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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-05-25 23:26
Die Pendragon-Legende (The Legend of Pendragon)
Die Pendragon Legende - Antal Szerb

Whatever I had expected of this book, they did not come true at all because this book turned out to be the most unpredictable read of 2020 so far. 

 

In a way, this book was a bit like going for a walk in the hills and suddenly being slapped across the head by a fish falling from the skies. And in a way, that also describes 2020 so far. So, it's been a timely read.

 

In all seriousness, Antal Szerb was having fun here in this collage of all the genres that I can only describe as a satire of all of the popular fiction that had been written up to the book's date of publication...and somehow preempting Scooby Doo, Indiana Jones, The Da Vinci Code, and I am sure some "rad" 70s fiction that I am glad I have not discovered, yet.

 

We get a scholarly MC, who ends up banding with a motley crew on the way to a Welsh castle, which may or may not be haunted, to visit an aristocrat, who may or may not also be an evil practitioner of the occult ... or a version of Dr. Frankenstein ... one can't be too sure.

We also have weird prophets, superstitious priests, potential human sacrifice, a whole lot of atmospheric fog that appears just at the most thrilling moments. We have Englishmen with upper lips so stiff that it takes a whole lot of questionable femininity to make them wobble, and we have an Earl's daughter, who spoils the usual script of a murder mystery  that ends in falling for the crime-solving hero

, and basically runs off with an Austenite character whom we've never heard off until the last page

(spoiler show)

 

This was a romp. It was fun, but for crying out loud, don't ask me what I've just read.

"I was back in my historic bed (Queen Anne, I believe). With time, this room had come to seem like home. A not entirely restful home. Somewhere above my head the giant axolotls swam. A few yards from my window stood the balcony Maloney had fallen from. And there was the vivid memory of the night rider circling the house with his flaming torch. It was home to me, as a trench would be to a soldier. I pulled my head down under the blanket."

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review 2017-06-21 00:00
Sea Lover
Sea Lover - J.K. Pendragon Book – Sea Lover
Author – J.K. Pendragon
Star rating - ★★☆☆☆
No. of Pages – 100
Cover – Nice!
POV – 3rd person, one character
Would I read it again – No
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Merman, Trans, Romance


** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **


This is a strange one, for me, mostly because the plot is almost exactly the same as another book I've read recently. Unfortunately, that other book was longer and the story read better, for that difference.

Sea Lover is a great concept with intriguing characters, but it fell flat for me. The emphasis on Ian being trans and S'mika being childlike was just overdone for my liking. The situation between Bobby and Mike was overly dramatic and unbelievable, while not really adding anything to the story except a secondary way for Ian to mention how much people leave him.

I was actually shocked to find that a story of 100 pages had not one single chapter heading. I like to stop to process or write notes when a new chapter crops up, but this book left no opportunity for that and the scene changes were impossible to determine, so I couldn't anticipate when I could stop for that processing moment.

The blurb made it sound like there would be a build up to Ian finding S'mika the Merman, but it actually happens in the first sentence of the story, which surprised me. I was also surprised by how long the story was, considering that not much happened after the halfway mark. Most of the end could have easily been removed and the story wouldn't have been impacted by it.

I didn't find Ian a particularly likeable character, especially one that is the sole POV. He's a little racist when he first meets S'mika (His hair and skin were both dark, too, and Ian wondered briefly if the tail was some sort of cultural attire) while being really whiney and selfish throughout. Despite what S'mika says about it, that's not always a good thing. The one thing I did like was that he never grew angry or fed up with S'mika's constant childlike behaviour and learning. I do, however, have a problem with how easily he and others accepted the whole Merman thing, while also wondering just why we never got to find out what really happened to S'mika to send him to Ian and resolve that issue for him.

Overall, there were editing issues throughout, a lack of attention to detail and characterisation that didn't allow me to properly relate to or care about the characters, and the plot was weak for a story this long. I didn't like the characters all that much or how they were represented, but the overall plot and concept was great and it had a lot of potential. It just failed to deliver.
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review 2017-02-23 21:08
Book Review: The Soldiers of Halla by DJ MacHale
The Soldiers of Halla - D.J. MacHale

You know what makes a great book? Authors who aren’t afraid to get dirty; authors who don’t hold back on tragedy. This is especially true in adventure books — if your characters are frequently put in dangerous situations, bad things should happen. Yes, maybe they’re able to get out of those bad situations and rise above it, but it shouldn’t be easy for them. D.J. MacHale is one author who definitely doesn’t hold back and definitely doesn’t make it easy for his characters in the final battle.

