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review 2019-01-08 18:29
Mixed Feelings
Sheltered (The Cities Below) - Jen Colly

Rollin is a Balinese Guardian who’s been a protector all his life. He was raised by his adopted mom Cat who also raised four other kids whon Rollin loves as his own siblings. Rollin has moved out on his own but still stops to see Cat every morning as she is close to giving birth. Rollin is worried about two of his four siblings more than the other two. Bette is an aristocratic vampire   from Valenna and has been dominated by the evil Lady and It’s Captain. Her parents had been killed and she is wanted to mark and mate her for money because of hre station. To prevent a mating mark from being forced on her Betty locks herself in her house for the next ten years.About once a month a friend comes and brings Bette something to eat. Now Bette’s sanity is in question and the sun calls to her which would be instant death. So Bette has decided to seduce one of the guardians and she would have her own protector but also Bette believes the only bond she can form and will save her life is the bond between a mother and child. She wants to get pregnant. Bette gets to Balenere which is a haven for all who need refuge. Rollin and another Guardian are on shift. Bette tells rollin she is being chased by demons. Rollin doesn’t believe her but lets her in anyway and takes her to his own home.  Bette and Rollin have secrets that they try to hide from one another.From the beginning Bette and Rollin are barely apart and Rollin doesn’t want to let Bette go.Rollin needs to be needed and Bette needs him. He tries to make Bette feel safe. Bette finds herself falling for Rollin. Bette understands more about Rollin than his family does. Bette is the first woman Rollin has ever got close to. Soon Rollin is falling for Bette and she for him. But she also knows association with her could ruin Rollins future. She is starting to doubt her original plan is worth Rollin sacrificing his dream as she loves him now. But there are guardians letting demons into the city and others fighting for money. Rollin hungers to mark Bette as his own but than Betet disappears.

I had mixed feelings about this book. Like Bette locking herself in wehen Vampires can go right through doors and walls. I also felt this could use some action to liven it up. But I did enjoy this book I just wouldn’t read this again and that goes into my rating. I did love Rollin and Bette together. They were really want each other needed. I also got irritated by hearing about the age difference so what vampires tend to live a long time if not killed or go into the sun. i did also like the plot. I felt bad bette was at the point of wanting to commit suicide. At times this felt a little rushed to me. I also HATE cliffhangers and that also added to the drop in ratings for me. I got a little confused at times while reading this also. There were also a few too many side plots. As you can see i have mixed feelings on this book.

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review 2018-12-13 01:36
The Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly (Book 5 in the Jack West Jr. series)
The Three Secret Cities - Matthew Reilly

Holy moly...this book was something!! The thrills just keep on coming, but that ending...oh, that ending....I was crying, then I was like, "say what?!"


It royally sucks to have to wait for the next one!

 

Do not attempt to read this if you have not read the Jack West series, it will not have the same impact.


And dang, I also want to see another Scarecrow book!

 

5 stars for never-ending thrills and because I love this character!

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review 2018-10-06 16:09
To stoke your wanderlust
Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies - Alastair Bonnett

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett is essentially a sociological and philosophical study of what 'place' really means to each of us. The author explores 47 different locales around the globe (usually with GPS coordinates included) and divides them by type (floating cities, underground bunkers, and places without borders to name a few). He examines the dichotomy in wanting a place which is set in stone and also desiring to be itinerant travelers like our ancestors. Until I read this I had never really thought about the significance that we as humans associate with place. The historical and geographical facts Bonnett detailed were especially fascinating (examples include: pumice rafts, Sealand (they have their own passports!), and the enclaves of Belgium). The pacing was just right and the material kept me engaged throughout (which by this point in the year is a challenge).  I really like to learn about places that are far removed from the everyday and Bonnett delivered on that in spades. For those with wanderlust in their heart or a desire to learn about phenomenally odd and/or out of the way locales then this is a great little book. I bet it would make an excellent travel companion on any vacation! 10/10

 

What's Up Next: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Star Trek: Destiny #3: Lost Souls by David Mack (yes, I'm still reading this)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-07-26 02:05
A Tale of Two Cities - DNF @ 40%.
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

"You have been the last dream of my soul."

 

And this has been the end of my tether. I've run out of can for this book. Third time was not a charm.

 

When Dickens actually bothers to write characters living a story, the writing is tolerable. But then he goes into these long allegorical chapters that are pompous and overblown and I lose all track of what's going on or why I should care about any of this.

