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Reading my Collection

2017 – WHOLE year without buying books

Black magic in the strangest of places…

1560312 It feels like an age that I have been reading this. It was an adventure and a talking point.

I have really enjoyed this series so far, ‘The Rogue’ by Trudi Canavan picks up a matter of weeks after the last one finished. Sonea is working with Cery to find the Rogue magician known as Skellin, Lorkin is living with the Traitors and Dannyl is off on another adventure.

This is about magic stones, jealousy and family. It was easy to read, the story flowed and I couldn’t help rotting for the characters all over again. The Naki subplot was not enough to keep Sonea busy. Lorkin was always on her mind, plus the arrival Dorrien and his family might have confused her a bit. The Guild are adapting to Black Magic, rebellions within and the what to do with a murderous teenager?

I liked the development of Anyi in this story and how her relationship with Cery is developing. The stone making and history elements of Lorkin and Dannyl were possibly my favourites.

As I was looking for my pictures for this I came across this alt cover and loved it. I just wanted to share it with you Dear Reader. I hope they make more of them for all countries.

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Happy Reading!

Absences snd guilty pleasures…

BOOK-FEELINGS: Hello Dear Reader, I appreciate it has been a while. I have just completed week 4 of my new job and finally have a rhythm to my day and naturally to my reading opportunities.  I am still making the most of my 2 hours on a bus everyday with an audiobook or two but am yet to master the art of actual reading… to be honest with you I try my best to sleep when I can. This leads to many missed chapters and subsequent the confusion but the ability to do my job and make attempts at conversation when i get home!

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THIS WILL BE ACHIEVED!!

REVIEW: So its review time, and as the title might give away I have been listening to some easy listening “trash”. I mean its not a rubbish story and for the most part the characters are well rounded and show signs of growth and development. I simply mean it would be a beach book, that’s right Dear Reader, I have indulged in a guilty pleasure. I’m not only talking about the book(s) but also the fact the sun is out and I’m sitting typing this in the garden with a chilled diet coke!

This book involves no thinking, long southern accents and the feistiest pensioners you are every likely to meet. ‘Louisiana Longshot’ by Jana Deleon is the first of the ‘Miss Fortune Mystery’ series and it really sets the scene. Fortune is in trouble, she is in the CIA and has just killed the brother of an International Drug Lord. Her boss has sent her to the bayou to pretend to be his niece, an ex beauty queen turned librarian. For those of you that have seen Miss Congeniality (this blog is full of guilty pleasures) you can imagine the picture of her I built up in my head. She has long blonde extensions glued to her shaved head and is under strict instructions to keep a long profile in the sleepy town of Sinful.

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It turns out the town is anything but sleepy, Sinful by name and sinful by nature. On her first night of being ‘Sunny Sue’ her lacklustre dog Bones digs up a human shin bone in her back garden bank of the bayou. She is roped in to competing for Banana pudding and she is befriended for better or worse by the ‘Sinful Ladies’ founders, Ida May and Gurdy.  She has a ropey start with town deputy Carter and soon realises that keeping a low profile in this town just isn’t going to happen.

Can they work out who framed Marie for the murder of her husband? Will Fortune keep her true identity safe? and who will win the banana pudding next Sunday? This is a silly story, I can quite happily put my hands up and say it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Vietnam vets, Alligators and hidden identity, what more could you want? I loved the narration, the silliness and the characters.

In fact I loved them so much as soon as I finished this I downloaded the second one! Review coming shortly but until then Happy Reading!

 

Dilemma Time…

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That’s right! 

BOOK-FEELINGS: I have an issue and I need your help. Last time I posted something like this… I might have to buy books for work. If I buy one is it against the rules? Should I ask work to buy them… for anyone that only reads occasionally I started a new job about 2 weeks ago.

There are several books I could get most of which is online, but some of it would be useful to have for reference. HELP ME READERS!!

Maps, Magic and Marriage prospects…

So I started this as soon as I finished book 1. I couldn’t help it… I needed more. India Steele and Mr Matthew Glass…. what trouble are they up to now? As it happens Dear Reader, they have been recruited by Commissioner Munroe to find his illegitimate son, Daniel.

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So Daniel is arrogant, the Mapmaker Guildmaster’s apprentice and his is missing. Kidnapped, killed or has he just run away to make his fortune? The magic is back in various forms, as is Aunt Letitia. She has Matthew’s future in her sights… how many of London’s finest (and their daughters) will come visiting?  Matthew seems less than impressed by all of this as does India. Is Letty missing something? are we?

