NIGHT FILM by Marisha Pessl

This psychological, genre-bursting/ busting literary thriller took me on a high-speed chase into a Byzantine rabbit hole into the quirkiest, eeriest, darkest parts of the soul. Investigative reporter Scott McGrath is on a quest to exhume the facts of a young piano prodigy’s tragic end. Ashley Cordova, 24, daughter of cult-horror film director, Stanislav Cordova, was found dead–allegedly a suicide. The now reclusive director (30 years isolated from known whereabouts) is the reason for McGrath’s ruined reputation five years ago, and Scott is hungry to turn things around, upside down, and inside out to pursue Cordova again and save himself. And to disinter the “truth,” which itself can be an illusory concept in this cat and mouse thriller.

January 11, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2013 Favorites, Horror, Literary, Mystery/Suspense, New York City, Reading Guide, Thriller/Spy/Caper

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morganstern

Illusion and reality intersect and overlap to reveal a luminous, mesmerizing character– Le Cirque des Rêves (The Circus of Dreams). As the sun is the center of the solar system, the Circus of Dreams is the central character of this enchanting tale. Like a magnetic field, Le Cirque des Rêves pulls in other characters like orbiting satellites around a bright star. This isn’t your childhood circus–rather, this is more in tune with Lewis Carroll or M.C. Escher–a surreal and hypnotic place of the imagination and spirit.

September 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Debut Novel, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

THE TWELFTH ENCHANTMENT by David Liss

THE TWELFTH ENCHANTMENT, by David Liss, starts off promisingly. It is the early nineteenth century and our heroine, Lucy Derrick, is a twenty-year-old orphan who is living unhappily in Nottingham, England, with her cruel uncle and an abusive woman named Mrs. Quince. Although she was well-educated by her late father, Lucy was left almost penniless when he died. She is at the mercy of her vicious uncle, Richard Lowell, who cannot wait to be rid of her. In fact, her uncle plans to give her hand in marriage to a thirty-five year old, dried up prune of a man named Olson, the owner of a local hosiery mill.

August 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Scifi, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

VACLAV & LENA by Haley Tanner

Once upon a time, in the exotic land of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, a young boy named Vaclav – an aspiring magician – falls in love with a thin, skittish girl named Lena. And, like any alchemy, the combustion is magical…and it endures.

There is a refreshing fairy tale quality about VACLAV & LENA, a lovely debut book by Haley Tanner. Slowly but surely, I fell under the spellbinding tale of this would-be magician and his girl. It’s an endearing tale that unfolds with gentle fireworks rather than major pyrotechnics – rather like the magic seen in the starlit sky on a summer’s night in Coney Island.

July 4, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, NE & New York, New York City

ON STRANGER TIDES by Tim Powers

My review is of a paperback reprint of a Tim Powers novel, ON STRANGER TIDES, first published to a good deal of critical acclaim in 1987. No doubt the success of the new movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” inspired the reprint.

June 12, 2011 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Alternate History, Caribbean, Speculative (Beyond Reality), y Award Winning Author