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Quiver I don t know what I expected when picking up a book that so heavily features Elizabeth Bathory, but this was gorier than I was prepared for The other aspect is the toxic friendship with sexual tension between Maria and Danica, which I always find simultaneously engrossing and unpleasant. When I picked this book up at the library, I didn t know what it was The synopsis seemed intriguing enough, so I decided to give it a try Well, I guess not having any expectation was a good thing, because I didn t really get anything out of it view spoiler Dani, a psychiatrist, was the protagonist of the story I wouldn t call her a heroine at all, because I saw her as a victim throughout the entire book a victim of her own stupidity and brainless acts It was so damn obvious that her so c When I picked this book up at the library, I didn t know what it was The synopsis seemed intriguing enough, so I decided to give it a try Well, I guess not having any expectation was a good thing, because I didn t really get anything out of it view spoiler Dani, a psychiatrist, was the protagonist of the story I wouldn t call her a heroine at all, because I saw her as a victim throughout the entire book a victim of her own stupidity and brainless acts It was so damn obvious that her so called friend Maria, was a total bitch and had an agenda of her own, even from the beginning I couldn t understand how Dani wouldn t have seen through all of Maria s manipulations and machinations from the get go Seriously, you d think that someone who was a psychiatrist would be smarter andobservant than that right But no, our Dani here was just plain dumb and her curiosity was the root cause of her downfall She was in fact too juvenile in my opinion, and I wanted to dump iron on her head sometimes to see if it d make her less stupid Maria, on the other hand, was completely despicable, manipulative and there was no way anyone would really want to be friends with her, other than for the purposes of using each otherThe writing style of this book was confusing It kept jumping all over the place Sometimes it d tell a passage from a prospective killer s perspective, and then it d switch to Dani Even in Dani s POV, she d often reflect back on her encounters with Maria in the past And then of course the author would then switch to Bathory s letters Oh man, it was just too much switching and it took a while to get used to it The plot was completely predictable I could figure out that Maria was the bad guy since the beginning based on the hints that were dropped It was just too obvious hide spoiler All in all, the book had an intriguing premise based on an infamous historical figure, a fairly good start, but failed to capture my interest about a quarter of the way through because by then I had already guessed that the protagonist was being led on by the villain Meh I give this book 2 stars only I don t know what everyone was talking about with this book being slow I was hooked the whole time I wanted to keep reading and keep reading I like how it flip flopped in time a little and I like how it included the diary entries of Bathory I was just plain impressed.It ended well and I am going to go looking to see if there will be a sequel The story leaves it up in the air as if there could be a sequel. Fins this and other reviews at s writing is pretty decent for a debut, but I can t bring myself to go any higher than three stars She is definitely on the right track, I don t want to come off as discouraging, but the basic construction leaves much to be desired More than that though, I think the marketing department failed her in that they set the book up to be something it simply isn t I ll come back to the construction issues later I want t Fins this and other reviews at s writing is pretty decent for a debut, but I can t bring myself to go any higher than three stars She is definitely on the right track, I don t want to come off as discouraging, but the basic construction leaves much to be desired More than that though, I think the marketing department failed her in that they set the book up to be something it simply isn t I ll come back to the construction issues later I want to address the marketing issues first Quiver is advertised as a thriller No offense to Luhning or her publisher, but I wouldn t shelve this next to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Angels and Demons It just isn t that kind of book I personally feel it would do better if it were marketed as a contemporary mystery Quiver is a decent story, but it doesn t have the edge of your seat momentum you would expect from a suspenseful whodunit or even the psychological drama of say Silence of the Lambs Classifying it as such sets an expectation that the book just doesn t achieve Similarly, I think the blurb makes too big a deal out of the Bathory This isn t her story in the same way that the Da Vinci Code isn t the story of Mary Magdalene I don t know who makes the decisions regarding cover blurbs, but I think whoever created this one misstepped in relying too heavily on the drawing power of the Blood Countess The name dropping ensures you will sell copies, but people who pick up the book expecting to find sixteenth century Hungary aren t going to be impressed with present day London, relationship drama and art exhibitions Since I m already dissecting the blurb can someone please explain to me exactly