Meridian Six by Jaye Wells
This novella is only 112 pages long but covers a lot. Meridian Six is a human slave to the Troika vampires who have enslaved humanity in a dystopian world. One day she escapes and learns moral lessons from the deliberately provocative and disrespectfully temperamental resistance. This is a dark tale of nastiness, sexual pathology, male self pity, ulterior purposes and immensely complex world building. This is a good tale of vampires asserting absolute power, a devotion to lies, dark fantasies, strategic lying, dark manipulation and people having to align their perceptions with reality.
Children Of Ash by Jaye Wells
This novella is a sequel to ‘Meridian Six’ and sadly is all ineptitude. People have undergone radical personality changes and this is full of overwrought sulky angst and unsubtle holocaust imagery. Meridian Six and her new insta love man candy infiltrate a work camp. Everyone has uselessness and loserness and are in a fixed sulk. This had no complexity and everyone is reluctant to let themselves be happy while acting ignorant or worse. I am joylessly dismissive of this.
The Witches Salem, 1692 A History by Stacy Schiff
This is an engrossing account of the witch mania and unwitting or otherwise complicity of the accusers and judges that caused a significant divide in the New England settlement. This is a lively and insightful take on what may have fuelled discontent among the surprisingly contentious Puritans.
He bewitched several children and a hog.”
“What God do witches pray to?”
“You have been a very bad woman in your time.”
“She dressed above her station.”
“When misfortune struck, try to remember who had last come to the door.”
“When you call the devil, he comes.”
“Not much used to work.”
“Family lore has him excoriating Hathorne on his deathbed.”