Emerald is an historical novel set in Elizabethan England. When Emerald's father dies she and her brother Richard are sent to live with their Aunt and...moreEmerald is an historical novel set in Elizabethan England. When Emerald's father dies she and her brother Richard are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle at Hawkstone Hall. Emerald is seven when she's sent away and can't understand why she can't stay with her mother. The story moves ahead to Emerald at the age of 16, her brother Richard is at sea, she doesn't get along with her cousin Arabella and the only person she's close to is her Aunt Frances who is like a mother to her.Her mother (whom Emerald hasn't seen or heard from since she was 7) sends a letter to her Uncle Charles to inform him that she has arranged a marriage between Emerald and a Lord Suckley (an old hideous man in appearance and character). Of course Emerald does not want to marry Lord Suckley but no one will listen to her. There are minor characters in the book I love Meg who works in the kitchen, who has a habit of hiding under tables and listening in on private conversations, and Sarah a servant who grew up with Emerald. She falls in love with Sam a swashbuckling friend of her brother's, who I loved. And underneath it all is a plot brought about by Emerald's mum which is the reason she's being married off to Lord Suckley. So if you like 16th century tales with mystery,romance, spies, deceit and quite a lot of twists and turns to keep you on your feet then please read this book. I give this a 4/5(less)
Before I start this review I have to say that I'm a huge Titanic fan, if I ever see a book I don't have I buy it even if i...moreI gave this book 2.5/5 stars
Before I start this review I have to say that I'm a huge Titanic fan, if I ever see a book I don't have I buy it even if it's the same story over and over again. I was so excited when I received this book to review it was about the Titanic and I was always interested to know what happened to Ismay after the sinking of the Titanic and the American and British Inquiries into the sinking. Unfortunately I wasn't a big fan of this book at all, the parts about the Titanic and Ismay were good, but then for some unknown reason the author decided to compare Ismay's life to some story called 'Lord Jim', and then proceeded to it seemed, put the whole story into the book (which I wasn't even remotely interested in) then after as if that wasn't enough, then decided to give us the life story of this guy who wrote the 'Lord Jim' story and after that his bibliography, everytime it came to one of these bits (and they're spread out throughout the book, so it's not like you could skip a chapter or whatever) it got to the point where I was like not this again, it was too much and didn't really have anything to do with the story. But there were some good bits, I learned Ismay grew up in a household with a Father who didn't like his kids, and subsequently Ismay treated his own children the same way, he had fallen out of love with his wife after the death of their oldest son and while on the Titanic, seemed to fall in love with one of the 1st class passengers Marian Thayer. We read about how he contradicted himself quite a few times at the inquiries and after never ever spoke of the Titanic again. It's hard to say whether Ismay deserved to be the scapegoat that he became after the sinking, he says he got into the lifeboat because there were no other women or children around, other's say he was forced into the lifeboat but we do know around 1,500 people died that night and he could I'm sure easily have found women and children somewhere on the ship to take his spot in the lifeboat. But it's something we'll never know, only the people there that night knew the truth, it's something that will forever remain a mystery.(less)
Before starting off I have to say I have read a lot of paranormal books and this is the first I've ever read a book about Selkies, I wasn't entirely f...moreBefore starting off I have to say I have read a lot of paranormal books and this is the first I've ever read a book about Selkies, I wasn't entirely familiar with what they are but now that I know I wonder why they aren't commonly written about more. The story starts in 1848 we have our heroine Kait selling her wares to make money for her and her twin brother Blain when a commotion comes from her best friend's house, she's just given birth a to half-human, half-selkie baby, her best friend's father takes it to ocean and throws it into the sea. As soon as Kait finds out what happened she wades out into the ocean hoping to save the baby with no luck not realising she was seen by a male selkie who believes she was the one who threw the baby into the ocean, he decides to take revenge and creeps into her house at night when she's asleep to kill her but finds he can't. The selkie does come back and wakes her accusing her of being a murderer she explains what happened and he believes her, from that moment on they can't seem to stay away from each other, Kait worries she's fallen in love with Eamon (she gave him his name as he didn't have one) because of his lure and she's also engaged to another man arranged by her brother, and Eamon agrees to stay on land with Kait and never go near the water again. So throughout the story you wonder will he leave her and go back to the ocean? will she get out of her arranged marriage? and finally is she really in love with Eamon? The only complaint I would have was I would have liked to have known what happened after the last page maybe an epilogue would have been good because I still have a lot of unanswered questions. But I loved great premise and a great story.(less)
