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review 2017-11-25 14:49
Bound to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel - Sharon Cullen

Book two was an adventurous passion filled story of intrigue, murder plots, passions denied, and feelings hidden. Rose doesn’t fit in at court but she feels bound to give it her all to satisfy her mother’s desire for her to earn an advantageous marriage. Will is an English spy who prefers to be alone, likes what he does for a living, and doesn’t have time to protect naïve women who walk in on things they shouldn’t overhear and not smart enough to leave before it is too late. He tells himself that she will just be another casualty and that she isn’t his problem, but the more time he spends with Rose the harder it is for him to turn a blind eye to the danger she is in. She is so refreshing, strong, outspoken, independent, and stubborn and he can’t get enough of her company or her kisses. She sees in Will an interesting and honorable man who doesn’t behave like the other courtiers, and when she speaks he actually listens to her and cares about her opinion. As the murder plot thickens and the culprits zero in on Rose as an obstacle, Will does everything within his power to save her, but when she is taken he finally realizes that he loves her and it won’t be easy to walk away from her at the end of his mission, as he has continually stated to Rose. He isn’t interested in marriage and has no intention to ever marry and Rose seems ok with that decision until she doesn’t get a chance to say goodbye and worries about whether she will ever see him again. I loved the story. It was so easy to get into and fall in love with the characters and the plot. Rose is such a vibrant character on the page that it is easy to see what and how Will could be drawn to her from the very start. I loved it and can't wait to see how Tristen falls in love.

 

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review 2017-11-22 00:43
Paradox Bound by Peter Clines
Paradox Bound: A Novel - Peter Clines

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This book was seriously fun! I knew that I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw it described as a time-travel thriller. I was completely entertained by the story from the first page. When I wasn't actually reading the book, I was thinking about how this kind of time travel would work. I am so glad that I made the decision to read this exciting story.

This book is told from Eli's point of view. We first meet Eli as a child and see him as he first encounters Harry. As a teenager, he comes across this same individual with her Model A Ford once again. After their third meet when Eli is an adult, he decides to find Harry so that he can warn her that she may be in danger. That is when Eli's life take a dramatic turn as he learns about people traveling through history.

I loved the time travel, or history travel, described in this book. There are two groups of people traveling through time. One group is searching for the American Dream while the other group is trying to stop them. The skip through time just by finding specific slick spots in the road that lead to a specific time period. Some towns are stuck in time while others have slick spots leading to many periods. The faceless men were also very interesting. The whole idea of their certainty gave me something to ponder as I went through my day. Who need eyes, a nose, a mouth, or a face when you have certainty? I was very glad that we were able to get a bit of perspective from this unique group.

The biggest strength of this book was that it was just a lot of fun. There were a lot of exciting scenes and enough mystery to keep me guessing. I thought that the whole concept of the story was well thought out and incredibly original. I also really appreciated the fact that the characters didn't get sidetracked with romance. Eli and Harry are simply working together to find the lost Dream.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I found this to be a really fun and exciting read filled with great characters. This is the kind of story that almost feels like it should be made into a movie or television show. I look forward to reading more from Peter Clines soon.

I received a review copy of this book from Crown Publishing via Blogging for Books and NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was great! I found this story to be very entertaining and it kept me guessing the whole time. I found myself really thinking about how this would work anytime I wasn't actually reading the book.

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review 2017-11-21 01:57
A rousing adventure through history
Paradox Bound: A Novel - Peter Clines

Sanders is a typical American small-town, so typical, I felt like I grew up there. Thankfully, unlike Sanders, the place I grew up in has moved on, Sanders has not. There's still a Video Rental Store there, for crying out loud. Those who work with computers, or want to have much of an idea about contemporary pop culture, have to move away -- or at least commute.

 

Eli Teague is just such a person -- but before he commutes to his IT job from his apartment above the Video Rental Store, he grows up in a pretty typical way. With one exception: twice while growing up, he encounters a young woman dressed incredibly oddly while working on an old Ford Model A, which seems to be fueled by water. They spend a little time conversing each time -- typically leaving Eli more confused than he'd have thought possible -- then she drives off and disappears. This instills in him an obsession with historic cars, that spills over into American History in general.

 

As an adult, he encounters her again and inadvertently puts her in danger. He abandons everything he knows in an effort to save her from this and ends up joining her on a hunt through history. Harry (this mysterious woman) travels through history -- she's not a time traveler, she'll be quick to point out, she travels in history. She's not crazy about bringing Eli along with her, but literally has almost no choice in the matter.

