Ksenia Anske — Twitter sensation, emerging author of this generation — I officially confirm, the female Stephen King of modern literature. Well, that’s what I come to identity, or am constantly reminded as I have read through her 1st book, SIREN SUICIDES, a narrative published as a trilogy, and now, here is my review of her 2nd book, ROSEHEAD. The fourth book I’ve read in 2014.
Unlike SIREN SUICIDES, this narrative takes a lighthearted approach, with traces of darker undertones. A story of a overmedicated, misunderstood but courageous 13-yr-old Lillth Bloom, who has traveled to Berlin, with her parents. She dresses meticulously, different coloured berets knitted by her mother, and wears each one depending on her mood. Sometimes she sports a Tutu because she loves her ballet lessons back home. When she can, she likes to escape into books, especially the Sherlock Holmes kind. She carries Arthur Canon Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, the corner of which is never leafed beyond page thirteen. Sounds superstitious doesn’t it?
Accompanied by her Father Daniel Bloom, an avid whippet breeder and dog race enthusiast. Mother Gabby, the stern and controlling yet irritably caring mother, who is constantly nagging Lillth to take her pills, to remain “sane”. And her pet friend and partner in crime Panther Bloom Junior — a talking whippet gifted to her, to whom she has become inseparable. Together they have travelled to meet the enigmatic Alfred Bloom, Lilith’s paternal grandfather, a famous rose gardener, and heir of Bloom and Co.
Lillth & family have been invited for a major and surprising announcement that she will inherit the Bloom property. A moving mansion, yes, it changes shape to resemble that of a rose at night, and shuffles throughout the day, felt with jerky motions at times. You, the reader, comes to learn the secrets of the mansion’s three floors, white floor, the Red Gallery (reminded of coagulated blood) & black floor (Alfred Bloom’s study room). Including a mysteriously carnivorous rose garden. That simply put, it eats people. Consumed literally. Ferociously hungry.
Lillth is introduced to many of her distant German-speaking relations and guests — grand family reunion — and later befriends the mute boy next door, Ed. Who, since the passing of his father, has not spoken a single word. It is here that Lillth’s suspicions about Alfred, “opa” as she calls him dearly, who, through the course of the book, comes to learn to be a true rosarian with exceptional skill, and somewhat, sinisterly cold, calculating but yet composed.
Once she learns of the revelations behind the Bloom mansion and the rose garden, she discovers “Rosehead”. A pregnant “plant-freak” as Panthers put it. Armed with mute Ed, his expressions and sketches, “Mr Watson” as she addresses — her talking and cheeky whippet — Panther, Lillth carries out a dangerous investigation like she were the female “Mr Holmes”. In order to unravel the secrets into the Bloom heir legacy, the constellation of intimidating talking heads that project out from the walls of her room at night. How the origins of the rose garden and especially Rosehead came to existence. Before her existence, including her family and relatives are completely devoured. The question is, can Lillth Bloom stop the frightening menace of a giant mutant bush, Rosehead?
There is a lot to look forward to in this adventure, I am constantly reminded of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated fairytale SPIRITED AWAY cross with the ever classics, THE SECRET GARDEN and ALICE IN THE WONDERLAND. But this is an original narrative that truly surprises with what it has to offer, the readers, an ethereal experience.
I trace back to Ksenia Anske’s very first book-trilogy, SIREN SUICIDES, which I consider a modern masterpiece, and one that is personally close to my heart. And reflect back at her second, ROSEHEAD, I was not disappointed at all. I thoroughly loved reading this book. Unlike her first, the readers are introduced to many characters and entities. This is a lighthearted-can-be-darker narrative. With a great sense of humour delivered by the scene-stealing, Panther Bloom Junior. He keeps you entertained throughout the narrative. Like SIREN SUICIDES, there is hints of personal undertones of emotions. Relatable, fascinating and phenomenal characters, brought to existence by Ksenia’s powerful strengths as a writer, and her genius imagination.
She truly deserves to be fully realised for her ability to craft such imaginative worlds and characters. The real gift of a writer, true inspiration for enthusiastic readers & aspiring authors. You will love the characters, especially the courageously brave, Lillth Bloom — the German version of the sullen SPIRITED AWAY’S Chihiro Ogino. My instant favourite alongside the SIREN SUICIDES series. I can easily confirm and deeply believe that Ksenia Anske, is the female Stephen King in modern literature.
5/5 — Marvellous.
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Who is Ksenia Anske?
Ksenia Anske has been a full-time writer for a few years now. Her very first fiction, Siren Suicides gained her a huge popularity and a surge of fan followers around the globe. A true inspiration for readers and emerging writers. She has offered free digital version of the books, via Kindle, iBooks & many other publishers.
Her works include, the SIREN SUICIDES trilogy, ROSEHEAD, the recently released, IRKADURA, & CORNERS aimed for a 2015 release.
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The cover image has been taken from the following link below. By talented artist Amy Spanos. One of Ksenia’s selections that represent Rosehead.