An astonishingly quick read, Cemetery Planet is also kinda creepy.
Given a quick set-up, the story settles in with Harvey, who is the sole caretaker of...moreAn astonishingly quick read, Cemetery Planet is also kinda creepy.
Given a quick set-up, the story settles in with Harvey, who is the sole caretaker of a planet that serves as Earth's only cemetery. He's responsible for centuries of graves, mausoleums, and holomemorials. His only job is to make sure everything keeps working.
Even though no one, but no one, visits anymore. That, to me, is really sad. It's an important job, but no one cares save Deep Six. I kind of wish that this had been explored more, a social commentary perhaps, or a statement about human nature and its changes almost a millennium from now.
Being surrounded by the dead, day in and day out for a year, can mess with your head. But the creepifyin' stuff that Harvey faces is not all in his head - and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
A strange sort of out-of-body romance in embedded in here. It's eerie. Unsettling. Like Harvey, I'm simultaneously impressed and disconcerted by the agility of one spirit in her pursuit of him.
In the end, I can appreciate the economy and skill that went into writing this story. Fast paced, with a nice running-gag kind of element as well as fear and even violence, there is balance and much to interest.
But still...I would have liked to have more of the backstory for this place and the time of it. Even though it's kinda creepy. (less)
The frightening world of teenage anxiety disorders is rarely explored with the gripping intensity found in Side Effects. Jennifer M. Barry has created...moreThe frightening world of teenage anxiety disorders is rarely explored with the gripping intensity found in Side Effects. Jennifer M. Barry has created a quick read while keeping a strong message of hope and self-discovery that will last long after the final page has been finished.(less)
Ack. Lost the review I'd already typed. Sigh. Then let me just say that this is an intriguing What if? in the land of Pr...moreRating 3.75, rounding up to 4.
Ack. Lost the review I'd already typed. Sigh. Then let me just say that this is an intriguing What if? in the land of Pride and Prejudice. Darcy was given good principles, he says in canon, but not taught how to live them out properly. This story gives him guidance in the form of a family friend/clergyman whom his late father trusted implicitly.
This, along with a few other factors, changes things in the course of the story, even so early on.
Lined with sturdy secondary characters, a surprisingly annoying Georgiana (I know, I know, she's only fifteen years old) and a really horrid Wickham, this looks to be an interesting alternative universe for one of my favorite books. And though I am not fond of the "cut the novel into three parts" approach (three stories in a trilogy, sure, but this seems grasping, honestly) I'll probably check out book two. If Darcy is not going to be quite so proud, will Elizabeth be any less prejudiced?
Found this on Goodreads (this is my best source of new books to read!) and picked it up because I love a witty Regency-era romance.
Things I liked abo...moreFound this on Goodreads (this is my best source of new books to read!) and picked it up because I love a witty Regency-era romance.
Things I liked about this story included a heroine who was engaged multiple times before she met Her Real Hero (the Duke of the title) and that struck a humorous chord in my psyche. The Duke, Peter (I'll call him Peter because I like him, now) did not at first have much to recommend him, in my opinion, but he grew on me.
Reforming the Rake is a rather old cliché among romances, but I think Vandagriff did a playful job with her treatment of the theme.
There are bad guys (like scary bad), eccentric relatives (and their pets! Henry Five is my favorite!), and even a dead fiancé involved in the plot. It was a romp of a story, I found myself liking pretty much everyone I was supposed to and wanting to shake His Grace Our Hero and Our Miss Uniquely Beautiful Heroine for their idiocy on occasion, but that is rather par for the course.
If you choose to read this story, bear with the initial chapters and pay attention to them. Though Vandagriff does weave about a little in her introductions, there is a method to it. I do think she tried rather too hard to weave in "Regency Romance Phrasing" here and there, but as a longtime fan of the genre, I smiled fondly and continued. The subject of physical passion was touched on more frequently than is the norm in this genre, but nothing terribly untoward actually happened. It was, however, thought of. One cannot blame an acknowledged Rake for thinking...can one? :)
Suzanne Carroll's debut novel, Over the Edge is a fun, quick read.
Having first-person access to Zoe's (Our Heroine) head, we get a strong sense of wh...moreSuzanne Carroll's debut novel, Over the Edge is a fun, quick read.
Having first-person access to Zoe's (Our Heroine) head, we get a strong sense of who she is as the story begins. She's got good friends, a great relationship with her mother, and a solid job. She's also got a fiancé who looks nice on the outside, but isn't so nice on the inside. To avoid spoilers, I will only say that Dan Costi's serious deficiencies in character are so utterly obvious from the initial conversation we hear as the book begins that I am astonished Zoe didn't send him packing on their third date, long ago.
We find out later what made him so appealing to her, but I will confess I wasn't sold on her engagement. However, the way the break-up was written was outstanding. My whole body was taut with tension and it was only when the ring had been returned that I could relax. Very well done. I was so proud of Our Heroine and applauded the author right there as I finished that scene.
Enter Angus (Our Hero). Billionaires under forty years of age are largely the product of an internet mega-explosion (Google, Facebook) or they inherited some or all of their fortune through a family connection. The young, sexy billionaire idea had me wincing a little, but it is clear that Angus works his tail off and has always done so, so I let the improbability of this set-up slide. (Suspension of disbelief and all, yeah?)
Carroll does a nice job of introducing the two in an amusing manner, and she makes Our Heroine believable in her nerves and attraction. The UST is tangible throughout the duration of the story. The comedic moments are cute, the eventual spats (nicely conceived and executed) between Our Hero and Heroine make sense and did not extend into lengthy periods of "Miscommunication Angst" which can be so very annoying. One of the strongest points of this romance, to me, was the ability of both Zoe and Angus to talk to one another, disagree, part, but come back quite soon and discuss the situation while coming to an amicable understanding.
I enjoyed the small details in this story that kept the relationship moving and kept Zoe smiling while Angus was very busy. His unique hobbies, her nail polish colors, and of course the list of things Zoe wants to do that is mentioned in the book's summary.
The resolution of the romance was sweet and honest and even "clean" - which I totally appreciated. I came to admire Angus even though I would have liked to have ventured into his head a bit. Ah, the limits of first-person narration.
Altogether a light, engaging romance with a taste of Australia that made me smile.
I received an ARC for this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Suzanne Carroll will be making an appearance on my blog on May 7th with a peek into her writing schedule! It's adorable. (less)
Really, this is a 3.75. The tone was consistent, the characters easy to recognize once she introduced them. I just found it hard to sympathize with Fa...moreReally, this is a 3.75. The tone was consistent, the characters easy to recognize once she introduced them. I just found it hard to sympathize with Fanny McCoy, which is my fault more than anything.
I'm glad she chose her final path in life by the story's end. (less)