Something Wicked Returns Day 9! We are almost a third of the way through this month of terror. I hope you are keeping up with all the terrific guest posts and giveaways! I can't wait to share today's guest post with you, it is a fun one! Before we get to that please be sure to check out these posts:
Maja@The Nocturnal Library : P.J. Hoover: Solstice
Now you are wondering who I have posting for you today.....I am thrilled to welcome
author Jay Kristoff! Seriously, his writing is epic! I loved last year's Stormdancer and Kinslayer was a worthy sequel! I am in awe of his talent. Not to mention he has a great sense of humor. I love reading his guest posts, and today's post is no exception. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jay and his amazing books, let me tell you a bit more!
Jay Kristoff is the author of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press & Tor UK. The first installment, STORMDANCER, is out now. Part 2, entitled KINSLAYER, will be released in September 2013.
Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13870 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.
He has a sweet beard.
He does not believe in happy endings.
You can stalk Jay on his website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Here is Mr Kristoff posting on movies that scared the bejesus out of him:
It’s the done thing to talk about scary books when you’re an author in a post like this, but I figure everyone will be doing that, so I’ll talk about scary movies instead. *speshul snowflake alert*
I used to love reading horror books when I was younger – Stephen King and Peter Straub, Richard Matheson and Clive Barker were my favorites. But I can’t remember many of them giving me cause the change the sheets. I rarely have nightmares. Or if I do, I sleep so well, I don’t remember them. Seriously, I am excellent at Sleep. I could sleep for my country at an Olympic level. I think it’s my mutant power – the only thing preventing me from donning a cape and fighting crime is the fact I can’t think of a better name than SleepAnywhere Man. Super villains would just laugh at that shit.
Thing is, with even the scariest book, you have the luxury of closing the cover when confronted with panty-soiling terror. But in a movie theatre, there’s no real escape unless you want to do the walk of shame - running up the aisle all arm-flaily while everyone else snickers into their popcorn. And I could never do that because I WAS A MAN, DAMMIT.
So instead, I’d just sit there and quietly wet myself. Which is WAY more manly, you know.
So here’s my top 5 scary movies of all time.
5. The Amityville Horror (The 1979 version, not the remake which is bad)
Now this is kind of a cheat, because I’ve never actually seen this movie all the way through. But when I was about ten years old, I decided I was going to watch it on television. My mother told me “no, you’re too young” but to hell with that (I WAS A MAN, DAMMIT). So when my folks were watching some documentary about dwindling panda bear populations in South East Asia or somesuch, I snuck into the spare room and turned on the TV to watch.
I lasted about ten minutes. I lasted to this scene, to be precise. And then I fled the spare room and sat down in front of that panda documentary and WATCHED THE SHIT OUT OF IT.
Hey, I was ten.
4. The Texas Chainsaw massacre (The remake, NOT the original – heresy, I know)
Now people rag on this remake, and is does kinda crap the bed in the last act – a 6’6 lunatic with a chainsaw is never going to be able to sneak up on someone and jump out at the scariest moment while the violins go VRRREEEEEEK!! because CHAINSAWS DO NOT MAKE GOOD NINJA WEAPONS. But, the thing that made this one scary for me was the usually stupid, stupid teenagers in horror films were actually kinda smart. They did the right thing – when weirdness happened, they went to the cops, they never split up and went off by themselves to “cover more ground”. And they still ended up getting hacked to pieces by a lunatic with a chainsaw.
So yeah, stay the hell out of Texas is my advice.
Chestburster scene . Nuff said. You will never look at a bowl of noodles the same way again.
2. The Thing (The 1982 version, not the 2011 prequel, which is lock-the-director-in-the-cupboard-and-beat-him-with-a-stick-bad)
Now, the visuals on this film are dated now, but bear in mind it’s 30 years old. At the time, nothing like it had ever been seen before. The idea of the book/film – that an alien organism capable of perfectly replicating a human being is hiding amongst an isolated group – was scary enough. But when the Thing started actually doing its . . . well, thing, shit got rrrrreal. There’s a couple of scenes in the third act, where stuff gets really crazy, being the Autopsy scene and the Blood Test scene.
1. Paranormal Activity (The first one)
To my knowledge, this is the only movie I’ve ever seen that actually gave me nightmares. Specifically this scene, from about the 30 second mark. The subtlety is what gets me – totally silent, the actors not doing anything. But the idea of someone standing beside your bed motionless for two hours just watching you sleep . . . My nightmare was exactly that. It was so real, I flew out of bed, aiming a kung-fu kick at the imaginary stranger. Given that I do not know kung-fu, and there was no one actually there, it did not end well.
No more paranormal Activity movies for Jay :P
Ha ha! I love it! I totally agree about that scene in Paranormal Activity. For the record, not a good movie to watch while you are pregnant! Amityville Horror scared the pants off me, too. I guess it was an eighties thing. Anyway, a huge thank you to Jay for taking the time to post here today. I am extremely grateful and appreciative that I was able to host JAY KRISTOFF! Seriously, a totally fangirl moment for me! Finally, the best part... the giveaway. Thanks to the folks over at Macmillan, I have a copy of Kinslayer up for grabs. To enter read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Kinslayer(Lotus War #2) by Jay Kristoff
The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously – by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.
A DARK LEGACY
Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.
A GATHERING STORM
Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat. The ghosts of a blood-stained past. Hardcover, 432 pages Published September 17th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Four and a half stars: A stunning, emotional, action packed sequel.
