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url 2017-05-01 22:08
82 -- yes, EIGHTY-TWO -- new releases in book series tomorrow!
The Gathering Edge (Liaden Universe®) - Sharon Lee,Steve Miller
A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses) - Sarah J. Maas
Cold Reign - Faith Hunter
Pawn: A Chronicle of the Sibyl's War - Timothy Zahn
Darkship Revenge - Sarah A. Hoyt
The Dark Prophecy - Rick Riordan
Alien Education (Alien Novels) - Gini Koch
The Fallen - Eric Van Lustbader
Heat Storm (Nikki Heat) - Richard Castle
Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #2) - Ben Clanton

I included a few at top of this post but see the entire list at https://www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar by clicking on Tuesday, May 2.

 

Guess gearing up for spring vacations and summer reading?

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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review 2017-04-29 06:04
Quick Thoughts: Storming the Castle (novella)
Storming the Castle: An Original Short Story (Audio) - Eloisa James,Nicola Barber

Storming the Castle
by Eloisa James

audio book narrated by Nicola Barber

Fairy Tales #1.5 (novella)

 

 

What Miss Phillipa Damson needs is a good, old fashioned knight in shining armor.  What she has is a fiancé she never wanted and a compelling urge to run away.  But if she manages to escape, will she find her happily ever after?



This novella started strong, and truthfully, I had been thinking that I liked it more than I liked it's preceding book, A Kiss At Midnight.  Because, truthfully, A Kiss At Midnight was just riddled with romance plot clichés and over dramatic angst, even if the book itself was pretty enjoyable.

The conditions of which Phillipa leaves her family and her betrothal to pursue a life for herself was exciting.  In fact, it was the best part of the novella, because it helps establish Phillipa's character outside of just being a Romance Novel Heroine, where everything revolves around a man and her love life.  I loved that she has a self-revelation about not wanting to continue being told what she should feel, how she should think, what she should want with her life, or how lucky she was to have her future taken care of for her.

That she took the initiative to step out of that mold to find her own way in life drew me in, and made me intrigued at what was in store for her.

That she would find Jonas Berwick, majordomo extraordinaire, in her future was also a bonus for me since I absolutely loved him from the first book.

The insta-lust that took place as soon as she enters the castle to become a nursemaid was not surprising.  And I was actually looking forward to the potential love story between her and one of my favorite characters from A Kiss At Midnight, Prince Gabriel's half-brother, Jonas Berwick.  Since the first book, I had found Berwick's character to be much more attractive and interesting than the main male character and had secretly wanted Kate to fall for him instead.

I had hoped he'd get his own book.

But a novella will have to suffice, I suppose, though, to be honest, after finishing this novella, I feel like Berwick deserved a much better story.

The moment we get to the castle, the story kind of plateaus and stops being exciting.  The love story feels supremely lukewarm, and while I like that Phillipa and Berwick don't fall in love at first sight, I never felt the chemistry between them.  I felt more chemistry between Kate and Phillipa, or even the castle's French cook and Phillipa, than between our resident main couple.  Berwick was severely underused in this novella, and honestly, I repeat, he deserves a full length novel and a better story.

When we get to the concluding chapter and find out that Phillipa had, yet another reason for not wanting to marry her betrothed Rodney... I guess that was it for me.  Because simply wanting the freedom to make her own choices wasn't enough?  I couldn't fault her for that.  But she announces another, much more superficial reason to her father, barely even mentioning the fact that she was tired of being strung around like a puppet by the people in her life.  No, Phillipa's reasons for not wanting to marry Rodney had more to do with the fact that Rodney isn't exactly the most physically appealing person, despite the fact that he was never a bad person to begin with.

That conclusion severely set Phillipa's character development from the first couple chapters backwards, and I stopped feeling bad for her that her father kept trying to force her into a life she didn't want.

Anyway, I can't deny that despite everything I disliked about this novella, Eloisa's writing style for the Fairy Tales stories are written in a distinctly "Once Upon A Time" like whimsical way that I like.  It truly feels like I'm reading (or in this case listening to) a fairy tale being told.

***

Booklikes-opoly


Roll #4:  (A third double landed me in Jail.)
Read 138 pages to add onto my 300 page Jail sentence.

No increase in Bank.

See Also:  Fourth Roll Activities

 

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/quick-thoughts-storming-castle-novella.html
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review 2017-04-21 23:06
NEEDFUL THINGS Review
Needful Things - Stephen King

Needful Things is my favorite Stephen King novel. Hell, it's probably my favorite novel, period. I felt that way going into this reread, and those feelings did not change upon reading it for the...fourth time, I think it is now. King nails everything here: exceptional character work, horror and comedy in equal measure, and one of his most memorable endings to date.

