logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Ashes
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-13 15:31
Ashes of London
Ashes of London - Andrew Taylor

This, ladies and gentlemen, is an official DNF.

 

I don't make those very often; mostly I let a book marinate in my "currently reading" pile, because I might get back to it.  I save DNF for a book that I know I will never "get back to."

 

Ashes of London is one of those.  And I'm disappointed, because I was looking forward to this one.  Mystery thriller set in the Great Fire of London and the aftermath!  Just my type of thing.

 

Not so much.  We start with the fire well under way - with the collapse of Old St Paul's Cathedral, the great medieval hulk, begun by William the Conqueror, that towered over the London of Charles II.  But we don't get a dead body, or anything like a crime.  (You would expect one by 15% in, which is about as far as I got.)

 

Aside from the fire, we don't really get a sense of 1666 at all.  I read historical fiction to get a sense of the past.  I didn't get that feel here.  This could have been any pre-modern time with a big fire.

 

The writing is bland.  We get no real sense of 1666.  The characters are fairly flat.  And we have two protagonists.  (I dislike multiple protagonists, particularly uncharacterized multiple protagonists.  Instead of giving us two flat narrators, how about giving us one interesting and developed one?)

 

So now I'm about 15% in, and nothing is really exciting me about this one.  And then

Taylor decides to start the characterization of our female narrator by having her mustachio-twisting cousin (he fairly screams "I am evil!") rape her

(spoiler show)

, and I am out.  I will never pick up this book again.

 

Because first I was bored, there was neither a sense of the past or a visible mystery to solve, and I didn't care about the characters (I can't even be bothered to remember their names), and then I was offended.  And now I am gone.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-29 17:10
A Handful of Ashes
A Handful of Ashes - Rob McCarthy

I was the BIGGEST fan of book one in this series (more details below if you missed it) and with “A Handful of Ashes” I can honestly say this has moved up to favourite series status on my bookish wishlist – one of a handful I’m going to be hotly anticipating every year for as long as they continue. Long may that be…

 

I’m a sucker for a good medical drama and an even bigger one for a good crime drama – with the Harry Kent series Rob McCarthy brings the two together in a fast, addictive, well considered thriller that just had me blasting through it with little thought to anything else around me. Don’t you love those ones?

 

In this story we have a suspicious “suicide”, a possible hospital cover up, grieving parents, danger lurking around every corner and our (anti) hero Dr Kent slowly falling apart at the seams whilst trying to help our (anti) heroine Frankie Noble solve the conundrum. She’s not exactly the most grounded police officer ever but both of them are superbly engaging, inevitably flawed but so beautifully described in sheer force of personality that you just get pulled along with them. The plot is  thoroughly twisted, highly charged emotionally and has an ending that had me on the floor. I loved it.

 

I’d like to give a nod to at least one beautifully written thrilling scene in this involving a fight to save a life – as I came to the end of that chapter I found myself quite literally sitting on the edge of my seat (not that easy in a giant swivel chair) I had to sit and have a nice cup of tea before continuing on. That is not the only genuinely immersive bit of scene setting in A Handful of Ashes but it’s probably the one that will stay with me – What is great about it is that these moments are interspersed with quieter more considered moments and the author digs deep into the multiple layers that make up his characters, insightful writing that means you really feel for everything they go through.

 

Both the medical and the procedural elements that make up the story feel highly authentic, I am definitely one for the tortured souls in fiction therefore Harry Kent holds my attention (I may be a little in fictional love) and overall this is terrific writing, terrific plotting and well, just plain terrific.

 

Highly Recommended.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-03-28 17:43
2016 Year in Review
A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers) - Becky Chambers
The Obelisk Gate - N.K. Jemisin
The Countess Conspiracy - Courtney Milan
Midnight Taxi Tango - Daniel José Older
White Trash Zombie Gone Wild: A White Trash Zombie Novel by Rowland, Diana(October 6, 2015) Mass Market Paperback - Diana Rowland
The Liberation (The Alchemy Wars) - Ian ... The Liberation (The Alchemy Wars) - Ian Tregillis
Babylon's Ashes - James S.A. Corey
The Core of the Sun - Johanna Sinisalo
The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin
The Winged Histories: a novel - Sofia Samatar

Last year, I failed to do any summary posts about what I had read in 2015. I think I just kept putting it off until it was so late in the year that it seemed not worth the bother. Of course, I see so many "best books of the year" posts in November of the year in discussion that sometimes January seems like it is too late. So March isn't even that late, really.

