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review 2019-10-18 02:23
Review: Mandie and the Windmill's Message by Lois Gladys Leppard
Mandie and the Windmill's Message (Mandie, Book 20) - Lois Gladys Leppard

Title: Mandie and the Windmill's Message
Author: Lois Gladys Leppard
Series: Mandie, 20
Format: ebook, bind-up
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars

 

Synopsis: Mandie, Celia and Jonathan should have known that when Uncle Ned said there was a big mystery waiting for them in Holland that he meant a BIG mystery. Adventures had followed them at every stop on their summer travel through Europe with Mrs. Taft, Senator Morton and Uncle Ned, and Holland promised to be no exception. But what mystery could the quiet, peaceful land of the windmills possibly bring?
They won't be there long before they find out. Who's behind the mysterious resetting of the windmill's blades and what message are they sending? Is it a harmless prank or is someone really up to something bad? Are lives in danger?
Is someone out to destroy the royal family's reputation?

 

Favourite character: Albert & Jonathan
Least favourite character: Mandie

 

Mini-review: Okay, so, didn't like Mandie's grudges against Jonathan for something he obviously had nothing to do with. That is a big lesson in judgment right there and I'm honestly kind of shocked that her grandmother didn't send her back on the first ship home because she's a real piece of work (Mandie not Mrs. Taft). Not sure if the ending was supposed to be racist or not. Can't wait to get into the books I haven't read yet.

 

Fan Cast:
Amanda "Mandie" Shaw - Emma Rayne Lyle
Celia Hamilton - Sadie Sink
Jonathan Lindall Guyer III - Louis Hynes
Grandmother Taft - Meryl Streep
Senator Morton - Donald Sutherland
Albert Van Dongen - Levi Miller
Uncle Ned Sweetwater - Zahn McClarnon
Mr. Van Dongen - Mads Mikkelsen
Velda Van Dongen - Thomasin McKenzie
Maurice - Nicholas Hamilton

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text 2019-10-18 01:31
Fan Cast: Mandie and the Secret Tunnel by Lois Gladys Leppard

 

Amanda "Mandie" Shaw - Emma Rayne Lyle

Polly Cornwallis - Nikki Hahn

Joe Woodard - Diego Velazquez

Uncle Ned - Zahn McClarnon

John Shaw - Robert Downey Jr.

Elizabeth Taft - Malin Akerman

Mrs. Taft - Meryl Streep

Liza - Genneya Walton

 

 

 

Dr. Woodard - Gideon Emery

Bayne Locke - Tom Glynn-Carney

Gaynelle Snow - Carrie-Anne Moss

Ruby Snow - Diana Silvers

Morning Star - Irene Bedard

Etta Shaw - Ashley Johnson

Irene Shaw - Matia Jackett

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review 2019-10-17 22:30
THE LAST CONVERSATION by Paul Tremblay
The Last Conversation - Paul Tremblay

THE LAST CONVERSATION is my second read in the Forward series from Amazon, curated by Blake Crouch.

 

I'm familiar with the works of Paul Tremblay and just read his latest collection GROWING THINGS a few months back. I felt that this story was a bit of a departure from his horror works and it was a change that I enjoyed. Being more of a mystery/science fiction tale, I found the end to be an unexpected surprise- and I love to be surprised!

 

Thanks to Amazon/Audible for the free reads and the original premises upon which these stories are based!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-10-17 16:56
Tempt by Natalia Jaster

 

Holy smokes Batman - this was a scorching read! *fans self* It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Natalia Jaster's books but this one might just be my favourite yet (and that's a massive compliment because I totally adore all of her other works!) I loved absolutely everything about Tempt: the characters, the setting, the story... it was sheer perfection. Hades and Persephone retellings are totally a weakness I never knew I had. Throw in an enemies to lovers trope and I am in literary heaven!

 

Full disclosure: I'm on Natalia's ARC Team but this in no way has influenced my rating. I was so happy to be sent this little beauty. It went a long way to cure me of the book hangover I had been suffering from and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time!

 

Now, enough waffling... onto the review!

 

At the end of Torn (the second book in the Selfish Myths series), Wonder first set eyes on Malice, the malevolent exile god whose appearance managed to rattle the normally unflappable deity. Malice too seemed to be affected by Wonder. This interesting little altercation left me salivating for their backstory so when I found out the next book would be about them, well I was very happy, to say the least!

 

Wonder is part of a class of gods and goddesses that have dared to go against their makers. Love fell for a mortal boy, Anger fell hard for a failed goddess. Now it is Wonder's turn.

 

A celestial battle approaches and any advantage could mean the difference between life and death. Wonder knows she will need to gather as much information as she can in order to defeat her enemies. The only problem is that she will have to put her trust (and fate) in the hands of Malice, a former god now exiled and a prisoner of the gang.

