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text 2017-10-25 21:00
Whispers Underground (Peter Grant #3)
Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch

So I have to say this one was very enjoyable. Maybe because there is no Peter angst concerning a woman he is interested in. We get more information on how magic works in this world that Peter is in. Also we get some nice police work as well in this one. The Faceless Man is still running amok though, but I was glad to not have this book focus squarely on him.

Things I loved:

I did enjoy Peter working alongside Lesley. It seems that Lesley is better than Peter at magic, or at least stronger than he was when he first started up with Nightingale.

We get a FBI agent in this one who seems quite savvy and I would love to see her pop up again.

I don't even remember if Peter mentioned going to school initially to become an architect or what in book #1, but I love that he did and he was able to explain certain type of building arrangements and the running joke about why do architects need to draw.

Molly is still silent but seems quite protective of her ever growing population of the Folly.

The writing is very good and also there are some hilarious one liners in this one. It definitely reminds me of the good parts of Doctor Who. The setting of London where magic reigns supreme is a great one.

The ending was great with Peter figuring out who is the culprit behind a murder. And we get a nice circle back to a girl from the beginning of the book who seems to be getting added onto the magical Scooby-Doo gang.

Things I didn't love:

I want more Nightingale. He barely feels like he is in this book. Though he is in this one way more than book #2. I want more training scenes with Peter, Nightingale, and Lesley.

Even though I was happy to see Lesley, I wasn't happy to see how Peter acts anytime Lesley removes her mask. It seems to not bother a lot of people (Nightingale and Molly) but Peter still reacts to it. And it seems that Lesley in a couple of situations notices it too. And through a drunk/funny scene later on with Lesley and Peter. Peter is attracted to Lesley and Lesley is a little bit with Peter. I do think that things will come to a head eventually though since others are interested in Lesley and don't seem to care about her face. I was happy to see Zach, the new character who is half fairy (fae) seems interested in her. Though Zach seems to have a crush on someone else that is called a "whisperer" so who knows if anything will go forward with that.

Honestly I am tired of Tyburn trying to act like she's big and bad. She just shows up in every book now to threaten Peter.

I am already wanting to read book #4 to see what happens next.

With this book, I got my first bingo on my second bingo card which is nice.

 

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text 2017-10-25 20:57
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch

So I have to say this one was very enjoyable. Maybe because there is no Peter angst concerning a woman he is interested in. We get more information on how magic works in this world that Peter is in. Also we get some nice police work as well in this one. The Faceless Man is still running amok though, but I was glad to not have this book focus squarely on him. 

 

Things I loved:

 

I did enjoy Peter working alongside Lesley. It seems that Lesley is better than Peter at magic, or at least stronger than he was when he first started up with Nightingale.


We get a FBI agent in this one who seems quite savvy and I would love to see her pop up again.


I don't even remember if Peter mentioned going to school initially to become an architect or what in book #1, but I love that he did and he was able to explain certain type of building arrangements and the running joke about why do architects need to draw. 


Molly is still silent but seems quite protective of her ever growing population of the Folly. 

 

The writing is very good and also there are some hilarious one liners in this one. It definitely reminds me of the good parts of Doctor Who. The setting of London where magic reigns supreme is a great one. 

 

The ending was great with Peter figuring out who is the culprit behind a murder. And we get a nice circle back to a girl from the beginning of the book who seems to be getting added onto the magical Scooby-Doo gang. 

 

Things I didn't love:

 

I want more Nightingale. He barely feels like he is in this book. Though he is in this one way more than book #2. I want more training scenes with Peter, Nightingale, and Lesley.


Even though I was happy to see Lesley, I wasn't happy to see how Peter acts anytime Lesley removes her mask. It seems to not bother a lot of people (Nightingale and Molly) but Peter still reacts to it. And it seems that Lesley in a couple of situations notices it too. And through a drunk/funny scene later on with Lesley and Peter. Peter is attracted to Lesley and Lesley is a little bit with Peter. I do think that things will come to a head eventually though since others are interested in Lesley and don't seem to care about her face. I was happy to see Zach, the new character who is half fairy (fae) seems interested in her. Though Zach seems to have a crush on someone else that is called a "whisperer" so who knows if anything will go forward with that.

 

Honestly I am tired of Tyburn trying to act like she's big and bad. She just shows up in every book now to threaten Peter. 

 

I am already wanting to read book #4 to see what happens next. 

 

With this book, I got my first bingo on my second bingo card which is nice. 

 

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text 2017-10-18 21:44
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch

Going to read this for "Darkest London." Wonder how book #3 is going to find Peter. 

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review 2017-09-17 11:05
Stalking Jack
Stalking Jack - Madison Kent

by Madison Kent

 

I have mixed feelings about this book. The prologue was pure info dump and there were many signs of an amateur writer; shoehorning too many subplot lines into the first chapter, showing a limited knowledge of Victorian convention, dialect, British English or proper use of apostrophes, yet the writing was strangely engaging and I took a liking to the main character, Madeleine, early in the story.

