Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake by B. Batiste (Moon Investigations Book 1)

Title: Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake
Series Title: Moon Investigations
Author: B. Batiste
Date Started: December 23, 2017
Date Finished: January 6, 2018
Reading Duration: 14 days
Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural, Mystery

Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake coverPages: 215
Publication Date: January 1, 2018
Publisher: Self
Media: Kindle


If you are a magical or mythical creature in your human form or other and need help the police can’t or won’t provide, come on down to Moon Investigations. Where help may be only a spell away. 

On the island of Crystal Lake where technology and magic are intertwined, magical gangs will rob and or curse you and dragons strut their stuff down the street, anything can happen. 

Private Investigator Hazel Moondance tries her best to help those in need. Family members of the missing, forgotten and runaways are her main clients. So, when a mother comes to her looking for her daughter Rose Stone, Hazel is determined to find her. With the help of a bounty hunter and a seasoned witch, Hazel must sort through the life and secrets of Rose. She finds a secret that leads to other unsolved cases and a ritual that could destroy the island. 

Now Hazel and her helpers must find Rose, the other missing girls and the person who took them before the night of the Emerald Stars or it will be too late.


This is an excellent witchy mystery that doesn’t rely on cliched tropes.  Of course there’s magic and mythical creatures, but it reads more like a “whodunnit?” with a variety of magical characters.

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The State of the Reader: 9/12/18

<–The State of the Reader: 8/29/18          The State of the Reader: 9/26/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 4


Books DNF: 1

Title: The Riddle of the Wren
Author: Charles de Lint
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: August 26, 2018
Date DNF: September 5, 2018
Reading Duration: 10 days

The Riddle of the Wren coverMedia: Physical (Library)

This is one of those books I would’ve devoured in high school.  It’s an old school fantasy (published in 1984) by one of my favorite authors back then.  This was actually his first published work…and it shows.  It’s not bad, but you can see where the cracks haven’t been smoothed over.  When I’m less concerned  with how a story gets to where it’s going and more about how the characters resolve it, I know it’s not something I’ll enjoy reading, and I’ll usually just flip to the end to see how it all plays out.  I didn’t bother doing that with this one.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer #1)

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Started: August 26, 2017
Date Finished: December 20, 2017
Reading Duration: 116 days
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult (YA)

Strange the Dreamer coverPages: 528
Publication Date: May 28, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Media: Hardback


The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?


When we become waterlogged, and the cage disintegrates, we will intermingle.  When this paper aeroplane leaves the cliff edge, and carves parallel vapour trails in the dark, we will come together.

-Dear Esther

The dream is strange and strange is the dreamer.  Lazlo, the only other name he has.  A war orphan raised by monks, he very early on falls in love with story even as he’s near broken by abuse, and the one tale he can never forget is of the forgotten city of Weep.  Lazlo’s passion for this lost land is equivalent to mine for Final Fantasy VII, which no one can ever quite share.

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The State of the Reader: 8/29/18

<–The State of the Reader: 8/15/18          The State of the Reader: 9/12/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 8

There were a lot of sales these past two weeks, and I’ve started getting emails from Goodreads for deals.  I also conveniently just received Elric today in the mail.  I’ve been looking for this book forever.  It’s either ridiculously expensive or nonexistent, so I was happy to get it for less than $10.


Books DNF: 2

Title: Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood
Series Title: Monstress
Author: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Date Added: August 21, 2017
Date Started: August 9, 2018

Monstress, Vol. 2: The BloodMedia: Paperback (Library)

When reading something becomes a chore and it’s not a reference, it’s time to put it to the side.  The artwork is gorgeous, but I really don’t like the main character, so I don’t really care about her journey and mission.  This is another one where you’d think I would; I mean she’s trying to piece together her dead mother’s life, but I was more interested in the little fox and the two-tailed cat.

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Parallel by Anthony Vicino

Title: Parallel
Author: Anthony Vicino
Date Added: May 9, 2015
Date Started: November 19, 2017
Date Finished: December 12, 2017
Reading Duration: 23 days
Genre: Science Fiction, Novella

Parallel by Anthony VicinoPages: 94
Publication Date: November 17, 2014
Publisher: One Lazy Robot
Media: eBook/Kindle


Hari and Gerald tore a hole in space and time. It’s a small hole, but it’s a big problem. A pinprick to a new Dimension. Too small for either Hari or Gerald to fit through, but it looks pretty. They’re about to learn that pretty things can be very dangerous.

Ryol, Ambassador to the Lenoreans, must investigate the Rift on behalf of the Alliance. What she finds there could usher in the destruction of every world she’s ever known.

