Slight wrap up & Review: The Secret Life of Laszlo by Roderick Anscombe

Before the review, just a catchup. I’m doing that thing again. I feel this requirement to read responsibly, like I have to answer to someone. I made a list for October, mostly spooky reads, but had some library books come available. This is the problem with not actually going to the library. I put things on hold, and then when they come available, I have 21 days to read what I’ve checked out. So in the midst of reading spooky reads, I got Royal Assassin by Robin Hobbe, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo for my Kindle. (All those links are the reviews on the blog for those books). All of them were good, I’m glad I read them and I wanted to read them. I’ve even gotten the physical copies of TW&TD and SOC. But they took up a lot of my creepy read times. I kinda want to continue my list, and that’s why you’ve seen so many horror reviews. However… now I want to read what I want to read. This is why I don’t make TBRs. I feel stuck to it… and I end up reading books I “think” I should be reading, out of some obligation rather than what I want to read. I also tend to get caught up in readalongs at the wrong time, and can’t do ones I want to do…. Then I manage to get my head pulled out of my butt and say STOP DOING THAT! READ WHAT YOU WANNA READ! And that’s where we’re going from here.

The next books in line is a re-read of the Lunar Chronicles. The final book in the series, Winter, came out and I am ordering it tomorrow. For now, I’m starting at the beginning because I read these so fast I don’t remember a lot of things. 🙂 Looking forward to it.

There is also a Harry Potter read-and-watchathon going on Tumblr. I re-read the first book for the first time in two years. Sadly, I’ve just read the first two books too many times. They are the most middle grade of the bunch and I just couldn’t stay focused on it. Don’t get me wrong – this is one of the best series in all of literature – yes, literature. The worldbuilding is amazing. The characters grow and develop, it’s also a lot of fun and adventure. I am looking forward to getting into the rest of the books – 1 book a week for the next 7 weeks, with viewings of the movies on Saturdays.

One of the books I am in the middle of is The Dracula Dossier by James Reese, which I had high hopes for. It’s supposed to be a hodgepodge manuscript “found” by some mysterious benefactor who has put together all this evidence along with a “dossier” that is Bram Stoker’s journal. It’s supposed to have something to do with Jack the Ripper and how Stoker is mixed up in it. The first 80 pages or so are incredibly boring because it’s just a journal where he details his life with Henry Irving and the Lyceum theatre and bitches a lot. I even put it down at one point. Wanting to get it read, hoping Jack would pop up eventually, I picked it up again and came across then name Dr. Tumblety!!! DR TUMBLETY! In case you don’t know, he’s an American who might be Jack the Ripper. Well, the excitement didn’t last long, because it got real boring again and I put it down again. I don’t know if I’m going to finish it.

Now for my review of The Secret life of Laszlo, Count Dracula

2.5 out of 5 misled stars

I thought this would be about Dracula. Like, the Dracula. It was not. This was about the second son of a Hungarian count named Laszlo Dracula, studying at the Salpetriere, a mental hospital in Paris. Being a second son, he has to make his way in the world, and he’s decided on medicine. There is nothing about paranormal vampires in this, it’s about Laszlo’s descent into madness and murder. It’s not even gothic. But it did take me about 200 pages to notice this. It’s a personal diary, detailing his life, obsessions and crimes. I thought it tripped along pretty well until I realized what I wanted from the book was missing. By this point, Laszlo was obsessed with two women  – his cousin, the beautiful and very French Nichole, and Stacia, a right minx. Lazlo often thinks women are minxish. It seems every woman within 100 meters wants to throw their virtue at his feet. There is also a secret society that tries to be a big deal but isn’t but could have been. At one point, I wondered if all this was in his head. That’s the only thing that kept me going. I thought a lot more was going on… but those things never developed.

Basically, Laszlo goes from forlorn, innocent med student to whoremongering virtue destroyer. (Even his first prostitute was a virgin.)  I don’t know how I feel about it. I felt like there wasn’t much of a point to it.  I was just reading a list of murdered women. And meh. Or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. I am surprised I finished. I think if Laszlo had actually been insane or paranoid this would have been a better book.


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