Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian

cobweb brideCobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian

Published: July 1th, 2013 by Norilana Books

Buy this book at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books A Million / Book Depository

Synopsis:

Many are called…
She alone can save the world and become Death’s bride.

Cobweb Bride is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father … Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…

And everyone is trying to stop her.

Rating: 2 star

Review:

I received a free copy of this book by the publisher in order for an honest review.

I have literally no idea what to make of this book. It just….I don’t know. The idea behind it was just so interesting and intriguing. I read the synopsis and thought, wow this sounds so good. And it just wasn’t. It had its good points to be sure, which is why I gave it two stars but at the end I was just left shaking my head and wondering what the hell was going on.  Be warned, BEYOND THIS POINT THERE BE SPOILERS!!

The characters in this book were really good. I fell in love with them and wanted to hear more about them.  Well, okay, most of them. Some of the characters seemed completely useless but most of the main ones were good ones. Percy was fun, though I think she was trying too hard to be philosophical and that got old after awhile. Grial was funny and amusing so I liked having her around and frankly I thought she was around for much too short a time. Beltain was alright but he struck me as a complete wuss. He caved in to his father, he caved in to the Princess, he caved in to Percy…this man is an expert flip flopper. And most of the other characters were so vacant that I hardly noticed or cared that they were there.

I was really pissed off by the only romantic angle in this book. So basically the Princess (Claere) is stabbed to death by a Duke who believes that his family has been hard done by her father. But she can’t die because Death is no longer taking souls. So she talks to him and takes him with her on her journey to Death’s castle and…..falls in love with him. Dear God seriously? This goes so beyond the YA addiction to showing abusive love relationships. This is violent from before they ever even talk!? He killed her for the love of God! I was so angry about this I couldn’t even speak. I predicted that it would happen and it pissed me off when it did.

I was thoroughly confused about many aspects of this book and frankly, I still am puzzled. It makes no logical sense at all. For example, Death shows up and says that he is not taking souls anymore until they find his Cobweb Bride and brings her to his keep. So I tried to think why everyone in the world wouldn’t just say, alright fine we’ll just live forever then. Apparently the author wondered this too so decided to force the world’s hand by making animals unable to be slaughtered or cooked…which makes sense because animals have living souls. But then also says that plants can’t be cooked….um why? Do plants have souls in this book too? That was never addressed. And there are plenty of plants and vegetables that don’t need to be cooked to be eaten so why are we not eating those instead? And even if you couldn’t eat why would the world still not just say screw off we’ll live forever? I don’t understand this at all.

But then it gets even more confusing when they arrive at Death’s keep. Death says that he can’t keep taking souls because every time he takes a soul he gives them a part of himself and then when they die that part comes back to him. But this woman, his Cobweb Bride, was supposed to die and he gave a piece of himself to her and then she didn’t die. Which rendered him incapable of taking souls until she returns that piece of him. So, if he is incapable of taking souls then why did he say that he was CHOOSING not to take souls? Which is it? I still don’t know. But then he manages to give a piece of himself to Percy so that she has some of his powers and can go find his Bride and bring her back…and somehow that means she can take souls. How? If Death isn’t capable of taking souls then how can he give that ability to Percy? Or if Death really was choosing not to take souls then why would he give that ability to Percy and why would he say that it was because he couldn’t?

I am just so confused by this book. I wanted to like it, I did like certain parts of it, and the rest just confused me. I won’t be reading any more of this trilogy, even if I was promised to get some answers.

Strange Ideas: Death, Destiny and Decisions by Louise West

Strange_Ideas__Death_Cover_for_Kindle Strange Ideas: Death Destiny and Decisions by Louise West

Published on May 18th, 2013 by the author

Buy this book at: Amazon

Disclaimer: The author provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you Louise!

 

Synopsis:

Strange Ideas: Death, Destiny and Decisions- four brand new tales to creep you out and mess with your head, plus another chance to read the popular short story, Late: a ghostly tale.