which discoveries Danica s peers disregard She brings up her concerns only in the final chapters of the book and while she is blown off, I don t think her employers were unjustified considering their assessment of her mental state and the time her information was given And what are the disturbing incidents that seem to follow Dr Winston home after hours So far as I can tell the only incidents that affect Danica involve Henry s philandering and in all honesty, cheaters are a dime a dozen Either I somehow overlooked several chapters worth of information or we are again over exaggerating the content The plot felt disjointed, a good idea but there wasn t enough to really get into Danica s story There wasn t enough Foster to be disturbed, there wasn t enough jeopardy to evoke alarm and there wasn t enough suspense to keep the audience guessing Not to toot my own horn, but I called the ending midway through the reading The Bathory diaries were interesting but they are short, limited in scope and few and far between I felt myself asking which story Luhning was trying to tell The psychological aspects of both the present day cult and the historic mistress who inspired it are literary gold, but neither was satisfyingly fleshed out This is really one of the books you want to go into with little or no expectations It isn t bad, but I think those who pick it up with an open mind will garnerenjoyment than those whose interest is sparked by the description of content Saskatchewan native Holly Luhning has written a compelling novel based on the shocking life of the Hungarian Countess, Elizabeth Bathory Bathory, who was born in 1560, earned her shocking reputation for having tortured and killed over 600 young girls so that she might bathe in their blood and thus retain her youthful beauty.Luhning s novel, Quiver, is a creepy crawly book that follows Danica, a young forensic psychologist, who has moved to London with her artist boyfriend, Henry, to work at Sto Saskatchewan native Holly Luhning has written a compelling novel based on the shocking life of the Hungarian Countess, Elizabeth Bathory Bathory, who was born in 1560, earned her shocking reputation for having tortured and killed over 600 young girls so that she might bathe in their blood and thus retain her youthful beauty.Luhning s novel, Quiver, is a creepy crawly book that follows Danica, a young forensic psychologist, who has moved to London with her artist boyfriend, Henry, to work at Stowmoor, a Victorian hospital for the criminally insane Danica s patient is Martin Foster, a young man incarcerated for murdering a young girl as a tribute to Bathory.Danica s fascination with Bathory grows when a woman from her past, the beautiful and duplicitous Maria, comes back into her life Maria, it seems, has discovered Bathory s private diaries and as she translates them and begins sending the horrific snippets to Danica, Danica s life starts to shift.We re all, to some degree at least, train wreck fascinated by the heart of darkness Danica s morbid curiosity about Bathory and the translated diary entries are not for the weak stomached, believe me is complicated by her attraction repulsion to Maria Maria is impossibly beautiful and crazy cool I didn t trust her at all, but I could see Danica s attraction There was something sinister about her and always an undercurrent of sexual attraction, too Quiver races along like the best thrillers, but it also has something compelling to say about art and that 15 minutes of fame so many of us seem to desperately crave Oddly enough, Quiver makes two books in a row that mention Elizabeth Bathory Or, as she s known in her native Hungarian and in Holly Luhning s book, Erzs bet B thory.Bathory, for those who haven t heard of her, is a 16th century countess who is infamous for having tortured and killed hundreds of girls before she was arrested and bricked up in her castle, where she later died Quiver is the story of a young woman who is fascinated really, you could say obsessed with Bathory Danica is co Oddly enough, Quiver makes two books in a row that mention Elizabeth Bathory Or, as she s known in her native Hungarian and in Holly Luhning s book, Erzs bet B thory.Bathory, for those who haven t heard of her, is a 16th century countess who is infamous for having tortured and killed hundreds of girls before she was arrested and bricked up in her castle, where she later died Quiver is the story of a young woman who is fascinated really, you could say obsessed with Bathory Danica is completing the last of her training as a clinical psychologist, a field she entered because of her interest in psychotics She s managed to get herself a job a mental hospital in England, where she s assigned to work with a convicted murderer who claims to have killed his victim for Bathory Danica s work there attracts the attention of an old acquaintance, Maria, who tempts Danica with what she says are pages from Bathory s diary What Maria really wants is acomplicated question, and it s one that Danica will have no choice but to answer.I wasthan a little put off by Danica s interest in Bathory The story doesn t work unless she s borderline obsessed, but it s still disconcerting how little the extent of the countess cruelty and monstrosity bother her She blames her interest on a supremely safe childhood Technically, I was fixated, she says later For sure When she reads scenes Maria sends her from Bathory s diary scenes of