Review: Disinheritance by John Sibley Williams

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I’ve read a number of poetry collections lately but they’ve all dealt with different themes. Here’s a really thought-provoking one that certainly inspires strong emotions:

Disinheritance by John Sibley Williams
Genre: Poetry

A lyrical, philosophical, and tender exploration of the various voices of grief, including those of the broken, the healing, the son-become-father, and the dead, Disinheritance acknowledges loss while celebrating the uncertainty of a world in constant revision. From the concrete consequences of each human gesture to soulful interrogations into “this amalgam of real / and fabled light,” these poems inhabit an unsteady betweenness, where ghosts can be more real than the flesh and blood of one’s own hands.

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With a theme like grief, you know to expect some pretty hard-hitting messages and this poet proves he’s more than capable of handling this topic. This collection is really powerful and evocative, and each poem has something important to say. If you’ve had personal experiences with grief as I’m sure many people have, it may be tough reading some of these poems but I think the poet does a really great job in discussing these feelings.

A few of my favourites that really struck a chord were Postpartum, Alight, and Teething. Some weren’t to my taste, especially those that were more disturbing, but I did enjoy reading each one. I especially enjoyed reading the titles of each poem, as many of them had a clear connection to the main theme even from this first “line”, like A Dead Boy Distinguishes Proximal from Distal, Bone River, and Preparations Have Been Made. Obviously the poet has a lot of creativity at his disposal.

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Spotlight: Pernicious-The Breakthrough by George Hofmann

If you’re in the mood for an adventurous read, check out today’s spotlight!

Pernicious imagePernicious – The Breakthrough by George Hofmann
Genre: Action / Adventure, Dark Fantasy

On the surface, Brad seemed like an ordinary man… with a steady job, a wife, and a son; his days were never extraordinary or even particularly interesting. Living in a small town with his family, his life was plain and simple. But Brad was far from ordinary, and his life was about to become much more complex.

Late one night, he is approached by a man representing a secret organization, one which Brad was once a part of. The man asks for Brad to help prevent a great catastrophe, one that would mark the end of humanity. A demon apocalypse.

Brad reluctantly agrees and is soon introduced to his new team, two young recruits only a few months removed from their training. Brad leads them against the scourge of demons that threaten to destroy their world. Their mission… to prevent a gate, connecting the two worlds, from opening.

If they fail, they will have to face armies of demons as well as the powerful lords that preside over them. If they fail to stop the gate from opening… the world will be consumed by death and destruction.

Brad and his new team must move quickly to prevent the horrors on the horizon. They will need to grow as a team, and individually, in order to stand against impossible odds. In order to save humanity.

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Review: Burning September by Melissa Simonson

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One meaning of the title of this book was much more literal than I was expecting! Perhaps more surprising though was how powerful this book ended up being – one of my faves of this year, for sure!

Burning September by Melissa Simonson
Genre: Literary Fiction

Kat’s life is going exactly the way her sister has planned it, until a detective shows up at their front door early one morning and arrests Caroline for murder.

Suddenly and utterly alone, Kat doesn’t know how to navigate a world without Caroline, the woman who raised her. During the aftermath of the crime, Kat tries to figure out who she is without her sister, but unlocking those doors only leads to more troubling questions.

Kat realizes the one person she thought would never lie to her had, and quite frequently. Sorting through the skeletons and secrets might be more than she can handle, but it’s a necessary evil if she ever wants to see her sister acquitted.

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I did have some issues with this book, which I’ll get into below, but I still really enjoyed it. The writing is so strong and that’s immediately evident from the first page. I was really impressed the entire way through! I think this is an author I’ll enjoy coming back to again and again, if this book is anything to judge by.

There’s also a lot of humour in this one, mostly in the dialogue as the sisters can be quite snappy with their remarks. Here’s one of my fave quotes:

“This is quite possibly the most idiotic thing you’ve ever done. And I’m counting that one time you asked me why it was called stainless steel.” (p. 197-98)

At its core, this story is about the relationship between two sisters. Katya has always lived in Caroline’s shadow, her beautiful sister who always turns heads and has everything go her way. Until Caroline is arrested for murder. Now Katya is left on her own, struggling to understand who she is without her sister.

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