Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

When Darkness Falls by Heather Graham (♦♦♦½)

Jade McGregor, a travel writer who lives in New Orleans, becomes one of the few survivors in a massacre occurred in Scotland during a historical tour of a cemetery on Halloween. What she claims she witnessed that night makes law enforcement authorities reconstructing events question her sanity.

A year later, back in New Orleans, Jade is dating a handsome, honest cop and she seems to have been able to overcome the tragedy until events in New York City and Massachusetts bring back the details of that night she has tried so hard to forget. Quite by coincidence, if there’s such a thing, a mysterious “virus” attacks people close to Jade and she meets in the street the devastatingly handsome stranger who saved her life in Scotland.

The stranger’s name is Lucian DeVeau, king of the undead, who is in New Orleans to protect Jade from the onslaught of attacks that have as targets the survivors from Scotland. As Jade becomes entangled with Lucian, so do her sister and friends who ultimately will aid in bringing down Sophia and Darian, two of the most vicious vampires the world has ever known.

I liked this book though I struggled with myself to keep reading based on the topic; vampires are not my favorite thing in the world. I told myself “yet another good writer who has gotten vampire fever” but the original publication date of this book is the year 2000, before all the vampire craze caught fire.

I found the book enthralling, particularly the parts about the vampires and I think it had to do with a great dose of closeness to what is known about them. In the Twilight series, for example, vampires were pretty much benign and at least Edward Cullen glowed in the sun. In When Darkness Falls, Heather Graham depicts vampires as blood-thirsty, savage creatures with sensual magnetism capable of attracting people and making them do things of which they’re not fully aware. Also, they become weak in daylight, that’s why they’re called “creatures of the night”. Garlic repels them, and holy water and sea salt burns them. In addition, they can not enter one’s house if they’re not previously invited in. Furthermore, they have to be decapitated or burned if they’re to be extinct. None of them are able to control whether they become good or bad, and there are laws governing them as well such as not being able to kill someone of their kind.

Despite my initial reservations, I thought When Darkness Falls was very good. The romance is sizzling hot and the characters very well depicted. I liked Lucian the best, and also liked the parts where Heather Graham describes Lucian’s beginnings as a vampire and his evolution to become king of the undead, fueled by the rage and hatred he had against Sophia, his maker.

In summary, When Darkness Falls by Heather Graham is not unforgettable but it’s a well written account of vampires that resembles more the legends than any of the books out there which deal with the same topic.

Favorite quotes:

  “He arched a brow. She did want to hit him again. He wasn’t just attractive; he was compelling in an almost frightening manner. Devastatingly good-looking, dark eyes, dark hair, and an air of self-confidence, assurance, even arrogance.” Page 173

  “He needed to concentrate completely.
  Centuries had given him the power to see well, to feel—a ripple in the order of things, a deadly maliciousness, aimed not even at the natural world, but at himself.
  Aye, his senses were attuned. His eyes were those of a wolf in the night, his hearing phenomenally acute. He needed only to let it come to him…
  It hadn’t always been that way.
  His lessons had been bitter.
  His retaliation even more swift.
  But now…
  They walked the earth again. In anger.
  And in wrath.
  Her turn. She wanted revenge. She thought that her time had come.
  She didn’t realize the depths of his hatred.
  But then…
  He had underestimated her power.” Page 222