Moments after finishing: Book, you have swept me off my feet, or perhaps that honor goes to Jamie. Who am I kidding, it's all about Jamie. All day. EvMoments after finishing: Book, you have swept me off my feet, or perhaps that honor goes to Jamie. Who am I kidding, it's all about Jamie. All day. Every day.
Some time later: I have never read a tale so epic and sweeping. A tale that seized my attention something fierce. I laughed; cried; cringed; swooned (a lot); cried some more; nibbled on my fingernails, wrought with anticipation. Life and responsibilities getting in the way, all I could think about was returning to Jamie, my precious Jamie, and Claire. I ignored countless phone calls, TV was merely background noise, with the exception of Outlander TV series.
Diana G's ability to write characters, her ability to highlight not only their strengths but their weaknesses, to put them through the wringer, to make you hate them, then love them against your better judgment, to the point where you find yourself wondering how you'd feel in that particular situation and what you'd do etc etc is bar none. Heartstrings plucked and tugged and snapped, check.
Is Jamie perfect, no, but he's pretty damn close. And I for one can't wait to meet back up with him and Claire in Dragonfly in Amber. Let the carrying away begin.
Oh, and I should state on record that I have always shied away from historical romances, not my cup of tea. So my devotion to the Outlander series is a testament to how said series is more than romance, it encompasses adventure and intrigue and everything in between. And for this reader, that type of book is the pink of perfection, and I couldn't ask for anything more. Moreover, the writing is delicious. ...more
A few days after finishing The White Forest, I'm still at a loss as to how to describe it, what to say. But I'll tell you this, I fell absolu4.5 stars
A few days after finishing The White Forest, I'm still at a loss as to how to describe it, what to say. But I'll tell you this, I fell absolutely, positively in love with the story, couldn't get enough of it, voraciously flipped its pages, for it was mantled in melancholy, a perennial gloom about it. Right up my alley.
Oddly, while reading, the brilliant movie Pan's Labyrinth would intermittently pop into my head. And oddly enough, another reviewer said the exact same thing. Natch, I had to like her review stat. Well, that and she so eloquently put into words what I seemed to be unable to do when it comes to this book. Said review here. So why Pan's Labyrinth? Not sure exactly. And to be clear, The White Forest is by no means derivative of said movie, in any way, shape or form. Perhaps it's because they're both steeped in gloom, both incredibly haunting. And both deal with occultism and paganism and otherworldly creatures, to an extent.
So if the aforementioned subject matters rock your world, along with Gothic mysteries and historical fiction, then give this gem of a novel a go. Bonus, the writing is delicious! ...more
3.5 stars In Venice, a secret is indeed more powerful than a sword.
I believe this quote sums up Cross My Heart perfectly.
Laura della Scala is spirite3.5 stars In Venice, a secret is indeed more powerful than a sword.
I believe this quote sums up Cross My Heart perfectly.
Laura della Scala is spirited away from the convent she was forced to live in upon hearing of her sister's death. Murder perhaps? Then an arranged marriage with a lascivious disgusting man quite a few years older is sprung on her. Entering the picture, a delicious painter boy who's off limits for he's considered a peasant. What's a girl to do? Two words: The Segreta. (Shouldn't it be La? Just curious.) A secret society of an all female mafia. They get things done, make things happen, people disappear. On one condition: divulge a deep, dark secret.
Add in masquerade masks, dances, delicious Venice as a setting and voila, you have a rather fun novel that glides along with such fluidity. Here's how fluid. The mystery hunt doesn't really commence until nearly 70-something% in. And the kicker - I didn't notice, for the story held my full attention. That's quite a feat in and of itself, let me tell you.
If any of the above mentionings pique your interest, then I would definitely give this novel a try. Plus, it's a great escape read. Bonus: there's a sequel coming next year. Yay!
What a deliciously fantabulous story! And epic to boot! And enthralling and adventurous and science-fiction-y and funny and charming and heartbreakingWhat a deliciously fantabulous story! And epic to boot! And enthralling and adventurous and science-fiction-y and funny and charming and heartbreaking and uplifting and romantic and delightful and Fringe-y, and well, see, I told you it was epic. The way the narrator addresses us readers as if he had been reading my mind or had a camera affixed to the book watching my every agog reaction, it's just beyond awesome and meta. So freaking meta! I can't even express how much I adore this series, clearly, as evidenced by my rambling gushings.