 

I know this novel has its detractors, and that's cool. Different strokes for different folks, brother. This novel is long (but not extraneous, he emphasized) and stars one of King's largest casts. I dig that, and some readers don't. Personally, I love every character here: Buster Keeton, Nettie Cobb, Hugh Priest, Willie Rose — that old Catholic-hating reverend. This novel is King at his most Dickensian: these small town people are folks all readers can relate to; the way these characters' lives intertwine with one another are an absolute joy to read about. And like the best of Dickens's work, this book is hilarious at times. I laugh until I cry every time I read Needful Things; typically I find King's humor to be a little hit or miss. In this 1991 satire, he hits the nail on the head every. single. time. I would wager SK had a ton of fun writing this novel because it's a blast to read. That's not to say this book is lighthearted or breezy; it's anything but. While it has it's hilarious moments, those are contrasted sharply with some of the darkest, most despairing scenes King has ever penned. Why is this book not mentioned in the same breath as Pet Sematary or Cujo when this author's bleakest works are discussed? Some of the text is almost too downtrodden to bare (I'm thinking, for instance, of Cora Rusk's distraction — her longing to go back to her Elvis fantasy — and inability to understand what has just happened to her son. No spoilers!)

 

As well, it is as relevant today as it was in 1991 — if not more so. For the last eighteen months or thereabouts, I have watched roughly 40% of my country's citizens fall victim to an aging con man, someone who preyed and still preys on the weak, scared, angry and greedy to win the presidential election and further his agenda (or sow chaos; whatever you want to call it). In a sense, this novel feels just as chilling and timely in the Trump era as 1984 or It Can't Happen Here.

 

Needless to say, this is King's masterwork — at least, for me it is. Some folks would say that title falls to the Dark Tower series or It or The Stand. That's fine. Literature is so damn subjective and every Constant Reader is different. But for me, Needful Things is the tome that shows the impossible heights King is capable of climbing to. He's come close since — and he had come close before this novel released — but this is in a class all its own. My highest recommendation, and then some.

 

Favorite Quote

 

"The goods which had so attracted the residents of Castle Rock — the black pearls, the holy relics, the carnival glass, the pipes, the old comic books, the baseball cards, the antique kaleidoscopes — were all gone. Mr. Gaunt had gotten down to his real business, and at the end of things, the business was always the same. The ultimate item had changed with the years, just like everything else, but such changes were surface things, frosting of different flavors on the same dark and bitter cake.
At the end, Mr. Gaunt always sold them weapons . . . and they always bought."

 

King Connections

 

Confession: I did not take notes while reading this. I know, I know; bad Cody! I just wanted to enjoy the ride.

 

This is subtitled "The Last Castle Rock Story", so of course it's the punctuation mark on the Castle Rock saga. Connections big and small to The Dead Zone, The Body, Cujo, The Dark Half, and The Sun Dog pop up.

The book's epilogue is set in Junction City, Iowa, which was the setting for 1990's novella The Library Policeman.

 

The car Ace Merrill picks up for Mr. Gaunt is a Tucker Talisman — a type of car that does not exist, and I am almost tempted to say its name is a reference to The Talisman. As well, when Ace sits in the Talisman for the first time he thinks about how fine a new car smells. "Nothing smells better," he remarks, "except maybe pussy." This line is almost certainly a throwback to Christine, as that same thought is expressed by a character in that novel. Pretty cool.

 

I am sure there are many more connections to be found here (there are references to Derry and some scenes are set in Cumberland Hospital, which is close to Jerusalem's Lot), but I didn't feel like chasing them. Say sorry.

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text 2017-04-21 14:44
Castle Perilous - John DeChancie

 

That was highly enjoyable, if a bit confusing at the beginning.

The feet on the stairwell made me laugh.

 

I don't know if  I'd want to visit the place though.

Unless I could be assured of they way back.

 

I wonder what happened to the guy who took the piece of demon from the thief.

 

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review 2017-04-15 22:21
The Women in the Castle
The Women in the Castle - Jessica Shattuck

She was aggressive, a doer, a responsible person who felt committed to the task that she accepted years ago, her name was Marianne. I felt that she would have done more but the year was 1938 and as the party was in full swing, the husbands plotting secretly against the government behind closed doors, Marianne finds them and she anxiously wants to do her part. She waits, finally a part is given to her, Marianne has a responsibility, someplace where she can help.

 

It’s now time for Marianne to fulfill her promise, she must find the women and children of these men, the resistors, who were plotting against the government and care for them. It is not an easy task and I was surprised that Marianne doesn’t find very many of these individuals. Locating Benita and Anita, she brings them back to the castle. These women bring with them such diverse and captivating stories that by the time the novel is finished, I am glad that Marianne only found these two women as I enjoyed what relationship these three shared.

 

I had to laugh at Anita many times as I thought that she had her head in the clouds or perhaps she just didn’t want to face reality. Then there was Benita, this girl had my emotions all over the place. I loved her one minute and then I was screaming at her a couple chapters later. Sometimes she was fun and loving and other times, she got so serious. Marianne took her responsibilities seriously and she was a strong character. I thought of her like a shepherd keeping everyone and everything together. I loved the setting of this novel, the uninhabitable castle. The large cold rooms giving way to the large kitchen, where finally some heat was felt. As the heat made its way to the room above, the women all gathered upstairs in that one room to rest. From outside, you could see how isolated this landmark was, but again, it also was a special place to be in. I enjoyed reading about these women and their lives, it wasn’t just about the war, it was much more.

I received a copy of this novel from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Thank you Goodreads and William Morrow.

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