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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-15 19:16
Wrath of the Ancients by Catherine Cavendish
Wrath of the Ancients - Catherine Cavendish

Wrath of the Ancients by Catherine Cavendish
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The year is 1913 and Adeline Ogilvy makes her way to Vienna, after accepting a career opportunity to transcribe the memoirs of the late Emeryk Quintillus. Rather than being able to settle down and do her work however, strange occurrences draw Adeline's attention, and soon she finds herself caught in a wicked scheme that involves the wrath of a God.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

I purchased this one after I noticed the monthly Horror Aficionados group read, and even though it's not the latest installment of this series, what’s better than starting at the beginning? I’ve always found Egyptian history interesting; it seems to be depicted as glamorous, mystical, but also somewhat scary, what with all that mummifying shenanigans. It’s a perfect setup for horror, obviously, yet before I delved into Cavendish’s cleverly researched work, I hadn’t seen much of the theme. Perhaps it’s not as sought after as the more typical haunted houses and zombies, yet either way, I was ready for some Cleopatra goodness. What followed was a relatively light read that rhythmically drew me in and pushed me away.

The first part of the story revolved solely around Adeline, whereupon she temporarily relocated to Vienna for work. This is where I found myself impressed with the writing, and how quickly I was pulled into the mystery surrounding the Quintillus household. As Adeline explored the darkest recesses of the manor, I was thrilled to join her in each new, chilling discovery. I thus believed that this had set the scene for the entire book, but was heavily disappointed when that wasn’t actually the case. The much enjoyed “one character against the world” was turned upside down when another was introduced, that being Professor Jakob Mayer. I have no issue in admitting that I thought he possessed an ulterior motive throughout, as he didn’t seem quite right - he’s the one that offered all the answers, that had Adeline follow him around as he took charge with an unusually calm demeanour. Upon progressing through the story, I came to the conclusion that there was nothing nefarious about him, and that somehow felt wrong to me, as if he was merely shoehorned in to move along the plot at a much quicker pace. There’s no question that I would have remained invested had Adeline been left to figure it all out on her own, without being guided so obnoxiously.

When part one (by far the longest section) ended and I was thrust into the lives of strangers, I lost interest to a certain degree. It was jarring, to say the least, that I had to leave behind the woman I became so fond of, but I understand the intention of the plot was to span decades. It’s always a risk, to implement such long jumps of time and have a flawless transition, and in this case it just didn’t work for me. I felt disconnected, and, suffice it to say, I was glad when Adeline eventually reappeared.

The supernatural aspect, that was more to do with the effects of a curse than anything else, proved to be entertaining, but certainly nothing even remotely scary. Let me explain when a horror becomes less and less impactful for me personally - it's the matter of showing too much, to the point where I'm desensitised. I experienced no sense of dread and not a modicum of tension after that green light surfaced for the tenth time; sometimes less is more, and I firmly believe a lot of books would benefit had the author kept this in mind. There's also the issue that danger wasn't sufficiently conveyed - sure, there were a few deaths, but at no time did I worry for the well-being of the main character.

In conclusion: I really thought I was going to love this one, but the story went in a direction that failed to maintain my interest. To put in bluntly, I would have preferred the focus remaining upon Adeline, of whom I liked very much. Straying away from her, and bringing in a character that overshadowed her, just didn't appeal. That said, it wasn't all bad, hence the average rating I decided upon. Will I pick up the next one though? I'm really not sure.

Notable Scene:

Adeline forced herself to admit something she had suppressed for over fifty years. Those terrifying weeks in Vienna had left an indelible impression on her. For weeks, months, even years afterward, she would wake screaming in the night. She would see Emeryk Quintillus's mummified skin and eyeless face.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/06/15/wrath-of-the-ancients-by-catherine-cavendish
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review 2018-06-13 13:43
Secret of the Time Tablets (Cleopatra in Space #3) - Mike Maihack
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Awesome continuation of the Cleopatra in Space series. This is the third book in the series and I highly recommend reading the first two before reading this one. A lot happens with this one in terms of the prophesy, time tablets, and overall story arch. There are many references to what happened in the previous books, but I think it's best to just read them. They are just as amazing as this one.

As with the first two, great artwork and funny dialogue. This one has a sort of Western/cowboy style to it. It is a fun adventure story sure to delight anyone who is a fan of space adventure, ancient prophecies, and kick-butt historical figures. I really love the characters.

This one is a bit darker than the other ones and death is much more common, but it is still a fascinating and exciting adventure. Loved it. Can't wait for the next book. 
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review 2018-05-26 00:01
The Thief and the Sword (Cleopatra in Space #2) - Mike Maihack
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Awesome continuation of the series. This one picks up right where the last one left off and goes deeper into the prophecies mentioned in the first book. Same great artwork, dialogue style, and characters with a new, mysterious thief and a devious plot involving the charismatic Cleopatra.

Great adventure story that is funny, entertaining, and fast-paced. Just like the first one, this is a perfect read for young graphic novel fans or those just getting into graphic novels. 

I really enjoy all of the action sequences. They are set up in a similar way to fighting scenes in action movies with a great balance of fighting and finesse without being gory or graphic. 

Overall, a wonderful book and an awesome series. I just picked up the third book and am very excited to read it. 
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review 2018-04-21 15:00
Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice - Mike Maihack
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

For Mike Maihack's first graphic novel, this one is actually pretty amazing. Cleopatra is transported into a futuristic academy on another planet and has to partake in Indian-Jones-style missions to prepare her for her role as messiah of the galaxy. Oh, and there's an organization run by cats. What's not to love?

Great simple dialogue with awesome artwork, this is such a great book. It is easy to get sucked into the story. And Cleo's character is snarky and hilarious. This is a very pleasurable read. 

Whether she's walking in on a surprise birthday party or fighting robot mummies, it is always a fun adventure with Cleo by your side. Excellent book. A great read for young graphic novel fans. 

I am so excited to read the rest of the series and find out what happens next.
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review 2018-04-09 22:23
Cleopatra Unconquered
Cleopatra Unconquered - Helen R. Davis

Cleopatra VII was raised in the tumultuous Egyptian political climate.  From her infancy she was prepared by her father to one day rule Egypt beside her brother.  As a daughter of Isis, Cleopatra prayed to the goddess for support and guidance.  Little did Cleopatra know of the road ahead with death, deception, love, loss and the eventual happiness that Isis had in store for her when Cleopatra showed her worth. 

Cleopatra Unconquered is another wonderful story of 'what if," an alternative history to Cleopatra VII life and reign if she and Marc Antony were not defeated by Octavian in the Battle of Actium.  As the first of a three part series however, most of the book is deeply rooted in Cleopatra's history and not turning the tides until the end.  I enjoyed learning about how Cleopatra might have grown up and the trials she had to endure, especially within her own family.  I was very interested in her time away from Egypt and how she followed her father into his Exile in Rome; this seemed to have a great impact on her later decisions.  A wonderful layer that was added to the story was the point of view from the Vault of Nut where Isis, Athena and Cleopatra's mother, father and others in her life who had passed could look down on her, affect her decisions and move ahead through time.  This perspective allowed another layer of depth to Cleopatra's winding path through life and the choices she made.  Cleopatra's story intensifies as she heads into battle and becomes a commander and financier and I was enveloped in her battle.  I am so glad that Cleopatra's story no longer has to end so soon and can't wait to see where it leads next. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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