Like a magpie, I am a scavenger of shiny things: fairy tales, dead languages, weird folk beliefs, fascinating religions, and more. (Author’s note)
…she was the one artists would want to draw…She was the one who would someday know a dozen ways to wear a silk scarf, how to read the sky for rain and coax feral animals near, how to purr throaty love songs in Portuguese and Basque, how to lay a vampire to rest, how to light a cigar, how to light a man’s imagination on fire. (p. 24)
It wasn’t a Gothic cemetery; there were no mossy angels weeping miraculous tears of blood, no crypts or curses or crumble. No poets or courtesans were buried here; no vampires slumbered belowground. … Even the dead loitering here spoke of dull things, like the one who worried she’d left the stove burning when she died. (p. 45)
(Goblin Fruit pp. 1 – 55)
Lips Touch: Three Times
by Laini Taylor
Toronto: Scholastic, 2009
I read two interesting books over the last three days. They were both novels with playlists, a concept that I found intriguing. They were both urban fantasy; the new name for modern horror, if you will. One was about werewolves and talk radio and the other was about vampires and Rock and Roll from its beginnings to now.
Kitty and the Midnight Hour is the first book in the werewolf series and I liked it enough that I will be reading the others. It is by Carrie Vaughn, go explore her site to find out more. The playlist she included in this book is the music she listened to while writing about Kitty.
It’s the second book that I want to talk about today. Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready. It is, according to the cover blurb, a novel of sex, blood and rock ‘n’ roll. Which, these days, usually means, vampires are involved. I have a fascination with vampire stories. Now, I’m no naive Chanterelle (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Lie to Me: Season 2: Episode 7 etc.), I don’t believe vampires to be blessed or benign or real.
I like urban fantasy. I like history. This novels gives me both. I like learning something new. I don’t listen to a lot of rock music. I like folk, old country, indie stuff and many Canadian bands. I was a teenager in the seventies, rock music was still relatively new then. Rock ‘n’ Roll was everywhere so I know the basics of its history, its legends, if you will.
This story taught me a little bit more about rock ‘n’ roll; what it is, how it evolved, why it matters to so many of my generation. After reading these books, I went to YouTube to search for and listen to the songs. I had heard about half of them before. A new favourite is: Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifestyle by Cake, a band I’ve never heard of. (But will definitely be looking into further.) The playlist in Wicked Game is integral to the story itself.
I ended last week’s post with a quote. It is from a novel about, the blues singer, Robert Johnson. Robert supposedly sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads in Mississippi. To find out what that rock legend has to do with tonight’s novel go to Ms. Smith-Ready’s website and read about Monroe’s turning and then, when you’re done exploring the websites, read Wicked Game and write down when the sequel Bad to the Bone is coming out because you’ll want to read that one too!
So what, in my opinion, would make these books better. Sell me the music CD along with the book. Can’t be done, you say. Has been done, I say. Okay, arguably, it would be expensive to negotiate all the rights to the music but I think it would pay off in the long run. Anyone game to try?