Mark Bowden has put together an outstanding researched narrative on the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar as Escobar put together his cocaine empire and slowly watched it dismantled by the combined efforts of the Colombian government and special units by the U.S. Bowden also dives deep into the character of Escobar, and the reader really gets a feel for the kind of person he was right up to the day he was killed by Colombian forces. Important to note during this narrative is how Bowden manages to convey how many others around Escobar were affected by his actions, some losing their lives in the process. Really enjoyed this one....
Sorry for being absent the last couple of days. I´ve been super busy since friday and now I´m sick and I´m stuck at work because of a night shift and overall I´m feeling a bit under the weather at the moment.
Anyhow, I decided to give you an update on my reading. I finished two books over the last week:
The Mysterious Affair at Styles has been a reread for me and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read it. And I can´t help it, I love Hastings.
I´m still trying to fall in love with Terry Pratchett´s books. Equal Rites has been a solid three star book for me. I loved Granny Weatherwax (her scenes with the wizard Cutangle were so much fun), but Esk annoyed me.
I´m not sure for which task I have read the Pratchett, but it will fit several I think. I´m not sure if I can make the Christie work for one of the tasks, though. I have to look at that tomorrow.
As for the books I´m currently reading:
All three books that fit at least one task.
And yes, I´m still reading Master and Commander. I managed to read to page 112. Definitely not an easy read when you don´t have a lot of time to sit down with it.
How religious fanatics declared War against Women 300 years ago
While writing Ama my Historical Fiction Book, set in the 17th century China my research took me into this most interesting of times in Europe, the time of the Witch Hunts, when men of reason seamed to be prosecuted and singled out for their sanity.
“the Witches' Hammer became the bestseller, the hit among different classes, and was passed from hand to hand, read aloud in Churches, and on the village squares, stored in special places, with the Bible, consulted in the dark corridors of the torture chambers. The best Hunters would know it by heart, reciting it as a deepest wisdom against poor women. Printed, reprinted and translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, English, Portuguese, it outsold all other books except the Bible!” (quote from Ama Alchemy of Love by Nataša Pantovič Nuit)
Claire saved Devil’s Island and Containment in the last book. But she did it using magic and in doing so may have cost herself everything
She is now a fugitive, a magic user who, by law, should be locked up in Devil’s Isle before she becomes a dangerous wraith. And the man she loves, Liam, was infected by magic in that battle and now seems unable to even endure her presence having disappeared for weeks.
But when a government agent is killed and Liam is framed, Claire can’t afford to give him any more space. They have to clear his name, find a murderer - and uncover a plot which may change the world - again
I’m putting aside that a lot of what I wanted to see from Claire: exploring and examining her powers, more relations with the Paras, more of her work opposing Reveillon, more examination of the difference between Court and Council, more of her relations with others. I have to say I wasn’t a fan of her romance with Liam - I just don’t really see much about Liam to make me that invested in him. When we saw him in the first book he spent a huge chunk of it being hostile to Claire, then the second book there were more convoluted barriers to this book where, again, we had barriers. The thing is, I feel lots of barriers have been thrown into Claire and Liam’s relationship before they even had a relationship. So much has happened to keep them apart I’m not sure they’ve really been together - which leaves me questioning just why Claire is this invested in it and why I’m way more interested in Claire and Moses than I am Claire and Liam.
Similarly, I’m not sure about the big familial revelations about Claire… I just wonder why it’s here. Don’t we have enough motive for Claire to be involved because of the whole world ending thing? Do we need parental angst? Does every urban fantasy protagonist need to have parental angst?
Again, these are personal taste issues - none of these stories are poor. They’re not badly written. They’re not bad stories. The emotion is deep and powerful, the conflicts very real, the writing excellent and the humanity is really apparent. You can feel Claire’s pain, there’s a lot of tension, some great scenes full of action and a real sense of building epic by the end of the book.
So, yes, I am trying not to be down on this book for not being the story I wanted it to be - instead it being the good book it was.
While I can put that aside, I am somewhat disappointed by the world building development. The world building isn’t small or even flawed not by any stretch. We have a fascinating, large, deep, rich world. We have numerous paranormal races and their different factions. We have magic and the consequences of it - from both the lifeless soil patches around New Orleans to humanity confiscating and destroying everything that may even be slightly magical - including cultural and religious artefacts. But we don’t have much of it analysed - what magic means, what it can do. How the society beyond the veil actually works? The differences between Crown and Court and their history? What about the different kinds of Paranormals? I don’t even know what some of these beings are supposed to be and no-one mentions it. I mean, is it awkward? Is it rude to say “hey this is Bob, he’s a troll?” Because Claire openly refers to Seraphs and Valkyries and this doesn’t seem to be an issue? And what does Erida being a “goddess” actually mean?