I doubt anyone has ever visited Pompeii and not been transformed.
Six historical fiction authors take on the greatest disaster of the ancient world, tI doubt anyone has ever visited Pompeii and not been transformed.
Six historical fiction authors take on the greatest disaster of the ancient world, the eruption of Vesuvius and the burial of Pompeii in ash. Using historical and archaeological records, they imagine the lives of the inhabitants of Pompeii on that fateful day through six interconnected stories. From the tavern prostitutes to the high-profile politicians, from a penniless veteran to a rich heiress, Pomepeii comes alive once again on the pages of this collection of stories.
I'm not usually a big fan of story collections, but this one contained stories from many of my favorite authors so I felt like I had to pick it up. I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed the stories and how they were all interconnected. Each story had its own distinctive voice and characters so it was easy to read without becoming confused. I like how the graffiti and the victims that were found in the ruins of Pompeii were incorporated into the story. It was also great that real historical characters such as the Plinys were included in the stories. I always like when I can learn a bit from history while reading fiction.
My only complaint was with the editing of the book. The book was originally published in e-format (I read it in paperback) and it retains some formatting issues. There were also tons of spelling and grammar errors which may also have resulted from its original format.
This was a great book to read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of any of the six authors. If you are interested in ancient history or Pompeii in particular it is highly valuable and informative.
Read Harder Challenge: Read a book published by an indie press...more
The headstone was modest and hewn of black granite, granite being one of the few things never in short supply in Glenurquhart, even during the presenThe headstone was modest and hewn of black granite, granite being one of the few things never in short supply in Glenurquhart, even during the present difficulty.
During the Second World War, Madeline, a socialite from Philadelphia, reluctantly joins her husband and his best friend across the Atlantic to search for the Loch Ness monster. After a crossing fraught with danger, Maddie thinks the worst is over when they reach land. However, as the days go by Maddie realizes that monsters don't just exist in the water.
I LOVED Water for Elephants and was excited when I received this book as an ARC. I did enjoy it, but not as much. Maddie's story was fascinating and frustrating all at the same time. The book does a great job of showing the lack of choices for women at the time, even in the mid-20th century. The stories of Maggie and Anna also show this. The war does not play a large part in the story but you can feel the reverberations throughout the entire story. There is a lot of social commentary as the Madeline's group clashes with the locals in Scotland; they believe they are above them. It was a very interesting read about the time.
The book was slow moving for me. It seems like not a whole lot happens in the first part and the middle drags a bit and is a tad repetitive. The twists in the story fell flat as they were hinted at constantly (definitely not of the quality of Water for Elephants). The supernatural elements felt forced. Nothing was horrible but it just wasn't as good as I expected it to be.
I would recommend this book to those looking for historical fiction that gives a lot of commentary on class divides and women's right issues. Please note that I read an ARC of this title and the finished product may be different than what I have described here.
Read Harder Challenge: Read a book that was published this year...more
Morgana is a young mute woman living with an ill mother and her own strange powers in a small Welsh villagDoes the spider consider herself beautiful?
Morgana is a young mute woman living with an ill mother and her own strange powers in a small Welsh village. When her mother arranges a marriage for Morgana with a widowed drover, Morgana is not amused. She soon finds herself falling for her new husband and the wild hills of her new home. However, nothing about this town is as idyllic as it seems and Morgana soon finds herself battling for her very life.
I was not prepared to like this book as much as I did. Yes it is incredibly predictable and sappy, but the story was interesting and I especially enjoyed Morgana's and Cai's budding relationship and how they made it work even with Morgana's muteness. I have not read a great deal of books set in Wales and I really liked learning more about Welsh history. The descriptions in the book were gorgeous.
This book is one of the most badly edited books I have come across in a long time. I lost count of how many times there and their or they and the were mixed up. It really was sad that this book made it to market with so many typos. Some things in the book made very little sense. (view spoiler)[Isolda is supposed to be this all powerful witch, but for some reason can't just kill Cai or Morgana to get what she wants. Its one of those tropes in books that drives me crazy. The bad guy is supposed to be horrible and awful and capable of unspeakable evil, yet the amateur hero slips through their fingers and defeats them fairly easily. Sigh. (hide spoiler)] The book is also one of those where I just wanted to scream at the characters the entire time for being silly and making stupid mistakes.
