There's a mythology out there surrounding Cleopatra. Whether it's the manner in which she presented herself to Caesar or the intrigue surrounding how she died. *Side note- I can't remember which History Channel show (one of the ones that use to actually discuss history, I imagine) but there was one that proved the whole rug thing, could have never happened. She would have died before she got to Caesar. * Everyone has an opinion of the woman. If you are one of the few people who don't have an opinion, plenty has been written about the woman. An opinion would be easy to come by. This story, however, cares very little for Cleopatra. This is a story about Ptolemy and Arsinoe, Cleopatra's siblings/spouses/pains in her backside.
Actually, this is a story about Ptolemy and what happens when little boys become men. Somewhere among the constant descriptions of wet dreams and the use of the f-word (Which by the way, I need to do some research on. Was that even a word ancient Egyptians would have known?), Ptolemy is fighting to earn the respect he deserves as the rightful king of Egypt. The reader is introduced to an 11 year old Ptolemy who is struggling to mature into the powerful ruler Egypt needs in order to keep Rome at bay. The author would have your believe that the most important aspect of presiding over a dynasty is "conquering" the women around you. I guess that comes with a lot of nocturnal emissions. The fact that Arsinoe (and occasionally Cleopatra) are the focus of his wet dreams doesn't bother me. I am well versed enough in my ancient dynasties to know that if you are a Ptolemy, it means you have to marry your sister, or in some cases, your step-mom. I get that. It doesn't bother me. What drove me bonkers was the constant focus on Ptolemy and his penis. If I wanted to read a book about what goes on when a boy becomes a man, I'd go back to 7th grade health. And to be perfectly honest, as a mother of girls, I'm trying to avoid thinking about the primal urges of teenage boys before I absolutely have to. I'm going to loose enough sleep over that at some point in my life.
When the reader isn't asked to feel bad for Ptolemy and his penis, we are asked to feel sorry for Arsinoe. Apparently Arsinoe has some major choices to make. Should she f*ck her brother or Alexander, her childhood playmate? Or does she just throw herself into being Cleopatra's minion? The last one is kind of an afterthought. Arsinoe feels like an afterthought (which she kind of is in the grand scheme of things). This was one of the biggest let downs for me. In the previous novel, the reader is introduced to this spunky, tough little Arsinoe who literally fights to survive a shattered Egypt. Suddenly, Cleopatra is back! So now, she turns into a mopey teenage girl who only wants Alexander to throw her against the way and have his way with her? Ugh.
Maybe at this point you are starting to wonder how I could possibly give this book as many as three stars. Why would I even continue to read this book after the fifth Ptolemy wet dream? Because I was hoping the author would bring back some of what made the previous novel so good. She did. For about the last 75 pages. The battle at sea between Arsinoe and Caesar? The writing was exceptional. Had that style been on display for the entire novel, this would easily be a 5 star book. It also means, I'm probably going to pick up the third and final novel. I have to see how this ends, right?
"Tell me, Eirene, to whom do we owe our loyalty: the living or the dead.”
Eirene gave her a curious look. “ The living, my queen. The dead have already abandoned us.”
Lines like this are causing me to have a love/hate relationship. Mainly because these scenes are followed by a chapter about a teenage boy and his wet dreams.
36 SF genre books; highlighted above are just ones by authors I recognize.
Blood Kissed (The Lizzie Grace Series Book 1) - Keri Arthur is likely to be more Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy than Science Fiction genre.
Fortress of Ice - C.J. Cherryh is a truly excellent series.
On sale in he SF section of kindle monthly deals (special offer that showed on my kindle device) .
Ben Jameson begins his teaching career in a small private school in Northern Virginia. He is idealistic, happy to have his first job after graduate school, and hoping some day to figure out what he really wants out of life. And in his two years teaching English at Glenn Acres Preparatory School, he comes to believe this really is his life's work, his calling. He wants to change lives.
But his desire to "save" his students leads him into complicated territory, as he becomes more and more deeply involved with three students in particular: an abused boy, a mute and damaged girl, and a dangerous eighteen-year-old who has come back to school for one more chance to graduate.
In the Fall They Come Back is a book about human relationships, as played out in that most fraught of settings, a school. But it is not only a book about teaching. It is about the limits and complexities of even our most benevolent urges--what we can give to others and how we lose ourselves.
I received this book from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you!
This is a book I would normally not pick for myself but I ended up enjoying more than I thought I would.
I thought it was super easy to get into and read and had a pretty balanced pace to it. The world and character building was well thought out to the most part.
I also enjoyed ben for the most parts, though there were a few times he came over a bit on the creepy site. Another thing was that sometimes things were a bit too much over explained as far as surroundings and that made it slow down a bit.
But overall, I enjoyed it and if was defiantly a book that kept me reading but also made makes you think.
I should mention there are some trigger points for some people child abuse and etcetera.
I rate it 4 ★
*I received a free copy from the publisher and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*
Robert Bausch was born in Georgia, at the end of World War II, and was raised in the Washington, D.C., area. He has worked as a salesman--of automobiles, appliances, and hardware--a taxi driver, waiter, production planner, and library assistant. He was educated at George Mason University, earning a BA, an MA and an MFA, and he says he has been a writer all his life. He spent time in the military teaching survival, and worked his way through college.
Bausch published his first novel, On the Way Home, in 1982. Newsweek called the novel “compelling” and it was favorably reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and other publications. His second novel, The Lives of Riley Chance, was published in 1984 and was praised by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. It was later translated into Swedish. Almighty Me, his third novel, was published in 1991. Again the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers praised it highly. The rights to the book were sold to Hollywood Films, a division of Disney Studios. Almighty Me was also published in German. This book was later released in film version, uncredited, as Bruce Almighty.
In 1995, Bausch published a collection of short stories called The White Rooster and Other Stories. The Dictionary of Literary Biography awarded the book its literary prize for the most distinguished fiction for 1995.
A Hole in the Earth, (Harcourt, 2001; Harvest Books, 2002) his fourth novel, was inspired by his father, Robert Carl Bausch, a successful Washington businessman, who died unexpectedly in 1995 at the age of 79. “I tried to put everything my father believed in that book,” Bausch has said. “Out of respect for him, and because, as my narrator comes to see, he was right about most things.” Bausch comes from a “functional” family; one that was happy and that included an identical twin brother (the novelist Richard Bausch) and four other brothers and sisters. Their parents, Helen and Robert Bausch, were happily married, staunchly Democratic and Catholic, and they stayed married for fifty-five years. A Hole in the Earth was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a Washington Post Favorite Book of the Year in 2001.
The Gypsy Man, his fifth novel, was published by Harcourt in October, 2002 and again, in paperback by Harvest Books.
Bausch’s sixth novel Out of Season was published in the fall of 2005. It was a Washington Post Favorite Book of the year as well.
His seventh novel, Far as the Eye Can See, was published in 2014 by Bloomsbury Press. The New York Times made it an Editor's Choice. The book was also an Indie Next selection for December. The paperback will be published in 2015.
The Legend of Jesse Smoke, his eighth novel was published by Bloomsbury in the fall of 2016, and in the fall of 2017 his ninth novel, In the Fall They Come Back, is forthcoming from the same publisher.