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review 2018-04-19 02:53
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart - Mathias Malzieu,Sarah Ardizzone
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Definitely weird, but I liked it. 

A few weeks ago, I watched Jack and the Cuckoo-clock Heart on Netflix and enjoyed it. I then downloaded the corresponding album by Dionysos and fell in love. So of course I had to track down a copy of the book to make my obsession complete.

Overall, it was a good read. A weird one, but a good one.

The writing is beautiful. Malzieu really creates some magnificent images. I loved his descriptions. They are lovely and grotesque all rolled into one. The book is written in a kind of steampunk-y, Tim Burton-esque way that works well. I liked all the weirdness of the Ghost Train, the historical people that popped up, and of course the concept of a clockwork heart. 

Plot-wise, the book was interesting enough. It was fascinating to be along for the ride on Jack's strange adventure. But by the end, I was a bit tired of Jack's love quest. I will say, I much preferred the movie ending to the book ending. The book ending makes everything seem pretty pointless. It is obvious why the ending was changed for the movie.

Other than that, the movie sticks pretty closely to the book. Besides the sex. There is lots of sex stuff, which is much more subtle in the movie. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The story itself was good and the characters were interesting. But the main reason I liked this book so much was the language used. The writing is simply beautiful. So unique and fantastic. Great imagery.
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review 2018-02-28 18:59
J.K. Rowling Does "Mystery"
The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith


... and really, is there anything she can't write?


This may not be the most ingenious of plots (supermodel with "issues" falls to her death from the balcony of her high rise apartment; after the police have declared her death a probable suicide and closed the case, her brother shows up at the office of a down-and-out P.I. with a somewhat checkered past and pleads with him to reinvestigate; P.I. has a new temp secretary who gradually and reluctantly becomes his sidekick), but as always, it's all in the execution, and here, Rowling delivers on all fronts; from tone of voice to attitudes to every other aspect that's indispensable to creating well-rounded characters ... and what a cast of characters she's come up with, too.  She has an impeccable ear for dialogue, for the snazzy, street-wise language that few mysteries can do without, especially those published today -- all the more those set, like this one, in the demi-monde of fashion, film, rock (music, meth / cocaine, and whisky-on-the), modeling, moguls, and money both old and new -- and for endowing her characters with entirely credible human emotions.  All of her characters, that is, regardless how important they are to the story.  Even today, there are few mystery writers who manage that sort of feat.


And honestly, can you possibly think of a greater name for a protagonist, a run-down P.I. at that, than Cormoran Strike?


Count me in for book 2 of the series soon -- I wonder what took me so long to get to it in the first place.


Oh, and never mind that she published this under a male pen name (nice try, Joanne) ... the cat was out of the bag within weeks, if not days IIRC, and I am SO counting this book towards the "R" square of the Women Writers Bingo / Challenge.

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review 2017-12-19 01:13
Strike and Robin investigating a suicide
The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

My latest load of books. 


In the attempt to get a VIP card from a local bookstore, a brand from Taiwan, I have to buy a lot. 


So I tried and tried to find enough books for me to buy in order to become member. This is in the pile. 


The surprise is how readable this is. I read the latest one Career of Evil when it went on sale. This one didn't got my interest so much as I have already watched the TV series it based on.


The story has a bit of problem, the detective Strike seems sad, yet didn't really have a temper. Man who had a father who hardly knows his existence, and a career cut short because of injury. One must get frustrated in life and probably has a bit of temper. He is just not a cheerful guy but didn't really take it out on anyone really. 


As for his detective skill, it is a bit procedural. Who was there and why? Interviewing witnesses and tried to confirm the police didn't missed anything. 


The problem of watching the TV series first is the spoiler. I tried to forget the end bits to enjoy the progression of the book more. 


The story itself didn't have enough interactive actions that I like in detective story. But this is just preference. The story itself is doing fine. I would have to find out if this is a suicide or if someone has harmed this young woman. 


The middle bit is a bit of running around with glues. If only Strike revealed some of the clues to Robin, then it would get even better. 


The ending is fine. 


4.5 stars read. 

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text 2017-11-30 13:15
Surprise, Surprise Bonus Joker #2: The Cuckoo Egg



It's World Peace Day (square 10) ... which isn't on December 21, but on September 21 of each year.


Congrats to everybody who messaged us with the correct answer -- that's one bonus point for each of you!






We're almost halfway into the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, and it's time for another bonus joker ... and for 'fessing up: because we've put one over on you. 


Yes, that's right, one of the 32 holidays we've included in the game isn't actually set in December but ... well, when exactly, and of course which holiday it is, will be for you to find out.


We'll give you two hints:


(1) It's not one of the holidays that we've already passed, and


(2) It's not one of the holidays that are based on a different calendar than the Gregorian calendar, so that they could be on certain dates in November or December in one year and on other dates the next year.


(Oh, and it isn't Christmas.  But you'll have suspected that.)


Since we'd like to give as many people as possible the chance to earn a bonus point for this one, we'd ask you to PM Murder by Death or Themis-Athena your answers so the beans don't get spilled too early.


The joker is good from right now until 12 midnight (EST) on November 29, 2017.


Happy hunting!


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review 2017-10-31 06:43
Cuckoo Song
Cuckoo Song - Frances Hardinge

Cuckoos are interesting birds. Several species of cuckoo engage in brood parasitism, meaning they drop their eggs in other birds’ nests so those other birds will raise their young for them. Does the title of Cuckoo Song seem a trifle more disturbing now? Good. The mood is set.



This book is strange and wonderful and creepy and delightful. It makes me wish I had a time machine so I could send a copy back to the ‘80s for ten-year-old me. While it’s meant for a Middle Grade audience, it’s got plenty of appeal for older readers. Early 1920’s England comes alive in the vivid prose. It might be premature to crown Frances Hardinge the Queen of Metaphor after reading one book, but I’d say she’s definitely in the running.


But this isn’t just a good, creepy, dark fairy tale. It’s a good, creepy, dark fairy tale with substance. It deals with issues of family love, loss, identity, and acceptance in kind of amazing ways. My hat’s off to Hardinge. This was a delicious book that I wanted to devour but just had to savor.

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