 

The two of them have to break into a subterranean library relying on only their wits to get them where they need to go and each other. A precarious situation, for sure. Wonder isn't sure of Malice's intentions and is even less sure of her own conflicting feelings for the sharp-tongued exile. For Malice is the spitting image of her lost love - a mortal whose downfall she played a huge part in and for which she still carries a load of guilt.

 

But Malice couldn't possibly be her lost love, could he? It just wouldn't be possible... still, stranger things have already happened and as she gets closer to Malice, she begins to see that what she thought wouldn't have been possible is becoming more and more likely the more she gets to know Malice.

 

The two grow closer as they spend time in their favourite domain: both of them are scholars at heart, and Wonder sees new sides to Malice each day they are ensconced among the forbidden tomes. However, Wonder will find herself torn between the love she once felt for her mortal boy and the ever-increasing feelings she has for his celestial doppelganger. She will have to make a choice and in doing so may forever break her own heart...

 

Alright, I was intrigued for Wonder and Malice's pairing, I will not deny it, but I wasn't prepared for just how swept up I would become in their story. Their relationship was everything I never knew I needed. I was full-on swooning! 

 

I have always had a soft spot for Wonder. I love bookish types and her character just always appealed to me right from the very first book. I was intrigued by her backstory and the suffering she endured as punishment for her supposed transgressions.

 

Malice also drew me in from his first appearance in Torn. I do love a bad boy but Malice was something else entirely. He was a villain - no doubt about it - but I really wanted to know what made him the way he was and when I realized he was destined for Wonder I was very curious to see how his redemption would play out.

 

I was not disappointed. His growth is this book was nothing short of phenomenal. Wonder played a part in this but it wasn't just love that was responsible for his recovery and eventual healing. Learning about his past and shaking off the demons that came with it was very satisfying and cathartic.

 

There was nothing I didn't enjoy about Tempt. The story was amazing and Wonder and Malice are now my very favourite power couple of this series! It was great also catching up with Love and Andrew, Merry and Anger, and Sorrow and Envy (can't wait for their book!) The story is falling into place nicely, the stakes are high and the characters are poised for action. They are on the precipice of war - not just to change the fates but for their very own survival. I can't wait to see how this is resolved in Transcend (and isn't that title fabulous?)

Source: www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1695808215
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review 2019-10-16 23:28
The Moonstone / Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone, a yellow diamond looted from an Indian temple and believed to bring bad luck to its owner, is bequeathed to Rachel Verinder on her eighteenth birthday. That very night the priceless stone is stolen again and when Sergeant Cuff is brought in to investigate the crime, he soon realizes that no one in Rachel’s household is above suspicion. Hailed by T. S. Eliot as ‘the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels’, The Moonstone is a marvellously taut and intricate tale of mystery, in which facts and memory can prove treacherous and not everyone is as they first appear.

 

 

I read this book to fill the Gothic square of my 2019 Halloween Bingo Card.

Well, finally, I have managed to read this Wilkie Collins classic, and I’m glad that I did. It is remarkable for the way it got detective fiction started. I could certainly see the roots of the genre in it and it reminded me strongly of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four. Sergeant Cuff, with his eye for detail and absorption in rose cultivation, seems like a clear predecessor of Sherlock Holmes, with his predilection for violin playing and smelly chemistry experiments. Both novels result from treasures stolen from the Indian subcontinent and Indian people appear in England in both cases to retrieve the ill-gotten valuables. Also appreciated was one of the earliest crime scene re-enactments in literature.

The Moonstone doesn’t rush it’s way to the finish line. Instead, it meanders and circles a bit, as the literature of the time period does. I thought that Collins must have had great fun writing the first two narrators--both Gabriel Betteredge and Drusilla Clack are entertaining for their eccentricities. Both have placed their faith in a particular book: Gabriel relies on Robinson Crusoe, while Drusilla trusts more to the Bible, or rather interpretations thereof by her favourite religious people. Each of them regards people who don’t pay attention to their book as heathens. Probably most of us have encountered a Drusilla at some point or may even count them as family members--we hope we see them before they see us, allowing us time to hide or flee!

Collins certainly reveals his excellent understanding of people with his characters. I found his depiction of Godfrey Ablewhite especially interesting, as it related to Collins’ own personal life. Godfrey proposes to Miss Rachel Verinder, but seems to be rather easily made to back away from their engagement, though it makes his father apoplectic. We learn later that he has been keeping a woman in grand style and had he succeeded in marrying Rachel, this woman would have been sure to ruin his reputation! Perhaps this is why Collins maintained two households without ever marrying either woman--they could tolerate being equal, but his marrying one would have automatically made the unmarried woman into the Other Woman, with the concomitant social censure.

Collins certainly set a pattern in literature with valuable gems being the centre pieces of mysterious goings on. I think even of modern urban fantasy such as Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews with it’s pillaged Indian crown, featuring a beautiful stone, which is used for nefarious purposes and eventually returned to India where it belongs, with the knowledge that nothing good comes from stealing from other cultures.

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