unbelievable torture, total dismissal of the value of countless human lives her reaction borders on aroused And, yes, there is a subtext of sexual tension between Danica and Maria, who resembles the countess in many ways Without those diary scenes, this book would fall in line with the characters it describes, glorifying a woman who destroyed hundreds of lives and families simply because she could With them, the reader is kept from buying into the warped adoration of Danica or,so, Maria After I finished Quiver, one of my first reactions was that no one would think of Bathory as Danica, Maria, and others in the book do When I headed online to research some of the details of her story, however, I was shocked to find multiple sites whose authors defend her without denying her crimes How sad This isn t a book I ll be rushing to re read, despite solid writing and editing It certainly isn t uplifting, and the main character is both frustratingly obtuse and difficult to root for If you enjoy horror and are a fan of movies such as Hostel or the Saw series which I am not , you ll enjoy this bookthan I did In sixteenth century Hungary, Countess Elizabeth B thory tortured and killed over six hundred servant girls in order to bathe in their blood she believed this brutal ritual would preserve her youth and beauty Danica, a young forensic psychologist, is drawn to B thory s legend She has moved from Canada to England to work at Stowmoor, a Victorian insane asylum turned modern day forensic hospital One of her patients, the notorious Martin Foster, murdered a fourteen year old girl in homage to B thory He cultivates his criminal celebrity, and Danica struggles to maintain a professional demeanor with the charismatic Foster as she begins to suspect that his activities may be linked to a cabal that idolizes the countessDanica s life in London becomes increasingly complicated when Maria, a glamorous friend from Danica s past, arrives to do archival work in the city She claims to have discovered B thory s long lost diaries and she slowly reveals to Danica the horrific, yet fascinating passages As Danica s career and her relationship with her artist boyfriend, Henry, falters, Maria lures her into a complex social sphere Unsure of whom to trust as her professional and personal lives become dangerously entwined, Danica must decide what she is willing to risk to satisfy her attraction to B thory s ominous legend I did not like this book at all It s well written, but it just disgusts me I am so sick of reading fiction about Elizabeth Bathory and the consistent glamorization of what this monster did There were no redeeming qualities It wasn t erotic It wasn t sexy She was a sadistic serial killer with a serious disorder And yet, author after author glamorizes her People may not think that s what Holly Luhning is doing and she probably doesn t believe it herself, but I had to stop reading I m stil I did not like this book at all It s well written, but it just disgusts me I am so sick of reading fiction about Elizabeth Bathory and the consistent glamorization of what this monster did There were no redeeming qualities It wasn t erotic It wasn t sexy She was a sadistic serial killer with a serious disorder And yet, author after author glamorizes her People may not think that s what Holly Luhning is doing and she probably doesn t believe it herself, but I had to stop reading I m still waiting for the fiction book that will finally portray this monster for what she really was Gruesome, unspeakable torture isn t art and it shouldn t be eroticized Danica, a forensic psychologist, has left Canada and moved to England to work in a forensic hospital One of Danica s patients is the infamous Malcolm Foster, who has been imprisoned for murdering a young girl He s been surrounded by much media attention as his crime has been tailored after Elizabeth Bathory Danica has always had a fascination with Bathory, which in part has been made worse by Maria, someone Danica met in her travels.Once Danica arrives in London, she receives a note from Mari Danica, a forensic psychologist, has left Canada and moved to England to work in a forensic hospital One of Danica s patients is the infamous Malcolm Foster, who has been imprisoned for murdering a young girl He s been surrounded by much media attention as his crime has been tailored after Elizabeth Bathory Danica has always had a fascination with Bathory, which in part has been made worse by Maria, someone Danica met in her travels.Once Danica arrives in London, she receives a note from Maria that states she has found Bathory s Diaries Maria starts to insert herself into Danica s life, which starts many complications in Danica s professional life and private life with her boyfriend Henry But Danica is in to deep with Maria and it may be to late for her.I m going to begin this review by telling you briefly who Elizabeth Bathory is Hungarian Countess Erszebet Bathory 1560 1614 , who tortured and killed over six hundred of her servant girls She often bathed in her victims blood as part of a beauty ritual designed to preserve her youth The Countess s famed honey torture involved coating a naked girl in honey and making her stand in the woods for a day The honey attracted various pests, and the girl would eventually die from excessive insect bites and exposure pg 93 Elizabeth Bathory was a brutal mistress and ended up being bricked into her castle for her crimes I have been intrigued