It's a detective story set in the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons Richard (lionheart) and John (who for me is always Sir Hiss from the Disne...moreIt's a detective story set in the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons Richard (lionheart) and John (who for me is always Sir Hiss from the Disney version of Robin Hood)
I read the novel that Sharon Penman wrote about Simon de Montfort and thought it most excellent so I had high hopes of this. I wasn't entirely disappointed, but it wasn't as brilliant as I had hoped.
Justin de Quincy, bastard child of a Bishop, leaves home and by chance witnesses a murder. He then gets caught up in the plottings around John's ambitions for Richard's throne.
Enjoyable, although again I do think that after the beating Justin took he recovered a tad too quickly.
Sadly it's the start of a series. I'm not sure if I'll continue with it.(less)
I'm not really sure what to say about this. On the one hand I love to read more about Stephanie, Ranger, Joe, Grandma and the rest.
On the other hand I...moreI'm not really sure what to say about this. On the one hand I love to read more about Stephanie, Ranger, Joe, Grandma and the rest.
On the other hand I sometimes wish there were fewer books in the series and that the stories were a bit better.
To be fair, I thought this was better than some of the more recent ones, but I do feel that Evanovitch has missed a chance here to have Stephanie hand in her bounty hunter licence and bring it all to a dignified close.
What do we have then: Stephanie seems never ever to have learned anything at all. When she does carry her gun around she has no ammunition. She eats like a pig. 3 donuts at a time, burgers, fries, pizzas... and yet and yet she runs around with no side effects from eating nearly no fruit or vegetables. Of course nobody is reading these books for gritty realism so i suppose we have to overlook the food issues.
Joe - well he has the patience of a saint, except that I think we have heard in the past that he doesn't really. So why he puts up with Stephanie's thing for Ranger I don't know.
Ranger - *sigh* still perfect. Still gorgeous. No problems with Ranger at all. except that maybe his tracking of Stephanie is a tad creepy and he does get used as a bit of a Deux Ex Machina a bit too often.
I could go on but I won't.
it was an enjoyable read that bounced along being amusing, going nowhere until about the last 20 pages when EVERYTHING happened and ...
well, when book 21 comes out I'll pre-order it. But it's like eating too much chocolate. I'll hate myself a little bit for my lack of willpower.(less)
This was 99cents as a Kindle Deal of the Day so in trying it I didn't think I had anything to lose.
Now I like Star Trek. Probably a lot more than the...moreThis was 99cents as a Kindle Deal of the Day so in trying it I didn't think I had anything to lose.
Now I like Star Trek. Probably a lot more than the next person. But not enough to call myself a real Trekkie, although I do know the odd-even rule of Star Trek - Original Cast - films*. Funnily enough for a book written by someone who is very clearly a fan not only of Star Trek but also of the trivia that surrounds it, this rule didn't get a mention.
The book is nicely laid out with a section (chapter) devoted to each of the TV series and each of the film franchises in chronological order. I'm not overly familiar with all the episode titles but I've seen all of the Original Series more than once so I could follow the (sometimes tortuously detailed) description of how the show was developed, how the scripts were written (and re-written etc).
The book goes up to the first of the rebooted new films but by the time I got there, to be honest I was clicking through the pages at a rate of knots.
But for a die-hard fan it's a good read.
* To put you out of your misery: the odd-even rule is that the even numbered films (The Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home etc) are better than the odd numbered films (The Motion Picture, The Search for Spock etc)(less)
I was half-way through this when I realised what had been bugging me.
Let's have a look: craggy, loner major (male) character in at least early- if not...moreI was half-way through this when I realised what had been bugging me.
Let's have a look: craggy, loner major (male) character in at least early- if not full-middle-age and a female sidekick who is young, beautiful and brilliant. A very convoluted plot with an is-he-isn't-he possibly villan.
Yes: it's Dan Brown in disguise.
Now I have to be clear here. I read the Da Vinci Code when it came out in paperback, while on holiday, in one afternoon sat by the pool. It was ok. Nothing to get excited about and a bit... far fetched. Not a problem I'm not up on christian mysticism so it was all something that never touches me. But then I read Digital Fortress which is about the NSA. Now at the risk of having men in sunglasses and black suits kicking down my door anc carting me off, I do know a bit about the NSA. And of course it didn't escape my notice that the middle-aged craggy hero had a very beautiful brilliant young side-kick. And I had to stop myself hurling the book at people. Far fetcheed? it was, to me, fantasy stuff.
So with that in mind this novel with the boringly common middle-aged man, brilliant beautiful female sidekick combo was bound to rub me up the wrong way. Interesting stuff about Baku, Iran and thriller stuff that I'd normally like, plus a rather enigmatic deux ex machina type of extra sidekick, I can't say I'll read it again. I have recommended it to my other half though, because he does like the Dan Brown stuff, and this is the kind of thing he can read on the train. (which is what I did)
the most depressing part was reading in the bit About The Author that this is intended to be the first in a series. I don't think I'll be trying book 2 thought.
