Reading Update: The Immortalists (Varya)

20180802_1906265326587727603823312.jpgI am finally finished reading the final section of The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Since that fateful day on Hester St. in 1969; we’ve watched the Gold children evolve from children, who’s curiosity once guided them to a Romani gypsy for answers, to adults plagued by the knowledge they’d received.

The youngest Gold; Simon, urged by elder sister Klara and fueled by his death date, ran from his home of NYC to make a name for himself in San Francisco.  Embracing his sexuality, he finds love and a hidden talent. He insists on making the most of his life, fated to die young. His curtain closes in the 80s, and he is lost to the AIDS virus.

Obsessed with the other-wold and guilt-ridden over the loss of Simon Klara begins a downward spiral full of drinking and hallucination. Though she manages to marry and have a child. She too cannot escape the damning reminder of her date and actually claims her own life to make it come true.

Eldest son, Daniel, military doctor and beloved son of the Gold family seemed determined to live past his date. Though as his time loomed closer, the knowledge that he was “meant” to die drives him mad. Agitated by what he knows and determined to bring the woman of Hester St. to justice for perceived crimes against his family, he is gunned down after assaulting the woman.

And then there was one…

Varya Gold was the only one left. She’d been born first, was fated to live the longest yet, we never really meet Varya until her own section. I’m starting to realize that this story may have always been about Varya.  Starting with the prologue told from her point of view.  We meet the woman on Hester St. through Varya’s eyes. She is the only onw who’s conversation is shared with the reader and she is also the only one who’s full date is varyarevealed in the beginning.

I’ll touch more on how the book plays out if this was always about Varya more in the actual review but for now I just wanted to mention the one thing that may have kept Varya alive longer than her siblings.

Varya had a sickness, a fear of dirt and germs. A compulsion to wash herself and to minimize physical contact with others. She enjoyed books, a means of coping with the isolation, however, even before Hester St. she’d begun to distance herself from her family afraid that death was always lurking behind the corner.

Yet of all the Gold children she, the eldest, would have the longest life. We rejoin Varya sometime after Daniel’s meltdown and death only to discover that she is lead researcher at the Drake Institute for Research on Aging.

Her siblings seemed obsessed with ensuring they lived their lives to the fullest. Varya seems determined to live.

Using Rhesus monkeys as test subjects, in a caloric restriction experiment, she is trying to prove that eating less will improve longevity.

A quandary that sparks a philosophical debate in her section.

Is it better to live a lesser life in order to live a longer one?

Up to this point the going concept has been that ‘Thoughts Have Wings’ hinting to the idea that the thought that they’d die on a certain date drove each Gold to their deaths. Varya, suffering from OCD had a preoccupation with death long before the fortune teller and her cautious life seemed to keep her alive.  Yet she’d sacrificed so much for those extra years.

antiagingVarya is also taking part in the restrictive experiment, her OCD has caused her to live alone, and she is unmarried. We discover she had a son, and placed him up for adoption as a baby. Something that comes back up in her later years.

Varya’s section is much less about her preoccupation with the woman’s prophecy and more about how far she was willing to go to save herself.  Varya’s own illness is far more foreboding than the woman’s fortune especially since it said Varya dies at the age of eighty-eight.

Varya is the only Gold to survive the story, she visits with their mother and watches as Ruby, Klara’s daughter grows into a woman. She visits Robert, Simon’s love who has moved on and found happiness surviving with the virus that claimed her brother’s life and she’s able to attend the wedding of Daniel’s ex-wife who was finally able to find peace and a new family to call her own.

Varya’s chapter ends looking towards the future as she chooses to live for the first time in her life.

 

What Do You Think Of Varya’s Section?

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

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Reading Update: The Immortalists (Daniel)

img_20180425_120532_0424410834466623584749.jpgAs you all know by now, I’m reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Thus far we’ve spent the last forty years keeping a close eye on the Gold children, who visited a psychic back in 1969. The Jewish siblings, let their curiosity guide them to a woman on Hester street and her prophecies sets each Gold child on a different path.

