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Imbolc 2009

Currently Taking Residence in the Freebie Box:


by Noah Scalin
reviewed by Zabet Stewart

When I heard that one of my favorite websites,, had put out a book, it was the first time I thought, "You know, maybe I should bronze these cajones of mine and actually solicit a review copy for once." You have no idea how excited I was when, after no reply email lead me to believe I had been politely ignored, I actually got one in the mail!

This book showcases 150 of Noah Scalin's best skulls from his yearlong quest to create a skull a day. I know you're wondering why you might want to buy (or share) a book of something that you can find online, but I really took pleasure in not staring at my screen for once and instead staring at the (very high quality) photos in the book instead. I suspect Mr. Scalin has a very good digital camera and kept his originals. Good boy! Strangely, the skulls have yet to feel repetitive. The techniques and media vary so much from skull to skull that there is always something to look at, something interesting going on in the construction.

Oh, and there's four "make your own" skull projects in the back. But I figure this crowd already has a good handle on that, eh?


Mortal Coils
by Eric Nylund
reviewed by Zabet Stewart

This book is awesome.

I think I can say that because I'm ~400 pages into the ~600 available (I just got it a few days ago, give me a break) and I'm hating that I have to spend time here, talking about it, rather than finding out where it goes.

So, the plot basics: Orphaned fraternal twins Elliot and Fiona are living with their grandmother and great-grandmother. 106 rules, including no music, no store-bought shampoos, no references to the occult or mythology. On their fifteenth birthday the whole family suddenly starts showing up, and shit gets strange, supernatural, and dangerous. I'm really afraid to say more for giving it all away.

Mr. Nylund says the story in his head is epic and going to span about five books. I'm very much looking forward to them. Look, I'm a Harry Potter junkie who can't stand that Twilight crap. (Seriously, Twilighters? Were you that desperate to fill the hole HP left that just anything over 400 pages would do?) If you're looking for your next fix, this might be it. I've been trying to figure out what the targeted age range is for this book and I can't really come up with one, which, as far as I'm concerned, is a huge point in its favor. If you grew up with HP, this would be a good next step. If you enjoyed HP but grimaced at how the earlier books really are written for the 10-12 yo range, this book is "grown up" enough for you.

Currently available for pre-order; expected to be released in February 2008.

Send hate mail for dissing Twilight to — I promise to read it with the same concern and care I gave Twilight.



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