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text 2017-07-22 23:41
#24in48 Read-a-thon Check In #3
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever - Jeff Kinney
A Sultry Love Song (The Gentlemen of Queen City) - Kianna Alexander

Stopping for the night at 8 hours and 33 minutes. 30 of those minutes were used to read aloud to the kids (3 picture books and 22 pages of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever). After the kids were in bed I started A Sultry Love Song by Kianna Alexander and currently stand at 53% done.


Now I just need some sleep. Tomorrow more reading and grocery shopping is on the agenda.


Good night and for those about to pull an all-nighter, we salute you.

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review 2017-07-21 19:10
Queen Lucia
Queen Lucia - E.F. Benson,Wanda McCaddon

The ruler of Riseholme, happier than he of Russia, had no need to fear the finger of Bolshevism writing on the wall, for there was not in the whole of that vat which seethed so pleasantly with culture, one bubble of revolutionary ferment. Here there was neither poverty nor discontent nor muttered menace of any upheaval: Mrs Lucas, busy and serene, worked harder than any of her subjects, and exercised an autocratic control over a nominal democracy.

Late to the party, but I only recently discovered the 2014 Mapp & Lucia tv series with Miranda Richardson and Anna Chancellor - it was hilarious. I know there is an earlier version with Geraldine McEwan and Prunella Scales but that one never grabbed my interest.


Anyway, I am on a mission to read some of the original books that the series is based on and Queen Lucia is the first one of the set.


Now, if you look at the 2.5* rating you might think that I did not like the book, but that is not exactly true. I did like the book: the slow pace and very subtle humor, the caricature of a group of characters who are doomed to be outpaced by the world and yet cling to their own idea of it. It is a book full of delicate deliciousness.


But,...I could not help but compare it to P.G. Wodehouse - and Queen Lucia just lacks all bite when compared with any of the characters in the Jeeves and Wooster novels.

Maybe the comparison is not warranted or even unfair - as a book shouldn't be compared with a contemporary for merit - but I was distracted by my wish to be reading Wodehouse instead.


The other thing is that Queen Lucia needs an equal counterpart like Miss Mapp, but Miss Mapp does not appear until later in the series.


So, while it was a light and enjoyable read to get to know the characters of Lucia and Georgie - and the world they inhabit - there was just something missing in this first book in the series.


I look forward to the next book in this series.



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review 2017-07-21 16:01
The Ice Queen (The Ice Queen #1) by Rebecca Bauer
The Ice Queen - Rebecca Bauer

The Ice Queen is the first book in The Ice Queen series, and we meet Aria for the first time when she is in 'training' in the courtesan area of the Temple of the Moon. Immediately, you are drawn into a world of intrigue, where someone may be completely different to who you thought they were, and their actions are different to what you supposed.

Aria is a fantastic female lead - she is strong, authoritative, caring, wilful, and determined. She has a reason for everything she does, even if she doesn't realise it until that light bulb moment. And then you have her 'advisors' - Casimir, Valtteri, and Seb. All three of these characters are amazing and well rounded, and yet they too have their own advisors. It is layer upon layer of support and intrigue, and it makes for one heck of a ride!
With plenty of battle action, some love action, oodles of political manoeuvrings, and an outstanding amount of honesty, I can easily say that I loved every word and I can't wait to read book two - The Mage King. For all fans of fantasy, I can highly recommend it. 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


#Adult, #Fantasy, @Xpresso Reads, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)


Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/theicequeen12byrebeccabauer
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review 2017-07-20 20:12
Red Queen
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about Red Queen. I had high hopes based on many of the reviews, and I'm wondering if that's what left me a bit ambivalent. On some level, I expected more than what I felt. 


One of the primary reasons I didn't connect more with this book was the main character, Mare. She started off strong for me. While she had the expected 'I don't give a shit' attitude found in many similar YA books, I liked how she strove to be independent. I liked the way Mare found her way into the royal circle and how she discovered her abilities. We did see one hint of her ability prior to this (which was good) but I do wish there had been more hints prior. The way it is makes it seem as though it was just dumb luck that her abilities showed up at the right time. But as the story progressed, she became somewhat inconsistent for me. I like when a character grows throughout a book or series, but that's not what happened here. For example, she hated Cal for his role in the death of so many Reds and how he could torture Reds with only the slightest hint of guilt, yet she didn't show much remorse for the deaths she had a hand in or the people she used along the way. It was a classic double-standard -- it's not OK for it to happen to the Reds because they are the oppressed society, but it's totally fine for it to happen to the Silvers because they must all be the same and take from the Reds and abuse them along the way. 


I also didn't like how Mare was the girl all the guys fell in love with. That YA trope is starting to get old for me. It just makes the character unrealistic. Someone has to dislike her (other than the jealous girls and the evil mother) so that leaves me as the reader to dislike her. And not for good reasons that make me still enjoy the book.


I have to admit that I looked ahead at the book description for the second and third books of the series. I wish I hadn't done that because it spoiled the twist at the end. Had I not looked ahead, I think I would have been surprised by the twist. So I have to give credit for that being well done. 


I liked the book well enough to continue with the series -- hopefully they get better for me or at least stay on the same track as the first book.

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review 2017-07-20 18:57
King's Cage
King's Cage (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

Book 3 in the Red Queen series was an improvement over Glass Sword. I became increasingly disappointed in Mare's attitude in the previous book and didn't care for the path she was heading down. Despite the pain and torment that Mare endures as she is held captive by Maven, I was pleased to see the growth and change in her this time around. Her interactions with her family, Cal and even the way she treated others in general were vastly improved.


I admit, I was preparing myself as I read Glass Sword for the possibility of Mare becoming the villain (due to her increasingly foul attitude and disregard for human life) and Maven switching roles and becoming the true hero. That didn't happen, at least not in this book. Book 4 is still in the works, so you never know.


Maven's scenes were always interesting. Learning what makes him tick, why this complicated individual, even without his puppet master, Elara, pulling his strings he continues on his road of destruction. Another character I enjoyed seeing more of, was Evangeline. She always keeps things interesting. I wasn't surprised at all by some of the decisions that she makes in King's Cage, but I was very pleased.


Mare's relationship with Cal was very much improved through most of the book. There were some very sweet scenes, but by the end of the book, I was honestly hoping Mare would zap his lying princeliness clean off a cliff. I feel he is too weak and indecisive, and I've lost all interest in his character. He can ride off into the sunset for all I care. I'm more interested to see what will become of Maven and Evangeline in the final book of the series.



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