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text 2017-11-30 15:50
November Wrap-up
Devil's Day - Andrew Michael Hurley
Captives of the Flame (The Fall of the Towers, #1) - Samuel R. Delany
Dark Carnival - Nancy K. Duplechain
Fools and Mortals - Bernard Cornwell
First Person: A novel - Richard Flanagan
Children's book: Moshe Comes to Visit: Fun Rhyming book about Overcoming fears and positive thinking - Tehila Sade Moyal,Fatima Pires
Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra - Anne Rice,Christopher Rice
The Discovery of Witches - Hopkins, Matthew

Eight books finished this month and two more well in progress. An easy favourite among the above would be Fools and Mortals, but Cornwell is a great author. Dark Carnival gets the award for best indie and I've put her other two books on my ereaderiq list.

 

This was mostly a month for clearing Netgalley and fulfilling holiday Bingo reads. I have one and a half netgalley books still to finish and highly recommend The Toy Makers, which I'm halfway through! I also have the science book to finish for my Newtonmass square, but it's time travel so I'm enjoying that too.

 

I have some books put aside for this year's Christmas reads.  I'll post about those soon.

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review 2017-11-05 11:33
Ramses the Damned
Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra - Anne Rice,Christopher Rice

by Anne & Christopher Rice

 

Curiosity got the better of me on this collaboration. Once upon a time I loved reading Anne Rice's early vampire books and I've enjoyed one book by Christopher Rice (Vines) despite being written in present tense (the ultimate sin).

 

So, I started reading and my first impression was that it had the tone of those early vampire books and that perhaps the collaboration with her son was what Anne needed to get back on track. I started having some doubts when it became overtly sexual and the emphasis on gay sex started to impede the story flow. I don't object to gay sex, but I generally don't want to read about a lot of sex in general. It also dragged in a few places.

 

It's the story of Bektaten (totally fictional) who developed a formula to attain eternal life. The formula comes to Ramses and then the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, making them both immortal. Each of them shared their immortality with a few favorites and conflicts ensue.

 

This isn't, as I had assumed, a new vampire novel. No blood drinking has taken place. The immortality elixer is a new thing, not explored in any previous books I've read by either author, though there are some Ramses books by Anne Rice that I haven't read so this might be a series I just wasn't aware of. The Egyptian theme seems to be a favorite of hers.

 

The important thing is that I was drawn into the story and began to get to know the characters and all their foibles. My sympathies were naturally with Cleopatra, as she's a favorite historical figure, though not the nicest person in this story. I had some problem with keeping secondary characters in context as they weren't as well-defined as they needed to be, but it all fell into place near the end when the significance of their roles comes to fruition.

 

I found it interesting how the story explored concepts of reincarnation and afterlife, encompassing a few different belief systems within the plot and the beliefs of the main characters. The end seemed to drag out a long time, but the loose ends were all tidied up while still leaving room for some of the characters to appear in a new story.

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text 2017-10-24 11:23
Post-Bingo Reading
The Toy Makers - Robert Dinsdale
Devil's Day - Andrew Michael Hurley
Fools and Mortals - Bernard Cornwell
Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra - Anne Rice,Christopher Rice
First Person: A novel - Richard Flanagan
Lava Storm In the Neighborhood (Giant Tales Apocalypse 10-Minute Stories) (Volume 1) - Paul D. Scavitto,Sharon Willett,Stephanie Baskerville,Robert Tozer,Shae Hamrick,Christian W. Freed,Rebecca Lacy,Douglas G. Clarke,Mike Boggia,Sylvia Stein,Gail Harkins,Glenda Reynolds,Lynette White,Randy Dutton,Joyce Shaughnessy,Amos Andrew Parker,Laura S

With all my Bingo card books read and just waiting around for calls, I thought I would launch into reading my backlog of Netgalley books and finish off the anthology I've had on my currently reading shelf for months now. There's only a couple of stories left in the anthology so might as well finish.

 

I've started reading three of the Netgalley books and all are at least reasonably good so far. The other two look interesting but I'm going to get further in the ones I've started before I start new reads. Probably just a few days delay so that I'm not just getting a handle of 5 stories at once.

 

Once I've got on top of those, I still have 5 pages of Horror books in my Bingo folder because I had back-ups picked out for the categories where I was ferreting out possibilities from my free books slush pile. I've been threatening to clear the slush for ages so I think I'll start with those.

 

As soon as I start finishing off Netgalley reads, I'll also start alternating with my A-list so that I've always got one of those going. Then there is the Samples folder. I had accrued 12 new samples at the beginning of September. A lot of interesting books have come down my feed during Bingo and I've just been ordering samples freely to look at later. I now have 115 waiting. Um, yeah. I'll probably bounce between clearing those and the free books slush.

 

At any rate, I have no lack of books to read while the game finishes off. Wheeee!

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text 2017-08-30 15:22
DNF: Cleopatra's Shadow
Cleopatra's Shadows - Emily Holleman

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

Comes under the category of sounded like a good idea at the time, but I can already tell after just a few chapters this is not one for me. Ancient Egypt is one of those historical periods that absolutely fascinates me, which is why I requested this novel. But I simply don't see myself sticking with it. Not rating because I've not read enough to really judge. 

 

Thank you Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK. 

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review 2017-08-21 18:56
Wrath of the Ancients - Catherine Cavendish
Wrath of the Ancients - Catherine Cavendish

Adeline Ogilvy, a young widow from Wimbledon, has accepted a job in Vienna. Her assignment is to employ her skills as a typist and transcribe the memoirs of the late Dr. Emeryk Quintillus, an archeologist with a most peculiar hidden history. When she begins her recording the doctor's notes, she learns that, five years earlier, he claims to discover the tomb of Cleopatra. Even more astonishing, it seems that he has brought more than secrets back from Egypt. Strange occurrences begin to happen at the mansion. Is what Adeline seeing before her eyes real or a hallucination?

 

 

This is my first read of Cavendish and I love the slow burn in this Gothic chiller. I also like how blends an archelogical curiosity and characters with her own original take on what happened all those thousands of years ago. As the story unfurls, I can't help be reminded of the quiet horror writing style of Charles L. Grant. The characters are interesting and I'm drawn to keep turning the pages to see where they go in the story. If I have any criticism it's that there are parts where the pacing seems off. In one instance, things are doing a nice slow burn and then it closes in way too much of a flurry. But, it's a small blemish in an overall fun story. If you haven't had the pleasure to stumble upon Cavendish, Wrath of the Ancients is a great one to introduce yourself.

 

 

 

4 1/2 Green Glowing Apparations out of 5

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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