POVone: The First Person Perspective

Rants and Reviews on Novels Written in the First Person Point of View

Category Archives: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Book Review: The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

Author: Joanne Harris
Title: The Gospel of Loki
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Saga (Simon and Schuster)
Number of Pages: 315
Narrator: Loki
Quality Rating: 84.5

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

What’s It About?

Loki is born in Chaos, a murky underworld lacking form and substance. Curious about Asgard, the world of the gods above, he wanders from his home and runs into the Allfather–Odin. Forming a pack with the Allfather, Loki agrees to use his dark magic and cleverness for Odin’s cause in exchange for a home among the gods.

The other gods are not so taken with Loki. And, when Loki gets himself into a pinch from a bargain he makes with a contractor, the gods wish to put him to death. Thus begins a series of exploits Loki pulls off to cunningly get himself back into the good graces of the gods.

Eventually, Loki realizes that he’s never going to be truly accepted among the gods. So, instead, he sets out to destroy them. One by one, he begins to seek out weaknesses to exploit in the gods–playing them against one another to his own end. Nevertheless, as he becomes increasingly entangled in the world of the gods, he wonders whether his mischief is only going to end in his own demise.

Should You Read It?

If you are a fan of Norse mythology, you’ll love this book. The tales of Loki incorporate many well-known legends–amending them slightly with cynical and capricious slants. If you enjoy the kind of story where the archetypal villain is cast as the victim, you’ll also enjoy this story. The narrative is written in a sarcastic and whimsical manner, so if you enjoy that sort of tone, you’ll be intrigued by Loki’s account. If these criteria sound appealing to you, you may want to give this book a shot.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Reviews: The Guardian, The Independent, Kirkus Reviews, SFF World

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Joanne Harris: Runelight (2011), The French Maket (2005), Chocolat (1999), many others

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Book Review: Love is Red by Sophie Jaff

Author: Sophie Jaff
Title: Love is Red
Genre: Suspense; Horror
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 384
Narrator: Katherine Emerson, The Sickle Man
Quality Rating: TBD

Love is Red by Sophie Jaff

What’s It About?

As the city of New York suffers from the fear of a relentless serial killer dubbed “The Sickle Man, Katherine begins a new relationship with pleasant and personable David. Her interest is rocked, however, when he introduces her to his best friend. The friend is sullen and aloof–everything David isn’t. And, still, Katherine finds herself drawn helplessly and erotically to this mysterious man.

Meanwhile, The Sickle Man strolls from victim to victim, recounting how he gains the trust of his prey just before slaying them and describing the peculiar way he sees the world. These victims are nothing to him, though. They are merely the build-up to the one who will fulfill his dark purpose. In the end, he will complete his sinister mission by taking the life of Katherine. It is, he believes, their destiny.

When The Sickle Man murders someone close to Katherine, she must fight for the one she has left. But, how can she protect him when her own life is in danger? If she is to escape the inhuman psychopath pursuing her, she may just have to lose some of her own humanity in the process.

Should You Read It?

It’s difficult to pin this book down to a particular kind–it’s fairly unique. First and foremost, it is a psychological thriller. The methods and descriptions of the serial killer are harsh and disturbing. There is also a trace of romance/erotica–with a few intense sex scenes and sexual imagery embedded throughout. Finally, and this really comes to fruition in the final chapters, there is a touch of the supernatural horror–complete with ghosts and dark prophecies. What really stands out about this novel, though, is the rich language of the serial killer. His metaphors are vibrant in texture, abundant in quantity, and utterly original. If you’re looking for a thriller written with a poetic flair, you should definitely give this a shot. If you’re sensitive to vulgar content, though, you may want to avoid it. This novel is intense.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Reviews: Kirkus Reviews, My Bookish Ways, Under My Apple Tree, Blog Critics

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Sophie Jaff: Love is Red is Sophie Jaff’s debut novel.

Book Review: Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

Author: Krassi Zourkova
Title: Wildalone
Genre: Fantasy; Paranormal; Romance
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Number of Pages: 384
Narrator: Thea Slavin
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: B, Very Good; of the first 43 reviews, the average reader rating was 83.26%.

Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

What’s It About?

Thea Slavin is a musical prodigy who has come from her home in Bulgaria to study at Princeton University in America. Soon after she arrives, she develops a relationship with a man who seems helplessly attracted to her. She is drawn to him as well, but she knows that he is harboring a secret that could tear them apart.

Years ago, Thea’s older sister had been a student at Princeton. She had mysteriously died, and her body had been stolen–and never recovered. As Thea researches the circumstances of her sister’s death and disappearance, she discovers that her sister may have been involved in the secret practices of a Dionysian cult.

Within the family history of the Slavins is a legend about wildalones–mythological women who imprison men to their wills. As Thea finds out more about her sister and this strange yet irresistible new man to whom she is drawn, she begins to believe the myths may hold more truth than superstition. The question is–will she be able to handle the truth about her lost sister and her new lover when it is finally revealed to her?

Should You Read It?