Time is running out for the Lenoreans to discover more of the precious energy source that powers their world. Perched upon the brink of calamity their fate is inextricably tied with Earth’s. Now, with the fate of both worlds in her hands, Falia must decide which planet to save.


In opening a portal to another dimension, two scientists arouse the attention of a far more advanced alien species, the Lenoreans, with an interest in whether or not our planet has the energy their world needs to survive.  These aliens have technology that allows them to divide their attention/consciousness between numerous tasks, so the character Ryol could be having a conversation with you while simultaneously monitoring several integral systems on the Lenorean home world in addition to paying attention to events on other planets.  They can also alter their biochemistry to survive on otherwise uninhabitable landscapes and restructure their minds to cope with new stimuli.  In short, if they wanted our planet, they could easily take it.  The only thing that slightly annoyed me about these aliens was that Ryol was describe as “tall and blonde” because of course she’d have to be.  Them looking human/being humanoid is perfectly understandable in the scope of the story, but there’s no reason aliens always have to fit the most privileged model.

The story itself was fantastic.  It didn’t go at all how I expected, and the author pulled no punches at the close, leaving an ending that while hopeful was still bittersweet.

4.5 stars.

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka

Title: The Metamorphosis and Other Stories
Author: Franz Kafka
Date Added: June 12, 2017
Date Started: September 14, 2017
Date Finished: December 1, 2017
Reading Duration: 78 days
Genre: Fiction, Classical Literature, Satire, Short Story

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories coverPages: 224
Publisher: Barnes and Noble Classics
Publication Date: July 1, 2003 (first published 1915)
Media: Paperback


Virtually unknown during his lifetime, Franz Kafka is now one of the world’s most widely read and discussed authors. His nightmarish novels and short stories have come to symbolize modern man’s anxiety and alienation in a bizarre, hostile, and dehumanized world. This vision is most fully realized in Kafka’s masterpiece, “The Metamorphosis,” a story that is both harrowing and amusing, and a landmark of modern literature. 

Bringing together some of Kafka’s finest work, this collection demonstrates the richness and variety of the author’s artistry. “The Judgment,” which Kafka considered to be his decisive breakthrough, and “The Stoker,” which became the first chapter of his novel Amerika, are here included. These two, along with “The Metamorphosis,” form a suite of stories Kafka referred to as “The Sons,” and they collectively present a devastating portrait of the modern family.

Also included are “In the Penal Colony,” a story of a torture machine and its operators and victims, and “A Hunger Artist,” about the absurdity of an artist trying to communicate with a misunderstanding public. Kafka’s lucid, succinct writing chronicles the labyrinthine complexities, the futility-laden horror, and the stifling oppressiveness that permeate his vision of modern life.


This is going to be more of an analysis than a review due to the classic nature of the work.  Spoilers will not be marked.

Most writers write about themselves.  It is both an inherently selfish and selfless act.  To speak too much of oneself is narcissistic, but to share that self with the world in the hopes someone might understand upon reflection requires a vulnerability most narcissists cannot bear.

Franz Kafka’s works were greatly influenced by his relationship with his father, Hermann Kafka, who is described as “authoritative and demanding.”  We’re introduced to this paradigm in “The Metamorphosis,” and it manifests even more in “The Judgment.”

Kafka’s writing is brilliant in its absurdity.  While ridiculous and surreal things happen to his characters, the author’s message is far from it.  He uses the absurd to speak of the profound beginning with “The Metamorphosis,” where the main character Gregor awakens one morning to discover he’s been transformed into a gigantic bug.  It’s interesting to note that Kafka never wanted any depictions of the creature, because its appearance didn’t matter.  It was a “gigantic vermin” that poor Gregor had the ill luck to now be.  He’s confined to his room and often fed by pushing sustenance beneath the door.  The sister or the mother would sometimes and warily venture in to clean, and Gregor usually hid himself to not terrify them.  He is unable to speak, no longer possessing a human mouth, though his mental faculties remained the same.

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20 Questions Book Tag

Another one from the indomitable Writer Michelle Payne.  I think I can answer 20 book questions 🙂

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

Hm, that’s one of those “it depends” questions.  If the series remains fresh and relevant, keep going, but if the plot lines are going stale and the characters are stalling, I think it’s time to retire it.  I’d say 20+ books is too much with the same characters and setting.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

They’re evil and I love them. Re: Strange the Dreamer.

Strange the Dreamer cover

3. Hard copy or paperback?

I prefer paperback.  They’re easier to carry around and to read.  Hardback usually has an annoying cover that, while aesthetically pleasing, tends to flap around and get in the way.

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