Despite its frustrations, the book was a highly readable and enjoyable adventure story. I would recommend it to those looking for a story with romance and plot twists to keep you guessing. It almost has a YA feel to it so if you tend to enjoy YA stories, especially those with paranormal elements, you might want to give this one a try as well. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Persephone stood on the bare mountaintop, her ruffled ivory dress whipping around her legs, her masses of white blond curls streaming behind her.
The adventures continue for the Raven boys and Blue on their search for Glendower. Blue's mother, Maura, is still missing. Greenmantle has shown up in town which leaves Ronan worried for his family and Mr. Gray worried for everyone else. Adam is still working to get out of Henrietta and trying to figure out his connection with Cabeswater. Gansey is struggling with his growing feelings for Blue and his disappointments in his hunts for Glendower.
I still am not completely sure how I feel about this series, but I keep reading it for some reason. This book was pretty good as I feel a lot of things are coming together that weren't as clear in the first two books. Adam's connection to Cabeswater and Ronan's dreaming abilities are both explained better in this book and their importance to the story at large are both explained well. I felt there was very little Blue in the 2nd book so it was good to get more of her and her family in this book. There was definitely a lot going on in the book and I highly enjoyed all of the adventure and mystery. There are some shocking revelations and happenings in the book which completely blew my mind (Ms. Stiefvater definitely does well with reveals).
I am still not a huge fan of Gansey. I feel like he has very little personality and I don't really know why all of these people fawn over him all of the time. His relationship with Blue I do not get at all. He really seems like the weakest character in the entire series.
I listened to this on audio and I am still not sure if I like Will Patton's narration or not. He does pretty well with male voices but the female voices are grating and annoying. And lets not get started on the singing. I may forgo the audio with the next book.
I would recommend this book for those looking for an adventure story. I think older teens and young adults would enjoy it. There are a few scenes that seem to be a bit too adult for the younger teen crowd. Crude language and sex scenes/dialogue dominate the books. ...more
I picked this book up because one of my Goodreads groups was reading it in August. It is very unique in that it examines a romantic relationship betweI picked this book up because one of my Goodreads groups was reading it in August. It is very unique in that it examines a romantic relationship between two people who are institutionalized in the 1960s. It was a very realistic portrayal of the approach to mental illnesses and disabilities at the time. The book also did a great job illustrating the socio-political climate of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The characters themselves were a bit flat and the story defied belief from time to time, but overall I found the book enjoyable. ...more
Ten months had passed since I'd last seen the sun.
Ten months afterNo spoilers for Ashen Winter, but proceed with caution if you have not read Ashfall
Ten months had passed since I'd last seen the sun.
Ten months after the Yellowstone eruption, Alex and Darla are settling into a routine at Alex's uncle's farm. The continued absence of Alex's parents is worrisome and Alex and Darla decide to retrace their journey to Iowa to find Alex's parents. In the months they have been on the farm, the world has become even more dangerous and they will have to deal with both natural and man-made dangers as they trek across the Midwest.
I really liked the first book in the series because of the pacing and the research the author put into what would happen if the volcano under Yellowstone exploded. I enjoyed this one as well, though not as much. The book has some pacing issues and seems to repeat itself a lot. The action is not there the way it was in the first book and a lot of the book reads as filler to get between book 1 and 3 in the series.
That being said, I did like how this book addressed the concept of survival and what people do just to survive. There are several new characters that are introduced that bring a lot to the story. I look forward to seeing them in the next book as well. There are some pretty rough groups that Darla and Alex have to deal with in this book and there are some tough choices that Alex has to make. As always, the climate change caused by the volcano was fascinating to read about and the author's note at the end gives more information on what would happen after the volcano.
I would recommend this book to older teens and adults looking for an adventure novel, especially those looking for a book with a male lead. There are some controversial topics covered in the book, especially dealing with sex trafficking and rape, so it is definitely best for mature readers.
