Sunday, January 25, 2015

Birthday Blogoversary Fangirl Bash Part One: Review of The Legend of Candy Claws by Aurelio Voltaire & GIVEAWAY!

Hello there my lovely readers. I'm kicking off a week of birthday and blogoversary fun today! My birthday is this week, and this month also marks a few years into blogging! Yay! Today's post I'm also helping to celebrate the birthday of my absolute favorite musician: Aurelio Voltaire. If you're a regular follower of my blog, that name should be familiar. I've asked for your funding help for his latest album, I've reviewed his books, and I've gushed about his concerts.

Now, he holds a special place in my heart for a few different reasons. One of them is that his music is actually what helped me and my girlfriend become friends. She was the only person I'd spoken to who'd heard of him and we discussed his music for hours. Another and more personal one is that his music helped to save my life.

I've suffered from depression for over a decade, since I was about twelve. Even then, that's only a guess as to how far back I remember it. The thing about depression is that unless you have it, you never can quite understand the toll it takes. I had friends at that age and earlier who meant the world to me, but they never quite understood, not exactly. My dad left on my birthday when I was thirteen, and it just got worse. It was the first time I remember feeling utterly alone, even when I was in a room full of people that I knew (then and now) cared about me. People kept saying "It gets better, it gets better" but have you ever said a word so often it sounds foreign to you and you don't know what it means? That's all I felt about this phrase. I struggled with self-harm. They say it's for attention. "They". But I struggled alone, making no marks visible.

I stopped caring about school and my friends. I went from the honor roll and the top of my class to F's and D's. I started camping out on the internet and talking to people on there (my now girlfriend among them), grasping at straws for someone to understand. A friend recommended in a passing conversation that I should check out a magazine called Gothic Beauty. I fell in love with this publication. It's full of music reviews and interviews and fashion and so, so much more. It was in one of these issues that I came across an interview with Voltaire. I made a habit of listening to every band featured to see if I liked them or not, and I loved Voltaire from the very first song I bought:

And I have been a listener ever since. His humor, beautiful voice, and lyrics that I related to became an integral part of my life. While I still have depression, and I have had many more ups and downs in my life, one thing that has remained constant is my love of his music. I have gone to see him twice in concert now, and at the most recent one (in November), my partner had to actually hold my hand because of the impact of one of his unreleased songs: "I Want to Hurt Whoever Hurt You." (Voltaire if you're reading this and this isn't the title, sorry!). She has told me those exact words and though it is a song personal to Voltaire himself, it struck us as well. I really don't have words to describe the impact, so I guess I'll just leave it at this:

Thank you, Captain. I hope you have a positively splendid birthday.

Now I promise, we're getting happier. Voltaire is a jack of all trades. He has done work doing stop motion animation, music, toy design, comic books, games, books, and probably way more things that I'm going to remember once I hit "submit".

About the Book:

But today, I'm going to be reviewing his latest book, the Legend of Candy Claws. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of it for Christmas (thank you Emily).

Title: The Legend of Candy Claws
Author: Aurelio Voltaire
Illustrator: Shamine King
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: December 25, 2014
Source: Gifted by Emily
Buy it by clicking here

Book Description:

A giant black bat takes candy from bullies on Halloween and delivers it to good little boys and girls on Christmas in this anti-bullying tale for children of all ages.



Before I even began reading the story, I was touched by the dedication to Sophie Lancaster. For those of you unfamiliar, she was a young women who was beaten to death by three teenage boys because she was goth. It was a story that broke my heart, and the hearts of many others, when I heard about it. It impacted so many "scenes", goth included, and she deserves a book about anti-bullying in her honor. Here's to you, Sophie.

Now for the book itself. The cover and artwork throughout the book is absolutely gorgeous. It's well detailed with great coloring and goes perfectly with the text on the page. I was previously unfamiliar with Shamine King's artwork, but I'm definitely a fan of hers now.

This book is written in rhyme, as (in my humble opinion) all Christmas stories should be. It gives the book a great rhythm and helps to keep you sucked into the book. The story telling is rich and easy to relate to- I think we have all felt like an outcast at least once in our lives, or have gotten picked on for being different. This book gives a positive message that I think we all need to hear once in a while: Hey. You're different. And you know what? That makes you wonderful. Don't listen to those who want to bring you down, because you can be happy and free without them.

I think we all lose sight of that sometimes.

I think that kids and adults alike will love this story, and I recommend it to everyone looking for a richly illustrated tale of both Christmas and Halloween in the spirit of The Nightmare Before Christmas.


To help celebrate, I'm going to be giving away an Amazon copy of another one of Voltaire's books, The Call of the Jersey Devil. You can read my review of it by clicking here.

This giveaway is open to anyone who can receive gifted Kindle ebooks over the age of 16. Additional rules can be found on the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Happy birthday and blogoversary, Jillyn!! I have yet to read any of his books/comics, but I love his music (and When You're Evil is one of my favorites). You're so lucky you got to meet him!! And thank you for sharing your story! <3

    1. Thank you! I hope you get the chance to check out some of his books :) <3

  2. Happy birthday and happy blogoversary!

  3. I am definitely going to have to take a look at these books! Happy Birthday! Happy Blogoversary! Great reasons to party!

  4. Happy Birthdays all round! I was not previously familiar with Voltaire's work, thanks for the intro, looks like a win/win.

    1. Why thank you. I hope you check him out and good luck in the giveaway :)

  5. Seriously, Ex-Lover's Lover and Ouch both got me through some serious rough patches when I was in my early 20's. Plus, I had the biggest crush on him (for the was always the hair, back then). :)
    Birthdays are what we make of them, but I hope yours (and his) are splendid this year and filled with more sweet than bitter.

    1. His hair is lovely, I give you that. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who got through some patches with his help. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes <3

  6. I love all Voltaire's albums, Innocent is still a powerful song for me, and a lot of his music helps when I'm feeling.... Well, just about any emotion really. And I'll never forget bonding over his music with you <3 Happy birthday to you both!

    1. And the time I took you to his concert. -smug face- I am proud of that. xD