I highly recommend reading Leanna Christie's review, for she summed up the mind-blowing aspects that are The Map of the Sky so much better than I ever could've done.
Warning: When cracking open this tome, be prepared to be whisked away and to fall in love with the characters, for that will surely happen, if you allow it that is.
*** Oh, and friendly heads-up, in preparation for epic mind-blowingness, pay heed to the battle in the Antarctic and the names mentioned thereof. ***
One more thing - I'm happy, happy, happy to report that this book is a trilogy, which means I don't have to say good-bye, not quiet yet. Next year will be gruesome, I'm certain. ...more
Me and romance novels, not the best of friends. They're just not my thing. With that said, this book totally tricked me into reading it, what with theMe and romance novels, not the best of friends. They're just not my thing. With that said, this book totally tricked me into reading it, what with the promise of magic found in the darkest parts of London.
Exhibit A - taken from the back of the book itself: "Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities."
Exhibit B: "Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask."
Dark magic? Huh? Unfortunately, the paranormal elements were scarce at best. However, magic or no magic, I enjoyed this novel. Color me surprised. Hooked, I eagerly flipped the pages. (Truth be told, it was mostly due to the fact that I was sure "dark magic" would Apparate at any moment.) The characters were great. Intrigue, check. Victorian period as a setting, not too shabby. Fantastic writing. The heroine was kick-ass. Mask or mask-less, Lord Archer was sexy and manly and chivalrous and . . . I'll have one of him please. I adored the Beauty & the Beast/Phantom of the Opera elements. I adored the relationship with Miranda and her sisters and their bantering and bonding and whatnot; I'd love to delve deeper into that familial relationship. Book two, perhaps? And can Kristen Callihan write a sex scene or what? The romance was hot and steamy. Holy moly!
So, again, if you're like me and are a-okay with romance as long as fantasy takes center stage, just know that that is so not the case within Firelight. In fact, my library catalogued this novel as Historical Romance. Can't put anything past them. Obviously the book's "liar, liar pants on fire" approach worked for yours truly, a self-proclaimed disliker of strictly romance novels. Its web of lies has trapped me, but I'm not struggling to escape its clutches for I'll definitely be continuing on with this series. And hopefully, hopefully book two will kick up the paranormal elements a notch or two or three. Fingers are crossed. ...more
I adore this book so much so that it has made the quantum leap onto the coveted "How do I love thee let me count the ways" virtual Goodreads shelf. AtI adore this book so much so that it has made the quantum leap onto the coveted "How do I love thee let me count the ways" virtual Goodreads shelf. At this moment in time I am struck speechless about how much I love and enjoyed reading The Map of Time, so I must formulate my thoughts before I write them down otherwise they'll be a gabbling mess. But I will say this: I love Señor Palma's mind in all its creative glory.
Okay, a week later thoughts have been formulated. Here goes . . . I’ll start off with this - and this is a warning for all you jacket cover description lovers - just so you know, said description basically describes the last 50 odd pages. So keep that in mind when you begin reading The Map of Time and that way you won’t get discouraged and forever close this amazingly awesome novel. With that out of the way, let’s carry on with my gushing thoughts.
Goodreads peeps, I am so blown away by this novel. There were so many wonderful things going on within the pages of this tome, that I’m having a difficult time wrangling my wandering thoughts. So let's start with this. The following adjectives come to mind when thinking of The Map of Time: whimsical creative unique refreshing romantic in a twistedly delicious way fun humorous intelligent Aside from the deliciousness that are quantum physics and alternate universes, I thoroughly enjoyed the meta-perspective voice woven throughout this tale. Some have referred to it as obnoxious *rolls eyes* followed by a whatevs, but to me it’s uniquely creative. I didn’t mind the voice whatsoever. It definitely aided in my voracious reading experience.
