Another entertaining romp from Books & Braun, unfortunately I wasn't much into it as the previous books.
The intricate plots to this series are impAnother entertaining romp from Books & Braun, unfortunately I wasn't much into it as the previous books.
The intricate plots to this series are impressive, but I'm starting to think they're a bit too much for me. Also a bit much is the excessive descriptions and unnecessary dialog. I found myself skimming more than usual because of them.
There are also a lot of characters that I really just do not care a fig about. At this point, even the main characters of Books & Braun are starting to make me gnash my teeth. The only character I'm invested in is Sophia del Morte, and I really wouldn't mind having a entire book told from her point of view.
I'm starting to think that maybe steampunk just isn't my scene. I can deal with books that have light steampunk, but when the technology becomes too hard to follow, I find myself zoning out. And that's what happened here.
I gave this three starts because I really did like the story, even if I felt it was weighed down with unnecessary things. I probably will read the next book, or at least most of it....more
I just loved this book so much that I had to write something about it.
The book is told from the point-of-view of Francesca, the daughter of an EnglishI just loved this book so much that I had to write something about it.
The book is told from the point-of-view of Francesca, the daughter of an English father and an Italian mother. Francesca's mother died in childbirth, and she grew up in England not knowing her mother's family, for she was disowned when she ran away with Francesca's father and defied her own father.
When Francesca's father dies when she is 17, her mother's family suddenly pops up, when her grandfather sends her cousin Andrea to fetch her and have her brought to Italy.
The story takes place in 1860, in the midst of Italy's strive for Independence. Roaming the land is the mysterious Falcon, a man who is leading the rebels, and causing lots of problems for the military.
I won't reveal the identity of the Falcon, of course, but the author was very brilliant in making me undecided between two characters. One minute I would think it was one character, and then something would happen and I would think it was the other. However, at one point in the book I started to think about events that happened in the earlier parts of the book, and came to a conclusion and stuck with it. No matter what happened, I was convinced that THIS person was the Falcon, and I ended up being right.
When I was finished, I ended up going back and rereading parts with this character, looking to see if there where things that he said and did that should have tipped me off. Of course, now that I know who he is, things became obvious, but they were subtle the first time around.
I'm going to reveal some things that made me come to the conclusion of the Falcon. I will put these under a spoiler, of course.
(view spoiler)[ Obviously, the only two people who were viable candidates for the identity of the Falcon were Andrea and Stefano. I immediately thought it was Andrea at first, which is probably what a lot of people thought, but as I started getting further into the book, I wasn't so sure.
Andrea was hot-headed and rash, unlike the Falcon. And I thought it was the intention of the author to make us all think it was him, but I started to have my doubts.
I came to the conclusion that it was Stefano when Francesca was helping the Falcon to the tombs. She thought it was Andrea because she could kind of see him through the mask, and saw the birthmark on his chest, but then I remembered earlier in the book when Stefano rescued her from the tombs when her grandfather locked her in. She thought he was Andrea, and at the beginning of the book it was remarked how Andrea and Stefano looked similar. Of course, the author used Stefano's disability as a ruse, and that's how I saw it. It wasn't long before I figured he was faking it. And what a good ruse it was.
When Stefano popped up the day after Francesca left the Falcon in the tombs, injured from his wounds, I started to have my doubts, but when Andrea returned home, I changed my mind again. I KNEW it was Stefano, I just knew it, but it was driving me nuts because I couldn't figure out how the hell he was sitting there after everything had happened. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I echo the sentiments of other reviewers: this is very different from the first book.
First of all, this book takes place almost entirely in France, duI echo the sentiments of other reviewers: this is very different from the first book.
First of all, this book takes place almost entirely in France, during the time of Napoleon III, where Katharine goes to search for Lane. Second of all, the story takes place over a wider area, whereas the first book took place in a confined area of a small town.
Intrigue ensues, with shady characters, royal secrets, and the like. New characters pop up, who I quite like and hope to see again, if there is another book, that is.
I can't guess what a third book would be about. This book didn't end with a question mark like the first book, which I knew would have a sequel. I guess we'll just have to see....more
The Map of Lost Memories already sounded good just by my reading the synopsis. It was everything I was hoping it would be, and more: a fast-flowing hiThe Map of Lost Memories already sounded good just by my reading the synopsis. It was everything I was hoping it would be, and more: a fast-flowing historical fiction story, complete with adventure and women breaking all the rules.
The story is set in 1925; Irene is fed up with being constantly overlooked for her contributions to the Brooke Museum, and decides to make her own legacy, by setting out to find a set of scrolls that tell the lost history of Khmer.
I loved all the mysteries swirling about. Lots of people were hiding things, and Irene wasn't sure who she could trust. Even during her journey into the jungle, among people she wasn't so sure about, she had to have faith that everything would end up all right. And in a slight twist, Irene herself wasn't so sure what she was going to do. As the journey progressed, her priorities for the trip shifted into something else. It wasn't until the end, that she knew what had to be done.