I've said before that I read anyhting to do with the Titanic and this book was so good. We all know that the Titanic sank on the 15th April 1912, we kn...moreI've said before that I read anyhting to do with the Titanic and this book was so good. We all know that the Titanic sank on the 15th April 1912, we know that 1,500 men, women and children died that night, but what we don't really know is what happened to the survivors after the ship sank. This is one thing I've always been interested in, peoples lives afterward and they're not really happy stories. A tremendous amount of people refused to speak of the Titanic ever again, some people ended up killing themselves, others ended up in mental institutions and some who suffered mentally for the rest of their lives. Some people lost all their possessions and were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs, some wrote books about the sinking and some appeared in movies about the ship. There were some people who used the tragedy as their turn to shine in the spotlight, but it wasn't all doom and gloom some people after losing their respective others found love with other survivors on the ship. But it all comes down to this the Titanic was one of the biggest tragedies the world has ever seen, and a lot of survivors lives became tragedies as well after the sinking, but perhaps that's why the world is still so intrigued with the Titanic nearly one hundred years later.(less)
I loved this book, what a fresh, intriguing and somewhat creepy story that will have you sitting with the lights burning all night long. I enjoyed the...moreI loved this book, what a fresh, intriguing and somewhat creepy story that will have you sitting with the lights burning all night long. I enjoyed the concept of the storyline, so different from what is out there at the moment in terms of subject matter. To intersperse World War 2, Spanish Influenza and Spiritual Photography which were all prevalent around the same time period, makes for a novel that is at no time boring and which has piqued my interest in some of the history that made this story so unique. Set in 1918, extending towards the conclusion of the War, Mary Shelley makes for a strong heroine, personally affected by the War, when she discovers that her childhood friend and potential love interest Stephen has become a casualty of War she is devastated, and then at his funeral she starts to hear him talking to her and then not long after she begins to see his spirit, Stephen can't move on, his death isn't as cut and dried as everybody has been led to believe. His older brother convinces Mary to sit for a spiritualistic photo (which he's become famed for) in hopes that Stephen's spirit will appear in the developed portrait, but is he a fraud or is he honestly capturing the ghostly forms of friends, family members and soldiers who have been killed on the battlefield. This book had a very well thought out and executed plot and ending that had me wiping away a few tears, so invested I was in Cat Winters wonderful characterisations. With the added addition of archived spiritual photographs taken from that time period, that will give you shivers down the spine, their inclusion gave this story an added depth and realisticness that had me fascinated and certainly creeped out all at the same time. I highly recommend this book, such a great read that will definitely be re-read by myself at some point. I give this 4/5.(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the memoir aspect, the storyline, the illustrations (though few but very well done) and the way the whole entire book...more I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the memoir aspect, the storyline, the illustrations (though few but very well done) and the way the whole entire book was put together made this a very intriguing book to read through.
What Brennan has created here is a story that will captivate and keep you entranced all the way through till the action packed ending.
I loved the fact that although this book is fiction it's written in the way of a memoir, the life of Isabella a rambunctious and wilful child who discovered her first Dragon at a young age which then started her obsession with discovering the workings (both inner and outer) of the species. Starting with her early childhood and working her way through to her early twenties her fascination with Dragons never diminishes and sets her off on an expedition to Drustanev to assist in researching them. And whilst I did have some trouble in pronouncing a lot of the names and places ( a section at the back of the book dealing with the pronounciations would have been helpful), the world building that occurs throughout with these imaginary places takes you to faraway places a journey that will enchant you. The illustrations were gorgeous and as I said at the start of my review I definitely would have loved more, they help the imagination more in picturing the Dragons and having an idea of just what the author is describing.
The chapters were another interesting addition to the book, the way that at the start of each there is a description of sorts on what will occur in the following chapter, I found this was a part of the book I was looking forward too, knowing what's coming but not getting exact detail either.
I hope that this is going to be the first book in a series, I can imagine that Isabella has a huge amount of adventures that she still has to share, I will definitely pick up any further books that may be released of the memoirs of this headstrong and sometimes opinionated heroine.(less)