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review 2018-10-20 15:15
4.2 Out 5 "Incendiary" STARS
When We Caught Fire - Anna Godbersen

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~BOOK BLURB~

When We Caught Fire

Anna Godbersen

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It’s 1871, and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson.

Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Despite having less than likable characters (with Fiona as the exception) this was still an engrossing listen.  The backdrop of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was what made this story stand-out for me.  I could see how others found this to be slow in the beginning, with its soap-opera-like feel and melodrama of the elite high society of the times, but on Audio, those parts fly by fairly quickly.  Once the fire starts burning, the unceasing flames and the lives at stake make this unputdownable.  The way the author takes the truth about the actual fire and plays it out with her cast of characters is quite the tale.  I found this exert from here about the Great Chicago Fire. 

 

The Chicago Fire of 1871, also called the Great Chicago Fire, burned from October 8 to October 10, 1871, and destroyed thousands of buildings, killed an estimated 300 people and caused an estimated $200 million in damages. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn and started the fire, but other theories hold that humans or even a meteor might have been responsible for the event that left an area of about four miles long and almost a mile wide of the Windy City, including its business district, in ruins. Following the blaze, reconstruction efforts began quickly and spurred great economic development and population growth.

 

With the ending the irredeemable characters become redeemable and the love triangle that takes the center of the stage throughout this story has its inevitable outcome.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 3.8/5

Secondary Characters~ 3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.7/5

Originality~ 4.2/5

Ending~ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger~ Nah…

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Book Cover~ It's incendiary…

Narration~ 4.5 for Suzanne Elise Freeman, she was perfect for this story and she switched from one pov to another quite seamlessly.

Setting~ Chicago 1871

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-10-20 00:38
Fire in the Thatch by E.C.R. Lorac
Fire in the Thatch - E.C.R. Lorac

First published in 1946, Fire in the Thatch takes place in immediately post WWII Devon. The victim, Nicholas Vaughn, former soldier invalided out with serious injuries, leases a small farm, called Little Thatch, complete with the titular thatched cottage, from Colonel St. Cyres. 

 

He was not the only person who wanted the lease for Little Thatch, however. There were at least two others, including Mr. Gressingham, a nouveau riche fellow from London who is in Devon visiting with the Colonel's daughter-in-law, June. Gressingham is quite put out that Colonel St. Cyres has chosen Nicholas to rent the small tenancy instead of allowing him to, as the Colonel says, "turn it into a rich man's plaything."

 

Lorac takes her time introducing the murder, allowing the reader to get a good sense of the Devon community. Vaughn moves into the cottage on a ten year lease and starts putting the property back into good order, planting the fields, repairing the cottage, pruning the orchard and generally acting like a farmer, which endears him even more to the Colonel and his daughter, Anne.

 

There are definitely two different styles of characters in Fire in the Thatch. On the one side, we have the traditionally British rural characters, such as the Colonel, Anne and Nicholas. This group is reserved, blunt and hardworking. On the other side, we have the more modern, urban characters, including June, who is a bit of a party girl living in the back-of-beyond only because her husband, Colonel's son, is a POW in Burma, and Gressingham and his hangers on. This group is fashionable, shallow and prone to misbehavior (in the eyes of the first group, especially). It is clear which of the types E.C.R. Lorac finds worthy of respect.

 

The main investigator in Fire in the Thatch is Inspector MacDonald - this was Lorac's 26th mystery featuring him. Inspector MacDonald is dispatched to Devon when Vaughn's commanding officer takes an interest in the case which has previously been ruled an accident, from a fire that started from some exposed wiring. The commanding officer is insistent that Vaughn, a naval engineer who was raised on a farm and is handy around buildings, chimneys, and the like, would not accidentally burn himself up.

 

The mystery in this book is quite complex. It takes awhile for Inspector MacDonald to determine if it is a murder, and then awhile for him to solve it, although solve it he does. He is a likeable protagonist who gets along well with the other characters, and who takes a methodical, but not plodding, approach to solving the case. I really liked the setting a lot. Overall, I found it enjoyable enough that I'll take a look at her only other book available from British Library Crime Classics Bats in the Belfry, which is set in London.

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review 2018-10-19 10:15
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Wings on Fire ~ Falling, Blazing, and Soaring (Complete Collection) by Ann Omasta
Wings on Fire Complete Collection - Ann Omasta

Wings on Fire is the complete collection of three novellas, telling the story about a guardian Angel, Daniel, and his accident-prone charge, Kerry. It starts off with her in hospital, and Daniel lamenting to himself that he hasn't done a good job of keeping her safe.

This is an easy read, with no major angst, although there is plenty of drama. The characters are well-rounded, and mostly believable. This is a story, that although it has a contemporary setting, you will need to suspend any disbelief until you've finished it. It was a smooth read, with very good pacing. I am glad that I read this as a complete collection though, as I'm not too good with novellas!

For a quick and easy read, then I can definitely recommend this book.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/09/24/Wings-on-Fire-Falling-Blazing-and-Soaring-Complete-Collection-by-Ann-Omasta
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photo 2018-10-18 15:57
Fire in the Rain (Wraidd Elfennol #4) - Morgan Sheppard

Fire in the Rain, book 4 of the World of Wraidd Elfennol series, concludes this #Epic #Fantasy

#Myth_and_Magic #Wraidd_Elfennol

https://books2read.com/FireintheRain

 

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review 2018-10-15 17:17
Audio Book Review: Cursed By Fire (Blood & Magic #1) By Danielle Annett
Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic #1) - Danielle Annett

 

 

This was an average story that made it so time passed a little faster for me while listening to it. My main issue: Everything felt only surface deep. There wasn't much substance to anything or anyone in this series. The world building felt off, in a way that everything was explained so loosely and on the surface that nothing ever felt real (if that makes any kind of sense).

 

Aria as an interesting character, but she would make really dumb choices considering how her world is running amok with paranormal creatures that only relying on their respective leaders to control and lead. I also didn't understand her out of character infatuation (in the second half of the book) with the men in her life.

 

Hunter was the one character I was starting to like. He was loyal, reliable and proved he cared about Aria throughout the story. Though that was about it. It's mentioned he's, in essence, this bad*ss mercenary, but it's not showcased. It's just there for convenience and plot sake.

 

The kind of sorta love triangle with the guy who has powers similar to hers (whose name I forget) was creepy from the start. He had to almost strongarm her into meeting for coffee (which ended up happening because coincidences is totally a realistic plot choice) like he was entitled to her in some way and it only got worse with the end. I don't understand how Aria felt anything for him after all that.

 

I enjoyed how menacing and villainous the big-bad-powerful-leaders were. Every one of them had ulterior motives for whatever the situation they were dealing with was. It made them a few of the more entertaining characters in this story.

 

In conclusion, everything felt shallow and that's what ultimately made me not love this story. I guess it's a good thing, considering I only found out about the problems this story/author/series has with copying specific elements of stories from other authors (allegedly) after the fact.

 

The Audio Book:

 

I've learned to love Nicole Poole's narrations! The voices (male and female) and accents were amazing.

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