Prohibition era; Lola's husband dies of a heart attack and she discovers he wasn't as rich as she'd thought. She and her cook Berta are without house and home, and while hiding out in her husband's heretofore unknown love nest in the city, agree to retrieve a film reel for one of her late husband's mistresses. Thus begins what is supposed to be a madcap and hilarious adventure into mystery and mayhem.
Eh. Either I was off my game or the book was. Nothing struck me as madcap so much as it did silly (and there's a subtle difference, in my opinion). Lola failed to elicit much sympathy from me, her mother was annoying in all the wrong ways, her brother in law unrealistically meddlesome (he kept trying to gaslight Lola) and Berta was sorta weird. The romantic tension that was supposed to exist between Ralph and Lola was absent. The mystery plot was all over the place; incredibly complicated, and hinged on unknown information until the very end.
Now that I've beaten the poor book to death, for all that it wasn't a bad read. It kept me entertained enough to keep reading, it just didn't hook me, or bond me to the characters in any way that will result in my desire to read any additional books in the series. Which is a shame, because I do love the Prohibition-era setting.
Page count: 307
For the last week of June, I have a full load to read. All new, fresh reading to juice up my reading mojo.
Friday Free Read/COYER Summer 2017: The Bull Rider's Homecoming by Allie Pleiter. This is on my COYER reading list so I figured kill two birds with one book. I have read another book by this author that I enjoyed so I am hoping for another great read.
BL-opoly Read/Pop Sugar Challenge: Ellis Island (Ellis Island #1) by Kate Kerrigan. Irish immigrant to NYC during the 1920s satisfies the prompt "book written/about refugees or immigrants".
RB Bingo: Hell on Wheels (Black Knights, Inc #1) by Julie Ann Walker. Still trying to find a book that fits in the "Never read genre/subgenre" square. I bailed on the rock star series when it became clear the series was about all the other employees of the band and not about the band members. This book is a combination of motorcycle club and military romance, which are other niches I don't read. Thank goodness for OverDrive.
COYER Summer 2017: A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo #1) by Sarah Mallory. This is the first in a trilogy. I am kicking myself for reading that kidnapped romance when I could have just waited for COYER to start and used this book instead.
Random Pick: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson because it is due back to the library at the end of the week.
Note: I read these slightly out of order, and Echo: Vision Quest should have been between this and Hardcore, but since it's not really addressing the overall arc, it wasn't a problem.
There was so much I loved about this. Funnier than the past volumes, specifically with Peter Parker showing up, first as part of a group that tries to stage an intervention for Matt (and I loved Stephen Strange here, too) and then, later, when they come to fight with Matt (where Danny Ran also shines).
So, since the last volume, where Matt beat the ever loving crap out of Wilson Fisk and declared himself the new Kingpin, he essentially painted a large target on his back, and the back of his wife (yes, WIFE now) Milla. It takes roughly a year after the last volume, and starts with Urich explaining all that's happened to an unknown part, who turns out to be Milla herself, who's looking for Matt.
Urich's involvement is key as, since Wake Up, he's sort of become the little world weary angel on Matt's shoulder in Bendis' run. He's someone who sees Matt from the outside, unlike Luke or Foggy, and can see the immense self-destruction that Matt is stubbornly unaware of as he barrels onward.
He thinks Matt had a nervous breakdown after Karen's death. By the end of the volume, Matt thinks he might be right. As a reader, I can say that it would certainly explain the slight shift in his personality and morality.
I remember being more sympathetic to Milla. I mean, I'm not unsympathetic. It's a lot to take in. But she's so determined to find him, to tell him how much she loves him, but then she learns that he might have had/be in the middle of having a nervous breakdown and suddenly it's, this isn't what my vows were about! I mean, it's difficult, right? Dealing with the fact that your marriage might have been the product of your spouse's nervous breakdown. And maybe I'm now looking at it with 20/20 hindsight, knowing how grossly Milla will be mishandled in the future.
This is a slightly unusual UF series, insofar as the protag is a man and there is no romance.
It has fae, demons, shifters and a bunch of other standard fantasy entities.
The storyline is solid, the main character's voice is good and the read overall enjoyable.
Some of the side characters remain pale despite the author trying to make them interesting, e.g. Sadie. I have not clear picture who she is supposed to be as a person. She has a function in the story, but she didn't feel like a person to me.
I liked that Gideon's backstory did not remain a secret too long, a lot was revealed quite early on, it gave a good overview on him and the world-building.
It was a good and enjoyable read, but I probably wouldn't have picked up the whole series if it wasn't on kindle unlimited and therefore free for me.
It just didn't grip me...
PS: I have one minor niggle with the concept of the villain here - they are supposed to be a religious hate group. But there is nothing even remotely religious about them.
Some nerdy rant about Latin names: their cult's name, milus dei. It is explained to mean "soldiers of god" in Latin. But soldier in Latin is "miles" and the plural "milites"...it is only one google search away...yes, I might only have noticed this because I had Latin in school and graduated on that subject. But still. I mean if you create a hate group to be the villains over a 6+ book series, you could at least take ten minutes of searching before naming them...I spent a way too long time trying to find out if milus is even a word. I couldn't find it. Funnily enough "dei" is absolutely correct, that is the genitiv of deus, meaning god...