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review 2017-10-23 04:42
The Watchmaker's Daughter
The Watchmaker's Daughter - C.J. Archer

This just didn't quite work for me. The premise was really sound, and there were parts of it that I enjoyed. But there were also parts that employed tropes that I truly loathe including a female MC who had TSTL moments and the dreaded Big Misunderstanding.

 

The book also ends rather abruptly at 82%, leaving several plot threads hanging. Not what I'd call a true cliffhanger, but frustrating all the same.

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text 2017-10-23 04:30
Reading progress update: I've read 82%.
The Watchmaker's Daughter - C.J. Archer

And the main story ends here. The rest of it is a preview of another book in another series. (Which I think I also downloaded when it was free.)

 

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text 2017-10-22 18:21
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
The Watchmaker's Daughter - C.J. Archer

Meh.

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review 2017-10-22 15:59
Affinity
Affinity - Sarah Waters

After the death of her father and an episode of severe depression, Margaret Prior becomes a lady visitor in the Millbank prison. Here she encounters Selina Dawes, a spiritual medium, who claims to speak to the dead. A woman, who Margaret can´t resist to become infatuated with.

 

This was a great read. Out of the four Sarah Waters novels I have read so far, this is the one I liked the best. Which is odd, because this is the gloomiest and darkest of them all. The prison setting with its oppressiveness made this an exceptional dark and gothic read and the plot was riveting and kept me glued to the pages. As for the ending:

 

About a halfway through the novel I suspected what was going to happen. Knowing this didn´t take anything away from my enjoyment reading this novel. It was a whole lot of fun to watch the disaster unfold (I didn´t have a lot of sympathies for the main characters to begin with).

(spoiler show)

 

I was hesitant picking this novel up because I have heard that Affinity is the least favorite book of many Sarah Waters readers. Which makes me even more happy that I happened to like it.

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review 2017-10-22 14:42
Book 69/100: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - Gregory Maguire
This is one of the best Maguire books I've read, right up there with the first couple Oz retellings (I only read the first two but heard the later ones weren't as good.)

Similar to "Mirror, Mirror," Maguire places the story of Cinderella within a firm historical time and place -- Holland at the start of the tulip trade. But unlike "Mirror, Mirror," it doesn't have the strange conflagration of fantasy and historical realism that didn't quite work for me. "Confessions" could be read as a straight historical retelling with the characters holding onto some "magical" belief systems, or it could be read as a very subtle fantasy rooted in a historical setting. This ambiguity worked for me.

The stepmother and stepsisters, as well as the "Cinderella" character, are all vividly drawn. The stepmother comes across as both wicked and sympathetic -- surely not an easy feat to accomplish. As soon as I got over my hangup that it felt as if this story should be told first-person (it's CONFESSIONS, after all!), I enjoyed the masterful and detailed writing -- although the level of detail and the change the characters underwent in the course of the story made it feel as though it should have taken place over a longer span of time than it actually did. Still, that was a minor quibble -- and the minor "twist" at the end really worked for me.

The retelling genre teems with Cinderella stories, but this one moves to the front of the line for me.
 
 
 
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