 

I am very satisfied with the conclusion of this series. All the characters showed tremendous growth and the final battle was pretty awesome. MacHale did some careful planning with this series, because I noticed things that tied back to clues given in previous books, which was fun. This is the point I was waiting for throughout the entire series, and like I said, MacHale doesn’t hold back. The stakes are high and it gets dangerous for Bobby and his friends.

 

The only thing I didn’t like was the explanation of what makes them all Travelers and how the gates were formed. I know it’s a fantasy/science fiction novel, but it was just a little too far-fetched for me. I’m not going to go into detail due to spoilers, I’ll just say that I think there could be far better explanations to the one MacHale chose.

 

However, this was a satisfying ending. It got kind of shaky for me around book 6 (The Rivers of Zadaa), but I continued with it because I was invested in the characters by that point. Around book 8 (The Pilgrims of Rayne), I was feeling it again, and now I’m glad I stuck with it. Soldiers of Halla is a great book full of excitement, danger, adventure, friendship, and everything that I love about the Pendragon series. Honestly, I think it’s the best book of the series because the stakes are raised so high and the characters really have to struggle.

 

I recommend this entire series to lovers of young adult adventure/fantasy. They’re imaginative, exciting books that don’t disappoint.

Source: www.purplereaders.com/?p=2269
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review 2016-11-04 03:49
Because Dani told me too...
Sea Lover - J.K. Pendragon

That's right I read this because my friend Dani told me too and I trust Dani. She's good at picking up on what her friends like and don't like. So she told me about this one and first off it's set in Canada well I'm Canadian so it's a given that this little detail will pique my interest and there's a merman...that was it for me I was hooked. Vampires and werewolves are kind of a take or leave it scenario for me but give me a dragon or a merman, shape shifting possums, a hot gargoyle of two and sign me up.

 

'Sea Lover' is set on Canada's east coast which is not only some of the most beautiful scenery that you will find in this country but some of the nicest, friendliest people live there as well...so it's no wonder that Ian moved there when he felt like he was drowning in his old life. Ian's made himself a comfortable life in a small town working as a fisherman. He's got a little cottage to call home and life's quiet and pretty laid back for him. He's comfortable with things the way they are or at least he was until the day he found a wounded merman on the beach. He doesn't really give a lot of thought to what's happening as he rushes to take care of the merman abandoning his fishing net and gear on the beach to care for the injured merman and to safeguard his privacy because Ian's no stranger when it comes to keeping secrets. He's got his own secret that he's worked hard to keep.

 

I was surprised by the way the author crafted this story. I know I've said this before and at the risk of being repetitive I'm going to say it again, "A story doesn't have to be realistic for me to enjoy it. It just has to be told to me in a believable way." and for me the author totally nailed it on this one.

 

 

The story on the surface is about a merman and a human but the story that I found underneath was about two people both of them unique in their own special way and both of them able to accept the differences of each other as just part of who they are allowing them to find someone they could be friends with and ultimately fall in love with.

 

This was my first time reading something by this author, so color me impressed because I doubt it will be my last. 

 

********************

An ARC of 'Sea Lover' was graciously provided by the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-11-03 03:28
Sea Lover (J.K. Pendragon)
Sea Lover - J.K. Pendragon

3.75 stars rounded up

Intrigued with the blurb, then convinced by ~✡~Dαni(ela) ~✡~'s review ... and I thought this was just LOVELY. I fell in love with Pendragon's tone of writing. There is something lyrical to it; it was gorgeous and pulled me right in.

While I didn't fully get the significance of Ian being

a transgender

(spoiler show)

and what it brought to the story, I guess this could was meant to show Ian that S'mika accepted him as he was. Then again, S'mika is not exactly human, was it? He has different anatomy to start with (legs vs. tails) so maybe it doesn't matter to S'mika either way. So I am back to the whole reason of Ian's gender identity.

Anyway, I loved S'mika -- there is an innocence to him that charmed me. He is like a smart kid, embracing the life outside the ocean. I loved Ian too -- his loneliness spoke to me well. I am a sucker for characters that carry that kind of loneliness.

I wasn't a fan of the drama brought by Ian's best friend. Didn't see the reason why it needed to be included to the story. I prefer that those pages to be dedicated to Ian and S'mika instead.

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