A head full of ghost by Paul Tremblay

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The Barrett family is a typical middle class American family: father, mother and two daughters, 8 years old Meredith and 14 years old Marjorie. Like every other family, also the Barrett’s have some issues, the father lost his job and the major daughter shows symptoms of a mental illness, for this reason she is seeing a doctor.

The situation and the symptoms get worse, the medications seems not to have relevant effects: John Barrett, in the middle of a mystical-religious phase, is convinced that his daughter is possessed by a demon. To help her he persuade his family to being part of a television production, “Possessed”, that to be filmed needs the family to be followed by a television troupe in the house.

These things I’m telling you do not happen in the present time, but are told as a memory by Merry who, fifteen years after the events, retrace the events for Rachel, a non-fiction writer who has the job to write a book about the Barrett family.

So we have second-hand events, averaged by the passed time and by the fact that Merry was a child when she lived through them. We have the Possessed tv series analysed by a horror blogger, Karen. We have religious fanaticism (Marjorie is possessed or simply very ill?) and the cruel television reality (how much is true – and false – in the troupe shootings?).

The very good part of the novel are the first two sections of the book, where the elements are perfectly balanced, the story is fast paced and thrilling and horrific. Another good point id the fact that at the end we don’t have certain answers, but lots food for thoughts.

Reflections concerning the plot – we have so many unreliable sources that everything could be true  – and concerning the other two main themes, the religious fanaticism and television cruelty, that are catalyst of other events.

I talked about the book with other people, and it emerged that the third part is the more weak, maybe also because of the homage reference (that I did not catch immediately) to Shirley Jackson that can appear as a way to simplify the ending. I forgive the weakness of the last section because the other two-thirds are a wonderful reading experience.


A head full of ghost by Paul Tremblay ★★★★★

*I read this book in english

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[ARC] The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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Vasya is born in northern Russia, she is the daughter of the noble head of the village. Vasya is different, in her there is an old magic, and since childhood she is able to see the spirits around the village, both the guardian and the evil ones.

Life is happy, but the change is near: Vasya’s father, a widow, marries a noble woman who fears constantly the evil spirits, and in the village comes a new priest, young and ambitious.

The evil spirit, bound to the forest since years back, tries to exploit these changes in the town; Vasya ends up to be almost the only one to fight the evil to come.

The Bear and The Nightingale has the features of a fairy tale, but deals with strong themes: the traditional culture that is forgotten and lost in favour of new traditions, the suggestions that bring people to change their beliefs, the uncontrolled ambition that does not care for humanity and reason.

The novel is wonderful, adventurous and compelling, the story keeps constantly the reader in suspense, the characters are alive and the setting in the frosted Russia is wonderfully crafted. I’m enthusiast there is the possibility of a follow-up novel, and I absolutely suggest to read this installment.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


* The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden ★★★★★

*I read this book in english

The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus trilogy #1) by Jonathan Stroud

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L’amuleto di Samarcanda è il primo libro della trilogia di Bartimaeus scritta da Jonathan Stroud (di cui ho già letto un paio di romanzi della serie Lockwood & Co.: The screaming staircase e The whispering skull).

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The Amulet of Samarkand is the first novel of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, written by Jonathan Stroud (author of the Lockwood & Co series: The screaming staircase e The whispering skull).

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[ARC] Glory: The Complete Saga by Joe Keatinge

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Glory (Gloriana Demeter) is a character of the Image Comics, a superhero half amazon and half demon who has chosen to fight alongside human beings.

This by Joe Keatinge is a third version of the saga about this character; some elements change and also the graphic image of Glory is modified with respect to the previous versions being now more muscular.
I did not particularly like this comic since it did not engage me: I think the story is somewhat confused and missing some details; the graphic is not worth mentioning, some images are rough or not very refined.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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* Glory: The Complete Saga by Joe Keatinge ★★☆☆☆

*I read this book in English