As I said, the story flowed well, almost effortlessly. And even though I didn't know a thing about the subject of the tale, I was surprisingly able to follow along. I never became mixed up with what was what, and who was who. That's in great credit to the storytelling.
One of the things I was fearful of when I started reading – because I knew the story was mostly set in Shanghai and Cambodia – was the glorification or romanticism of colonialism. As I read, I was satisfied that wasn't going to happen. It showed a pretty honest view of how western cultures were forced on people on the east, and how this changed the natives of these countries, both for good and for worse.
Overall, a pretty great book for historical fiction fans that are looking for something different. I know I say that a bit, but it's really true in this case. Highly recommended....more
I stepped out of my comfort zone with this one. Very rarely have I read fantasy that didn't have a historical element to it, but the synopsis intrigueI stepped out of my comfort zone with this one. Very rarely have I read fantasy that didn't have a historical element to it, but the synopsis intrigued me when I saw the Kindle version for free on Amazon. No doubt it's free to develop interest in the rest of the series, and it worked, because there's no doubt I must continue.
Even though this was the set-up book, it was still fantastic; fabulously unique characters and all set in an intricate and interesting world. ...more
Books & Braun are back in another harrowing (and unauthorized) adventure!
Eliza has dragged Wellington into another case that is personal for her.Books & Braun are back in another harrowing (and unauthorized) adventure!
Eliza has dragged Wellington into another case that is personal for her. An adamant suffragist, Eliza notices a pattern that several of her sisters have been disappearing into thin air; literally! Fearful for her friends and for the future of the movement, nothing is going to stop her from finding out what's up, not even the Ministry.
Even more thrilling than its predecessor, The Janus Affair is filled with even more sketchy characters, hilarious dialogue, drop-down drag-out fights, and more scenes with my favorite Italian lady assassin: Sophia del Morte. Hell yes, she had a lot more scenes in this book than the first, so I got my wish! She stole every scene she was in, without a doubt. I don't know what it says about me that my favorite character in the series is an assassin, but I can't help it: she's fabulous and smart and lethal. Oh, yes, and this book also had a lot more strong, interesting female characters. I love this series for that.
The action and fight scenes were very easy to follow, usually, I get lost during them. The whole mystery with who exactly was causing all these women to disappear was well done. It literally was a mystery to who it was, and I was surprised when Wellington discovered who it was. Because, I mean, who else would have figured it out?
I can't wait to follow Eliza and Wellington (and hopefully Sophia) in the next book. Hopefully, I don't have to wait too long!...more
When I started this book, it seems as though I was ready for something fun and witty and action-packed, because I completely loved this.
I like steampuWhen I started this book, it seems as though I was ready for something fun and witty and action-packed, because I completely loved this.
I like steampunk, but I haven't read a lot of the genre, mostly because there's so much now, and I can't separate what looks good from what doesn't. Thank goodness for goodreads, or I never would have stumbled onto this gem. Just from reading the summary, I decided to give it a go. Right from the first page we are hit with action and witty dialog.
The interactions between the action hungry and crass Eliza Braun and the bookish Wellington Books are amusing and intriguing. Both are agents at the Ministry of Peculiar Occurences, but while Eliza is an experience field agent, Wellington prefers his job as Archivist. The two are thrown together as punishment for Eliza when she goes off on her own against the Ministry's orders. And they find themselves in a rather interesting case that Eliza's former partner was investigating on his own, before he went mad and was thrown into Bedlam.
This book had it all: undercover work, concealed weapons, fancy gadgets, explosions, secret societies, you name it! There was also a rather fabulous Italian lady assassin running about, causing trouble, and I just loved her. I'm not sure if that's a common reaction to her character, but she was so interesting. I hope to see more of her in the next book. Really, this book had some strong female characters, and that's always a plus for me. In the partnership of Books & Braun, it was refreshing to see the woman be the muscle for a change.
The only qualm I had was that sometimes I had to go back and reread things to catch something. Sometimes, something wasn't properly explained until later, and I would become confused, because I'd almost forgotten about it. Other than that, I really had no other problems with it.
Set in an alternate 1890s London, this was a rather refreshing change from what I usually read, and I'm glad I took the chance.
Oh, and a note about the cover: Eliza wears nothing like this. The cover of the next book The Janus Affair is much more accurate to what Eliza looks like and wears....more
Another winner from Kate Morton! I've yet to be disappointed by one of her books. If anything, her stories just keep getting better and better.
I won'tAnother winner from Kate Morton! I've yet to be disappointed by one of her books. If anything, her stories just keep getting better and better.
I won't give away too much of the summary, and besides, you can read the summary anywhere. Basically, the book starts out in 1961 with a 17 year old Laurel, hiding up in her tree house, witnessing her mother stab a man and kill him. Cut to fifty years later, Laurel is a famous actress and her mother Dorothy is dying. Laurel needs to find out what led to that tragic event fifty years ago before her mother dies.
