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review 2017-11-08 03:54
Review: A Conspiracy in Belgravia
A Conspiracy in Belgravia (The Lady Sherlock Series) - Sherry Thomas

The second Lady Sherlock novel, and even better than the first. I adored this. I stayed up too late three nights in a row reading it. One night, I fell asleep reading it and hit myself in the face with my Kindle.

 

The prose is lovely. All the characters are well realized and wonderful to read about. And the mystery is so much fun to follow along with. 

 

And the conclusion. Oh my, every scene in the last act is dynamite. Such a delight to read!

 

I really want to see a BBC adaptation of this, one book per series. Or a visual novel adaptation on my iPad. Something to take all the clothing and food descriptions off the page and into beautiful visuals for a solid story with great characters.

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review 2017-10-14 18:34
Intense, complex and multilayered read
The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen - R.T. Lowe

I'm shelving this as a DNF for now, with the intent to come back to it at a later date. It was a Goodreads Giveaway book, so I'll definitely make the effort to push through and update my review when I make it to the end.

 

It's a highly detailed, complex fantasy (paranormal?) read and I think part of what made it hard for me to get through was just how much was going on. It starts in ancient history with a flashback setup of some kind of conspiracy, then jumps forward to a modern PNW campus with some kids that are probably going to be chased and/or eaten by monsters and also embroiled in a conspiracy...? So lots going on plot-wise, and some good writing especially in the high-action scenes. Tense and fast moving... but then it bogs down in description, or cuts to another aspect of the conspiracy or something and loses my interest.

 

I think this book would be appreciated by readers who really enjoy older or classic literature that has a high degree of description, and would do less well with thriller readers who are used to more streamlined storytelling.

 

The MC and core cast didn't really work for me as well, since he's a college guy with fairly well-represented college guy attitudes and interests. BUT, while that doesn't really hold my interest, I think it's great that there's a paranormal/fantasy out there that targets that audience, as most paranormal entries these days are more along the lines of female wish-fulfillment paranormal romances with hot (insert inhuman here).

 

The book production is high quality, and the author's obviously put a ton of work into a detailed, extensive story world that spans multiple books. There's enough here to intrigue me and make me want to come back and find out where it goes, but it wasn't quite the right fit for me, and there are some rough patches that I'd have liked to see smoothed over in edits as well.

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review 2017-10-02 16:05
Nest: A Thriller by Terry Goodkind - A Review
Nest - Terry Goodkind

Special Talents Make For Deadly Consequences

 

This review is for an audio book version.

 

Unique story plot gives this book it's strength. The protagonist has special talents, and the listener (reader) is drawn in with slow tugs revealing her true nature, and the imminent danger her talents presents. I enjoyed the various twists and the unusual characters, most good but jaded with a haunted past. Much of the story was "in her head" and perhaps a little too much, but there was also a good balance of action. Some scenes of dialogue between two characters seemed like a teaching episode, but I admit it was interesting material, so I remained fixed to the story. Perhaps reading the book may be a different experience than listening, though the narrator's performance was excellent. The ending was very good and leading to the next book.

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review 2017-09-29 15:46
A Great Continuation
A Conspiracy in Belgravia (The Lady Sherlock Series) - Sherry Thomas

After loving the first Lady Sherlock mystery so much, I knew I had to pick this one up sooner than later and I am thrilled to say it didn't disappoint. I do believe I rated "A Study in Scarlet Women" 5/5 but even at a slightly lower rating, "A Conspiracy in Belgravia" is still a solidly enjoyable installment.

Charlotte Holmes is still living with her new friend, Mrs. Watson and together they are still solving mysteries as "Sherlock Holmes." Charlotte is being courted by a familiar face, Lord Ingram's brother, and to prove that marriage to him won't be boring, he gifts her with some clues and mysteries to decipher. One of these clues leads her to a deceased young man who may or may not be Charlotte's illegitimate brother. In addition, she has been hired by Lady Ingram, the wife of Charlotte's one true love (if she ever has such a thing because Charlotte definitely does not NEED a man in her life and clearly realizes it) to find out what has happened to her first love. Can Charlotte investigate this disappearance and remain loyal to her friend, Lord Ingram, at the same time.

While I loved this book, it did take a while for it all to weave together. Initially there are quite a few mysteries afoot and while they did all eventually tie in together, it did cause some early confusion for me. However, Charlotte and Mrs. Watson are as interesting as ever and I loved Charlotte's independence and stubbornness and the fact that she doesn't feel the need to change in order to fit anyone's stereotype of how she should act. 

I am really loving Victorian and historical mysteries and it's a genre I didn't really see myself reading several years ago. The first book was superb and this one doesn't disappoint either. If you like Sherlock Holmes retellings, you really should give Sherry Thomas' series a try.

I received this book from Penguin First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

 

I will be using this for the Terrifying Women square on my 2017 Halloween Bingo.

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review 2017-09-21 15:39
Conspiracy in Death by J.D. Robb
Conspiracy in Death (In Death #8) - J.D. Robb

Someone is killing off vagrants and used-up LCs in the seediest part of New York City, taking souvenirs in the form of sick, unusable organs, harvesting them with surgical precision. Digging deeper, Lieutenant Eve Dallas, discovers similar cases in Chicago, Paris and London, but someone doesn't want her to dig, doesn't want her to uncover the truth...

And they're prepared to do anything to stop her, even stripping her of her true self...


I'm quite disappointed with this book, to be honest. With the premise and title as they are, I expected more from this particular story.

It started off incredibly slow, progressed even slower, and only picked up pace in the last quarter, when everything was pretty much already resolved. The plot seemed bogged down with fillers and ballast, over-complicated and "over-produced", instead of whittling it all down to the basics.
I also didn't particularly care for those three brief glimpses into the main villain's mind. Either they should've been taken out or expanded beyond those few paragraphs. As they were, they simply slowed the pace and bogged the story even more.

The cast of characters was once more superb; they're old friends by now. It was nice seeing the more playful side of Roarke playing in the snow with Eve, the camaraderie between Eve, Peabody and Feeney, and the sense of family, that connection, the instantaneous belief and trust between the major players when Eve was threatened and maligned was expected and delivered nicely.
I didn't particularly like Eve's own reaction to the conflict, though. Sure, some self-pity and wallowing is expected in such circumstances, but once the initial grief was over, enough was enough. She would've continued to feel sorry for herself indefinitely, if it weren't for Roarke, and that bothered me. For such a strong, resilient, self-made person, she put too much worth on a freaking symbol.

I liked her again after Roarke kicked her (figuratively) ass and dislodged her head, and simultaneously, the story picked up pace and finally got more interesting, acquiring that necessary "friction" that was missing for the better part of it.
Still, the real motive left quite a bit to be desired, making the whole conspiracy and cover-up appear a bit over the top.

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