tremblay

Mulluane | Monday, June 29, 2015 | 1 Comment so far
Part psychological thriller, part thriller and part horror, this book will grab you like the proverbial monster under the bed. Warning… before reading this book, buy a nightlight -- or twelve. You'll need them.

Blurb might contain spoilers, toggle to view. ( Toggle may not function in email and some feed readers.)

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends domestic drama, psychological suspense, and a touch of modern horror, reminiscent of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television began to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

*Blurb source *William Marrow
A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel by Paul Tremblay | Thriller Review

Book Source: Publisher

Horror Book Review by Mulluane

At 14 years old, Marjorie has begun exhibiting all of the classic signs of schizophrenia. 
But is she mentally ill or demon possessed?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Waterborn by Greg Keyes | Epic Fantasy Review | Chosen of the Changeling, Book 1

Mulluane | Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | 2 Comments so far
A Princess wishes for a hero and a God hears her plea. The son of a cattle chieftain starts off on a quest to kill the God who is tormenting his true love. And nothing goes exactly how either of them planned.

Blurb might contain spoilers, toggle to view. ( Toggle may not function in email and some feed readers.)

To find her kidnapped cousin, a princess enters the domain of a deadly deity

Hezhi is a princess, daughter of a royal family whose line was founded by the god known as the River. Her blood is not only royal, it is magic, with a power that will not become known until she approaches adulthood. As she grows into her gift, she will take her place in court—or be judged unworthy and cast into the darkness below the palace.

When Hezhi’s cousin D’en is kidnapped by the priests and taken below, Hezhi vows to rescue him. But he is trapped in the domain of the River, and she will need a hero to help her find her way in the dark.

Perhaps that hero is Perkar, a barbarian who has fallen in love with the goddess of the stream. When the River threatens to destroy Perkar’s love, he embarks on a quest that will take him to Hezhi’s side to do battle with a god.

*Blurb source *Amazon
Epic Fantasy eBook Review of Waterborn by Greg Keyes
Book Source: Open Road Media. Ebook release April 28, 2015

Epic Fantasy eBook Review by Mulluane

This is primarily a character-driven coming-of-age story. Both of the main characters have some growing up to do and through trial, travail and error, grow they will. The core theme is pretty straight forward. The story asks a simple question. "Can you control your destiny or will it control you?"

The answers however, are far from simple.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales | Featured Book

Mulluane | Wednesday, April 08, 2015 | 2 Comments so far

Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, Schönwerth’s fairy tales as collected in THE TURNIP PRINCESS bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre. 
Information Source: Penguin Classics


With THE TURNIP PRINCESS, the holy trinity of fairy tales—the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Hans Christian Andersen—becomes a quartet. In the 1850s, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth traversed the forests, lowlands, and mountains of northern Bavaria to record fairy tales, gaining the admiration of even the Brothers Grimm. Most of Schönwerth’s work was lost—until a few years ago, when Erika Eichenseer uncovered thirty boxes of manuscripts in a German municipal archive.
The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales
Buy From Amazon
Now, for the first time, Schönwerth’s lost fairy tales are available in English. Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, they bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre.


FRANZ XAVER VON SCHÖNWERTH (1810-1886) was born in Amberg, Bavaria. He had a successful career in law and the Bavarian royal court, rising to the post of personal secretary to the Crown Prince Maximilian. In the 1850s he began to explore the culture of the Upper Palatinate region of Bavaria, recording his observations and the stories of the people he interviewed. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to his research and, between 1857 and 1859, published From the Upper Palatinate: Customs and Legends, cataloging the customs and folktales of his homeland in unprecedented detail. This work contained only a fraction of his total research, the rest of which was eventually discovered in an archive, forming an important addition to the canon of classic fairy tales.


ERIKA EICHENSEER discovered 500 previously unknown fairy tales of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth in the municipal archive of Regensburg, Bavaria, in 2009. In 2010 she published a selection entitled Prinz Rosszwifl [Prince Dung Beetle]. She began her career as a teacher, then worked in the theater for the cultural department of the regional government of East Bavaria. An expert on fairy tales and on puppet theater, she has written numerous books on folk art and customs and has appeared on television, produced radio programs, and performed all over Bavaria as a storyteller. She is co-founder and director of the Schönwerth Society and initiator of the Schönwerth Fairytale Path in Sinzing, near Regensburg, and she wrote the libretto for a musical based on Schönwerth’s “The Flying Chest.” She has been awarded many honors for her services to Bavarian culture.

