Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry

Bacchanal, Veronica G. Henry, 2021

My favorite quote: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” 

Notable characters: Eliza (Liza) Meeks, the new recruit; Clay, the talent scout; Jamey, his assistant

Most memorable scene: There are a few that stand out, but my heart will always belong to Officer Anderson’s ill-fated excursion through the House of Wax

Greatest strengths: The concept. I can’t really elaborate without giving away surprises, but the whole idea — specifically, the idea behind the carnival itself — is pretty great

Standout achievements: That cover! I don’t know who designed it but could somebody go get them on the phone?  Seriously. It’s gorgeous 

Fun Facts: Bacchanal is author Veronica Henry’s debut novel 

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: The importance of characters the reader can connect with — which was something that, for me, this book profoundly lacked. There were other problems to be sure, but for me, the greatest failure here was the absence of engaging characters. My inability to connect with anyone made for a long, unsatisfying, and at times, tedious read 

How it inspired me: Henry has a powerful knack for figurative language that makes me want to broaden my linguistic horizons. You’ll see no “cute as kittens” or “happy as clams” cliches here. When Veronica Henry decides to plant an image in the reader’s mind, she makes sure it’s something you’ve never seen before

Additional thoughts: I wanted to love this book. I tried really hard to love it … but the best I can say is that it was okay. I certainly wouldn’t tell someone not to read it — I just wouldn’t break my neck telling them they should. It was a great idea — I just felt the execution was lacking. I love multiple points-of-view, but here they felt messy. The writing seemed rough-drafty, the plot got too scattered, and in this case, the genre-bending resulted in a narrative that seemed like it couldn’t make up its mind. There were moments when it felt like there was a good story in here trying to to get out, but it never quite broke the surface in my opinion

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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