This story revolves around the missing apprentice but shades of the Watchmakers Daughter is there. The Guild are still after India, Matthew is still after Chronos and India wants to know all Matt’s secrets. I liked this story for the influence of magic, the strong-willed India getting her way and getting into far too much trouble. Apparently she wants to prove herself, which indeed is wonderful! In so many way this reminds me of Gail Carriger and the Parasol Protectorate.

The Guild don’t want Daniel to keep showing off his map-making talents, mainly because his magic can be used against him. There is a treasure hunter, a Roman coin horde and a missing map maker. Strangely, or not as the case may be they are in fact linked…

This is fast paced, over lapping and full of steam punk references.  I need the next instalment, which obviously isn’t out on audiobook yet. Luckily I have a few to keep me going!

Happy Reading.

Bus journeys, watches and Americans…

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Dear Reader, I know I am useless.

I am sorry. I started a new job this week and in reality finished this book on Thursday morning but I got home from work and went to type but actually just slept. I have been getting up at 5am and getting home at 8pm. I think once I’m in a routine I might blog at lunchtime from work and you WILL GET MORE REVIEWS!!

So here it is. I started listening to ‘The Watchmakers Daughter’ by C.J Archer. Meeting Miss India Steele, was different. She isn’t the weak, feeble, lady of leisure we are used to. She’s a shop keepers daughter in the late 1800’s. She wants to run her father’s shop, she is glad that her former fiancee Eddie Hardacre doesn’t want her. She is out spoken, adventurous and far too curious!

The story is that of India and Mr Matthew Glass on the hunt for Chronos, an old watchmaker who helped saved Matt’s life. He is over from the States with his cousin Willie, a fierce hustler who smokes a pipe and kills at poker, who doesn’t want to conform by wearing aTheWatchmakersDaughter_ebook_Final_small1 skirt. Duke, his butler/cook/best friend and Cyclops the one-eyed coachman. Miss Letitia Glass, Matt’s spinster aunt is very excited about his return to the Uk and is trying her best to set him up with an intelligent lady of social standing.

This is wonderfully narrated (more on that later), fast paced and full of the unexpected. The purple glow will fill you with joy and so many questions. I enjoyed the pace, the turns in the story and the strong characters.

This was easy to listen to, the narrator was amazing and really understood the differences in tone and pace of each.

I have started the next one in the series and although the story is wonderful, the narrator has change and this makes me a little sad. This book and series in magical. Happy Reading!

109 Days, Magicians and Audiobooks…

 

BOOK FEELINGS FIRST: Big news Dear Reader, I have a job so I have few more hours of my day commuting so plenty of reading and time to review! I have downloaded a few ready for the 2 hours each way on the bus. I struggle to read on the bus so I am going for audiobooks until I can train myself to do that. I have really enjoyed the past few months of getting friends recommendations and taking the time to relax and reset before starting a new job.

I am 109 days clean! I haven’t bought myself a book, I’m strangely get more picky about the books I’m reading. I have realised I have a lot of books in similar genres so as I’m starting to slow down with the reading a bit. Until this one… I started reading the Trudi Canavan books the year before last. The first 2 of the Magicians Guild trilogy, I got through super fast but the final one took me ages to get into, because of that I was a little reluctant to start this trilogy ‘Traitor Spy’.

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REVIEW TIME:  I got into this super quick because I know most of the characters. It was easy to follow the story, I enjoyed the grown-up Sonea, she is feisty and still has the charm she had a child. Now the most feared Black Magician she is trying to do the best for her son.

Lorkin, on the other hand wants to get out from her grasp and heads off to be Ambassador Dannyl’s assistant. His companion Tayend is particularly shocked that  Dannyl doesn’t want him there, but Lorkin jumps on the opportunity to look into lost magic. They head off despite Sonea trying to stop him. Although missing him, Sonea is kept busy in the hospices, realising that the Roet addiction is getting out of control. Are the Theives involved? Is Cery?

Cery’s family both blood and Thief are in danger and he’s going to find out why. Lorkin is thinking about trading the secret of magic healing for secrets of Magic past. Sonea is finding her voice.

With kidnap, murder and missing artefacts, this book flows easily, the Traitors are running and the magic is subtle. I like this trilogy so much more so far. I’m going to get back to it. Happy Reading.

She wont bite, or will she?…

The_Girl_with_All_the_GiftsJust WOW.

If I could leave a review there I would but I feel I would be short changing you, Dear Reader.

Melanie is eight, super intelligent and will eat you given half the chance. This book is HER story, the journey from school to captive to freedom. Finding herself, realising the truth and changing the future.

