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review 2018-08-26 23:34
Marking Time (The Immortal Descendants #1) by April White
[ { MARKING TIME: THE IMMORTAL DESCENDANTS } ] by White, April (AUTHOR) Nov-05-2012 [ Paperback ] - April White
Saira Elian grew up moving every two years and so she has learned to be independent. At this point, Saira is pretty sure that she can handle anything that life throws at her but she didn't count on falling through a graffiti tag and ending up back in Victorian times.  The 17 year old Saira suddenly finds herself gearing up to battle Jack the Ripper and learning that the world is so much more complicated than she ever thought it was. Being a descendant of immortals and in her case, a descendant of Time  and apparently the one fated to bring the families together, means that Saira is going to have to race against time if she is going to save her mother. Thankfully, for the first time in her life, Saira has friends that she can count on and a vampire who has loved her for well over 100 years. 
I have never been a fan of YA, so I had my doubts when I picked up Marking Time but I'm happy to report that I quickly fell into the story and cannot wait to find out what journey White takes her characters on. I will admit to having my doubts about Saira at first but as White reminded us how stark and independent her childhood was, it makes sense that she would chafe under the suddenly imposed rules of a relative that she had never met, and being forced out of her comfort zone to embrace things like dressing for dinner and attending an exclusive boarding school. 
There is a strain of romance running through this story. When Saira first meets Archer, she has no idea who he is and how much he will come to mean to her.  It would be a mistake going into this believing that it is a paranormal romance because while the love story is important to the entire narrative, it isn't the point to the story.  I have to admit to not being a fan of teenage girls being paired with vampires hundreds of years older than them but this is mitigated somewhat by the fact that when Saira develops a relationship with Archer in the past, he is human and actually not much older than her. It's one of the few iterations of vampire/teenage girl that doesn't feel completely predatory. 
I'm absolutely fascinated with the world that White built.  There are shifters, vampires, werewolves, time travelers and people who can see the future.  I really cannot wait to learn more about the immortals who created these unique descendants. Because the world is so rich, there are so many directions that White can take the story, particularly if she chooses to focus on the war between the descendants themselves, or take the story into the future. 
I know I've gushed just a little bit but there are a few problems with Making Time.  The first book in every series sets up the universe and establishes the rules for what the characters can and cannot do but I do believe that White got bogged down with the details when she started discussing DNA and creating a scientific explanation for how and why the descendants are the way that they are. It was the only time I found myself skipping the page and I really felt that it added nothing to the story to speak of.
Being in Victorian England meant that Saira found herself in a world in which men and women were forced into rigid gender roles. I love that she didn't instantly comply with what was expected and stayed true to who she is - a modern woman.  Every time that Ringo and Archer worried for her reputation, she was quick to push it aside. I further love that Saira dressed in a masculine fashion in order to have the freedom that she required to what she needed to do. White made it clear that the choice to pass as male is something that many an enterprising young woman chose to do in order to free themselves from strict moral and gender codes. Marking Time easily passed the Bechdel test and it was good to see Saira form relationships with men and women equally, even if the routine at the schools sometimes weighed down the story.
White used Ringo to do a small interrogation of class.  Far too often when we have time travel books, they focus on the upper class but in this case, White decided to look at the precarious lives of the poor in Victorian England.  Ringo actually had to sneak into his home each nigh because it wasn't a legal lodging and he could only have a fire to stave off the cold at certain times.  Ringo also couldn't read and so Saira and Archer had to teach him. Even Archer, who did have some class privileges was forced into the seminary simply because he's the second son. 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/08/marking-time-immortal-descendants-1-by.html
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review 2018-04-29 15:29
"The Cat Bagger's Apprentice", by C.J. West
The Cat Bagger's Apprentice (Marking Time) - CJ West

Making Time book #2

Mr. West is great at tricking his readers’ imagination by leading us in one direction knowing full well that it was a ruse all along. Mid-way some of us will surely think we have figured out where the story was leading but hold tight you are in for a surprise, at the last moment he always pulls a curve and the results are far from what we may have presumed…..

Since it is a recurring theme that follows “The End of Making Time” although preferable, I really do not think it is a must to read it first. Re-education of the criminal justice system has revolutionized America: where once caught, you are arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced all in one day. In book #2 we have the story of computer hacker, Jordan Voss and what happens to him once he is moved to a special apartment where everything he does is monitored.

Change perspective and you will enjoy this story. The premise has its own merits, is quite original and gripping most of the time. It is one drama that does not reveal itself until the very last chapter, great twist. The best part in this story is how we are pulled into the characters psyche, bad and evil they will make you think….

Of course this book has a weird concept of the justice system but seen through the eyes of an author with great imagination is something to think about although I really do not think it would ever happen….well I hope so.

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text 2017-10-16 21:50
Self-Pubs That Shine
The Book of Kindly Deaths - Eldritch Black
Rewinder - Brett Battles
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan
Paladin - Sally Slater
Haven - A.R. Ivanovich,Michelle Ivanovich
Nightfall Gardens - Allen Houston
Marking Time - April White
Slumber - Samantha Young
Timebound - Rysa Walker
Nefertiti's Heart - A.W. Exley

Most of us these days are aware of the flood of self-pubbed books and how difficult it can be to find a gem in the sea of mediocrity.  We often see reviews of the sub-par and/or reports of unethical marketing schemes or unprofessional behavior on the part of some authors.

But some of us who have stuck a toe or two into those waters have come across a few gems.  I thought it'd be good to share a few self-pubbed & small press books I really enjoyed and that I feel stand well among their trade-pubbed counterparts. 

So here are a few I've discovered that I am proud to recommend.

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review 2016-08-08 06:28
Marking Time (C.J. Anthony)
Marking Time - C. J. Anthony

2.75 stars rounded up

The pace felt uneven and the novella seemed more like Adam's story rather than Adam and Chase's; and while I liked the early part with Adam realizing his sexuality for the first time, as well as the talk with his Dad, but I wasn't happy with him later on.

Him breaking up with Chase because of a homophobic team mate who was already despised by others just didn't make sense. Not like Chase was part of the troop. He was all the way in the U.S. for God's sake, and Chase already said that it was okay if Adam wanted to tell everyone that Chase was just a friend with wife and kids.

I rounded up the story because of Chase's Dad (loved that guy), plus this was free as well as it seemed to be Anthony's first dip into writing for Don't Read in the Closet event back in 2012.

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review 2015-08-01 06:20
Marking Time - Marie Force

A great story about the ex-wife of the hero in previous book.  I was totally in sympathy with her dilemma. Everything was good about this story, plot, action, romance and even secondary (I must read Coming Home now where reviews say author makes this work.)  Claire must rebuild her life that fell apart during her three years in a coma.

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