Friday, October 23, 2020

Books: Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake

Title: The Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #2
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publishing date: 27 Augustus 2013
Number of pages: 420 p.
Languages: English, Dutch, German, Spanish and more
Age Category: Young Adult, Horror
Other Books In This Series:
Anna Dressed In Blood

About Girl of Nightmares

The events of the previous book leave Cas, Carmel and Thomas, shaken. Anna is gone, but is she really? When Cas goes out hunting again things do not go smoothly, Thomas and Carmel barely make it out alive. And Cas is left to doubt his sanity. Has he really just seen Anna, with them in the barn with the other ghost?

Cas is unable to let Anna go, he wants nothing more than to bring Anna back, save her from the hell she is in. But everything comes at a costs, will they all make it out alive?

My thoughts

I have read Anna Dressed In Blood twice, I absolutely loved it, even though I have a bit of a struggle with our main character Cass. Cass, really is not the most likable character. In the first book this did not bother me as much, we really get to see the relationships develop between Thomas, Carmel and Cass, and a great set of side characters. 

Cas in this book actually reminded me of Catcher in the Rye, the main character in Catcher in the Rye is also not my favorite but I still very much enjoyed the book. Cass, is really whinny, emo and overall very pushing everybody around him away. Of course this can be the result of the grief he feels over loosing Anna, but really get the hell over yourself. Death is a natural part of life at least this is how I see it. 

Instead of getting over Anna he decides to get her back, after she appears to him in the middle of a battle with another ghost. On the one side, I can get into the I need to save her from the Obeahman however, the lengths he goes through to achieve his goal are questionable. 

As you can see I have some mixed feelings about Cas, not so much about Thomas and Carmel, I think they are the saus that makes the potatoes taste better, in this story. I love both characters and there are some really great scene. Like when Cas and Thomas go visit his aunt. This scene was hilarious. 

Suicide Forest is my absolute favorite part of this book, it was great, scary but damn good writing! It had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. It also reminded me of the Suicide Forest in Japan, which is a dark tourist attraction. 

I have had doubts throughout the book about Cas and the choices he makes. The choice he makes in the end of the book, is worth sitting through the cringe worthy choices he makes throughout the book. I am very satisfied with the ending. I am wondering though if the author is thinking of continuing making this book into a series, as there are still enough loose ends there that can be explored. Or maybe a spin off series about some of our side characters I would love to know more about Gideon.

Conclusion

I had a lot of issues with Cas, however the horror elements in this book, were fantastic! Might I say even better than in Anna Dressed In Blood? The Suicide forest, made up for a lot of crap in the book, the pacing at the beginning of the book was really slow, which mad me struggle even more. All in al I do love the overal setting, the horror and it still reads like an episode of Supernatural. I just cannot get over Cas, and this has influenced my rating, making this an 3 star read, instead of a 4 star read. 

You should have been nicer Cas! 



Sunday, October 18, 2020

Swinging Saturdays #75: Seven Deadly sins


Swinging Saturdays is a musical meme hosted by Ice Cold Passion, to share our passion for music. The goal is to make a top 5 (or Top 10) for whatever genre or artist you like or get creative and share a theme based music top 5. For example a bookish soundtrack, funny songs, song to listen to on a rainy day top 5.
So today, one day too late, we are diving into the seven deadly sins, Halloween is coming and the seven deadly sins remind me of my favorite tv series, Supernatural. Please watch episode 1 of season 3, it is cruel, but so good! I still think the first 3 seasons are the best. Have you ever seen Seven (1995) so it is a bit of an older one but it is great, it is about a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as a reason to kill.Anyways, I was going to post this yesterday but this list has been a real struggle, I only finalized it today.