Her companions are Sergeant Eddie Parks, a grumpy scarred and seasoned soldier, Miss Helen Justineau, the teacher that cares too much, Private Gallagher, a young man that has no memory of how the world used to be and finally Dr Caroline Caldwell, who constantly clicks her pen and wants to dissect…everyone.

The story starts at Hotel Echo, a military base where Melanie is the most intelligent in her class and wishes she was called Pandora. Sgt Parks doesn’t like that  Helen is willing to treat them like ‘real’ children and Dr Caldwell doesn’t want anything to happen to specimen number 1. Shortly after we meet out protagonists the camp is attacked and they realise they are dead unless they move out. Follow their adventures of dangers of canned food, the trials of being hunted and the personal cost to each and every one of them.

The writing is fantastic, the story is dauntingly possible and the voice of Melanie could so easily be any of us. Will they do enough to survive? Is Melanie the only one that can learn? Will this be our dystopian future? I was emotionally attached to all these characters and naturally I am now filled with scepticism about the upcoming adaptation. M R Carey has written the screenplay so hopefully the fun, suspense and character driven plot won’t be lost. Oh and Glenn Close as Dr Caldwell, that I will pay to see.1390464124_The-Girl-With-All-The-Gif

I loved this book, it was recommended to me by a friend in publishing as was in fact a Christmas present from my girlfriend, turns out I should listen to her more often.

So the sun is still out and I’m feeling literate so let the next book commence, Happy Reading!

A painter, a florist and a secret agent…

My Dearest readers, I have returned complete with review and another nearly complete. I know I have apologised for my lack of reviews in March and April I WILL BE BETTER. So it begins here, with ‘A Little Murder’ by Suzette A. Hill, 17917948._UY400_SS400_in which Marcia Beasley of St John’s Wood is found in her home naked, shot in the head and covered with a coal scuttle. Detective Sergeant Greenleaf is tasked with unraveling the layers of Marcia’s life to bring meaning to her gruesome death. While the Police investigation plods on, Marcia’s niece Rosy finds herself unwittingly drawn into a family mystery involving espionage and foreign intrigue.

Rosy is the character you route for the entire way through. Will the stories from Felix, Estranged Uncle Donald and the limping Frenchman Sabatier help her uncover the truth? Is it only in death she will know and understand her Aunt?

The painter Clovis, the awfully mysterious Vera and nosy neighbours The Gills, all play their part in peaking Rosy’s interest into the investigation. A fur coat, a lawnmower and of course the square handled coal scuttle all add twists turns and intrigue to the mystery.

I found the first half very easy to read and flew though it, the second bit felt dragged out and yet the final chapters concluded everything a little too quickly and easily. Adding depth to some of the sub plots and exploring the post WW2 London links would have been rather enjoyable. I liked the SOE and secret agent twists and thought more time could have been dedicated to the papers in question.

It was an amusing and light hearted read, it was easy and fun and just what I needed to feel ready to ready ad write again after a tricky month. In other news I have just completed another month of no book purchases. I AM A QUARTER WAY THROUGH THE YEAR!!

I was away for 4 days in France visiting friends so caught up with my reading on the plane and have nearly finished ‘Girl with all the Gifts’ and on that it coffee and book time. Catch up with you very soon Dear Reader.

Happy Reading!

Back on the book train…

So it’s one of my favourite days of the year, Super Saturday. 3 games of Rugby back to back, Cider, snacks to last the day and it is wonderful. Yet, I have the urge to tell you about the book I have finally finished. ‘Dear Amy’ by Helen Callaghan, has been a wonderful read, despite it seeming to have been forever since I started it.

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I got into it very quickly, an agony Aunt (Dear Amy) was getting letters from Bethan Avery, a girl who went missing over 20 years ago, apparently prompted by the latest disappearance.  Margot Lewis; School teacher, Agony aunt, estranged wife, has no idea how to deal with these letters. What will the Police say? What will they think? What can she do?

This story follows her pursuit to find both missing girls. I found myself laughing, crying and being genuinely scared throughout this book. The villain is wonderfully written, very complex and so real. I found myself checking to see if I was being followed a little more often. Some of the supporting cast could be more likeable or prominent to make the story flow a little better but Margot has a strong voice that you find yourself getting swept away with. Martin, Greta and Lily all play their part. Katie and Eddie have a wonderful presence and really make you feel the plot.

Margot is followed, abused and doubted but she still pushes through.  In this quest she finally loses her useless husband, finds herself and uncovers the biggest mystery of all. What happened to Bethan Avery? Read it.. Dear reader and find out!

Happy Reading!

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