Oh yes and at the risk of spoilers: after all that torture at the end ... just. No.(less)
(I've categorised this as YA but I'm not sure if it was intended that way)
Well, I thought I'd give it a punt. I thought the writing was ok, it sort of...more(I've categorised this as YA but I'm not sure if it was intended that way)
Well, I thought I'd give it a punt. I thought the writing was ok, it sort of reminded me of some of the better fanfic I've read. That's not an insult but I think it needs a bit of honing (I see that this, too, [*sigh*] is another series so I'm hoping the writing will improve].
The story itself while wildly unbelievable outside of a fantasy setting is also ok. A very young female assassin isn't something you run into every day so that was refreshing. The idea of the competition was interesting but outside of a few brief snatches of description was largely missing (and missed) from the story.
So, what do we have. A rather beautiful, damaged, deadly teenage girl who has been tortured over the last year. The handsome prince, son of the tyrant King who ordered the torture as one love interest. And the dour, but handsome in a rugged indefinable way, guard who is clearly the conflicting love interest. A mysterious foreign princess, a jealous wannabe Prince's wife and some other pretty standard characters add to the cast.
And I quite enjoyed reading this story on the train to and from work, right until what I felt was a preposterous ending that let-down the rest of the book. And oh my goodness - here's where it REALLY feels like a fanfic - we get it. Against all expectations the girl is a real bookworm. I'm a bookworm, what's not to love? But this real-live bookworm doesn't actually need to read about pretty 2-dimensional bookworms falling asleep with a book on her face...
The big niggles are harder to overcome:
- this deadly assassin, the best in the land, doesn't hear - on several occasions - people going into her bedroom and standing and watching her, or creeping up behind her while she plays the piano (what an accomplished little orphan-assassin she is!! she can walz too...)
(little spoilers following here...)*
- in the final dual she is very very badly damaged. Broken ribs, a massive slashing wound to her leg etc etc (but we have to be clear - even after getting her face mushed into a stone pillar her face is not damaged at all and she's up and around staggering about a few days after all that and hugging princes...
so all in all: a nice distraction. But I won't be reading the rest of these books.
*As to that tiny wee spoiler Was there ever any doubt that she'd be in the final two and win that final duel? I thought not.(less)
This was brilliant. I didn't know when I started but I soon realised that it was a young-adult - but that never bothers me. In fact some of the very b...moreThis was brilliant. I didn't know when I started but I soon realised that it was a young-adult - but that never bothers me. In fact some of the very best writing around is in the young-adult genre so that bodes well for everyone, I think.
Set in 2140 this is the story of Surplus Anna and that is about all I'm going to say. This version of the future is set in a world where our scarce resources are jealously hoarded, people's lives are extended seeming indefinitely by longevity drugs and almost everyone has signed The Declaration. Which forbids children in return for their long lives. But, of course, there are illegal children because humans do not think and believe with one mind.
Read it. I absolutely hated to have to put this down once i'd started reading.(less)
I love a good book about hiking, and in this one it's Simon Armitage. He's currently Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Uni and has written many poetry...moreI love a good book about hiking, and in this one it's Simon Armitage. He's currently Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Uni and has written many poetry books. So I had high hopes that the descriptions of the actual walk would be good.
There's a theme to this one, it's the Penine way upside down (from Scotland to the usual start in the Peak District). Armitage decided to try to fund it from poetry readings and found people to put him up for the night, ferry his suitcase and sometimes walk sections with him.
The descriptions are fantastic, and I really enjoyed reading this. Especially the parts where he was alone and lost in fog.
And again, as with reading the books about the Camino Santiago, I really really want to get my hiking boots on and get out there.(less)
I thought this looked like an interesting read and as I know nothing of St Kilda decided to give it a go.
It reminded me a lot of Lillian Beckwith's me...moreI thought this looked like an interesting read and as I know nothing of St Kilda decided to give it a go.
It reminded me a lot of Lillian Beckwith's memoirs about her years in a croft in the Outer Hebrides (I think) and therin the reason that I gave up about 25% of the way (reading it on a Kindle) through.
I'm sure the writer did excellent research, very sure. But the endless descriptions of the craggers going for the birds, and MacKenzie's indifference to his wife's suffering and the wife never really making any effort to learn the local language annoyed me.
But mostly the reason I stopped reading is that it seemed to be excellent research gone to waste: if this had been a non-fiction account of life on St Kilda in the 19th Century it would have been a better use of that research.(less)
It's written partly in the present tense, and the POV jumps around a lot. But this was a real page turner (well, I read it on my old-school Kindle so,...moreIt's written partly in the present tense, and the POV jumps around a lot. But this was a real page turner (well, I read it on my old-school Kindle so, technically, it was a real page clicker)
I was really keen to see what happened and it didn't disappoint.
When I finished I downloaded the 2nd in the series. I love that I can do that :)(less)