Read Harder Challenge: Read a book by an author whose gender is different from your own...more
Quick synopsis: Couple lives on remote island to tend lighthouse. One day, boat washes up with baby in it. Couple decides to raise baby as their own wQuick synopsis: Couple lives on remote island to tend lighthouse. One day, boat washes up with baby in it. Couple decides to raise baby as their own without alerting authorities. A trip to the mainland reminds them that there are other people in the world, including someone who is missing a baby.
This was a very lyrical novel and was even better on audiobook with an Australian reader (awesome). I love books that examine something from different perspectives and this one did a great job of that. The characters were well-written and sympathetic. It was one of those books where you aren't even sure who you are supposed to root for.
Recommend for: fans of historical fiction, fans of complicated, emotional stories...more
This is one of the most realistic love stories for teens I have ever read. There is no insta-love, nobody's life miraculously changes because of the rThis is one of the most realistic love stories for teens I have ever read. There is no insta-love, nobody's life miraculously changes because of the relationship, and there is no discussion of "the one" or "forever." God for that matter its even more realistic than most adult romances.
I really picked this book up because I had heard a bit about Eleanor's family situation and it was something I could relate to. Her life was very heartbreaking and I really felt for her. The author did a good job of portraying that situation in a realistic way, especially how it makes you feel when you begin to grow close to someone who has no idea what its like and you have to decide how much to let them see. Parts of the story really took me back to my own life.
My only complaint about the book is the somewhat abrupt ending. I would have liked more at the end and maybe even an epilogue about where Eleanor and Park ended up.
I recommend this book to those who like romances that don't follow the traditional pattern and fans of contemporary YA fiction. ...more
I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up prettI've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers, which is a curse the women of her family have suffered from since her great-great-grandmother Alice Liddell's imagination influenced Lewis Carroll's fanciful story, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories. The curse has landed Alyssa's mother in a mental hospital. When her mother's health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa must venture out to find the truth about Wonderland in hopes of saving her mother and herself.
I was not a huge fan of the original Wonderland book so I did not know how much I would like this one. I did like it more than I thought I would. The story was very original and every time I thought I had figured out where everything was going, there was a twist I did not see coming. The recreation of Wonderland was awesome and creepy. I liked how the author took familiar characters and redid them. It was a fun adventure story and could not wait to see who we would meet next.
My big problem with the book is that I felt certain things were not explained as well as I would have liked (view spoiler)[Such as why Alyssa was hearing the bugs in the first place (hide spoiler)]. I also found the characters a little too out there at times to be believable (and I'm not talking about the Wonderland characters).
I found the book interesting, but not interesting enough to continue on with the series. I would recommend it to those who really enjoyed Alice in Wonderland and want an original take on a well-known story. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Beware all enterprises that start with the purchase of Crocs.
Nina Linden has be hired by tech mogul, Deacon Whitney, to restore the gardens of his faBeware all enterprises that start with the purchase of Crocs.
Nina Linden has be hired by tech mogul, Deacon Whitney, to restore the gardens of his family home. It seems like a great job to get her back on track with her life. Only problem is the house is haunted by some pretty unfriendly ghosts. Will Nina survive her growing attraction to her boss and a ghostly presence that wants her gone?
I was a little disappointed in this book; it was not Molly Harper's usual goodness. Usually when I read one of her books I can expect hours of laughing so hard I cry, mixed with naughtiness. This one was weak on both. It was still fun and I liked the story. I especially liked that the story focused on two different couples throughout the book and that the points of view shifted back and forth. The history nerd in me loved reading about the house and the story of the family. It was a fun read to start off my new year.
If you are looking for a straight-forward, fun read with paranormal elements, I highly recommend Molly Harper's books. This is not the strongest, so I might start with something else, but her books are guaranteed to be light, fun reads.
Read Harder Challenge: A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over). ...more
Long after the downstairs oven had cooled to the touch and the upstairs had grown warm with bodies cocooned in cotton sheets, she slipped her feet frLong after the downstairs oven had cooled to the touch and the upstairs had grown warm with bodies cocooned in cotton sheets, she slipped her feet from beneath the thin coverlet and quietly made her way through the darkness, neglecting her slippers for fear that their clip might wake her sleeping husband.