1. Lust

I was actually going to go with Gorilla from Bruno mars, or maybe Paradise by the Dashboard Lights by Meat loaf, but this one is a bit darker, and I think this fits the theme of Lust much better. Of course I had to chose for the intro of True Blood, the intro is so creepy this is perfect.
Album: Red Revelations
;

2. Gluttony

This list is harder to put together than I thought it would be, it took me a while to figure out which songs would work with each category. I actually forgot about song, but in my search for fitting songs I came across, this parody of Beat It, by Michael Jackson. I am ofcourse talking about Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic.
Album: In 3D


3. Greed

This is actually one of my favorite songs of songs of the album Demom Days, I just like that it is told as a fairy tale, once upon a time. The story told, is one of Greed, I did a bit of a victory cry when I finally figured out that this is the most perfect song for this sin. By the way if you never listened to the entire album please give it a try, it is very good, I think it is really good, very relaxing also. I hope you enjoy this one, as it is one you would hear on the radio. Oh they have an art video for this one!!! AWESOME!
Album: Demon Days


4. Sloth

Today I don't want to do anything.. This is the perfect embodiment of Sloth.
Album: Doo-Wops & Hooligans


5. Wrath

Not only is Anger in the name of the song, but fans were very angry about this album. I think this is a great representation of wrath as seen in a song, the music also sounds very angry.
Album: St. Anger


6. Envy


I was actually thinking about Bernadetta by Gruppo Sportivo for this one, as Envy is closely related to jelousy which is the toppic of that song. Then I was talking with Martijn about Mika, and that he also can sing in French and that he did a song together with Adriana Grande, that I think is actually pretty good, I love the video for this song, and I think it shows envy very well. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Album: The Origin of Love

7.Pride

The worst of the worst sins, according to religion and one of the hardest ones to fine. I have had so much struggle with finding songs for this list. The first thing that came to mind was Pride and Joy from Stevie Ray Vaughn, it is an obvious choice, so I decided to look further. I was reading up on the 7 deadly sins, when it was mentioned that Dante, saw the building of the Tower of Babel as an example of Pride. You might now know where this is going of course, Mumford and Sons. I love the entire album but lets just go with the title song for this one.

Album: Babel


I have made it through the 7 deadly sins! Let me tell you it really was one of the hardest lists I have ever made.

Do you have any sinful suggestions? 
Feel free to leave a comment! 
Want to host Swing Saturdays next week? 
Send me an email: icecoldpassions@gmail.com. 
I would love to hear what kind of music you like!
 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Books: Underneath - Heather Marie Adkins

Author:
Heather Marie Adkins
Publisher: self published
Publishing date: June 2011
Number of pages: approx. 50 P.
Language: English
Sort story: Short Story, standalone
Age Category: Adult

About Underneath

An ancient city, entombed beneath a museum that seeks to understand the brutal race that once inhabited the underground world. A young woman with special empathic powers offered a job to create an exhibit of the city's artifacts. Underneath, they wait for her.

My thoughts on Underneath

I was thinking on what to post for a horrorish themed month, and I remember that this little short story gave me the chills. It was just the right amount of eery, creepy that you would like for a Halloween read. I throughroughly enjoyed reading this story, however I have to say it felt a bit flat. I wish that their was more to the story, more history of the ancient city. I think the idea is great and I would love to see this story as a full legnth book, diving into the details.

I have read one other work from this author, which she wrote together with Julia Crane, this was a long time ago, but it is one of the books that has always stayed with me, this was Eternal Youth which was a great read, maybe I will reread it and actually review that one on the blog as well. Who knows?

Conclusion

This was a short fun read, but it needs some work,the characters and the history could have been developed a bit more. I would love for this to be turned into a full lenght book, I think the author is of to a great start with this one, I just wanted there to be more of the story. Therefore this little story gets a 3 out 5 stars.

