I love this book - but not for the characters. The writing, the setting, the mystery, the contrasts, the words, the description - all wonderful. HowevI love this book - but not for the characters. The writing, the setting, the mystery, the contrasts, the words, the description - all wonderful. However, I don't agree with DuMaurier's view of her own characters. I sympathize with Rebecca, and I'm pretty appalled both by Mr. DeWinter's actions and the fact that the narrator is so blinded by her love/lust obsession that she doesn't care that her husband is a criminal....more
Jane Austen meets The Da Vinci Code in this chic lit treasure hunt.
Soon-to-be-divorced Emma is pursuing a mystery about Jane Austen's life while beinJane Austen meets The Da Vinci Code in this chic lit treasure hunt.
Soon-to-be-divorced Emma is pursuing a mystery about Jane Austen's life while being pursued herself by various scholars for various reasons- a Jane Austen scholar, a Milton scholar, a Sir Walter Scott scholar, and a Hemingway scholar are all hot on her heels as she goes on a Jane Austen pilgrimage across south-east England.
Their courses of study determine their characters - the Jane Austen scholar is all about the romance, the Milton scholar does the holier-than-thou shtick, the Walter Scott scholar practically rides up on a white horse in shining armor, and the Hemingway scholar is a douche. (What does being a Tudor scholar say about me? That I'm ampt to lose my head in a crisis?)
The main character fails to elicit any sympathy - she really overplays the 'he-cheated-on-me!' card. But the mystery is absolute catnip to any woman who has ever sighed over Mr. Darcy.
The set up? There is a secret society in England of woman who guard a cache of never-before-seen letters written by Jane Austen. And you have to swear a vow of silence on a first edition copy of Sense and Sensibility just to start the application process! I'm in....more
A very much 'warts and all' portrait of the 12th century.
The story takes place about a generation after the setting of the Brother Cadfael books. Now,A very much 'warts and all' portrait of the 12th century.
The story takes place about a generation after the setting of the Brother Cadfael books. Now, instead of a man of God we have a woman of science as the main character, solving medieval mysteries with an outlook that is way ahead of her time.
Adelia is trained in early forensic science (at a school of medicine that allowed women which the author swears is true, so I'll take her word for it), and is driven by intellect and curiosity to try and figure out how the human body works, and what makes human bodies stop working.
Unfortunately, it happens to be the 1170's, so this proto-CSI has her hands tied by a number of factors, especially the anti-science, anti-dissection, anti-woman attitudes she runs up against in Christin, Jewish, and Muslim characters alike.
The most stand out character in the book is Henry II, who I think I'm now in love with. He's amazingly ahead of his time with his basic ideas about justice and economics - Ariana Franklin works hard to show readers he did more than just accidentally make a saint out of his former best friend.
12th century Europe comes alive in the first of what promises to be a not-your-average historical mystery series.
Adelia picks up a nemesis in Book 2 that will, I suspect, come back later in the series. She also develops a somewhat better working relationship withAdelia picks up a nemesis in Book 2 that will, I suspect, come back later in the series. She also develops a somewhat better working relationship with Henry II by the end of the book. Henry continues to shine - I liked the hypotheses that the fallout from Becket's murder taught him patience - a cruel patience, but still, patience.
Eleanor... she doesn't thunder off the page the way she should. Eleanor comes off as rather spoiled and self involved. Plenty of time is spent discussing the "Amazon" scandal, but, despite Franklin's deft touch at shoe horning in exposition, not much time is spent on mentioning her political resume.
Good description of setting - the maze was a great piece of stage scenery for the show down, and an even more Cadfael-esque cast of characters.
Looking forward to picking up Book 3 at the library - I enjoy the fact that each book is centered around an actual historical event. However, if at the end of the next book Ms. Aguilar gets captured by the bad guy AGAIN I'm going to be very disappointed....more
This one... is weird. Everyone's grooving on the mystic air of Glastonbury, or whatever. I was half expecting a chemicals added to the well or ergot iThis one... is weird. Everyone's grooving on the mystic air of Glastonbury, or whatever. I was half expecting a chemicals added to the well or ergot in the bread plotline to pop up, since some of the regulars were so out of character, and most of the new cast were just plain nuts. I almost banged my head against the wall when one character in particular had his backstory expositioned - Franklin plays really fast and loose with both myth and fact here.