In 1945, Elsie Schmidt was a young German teenager eager for excitement and romance, her family barely touched by the war raging in their country. An escaped Jewish boy on the doorstep could change all of that. 50 years later, Reba Adams, a young journalist, stumbles into Elsie's bakery in Texas in search of a feel-good Christmas-around-the-world story and finds much more: love, understanding, and, quite possibly, the courage to face the demons of her past.
I found this book very interesting, especially the parts about Elsie's girlhood. I had no idea about the Lebensborn program before reading this book. I also had not read anything about the first few weeks of the American occupation of Germany and how that affected ordinary German citizens. Reba's story was less interesting, though her fiance Riki's story was compelling. It was a light read, not fuzzy and fun by any means but nothing too overwhelming. The recipes in the epilogue were a nice touch and helped me understand what the bakers were actually making.
My big complaint about the story is one I have seen in many reviews. The two stories just did not seem to mesh that well. Elsie's story was engrossing, but I found Reba's a bit disjointed and directionless. I felt like the author tried to cram too much into the book and as such the story didn't flow as well as it could have. The seeming comparison the author was trying to make between Nazi officers and US Border Patrol agents didn't leave that great of a taste in my mouth. No matter what side of the immigration debate you are on, I do not believe those two occupations are comparable.
I recommend this book to those who like women's fiction, especially women's fiction with a historical background. Also, fans of culinary fiction might find this a great read as well....more
Alex Halprin is looking forward to a weekend alone while his parents are out of town when the Yellowstone supI was home alone on that Friday evening.
Alex Halprin is looking forward to a weekend alone while his parents are out of town when the Yellowstone supervolcano explodes plunging everyone into darkness and ash. Alex sets out on a terrifying journey to find his parents without knowing how far the disaster reaches or if they are even alive.
I've read quite a bit of cli-fi (climate fiction) novels in the last few years and I have to say this is one of my favorites. I really like that it doesn't get all preachy or political like some I have read (I'm looking at you Life As We Knew It and while we are on the subject maybe you can take some lessons from this book about positive representations of people of faith). I also like the research the author did about supervolcanoes and how he included a bibliography about volcanoes in the back of the book which was pretty awesome. More than other YA cli-fi books, this one had the protagonist actually out in the thick of things which made for an action packed read.
The pacing was excellent in the book. There was a lot of action going on which made it a quick read, but at the same time not an overwhelming amount of action where you didn't feel like you could catch your breath between scenes. I highly enjoyed the romance element in the book and how it was gradual (no insta-love here) and there were no love triangles. The author drops quite a few vocabulary words in the text as well, some even I had to look up. Just because a book is YA doesn't mean there can't be challenging words here and there. The book is the first in the series but still has a satisfying ending.
Quick synopsis: Hatshepsut's sister dies (sad) leaving Hatshepsut as the only female left in the royal house and as such the one who has to marry herQuick synopsis: Hatshepsut's sister dies (sad) leaving Hatshepsut as the only female left in the royal house and as such the one who has to marry her half-brother, Thut, the heir to the throne (eww incest). Trapped in a loveless marriage, Hatshepsut watches her brother-husband fall in love and produce a son with a commoner (eww peasants), while she embarks on her own affair with the Pharaoh's adviser (bow-chicka-wow-wow). Suddenly, Pharaoh dies (not so sad) and Hatshepsut is named as regent for her toddler nephew. Hatshepsut must make decisions to protect her country (yay girl power), but some of these decisions will make her many enemies and may cost her everything (oooo suspense).
The good: I learned a great many things about Ancient Egypt that I had previously not known. Its awesome that a book exists about a female ruler in Egypt who is not Cleopatra or Nefertiti. Hatshepsut is a sympathetic character and a powerful woman. The romance between Hatshepsut and Senenmut was awesome and realistic.
The Bad:Some parts seemed to drag on forever, especially at the beginning.
Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last.
This is the story of Una Spenser's life from her early childhood in Kentucky to her life with rCaptain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last.
This is the story of Una Spenser's life from her early childhood in Kentucky to her life with relatives on a remote lighthouse island. At 16, she runs away disguised as a boy to sail on a whaling ship. What follows is a story of romance, danger, and madness. Based on a passage from Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, Naslund creates a life for the woman who was Ahab's wife.
