Must add this edition, 1st ed 1935 Gollancz hardback w/o dust-wrapper or P.D.B.W. mini biography. A favourite. First GR read May 2012. Second OctoberMust add this edition, 1st ed 1935 Gollancz hardback w/o dust-wrapper or P.D.B.W. mini biography. A favourite. First GR read May 2012. Second October 2014. Third in progress alongside audiobook, April 2016. 5*....more
Not too bad, but a bit childish, and of course rather disjointed in places, which last is probably a given after its being written by a hundred differNot too bad, but a bit childish, and of course rather disjointed in places, which last is probably a given after its being written by a hundred different people. 3.25*...more
This story would be an absolute delight... if it weren't so badly spoiled by its total lack of Britpicking and historical research. If you're going toThis story would be an absolute delight... if it weren't so badly spoiled by its total lack of Britpicking and historical research. If you're going to set a novel in Victorian London, you must make sure the characters speak, think & act appropriately for their culture and era, fantasy or not!
The magic is very well integrated into the world and time the author has chosen... but the characters are not. Americanisms that Ceony would never have heard with her background are rife in her thought and speech, and every time I hit one while reading, I got completely thrown out of the story.
In the sample chapter for the second book, at the end, there's talk of a "barrette" being created as a gift. The word "barrette" wasn't even around then! It originated in France when it did come into use, in the early half of the 20th century, and is rarely used in Britain even today.
Research is so, so important when writing a historical novel - even if it's historical fantasy. Suspension of disbelief only goes so far when you're working with a setting that really existed. There's such a clear lack of research in this book that I cringed several times while reading, and that lack is such a shame, because this book has such fantastic potential, if it had a Britpicker and a decent historian to play editors and run interference.
It's a real pity that it has such gaping flaws, especially such flaws that would have been so simple and easy to correct. For now, it gets a 3* rating. Perhaps later on, if edited and checked over thoroughly so that the text and characters match their setting as they ought, I might up that to a 4.5* - had it not been for the gaping issues already mentioned, that's probably what I would have given this book, as I truly did enjoy the story - when I could concentrate on it....more
Chambers hardback edition, unabridged. Nina has always been one of my favourite of the single-book characters we see in later instalments after they'vChambers hardback edition, unabridged. Nina has always been one of my favourite of the single-book characters we see in later instalments after they've left school. I do find the religious parts of this book irritating, but that happens a lot with the unabridged CS editions. May add more to this later. 4*....more
This ebook would probably have a 4* rating from me, were it not for the absolute lack of any editing.
The author slipsBorrowed via Kindle Unlimited.
This ebook would probably have a 4* rating from me, were it not for the absolute lack of any editing.
The author slips in Americanisms where they are least appropriate to her setting and least comprehensible to other readers - for example, she mentions Amelie "cracking a window", when the character is outside that window with a heavy dagger in hand: did she break the window, or did she open it a crack? And if the latter, how did she manage that, since it isn't specified? Only the emphasis on trying to be quiet - several words after the phrase in question - explains which verb is being used) - and comes out with some very peculiar phrasing more often than not. She doesn't seem to understand the utility of commas, and has clearly not even had the work proof-read before uploading it.
That all being the case, however, the story still somehow manages to be a very readable fantasy, with some rather original approaches to its subject matter. Hence the four stars that I'd give it - if it's edited and re-uploaded. (I have offered the author my services for that, since I ended up editing the whole thing anyway, while I read it on my Kindle.) As things stand, it gets 3 stars....more
Chambers hardback edition, unabridged. This is one of my favourite of the later books in the series, for various reasons.
Richenda - later "Ricki" - FChambers hardback edition, unabridged. This is one of my favourite of the later books in the series, for various reasons.
Richenda - later "Ricki" - Fry is one of the more likeable young Chaletians who get their own book before becoming "just another student", and more interesting at that. She has somewhat more varied interests than those of her classmates at the CS, which helps for a start.
This book also doesn't weigh in heavily with the proselytising, which is a great improvement upon the unabridged editions of some of them ("Mary-Lou" comes immediately to mind, that book being one of the more irritating in that way).
I do confess that I was slightly disappointed by the fact that although Richenda comes from a Quaker family, EBD had her decide more or less randomly to attend Anglican services at school and to claim that she was Anglican when asked there, rather than being honest about her lack of certainty. It's a series repetition that simply irritates me when I meet it.
Overall, this one falls somewhere between a 3.5 and 4*....more
A good book on the whole, if you don't take offence at the strongly Christian-Presbyterian undertones and theme. It's not always easy to make one's orA good book on the whole, if you don't take offence at the strongly Christian-Presbyterian undertones and theme. It's not always easy to make one's originally-schoolgirl characters grow up and do it well, but DFB manages it capably in the case of Nancy Caird, Desda Blackett and Desda's twin sisters Rosalind and Celia.
I think it probably helps that a wartime setting would do a lot to make them grow up more quickly than they might otherwise have done: it makes for a realistic way to mature the characters, and since the book was written and published during WWII (somewhere in the early 1940s), it would have been contemporary for those young readers still following their school-story series, and thus a little more immediate for them, or so I imagine.
I won't discuss major spoilers in this review - I usually try to avoid doing so - but the book in general is a positive and uplifting tale of its time, and I'm sure it brought some comfort when first published, especially considering that when it was first published (slightly later than its writing due to the paper shortages of the war) the war was still years from being finished.
