Across the Pond : Review of "Botanica Blues"

I discovered a downside to the Kindle app on my Android the other day (well, I guess it applies to ebooks in general). I’d taken my tablet to finish this story while having a meal before a Blink 182 gig in Manchester. Great gig by the way, All-American Rejects were fab too.

Anyway, I settled down and continued reading … an event happened … the book ended.

The book ended! I wasn’t even thinking about considering the fact I was nearly at the end of the book. You see with a dead-tree you have this dead giveaway – you can *see* that there’s only a few pages left. With an ebook there’s no visual clue unless you obsessively check the little numbers that appear when you tap the screen.

I was like “what?” And then I was sad coz the book had ended.

So enough waffling let’s get back to the book, well short story I guess would be more accurate. Tristan sent me this to see if I’d like it and would care to review it on Troll in the Corner. I am always more than happy to try out new (to me) authors so I immediately said yes.

Botanica Blues can be described as many things – urban-fantasy, indie, sci-fi/horror, crime thriller – but when it comes down to it labels don’t really matter, it’s whether you enjoy a book or not. I enjoyed this (I wouldn’t post a review otherwise).

The blurb

Luis Quintana must uncover the horrible truth about his newest case as a consultant for the local police – a ritualistic mass murder. When his investigation involves a frightened santero and an old friend in an asylum, Quintana recognizes the lurking terror he escaped once before and subsequently fights to maintain his sanity.

A modern day Lovecraftian tale of terror.

It opens with a spilled drink & a text message and ends … yeah, you don’t think I’m that mean to tell you how it ends do you?  Suffice to say that Tristan’s evocative words provide your mind with images of city life, death and tell of a threat from somewhere people have never imagined.

There was only one little, teensy-weensy thing I had a problem with, and this might be because I’m from England so don’t come across it very often. I didn’t understand the few Spanish (?) phrases. OK, I could have looked them up in Lady Google but I’m lazy and I had no internet access where I was.

But that was the one, only and less than atom-sized beef I had – I really enjoyed discovering Tristan’s words and will be hunting out other words she wrote to add to my (rather long) ‘to-read’ list.

In short – Botanica Blues was readworthy, well-crafted, complex,  interesting and left me wanting to read more of Tristan’s words.

Here’s where you can sample  Botanica Blues (personally I’d just skip the sample and buy it).

tristan j tarwaterTristan J Tarwater is the author of The Valley of Ten Crescents series, as well as several other stories that hope to see the light of day. Born and raised in New York City she remembers reading a lot, visiting Museums and the Aquarium frequently and wanting to be a writer from a very early age. Her love of fantasy and sci-fi spills over into what she reads and watches in her free time as well as the collection of dice, books and small metal figurines that reside in her home. She currently lives in Central California with her Admin, Small Boss, a cat that knows it’s a multipass and Azrael.

Find more info and links to her work at Back That Elf Up

Look out for my interview with Tristan later this week.

4 thoughts on “Across the Pond : Review of "Botanica Blues"

Add yours

  1. I do loove me some modern day Lovecraft, in fact any Lovecraft really, but there’s one I’ve read recently, in comic book form that kinda missed the point, and now I’m worried about anything I read in case it makes this mistake.

    Alan Moore, there was simply no need to explain why what happened actually happened in the Neonomicon comic book! Lovecraft should be all about the great unknown, with even the denouement leaving more questions unanswered. With this in mind, how does this book stack up?


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