logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: MbDFiction
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-14 22:31
The Golden Mean and Alexandria: Griffin and Sabine
Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Unfolds - Nick Bantock
The Golden Mean - Nick Bantock

I'm reviewing these two together because I read them totally out of order. leaving me with little idea of story quality.  I'd read Griffin and Sabine years ago and loved it - the artwork, the interactivity of it, and the way it ended mysteriously.  A couple of years ago I acquired these two books at a sale and put them away until I could get the missing three, and read them in order.

 

Except last night I was in the mood for books with pieces, so I grabbed them to read anyway.

 

Definitely not a series to read out of order.  The Golden Mean was ok - I figured out enough from having read the first book to follow along fine, but Alexandria has new characters that were somehow involved in everything and I was more than a little clueless, although I was left with the feeling that Bantock was reaching for plot by the end.

 

Regardless, the art is still stunning.  I love the postcards and whenever a 'real' letter appeared on the page, the thrill of opening it, extracting the letter and reading it, never got old.

 

I'm still going to search out the rest of the books; if I ever find them, I'll read the whole series again - in order - and see if the plot goes as off the rails as it looks to me now.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-14 07:30
Sons of the Wolf
Sons of the Wolf - Barbara Michaels

Pure gothic suspense.

 

Two young heiresses sent to live in a mansion out on the moors of Yorkshire, completely removed from any society, with a mysterious guardian they've never met:  check.

Old abandoned half-ruined monastery:  check.

2 misunderstood sons, one dark and brooding, one sensitive and artistic:  check

Rampant superstition about mythical creatures:  check

One supposedly untameable black stallion: check

Big hounds roaming the moors:  check

Gypsies:  check

 

Sons of the Wolf has it all in spades.  Unfortunately, I didn't really connect with any of the characters enough to make the fantastically insane and relatively dark plot work.  I didn't hate it, but I wasn't at all invested in it, making a lot of small things I probably wouldn't notice if I were neck deep in the story stand out and irk me.

 

I didn't hate it; if someone were in the mood for a gothic story, it might provide a fun afternoon.  But it wasn't one of Michaels best.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-25 09:36
Sweet Tea and Sympathy
Sweet Tea and Sympathy - Molly Harper

Molly Harper's writing makes me laugh, but I remember when I read her first Half-Moon Hollow book Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs, it took me a good part of the book to care about the MC, Jane; the book just started off slow and bumpy for me.

 

Sweet Tea and Sympathy was the same; I just wasn't feeling it for the first half of the book and I couldn't figure out why I was supposed to care about Margot or her very odd dynamic with Kyle.  But things started to click about halfway through.  The snappy dialog that Harper is so good at kicked in, especially when Margot was with her cousins, and her interaction with the book's 'villain', Sarah Lee, was satisfyingly catty without being too catty.  After that midway point all the disparate pieces of the story started to come together, and more importantly, Margot became a sympathetic protagonist.  I started to care about what happened to her and even though I really struggled to figure out the clunky progression of her romance with Kyle, I found myself sold on them by the end.

 

This is the first in a new series and, frankly, not Molly Harper at her finest, but it was a light, enjoyable read.  I have every reason to believe future books will only get better as Harper finds her groove in this tiny eclectic Southern town.

 

This book could work for either  

Pancha Ganapati: Read anything involving a need for forgiveness in the story line; a story about redemption  (Margot's reunion with her estranged father, a recovering alcoholic whom she's never met, is a big part of the story), or 

Thanksgiving Day: Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.  The town of Lake Sackett is dying after an accident at the dam creating the lake emptied out a significant amount of the lake's water, making the effects of an ongoing drought more devastating to the tourist trade that keeps most of the town afloat (pun intended).  Their last hope is a week long founder's day celebration that's headed for disaster until Margot steps in to help.

 

I'm going with Thanksgiving, since we celebrated Turkey day today.  It seems fitting.  :)

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-08 10:27
The Pelican Brief
The Pelican Brief - John Grisham

I haven't read this one in at least a decade, and I was happy at how well it stood up.  Dated, of course, although not quite as badly as I expected.  At one point Grantham ends a phone call and "puts the phone on the floor", which stopped me in my tracks for a moment, until I remembered: big landline phone.  Some of the money numbers are hilarious, but not unexpected.

 

What's truly frightening is how many parallels can be drawn between Grisham's President and the orange wonder-douche currently squatting in the oval office.  I know, I know, you can find parallels anywhere if you look hard enough, but honestly it doesn't take much effort to see that Grisham's clueless, blustering President, who cedes all authority to Fletcher Cole while spending most of his time in the Oval Office practicing his putting and wishing he was on the course, depressingly prescient. 

 

As for plotting, I still hold this one as one of the most intricately plotted books I've ever read.  I don't mean Darby's story, but the conspiracy that Darby uncovers - as many times as I've read this, it never gets old, never fails to enthral me.  The plotting goes a long way towards making up any inadequacies in the writing itself (if Darby told anyone, one more time, about how much she'd survived to date, I thought I might shoot her myself).

 

Still a good read!

 

 

 

 

 

Total pages: 371

$$:  $3.00

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-06 10:20
Jasper Jones
Jasper Jones - Craig Silvey

A few months ago, I accidentally joined a book club (long story).  

 

The first book chosen was Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey.  Immediately, at least a couple of objections sprung to my mind:

1. Australian fiction and I don't have a harmonious track record.

2. Generally, literary fiction is not my jam.

3. No way could I read this 3 months before the club meeting and have any hope of remembering it, especially since I totally planned on skimming it (see 1 & 2, above).

 

So, I procrastinated.  I procrastinated BIG. TIME. I didn't buy the book until Wednesday, and as I was in the midst of finishing up my Dewey bonus rolls, I refused to start this one until they were all done.  (I was also hoping I could use this for a monopoly space - kid on cover, woot!) 

 

Which means I started it last night at 10pm.  Bookclub met today at 2.  Now, this wasn't going to be a problem, because I was totally going to skim read it. Then I read the first page.  Boy did that first page suck me in.  So did the second, and the third, and the fourth and OMG IT'S 2AM!!!

 

I woke up at 8 and plowed through the entire thing by 1pm (taking a "break", and I use that term loosely, to ferry all three cats to the vet for annual appointments - something I cannot recommend).

 

It was good.  Seriously, it was really damn good.  The Australian fiction I've been subjected to so far have all had one thing in common: a thread of cruelty that wove subtlety or not so subtley through the narrative.  Jasper Jones is not an exception, which is why I'd hesitate to call it a YA read.  There are some very confronting scenes and descriptions of abuse, violence, and racial hate crimes.  It might be a good fit for some, but not all, teens. 

 

This common thread is what turns me off trying new Aussie fiction, but here it's offset by the humour and genuine innocence of Charlie, and his banter with his best friend, Jeffry Lu, who often steals the scenes from Charlie by dint of his sheer equanimity.  Some of the banter gets tedious, but only because it's exactly the tedious banter of just about any two 13-year-old boys.

 

There's a mystery plot beneath all the other issues facing Charlie and it was tragic; its final solution even more so.  There's not a lot of winning for the good guys here, but the story does end on a note of hope, if not complete happiness.  

 

Most of all, the writing was just incredibly engaging, with a minimum of Aussie slang and/or vernacular.  If you can find this one, read the first couple of pages - you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

 

 

 

 

 

Total pages: 397

$ earned: 3.00

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?