The comparisons on the cover jacket to The Secret History, Jane Eyre, and Twilight are fitting. The story is like The Secret History in that it’s heavily couched in Greek mythology–particularly that involving sex and debauchery. It’s like Jane Eyre in that Thea’s lover does have a “secret wife” of sorts “hidden in the attic.” Finally, it’s like the Twilight saga not only in that it involves a supernatural love triangle but also in that it consists of the erotically tense interplay between a dominant male and a submissive, albeit stubborn, female. Although the plot would certainly fall under the umbrella of a paranormal romance, the poetic nature of the writing style could qualify the book as a literary work. References to the supernatural are subtle–laced with mystery and ambiguity. The erotic intensity, however, fills the pages from start to finish. So, if you enjoy paranormal romance but also are drawn to something a little more high brow, I’d definitely recommend Wildalone.

Links and References

Author Information: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Reviews: Kirkus Reviews, Dark Matter Zine, Urban Fantasy Magazine

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Krassi Zourkova: Wildalone is Krassi Zourkova’s debut novel.

Book Review: Saint Odd by Dean Koontz

Author: Dean Koontz
Title: Saint Odd
Genre: Paranormal; Supernatural thriller; Mystery
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Bantam (Random House)
Number of Pages: 352
Narrator: Odd Thomas
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: A-, Excellent; of the first 1,840 reviews, the average reader rating was 90.85%.

Saint Odd by Dean Koontz

What’s It About?

Odd Thomas, a 20 year old fry cook with a gift for communicating with dead people, is returning from Nevada to his hometown of Pico Mundo, California. Years ago, a massacre had occurred at the now-abandoned town mall. Odd has the feeling that something is going to happen again–and, this time, it’s going to be even worse.

As he reconnects with old friends, Odd begins to investigate the savage cult that pulled off the massacre so long ago. Attempting to discover their plans for his city, Odd finds himself as their target and must continually try to avoid drawing them to himself. Nevertheless, he can’t shake the premonition that his end is near and he has come back home not just to save his city but also to die in it.

Will Odd be able to prevent the coming tragedy? And, if so, at what cost? Along with introducing a few new characters, this final installment in the “Odd Thomas” series concludes with tying up some loose ends and resolving some mysteries that have been pervasive throughout.

Should You Read It?

If you enjoyed the rest of the “Odd Thomas” series, you’ll probably find some closure in the finale. With less action and more introspection, those who enjoy Dean Koontz’s more character-driven works will probably enjoy Saint Odd more than than those who prefer his more fast-paced stories. Although the genre would still fall under the supernatural thriller umbrella and there are some gritty and somewhat spooky scenes, Odd communicates more with himself than he does with the dead in this final installment of his “memoirs.”

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Interview with USA Today

Book Reviews: CheerUp Magazine, Horror Novel Reviews

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Dean Koontz: Saint Odd is the final installment in a series of seven. The first six novels in this series are, in order of release, Odd Thomas (2003), Forever Odd (2005), Brother Odd (2006), Odd Hours (2008), Odd Apocalypse (2012), and Deeply Odd (2013).

Book Review: The Damned by Andrew Pyper

Author: Andrew Pyper
Title: The Damned
Genre: Supernatural Thriller; Suspense; Horror
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Number of Pages: 304
Narrator: Danny Orchard
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: I, Insufficient data; there are not enough ratings to accurately gauge the average reader rating.

The Damned by Andrew Pyper

What’s It About?

Danny Orchard is a thirty-something year old Detroit native coasting along on the dwindling fame and fortune from a book he wrote over a decade ago. The book, an inspirational memoir about his experience coming back from the dead, has led him to associate with a group of people with similar experiences who hold largely optimistic beliefs about the afterlife. Danny never really thinks about hell but, as the events of the story unfold, he finds out that it is just as real.

Danny had died attempting to save his fraternal twin sister, Ashleigh, from a fire. After he is brought back, the memory of his sister continues to haunt him. But Ash was no innocent victim–she was a developing psychopath that destroyed their family and left a path of destruction everywhere she went. While Danny is glad she’s dead, he cannot shake the feeling of her presence as he goes about his everyday life.

When Danny falls in love with a woman and her young son, Ash becomes more than a memory. Her ghost comes back from the dead seemingly to drag Danny back into the fire she feels he should have died in. With the safety of his new family in jeopardy, Danny must solve the mystery behind Ash’s death and find out exactly what she wants–before he runs out of time and she kills him for good.

Should You Read It?

If you’re into fast-pasted, supernatural horror–a good haunting story–you’ll probably enjoy this book. With a few chapters of backstory, the author jumps right in with scene after scene of disturbing imagery surrounding the haunting. If you’re sensitive to such content, you may want to pass. But if you enjoy the genre, this book embodies it. The writing is quick and the mood eerie–with graphic descriptions of terror largely outweighing depth of characterization and complexity of plot.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Reviews: NOW Toronto, Kirkus Reviews, That’s What She Read

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Andrew Pyper: The Demonlogist (2013), The Guardians (2011), The Killing Circle (2008), Etc.