STOP right here! If you haven’t read the first two books in Robert Jackson Bennett’s The Divine Cities series yet, add them to the top of your list! You don’t know what you’re missing! City of Miracles just won’t read the same without having read the City of Stairs and City of Blades.
Shara Komayd is a legend, one who has received a vast number of death threats. As a former covert agent and then the Prime Minister, Shara battled gods and enemies, wreaking great changes in the world. Shara cleaned house at Parliament before she herself was given the boot. During her heyday, Shara had a lot of help from her friends! One of the most memorable of those is Sigrud je Harkvaldsson, a great brute of a man (think Viking). Shara rescued Sigrud from prison and he worked with her and protected her every step of the way. Then there is General Mulaghesh who shined so brightly in those battles. She is brilliant, damaged and IMHO, a great hero in her own right. I love these characters and I’m invested!
In City of Blades, hell hath no fury like Sigrud je Harkvaldsson! Still haunted by the death of a loved one and the revenge he took thereafter, Sigrud has lived in hiding now for 13 years. He’s moved from job to job, keeping a low profile. (Well…as low a profile as he can manage, you know…being Viking-like and all!) Ever-faithful to his comrade-in-arms Shara Komayd, he knows that one day she will clear his name and summon him to her side once again. Yet when he finally has news of Shara, it’s only to learn that she has been assassinated, and even though he is a wanted man, he knows it’s time to come out of hiding. He must find out who killed Shara and take revenge. He also finds himself thinking of her adopted daughter, Tatyana Komayd, wondering what will become of her. He has only seen her once in her life but she’s the one thing he has left of his closest friend.
Vengeance is the name of the game when it comes to Sigrud but he is still so likeable. His revenge always seems to be for all the right reasons and this man could star in his own action movie. He also oozes a heart of gold for those he loves. His uncanny lack of aging is a mystery to him and us. During his investigations, Sigrud discovers the fact that Shara still harbored some secrets at the end of her life leaving him with more questions than answers. Look out, he’s about to open a whole new can of worms about the Divine!
RJB chose to shift the focus to another character in each book which was a great tool and kept the series very interesting. I’m not sure which he thought would turn out to be the most popular character but I know who mine is. General Mulaghesh took the prize hands down in City of Blades. This is a very well-rounded series, full of mystery, suspense, action and just plain good storytelling!
Robert Jackson Bennett has become one of my favorite authors with his amazing The Divine Cities series. I am really curious to check out some of his earlier books and I highly recommend you read this series!
I want to thank the publisher (Crown Publishing) for providing me with the ARC through NetGalley for an honest review.
During WWII, a small farming town in Tennessee was quietly demolished and a government facility popped up nearly overnight. The facility at Oak Ridge hired many young woman to spin dial and push levers, but none of the young women knew what they were working on, only that they received decent pay and housing. Among the young women were scientists, military and families all living and working under tight security and keeping secrets. Many people working there didn't know what they were working on or the consequences. One of the women working at Oak Ridge is eighteen year old June, a local girl whose grandfather once lived where Oak Ridge now sits. June and her roommate Cici quickly become acclimated to the strange life at Oak Ridge. Cici's goal while at Oak Ridge is simple to strip away her penniless background and emerge as a well-bred young woman who can catch the eye of an affluent man. June, on the other hand would like to move on from the death of her fiance, Ronnie and enjoy life again. June may find the answer in physicist, Dr. Samuel Cantor. However, as their relationship grows, Sam shares the secrets of what exactly everyone at Oak Ridge is working on and the mental toll of what they are doing begins to trouble Sam more and more.
This is a fictionalized account of the historic town of Oak Ridge that captures a small piece of several employee's stories. The Atomic City Girls is a lighter story than the non-fiction The Girls of Atomic City; however, it is still just as important in the sense that it brings to light the important work that was done during the war by a variety of people. Throughout the book, we follow the stories of June, Cici, Samuel and Joe. So, I did find the title a little bit of a misnomer, although, all of their stories are important. One aspect that is very well highlighted are the stories of Ralph, Joe and Shirley, the African-American workers at Oak Ridge. While working, they were segregated and discriminated against and worked towards as well as gained some equal rights while at Oak Ridge. June's story was the most compelling to me as we learned about the tight security and how the young women were trained as well as the diverse social life offered at Oak Ridge. Sam's point of view offered a look at the mental struggle of the people who knew exactly what they were building and what it would accomplish. The story was accompanied by actual photos of Oak Ridge, which helped to beef up the historical aspects, however I do wish there was just a little more history in my historical fiction.
This book was received in exchange for an honest review.
Last year on vacation my husband took me to the Jersey Shore and we picked my Mother In Law up outside of Philly to ride along. We went to Wildwood instead of Ocean City though. This was my first time in New Jersey, so everything was new and exciting to me. We are planning to go back again for the day this year and go to Ocean City's boardwalk. My husband and Mother In Law have been here many times. My husband was raised in Philadelphia. Me I'm a southern girl. I have never walked a boardwalk like the one in Wildwood, and it was freezing and raining when we went the end of May last year. I am hoping for sun and no rain this year.
When I saw this book listed on Netgalley I immediately requested it, and was accepted to receive it. I couldn't get it downloaded fast enough and jumped right into it. The pictures in this book took me back to Wildwood and I am really excited for May to get here this year so I can go see these sites for myself.
There are pictures both old and new in the book. I mean pictures as it is today and pictures from the past. If you have ever been to the Ocean City Boardwalk this will bring back tons of memories, and if you are like me and have never been, it will make you want to go.
There are pictures of the beach itself, the wildlife (both human and animal), shops, and other sites along the boardwalk. There are short histories about some of the places and the people who started them.
I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.