The story never goes back to 1961 after that. We either stay in the present, or we head to WWII London during the Blitz, hearing from Dorothy, her fiance Jimmy, and her friend Vivien.
The way the story unfolded is just as I expected from Morton. If anything, the plots get more intricate with each novel. With reading her previous three books, I thought I knew how to think while reading this, how to look out for stuff, how nothing was at it seemed.
With all her books, Morton gives us stuff at the beginning that tells us some of the end. We know, partly, how it's going to end, but we don't get the whole story. Not only, through the book, do we find out what led to the end event, but we always come across some sort of twist. Throughout reading the book, my guess to the ending kept changing; it never stayed the same. I STILL wasn't right, as usual. However, what did end up happening fleetingly crossed my mind at one point, but I thought it was too far-fetched. Shows what I know.
And, as usual, after I finished, I laid there in bed going over everything. With the twist at the end, everything I had just read had to be gone over. Because, as I said, nothing is ever what it seems, and with this new information, the entire story was seen in a different light.
Folks who loved Morton's other books will definitely love this! And it's a great story for folks who love historical mysteries with dual time lines....more
There are going to be more books with these characters, right? RIGHT? Because I need there to be!
Ahem, anyway, yes, I loved this book. It had everythiThere are going to be more books with these characters, right? RIGHT? Because I need there to be!
Ahem, anyway, yes, I loved this book. It had everything, really: history, mystery, romance, and sadness. Yes, there was some achingly sad parts, I almost shed a tear.
Kate is in England covering a murder trial when she meets an old man named Andrew Deacon. This sets her off on a path involving his connection to her grandmother, their pasts, and some shady business that went on during WWII. People are turning up dead, people are following Kate, and she expects to be next.
Kate changes her appearance and jet sets from Canada, to Portugal, to London, to America, and sometimes more than once. She meets people who worked with her grandmother and Deacon during WWII, and through their memories, finds herself transported to a different time, filled with secrets and shady dealings.
All the parts to this book were neatly woven together and the story flowed well. As far as the mystery goes, I loved how things started to unfold bit by bit, and by the end, everything fit together. The characters were engaging, and I loved Kate as a protagonist. I hope there's a sequel in the future!...more
I'll usually read books in this series in a day or two, but I took my time with this one. I didn't want to rush it, because the writing in these booksI'll usually read books in this series in a day or two, but I took my time with this one. I didn't want to rush it, because the writing in these books are great. The descriptions and character developments are top notch, and I didn't want to miss a thing to speed read just to find out what happens at the end.
I'm not going to do a summary of this book, because at this point in the series, I'll just be giving stuff away. I will say that this mystery had a King Arthur theme, and features a young Alfred Tennyson and a tragedy to do with his family.
It was an engrossing mystery, with fantastic action sequences and intriguing characters. Seriously, the action descriptions in this series is some of the best I've read. And I just love the characters, old and new. There isn't an uninteresting character in the bunch, and you never know who's hiding something, until the end.
Another thing I love about this series, is that it evokes the Regency era without stuffing it down your throat, both the glittering and the gritty. Sebastian is upper class, but due to his involvement in murders, he's often thrown into encounters with some unsavory characters. From criminals to expatriates, we come across them all, and none of them are as they seem.
Another solid installment in the series, I can't wait for the next one....more
I didn't know what I was getting into when I started this book. The synopsis honestly didn't give me any clear insight at the point of the book. I kneI didn't know what I was getting into when I started this book. The synopsis honestly didn't give me any clear insight at the point of the book. I knew that it involved a painter, and that the story involved a mystery.
Well, of course, the story is so much more than that. After the death of her aunt, Harriet Baxter travels to Glasgow where she befriends the Gillespies, most particularly Ned Gillespie, a painter. The story opens with an almost 80 year old Harriet starting a memoir about this time, mostly to let the world know about Ned, who never got the attention she thinks he deserved.
More than half the book is Harriet's time getting to know the Gillespies. Aside from Ned, there is his wife Annie and their two children Sybil and Rose; there is Ned's mother Elspeth and his siblings Mabel and Kenneth. Each character was so distinctively written out that I felt I knew all of them and their home, where most of the first part of the story takes place.
We then get into the meat of the story, the mystery. This part was so compelling and frustrating, but not frustrating in a bad way. It was frustrating because of all the lies. There was a sensational trial, which we knew was coming because Harriet kept hinting at it. I must admit, I held my breath when the verdicts were read.
Now, the story of the elderly Harriet in 1933 was just as compelling. There is a little bit of a mystery going on their, too, involving a woman Harriet has employed to help her in her old age.
As you can probably tell, I'm only giving you the bare bones, here, mostly because I want you to experience the story the same way I did: with no perceived notions and not being prepared for anything....more