I decided to put together a few mini-reviews of shorter books I’ve read lately, these are short, creepy reads and I wanted to put the reviews while we’re still in October, in case you’re looking for a quick read to meet any October reading goals!
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
First Publication Date: 1871
This was an interesting book that in the end failed to charm me, mainly because I had hoped for a dramatic, romantic Gothic story and although we do get a Gothic Sapphic vampire story, the main character Laura is very repulsed by it and it’s also implied that Carmilla only pursues female lovers after turning into a “monster”, which made me wonder if it tried to say that her inclination was something resulting from her unnatural condition. Still, this was a good read, the complicated relationship Laura has with Carmilla, her only companion of the same age in a long time, making her easily forgive Carmilla’s temper and eccentricities, and not once suspect that Carmilla may be lying when she says she, too, suffers from night terrors to distract Laura from the fact that she’s being visited by a vampire at night. This definitely gave me the same atmosphere as in Dracula (which this books precedes and has influenced!), so it was a great October read. I have many questions about the ending and have my own theory of what happens – I’d love to know if other readers came to similar conclusions! Let me know in the comments if you read Carmilla.
O Vilarejo por Raphael Montes, ilustr. Marcelo Damm
Data da primeira publicação: 15 de Agosto 2015
O Vilarejo é a primeira obra de Raphael Montes que eu li, uma coleção de histórias de horror unidas por uma narrativa. A história é sobre um vilarejo isolado que é amaldiçoado pelos sete pecados capitais, que assolam o vilarejo e o destroem de forma violenta e macabra. Junto com as fantásticas ilustrações, este livro tem uma atmosfera sombria e é o tipo de livro de horror viciante, que me fez devorar O Vilarejo de uma vez só (são só 100 e poucas páginas, então perfeito para uma leitura rápida!). Não dou 5 estrelas porque tive algumas ressalvas quanto aos únicos personagens negros da história, da forma como foram tratados… o autor deixa claro que isso é por conta da xenofobia, racismo e maldade das pessoas do vilarejo, mas me pareceu um toque desnecessário ao horror já presente nas histórias e mais para chocar o leitor. Fora isso, achei muito interessante e viciante a leitura e um dos melhores livros de terror que li esses tempos!
Eartheater by Dolores Reyes, trans. by Julia Sanches
First Publication Date: 17th November 2020
I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Eartheater is a dark, slim novel about a young woman who can find people when she eats their earth. Both shunned by the community and desperately pursued by families of missing girls and children, she grows up witnessing the violence that women in Argentina go through, the horrible things that happen to them when they’re taken and how little the police does, dismissing the disappearances as teenage rebellion. I had hoped for a powerful and lyrical story, but in the end I could not connect emotionally with it. I did not love the writing (perhaps it was the translation) and the plot itself did not feel like it was going places. I am normally fine with an open ending, and I see how not getting all the answers actually suits this novel, but some of the open points felt random and with no purpose, with the author just throwing half an information at the reader and then immediately changing the topic to something else and I’m still thinking about that and wondering why no one is talking about it. In the end, I thought this had a great theme, dark and magical, but missed on the emotional punch and too many open points for me. I hope other readers will enjoy this a lot more, since it’s such an unflinching exploration of women and children that are gone and forgotten.