This is the second book in two weeks I’ve read set in the 1600s and I have to confess this is the book that most vividly invokes the period. Mary HoopThis is the second book in two weeks I’ve read set in the 1600s and I have to confess this is the book that most vividly invokes the period. Mary Hooper is celebrated for her historical YA books and after reading my first book from her I can understand why. The writing is simple and elegant, effortless painting pictures, sounds and smells of the period. In fact I just fell in love with Mary’s style of writing and descriptions!
The story focuses on Hannah, a young girl from the country who moves to London to help her older sister in her sweetmeats shop just before the Great Plague hits London in 1665. Hannah is new to the city and through her eyes we can experience the everyday life of people at the time living in a crowded, prosperous city. I loved Hannah’s naivety and wonder at seeing the city for the first time. People are not frightened at first but slowly the tension mounts as rumours and disease spread. I loved the descriptions of preventatives and how the dead are dealt with as the situation slowly gets worse and the fear mounts.
This is a truly enchanting tale with plentiful historical detail for those who care. There is creepiness from the disease acting as a menacing figure towering over Hannah and her sister. I’m so happy I have a selection of other Mary Hooper books to work my way through as I have found a new favourite! Recommended for fans of Peter Dickinson and Cat Patrick. 9 out of 10. ...more
Bitten was the first ever Urban Fantasy book I ever read and still one of my favourites. So I get very excited whenever a new Otherworld book is releaBitten was the first ever Urban Fantasy book I ever read and still one of my favourites. So I get very excited whenever a new Otherworld book is released – and disappointed when I can’t get my hands on them straight away. Counterfeit Magic isn’t a full novel, but a novella that was originally a limited edition release complete with beautiful art work. I wasn’t able to get my hands on a copy, but a couple of years later and the magic of e-books means I can finally read this story, set shortly before Waking The Witch with the focus on Paige and Savannah – two of my favourite characters! While we spend the most time with Paige and Savannah, this equally has both Lucas and Adam in starring male roles. I’ve always liked Lucas and the emotional core of this story is how Paige and Lucas are adapting to his unique role in the supernatural world – heir to one of the most powerful sorcerer cabels – but would prefer to be fighting for the underdog. Together they have always been a favourite couple of mine because I could always relate to them. And this time their marriage is struggling to cope with real life. While the initial investigation was interesting, it was soon dropped in favour of the relationship exploration and afterwards solved off-screen which was a little disappointing. I would really like a full length novel based on one of Paige and Lucas’s investigations! In general though this was a great taster of one of my favourite series and has only made my more desperate to pick up the latest book! As a side note - the kindle versions does include some of the original artwork and can I say even in black and white they are beautiful. So gorgeous. I love them so much. Recommended for fans of Patricia Briggs and Rachel Vincent. 7.5 out of 10. ...more
Forty years in the future and in New York a bio-weapon was released, allowing the dead to come back to life. Not as traditional zombies, but as humansForty years in the future and in New York a bio-weapon was released, allowing the dead to come back to life. Not as traditional zombies, but as humans who are de-aging. They start at the age they were when they died and then they get younger – shocks, alcohol, smoking all contribute to literally take years off their life until they regress through childhood and disappear as a newborn. This is the world that Paul Donner returns to after he and his wife are murdered on a night out. Struggling to adapt he decides to investigate his own murder forty years before... The premise of this book is what initially attracted me. The idea of investigating your own murder may not be original, but Dempsey’s take on zombies is unique and I loved the idea of them de-aging – getting younger and younger. After all, they say youth is wasted on the young! How this impacts society is fascinating – with a husband de-aging and a wife growing old – how long can they make a relationship last? Entertainment dominated by re-animated stars – Elvis truly lives again!
However, the investigation side was very much a start/stop plot for me. Things would move in one direction so I felt like I was reading a hard-boiled noir detective novel set in the future, then it took a left turn and I was reading a freedom-fighting rebellion story and then it changed again and I was in a semi-mystical, family drama. This did provide twist and turns that made the story unexpected – but meant I never fully relaxed into the story. The writing was excellent and inventive. However, at times I wasn’t quite sure how this future worked. There is a lot of nostalgia for the past but in some areas I never quite got the future elements.
The ingenuity and originality is entertaining but massive story changes and some blurry details on the future world meant I couldn’t quite enjoy the story as much as I wanted too. Recommended for fans of Christopher Fowler and Philip K. Dick. 6.5 out of 10 ...more