It could have been better in some ways, as it was quite oddly paced from time to time, and it very clearly plays on certain feelings of the general public at the time - no sympathy or understanding for any conscientious objectors or pacifists here whatever their reasoning, so be warned! ...
It's also so very much of its time, that if you are anything but a white English or Scottish (in whatever sense) speaker very strongly tied to one's defined and assigned gender role, there is no representation for you, & you'd be lucky to find a character with whom you identify, with the single exception of Czech Nick Vossaryck (and even he is very tied into his own defined role). But then, 1940s England & Scotland - no real surprise, is it? Heteronormative as can possibly be, with several weddings therein. That's not always a bad thing when you want to be taken back in time, but for a modern reader who isn't of the same generation as the characters, it can be a bit frustrating on occasion.
This book is very much about those characters, and about how they handle their lives during wartime but not (in most cases anyway) fighting the war - Nancy takes up an organist's post as her "war work" to free up one more able-bodied man to be called up to fight, while Desda, artist and designer, works in a textiles factory "trying to keep our trade with America going as well as possible" (to paraphrase) as her factory is apparently not fit for conversion to munitions. Considering that it is set during wartime the pace can get surprisingly slow, and not all of the (clearly deliberate) plot devices meant to create suspense come off properly, which has a sadly drowsy effect on the book as a whole.
All that being the case, rating for this comes to 3.5* rounded up. (Though I do wish I could get hold of the rest of the series - and that GGB didn't charge so very much for their reprints!)...more
2.5* rounded up. The writing and editing are both decent & fairly done, and some of the incidents therein made me facepalm for the daft sods invol2.5* rounded up. The writing and editing are both decent & fairly done, and some of the incidents therein made me facepalm for the daft sods involved in them, but I didn't get a single actual laugh out loud from the book. It's a pity, given that it's supposed to be comedic, but there you are, and so the rating....more
Re-read, latest Feb 2016. I always enjoy reading Mort, though I did have a few stabs of missing Pterry this time, since it's the first time I've re-reRe-read, latest Feb 2016. I always enjoy reading Mort, though I did have a few stabs of missing Pterry this time, since it's the first time I've re-read this one since we lost him. Still a four-star book, and that's as will ever be....more
Interesting & evidently heartfelt memoir, but not well edited.
I've pretty much summed it up in my title. This was a book clearly written with loveInteresting & evidently heartfelt memoir, but not well edited.
I've pretty much summed it up in my title. This was a book clearly written with love and the memory of pain, and understandably so, recounting the loss of a much-loved matriarch and the journey to finding both her and justice.
Unfortunately, I don't get the impression that the author had an independent editor other than himself, as the text is poorly edited, not well put together, and tends to be repetitive. I could mark several whole paragraphs that are repeated every time certain people are mentioned, not to mention adjectives used over and over again. Spelling and punctuation are both erratic throughout (albeit not as much so as some I've seen; it's generally in proper names that spelling slips). So on the technical side, the book badly needs re-editing - or frankly, editing at all.
That's not to say that this is a bad book, though. I read most of it in a couple of sittings, and the pace isn't as slow as the progress of the original case (and I can only imagine how painful that must have been). The author manages to hold his audience, if mostly by withholding details and revealing the answers in a way similar to how they were found in reality - bit by bit.
I got this ebook via Kindle Unlimited (yes, I gave in), so did not have to pay full price for it. I'm not sure I would have wanted to pay that had I known the file was so badly edited - this is something that ought always to be done before putting a book up for sale, even if the author needs to hire someone to do so. Anyway, overall I think 3 stars suit. I might up it to 4 if edited....more
I was one of the many friends with EDS and dysautonomia mentioned by Lexa's dad in the introduction here. Alexa had aI might be slightly biased, but.
I was one of the many friends with EDS and dysautonomia mentioned by Lexa's dad in the introduction here. Alexa had a great influence on my attitude, and you can feel her positivity even through the text of this piece, whether she's talking about pain or pleasure. I do miss her. As an eBook her essay could have been better edited - but it is very worth reading. Rest in peace, sweet Lexa Lou, wherever you may be....more
Read this in one go; it's not that long an ebook. The story and characters are intriguing, an interesting take on an old tale, and on the nature of saRead this in one go; it's not that long an ebook. The story and characters are intriguing, an interesting take on an old tale, and on the nature of sanity and reality. That I enjoyed. The pace is good, and keeps one entertained.
Unfortunately, and this is why it gets the star knocked off to 3, it has a very obvious lack of either editing or Britpicking, and since it was a story set largely in England written by a Californian, that last is a very noticeable lack. Alice is meant to be British, and the story is largely from her point of view - but she is very much more American in her speech and thought than a 19-year-old English girl would usually be. Between that and the frustratingly frequent typos, I found myself often thrown out of the story.
All that being the case, the book gets 3 stars, and I'm glad that I borrowed it it for free in its current state instead of paying for it. Perhaps if Jace finds a good editor (and yes, Britpicker) I'll see what the next in the series is like. In the meantime, however, I don't think I'm going to move on to it....more
Stephen Fry is a talented audiobook narrator, and I generally enjoy his interpretation of the Harry Potter books very much. However, the on-the-fly edStephen Fry is a talented audiobook narrator, and I generally enjoy his interpretation of the Harry Potter books very much. However, the on-the-fly edits he's made in several places do irritate me a touch, along with some actual mistakes, so the audio edition of this gets 4 stars, just as the paper copy did....more