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Search tags: Sci-Fiction
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review 2018-05-27 20:50
"They seek him here, they seek him there ..."
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy,Gary Hoppenstand
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Stephen Crossly,Emmuska Orczy

Oh, what a glorious prelude to the 2018 Summer of Spies.

 

Maybe not a "spy" novel in a narrower sense, but writing in 1902 and leagues ahead of her time, Orczy created the first book of what would become a series of perfect swashbucklers, starring a power couple in which the heroine is every bit her partner's equal and then some.

 

Indeed, cleverly Orczy even tells this book's story chiefly from Marguerite's point of view, which not only has the benefit of keeping the first-time reader (though ... is there such a creature, in this day and age, when it comes to this particular novel?) unaware of the Scarlet Pimpernel's identity as long as possible, but also gives Marguerite an added reason to hurtle all the way to France in Sir Percy's pursuit once she has cottoned onto (1) his alias, and (2) the fact that Chauvelin has unmasked him as well and is now hunting for him in turn.  After all, the narrative perspective would go to hell in a handbasket if Marguerite were to just stay at home and gnash her teeth, anxiously awaiting her husband's safe return -- whereas this way, Orczy is able to present her as a woman of action ... even if, for the most part, it looks like the much-touted "cleverest woman in Europe" is stumbling blindly after her husband and Chauvelin in their respective tracks and comes darned close to ruining Sir Percy's whole enterprise, not to mention imperiling the life of her beloved brother Armand, to whose assistance Sir Percy had rushed off to begin with (well, that and in order to finish the job of getting the de Tournay family safely across the Channel).

 

No wonder, in any event, that the reading public soon demanded a sequel -- and Marguerite  and Sir Percy would soon also find their way onto the silver screen.  The rest, as they've never said more truly than here, is history ...

 

 

My "Summer of Spies meets Women Writers Project" reading list:

Women of Intelligence

(http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/897/women-of-intelligence)

 

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review 2018-05-27 16:45
An efficient Star Trek adventure
The Covenant of the Crown - Howard Weinstein

Howard Weinstein is a prolific author of Star Trek franchise novels, and if his first one is any guide it's easy to see why. In it he provides an efficient tale of a planet whose Klingon-sparked civil war is winding down and who needs their exiled king to return to cement the peace. Due to his personal connection with the king James Kirk is ordered to transport him to his homeworld, only to arrive to find the monarch near death. To salvage the mission, Kirk must retrieve the all-important crown and convince the king's reluctant daughter that she has the strength necessary to assume the throne — all while dealing with a Klingon battlecruiser and Klingon intelligence operatives who are determined to do everything within their power to stop the Enterprise crew form fulfilling their mission.

 

The plot of Weinstein's book is not that different from that of an episode of the original series, which often had the Enterprise crew intervening in the planetary politics of strategically important worlds. What Weinstein does is put Leonard McCoy at the center of events and expand the scale beyond what was ever possible in the series by making it a truly interstellar tale, with journeys to multiple planets, spaceship pursuits, and struggles with alien fauna. While Weinstein does not draw any great moral from the tale, he does nonetheless provide readers with an engaging adventure, one that is fresher for its scope and its concentration on a previously under-utilized character.

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review 2018-05-27 15:17
Twice As Nice by Sandra Liu

So many great recipes to try.
As I was flipping through the recipes, I was happy at how thorough the book felt. Don't get me wrong, each cookbook has step-by-step instructions, but this one felt more in depth detail than most. I also like that in the recipes, specifically the one I made, had fresh and prepared methods. So instead of soaking beans overnight, she had an alternate solution in canned beans.
I tried the  Broiled Chicken and Pepper with Hummus recipe.
I didn't make hummus, but adapted the chicken method to make wraps. 


They were so delicious too, I ate 4 of them! Flavorful, and quick to whip up, I am eager to try another recipe, or even use one to suit my tastes as I did with this one. I know I am going to have much fun with this book. If you love chicken, this is definitely a cookbook for you!
 
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2018/05/twice-as-nice-by-sandra-liu-22.html
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review 2018-05-27 10:51
A Certain Light
A Certain Light - Cynthia Banham

Full disclosure: I won an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway I don’t remember entering. I mean, I must have entered it. It’s right there on the list of giveaways I’ve entered. I had to have clicked on the giveaway and gone through several confirmation steps. It’s not something one can do by accident. The only explanation I can come up with is that I was super fibro-fogged that night and brainlessly entered a bunch of giveaways for books I wouldn’t normally be interested in.

 

You see, I don’t generally care for memoirs. I prefer biographies. Linear, non-rambly biographies. And if I’d been in a non-fogged state, I would have steered clear of the memoir of a catastrophically injured plane crash survivor. (I am very uncomfortable with the whole inspiration porn thing. Not that this is inspiration porn, but I wouldn’t have taken the chance.)

 

But since the book showed up on my doorstep and the genealogy aspect did sound interesting, I decided to give it a shot. And I did enjoy the parts about the author exploring her family history, though I found the book as a whole to be a bit repetitive and disjointed in a stream-of-consciousness, memoirish way that would be perfectly fine if I liked memoirs.

 

My biography preference aside, this was well-written and I learned a lot of things about Italian soldiers in WWII that my teachers never covered in history class.

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review 2018-05-26 20:22
Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose
Murder on Black Swan Lane - Andrea Penrose

Series: Wrexford & Sloane #1

 

 

I'm not sure what it was exactly, but this mystery didn't really work for me. Part of it may have been the alchemy references.; I was very pleased that the story didn't veer off in a woo-woo direction. And at least in this first book, there wasn't a silly romance. So in theory it gets points for that.

 

But I still felt pretty meh about it.

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