 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Swinging Saturdays #74: Belgium Friends


Swinging saturdays is a musical meme hosted by Ice Cold Passion, to share our passion for music. The goal is to make a top 5 (or Top 10) for whatever genre or artist you like or get creative and share a theme based music top 5. For example a bookish soundtrack, funny songs, song to listen to on a rainy day top 5.
België! as the Dutch band Het Goede Doel once sang, yeah you are not gonna get that joke unless you are Dutch.  It is were we are going for in this top 10. Our southern neighbors (yes I am a Dutchie) make some good music and Rock Werchter always have the greatest lineup you can find. This year however it was cancelled like all other festivals in Europe. To be honest I ended up not using any recent Belgium bands but went deep into my music archive. As it turns out, I don't know a whole lot of Belgium artists. Which is kind of surprising as they are our neighbors. 

Triggerfinger ~ The Game

To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of Triggerfinger,  I have seen them live at Lowlands, it was ok but it just doen't do it for me. I do love this  Lykke Li cover they did of I Follow Rivers, but the rest for me is just a little mwaaah. There is a large fan base here in the Netherlands, just not my cup of tea.

Selah Sue ~ This World

From the bombastic noisy guitars from Triggerfinger lets continue with the soulful Selah Sue. Listen to this twice, this is really something, incredibly well performed.

Balthazar ~ Then What

Balthazar has been around since 2004 (according to wiki), I have seen them on many a line ups of various Dutch and Belgium festivals, but never really gotten into their music.

K's Choice ~ Not An Addict

Brings back some high school memories, never knew they were from Belgium though, always thought that they were American for some reason.

Kate Ryan ~ Désenchanteé

In Belgium part of the citizens speaks French, so not adding at least one French song was not an option. I remember when this came out, at the time I thought it was quiet unique a French song in our Dutch charts. Good times, hope you enjoy this one.

Novastar ~ Home Is Not Home

One of those singer-songwriters, that made it once in the Netherlands with the song "Because", after that never really reach the same success as that particular song. Novastar is still making music, but never made it across the border again.

Bazart ~ Goud

Right, now for the other half of the Belgium population, they speak Flemish, which does sound a lot like Dutch, but is a whole different language all together. it is not that we cannot understand each other but, they have their own sayings and such, which do not exist in the Dutch language.  Bazart bring us great music in Flemish. The title of this song is Gold. I finally got to see them live last year, and they are awesome! If you ever get the chance please check them out!

Milow ~ You Don't Know

Every year that we are not playing at the European Championship or World Championship, we the Dutch have been supporting our southern neighbors. Soccer is the sport I am talking about. Milow is a well known guest at the after the match show on the Dutch television. He composes songs about the match which he performs after the match, this is why Milow is here. Interesting guy, great music and skills.

Stromae ~ Formidable

He took the whole world on a French ride. Made it all the way to the USA, after having conquered the whole of Europe. No he is not from France, he is Belgium, even speaks Dutch. Formidable is what his performances look like.


The Sore Losers ~ Dark Ride

This is right up my ally, once seen in the after show from Jack White, The Sore Loser are a great end of this top 10. I have seen them live three times now, they get better every time, if are ever getting back to normal with concerts were you don't have to be seated and not sing, then go check them out! 

Buy the albums here:

Did I miss any good Belgium artists?
Feel free to leave a comment! 
Want to host Swing Saturdays next week? 
Send me an email: icecoldpassions@gmail.com. 
I would love to hear what kind of music you like!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Books: Fractured Legacy ~ Skye Callahan

Title: Fractured Legacy
Author: Skye Callahan
Series: Darkness Bound Series
Publisher: Independent Author
Publishing date: October 2013
Number of pages: 152 p.
Languages: English
Age Category: Adult
Genre: Horror

About Fractured Legacy

Kaylyn Anderson's fascination with abandoned places and dark creatures kindled her work as a paranormal investigator. But when dreams begin to distort reality, she questions what is real and pulls away from everyone she trusts. The opportunity to investigate the Teague Hotel--a long-abandoned landmark that has always piqued her curiosity--provides a chance to redeem herself. Unraveling the hotel's secrets won't be easy, but Kaylyn soon finds herself the target of a dark entity that has been trapped in the building for decades. 

