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review 2017-05-16 23:09
Arc Review: Jane Grey: A Homage to the Brontë Classics (The Brontë Brothers #1) by Nina Mason
Jane Grey (The Brontë Brothers Book 1) - Nina Mason

 

I’ll start by saying that Jane Eyre happens to be my least favorite classic historical romance. So when offered the chance to read this story I was truly intrigued and couldn’t pass the opportunity to read it.

 

Well, Jane Grey was a great romance story indeed! I don’t want anyone to think it wasn’t based on my rating. I did enjoy it from start to finish, true, however I also did have a few issues with the story itself. At any rate, I still recommend it to any fan of the original and to those looking for a worthwhile happy ending.

 

Matthew and Jane have a lot in common and that’s obviously what drew them together. They were both hopeless romantics to the point they could both recite poems by heart and Matthew was a painter hoping to revive his then-dormant muse.

At the start of the story, Matthew was hurt and vulnerable, thus he gave me the impression of just having fallen in love with the idea of the perfect woman that could possibly be Jane as opposed to the woman herself. As the story progressed and they got to know each other better, his attitude left no doubt in my mind that he had in fact fallen for Jane as a woman so I was happy on that end.

 

Their relationship was endearing and heart-warming. The story was heart-wrenching at times and hopeful at others. The descriptive settings made me feel I was part of the story itself and the writing was as beautiful as ever when it comes to this author.

 

As for Jane, she was sweet and considerate, but to an almost maddening point in my opinion. Most of the time she showed strength of character and common sense but when it came to trusting unworthy people or when it came to continue on the path she had already set her mind to follow she was inconstant and mutable. That whiplash attitude was one of the reasons I couldn’t enjoy the story more.

Also, the story is set in a place where propriety is not as strict as it would have been in England at the time but I still thought Jane didn’t come up to scratch as a governess to some extent. I’m not going to give specific examples because I don’t want to give spoilers but suffice to say her pupil would act incredibly unlady-like and Ms. Gray would just stand there and do nothing. I know, I’ve been told I need to let go of certain things when it comes to historicals but I just can’t!

 

As I said earlier dear reader, it IS a lovely story, full of passion, regrets, ambition, and true love. If this sounds like your cup of tea then I’m sure you are going to love it. 

 

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-05-16 23:03
Emma Kavanagh - The Killer On The Wall
The Killer On The Wall - Emma Kavanagh

In a close knitted community in the north of England 15year old Isla Bell ran along Hadrian’s Wall and stumbles onto 4 bodies and a young boy seriously wounded. From this day on everything changes for all the people who were involved.

 

20 years later Isla is a forensic psychologist. She examines the brains of serial killers and finally she is able to examine the convicted killer of those people she once found. Her father, who caught this man, built his career on this case. He is the famous Eric Bell. Isla is married to Ramsey, the only survivor. But suddenly  the killing starts again. But how can this be? The killer is behind bars for many years now. Is there a copycat? Or was there another killer who starts again now?

 

“The Killer on the Wall” is a dark thriller. Everyone who was involved in the crimes is traumatized. Isla waited 20 years and prepared herself to examine finally the man who killed people she knew and beaten her husband almost to dead. When the new victims begin to appear she does not know what to think. Her whole world begins to fall apart. The author does a great job showing this. But on the other hand nothing really happens for quite a long time. There is also Mina, a young police officer from London who moved to the north for personal reasons. Through her we see the police work on this case. She begins to look at the old case again and finds disturbing things. This is not as gripping as it sounds. The pace is very slow. In the last third the author offers suspect after suspect and twist after twist. But it is a bit too much. And the motive did not convince me.

 

The story itself is far from new but it is unique enough developed. The characters are ok, although I could not connect to them. This is my second book from Emma Kavanagh. I already had my problems with her writing style in the other book I read. I think the writing is aloof. I just could not connect to this book. I found my thoughts drifting apart while reading. It is probably my personal problem but I just don’t like the author’s writing style. It was an OK read but I think I would not choose a third book from the author. Her books are just not my cup of tea.

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review 2017-05-15 18:03
Knots not worth untangling
The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry

Copy obtained through local public library.  I don't know the author nor have I ever had any communication with her about this book or any other matter.

 

I began reading the book a couple of weeks ago, but only got a few pages into it before being interrupted.  I set it aside, then went back and started over when I was sure I would have more time.  By page 103 of 385, I knew the struggle wasn't going to be worth it.  I always think it's my fault that a book isn't working, so I checked out some of the other reviews -- I almost never read reviews before I read the book -- and found I wasn't alone.

