Friday, October 7, 2011

Review - The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere (3/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy/Horror
Size: 224 pages
Publisher: ChiZine Publications
Release Date: April 15, 2011
ISBN: 978-1926851129
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from
Rating: 3/5 stars

I got an ebook of this book through NetGalley(dot)com. This was an interesting collection of short stories all based around a bookstore called Lost Pages. The stories are some-what ambiguous and quite varied as far as their content goes. They were an okay read, but the writing style wasn't spectacular and the stories were all a bit vauge.

The book starts with a intro that's nothing special. It's followed by a prologue and six additional stories all featuring a girl named Aydee and a bookstore called Lost Pages. The stories span a number of years and in the background feature a battle between some good and evil Gods; all of which is tied into the various stories.

I will start by saying this is a collection of stories for adults. The first couple stories are intriguing and relatively innocent. The first story talks about how Aydee left her home and ended up at Lost Pages. The following one talks about a young boy Billy who hunts monsters in his spare time and uses Lost Pages as a source of information. The stories that follow these have a lot of unconventional sex described in detail. There is sex with same sex partners, sex in groups, voyeurism, etc. Hence, the reason I would say adults only for this collection.

The concept of Lost Pages is a wonderful one, that all book lovers will enjoy. Lost Pages is a bookstore that contains books that don't exist elsewhere and cover topics that are magical or no longer remembered by the rest of society. People find the Door to Lost Pages when they need their life. Very cool concept.

The writing style of the story was so, so. With such an awesome concept I would have liked a more descriptive or sensual writing style; at times the style of the writing came off as a bit cold and a bit simplistic for the topic being covered. So, not my favorite writing style but okay.

All of the stories are tied into a battle between some good and evil Gods. This is the part that gets a bit ambiguous. The concept behind the Gods and what they are is never explained very well. It is all a bit confusing and blurry. Which may be what the author intended, but for those who don't like amibiguity in their literature this is just a heads up.

These stories have a lot of weirdness to them. The early ones remind a bit of Charles deLint but stranger. The later ones reminded me a lot of some of Elizabeth Hand's books (Waking the Moon
Black Light). There is no doubt that as a reader you are in for some weirdness when reading these stories.

Overall it was an okay read and a quick one. I loved the idea of the Lost Pages book store and enjoyed some of the strangeness in these stories. The tone of the stories changes a lot from the early ones to the later ones. There is a lot of ambiguity, as all the stories are tied back to some obscure mythology that is never very well explained. Because of this some of the stories are a bit hard to follow. I expected the writing style to be a bit more lyrical than it was, it was a bit simplistic in style for the creativness and strangness of the stories. For those of us who like strangeness in an urban fantasy setting I would recommend some of Elizabeth Hand's work, Catherynne Valente (absolutely beautiful writing with a large dose of strangeness) or Jeff Vandermeer over this collection.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- E-book Reading Challenge

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