MARIA TATAR chairs the program in folklore and mythology at Harvard. She is the author of many acclaimed books on folklore and fairytales, as well as the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition, and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


ENGELBERT SÜSS is a sculptor, glass-artist, and illustrator who was born in 1949 in eastern Bavaria. He created the bronze statue “King of Dwarfs” for the Schönwerth Fairytale Path in Sinzing, Bavaria.

My Notes:

I read most of these and unfortunately I often finished a story totally confused as to its message. What I didn't know -- until far too late -- is that there is a meticulous analysis of each story in the "Commentary" section found at the back of the book.

There is also a detailed introduction which I'll admit, I didn't read. I scanned it but it reads like a textbook on fairy tales. Interesting but a bit dry.

In my humble opinion, you'll get the most out of this book if you are interested in its history and origins. This is also a book to be relished for both the miracle of its discovery and the subsequent translation. 

It is NOT a book of stories you'd read to your kids or for pure entertainment. It is a collection to be studied; comparing each story to its explanation in the Commentary when needed and comparing them to the tales we grew up with. It is definitely a priceless look at the history of fairy tales.

Monday, March 30, 2015

State of the Belfry Address

Mulluane | Monday, March 30, 2015 | 4 Comments so far
You may (or not) have noticed that things have been a bit quiet lately. Well life, as it tends to do, often goes in circles. There are good times, easy times, chaotic times and bad times.

Unfortunately, I'm somewhere between chaotic and bad. Some medical problems have cropped up and are taking most of my time.

So, I am going to change a few things. 
Bat surrounded by chaos!
Sometimes life spins out of control!

The first thing I'm going to stop doing is including a variety of affiliate links in my reviews. This process alone takes longer than writing the review itself. 

Besides, nobody ever uses them to buy anything. I used to be able to count on atleast something around xmas. This year I got nadda. 

I'll still do Amazon, and I'm not dropping Adsense. Plus I'm going to leave the various banners in the footer; just in case somebody wants an easy way to access their favorite book retailer. 

A bat can always hope!

Next thing I'm going to do is structure my reviews a bit differently. The word vomit method is great but I'm missing too many points of interest, often repeating myself or leaving out important information. I'm hoping that I'll end up with a much better review and with some structure, I'll stop leaving out vital info. And don't worry, I'll reserve a section where I can rave or rant accordingly :>)

The third thing I did was start a new blog. No, I'm not really insane. Sometimes I just need a new project to keep those creative juices flowing and for now, this is it.

So, when you get a chance, visit Witty Wacky and Wise ~ A (Mostly) Speculative Fiction Book and Author Quote Gallery. From now on, all of my quote work is going there. It is pretty cool actually. I'm using Blogger's dynamic views flipcards. Hover over any thumbnail image and it will "flip" showing you the title of the quote. Once I populate it with a ton of quotes, it will look really neat. Well, I think so anyway :>)

Besides, it is time to stop using them for fillers when I just can't find the time to write a review or article. 

The long and short of the matter is, I'm streamlining things so that maybe I can go back to cranking out reviews like I used to. By taking out the things I DON'T look forward to doing, and by cutting down the time it takes to create a review, I'll procrastinate less and write more. As tired as I am right now, easier is definitely better! 

So anyway, that is what's up. I'll see you all soon!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Laini Taylor | Weekly Quote 37

Mulluane | Thursday, February 19, 2015 | 2 Comments so far

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone

Laini Taylor Quote about hope on background design by @mulluane

About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is credited to Laini Taylor

The design, along with any flaws, is mine. 

If you would like to suggest a quote (I prefer it be from a SFF author) let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do. No promises though. If a quote is too big I may not be able to reproduce it in the space available. I do promise to try though!

Usage: Non-Commercial Fair Use is permitted. The following restrictions apply: Please do not remove or mask the watermark url. Do not sell, print or claim this work as your own and when sharing, pinning, reblogging or posting, a direct link to this post is required. Thanks!

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