If Kaylyn stands any hope of defeating the spirit, she'll have to accept that her fears are real and convince fellow investigators that she hasn't lost her mind.

My Thoughts on Fractured Legacy

This is what I want to read for Halloween, it has just the right amount of scares, it is compelling, keeps you at the edge of your seat the whole time. This one is scary as hell, our main character is being targeted by an evil spirit who makes her loose time, burns down her house, and slowly makes her doubt anything she does.

The love interest in this book Jonah is just yum, he is like an alpha male, and he is definitely one. The opposites attracts theme works very well in this book.  The easy banter between the two is so much fun, combined with the sweet moments, makes this a very realistic setting. He doesn't like her closets, she does not like authority. And yet the two of them together seem to work very well.

The setting is great, dreary, and scary as hell at times, I love this book for this. This was an awesome read, I only found out about it because  I once did a book blitz for this book, and gotten a copy. This is the second time that I have read this and it is still awesome.

Conclusion

This is a solid 4 star read for me, it is exciting, scary and makes for the perfect Halloween read. Or read it when you are in the mood for a good horror story, I can assure you, that it will be good. Note to self: read more horror, you seem to enjoy it.


Saturday, October 3, 2020

Swinging Saturdays #73: Spotify Alphabet ~ A

Swinging saturdays is a musical meme hosted by Ice Cold Passion, to share our passion for music. The goal is to make a top 5 (or Top 10) for whatever genre or artist you like or get creative and share a theme based music top 5. For example a bookish soundtrack, funny songs, song to listen to on a rainy day top 5.
Hi everyone!
It feels good to be back, I have had some years of not being active, this gave me time to come up with new ideas and consume a lot of music. I have a Spotify account and of course all my favorites are there, but I frequently browse for new music, and if something sounds interesting I will hit, the follow button. This makes my list of artist I follow on Spotify a long one. And sometimes I even forget how I came by the music. So let's dive into my account, starting of with artists beginning with an A.Let's see what is there, in total I have 18 artists starting with an A, beginning with some very popular music, like Adele, Alt-J and AC/DC, there are also a couple of very specific things there, these are the ones I want to share with you today.

Amber Run ~ I Found

Let's start of with something very mainstream, pop. I am not sure if this ever made this into any charts but this song is so incredibly beautiful. For me it is definitely a guilty pleasure. I can just close my eyes an be off into the music. I picked out the Mahogany sessions video for you, as this one is even more impressive. I hope you enjoy this one.


Arkona ~ Na Moey Zemle

When I am in a bad mood, usually when at my dayjob which sometimes annoyes the crap out of me, I get so fet up with everything I turn to one of my boyfriend's playlists on Spotify, it is called "Gitaar Muziek" and it is full of metal of all sorts, the hard and gritty, stoner and doom. I pick out the hardest song I can find, and put it on as loud as I can. That usually gets me through days like that. This is one of the bands that is on this list, which when I was still 32 hours at the company I work for, I listened to almost every week. This song is more on the pagan/folk/slavic side of metal, the band is from Russia, and I don't understand anything they sing. Until I got over half way through the song, and I was like what the hell, this sounds an awful lot like my mother tongue Dutch. As I was working and pay all that active attention to which ever band was playing, I went back and listened to the part ones more. Turns out it was Dutch, later I asked my BF about it and he told me these guys I heard are from a Dutch metal band called Heidenvolk. This song is 15 minutes long, I know, but if you like pagan metal, it sure is worth your time.


Avi On Fire ~ Hedonistic Disco

Yes I want to talk about Avi On Fire, these Dutchies make such catchy music! This band has been on my radar since their start, I am not sure anymore how I found out about them but I have seen them live twice and they are good. Beginning of 2020 they apparently introduced their debut album. If you follow as many bands as I do, you can imagine that I don't always keep up with new releases, but hey I found out now when writing this post. I have chosen an new song as well, as well like all of them it is catchy...