 

Harry . . . she's a great character, and I would've appreciated a lot more focus on her, and getting to see much more of her past. Maybe not getting to actually helps, because it makes the reader more curious about her -- but I'd still have rather had a better look at her life before Eli became a regular part of it. She's tough, loyal, cunning -- but no superhero, just a strong person.

 

Short of spoiling the whole thing, this is one of those I have to be very vague about the details, but then why should you read it? I'll leave it to you to read the book to get more about the hunt they're on, but I'll just say that it's a great idea, a wonderful concept. The other hunters (and allies) we meet are interesting, but man, I'd love more of all of them -- there's some great historical cameos, too. Naturally, we need an opposing force to make things more tense -- and we have one of the creepiest around in these pages. They're not evil, not corrupt, not anything but driven (and with a skewed way of looking at things).

 

There's a nostalgic, hopeful tone throughout -- despite the sharp critique of the stats quo in America. There's an evident wit behind the words, too, but this isn't what you'd call a funny novel. I do think that Clines and I would differ a bit on some of the ways he interprets parts of the national character/psyche, but I can appreciate what he was going for (that's one of those things that'll make more sense after you read the book). The characters -- whether we like them or not -- are very human, very relatable, and pretty sympathetic. Clines has again taken some tropes, concepts, ideas that we're familiar with -- some we know very well, but skewing them just a hair and resulting in something we haven't sen before.

 

I expected this to be a pretty good read after The Fold a couple of years ago, but I wasn't expecting something as fresh feeling as this (but with the skill of someone who's written a few novels). There's a dash of civics lessons, some cultural commentary, and a lot of hope -- things you don't always get in light(ish) SF. I "bought into" this book much more quickly than I did The Fold, I'm not sure if that's because Clines earned my trust in the previous book, or if there's something more accessible about this one -- either way, it's something for the "Plus" column.

 

Give this one a whirl -- you'll be glad you did.

 

2017 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/11/17/paradox-bound-by-peter-clines
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review 2017-11-20 21:44
Paradox Bound Review
Paradox Bound: A Novel - Peter Clines

Paradox Bound was a five-star read spoiled down to four stars by a few phoned in twists. That is not to say that the book is not full of twists that work, only that two of the biggest plot developments can be easily predicted in the. Very. First. Chapter. Oh well, it was still a super fun read and I would recommend reading it, which brings me to whether or not you should take that advice, because there are several caveats.

Are you a Whovian? Not Dan, but you, the person reading this review. Unless you're Dan then... where was I? Anyway, if you know what that term Whovian means and identify as such, then you should know that Cline borrows heavily, and I mean FUCKING HEAVILY, from the man in the blue phone box. There's so many Doctor Who references in this novel that I had to look up if it was canon to the British TV series. Spoiler alert: it's not. And while our "time" traveller Harry is nothing like any of the doctors thus far (Harry might have more in common with the forthcoming Dr. Who, but like my gal River says, "Spoilers"), some of this book feels awfully familiar. Some of it, mind you. Not all of it. Just some of it.

That is not to say that this is a case of a different Cline. Specifically one named Ernest. If you recall my review of Armada, you'll know that I do not suffer pop culture references for the sake of nostalgia anymore, nor do I like it when authors repurpose fandoms for their own gain. If you're going to allude to connected universes between your work and someone else's intellectual property, you better bring something new to the fucking table. And Peter Clines does so in spades.

There's a load of new stuff in here, from the explanation and rules behind the "time" travel (there's a good reason for the quotation marks, but again, "Spoilers"), to the villains (even if they do have psychic papers), to the idea behind what Harry and so many others are searching for. The fictional locations come alive, as do the people populating them. The historical accuracy was spot on, too. But I think the most important part of this book is that it is simply a whole lot of fun. 

I loved every character on the page and wanted to see them succeed. And I want to say more, but everything I can think of right now is a motherfucking spoiler, so we'll just close it down for now.

In summation: Peter Cline does a fantastic job creating something new while paying tribute to those that came before him. You can expect loads of references to time-travel stories, new and old, but the book never feels like a carbon copy of any one of them. More like a love story to the genre. And that final chapter...Some motherfucker's cuttin onions and I don't appreciate it. Definitely recommended.

Final Judgment: SPOILERS!

 

This book was supplied by Crown Publishing in exchange for this review.

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review 2017-11-13 15:32
So this is the end...
Blade Bound: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series) - Chloe Neill

The final novel in the series, it's Merit and Ethan's wedding and the politics are complicated and things don't always go to plan. Evil doesn't wait for people to finish parties.

 

Interesting and fun characters and I'm sorry to see them go but can see where it was a logical end to the arc and the story.

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