 

Madeleine Donovan is a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and fancies herself an amateur sleuth. She lost her family in tragedy and in the process of looking for purpose, travels to London. All the papers are full of stories about Jack the Ripper and a group of English ladies whom she meets shipboard become concerned about a niece who has gone wayward in Whitechapel and could be in danger. Madeleine vows to find her, despite the danger.

 

The premise is actually rather unlikely in Victorian England and the author uses American English for English character's dialogue, but the story itself is engaging and I ignored the occasional cringe and let myself enjoy the story. I think a few words didn't mean what the author thought they meant and the idea of finding bourbon in a 19th century Whitechapel pub just boggles the mind, especially contrasted with an almost encyclopedic history of the nationalities and religions of people who settled in the area shoehorned into a conversation, but I liked the main character and with Alternative History being a popular genre these days, I started treating this as Fantasy and ignored anomalies like decent women casually going out for a drink in a pub in that era.

 

Of all the things technically wrong with this novel, the thing that bothered me most was the attempt to have lower class characters talk in dialect. It read like something out of the hills of Arkansas rather than anywhere in all the history of England. Old ladies wearing pillbox hats (invented in 1930) in 1888 London pales by comparison. Other dialogue was sometimes stilted too. Yet despite all the historical inaccuracies and other problems, the characters were brought to life skilfully and the plot moved along in a way that kept me interested.

 

The editorial mistakes increased later in the book, yet the story itself took on relevance, looking into issues of obsession and addiction in a Victorian setting where opium use was rife. Madeleine is a headstrong character and I found it easy to feel sympathy for her, yet she walks into trouble on many levels and I felt needed rescuing from her own impulses.

 

I actually liked the way the story ended. The explanation of what happened to Jack the Ripper was as plausible as any of the popular theories and there was a wonderfully poetic passage about the way London leaves its mark on a person's soul. Just before the poinsettias all bloom in November English weather (poinsettias are native to Mexico and an old association with Christmas travelled to America when the plants were first cultivated in the U.S. in the early 1900s, long after this story takes place. The tradition never travelled to England and the plants don't survive in under 58 degrees Fahrenheit.)

 

Apparently there is a series and Madeleine becomes a female detective in her native Chicago, but the ripper's story is finished so I won't be following the other books. Perhaps someone who likes detective stories would enjoy them. Hopefully they'll be set in America where the language and cultural references will fit!

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review 2017-09-08 19:00
Meet My Twin Brother, Merlock Holmes
A Beautiful Blue Death - Charles Finch

Image result for prince walking away gif

 

This will be short cause I really loathed this book. It took me two days to get through. If not for the fact that a DNF does not count towards bingo, I would have done so at the 10 percent point. This book is tedious, boring, and overwrought somehow all at the same time. The main character is opposite day Sherlock Holmes. I really wanted him to reach a terrible end, but since this is the first book in a 11 book series, there was not much hope of that. I heard through reliable readers that the series gets better. I hope so.

 

I read this for the "Darkest London" square since this is a mystery taking place in London during the Victorian age. 

 

The lead character is Charles Lenox. He is self proclaimed amateur sleuth who helps out the Yard from time to time. He has a Yard inspector that doesn't like him, a close friendship with a childhood friend, another friend who is a doctor with a drinking problem, and his butler is used as his runner for certain jobs he needs him to do. When his childhood friend and London neighbor, Lady Jane asks him to look into whether a former maid of hers was murdered, he does. Frankly, I never got a good reason why Lady Jane cared, but that is neither here or there. So off Lenox goes to stick his nose in and quickly deduces that the former maid (Prudence Smith) was poisoned. Hence the name "A Beautiful Blue Death."

 

Lenox really is just a boring type of Sherlock Holmes. He fusses about being cold, his feet being cold, being wet, taking naps, how much toast to eat, his freaking tea, wine, scotch and soda, everything. I have never read so many boring descriptions about what a character was doing in one book before.


Everyone in this book is a version of a character in a Sherlock Holmes novel. I refuse to list them and all the ways. 

 

The writing was blah. Reading that when X woke up, they stretched their arms, and thought about what they would have to break their morning fast. They rose from the bed and admired their pajamas which were silk and put their feet into soft slippers. Looking around the room, X admired a winter painting of London which he thought captured London as it's most beautiful when it was quiet and no people around. Blah. The whole book was like that. He literally took a paragraph to describe a terrible ass room that he needs to re-do. I just can't anymore. Skip this first book unless you want o know the main players for future books. 

 

The ending was a mess. It didn't make much sense. I think Finch is trying to set up Lenox having his own Moriarty and once again, good luck to him. Once we find out the guilty party it's like another 50-70 pages before the book ends. Maybe I am exaggerating, I don't care enough to open my e-reader to check.  

 

 

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