In the mood for some Southern Gothic? Romances, tragedies, mysteries, magic and ghosts abound in this YA paranormal mystery set in the Old South.
SylvIn the mood for some Southern Gothic? Romances, tragedies, mysteries, magic and ghosts abound in this YA paranormal mystery set in the Old South.
Sylvie Davis was a soloist for the American Ballet Company, a prima ballerina at age 17. Then ‘The Accident’ leaves her with a limp and a dead career. Sylvie’s post-surgical attitude is 1/3 extreme teenage angst, and 2/3’s Dr. House’s my-leg-hurts-so-I-will-hurt-everyone-else-verbally. It’s painful to read the opening as the first person POV details both the physical pain in her leg and the emotional pain of losing what she had valued most.
Our bitter heroine is sent – exiled – from her Manhattan lifestyle to a tiny Alabama town to spend part of her summer with a cousin she has met exactly once. “A change of scenery,” and other various euphemisms are used, but everyone is worried that she is, at worst, suicidal, and, at best, in need of a new attitude, and must needs be watched closely while her mother and new stepfather go on their honeymoon.
Her initial problems, such as being a vegetarian in a household that shops at the Piggly-Wiggly, are soon superseded by a very big worry that she has gone insane. After all, sane people don’t see visions of southern belles and Confederate generals, right? Right??
Sylvie begins to dig into the history of her ancestral home, unearthing some strange secrets, as well as a hunky but mysterious geologist student from Wales who refuses to explain just why exactly he is so interested in some certain local rocks. Meanwhile, the local kids are acting oddly, as if hiding secrets of their own. And their leader, golden boy Shawn Maddox, turns on the charm in a way that leaves the reader wanting to hit him with an anti-smarmy stick.
After much sleuthing, all secrets come to light at about the same time in the last act, in a truly terrifying scene that played out like hurricane of ghosts.
The story is a long set up, and the words ‘don’t’ and ‘trust’ get old really fast, but all of the characters’ voices and the setting feel extremely real. Lots of little details are sprinkled throughout – some play out later as part of the mystery, but some are just the wonderful touch of a writer who knows how to pull an imaginary town out of her head and make you think it’s real.
Throughout it all, Sylvie has a trusty sidekick in the shape of Gigi, a diva of a little dog who accepts the world’s slavish praise as her just due but is also quick to come to her mistress’s defense – and don’t let her size fool you! I can’t think of any other dog characters that exuded as much wonderful personality as Gigi does. She makes the book as much as dog lover’s book as much as it is a romance or mystery or paranormal book.
On a total side note, I really loved that the magic spells were being chanted in what the character Rhys called: "really bastardized Welsh." A nice change of pace from the usual Greek, Latin or Hebrew.
If a high school English teacher never made you read Tennyson, Google "The Splendor Falls by Lord Tennyson" to see what the title is refering to.
This is not a good book. Which is exactly the point.
The book is written as if it actual was written by the character Richard Castle on the ABC cop sh This is not a good book. Which is exactly the point.
The book is written as if it actual was written by the character Richard Castle on the ABC cop show Castle - the writing reflects the bombastic style that the character Castle exudes. Its an over the top film noir knock off - the kind of pulp fiction that fills the remainder shelves each year.
Another reviewer calls it fan fiction, but, after much thought, I'm going to say it isn't - its very much cannon. This book falls into whatever you call the genre books such as Beedle the Bard and Venus on the Half Shell go into - books that start out as fictional books mentioned in other books and then are written as real books.
A fun read - but only if you are a fan of the show and can enjoy it the same way you would watching an episode - not high brow stuff, but plenty of laughs and popcorn munching thrills....more
**spoiler alert** This is very much a mid-series book. You need to have read the previous books to know what's happened, and, more importantly, to car**spoiler alert** This is very much a mid-series book. You need to have read the previous books to know what's happened, and, more importantly, to care about the characters, and you are most definitely going to read the next book (oh please let Ariana Franklin write quickly) to find out what happens next. Its the middle of a plot arch, and oh, its as dizzy as the top of the rollar coaster.