Simon discovers his sexuality, true love and a hidden talent. But his bright stars burns out with the introduction of the AIDS virus. Guilt-ridden for encouraging Simon to chase after his desires, (and therefore urging him to live his best GAY life) Klara embraces her magical talents, her grandmother’s legacy and the other world that seems to be beckoning to her. She takes her own life ensuring her prophecy comes true.

I managed to lightly skim a few GoodReads reviews and I completely disagree with whoever said the third chapter is when things get boring.

mil doc 1The chapters following the murky death of Klara Gold belong to her oldest brother Daniel, a military doctor who seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He recalls meeting his wife, their wedding day and glaze over the parts of their lives that overlapped Klara’s.

Daniel’s final days begin with a two week suspension unjustly given by a superior officer demanding he approve more soldiers for the “war” in Iraq. Daniel is committed to the service but does his best not to send anyone who isn’t medically ready.

With his free time that he never asked for Daniel finds his mind returning to the woman on Hester street. His date is fast approaching and there’s no real indicator that his time is up.gypsy

So Benjamin gives him a push in the right direction. The gentleman we meet in Simon’s chapter, Officer Eddie O’Donoghue who seems to be unluckily and inexplicably linked to each of them has arrived to give closure on a fourteen year case.

After discovering Klara’s dangling body, he’s befriended Daniel, claims to have been in love with her and gets the inclination that her death may not have been a suicide. (It so obviously was🤔)

Daniel’s revelation about the woman on Hester street finally discloses her identity to the reader. She is a Romani gypsy. Bruna Costella is not like her family and her gifts aren’t a hoax.

Daniel’s descent into madness is far more chilling than Klara’s wracked with guilt for not being more involved with his siblings he goes from respectable citizen to domestic terrorist.

Have You Been Reading Along?

What is Eddie’s True Role in This Story?

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Reading Update: The Immortalists (Klara)

c03aacba0d4db273714ae7278d8b75a57847845150090983815.jpgI’m still reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Following the demise of Simon; the youngest Gold and first to die, we enter Proteus and the magical life of Klara Gold. The youngest daughter of the Gold family, a magician who also dies pretty young.

Fated to die by the age of 31, I spent a lot of time trying to guess when specifically since it seemed pretty obvious that she was chasing the ghost of her grandmother. Klara has always been obsessed with the metaphysical, even enthusiastically agreeing to see the psychic in the first place.

After Simon’s death, Klara spirals into darkness. Her talent being squandered at dinner theaters around San Francisco. She rekindles her friendship with Raj one of the firsts people she befriended when they moved there. As the pair chase Klara’s dreams of stardom they fall in love and start a family.

Still she’s always seemed preoccupied with her grandmother, a former entertainer and circus act. Klara starts out chasing the metaphorical ghost of her grandmother and namesake, by following down the same path. This pursuit expands into a literal chasing of ghosts; believing she can communicate with Simon from beyond the grave. An obsession that may be a hallucination joined by or worsened by her drinking.

Finishing Proteus, it felt anti-climactic and murky. Obviously clarification will come with 0d28c783b66dd7ddde76fd77488fff241534858297714133199.jpgreading on but for now I’m stuck wondering. This may sound really rude or inappropriate but … did Klara kill herself? I was expecting her to plummet from the stage while performing the jaws of life.

I was a bit disappointed.

I was expecting her to die much like Houdini or Thurston since she was a magician and Benjamin felt the need to mention them. The section heavily details Klara’s alcohol abuse, I’d  assumed she’d get drunk and slip from the rope. I even considered that maybe she would get into a car accident or acquire some kind of alcohol related illness.

Instead the final pages of Proteus were chaotic as if the reader is sharing in Klara’s drunken manic thoughts. She was fated to die January 1, 1991.

Her show was set to open on that date. What I thought was a mounting excitement for the opening performance seemed to be Klara’s descent into madness.

66c4c4d1c75df30b1df8fc26360d6adc597159403258541548.jpgThe final moments of the scene seem to be the young mom and Vegas starlet’s intentional demise.

Whereas Simon’s choices may have still led him to the same path regardless of his move. It seems Klara’s end was by her own hands. Was she insane or truly in touch with the spiritual world?

