Prelim Review: This wasn't what I was expecting. Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy it, however This...just wasn't what I expected.
Sanderson said he wa...morePrelim Review: This wasn't what I was expecting. Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy it, however This...just wasn't what I expected.
Sanderson said he wanted to show how a fantasy civilization would evolve after a few centuries--that they wouldn't stay bound to the medieval lifestyle if given a chance to evolve. I'd say that was a success--the world of Alloy and the world of Mistborn are markedly different. Of course for anyone who read the Mistborn trilogy there's a very good reason why civilization was stunted, but its still shocking to hear 'electric lighting' in the same paragraph as 'allomancy'.
The book takes place in a rough-and-ready 'western' sort of local only briefly (the prologue), but the brand of justice Wax fought twenty years to protect out in the Roughs left its mark on him and how he approached situations.
Full review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality(less)
Prelim Review: I grew up reading MJ Putney (or Mary Jo Putney) and her historical romances. She was one of my favorites, though as I grew older I move...morePrelim Review: I grew up reading MJ Putney (or Mary Jo Putney) and her historical romances. She was one of my favorites, though as I grew older I moved away from her newer books. This, her first foray into YA-Paranormal Historical Romance, reminded me why I enjoyed her books.
It also reminded me why I stopped reading them however.
Full Review to be Posted at Night Owl Romance(less)
Prelim review: I read Howell's previous trilogy, Queen of the Orcs, with an excited wonderment. I began this one with an anticipation of that same won...morePrelim review: I read Howell's previous trilogy, Queen of the Orcs, with an excited wonderment. I began this one with an anticipation of that same wonderment and I'm served rightly for it. What is fate? What is obligation and duty? A Woman Worth Ten Coppers seeks to answer those questions.
Full review will be posted later at BSCReview(less)
Prelim Review: I don't, by in large, read the 'Big Three' comics of the DC Universe because I don't often care about Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman....morePrelim Review: I don't, by in large, read the 'Big Three' comics of the DC Universe because I don't often care about Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman. I'm more often interested in their sidekicks or enemies so I only touch upon their books when it involves them.
SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE is a different fish because J. Michael Straczynski is involved and I loved (and I do mean loved) his comic series RISING STARS from the early new millennium (back when I was so into comic books I spending hundreds of dollars a month on them). I trusted him not to give me squeaky-clean, 'gosh golly', do-gooder Clark Kent. And he didn't. He gave me a Clark who didn't know his place in the world, who wanted to succeed because he wanted to take care of his mother, who basically became a superhero because it gave him an opportunity to land the job he wanted at the Daily Planet.
Shane Davis, who does the art and was born in NJ (but I won't hold that against him), does a phenomenal job on the artwork in my opinion. Its striking, detailed when it needs to be and appropriately realistic enough to not make me wonder if everyone is made of elastic. There is a certain kind of 'pretty' to everything, but I'll forgive that (I read shoujo manga after all).
Full Review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality(less)
This book takes place more or less in the vicinity of Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Colin's book) timeline wise. In fact the musicale that takes place dur...moreThis book takes place more or less in the vicinity of Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Colin's book) timeline wise. In fact the musicale that takes place during the end of this book is the one featured during Chapter 7 of Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (and yes I took out my copy to double check this because I remembered Lady Whistledown mentioning something about Honoria's violin...) Don't worry none of that paragraph is a spoiler for either book (and only one is a spoiler for the other, but I'm not saying which!).
Since the very first mention of the Smythe-Smiths in the Bridgerton Saga (make no mistake it is a SAGA) I've been curious about them. So it was with great anticipation that I waited for this book (the first in a quartet).
It didn't let me down.
More importantly, despite many of Quinn's recent books being only so-so for me, JUST LIKE HEAVEN reminded me why I enjoyed her writing so much. Marcus and Honoria are delightful together and I found myself tearing up a number of times during the 'deathly sickness' Marcus suffered from. I knew this had a HEA (happily ever after), its a romance for a reason and Quinn never lets a reader down, but in those moments in his sick room I truly felt scared for Honoria and Marcus.
Its obvious from the first pages that Honoria and Marcus are meant to be together, though Marcus tried to treat her as the annoying little sister of his school friend, he just couldn't say no to her. Truth be told Marcus was a bit too...well rounded. He had a lacklustre family life so he adored visiting his friend Daniel's house because of the large family atmosphere. His father was distant and neglectful, but not particularly cruel as such things go. If Marcus had any 'wild oats' he wanted to sow he did it very discreetly.
He was just so very serious. He took his duties and obligations very seriously. And from the first time he met Honoria he felt duty bound to protect her and by golly he did. Its very likely he had fallen in love with her first and didn't realize it, which is a change from the girl loving the guy for years on end.
Honoria wasn't what I expected. We see very little of the Smythe-Smiths outside of the musicales; they're not particularly close (any of them and there are many of them) with the Bridgertons so Quinn never truly focused on any of them as characters with individual personalities. Honoria had many of the hallmarks of Quinn's ladies--she was quick-witted, generous, prone to short fits of irritation and lacking some sort of confidence. In Honoria's case some of it stemmed from the scandal her brother Daniel got run out of the country for, causing their mother to go into a decline that involved basically ignoring the rest of her children and some of it stemmed from Marcus' involvement in her personal affairs.
The insight into the Smythe-Smiths world however was interesting and cast a different look onto some aspects of the Bridgerton Saga. For instance in the Saga the Bridgertons are either universally touted as a wonderful family or bitterly hated. In Honoria (and Marcus' for that matter) world the Bridgerton Clan just are. Mentions are made about various members, Gregory's eligibility as a husband for instance and Colin's flirting with Honoria at one point, but their lives so rarely touched upon Honoria or Marcus' they were just quirky addition for long time readers.