Let me preface this review by saying I have yet to finish Moby Dick, so I am sure there are quite a few things that might have gone over my head. I did like the book though. It was very atmospheric and quite the adventure story. The author did a great job making the whaling ships of the 1800s come alive. Una was allowed to grow through the story but was never became unrecognizable over the years of the story. I was excited to revisit Nantucket after reading The Movement of Stars (and meeting the real woman who inspired that book). I love that the book was populated by so many real characters (although I did start getting a Forrest Gump feel from it after a while).
What irritated me most about the book is that I don't know what the point was. It's entitled Ahab's Wife but the part about Ahab is only like 1/4 of the book. The book jumped around a lot and had a lot going on and then just sort of ended. It was hard to really nail down a single theme that stuck out and it seemed very disjointed at parts. Some of this could have been solved by editing I believe as there was a great deal that seemed extraneous.
I would recommend this to those who like long, epic fiction to get lost in. If you like Margaret George, this has a lot in common with her books except that the protagonist is completely fictional.
Reading Outside the Box Challenge: Chunkster-time! – read a book that is longer 500 pages....more
Most of the Monument 14 have found refuge in Canada and many have found their families. A newspaper article reveals that Josie is still alive and in a containment camp with other O's in the danger zone. Astrid, Jake, Dean, and Niko go on a quest to find and rescue Josie, but will all they make it safely and escape government testing?
I was very excited when I saw that this book was coming out, and even more excited to find out it was the conclusion of the series (I like series but I think 3 books is a good length, anything longer and you just start repeating yourself). As conclusions go, it was pretty good. Everything was wrapped up neatly, maybe a bit too neatly. There were a couple of things that seemed sped up to fit in the book that only covers a few days (view spoiler)[such as Astrid actually being more pregnant than she thought she was and because of the exposure to the chemicals the baby growing faster than normal (hide spoiler)]. Though there are a few things I would still like to know about, I felt good about the ending
Other than that, I felt the book was done quite well. It was nice to have Josie as a narrator for part of the story (it did make me wish others in the book had gotten a turn to narrate). Seeing the wider world and what was going on beyond Colorado and Vancouver was exciting. I felt like the pacing was much better in this book than in the previous one. I did not find it to drag at all. I think more than the previous two there is quite a bit of sociopolitical commentary in this book about how such a thing happened to begin with, which was very enjoyable and added another dimension to the series. I have truly enjoyed the journey with all of these characters and will miss them quite a bit now that they're story is over.
I highly recommend this series to fans of cli-fi and apocalyptic novels. It is a great series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I am thinking of an apple when the streetcar hits and my leg severs and my ribs crumble and my arm is no longer an arm but something unrecognizable,I am thinking of an apple when the streetcar hits and my leg severs and my ribs crumble and my arm is no longer an arm but something unrecognizable, wet and red.
Evening Spiker has just been hit by a streetcar and rushed to the hospital, but she is barely out of surgery when her mother and a strange boy named, Solo, rush her to her mother's top-notch medical research facility. While she is recovering, Eve's mother gives her the project of designing the perfect boy.
So as far as sci-fi goes this book is pretty weak. You never really get to know the science behind things, they just happen and you have to take that at face value. However, I was impressed by what was pulled from the Adam & Eve story of the Bible (click view spoiler if you want more details). (view spoiler)[ Eve's mother, Terra, is presented as a Mother Earth/God figure. Solo Plissen is the snake figure, convincing Eve to find out more. Eve has to flee "the garden" when she finds out too much. Eve in turn creates Adam, which puts her in the creator role. (hide spoiler)] It was all really quite deep for a YA book in some ways.
Other than that, the book was really quite predictable and fluffy. There was romance and an almost love triangle, which was thankfully cleared up quickly. The end could be seen coming from a mile away and I guessed at most of the "surprises." It was a book that could have been so much more.
I would recommend this book to those who like sci-fi lite. There are some cool gadgets and things going on, but it doesn't go too deep.
Reading Outside of the Box Challenge: I just love a good Duet – a book written by more than one author.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Lucia was sure that the white-haired gentleman reclining on the dining couch would make a delightful grandfather. As a future husband, though, he lefLucia was sure that the white-haired gentleman reclining on the dining couch would make a delightful grandfather. As a future husband, though, he left a great deal to be desired.
