mini review: Stone Field (Christy Lenzi)

Stone FieldIn a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.




























Not sure about this one. But then again, I was not sure about Wuthering Heights either. If I'm being honest, I spent most of my reading time confused about what Ms. Bronte was talking about... and Stone Field was pretty much the same experience for me.


Cat is definitely unstable. Stonefield might be a bit off as well, but I think I would lean more towards he's driven mad by intense emotions.  Since this is a very character driven book, let's discuss some of the characters: Cat, Stonefield, the preacher and Effie.

Cat is a lunatic. Period. Probably suffering from PTSD of some type, causing her to really behave in some crazy ways. Everyone copes with grief differently, so it does (kind of ) make sense that her guilt and grief drive her mad. Stonefield, on the other hand, seems more intentional. (Side note: I am also not convinced that he did not take advantage of Cat's mental state to get what he wanted earlier in the novel.) His race is questionable, but given the time period it's a pretty good guess that he's Native American (there was a hint about the Trail of Tears). I wanted to like both of these characters, but I never really could connect with them. Cat boasts extreme devotion one minute, then acts like a spiteful ex-girlfriend the next moment. Stonefield was not better, as he showed his very selfish side often.

Effie, on the other hand, came across as pretty straightforward. Her role was unique being that she was a minority during a time of slavery. Not only was she a minority, she was extremely intelligent and raised to be no one's inferior. Probably not the most historical accurate given the Southern location of the story, but it did make for interesting contrast to Cat. Effie and Cat were best friends, and much of the story relied on Effie to tone down Cat's craziness.

Finally, there is the preacher. Gag. I just can't even come to terms with him, but he was creepy! Again, I felt that he took advantage of situations to get what he wanted. (i.e. he claimed God told him to help Cat). I don't think God told him anything about Cat. I think he was a horn dog that saw her and knew she was a bit unstable and decided to work those situations to his advantage. He really wasn't a very likable character.

Overall, this one was intense at times and blurry at other points. It's a roller coaster of a ride and can be challenging to keep up with. But if you know the general gist of Wuthering Heights, you know how the story will end for Cat and Stonefield. 


Mini Review: Worlds of Ink and Shadow (Lena Coakley)

Worlds of Ink and ShadowCharlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been close. After all, nothing can unite four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict, spartan upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.
















This book had a really slow start. I almost gave up on it in fact. But I pushed through and ended up with a story that was rather fun to be part of.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow has an Inkheart feel to it. Characters from stories come to life both inside and outside of the fictitious settings. But there is a certain twist for sure. I enjoyed the folklore elements the story developed as the plot progressed. I also really enjoyed the characters, even if I felt some of them were a bit bland.

I think it's really hard to write a story with multiple main characters and give them each enough qualities that make them stand out individually. I have to admit, I do not know much about the Bronte siblings' personal lives, so I really can't say how accurate any of the character traits are. The synopsis hints at Branwell's madness, but you don't get a prolonged glimpse into that in the novel. Sure, there are certain events that contribute to his cloudy thinking occasionally, but it is short lived. For me, the depth was missing (and this is just one example).

I do, however, enjoy the writing. It was modern enough to keep it from feeling stilted, but still maintained elements of the time period to make it believable. I would recommend this one for any fans of the Inkheart series for sure. 


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