I was intrigued by Silence's mini-plot in Wicked Intentions, and so skipped book #2 to go straight to this title. I enjoyed it for many of the same reI was intrigued by Silence's mini-plot in Wicked Intentions, and so skipped book #2 to go straight to this title. I enjoyed it for many of the same reasons that I enjoyed the first in the series—overlapping characters, a snappy plot, a different slice of life (i.e. working class people), and a little dramatic flair (the recurrent Ghost of St. Giles)—but I didn't think the characters were as fully drawn here. Their backstories are fleshed out very well, and again, Hoyt doesn't shy away from the uglier, harder side of life at this time, but the protagonists' relationship with one another felt a bit flat and false. Why exactly they fall for each other and how Silence is able to forgive Michael for what he did to her before isn't really dwelt upon. The set-up is great and there are some fun piratey bits, but this one just isn't everything that it could have been. ...more
Another title that had been on my e-reader for some time, after downloading it at a discount, I read Wicked Intentions while traveling without remembeAnother title that had been on my e-reader for some time, after downloading it at a discount, I read Wicked Intentions while traveling without remembering when I started it what, exactly, it was about. I enjoyed this one a lot—it's my second historical in a row that features protagonists who aren't wealthy or titled and the Jack the Ripperesque subplot, not to mention the descriptions of daily life in St. Giles, added a lot, I thought. Hoyt clearly isn't shying away from the dirtier, uglier, harsher side of life in Georgian England, which is refreshing. I also love how she interwove other minor characters and their own plots within the story, creating a sort of web that she can pick up the strands of in later books in the series....more
This book had been on my e-reader for awhile, although I can't remember exactly why I bought it (I suspect it was on sale or free and had gotten a gooThis book had been on my e-reader for awhile, although I can't remember exactly why I bought it (I suspect it was on sale or free and had gotten a good review somewhere). So I didn't have any expectations for this book-I didn't even know what it was about. Anyway, I started reading it just before a trip and on a plane and it was reasonably well-suited to that purpose, although I think there is a lot about it that could be improved.
I like that the historical setting has been tweaked a bit--nice to have a country backdrop instead of a London ballroom one--and it's nice to have a male protagonist who has a profession/work of some type. But the heroine is just a bit too thin on motives and characterization: her resistance to a marriage she clearly wants seems more like a ploy to stretch out the book than anything else. And her late-breaking need for her parents approval and desire to be sheltered by them and general propriety didn't ring true either. Her brother, who gets his own book in the series, seemed more interesting, but even then, his paternalistic, scolding attitude towards the sister he loves and apparently has reason to sympathize with was just irritating. Meh....more
I didn't feel like the characterizations were as strong in this one, as compared with some of Crusie's other books (although the dogs were great, natcI didn't feel like the characterizations were as strong in this one, as compared with some of Crusie's other books (although the dogs were great, natch). The lead-up to the protagonists' great romance was rushed for one, and while Lucy more than proved her ability to take care of herself, Zack's protectiveness verged on paternalistic and it didn't really make sense with the person we'd been told that he was before the book started. Humorous as usual for Crusie, but not one of my favorites so far. ...more
A narrative that traces three generations of biographer Polar Bears is a great premise for a book—a playful and somewhat absurdist setup that allows fA narrative that traces three generations of biographer Polar Bears is a great premise for a book—a playful and somewhat absurdist setup that allows for all sorts of inventive explorations of Otherness and migration. Cleverly, however, Tawada doesn't overly commit herself to the metaphor and/or turn the book into a total 1 to 1 allegory, which allows the story to range a bit further afield than one might otherwise expect and also to dip into other themes: motherhood, maternal instinct, and matrilinial bonding, family building, and sisterhood among them.
The book employs a number delightful linguistic tricks and plays with language (due credit to translator Susan Bernofsky, as well as to the author on this count: the name 'Mama-lia' as a play on Mammalia gave me great joy). It also takes some very clever narrative turns, as when the last narrator, Knut, shifts from thinking and speaking of himself in the third person and shifts seamlessly into the first.
All in all, this is one of those 'onion books' - there's a lot to digest (excuse the pun) as you peel back its many layers. ...more