Lucia is the daughter of a greedy owner of a gladiatorial school eager to become rich and powerful. Lucia is at the mercy of his whims, the latest of which has her marrying a man 3 times her age. Lucia would much rather be out exploring nature and reading scientific scrolls. Tag is a medical slave at the gladiatorial school and wishes for a better life. Tag and Lucia reunite in the shadow of Vesuvius and begin to plan for a future where they both are free, unfortunately a disaster is coming that will change their world forever.
I was really excited when I saw this book. I mean I've never come across a novel about Pompeii and was looking forward to reading about it. The book is incredibly well-researched and has an awesome author's note in the back. I never realized there was any uncertainty about the date Vesuvius erupted. The entire book introduces a part of history with a fast-paced story and likeable and believable characters. The gladiator school and the medical practices of the time were especially fascinating. It is a historical novel that brings history to life without taking too many liberties or being boring.
My only complaint about the book is that the romance is very much a star-crossed lovers' tragedy. I'm not a big fan of that type of romance where everything just gets worse and worse and nothing ever goes right. It makes for a bit of a frustrating read, though I highly enjoyed both Lucia's and Tag's stories.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction that is well-researched and entertaining. If you don't mind a bit of frustration in your love stories, its quite a good novel. ...more
No spoilers for , but proceed with caution if you have not read .
A circle of children surround me, their bright faces turned upward, as if eagerly awNo spoilers for , but proceed with caution if you have not read .
A circle of children surround me, their bright faces turned upward, as if eagerly awaiting the cascading lights of a fireworks show.
Anna Van Housen is striking out on her own and putting an ocean between herself and her mother. Joining a vaudeville troupe touring Europe, moving closer to Cole, and planning to join an underground society with others like her seems like a dream come true. But things are not always as they seem. The sensitives in the secret society are at odds with the researchers studying their abilities. Danger is also lurking as two Sensitives disappear. Can Anna and her friends solve the mystery before others end up paying the price?
I was happy the way Born of Illusion ended, but I was interested to find out how Anna's life would be different in London and away from her mother. The new cast of characters did not disappoint and it was great meeting new sensitives and finding out their abilities. The mystery kept me on my toes and was a bit difficult to figure out. I enjoyed the scenes with the vaudeville troupe and their travels. There was a lot going on in the book, but it was handled well and kept up a good pace.
My only complaint about this book is the romance. I was SO happy when the love triangle in the first book seemed to work itself out very quickly, unfortunately there's a new one in this book. Also, Cole being broody and Anna being crazy jealous over everything took away from the exciting mystery that was playing out. It's the main reason I gave this book less stars than the previous one.
I recommend this series to fans of historical fiction with a bit of fantasy or the paranormal. ...more
When the last drop of light drained from the sky, Cass aNo spoilers for Starling, but proceed with caution if you have not read Venom or Belladonna.
When the last drop of light drained from the sky, Cass and Luca crept out of the shed where they had been hiding.
This installment begins immediately after the end Belladonna. Luca and Cass are still on the run after breaking out of the Doge's prison. Hoping to find the Book of the Eternal Rose and clear Luca's name they begin a search across Venice fraught with danger and betrayal. Will they be able to stop the order before it is too late? And will the reappearance of Falco reignite old feelings in Cass?
I did not like Belladonna very much, so I didn't know how much I would like this one. I have to say this one was much more like the first book than the 2nd book. It helped that there was a lot more action in this book than in book 2. Book 2 had several parts that were a little draggy. I also liked being back in Venice as it has always seemed a bit more interesting to me than Florence. The characters are great as always and I enjoyed meeting some new and colorful characters in this book. The author does a great job of wrapping up the series and I truly loved the ending.
Again, the lack of historical note drives me a bit crazy and also the new cover style still gets on my nerves. The cover is a bit misleading, especially since the romance is not the main focus of the book. The problems are minor and I did enjoy the book regardless.