A Flip of the Coin: Do you believe in Heaven and Hell? Jimmy didn’t, until a stranger appeared at his death-bed with a shocking proposal…

Stamp: Ben awakes from a one-night-stand with a hangover and an unusual souvenir. What does it mean? And what happened to the girl who gave it to him?

Rock God: Adored, idolised, worshipped. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, pop stars are treated like gods. But how far do their powers actually go?

Superstition: Laura knocks on wood, avoids black cats and never walks under ladders. Her husband calls her a freak. Maybe he’ll wish he had believed her…

Late: a ghostly tale: Long after the children have escaped for home, a lone schoolteacher is working late. But is she really alone? Is someone there that she can’t see? And, if so, what do they want?

 

Rating: 4 star

 

Review:

First a breakdown of how I arrived at my rating.  This book contains 5 short stories, the 4 stars is the average of how I felt about each story.  Individually I will discuss the stories here.

A Flip of the Coin: 4 stars.  This was a good story to begin with because it allowed you to dip your toes into this collection and get a feel for how things would proceed.  The story itself was very intriguing as well, which helped a lot.  It set the bar for the remaining stories in a good way.  It was very reminiscent to me of the “weighing of the heart” ceremony in ancient Egyptian religion.  They believed that when you died, you stood before Osiris and he weighed your heart against the weight of the “feather of truth”.  If your heart proved heavy then you did not go to salvation but if your weight proved light then you earned salvation in the afterlife.  This had the same idea behind it but with a more modern twist.  I really liked that.  The only place this story fell short was with the ending.  I appreciate that it’s a short story but I was hoping to not get left hanging quite that much.  But overall, I really liked it.

Stamp: 2 stars.  This story was something of a disappointment unfortunately.  It started off well and I was intrigued to see where it was going.  But once we were told about the stamps, my first thought went to “I bet it turns out like XYZ.”  Unfortunately I was right.  I was hoping there would be a twist in there someplace but it never came.  The story progressed (interestingly) in exactly the manner I thought it would from the beginning and ended the way I thought it would.  A good story but the predictability lowered the rating.

Rock God: 4 stars.  This little storyline was the most surprising for me.  I started off thinking that I wouldn’t really like it that much.  I suspected I knew where the story was going and I just wasn’t in love with the narrating character.  To be perfectly honest, she came across like a bit of a selfish bitch.  I didn’t really like her that much.  But then the story took a turn when things starting getting explained.  I found myself giving my book a sideways glance and thinking “No, you didn’t just do that did you?”.  The ending however is where this became so great.  I didn’t see it coming at all because I was so wrapped up in everything else that was going on.  Truly a great little piece.

Superstition: 5 stars.  This one was my absolute favorite of the entire collection.  It was interesting and intriguing but humorous too.  Usually when I find myself giggling in books like this isn’t because it’s so terrible but not so for this one.  I found the narrating character delightful and I was so amused by her that I forgot there was supposed to be something strange about this whole thing.  The story flowed so naturally and I just loved it.

Late: 1 star.  This last story just didn’t do it for me.  It started off alright and I was intrigued with what was going on but the novelty quickly wore off and I wanted something to happen.  And it did, but then went from exciting into rather mundane.  For some people this may be a great story, but it bored me after awhile.  I have to admit that I started to skim and considered going back to Superstition to read that again instead.

 

 

About the author:

Head_shot

Louise West is currently teaching and surviving in rural Lincolnshire, famed for its beautiful open sky and not much else. She dreams of rainy days and cups of tea. She and her faithful terriers love long walks on the beach, where they can bounce in the surf and she can paddle with her shoes on. She will only eat trifle if her Nan made it.

Sometimes she has Strange Ideas.

Sometimes she writes them down.

 

Links:

(Blog) www.louise-west.blogspot.com

(Book website) www.strangeideas.webs.com

(Author website) www.louisesloveoflife.webs.com

(Amazon UK) www.amazon.co.uk/Louise-West/e/B00AMMTWW8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1367835864&sr=1-1

(Amazon US) http://www.amazon.com/Louise-West/e/B00AMMTWW8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1367836012&sr=1-2-ent

 

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www.goodreads.com/author/show/6567552.Louise_West