Trembleath by Ruth Shedwick

4 Stars from me

This book spoke to me in so many ways – ah the joyous freedom of just pitching up somewhere new, living in a quaint cottage and working in the coolest bookstore in town!

Trembleath offers a wonderful mix of the perfection of the mundane, simple and humdrum, beautifully melded with the utterly unimaginable. It explores folklore, myths and legends and explores the unknown but in a very subtle way – there is the always the underlying ‘suggestion’ that things are not quite what they seem…

I have SO MANY QUESTIONS after reading Trembleath that I can only imagine this is to be the first in a series.

My thanks to @ruthshedwick and @damppebbles for letting me be a part of this #damppebblesblogtours

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb: Amelia Scott is re-building her life in Southern England following a disastrous relationship. It was going to be an adventure, but when she hears news of a young girl found dead and another goes missing, she quickly begins to learn there is more to Creek Bay than she could ever imagine.

A village hiding a dark secret, two families at war, Amelia Scott gets caught up in a murder investigation with dire consequences.

Help the Witch by Tom Cox

4 Stars from me

An odd little collection of short stories, most of which had me crying ‘Where’s the ending, that wasn’t an ending!’

A few favourites stood out:

Help The Witch
Speed Awareness
The Robot
Just Good Friends
Steve
Little Goth Twat
and the old lady hare one, I can’t remember it’s name

I would recommend dipping in and out of this book rather than reading them all in one go. I think they would be best enjoyed as standalone passages, leaving your mind free to indulge them.

What stood out most for me was that Tom Cox is a superb wordsmith and I think he should turn his hand to some new ‘fairy stories’ – I’m thinking Grimm not Disney. Tom Cox could bring new life to creepy little tales for children.

I loved the illustrations too, it is a beautiful looking book.

About: Inspired by our native landscapes, saturated by the shadows beneath trees and behind doors, listening to the run of water and half-heard voices, Tom Cox’s first collection of short stories is a series of evocative and unsettling trips into worlds previously visited by the likes of M. R. James and E. F. Benson.

Railway tunnels, the lanes and hills of the Peak District, family homes, old stones, shreds fluttering on barbed wire, night drawing in, something that might be an animal shifting on the other side of a hedge: Tom has drawn on his life-long love of weird fiction, folklore and nature s unregarded corners to write a collection of stories that will delight fans old and new, and leave them very uneasy about turning the reading lamp off.

The End Of All Worlds by T E Shepherd

The End Of All WorldsThe End Of All Worlds

by T E Shepherd

The author’s blurb reads:

Eleanor, a literature graduate with a passion for the old legends, is lost and feared dead when she becomes separated from her group on an expedition in the Icelandic Highlands, but emerges out of the wilds nine days later with stories of the huldufolk.

Ódinn, who has committed crimes in his own world and has been cast out to walk the world of men for all eternity, desires to return home. He enlists the help of Charles Ancell, a young, ambitious, aluminum developer to build a revolutionary new factory in the Icelandic Highlands to provide cheap metal. The techniques used will break apart the fragile bridge between the worlds. As a consequence of this our world and its climate is set to change irrecoverably.

Having finished The End Of All Worlds by TE Shepherd, I am now struggling a little with how to review it as it isn’t like anything I’ve ever read before which I think will probably come across in the review! It isn’t the type of story that I would generally choose to read and feel I owe TE Shepherd and apology as I’m sure someone who had read and loved Lord of The Rings, for example, would be better placed to give this review.

The story follows several ‘clusters’ of characters and often jumps between them to show different things happening simultaneously which is unusual and felt at times like it was possibly written a little in style of a film script?

Not a book to be dipped into and definitely not a light read. This is an in depth read that needs to be given your full attention if you are to keep track of everything that is happening as the story dips between present time and other times as well as differing simultaneous activities. It describes Iceland beautifully and has opened my mind to world of ‘hidden folk’ of which I would otherwise probably never have heard of.

The ending seemed to rush up upon me and the actions of some of the characters surprised me greatly. Personally though I think it’s always good for a story not to be predictable.

I think I got a little muddled with events in places but there is a handy guide to the characters at the start of the book. It always worries me when I see those in books though as it tells me that I am going to need my wits about me!

The little illustrations throughout the book are delightful and show that Mr Shepherd is clearly a very talented man.

I’ve read the book wondering if it is based on real Icelandic folklore and have just visited google and discovered that it is. The Huldulfolk and Alfar are alive and well in Icelandic legend – how cool is that: http://www.octavia.net/vikings/hulduf…

I found it difficult to gauge the age range that the book is aimed at and am still not 100% sure which makes it difficult to know who I would recommend it to. However, I think anyone who enjoys mythology and folklore would get a lot out of this book and I’d love to read a review from someone who regularly reads this genre.