Grief and guilt over Simon’s death was the root of her drinking problem. Her obsession with magic and the metaphysical more poisonous than any bottle.

Klara was able to find love and start a new generation but her focus was always on the past she couldn’t change. The father she no longer had. The brother she couldn’t save.

My biggest question from this section of the book is…Did Klara fulfill her own prophecy?

 

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Have You Been Reading Along?

Do You Think Klara Fulfilled Her Own Prophecy?

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Bookish Thoughts: Invisible Library Wrap-Up

20180731_1510192610916188086602074.jpgI’m a bit obsessed with The Invisible Library right now. The entire concept of a secret society traversing dimensions collecting specialized works of fiction was enough to lure me in but the story was basically as the blurb described; Sherlock Holmes with a twist of magic.

It gave me a taste of steampunk which I absolutely loved because I’m intrigued by the genre but haven’t been able to tear myself away from my normal reads to actually break into my stash of steampunk novels. I bought an anthology and what was described as a ‘must read’ for people interested in breaking into the genre.

I’m still working on fine tuning what kinds of books I truly love to read. I read most fiction, but have been known to peruse the occasional memoir. The Invisible Library was found in the Fantasy section of the bookstore.

It happens to be a Book about books, mystery and for some reason classifies as a Young Adult, with a touch of steampunk. I’ve always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes story. I also enjoy whodunnit’s (dinner theatre), clue (both the game and the movie) and suspense/thriller/horror. I was genuinely worried that the hodge-podge of things happening with the book would be overwhelming. It was pleasantly surprising that the story was cohesive and a real testament to the author.

I keep thinking about their codenames. In the book Irene mentions that the initiates get to pick her name and that Kostchei (the deathless) had chosen his name based on the fable. This makes me wonder if all the agents of  “The Library” were named after other previous book characters. So I googled….and google didn’t know.

Then I went to GoodReads…and i’m waiting for a response….

and then there’s always the twitter verse…screenshot_20180801-224534_twitter4132641945363581948.jpg

and so far no one has answered.  But, I’ll keep checking on the answer to that because I’m dying to read the story of Bradamant. I’m also curious to know which Irene she’s supposed to be. I enjoyed the fact that it was only 329 pages. I feel like my limit is approximately 600 pages but I wouldn’t read two of those kinds of books back to back.

The reviews for The Invisible Library  are mostly favorable. Some people didn’t like the blending of so many fantasy elements but the majority at least accepted the concept of alternate realms that allowed it to work.

The description for The Masked City has me drooling!!!

Irene’s mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it’s always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

I refuse to borrow this book. I must claim it for my own!

Therefore I’ll be going back for The Masked City, The Burning Page and The Lost Plot very very soon.  I was literally about to read another Gregory Maguire book. I absolutely love his work. Just for kicks I’m working my way through a list of his work. I have to finish The Wicked Years series . Now I’m going to read The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin because the cover just popped into my head. I’ve been meaning to read this book for some time and have heard a lot about it. All seem great but I haven’t read any reviews so that I don’t have a biased opinion.

Happy Reading!

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What are you reading?

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!

 

Check out my Review for The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman click Here!

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Bleu Reviews: The Invisible Library

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The Invisible Library By: Genevieve Cogman Rating: 5 out of 5

***There May Be Some Indirect Spoilers, I Try To Be As Vague As Possible ***

Another book completed to add to my 2018 Reading Challenge. After finishing Renegades by Marissa Meyer, I was looking for something different. I even considered that YA may no longer be for me.

My interests tend to linger on the more grotesque of topics and the more gore the better in my opinion.  As a result of fine tuning the specific kinds of books I like, I stumbled across this series and it just topped my list of MUST READS.

I originally discovered this book while doing a Bookstore browse and was actually pulled in by the fourth installment of the series. That book’s cover had a Great Gatsby layout that piqued my interest, but, as an avid book collector and lover of series I had to start with the first book to be sure it was worth the time.

Though still technically a YA novel, “The Invisible Library” turned out to be more exciting than it sounded. The book was full of my favorite things; an amazing creatively developed world, with well-rounded, expertly written, relatable snarky characters. A img_20180624_231004_5964887169042057646425.jpgcreative magical system that uses actual language, (both written and spoken) to thrive. Secret Societies dedicated to the procurement of specialty works of fiction, “By Any (most) Means Necessary” Alternate worlds offering various pending adventures as well as misadventures and a female protagonist, which I’m always down for.

