This book was set in a remote Welsh farming valley during the Second World War, although in this version of reality the D Day landings have failed andThis book was set in a remote Welsh farming valley during the Second World War, although in this version of reality the D Day landings have failed and the Germans have invaded Britain. Despite the isolation of the valley, they are still affected by the events further afield, and none of the women in the valley will ever be the same again.
This book is very beautiful and evocative, and is told really well. It held me gripped to the end. However, i would not prefer to live in this alternate version of history. Although there is peace, with the Nazis winning the war, the cost seems too great and too horrible to imagine. ...more
Hooray, Neil Gaiman has redeemed himself! After I had a fairly lukewarm reaction to the first book of his I read, American Gods, this one was fantastiHooray, Neil Gaiman has redeemed himself! After I had a fairly lukewarm reaction to the first book of his I read, American Gods, this one was fantastic!
When Fat Charlie Nancy's father dies, he discovers that he was actually Anansi the Spider God, and that he has a long lost brother. This novel is the story of the various ups and mainly downs that result from these discoveries.
This book was brilliant - funny, witty, clever, and the plot raced along and pulled me quite happily with it. The sometimes unpredictable twists and turns that Fat Charlie has to face kept me intrigued and excited, and I gobbled this book up very quickly. I guess for some people it might be too light-hearted and fun, particularly coming after the rather darker American Gods, but I was just in the right frame of mind and mood for this book, so it came at the right time. ...more
If I'd had a day or two spare, i would have devoured this book in no time. Unfortunately, life got in the way. Nevertheless, i still picked it up at eIf I'd had a day or two spare, i would have devoured this book in no time. Unfortunately, life got in the way. Nevertheless, i still picked it up at every opportunity as this was a very gripping and thrilling and exiting book. Highly recommended....more
Having only been exposed to the Disney and Dogtanian version of this story, I thought I would undertake to read the real thing. And wow, I wasn't disaHaving only been exposed to the Disney and Dogtanian version of this story, I thought I would undertake to read the real thing. And wow, I wasn't disappointed!
According to the introduction, Dumas wrote this book serialised daily, which is quite some feat! It also means that each chapter ends on a cliff-hanger or something else that draws you in to keep reading. Its an exciting, thrilling tale of daring and adventure. Last night I had to stay up late to finish it, despite the fact that I was really tired, as the book progressed towards its inevitably tragic and dramatic climax.
Admittedly, the main characters are hardly sympathetic. The musketeers and D'artagnan are all hard-drinking and loose with their money, sponging off their friends and treating their servants with contempt. Their relationships with women are quite cavalier too. The most sympathetic one is Athos, whose past comes back to haunt him and who increasingly occupies a greater role in the story towards the end as he seeks his revenge.
Of the baddies, I was a bit disappointed with the cardinal, as he seemed to me to be rather an insipid character, torn between his admiration for the daring feats of the musketeers and his dislike for the fact that they keep undermining his dastardly plots. The best character is definitely Milady, a cold and calculated actress who can twist people round her little finger to do what she wants. Yet even she seems scared of losing the cardinal's favour.
This is a brilliantly multi-layered book which, due to the plot full of political machinations, intrigues and secrets, is, at its heart, a damn good read....more
This is the story of kings, princes and knights, a battle over thrones and the Seven Kingdoms, and the beginning of the mysteries that lie beyond theThis is the story of kings, princes and knights, a battle over thrones and the Seven Kingdoms, and the beginning of the mysteries that lie beyond the Wall. This is the first volume of the Song of Fire and Ice trilogy.
This book was probably my first "proper fantasy" book ever, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This book is very well-written, particularly the way that the story is told from a number of different perspectives throughout, which helps the reader to empathise with the different characters. The story itself, and the tragic consequences of greed and treachery, were enough to keep me interested in what was going to happen.
Towards the end of the book, I did lose a bit of interest, as there was a lot of talk about battle strategies and logistics, whereas I was more interested in the characters and their relations with each other. However, this did not detract from the very powerful story. Will I continue to read the other books in the trilogy? Not sure yet. At the moment I'm quite committed to reading various books for various challenges etc, and I guess reading the follow-up books may lose its impact if I leave it too long... ...more
This is a crime thriller, part of the Kurt Wallender series, set in Sweden. Its background is the murder of four nuns and a lay woman in Africa, but iThis is a crime thriller, part of the Kurt Wallender series, set in Sweden. Its background is the murder of four nuns and a lay woman in Africa, but it results in a series of horrific murders back in Sweden.
I loved this book! I love crime/mystery/thrillers, I love this sort of thing, and the setting in Sweden was exotic and different, so very exciting! The main character is very sympathetic, perhaps in some ways a stereotypical hard-working policeman who can't sustain a relationship, but it was different enough that I was able to forgive the author for this. Getting inside the head of the murderer in little snippets throughout the novel also left me feeling intrigued and wanting more. The final thrilling conclusion meant that I carried on reading to the end, way past when I should have gone to sleep, as I was a bit tired the next morning... Never mind, it was worth it! ...more
This is the story of various historians who find themselves delving into the legend of Dracula and vampires, and realise there is more historical accuThis is the story of various historians who find themselves delving into the legend of Dracula and vampires, and realise there is more historical accuracy than they think. It focuses quite heavily on historical research in various libraries across the world, particularly in Eastern Europe and Turkey, in the pursuit for the truth.
Wow, I am so excited about this book! Partly as it shows archivists in a good light (no prizes for guessing what I do for a living) and its also very thrilling and scary.
I guess this is probably a love-it-or-hate-it kind of book, but because I could relate to the historical research and libraries etc, it had me hooked from the word go. Its not scary in a gory way, but it does send a shiver down your spine, particularly if you're reading it in bed at night with your husband snoring next to you...
The way the story is told includes multiple narrators, and different levels of narration. While in some books this might become confusing, I hardly noticed these flips between people as they made sense as part of the story.
I have thought long and hard about what rating to give this book, as no book is absolutely 100% perfect, but this is probably as close as it gets for me. ...more