Yukiko is still licking her wounds after slaying the Shogun. She is overcome with grief for her father. Not to mention that suddenly using her Kenning ability is causing her horrific pain. She seeks answers to help her better control her gift. Unfortunately, Yukiko doesn't have much time as there are wedding plans being made. The Guild is plotting to place a new Shogun on the throne through marriage. If they succeed they will ensure years more of tyrannical rule and the continuation of the Lotus Guild. It is up to Yukiko, Buruu and the rest of the Kage to stop them before it is too late. Can Yukiko and Buruu prevent a new Shogun from ascending to the throne?
What I Liked:
- If there was any doubt after Stormdancer that Jay Kristoff is a writer to be watched, I can assure you that with Kinslayer he proves that he is one hell of a writer. I am absolutely in awe of his amazing story telling talent. His work is complex and beautiful, heartbreaking and haunting. I will be reading anything this man writes in the future, because I know that he will continue to impress me!
- I was blown away by the complexity of this story. Kristoff brings us several new characters, from the fierce Michi, a servant in the palace who hides a secret agenda, to the gutter rat waif, Hana, the palace chamber pot maid, who is willing to sacrifice everything for the revolution. Even though I was always anxious for the story to get back to my favorites, Buruu and Yukiko, I grew to love these two fierce young ladies. Old favorites return as well. I was impressed at how Kristoff managed to weave together all the characters' story lines effortlessly.
- Once again, the interactions between Yukiko and Buruu make the story shine, and in this book they tend to provide some much needed comic relief. Buruu's reactions to kissing and human mating made me giggle. I adore this duo, and I found myself eagerly waiting for the story to return to them when it steered away. Buruu is just awesome, enough said!
- If you enjoy books that are action packed, this one will not disappoint. There is rarely a quiet moment in this one, and it does manage to continually keep you on the edge of your seat as you wait for the hammer to drop. I must warn you once the hammer falls it is a gut wrenching experience. Mr. Kristoff spares no mercy with his characters, and you are a helpless witness to some horrific suffering. This is a book that will grab your emotions and hold them hostage until the final pages. It is an intense read!
- I loved that this book was completely unpredictable. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen next, Mr. Kristoff pulled some big punches and slapped me in the gut. The story is packed full of jaw dropping surprises. Don't get to comfortable because this book rears up and bites!
- The writing is absolutely superb. I am amazed and in awe of Jay Kristoff's talent for stringing words together. His images are stunning, his metaphors stirring, and his overall story telling is off the chart. He also manages to pack in a hefty dose of emotion, and he does sprinkle in some comic relief that will make you smile. I cannot possibly convey to you how awesome his work is. Truly, you must experience it for yourself. I continue to be blown away by his books.
And The Not So Much:
- Mr. Kristoff professes that he does not believe in happy endings, and I think he went out of his way to prove his point in this one. Kinslayer is dark, gritty, bloody and it left me a wreck at the end. He goes through all the trouble to make me care about new characters, only to thrust them into terrifying and horrific circumstances. Seriously, he doesn't let up. I think he made it his goal to see how much he could toy with your emotions. This is a book that plunges you into the chaos and terror that come before the storm of war. I can only hope that the third book will pull us through the darkness and bring a somewhat satisfactory conclusion. After this book, I am not holding out hope for any type of a happy ending. Mr. Kristoff deserves an ass kicking for breaking my heart! Seriously, the scene with Hana and her cat was my undoing.
- As I mentioned, this book introduces us to many new characters and story lines, and in all honesty, it is a lot to keep track of. There are so many people coming and going and shifts in the story that it made my head spin. This is a complex read that you need to take your time to wade through. If you don't devote your full attention you will be utterly lost.
- The overall tone of Kinslayer is dark and bleak. There are few bright spots but they are further and further apart as the story goes on. If you are faint of heart, this may not be the read for you. Not only does Mr. Kristoff grab your heart and then stomp all over it, but he also manages to terrify and appall you with numerous gory and horrific scenes. Be prepared going in for lots of violence.
- My biggest complaint, aside from the fact that Mr. Kristoff messed with my emotions, was that this book didn't have as much Buruu and Yukiko as I would have liked. Their appearances in the second half are sparse. I adore this dynamic duo, and I found that I was always longing for the story to return to them. Not that I didn't come to love the new characters, but all in all, I prefer more Buruu and Yukiko.
Kinslayer is terrific sequel. The only reason it didn't earn the coveted five star rating is because it broke my heart and it was gritty and dark. The story telling is top notch, the characters are unforgettable and the writing is superb. I cannot tell you how much I admire Mr. Kristoff's books, despite the fact that he crushed me. If you are in the market for a book that will leave your breathless and set your heart hammering get this series immediately! Just keep in mind, his books are not for wussies!
"IT TAKES COURAGE TO SAY GOOD-BYE. TO STARE AT A THING LOST AND KNOW IT IS GONE FOREVER. SOME TEARS ARE IRON-FORGED."
"I don't know what....happens between men and women...." Yukiko raised an eyebrow. "I mean, I know what happens happens," Kin added hastily. "I mean, I know what goes where and that there's supposed to be flowers, and poetry fits in somehow, too but...."
"A world too vast and lonely now that her brother wasn't there to share it. An emptiness never filled. A hand never held. A question never answered."
"Family," he would say. "There is nothing more important in this world. Show me a man's friends, I will show you the man. But show me a man's sons, I will show you his future."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Tomorrow I will be featuring April Tucholke's Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea!