Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Slice of Cherry review

Slice of Cherry
January 2011

I hadn't realized that this book is actually the second book in the Potero series, the first being Bleeding Violet. I was excited to check this one out... about two very close sisters who go on a killing spree. Not having read the first book, I was surprised by the magical elements in the book. Somehow, I had pictured a Thelma and Louise type scenario... where in order to keep up with their habit of murdering, the girls are on the run. That wasn't the case at all. Fancy and Kit have grown up in the magical and haunted small-town of Portero, Texas, where the veil between worlds is thin, and the locals are all well aware that they may be prone to demon attacks at any time.

Kit and Fancy Cordelle are the daughters of the infamous "Bonesaw Killer" and as such, are hated and feared throughout the town. Together, they both have magical blood, enough that they are able to occasionally open a portal to another world. Growing up, they feel a hunger to kill in the way that their father did, and initially indulge themselves in hurting animals. When they are attacked by would-be rapists, they see an opportunity to try their hands at vivisection... something which it turns out, they really enjoy. They drag their erstwhile attacker, now victim, back to their basement, a place their mother avoids. They re-name him "Franken" 
à la Frankenstein because of all the cuts that Fancy likes to inflict, while Kit sews him up so they can toy with him more later. I found it difficult to believe that their mother could possibly be so checked out as to not realize what was going on in her own basement, but it fit the feel of the world that Reeves has created with everyone's casual acceptance of violence. I also found it tough to believe how quickly "Franken" falls prey to Stockholm Syndrome, quickly craving more of the girls' ill-treatment of him.

I had heard that there was supposed to be a lot of humor despite the grim premise, but I wasn't laughing. The gore level was so much higher than I expected. I nearly put this book down several times, but pushed on through. There are plenty of horror tropes employed here.

Character who eats until they explode, coating everyone else in disgusting goo? Check.

Extended scenes with cutting and torture? Yup.

Creepy, sickly plants grown out of dead victims' flesh? Done.

Ultimately, there were some really interesting themes that were touched upon. The whole idea of growing up, and needing to leave childish things behind. Deciding if you want to use your energies for good or for evil. The sisters are very co-dependent, and they do find a way to move past that by the end of the book.

Who would I recommend this to? I just don't know. At a hearty 512 pages, I can't see myself putting this in the hands of reluctant readers. Maybe readers who enjoyed The Darkest Powers books by Kelley Armstrong would like this. Young Steven King fans might appreciate this series of loosely-connected books. Actually, come to think of it, fans of the TV show Dexter would probably enjoy this book. I can say that this book was Not For Me, and I don't see myself reading any other works by Dia Reeves anytime soon.  This was a well-written book, but not for the weak of stomach!

I borrowed this book from the library.


  1. Yup, you just confirmed all of my suspicions. Ew, that scene you described sounds so gross. I'm way too wimpy for this book. And over 500 pages?! Wow, I did not realize this book was so long. Definitely not for me. Thank you very much for your review.

  2. I'm glad that I read it... I like to have a wide range of things I can recommend to my patrons. I don't have a lot of requests for horror (usually, quite the opposite) but on the odd occasion when someone's looking for something in that genre, this series can be my "go-to" recommendation.

    The best part about it, speaking as a librarian, of course, is that the books in the trilogy are more like loosely-connected stand-alones that take place in the same world, so they can be read in any order. Which means that if the first one is checked out, I can just put a different one in my patron's hands, rather than having to tell them that they should request the first title and wait.

    Also, assuming the third in the series is published sometime in 2012 or 2013, that means I might not need to purposely read another horror title until 2015. Yes!

  3. A character eats until they explode? Um, ew. I was really looking forward to the twisted nature of this one because that always fascinates me, but 512 pages of twistedness might be a bit overwhelming. Thanks for this review Madigan, it was quite helpful:)



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