There is even mild sexual tension between characters Irene and Kai and a possible love triangle if we are willing to make Vale a true contender for her affections. Those who enjoy a little romance to break up their action will be pleasantly occupied with the developments there. Cogman did an impressive job developing the plot.

The mystery aspects of the novel were so well conceived that the reader was gradually transported to the same conclusions the characters themselves reached around the same img_20180624_230527_3388987632588590467996.jpgtime. I will admit, on a few occasions, I even guessed at some of the scenes. A true indicator that I was connecting with the story.

The Invisible Library, was a relatively quick read and I would have finished it sooner, if not for family emergencies and a dread of finishing before I had time to buy the next book. This is one series I’m considering borrowing from the library.

I choose my fantasy mostly based on the entertainment factor,  though, a few books manage to toss in an underlying message that I have to dissect later. This book had such a quality. The nature of the library isn’t to interfere nor is it to become attached, yet in essence it’s function seems to be a contradiction.

Agents must intervene in order to intercept the works of fiction, either passively as in most missions (as explained by Irene) or through more direct methods as displayed in the story. Likewise forming attachments, at times prove useful as secrecy isn’t always best when trying to gain information.

I was satisfied with how the first book ended understanding that there is more to it since there are four completed works in this series. I love the overall concept that a secret society of librarians exist to gather books from alternate realms. The Mythos behind it’s forming and its true nature are also things I’m looking forward to learning more about. Very eager to get my hands on the next book, which the author was so kind as to include as an excerpt in the first one.

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What’s Your Favorite Book About Books?

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Bleu Reviews: Renegades

 

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Rating: 4 out of  5

I have finally read a book written by Marissa Meyer and considering the page count, I’m very proud of myself.  I fell into a reading slump during this book, and had to switch to an audio book to actually complete the novel but I finished and i’m still on track for my 2018 Reading Challenge.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer is a YA novel all about superheroes. Very much in the way of X-Men, these “prodigies” (mutants, specials whatevs) were being persecuted for their gifts and were only free of that persecution after a revolt. What would later become the villains were originally the ones willing to fight to end the system that oppressed them. As usual with these sort of things, the power went to their heads and we were faced with a decade of anarchy.

My favorite parts of this book would be the plot and underlying message the book itself conveys. In Renegades, post anarchy, the Renegades are both the police force and  the governing body. Civilization has ground to a halt and prodigies are relied on for everything. It makes me think of the Powerpuff Girls, Too Pooped to Puff  (Season 2, Episode 3) it seems the non-prodigy citizens of Gatlon have fallen into the same boat.

The worst part of the read was really just the pacing, the action scenes were fast-paced, easy to get through but the delivery of backstory  d    r     a    g    g    e    d …  and it killed me at times to read. I finally caved and hunted down an audio book on YouTube.

20180624_152315I love that the two main characters have triple identities and that you can see where at times Nova truly believes in the intent of the Renegades mission while not necessarily agreeing with their existence.

Nova was my favorite character, her inner turmoil made getting through the slower parts more enjoyable. I especially love where the first book leaves her and I’m eager to find out what happens to her next. Sketch is easily overshadowed as far as characters go though he is very well written as the “all-american” golden boy, it feels pretty cliche at times and the only thing changing that was the introduction of the Sentinel.

There are definitely a few plot twists I hadn’t seen coming, but for now I’m only finishing the series because I started it and want to know what Nova plans to do next. I did hear that this was also going to be a graphic novel. I’m much more interested in seeing what the story looks like.
 

Who’s Your Favorite Villain?

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You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Renegades Read Along (Chap 1 – 15)

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Currently Reading: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I was having some trouble getting through my read of Renegades and was hoping to add some excitement in hopes of finishing the book. So this is me trying to spice things up with what will hopefully be a new permanent addition to the blog. For more on what I thought about the first fifteen chapters watch the video below!

 

 

What Do You Think of The Book So Far?

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com