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review 2018-12-28 00:59
ARC Review: The Legend Of Gentleman John by T.J. Nichols
The Legend Of Gentleman John - T.J. Nichols

I seem to be in the minority with my assessment of this story. I liked it well enough, I suppose, and I was impressed with the author creating a trans (F2M) character in a historical setting. I liked the inclusion of a fantasy element with Banyn, a fae, and his backstory.

I think this book would have worked better for me if it had been a longer story. While the author created a nice timeline, there seemed to be big jumps in time, that especially in the later years of John's story would have perhaps rounded his character out a bit more. We're told of his struggles, the binding of his chest, the monthly bleeding, and the constant fears of being found out, but we're not shown much of it. The story is written with flashback scenes, while John is on the run, bleeding from a wound, and we get to see the beginning of his relationship with Banyn, the progression of their love, and how he ended up in a penal colony on an island off Australia. 

There's a melancholy undertone to the book, befitting the story, and I thought it was perhaps a bit too depressing to be a Christmas story, even if John gets his wish and his HEA. 

I also quite liked the epilogue - that was a fitting ending to this story. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-12-21 20:57
I Am Legend
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you think that things could not get much harder for the lead fictional character named Dr. Robert Neville, they actually do get immensely harder for Robert and Robert's suddenly faced with many different challenges that he's got to do and carefully go through to keep the hope of saving the humanity alive. See, the story is, he's supposedly the only human survivor on the planet, and he's surrounded by these creatures that used to be human, but aren't human anymore, so that makes him only human who can turn the world upside down and save it from the virus that has overtaken it. Don't want to spoil it for you whether he succeeds or fails to save humanity, but I'll say this to you; He's one heck of a man, with one heck of a plan, and one heck of a character. And he makes this novel a truly worthwhile read for you cannot help but read about his life and read about his hope he's got for humanity's survival.

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review 2018-12-18 01:45
Claus: Legend of the Fat Man by Tony Bertauski
Claus: Legend of the Fat Man - Tony Bertauski

So this was a freebie that I grabbed because the blurb sounded intriguing.  I don't normally enjoy YA focused books and tend to avoid them for the most part, but something about this blurb grabbed me. 

Boy, was I ever pleasantly surprised!

It grabbed me from the get-go.  A very interesting premise, a different - very different - take on the myths and legends of Saint Nick and Santa and his elves and the reindeer.  The way the author weaves the stories we know into this new and different narrative was delightful!  I have to admit that I think the story might owe bits to the Santa Clause series of movies as well as some of the old animated Christmas specials we watched as kids, including 'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town' from Rankin/Bass Productions.  But it's all woven together with such fun and delight that you recognise the similarities and go, cool!

Don't get me wrong, there are some dark moments here, and some not very nice actions, and that's good, because I wasn't looking for saccharine sweet. 

The only thing that really bothered me was near the end when the villain of the piece, Jack (it's always Jack, isn't it?) gets all 1970s pop culture icon crazy person.  See, the story takes place in 1899 and while the elves can do alot of magical stuff, I don't think they managed time travel, so where that personality came from, I don't know.  It just felt a bit out of place.

Anyway, I couldn't put it down and the fact that it had lots of short chapters only helped the 'just one more chapter' road I was on. :)  Fun read!  And fascinating take on some of our best-loved tales.  I think I'm going to have to read the others in the series. :)

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text 2018-12-11 12:24
Reading progress update: I've read 153 out of 288 pages.
Early Irish Myths and Sagas - Various Authors,Jeffrey Gantz

The Death of Aife's Only Son

 

Foolish pride can be the downfall of the greatest warrior...

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review 2018-12-11 09:24
Asgard to Valhalla, Heather O'Donoghue
From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths - Heather O'Donoghue

A really interesting survey of the impact Norse mythology has had on culture from the time it was first written down in Iceland onward to the present day (or at least the date of publication, earlier this century).

 

First off there's a look at what we know about Norse myth from written sources and archaeology, noting the problems and uncertainties associated with each and the vast yawning absences in our knowledge that look to be forever irreperable. The most important stories from the written stories are outlined - necessary information for the next part of the book, which surveys how Norse myth impacted all aspects of culture, social, political, artistic in a progression from the 13th Century to the 21st.

 

O'Donoghue restricts herself only to the "highlights" in order to fill in trends and register the most impactful social and artistic movements. This is no doubt essential for a book aimed at a popular audience, with a length restiction, however, I could have wished for both more detail and a more comprehensive discussion, at the risk of ending up with a longer and more academic book.

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