Daisy's Quest is a sweet-natured story for young readers who like traditional themes with an Australian slant. Daisy is a fairy who lives in a forestDaisy's Quest is a sweet-natured story for young readers who like traditional themes with an Australian slant. Daisy is a fairy who lives in a forest reserve in NSW. She is just at the age when fairies have a chance to go on a quest to earn wings and, importantly, to find their Calling. The quest is difficult for Daisy and her friend Vu. It calls for a lot of climbing and although Vu can fly, he is too small to be of physical assistance to Daisy. The attractive thing about this story is the deft touches of natural history by which readers will absorb more information than one might expect. Value-adding at the end of the story gives us notes from Daisy, which give information that would have been over-heavy in the story itself. My favourite aspect is that fairies get to choose the way their wings will look. My favourite character is the clumsy fairy Pea. She reminds me of myself! (Oops... that didn't come out the way I meant it...)
Jodie Wells-Slowgrove and her illustrator Kerry Millard have created an affectionate and charming tribute to the children of the Australian bush....more
I loved Shadow City. I had already read and enjoyed this author's STRANGE BREW and although this one is not related, it has the same expertise in worlI loved Shadow City. I had already read and enjoyed this author's STRANGE BREW and although this one is not related, it has the same expertise in world-building, the same crafting of characters, the same engaging style, the same elegant pacing (I love books this length) and, best of all, the same willingness to be unexpected. David Landrum is never afraid to give his characters shades in their personalities. Sometimes the innocent suffer, sometimes the guilty seem untouchable but it always walks within the rules of a remade universe. Looking forward already to the next one....more
I have always liked A Haunting Air, by the same author and was delighted when I was able to buy a copy at long last. That's why I jumped at the chanceI have always liked A Haunting Air, by the same author and was delighted when I was able to buy a copy at long last. That's why I jumped at the chance to get A Pocket of Silence when it was offered on a sales list. I loved it. It has so many elements I like, and it is so beautifully and gracefully written that I could hardly fail to love it. On her sixteenth birthday, Caroline decides on the spur of the moment to go back to the town where she was born and where she lived until her mother died when she was ten. Since then she has lived with her fractious cousins, for whom she feels obligation but no love. With little more than her schoolbag and sleeping things, Caroline revisits the scenes of childhood, knowing, somehow, there is someone she has forgotten and something she needs to do.
Over three days, she renews old acquaintances, makes new friends and hears a long story which fills in one of the "pockets of silence" in history. The story-within-a-story is a format I often enjoy, but it was the characters and style that pleased me especially. The situations in books (of this level) by Barbara C. Freeman are oddly modern although they are not handled in quite the same way as they might be in 2014. Caroline's cousins have a disintegrating relationship and Caroline has been both the glue and the buffer as she struggles to keep the household on an even keel. (A Haunting Air has an equally interesting set-up with a warring father and daughter living next door to a sleep-deprived widow with a baby. If you've never read any of BCF, I do heartily recommend these two books. Mind you, they're not heart-wrenching or worthy and that's probably why I love them. I read to be entertained and delighted, not crushed....more
I read Dance With Me over a few days and kept promising myself I'd read only for ten minutes... and coming to an hour later. I enjoyed it very much asI read Dance With Me over a few days and kept promising myself I'd read only for ten minutes... and coming to an hour later. I enjoyed it very much as it reminded me of Jilly Cooper's earlier books, and also of Pamela Dean's Tam Lin and a bit of Madeleine Brent's books, Georgette Heyer and Anne McCaffrey's non-sf titles. It's a social comedy set in England in the 1970s; a period I remember well and a place I know through reading. The not-so-hapless heroine is a little ray of sunshine, but has a little streak of self-preservation (she doesn't necessarily own up to her errors!) that keeps her from being cloying. She's getting an education from a strange angle (art history, though she can barely spell) and learning to cook from a damaged Jew with a monkey named Josephine. The characters are presented in one light, and then, as if through a prism, we discover they are not exactly as we thought. The leisurely length on the book kept me ambling along happily, though with one eye on the date as this is a library book and I have an even fatter one to read yet and limited time. The only things I didn't really like were that I could see disasters approaching well before Viola could, and I kept thinking how uncomfortable it was/must be with mud, dust, mould and disgusting food... Still, a charming book on the whole which has the virtues and the not-so-good things of the other books/authors I mentioned above....more
I listened to the audio version of this, read by Jilly (surname escapes me). I enjoyed the narration very much, though I suspect Jilly's sense of ironI listened to the audio version of this, read by Jilly (surname escapes me). I enjoyed the narration very much, though I suspect Jilly's sense of irony was just a tinch on display. That was a good thing. The story is short and fast-moving which pleased me. I don't like very long audio books. The style was quite pleasing, and there was some humour. The hero failed the would-he-really test a few times. I loved the squire's wife and her son and liked the relationship between Amelia and her little stepdaughters (and guessed one of the secrets almost immediately).
In fact, I predicted the story turns accurately all the way. This led me to wonder; when do genre conventions and editorial givens become predictability? One might argue that all the events/twists in the story had to happen because otherwise there would be no story. I have a subversive mind though and like to see some obvious roads not taken. I think that's why I prefer cross-genre romances to the pure ones. In a cross-gen, the H and H can have adventures and conflict without idiotic suspicions or misunderstandings. They might disagree on how to tackle a specific challenge, but that's down to differing opinions, not to stupid misunderstandings.
As a regency, I liked this book very well. It engaged me. However, I would have liked it better if it had avoided just a few of those so-obvious twists.
The Road to Vegas is a terrific on-stop-action yarn for anyone who enjoys a good bit of opinionated chick-lit with bite. (No, I don't mean vampires, eThe Road to Vegas is a terrific on-stop-action yarn for anyone who enjoys a good bit of opinionated chick-lit with bite. (No, I don't mean vampires, either.) Jewels Diva can tell a story like no-one else, and I mean that in a good way. Like Jewels herself, her protagonists set their gaze on their goals and go after them hell-for-leather, neck-and-crop, with all guns blazing.Viva-la-Diva!
A note about Sallyo's rating- 1:- didn't like it at all. 2: - so-so; not really to my taste. 3: - liked it! Will read it again. 4:- liked it very well. Will recommend it to others. 5:- top of the top - and usually only for books I have already read multiple times....more