 

My breakdown of the 76 "books" I finished in 2016:

anthologies: 1
collections: 0
Adult novels: 41
YA novels: 5
MG novels: 13
graphic novels: 1
art book: 0
comic omnibus: 11
magazine issues: 0
children's books: 2
nonfiction: 2

Of those 76, only 20 were published in 2016. I abandoned 3 titles without finishing. I also counted Final Formula as 1 book even though it was 2 novels and a short, and decided to consider the serial box stories an anthology instead of individual books. 
 
I did read some other miscellaneous short fiction in various magazines, but I don't shelve magazines unless I'm reviewing the issue. And I don't shelve individual stories because I am lazy.
 
Across all categories:
  Written by Women: 55 (72%, up from 2014)
  Written by POC's: 13 (17%, down from 2014)
  Written by Transgender authors: 1 (1%)
  Written by Non-binary authors: 1 (1%)
 
I'm a bit unhappy with how little of my reading was by POC's, both because it was a decrease from last time I checked, and because if I counted unique authors, I'd have even fewer. Apparently 2016 was the year I read lots of white ladies. I added 2 new demographic categories, which I know I'll need for the 2017 counts as well. I included the 1 transgender author in both that category and in the category she self identifies as. 
 
My favorite book from 2016 was A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers) - Becky Chambers, just barely edging out The Obelisk Gate - N.K. Jemisin and The Core of the Sun - Johanna Sinisalo because I needed comfort more than truth. All the novels I rated 5 stars are included in the ribbon. My favorite new-to-me writers were Noelle Stevenson and Daniel José Older, who both write awesome women.
 
I reviewed 72 titles read in 2016. That has to be a new high for me, even with the website issues here at BL.
 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-24 18:32
ugh...
Ashes to Ashes - Valerie Thomas

Book Title:  Ashes to Ashes

Author:  Valerie Thomas

Series:  I guess…it’s a series???

Genre:  YA, Mystery, Splash of Paranormal

Publisher:  Ebbing Neptune Publishing

Source:   I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

 

 

 

 

 

 

⇝Ratings Breakdown⇜

 

Plot:  1/5

Main Characters:  1.5/5

Secondary Characters: 1/5

The Feels:  0/5

Addictiveness:  0/5

Theme or Tone:  1/5

Flow (Writing Style):  2/5

Backdrop (World Building):  1/5

Originality:  1/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Ending:  1.5/5 Cliffhanger:  Yes, and goodreads doesn't even say this is a series yet.

 

Will I continue this series?  NONONONO!!!  JUST NO…

 

Overall Rating:  1/5 Stars

 

⇝My Thoughts⇜

 

I've tried to write how I feel about this book and nothing comes out right…I just can't.  I can't recommend this, I can't even explain why…It's just not plausible or conceivable.  I tried to like it, even just a little...It became so tedious, that I skimmed quite a bit, once I was about a 1/3 of the way in. 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-21 21:05
Ashes of Honor / Seanan McGuire
Ashes of Honor - Seanan McGuire

It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing. Her name is Chelsea. She’s a teleporter, like her father. She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea.

 

Yay! This is book, folks, where Toby Daye finally wakes up and smells the coffee, both literally and figuratively. Indeed, she is as obsessed with coffee drinking as I am and all the people in her life have learned to make it to her specifications. Plus, she has learned about those people in her life—she cares about them, they care about her, and she should probably get used to that.

It was great to see her accept and even solicit help from her regular crew of friends and to see them all win the day as a team. No more isolation! She & Tybalt are officially great at co-operating to get things done, save each other’s lives, and defend the innocent. Not to mention their excellent chemistry! I also appreciate that this romance element to the story doesn’t over-power the novel. It’s an excellent side dish to a satisfying meal.

I think the major reason that I love October is because she is a flawed main character. She has obstacles to overcome, probably as many of them in her own mind as in the real world. And, like all of us, she has to work through her issues until she reaches a place where she can claim a little more happiness.

This is the series that started my serious love-affair with all things Fae. It’s a good time to love Fae fantasies, they are everywhere now, but this will always be my first love in that category. Thanks, Seanan McGuire, for hours of happy entertainment.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?