March 3rd, 2006



Children of the Serpent Gate by Sarah Ash

I didn't think Ash was going to manage to wrap things up until about 5 pages from the end - she managed it, though, and tied up all the loose ends while managing to leave things open for another trilogy. I still find Ash a little too romance-novelly for my tastes - she has almost every character fall breathily in love, to the point where it distracts from the story and lessens the emotional impact of the romances that *are* important to the story. It's a series that's worth a read, but I found it wanting in spots.

The Goth Bible by Nancy Kilpatrick

My "serious" book for this cycle. TGB was written by Nancy Kilpatrick, arguably an insider in the goth scene, and someone who loves her subject matter. Unfortunately, this closeness hurts the book, in my opinion - the book could use a little more objectivity. The primary source for her research comes from 100+ self-described goth(ish) people, from around the world, with predictable variation in what they all see as "goth". Since Kilpatrick did a lot of her research at Convergences and online, I was amused to realise that I recognized a fair number of the "cross section" from either alt.gothic, or in person (in at least one case, I turned the page and said "Hey, I met her at C.'s b-day party last week!")

Ultimately, I found this book flawed, though clearly written with love. It was also very poorly copy-editted - it showed signs of just letting the spell-checker guess, and often guess wrongly. Kilpatrick's choice of featured music, art, etc. is, I think, too strongly influenced by the availability of the bands/artists for interviews. I found the material presented a little too flatly - I would have preferred a certain amount of analysis of trends, and perhaps less long direct quotes from the cross-section.