uiver MOBI ✓ Paperback

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uiver 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 itview spoilerDani 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 and observant 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 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 impressedIt ended well and I am going to go looking to see if there will be a seuel The story leaves it up in the air as if there could be a seuel 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 uiver 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 uiver 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 garner enjoyment 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 beautyLuhning’s novel uiver 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 BathoryDanica’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 shiftWe’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 attractionrepulsion 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 uiver 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 uiver 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 Erzsébet BáthoryBathory 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 uiver 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 acuaintance Maria who tempts Danica with what she says are pages from Bathory's diary What Maria really wants is a complicated uestion and it's one that Danica will have no choice but to answerI was than 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 waysWithout 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 uiver 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 sadThis 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 book than I did In sixteenth century Hungary Countess Elizabeth Bthory 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 Bthory’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 Bthory 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 Bthory’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 Bthory’s ominous legend 25 stars I had this on my Kindle for about a year have decided in 2013 to get some of the lingerers read done The best thing I can say is that my task was completed I finished reading this book It was well written but a true slog Dani annoyed me for much of the story because I was able to see that Maria was a serious problem not a very nice person but Dani was pulled in dismissed just about everything because she believed Maria's story about Bathory's diary It just reached a point with the chaos ensuing that I no longer cared about Dani her obsession Foster was uite interesting but even that bit of the story unravelled for me The excerpts of the diary were fairly harrowing but they didn't really anchor anything else going on with the story to feel to me as anything but a macabre sideshow I lost the will to gawk long before Dani so it was a bit wasted on me The epic finaleshowdown fell a bit flat because of course that was going to be the outcome the reader figured it out hundreds of pages earlier That said Dani does have growth as a character by story's end so that's better than nothing 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 ualities 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 travelsOnce 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 herI’m going to begin this review by telling you briefly who Elizabeth Bathory isHungarian 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 93Elizabeth 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 uiver 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 2011uiver 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 bookMaria 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 “SEUEL” It’s been over 12 hours since I finished the book and it’s all I can think of it was just that fantasticIn 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 uiver flashbackuiver 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

  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • uiver
  • Holly Luhning
  • English
  • 15 December 2014
  • 9781554686964

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 uiver is forthcoming in January 2011