Picture Lost if you will. Did you love that TV series? I sure did. Why you ask? Well, I love the intersecting story lines and everything else. Hello, brilliant writing, right? I'll get back to Lost soon. The Map of Time is split into three parts. The first part follows a lovesick Andrew on the brink of committing suicide wherein his story unfolds. (I know, so upbeat, right? Well, this book isn't that. Just so you know.) Andrew's cousin Charles tells him he can (view spoiler)[save his dearly departed love (hide spoiler)] by going to Murray’s Time Travel, a new business venture promising clients (with mucho mula) a rare opportunity to travel to the future, May of 2000 to be exact. Andrew’s brain starts a-churnin’ and decides that if this company can travel to the future, why not the past. Brilliant chap this Andrew. Okay, that’s the setup for part I. For the most part, all characters are introduced in this first section.
The second part follows a Miss Claire Haggerty. This poor unfortunate soul, a new age thinker I might add, isn’t quite keen on marrying young to someone she's not passionately in love with and being the lady of the manor and popping out umpteen kiddies. (Don’t blame her). She had perused the advertisement of Murray’s Time Travel making its way around London and the background story of exactly what is going down in May 2000. See, there is a certain future soldier in all his heroic glory mentioned. Well, Claire has a burning desire to meet him and to declare her love. Who is this soldier? One Captain Derek Shackleton. So in order to partake in said love declaring, dear old Claire must fork over the cash and pay a visit to Murray’s Time Travel. Madness soon ensues.
Now, back to the aforementioned TV show. Channeling Lost, Part I begins to meld seamlessly into the second part, converging in a deliciously fun way. Including characters, certain actions, etc.
Then we have Part 3, dealing mostly with one HG Wells. Well, I lied. There are others, but he takes center stage. To the point where I felt like I knew this man, like I was privy to his innermost thoughts, like I was right there with him. If that’s not testament to Palma’s writing then I don’t what is. Anyhow, part 2 only when dealing with HG Wells and Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man) and Part 3, might to some read like a biography. I for one didn’t feel that way. There was such depth to the stories. As if you were inside HG’s mind. It’s hard to explain. But maybe I felt that way because I was already invested in the story and I’m drawn to this time period like no tomorrow. But enough of that. Moving on . . .
There are many twists and turns throughout, shocking this reader. I love that. I love not seeing what is coming up. And it happened in all three sections, let me tell you. Like I mentioned before, the novel is split into three parts. But these are not three different stories. Just like Lost, there’s a method to this author’s madness. Certain mysterious mentionings in one section are reintroduced in another and thusly explained via their overlapping stories. All questions and mysteries are answered, albeit subtlety and in a brilliant fashion of course.
When I closed this book having read the very last line, I felt as if I personally knew all these characters. Like I was there with them, experiencing their pain right along with them. To say this book is character driven is a vast understatement.
I love the unique, I mean, I live for it. And The Map of Time is just that. Simply put. Each and every one of you reading this review should give this tome a try. And like I said, don’t expect the jacket cover description right away. Put that out of your mind and allow yourselves to fall in love with the characters like I did. If you can do that, you most definitely won’t be sorry. Maybe you too will become enchanted and not want the stories to end. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'm going to keep my thoughts short and simple: Just read The Help. It lives up to all the buzz and then some. And when done with the novel, watch theI'm going to keep my thoughts short and simple: Just read The Help. It lives up to all the buzz and then some. And when done with the novel, watch the movie. ...more
So, to be frank, I’m high-maintenance when it comes to the perfect book. How so you’re probably asking? Well, I require the Goldilocks treatment whenSo, to be frank, I’m high-maintenance when it comes to the perfect book. How so you’re probably asking? Well, I require the Goldilocks treatment when it comes to my reading experience as for what makes a book unputdownable: romance, action, adventure, humor, intrigue, strong characterization, all wrapped into an enchanting package. I want it all! What is so strange about The Shadow of the Wind is that that it doesn’t quite fit in technically speaking with my said requirements, but oddly enough the author managed to sprinkle just enough of the aforementioned elements throughout this novel to not only reel me in, but keep me hooked, bewitching me. I can’t tell you exactly why I love this book, but what I can tell you is that it pulled me in immediately. And that is the one and only quality that every single book that has received the five star treatment from yours truly has done. I simply adore this novel. It is beautiful, romantic, heartbreaking, moving, intriguing, in other words, damn near perfect.