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video 2018-04-07 00:30
The Sleeping Prince - Melinda Salisbury
Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton
The Hidden People - Alison Littlewood
The Scarecrow Queen - Melinda Salisbury
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review 2018-02-15 18:41
The Hidden People
The Hidden People - Alison Littlewood

Albie Mirralls has meet his cousin Lizzie once in his life, a meeting which has left a lasting impression on Albie. Ten years later Albie learns about the violent death of Lizzie and his thoughts are set on one thing only: finding out what has happened to Lizzie. Leaving his wife behind, he sets out for the small Yorkshire town of Halfoak, a town riddled with superstitions.


I enjoyed reading this novel, but at the same time I feel like this could have been so much better. Which makes this a frustrating reading experience and a difficult book to give a star rating to.


What I liked: Alison Littlewood knows how to write a compelling story. Despite it being a slow and very descriptive read, I have never been bored by it and I really appreciated the research she has put into this novel. She has managed to capture the Victorian feeling perfectly.


The issues I had with this book:

  • On page 300 (out of 368) I still haven´t had a clue what the story is about. Does the plot revolve around the murder of Lizzie, the domestic problems of the main character or the myths surrounding the “hidden people”, the fairies? The author manages to wrap up all the plotlines in the end, but still I´m not a fan of feeling at a loss with regards to the story for almost 300 pages.
  • I didn´t like to read the Yorkshire accent: “So one of`em, an old `un, `air like a fox and twice as cunnin`, `e smiled at me. Smiled!” And since the story is taking place in a small town in Yorkshire, there is a LOT of talk such as this.
  • My biggest gripe, though, is the main character Albie. The story is told from his point of view, and he is as unreliable as an unreliable narrator gets. Claiming that his wife Helena is sweet-tempered and perfect, the reader gets to know her as bad-tempered and being constantly annoyed with her husband. And here is the thing: I can´t blame her. Being married to such an idiot as Albie, I would be bad-tempered as well. Helena, I feel you.




Another thing I don´t get about Albie is his infatuation with his cousin Lizzie. He has meet her exactly once and this meeting hasn´t struck me as a particularly memorable one. And yet he is completely infatuated with her and leaves his wife in pursuit of the memory of a woman he hasn´t known at all. Not being able to understand the motivations of the main character and he not being able to explain them himself properly, made this story a difficult one to get into and I felt detached from it the whole way through.


The Hidden People isn´t by any means a bad book, but it isn´t a novel I would recommend either. In the end I just feel meh about it, although I liked reading it.





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text 2018-02-15 17:11
Reading progress update: I've read 368 out of 368 pages.
The Hidden People - Alison Littlewood

Oh my, that main character:




I feel so conflicted about this book. I liked reading it, but at the same time I have so many issues with it.

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text 2017-12-22 09:00
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 8: Hanukkah - Spin the Dreidel
The Hidden People - Alison Littlewood
One Night in Winter - Simon Sebag Montefiore
The Beguiled - Thomas Cullinan
Under A Pole Star - Stef Penney

Since I´m sick for the rest of the week and with the upcoming Christmas days, I have a whole lot of spare time do a lot of reading (and watching the second season of The Expanse). So I decided to spin the dreidel for the Hanukkah task. To whittle down my Willoughby book club TBR, I have choosen four books that the people from Willoughby have send to me.


נ (Nun) - The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood

ג (Gimel) - One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore

ה (He) - The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan

ש (Shin) - Under a Pole Star by Stef Penny


And the dreidel says:



ה (He) - The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan


At a girls boarding school in Virginia, the pupils lead sheltered lives. When an injured soldier, wounded in the civil war, is found in the woods nearby and taken in to recuperate, the girls fall immediately under the spell of this charming stranger. But soon his presence unleashes something dark and dangerous in all of them ...


I have to admit, that sounds really good.


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review 2015-03-21 00:00
Path of Needles
Path of Needles - Alison Littlewood When an expert on fairy tales is called in to consult on the investigation of bizarre murders, her premonition and insight causes suspicion; she must solve the case--and fast--to prove her innocence.

Alice Hyland is an expert on fairy tales--lecturing on the well-known stories and their lesser-known variants--and the natural choice for Police Constable Cate Corbin to consult when a dead girl is found in the woods dressed up as Snow White. Especially when the girl's grieving mother receives a parcel containing a glass bottle of blood stoppered with the dead girl's toe. Cate's boss, Detective Superintendent Heath, isn't convinced of the connection to folklore until a second girl is found, this time dressed as Red Riding Hood and with claw marks gouged into her flesh, like a wolf had been at her.

As she dives deeper into the case, Alice beings to sense a supernatural pull connecting her to the murders. A series of uncanny events seem to be pointing her in the right direction, but she's not the only one noticing; By the time a third girl is found in the local castle, Heath begins to wonder if their fairy tale expert knows too much, and Alice finds herself no longer an asset, but a suspect. But she can't stop following the clues, and her determination to solve the mystery herself and prove her innocence may lead her somewhere she can't return from...

Easy read with an interesting concept and the variants on well know fairy stories were interesting. But I just didn't get along with this at all.

It is difficult to mix the supernatural with crime/police procedural and this just didn't work for me. I found it hard to believe that two unconnected people living within the same area would have academic knowledge of the same subject.

Also the ending was silly and perplexing, are we meant to believe that the murderer was rewarded with exactly what he wanted...?


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