epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,
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Book Reviews: My Sister Rosa + Black Wings Of Cthulhu 5

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
An Australian family move to NY. 17 year old Che is tense at the hated presence of his 10 year old sister Rosa. She’s a psychopath and very good at hiding what she is. Their useless hippie mother is negligent and their absent father does nothing. The wretched mother is stupid and monstrously unfair as she blames Che for all ills.

Rosa has cunning and something bad is about to happen. This is an excellent tale of family secrets and lies and assumptions and Che’s discovery of the biggest lie of all, which has so many other tragedies built upon it. This is a tragedy and sadly Che and Rosa’s mother is the absolute worst.

Some unanswered questions remain at the bleak depressing downer ending. One is why were the rich family bankrolling the Taylor clan? This was excellent and tragically plausible.

Best Lines:
“They don’t love us enough to notice what’s wrong with her.”

“I do not know that. But I try not to think it, let alone say it.”

“I am unfond of your sister.”

“I know bad can run in families, but I never heard of anything like yours.”

~
Black Wings Of Cthulhu 5 edited by S.T. Joshi

Plenty Of Irem
A tale of no cultural value. A man encounters morally dubious malevolent forces or something when he ventures into a museum. This is a dearth of intellectualism.

Diary Of A Sane Man
A man loses his mind; this fails to adequately explain anything.

The Woman In The Attic
Rambling and unnecessary.

Far From Any Shore
By Caitlin R. Kiernan, this is not up to the usual standard of her dramatic severity.

In Blackness Etched, My Name
No pertinent observations.

Snakeladder
The eyes of the cosmos are burning into them, never had they dreamt of such attention.

The Walker In The Night
A bizarro tale that has no added significance.

Best Line:
“Some octopus-thing out to destroy the world-”

In Bloom
This risible tale collapses under its own mediocrity.

The Black Abbess
2 tourists stumble on an abbey full of pre-Christian secrets. This was good.

Best Line:
“The question of how the sixteenth-century burials took place upon a plot already recorded as impenetrable in the Domesday book of 1086, and likewise ever since, has never been properly explained.”

The Quest
A fan of a dead writer faces looming dread. This is an okay tale of malevolent goings on that descends into moronic antics.

A Question Of Blood
An unwanted child returns home escalating tensions and unaware of the sentiments he will invoke. This has no logical consistency or content.

Best Line:
“The morally insane.”

Red Walls
A very good profoundly unsettling tale.

The Organ Of Chaos
A tragic folly of essential unimportance.

Seed Of The Gods
Resonant myths become real, this was not poignantly bleak.

Fire Breeders
A tale of condescending elitism and moral failings and wounded incomprehension that is functionally redundant.

Best Line:
“Wondering if the attire was the result of hippie fashion, poverty or homelessness - or all three.”

Casting Fractals
A tale of the terrible human consequences of meddling with what man was not meant to know. Rabid accusations claim that thuggish aggression, simmering rage, furious inventiveness and avarice are all down to aliens. This was fairly unremarkable.

The Red Witch Of Chorazin
A good tale of inescapable Lovecraftian horrors.

The Oldies
A support group encounters the old ones. Okay.

Voodoo
A tale of New Orleans and voodoo and the truth beneath the skin. Very good.

Lore
An okay poem.

Best Line:
“From evil planets that no longer are-”
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