Autovoid Redemption ~ My Choice

All the way from Brazil, did you know that Brazillians are real metalheads? There is a huge fan base for metal over there. I don't exactly know why but there sure as hell is. So how did I find this one, this came through my ex-colleague, I miss talking with here, she is a wonderful person. She is from Brazil, and I think her nephew plays in this band. She gave me a cd of the band, and I must say it is pretty good. So yeah this is kind of special and I hope you will enjoy this as well.


All Them Witches ~ Dirt Preachers

Got to end this with one of Martijn's favorite bands (yes the boyfriend), we met in Hedon the local venue, where he works and I joined as a volunteer. When the shows were done we spend hours and hours talking about music, and finally we fell in love. He has had a big influence on my taste of music and introduced me to some new genres that I had never heard about.

What is on your A-List?
Feel free to leave a comment! 
Want to host Swing Saturdays next week? 
Send me an email: icecoldpassions@gmail.com. 
I would love to hear what kind of music you like!

Get the albums here:

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Books: Anna Dressed In Blood ~ Kendare Blake


Title: Anna Dressed In Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publishing date: 27 Augustus 2013
Number of pages: 420 P.
Languages: English, Dutch, German, Spanish and more
Age Category: Young Adult, Horror
Other Books In This Series:
The Girl of Nightmares

About Anna Dressed In Blood

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life.

My thoughts on Anna Dressed In Blood

Every October I think of what to post on halloween, each and every time this book comes to mind, I have read it about 2 or 3 times already but never sat down to right a review for it. Even though this book is an amazing read, and reminds me of my favourite tv-series, Supernatural.

The setting of the book is just what you want to read during halloween, dark, menacing and fun. Yes fun, there is a lot of humour woven into this story, which makes it a great read. As honestly, at first I did not really enjoy really enjoy our main character. At the beginning of the book Cas seems to have no depth to him at all, the persona seems flat.  As we read alone this gets better, and the character becomes more enjoyable.

It reads like an episode of Supernatural, and if you have not figured it out by now, I just love love love Supernatural. This is kind of the teen version of it, except for the part where the ghost in the end is not slain.  That is what makes the book so lovely, that we get the whole back story from the ghost as well. And this ghost still has her humanity, even though it might not seems this way at first.

The book is not all that fast paced as you would think, it has a nice build to it. What I did find surprising is some of the side characters, Thomas an Mofran, are logical choices where as Carmel, is about the weirdest choice ever. First of all, poor girl for being called Carmel, what is up with that? Might be that it is something American maybe, but I am highly doubting that. Even weirder is the fact that a queen bee wants to join the outcasts. Don't get me wrong she makes a great character, and add to the story, but you do not see this a whole lot queen bees and outcast meddling.

Conclusion

The conclusion was great, it made sense, everything came together nicely. This book is the prefect Halloween read for me, therefore I rate this 4 skaters!  I did not get invested in this book as some of the 5 star reads on here so that is why it is stuck at four instead of 5.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Swinging Saturdays # 72: Give Me My Medicine


Swinging Saturdays is a musical meme hosted by Ice Cold Passion, to share our passion for music. The goal is to make a top 5 (or Top 10) for whatever genre or artist you like or get creative and share a theme based music top 5. For example a bookish soundtrack, funny songs, song to listen to on a rainy day top 5.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

On Stage: The Pierce Brothers - Throwback post

Who: The Pierce Brothers
Support Act: Lukas Batteau
Where: TivoliVredenburg, Pandora, Utrecht
When: 5th of August 2017

Lets do a little Throwback post, of something I wrote but for some reason never published. Last year I went to see the Pierce Brothers in TivoliVredenburg Utrecht. Here is what I thought of this concert.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Books: Wolf Tamer ~ Yumoyori Wilson


It is high time my blog is getting back to normal and there are actually things happening on my blog. Imagine that!  Today I am sharing with you the Book blitz for Wolf Tamer! 

It sound like a great read! I love paranormal romance and wolfs..