As it stands I wonder which other Smythe-Smiths will be featured? Other unmarried Smythe-Smiths are involved in the book, plus a family...acquaintance who was given quite a bit more attention and mystery then I would have otherwise surmised important to her character. Quinn is tightlipped however so I'll just have to wait in suspense! (less)
I should point out I've read this a bunch of time and was part of what began my love affair with Rakes and Wallflowers. Having some trouble speaking m...moreI should point out I've read this a bunch of time and was part of what began my love affair with Rakes and Wallflowers. Having some trouble speaking myself (ranging from selective mutism to stammering and inability to enunciate properly) I always felt particularly close to Evie (of the wallflowers). I read the other books in this quartet (well I guess technically there's 6 books?), but I have only ever re-read this book.
Admittedly I think part of why I remain faithful to this book is because while Kleypas doesn't explicitly condone any of the past transgressions of St. Vincent's, Evie doesn't judge him for them. She doesn't allow him to judge himself for them either. What Evie does is make St. Vincent judge why he did what he did. Why did he run off with his best friend's intended? Why did he go from woman to woman with a callous disregard for how meaningless it all was? Why was he so afraid to admit that he needed Evie as much as she needed him?
Back when I first read this and even now, on re-read four (I think?) that seems so very important to me. Evie's casual acceptance of St. Vincent's past is what I think ultimately undoes him.
Also as this is book 3, two of the Wallflowers are already married so the friendship between the four has...not so much diminished, as its not as much of a focal point. The scenes between the woman are still fun, though I'm not as fond of Lillian as I am of Daisy (small aside, I had always wanted Daisy and Rohan to get together and was immensely disappointed there wasn't a follow up on him).
As for the gaming hell aspect, that's an interesting backdrop to the story. The characters rarely leave Jenner's, so we get to see a bit of the establishment. Its an unusual setting since both St. Vincent and Evie (despite her father) are part of the upper lines of society, but it works well.
In all this is always fun to read and always worth recommending.(less)
This prequel to the Persephone Parker books (set about 21 years before those books) gives us back story on the Goddess' fight against the Darkness as...moreThis prequel to the Persephone Parker books (set about 21 years before those books) gives us back story on the Goddess' fight against the Darkness as well as the Guard directly before the Persephone Parker Guard (plus background on the Goddess herself).
Interestingly it should be noted that this book is set in 1867--the year that Alexi's crew become the Guard--but months before when a cadre of young people in Cairo come into possession of that duty. This other Guard, a more disparate group of young men and women then the Guard we know, share similarities with Alexi's crew, but are cut from a wholly different fabric.
I'll say this upfront--I adore Leanna's writing. I have since the very first page of the first book. That said there were times when I'd grow impatient with the Cairo Guard because of their reactions and actions. They're younger then Alexi's Guard (at least, younger then when we see Alexi's Guard working. Comparatively speaking they receive the Summons to Duty later in their age then Alexi's Guard), and are from several different religions and nationalities so their responses to things would by nature be different. Intellectually that all makes sense. Doesn't mean I wasn't glaring at the screen of my e-reader demanding they get their heads on straight however.
I can say this for the Cairo Guard though, it was fascinating watching how they learned to work with each other and mesh their various beliefs. Alexi's Guard, maybe because they have two decades on the Cairo Guard or maybe because they are all (to my knowledge) Christian of some nature, rarely had the problems the Cairo Guard faced. For instance when Ibrahim moves in with Ahmed's family or even when the Guard first meet each other, cultural misunderstandings are voiced. However the Grand Work smooths out a lot of the troubles as the teens find themselves suddenly given a place in the world.
I appreciated that Leanna used this book to also illustrate better the other side of being called to duty. Most of the members of the Cairo Guard had families--mothers, fathers and siblings who could never know about their new roles. Deliberately Leanna shows us what this toll has on those members especially with Beatrice who until her call to arms was very close with her father. She muses at one point that there was now a distance that couldn't be bridged, not a painful one, but an instinctual one both her and her father felt. Ahmed expresses a similar feeling, though with less wistfulness I believe.
The book is really two sided--we see the Cairo Guard (of whom we met Beatrice in the Percy Parker books previously), but we also watch Persephone (aka the Goddess) as she begins to fade more and more. This is a more realized Persephone, one who isn't perfect and doesn't present herself as perfect. In between her encouraging speeches to the Guard she begs to see the sights or becomes desperate as the Underworld eats away at her. Ultimately this book also sets the stage for why Persephone finally took human form (in the form of Percy Parker) and paves the way for the fourth book (Miss Violet and the Great War).
This should be read as the third book in the series if only because though this is about an earlier Guard, Leanna treats this not as a true prequel. We are given background, but the foundations are not addressed. The assumption being that the reader has read the Percy Parker books beforehand I think, so Leanna doesn't feel as great a need to elaborate on the Grand Work. Partially I think this is because the Cairo Guard are treated almost as placeholders for Alexi's Guard. We know this Guard doesn't last an extraordinary amount of time, we also know that what transpires is mainly set up for when Percy is born and the Grand Work is truly in play. (less)
Prelim Review: I enjoyed the first story the best quite frankly, the enjoyment I gained from the other two steadily decreased until finally at the end...morePrelim Review: I enjoyed the first story the best quite frankly, the enjoyment I gained from the other two steadily decreased until finally at the end of the book I just felt 'meh' about it.(less)