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review 2018-05-26 21:46
Bygone Terrorism, A Not So Distant Memory.....
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

The list of ‘classic books’ yet to fill my waking hours is long, but whilst I am embarked on a lengthy (albeit belated) campaign to put that right, I was inspired to elevate this Dickens novel based on a recommendation read in ‘The Big Issue’. Alas, I don’t remember the name of the celebrity endorser, but my reasoning was that if the book is worthy of inclusion on anyone’s list of five favourite novels, it has to be worth a read. In any event, it proved a good call.

 

The titular cities are of course London and Paris, towards the end of the eighteenth century, when the capital cities of England and France were presiding over tumultuous and historic social change. As our Gallic cousins warmed to the task of revolution and the permanent overthrow of their aristocracy through systemic decapitation, a newfound population of Anglophiles crossed the channel to escape the carnage. However, what is so delightful about Dickens’ approach to this dramatic backdrop and a hallmark of the author’s writing, is his primary focus on the working and middle classes and an exposé of his characters’ experiences, amid the shifting tectonic plates of European politics. Dickens can also be relied upon to craft for the reader extravagant phrases in which to luxuriate and there can be few more famous openings.

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way….”

 

The novel is split into three ‘books’. ‘Book the first’ (“Recalled to life”), set in 1775, introduces Mr Jarvis Lorry, dutiful employee of Tellson’s bank and regular traveller between the firm’s London and Paris offices. He is to chaperone Miss Lucie Manette, whom he previously escorted to safety in England upon the death of her parents, back to Paris, to explore news that her father may in fact be alive. Dr Manette was a physician of some repute and has been imprisoned for many years ‘in secret’ before being released, an apparently broken man, to the dubious care of his former servant, Monsieur Defarge, now proprietor of a wine shop in the St. Antoine district. Indeed, Dickens’ description of the garret room in the attic used to incarcerate Dr Manette, as surely as the Bastille, the pitiable occupant and the loathsome landlord quickly establish for the reader a vignette of the approaching tempest and the descent into wider chaos.

 

Book 2 – “The Golden Thread”, picks up the story in London five years later (1780) and establishes Manette’s daughter, Lucie, as another key character. Uniting her father “to a Past beyond his misery, and to a Present beyond his misery…” Lucie dotes on her resurrected father and nurses him back to relative health and in so doing comes to the attention of another imperilled refugee from France, Charles Darnay and the two English lawyers who help successfully defend him from a charge of treason at The Bailey.

 

Notwithstanding Darnay denounces his heritage, the nephew of a despised French Marquis, any return to the country of his birth is likely to be fraught with danger. Moreover, his marriage to Lucie and their subsequent child confers similar risks to his family. Throughout, Dickens cultivates a stark contrast on either side of the channel and the operation of Tellson’s bank as the means of connecting affairs in Paris and London feels remarkably contemporary. But, while England plays host to the peaceful pursuit of life among family and friends, exemplified in Charles and Lucie, in France Monsieur and Madame Defarge are at the eye of the revolutionary storm. By 1792, the rising tide of discontent is watched ominously, as the Monseignor are scattered and take to their elite heels. For those with foresight, a foreign bank is a sensible depository for assets, but also acts as a magnet for revolutionary agents, to ensnare the treacherous upper class and slake the public thirst for bloody retribution.

 

However, though safely ensconced in England, when Darnay receives a letter from an imprisoned loyal servant of his family, clearly he does the honourable thing and returns to France, leaving letters for his wife and father-in-law.

 

Finally, Book 3 – “The Track of a Storm” magnifies the tension surrounding Darnay’s inevitable imprisonment and impending execution, through the selfless courage of his family and friends, who attend despite the risks. The cat and mouse tactics of Madame Defarge especially, desperate to seal the fate of the whole family, merely preying on casualties of a depraved process of social cleansing.

 

Still, cometh the hour, cometh the man and the final sacrifice is tragically heroic, but Dickens also reinforces the notion that nobility of character is not the sole preserve of the aristocracy. Indeed, the doctor, the banker, the lawyer and the daughter are all exceptional in their courage and fortitude and provide a glorious panoply of the human spirit. Again, Dickens has the turn of phrase to match the poignancy of the moment

"…It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

 

For me, this is tale that stands the test of time and though the reader glimpses exceptional demonstrations of love, its examination of the corrupting potential of power is the more potent lesson, as is the need for good people to show courage and resolve for what is right. 

 

In a timely update of the story, an adaption by BBC Radio 4 last weekend also gave the tale a contemporary twist, linking London instead with Aleppo (Syria). It remains powerful stuff, though perhaps sobering that the human experience continues to incorporate such destructive tendencies centuries later.

 

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