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review 2017-01-07 13:28
A surpisingly warm Christmas story
A Christmas With The Dodger - Charlton Daines

Imagine being part of the family of The Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist when he grows up and what Christmas might be like with an expert thief as the head of the family.

 

Actually, Jack has gone straight to please his honest wife. Well, mostly anyway. Reg, his adopted nephew, comes from the streets like Jack and together they can't always manage to be squeaky clean.

 

The story is mostly about Reg and his struggle to choose whether to please his adopted mother, Lily, by being honest or to be tempted by his childhood among cut throats and thieves to commit at least small acts of pilfering.

 

The characters were nicely fleshed out and there was plenty of action and adventures. I'll definitely have to read the author's other book!

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text 2015-09-20 13:45
Curiosity Quills Press Is Looking For More Reviewers!
The Actuator: Fractured Earth - James Wymore,Aiden James
Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss
Prophet of the Badlands - Matthew S. Cox
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre
The Curse Merchant - J.P. Sloan
Sharcano (Sharkpocalypse #1) - Jose Prendes
The Artful - Wilbert Stanton
The Mussorgsky Riddle - Darin Kennedy
Havelock: One - Jane D. Everly

Okay, I normally don't do this kind of posts but Curiosity Quills Press is one of my favourite publishers and I really enjoy reviewing their books. That's why I thought I might know some people who would also enjoy it.

 

They are now hosting an event to gain more reviewers in their mailing lists, and as a reward for just signing up you'll get three books of choice from their ebook catalogue. If you would PM me and allow me to tell them I sent you there, I also get three books (which be nice as I really like their books).

 

I did a quick check of my reading stats this year and so far this year I've read 29 of their books. That's almost 14% of what I've read this year!

 

I think they publish around 10 books a month, in all kinds of different genres. I've been on their reviewers list for a while now and I generally receive two emails a month (which I'm usually even looking forward to): one announcing new books that can be requested for review, and one invitation to join on one or more blog tours. What I really like is that you don't have to enter anything and it's just fine not to participate if you're busy or don't think you'll like the books.

 

Some of the books eventually make it up to Netgalley, but I noticed many do not.

 

Every time I mailed with the staff they have been really friendly, and even writing a negative review for a blog tour (I once wrote a two star review on a book that just wasn't for me and the response I got was just 'too bad, these things happen, hope you enjoy your next book better') is not a problem (which is something I find really important and which is why I'm really hesitant to enter other blog tours).

 

You can find more information on this event here.

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review 2015-06-03 14:16
Artful
Artful - Ali Smith

"All of it? I say.

Lucky for you the ands are ampersands, you say.

You are calling my bluff, of course. I call yours back. I take the book to the tattoo parlour down Mill Road and come home, after several sessions, with exactly this tattoo. I choose to have it done in deep blue, the colour of your eyes. It costs me a fortune. It hurts like irony.

I see you again only when it's finished and my skin settled down.

You're unreal, you say when you see it.

You're the real unreal thing all right.

Less than a month after this we move in together and mix our books up."

 

I love this book.

 

Artful is the product of four lectures Smith gave and combines a background story of coming to terms with death with a literary exploration of themes that deal with elements of grieving, time, fragmentation, etc.

 

Of course, Smith delivers all of this in a discourse that is both full of wit and tenderness. 

 

I'm not sure whether I love this book because of the way that Smith delivers the lectures or the selections of poetry and books she includes. In any case, this is one of the books that I will read again and again.  

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review 2015-05-18 09:27
Artful - Martin Lake

As books about the Artful Dodger go, this is probably the best one that takes him into his exile in Australia. It is more true to Dodger's personality when boarding the ship to Oz than some others I've read or sampled.

 

It holds interest pretty well, although it does slow down in the middle. The later part of the book gets increasingly difficult to assimilate into believability but the first part was really good, so it deserves points for that. I got the feeling that the author found an old dictionary of redundant Victorian words and decided to slip them all in at once just a little past halfway through.

 

Without giving too much away, it gets interesting again when Jack finds himself back in his natural element. but after that I got the feeling that the author was struggling for plot. The ending was far too wimpy and I got the impression that another book will be forthcoming to continue the adventure, but the last 15% was a real slog so I'm not likely to look out for it.

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text 2015-05-09 11:31
Have read 61%
Artful - Martin Lake

This one is pretty good, as Artful Dodger sequels go. I'd say it's probably the best of the ones that follow him to Australia, based on the samples and other books I've read. It gets a little slow in the middle, but I just read past a part where he comes across some old friends and it's getting my interest again. Hedging between 3-4 stars on this one. I'll decide when it's finished.

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