by the legend of Bathory, so once I heard Quiver was based on the Bathory legend, I had to read it I was not disappointed, Holly Luhning s debut was the most brilliantly written thriller I have read in 2011 Quiver reminded me of Silence of the Lambs meets Single White Female, in terms of the dear god, what am I reading, I m freaking out people and then Run Danica, get away from that woman she s straight up crazy Alas, book characters don t listen to me, so Danica didn t run but it made for one helluva story It drew me in right from the start and even when I wasn t reading it, I kept thinking about it which would lead me right back to the book.Maria is one hell of a friend to Danica, you can see Danica wanting to trust her but pulling back But by the time she realizes what Maria s been doing, it s too late All I can say is DAMN When this book all ties together near the end, your mouth will drop You suspect things through the book, but once everything s been pieced together you want to shout SEQUEL It s been over 12 hours since I finished the book and it s all I can think of, it was just that fantastic.In between Danica s part in the story, there are bits of Bathory s Diaries which are horrifying and graphic Shudder but they are written in a way to keep you hooked, even when you want to do anything but visualize what Bathory did to her servants There is a part that horrified me so bad, I saw horses on TV that evening and had a Quiver flashback.Quiver is action packed and full of things you don t want to read about late at night, but you won t be able to help yourself This came up as a kindle daily deal the other day and the subject matter really piqued my interest so I took a chance on it.I m pretty impressed that this is a first novel I found the story based around a supposed cult that worships Elisabeth Bathory intriguing.Danica Winston, a training psychologist, met the mysterious Maria while at a conference several years ago They were drawn together by a mutual fascination of Bathory..her crimes, her beauty, her monstrous nature Prior to the events of This came up as a kindle daily deal the other day and the subject matter really piqued my interest so I took a chance on it.I m pretty impressed that this is a first novel I found the story based around a supposed cult that worships Elisabeth Bathory intriguing.Danica Winston, a training psychologist, met the mysterious Maria while at a conference several years ago They were drawn together by a mutual fascination of Bathory..her crimes, her beauty, her monstrous nature Prior to the events of the novel they were scouring Europe for Bathory s personal journals The mysterious Maria pops back into Danica s life when she s finally found what they looked for for so long She wants to write a book and she wantsfor Dani She wants Dani to leave her job and consult with her on the book It would be her time to shine This happens at a time when Danica is assessing and counseling Mr Foster, a deranged killer that also worships bathory and brutally killed a 15 year old girl Did he act alone or did he actually have help And why does everything in Dani s life seemingly fall apart when Maria s around, just trying to help her One of the highlights of the book, I found, were the translated passages from Bathory s diary that Maria sends to Dani VERY disturbing things It s like seeing through the eyes of a perfect monster.I also found Maria to be frustratingly fun to read She obviously wanted to be the marionette to Dani s puppet which was very frustrating for Dani, but Maria s attitudes and actions were fun to read.I do have a few complaints about the book though While I liked the main character I felt her to be a little weak She honestly follows Maria around like a lost puppy despite the fact that Maria seemingly with good intentions makes Dani s life a mess time and again There are even flashbacks in the book where Maria treated Dani like garbage and she still kept coming back forIt was plainly obvious that Maria was totally selfish and I was a little disappointed in Dani, a trained psychoanalyst, would just put up with that type of treatment and not see it coming a mile away It s supposedly because she s fascinated by the whole Bathory thing that she puts up with Maria, but it didn t come across that way She just seemed to get punished and loved coming back for.I also found that there weren t that many surprises here I had a feeling which way the book was going to go and who was responsible for what early on However, the Bathory journals and reading Maria s quirky dialogue made up for that.Of note, the book is told in the first person PRESENT tense I ve read plenty of first person novels but not always in that tense so it took a little getting used to.Overall, I enjoyed the book It was a quick read with some good ideas and a good flow to the writing I ll be keeping an eye peeled for further works from this author


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About the Author: Holly Luhning

Raised in rural Saskatchewan and now living in Toronto, Holly Luhning holds a PhD in eighteenth century literature, madness and theories of the body She has received a Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor s Arts Award, and her collection of poetry, Sway, was nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award Her first novel, Quiver, is forthcoming in January 2011.


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