It's been about four years since I last blogged. There are a lot of reasons for the silence. My family and I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I went back to school to earn my Doctorate. My mom died. And there were a lot of other things filling up my time and taking my attention. But over the past few months, dealing with this pandemic, I've been readjusting my time. I've been on social media way too much. I feel much better when I'm not on it, but at the same time, I like seeing pictures of people's pets and kids and knowing that they're all doing all right, or maybe feeling the same sense of frustration and despair, or finding joy despite all we're going through. I guess, for me, starting this up again is my version of whistling in the dark.
Before, this blog was about a little bit of everything, from writing to running to whatever I thought people might find interesting. I'm going to continue in that vein, but most likely I'll focus on writing and the books I've read. I've learned a lot over the past four years, but there's still much to go, and it helps to put it all down. But for this particular entry, I'm going to do a book review. Or rather, a review of a series I just finished.
I read through The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, a series by Theodora Goss, that follows several intrepid young women who all have one thing in common--they're all monsters, in a way. You may recognize some of the names of the members of the Athena Club--there's Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankenstein, Lucinda Van Helsing, and Alice/Lydia Raymond. They're joined by Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in their adventures, as well as others along the way. The series combines some of the early fantastic works of fiction to create an atmosphere that is simultaneously delightful, lightly romantic, poignant, spooky, and mysterious. The Athena Club is like Scooby Doo meets Nancy Drew. It was pure, wonderful escapism for coping with the current Covid-19 pandemic, but it was deeper than that as it commented on feminism, science, eugenics, and what it means to be family.
The second book in the series is the largest, by far, and a bit intimidating to pick up. But it was the one I flew through the quickest. There are some slow moments in the overall series, but nothing that made me want to put the books down permanently, and the characters were all so compelling that I could probably spend a good amount of time just "watching" them do the mundane tasks of their day. That is, when they're not going on adventures.
It's good to be blogging again. I let my website go because I hadn't published anything new in a long while. But I have a short story coming out later this year, and I'm working furiously on a new novel that will be part of a duology. More on that later! For now, I hope you find a good book to sink into that will let you forget about the really world for a little while.