I highly recommend these books for those looking for historical mysteries or thrillers with a fast pace. ...more
Hannah bent over her notebook in the half dark of the tiny room at the top of the house, squeezing the remainder of her entry onto the very last lineHannah bent over her notebook in the half dark of the tiny room at the top of the house, squeezing the remainder of her entry onto the very last lines of the page...
Hannah Gardner Price has spent her entire life fascinated by the stars and a bit obsessed with finding a new comet to win the King of Denmark's prize. Her strict Quaker upbringing has taught that the only occupation for a woman is to be a loving wife and mother, but Hannah yearns for more. A young dark-skinned man from a whaling ship who wants Hannah to teach him astronomy and navigation, begins to change Hannah's views about the community in which she grew up and pushes her to not give up on her dreams. This book was inspired by real-life astronomer Maria Mitchell.
I enjoyed this book for the most part. Hannah was a very interesting character and I enjoyed learning about how astronomers did their work in the first half of the 19th century. It was much more difficult than it is today when so much of the sky still remained uncharted. Isaac was very intriguing as well. His experiences whaling and his desire to learn as much as he could made him a fascinating character. The other characters were not anything special, although I did enjoy George and Edward and their relationships with Hannah.
The plot seemed to be all over the place. There was a lot going on: astronomy, racial tension, religious issues, and women's rights. When the book started, it seemed to be going in a certain direction but around the midpoint (view spoiler)[after Isaac left (hide spoiler)] it changed direction and seemed to flail about before wrapping the book up. I had some problems with the romance and wonder if the book might have been more focused without it. I mean a book inspired by the life of the first female professional astronomer in America, who defied many of the social mores of her time could have been fascinating by itself. As others have said, it felt like there was a romance shoe-horned in to try to move the book off the shelf. That being said, it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book and I found both Isaac and Hannah to be intriguing characters.
I found this book to be fascinating and recommend it to anyone interested in astronomy or US women's history.
For most, the bleak dark months when the black storms come howling out of the north is a time of grimness and sorrow as people await the arrival of winter, which brings death, hunger, and bitter cold in its wake.
Annith has watched all of her sisters leave the convent to do Mortain's work while she has been stuck behind doing the convent's work. As the oldest novitiate she should be the next one sent out, but she discovers that the abbess would rather have her be the convent's seeress, leaving Annith to live out the remainder of her days in a dark and lonely existence. Annith takes matters into her own hands and heads out on her own searching for answers on Mortain's will for her life and the mysteries surrounding her origins. It is a bleak time for Brittany and Annith will face unexpected dangers, as well as unexpected romance.
I LOVED the previous two installments of this series, but this one did not have the same effect. Annith is a great character and I have long wanted to find out more about her (I distinctly remember being disappointed when the second book was about Sybella and not Annith), but I felt this book did very little justice to her. Though the first two books focused only on one character, this one being the last wanted to focus and bring an end to all three girls' stories. The first part of the book was much slower than the previous installments were as well. There seemed to be very little going on.
The romance in this book really bothered me. I can't say much without spoiler tags, but I found the whole concept very creepy (and this was after reading about the incest in the previous book). (view spoiler)[Annith finds out after sleeping with this guy that he is the God of Death, whom she has believed to be her father all along and who is the father of her two best friends. And to make matters worse he has been in love with her since she was five years old. And everybody is ok with this? It just came off extremely creepy to me, especially because in the previous two books he's very much been a father/guardian figure and then all the sudden he's deflowering teenage girls. (hide spoiler)]
All this may give the impression that I really did not like the book, which is not the case at all. I really enjoyed that this book delved more into the mythology of the Nine beyond just Mortain. I really would love to see a spin-off series with the followers of Arduinna or maybe a prequel series about the gods themselves or even a collection of the mythology. I have really enjoyed this world and would like to see more set in the world.
The way the real history was handled was very interesting. Not sure if I completely like it or not, but I was wondering through the entire series about how LaFevers would deal with the historical record, (view spoiler)[especially the fact that Brittany did lose to France and the duchess ended up being married to the King of France (hide spoiler)]. I really like the part that real history played in this series.
Even with the ending being a little disappointing, I do recommend this series to those who enjoy fantasy books, especially fantasy books with a rich mythology. It was a highly entertaining and original series and I look forward to seeing what else Robin LaFevers comes up with. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more