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review 2017-11-14 14:40
Dark Winds Rising
Dark Winds Rising: A Novel (Queen Branwen) - Mark Noce

Author: Mark Noce

Series: Queen Branwen #2

Rating: 4 stars

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Blurb:  "Three years after uniting the Welsh to defeat the Saxons and settling down with her true love, Artagan, Queen Branwen finds her world once again turned upside down as Pictish raiders harry the shores of her kingdom. Rallying her people once more, she must face her most dangerous foe yet, the Queen of the Picts. Ruthless and cunning, the Pictish Queen turns the Welsh against each other in a bloody civil war.

All the while Branwen is heavy with child, and finds her young son’s footsteps dogged by a mysterious assassin who eerily resembles her dead first husband, the Hammer King. In the murky world of courtly intrigue, Queen Branwen must continually discern friend from foe at her own peril in the ever-shifting alliances of the independent Welsh kingdoms.

Branwen must somehow defeat the Picts and save her people before the Pictish Queen and the assassin destroy their lives from the inside out. Just as the Saxons threatened Branwen’s kingdom from the landward side of her realm in Between Two Fires, now the Picts threaten her domain from sea in this thrilling sequel. But she soon finds that the enigmatic Picts are unlike any foe she has faced before."

 

This was a pretty good follow up to Between Two Fires

 

This time around Queen Branwen is pregnant and fighting. In short, the story is someone is threatening her baby boy and her lands so its time for her to step up and save the day. There is definitely a women empowerment feel to the entire story, with women basically solving problems/fighting/kicking butt and taking names while their male counterparts hit things and ask questions later. Meh - I dinged it a star for that. No need to stereotype to make a point. Women rock - we know. We don't need to knock men to realize it. 

 

That being said the story was enjoyable. There is a mystery in this one as there was in Fires. It is not as good. But the tension of the Welsh vs Saxons/Picts carried the story along nicely. One thing about these books is they are compulsively readable and an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. I finish Noce's books in a matter of days. Also, the characters are good. They stay true to form and he keeps a few shady ones around throughout the books to keep you on your toes. You never know whom to trust.

 

Looks like first person present tense is here to stay. I still don't like it, but again I enjoy this series and stories set during this time period. If another book comes out I will definitely be reading it. 

 

Recommend.

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text 2017-11-10 14:49
Friday Reads 11.10.2017
Between Two Fires: A Novel - Mark Noce
Dark Winds Rising: A Novel (Queen Branwen) - Mark Noce
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

Happy Friday!

 

This weekend will be COLD. At least Saturday will be. So I hope to get some reading in. No real plans which is fine by me. My hubby, Kindle, hot chocolate, and slow cooker are all I need this weekend. Oh and Dr. Who. We have to be caught up before the Christmas special. 

 

Anywho, I am re-reading Between Two Fires before starting the sequel which is due out next month. I was able to get a copy of Dark Winds Rising through Netgalley. This re-read proves I am one moody reader. I remember feeling mildly enthused about Between Two Fires. This time around I cannot put the thing down. I read half of it in one day. I had planned on reading the sequel next month but I figured I will ride this binge and just segue into the sequel this weekend.  Oh and Mark Noce needs to shake the hand of whoever does his covers. LOVE THEM. 

 

If I'm really ambitious I will dive into Artemis. I was a huge fan of The Martian- the book and the movie - so I know Weir has a gift for riveting sci-fi. Looking forward to reading it. 

 

I hope you guys have great weekends and I look forward to reading your reviews during reading breaks. 

 

Happy Reading! 

 

 

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review 2017-07-25 00:00
The Dark is Rising: The Complete Sequence (The Dark is Rising, #1-5)
The Dark is Rising: The Complete Sequence (The Dark is Rising, #1-5) - Susan Cooper Some of these volumes, the ones involving Will, the Old One, are more like 4 stars. Epic struggle of the Light against the Dark with Arthurian touches. The depth of imagination and description is very well done in the Will parts, especially the second and fourth books.
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review 2017-04-16 09:44
Review of Dark Moon Rising By James M Thompson
Dark Moon Rising - James M. Thompson

I’ll start off by saying the ideas and imagination gone into the plot of this book is incredibly creative. But the book could have been so much better.

 

The part I did love about the story was how creative the whole idea was. Instead of it being the classic bitten by a werewolf or animal horror, James M Thompson has taken on a completely different approach and gone with a mixture psychopathic surgeons and power greedy military generals that’s created a gripping story.

 

I found myself being fascinated by the enhanced soldiers, particularly the sergeant Jack Stone. He had been operated on my Dr Stern making him stronger, faster and his senses more animal like. He was extremely arrogant but that made me like him more, I also liked the fact he was a mysterious character in the beginning but he becomes more confident as the story goes on. At the beginning I found the main character Jim Wilcox to be annoying but after the operation it’s hard not to like him. You also can’t deny how cool the guy is after surgery!

 

One of the problems I had with book was the amount of sex. The first 30% of the book was nonstop sex. It got to the point where I honestly thought the story was going nowhere and was starting to sound like fifty shades of grey. But I would recommend readers stick with it because it does start to pick up in the last quarter and becomes the fast paced horror/thriller that was described and originally drew me in.

 

Overall I wasn’t crazy about this book but I did enjoy it towards the end. The book could have been so much better if it got straight into the thriller/horror side of it from the start and left most of the unnecessary romance bullshit out. For readers that enjoy science/medical horror with a combo of fantasy this book is a good read

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review 2017-01-15 00:00
Silver on the Tree (The Dark Is Rising Sequence, Book Five)
Silver on the Tree (The Dark Is Rising Sequence, Book Five) - Susan Cooper I’ve read this entire series by audiobook, and while I enjoyed it, I really think I need to go back and read them as books. Sometimes I would have gaps of days in between my listening within a book, and gaps of weeks or even months between the books themselves, so I got a little confused. The whole series seems a bit un-explained, to me, and I’m really kind of perplexed that I couldn’t get as into it as so many other people. I didn’t like the way the point of view jumped back and forth between the Drew kids and Will, I didn’t like the way the “magic” was never fully explained (at least not to my satisfaction), and I didn’t like the characters themselves much! I was especially affronted by how the female characters are either air headed (Jane) or magical. Why is this series considered to be so brilliant? I really feel like I’m missing something.

Despite that, I stuck it out for the entire series and was fascinated by the setting of Wales and England. I think that, given how short the books are, I will go back and re-read them at some point. I think maybe all my gaps in reading effected my comprehension of the plot. I really don’t think anything can rescue the characters though.
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Wait WHAT. That was NOT an acceptable ending, AT ALL!! *sniff*
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