 

No spoilers here, because I didn't finish the book and I'm not likely to.

 

Towner Whitney, whose real name is Sophya, comes back to Salem, Massachusetts, after 15 years in California.  Her grandmother/great-aunt Eva has disappeared.  I think Towner was raised by Eva, but I'm not sure.  Towner admits she lies a lot, and also that she doesn't remember things well because she had a nervous breakdown after her sister Lyndley died.

 

I think Towner's mother is May, who lives on a little island and rescues abused women and their children, but the family relationships aren't really clear.  Auntie Emma is Eva's daughter, I think, but again I'm not sure.  Beezer is Towner's brother.

 

Quirky characters are great if you can keep them straight and each becomes a real person.  None of these people did, not even Towner.  Her quirks were too inconsistent, too unexplained.  She can read people's minds and she hears voices -- especially Eva's and Lyndley's -- and she can read lace (it's kind of like reading tea leaves or some such) but there doesn't seem to be any purpose to it.

 

Towner dwells on her mental illness but doesn't really seem to care very much about it.  She doesn't have any direction or motivation or even any emotion.  And yet I got the impression that she wanted people around her to care about her.  I'm not sure that that's the impression author Brunonia Barry intended to convey, but it's the one I got.

 

As a result, I just didn't like Towner, and it's difficult for me to continue to read a book when I don't give a shit about the main character.

 

The book is well written in the technical sense, and I'm assuming the details of Salem and its environs are accurate, but everything fell flat for me.  It's like a book that a bunch of ladies read for their Tuesday afternoon book club, and they all think it's wonderful and deep and literary and quirky, but they really don't understand it and aren't sure they even like it.  They read it to impress their friends.  The sexy parts embarrass them -- though to be honest, I hadn't encountered any really sexy parts in the first 103 pages -- or horrify them, but for the most part they really don't understand the sexy parts.  They read books like this because it makes them feel somehow superior, even though as soon as they reach the end and move on to the next book, this one is forgotten.

 

I'll probably forget it, too.

 

Also posted at

https://fearlesslyintelligent.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-lace-reader-by-brunonia-barry.html

and I may expand it there.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-12 22:18
Good Idea, Atrocious Execution
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe

 

The book has over 500 reviews on Amazon, with a 4.1 star average rating. The five-star ratings account for 41% of those, which is reasonably impressive.  My review isn't going to impact that very much, and that's not my intent.

 

This review will also be filled with spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

 

First major spoiler:  The dog is okay.  Nothing bad happens to him.  There's another spoiler about him later.

 

I finished the book, which is more than I do with many of the books I start.  Many of them don't hold me for two pages.  So there's that.

 

I liked the premise: Academic Connie Goodwin inherits her grandmother's old house in what was Salem Village, Massachusetts and goes on a search for a 300-year-old book with some connection to the Salem Witch Trials. 

 

The writing was competent, if a little heavy on the description.

 

That said, it wasn't long before I began to have problems even as I continued reading.

 

Connie is a young woman, in her early to mid 20s, and she has been in school virtually all her life.  The last few years in grad school have been by choice: she wants to continue to study and earn her PhD.  She doesn't come across, however, as a dedicated scholar.  Once she completes her oral exam and is cleared to begin her dissertation, she seems to forget all her academic training and lose all her scholarly motivation.  Is it because it's summer break?  It shouldn't be, because working on that dissertation should be her single primary focus now if she's truly dedicated to her scholarship.

 

However. . . .

 

She receives word from her mother Grace, a free spirit hippie type living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that the house that had belonged to Connie's grandmother, Sophia, needs to be prepared for sale after sitting vacant for 20 years since Sophia's death.  Since the house is in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and Connie is at Harvard in Cambridge, she is delegated to the task for the summer.  She heads there with her roommate Liz and her dog Arlo.

 

There's no real explanation for why the place wasn't sold when Sophia died or why it's being sold now.

 

It was at their arrival at the house that I lost my willing suspension of disbelief (WSOD).

 

 

The rest of the very lengthy review is at

 

 

https://fearlesslyintelligent.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-physick-book-of-deliverance-dane-by.html

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review 2017-05-04 19:20
Robin - Die Flucht - Die Waringham-Saga: Das Lächeln der Fortuna (1) | Rebecca Gablé
170504 Robin1

Autorin: Rebecca Gablé
Titel: Robin – Die Flucht
Reihe: Waringham Saga: Das Lächeln der Fortuna (1)
Genre: Historischer Roman
Verlag: Audible GmbH, [15.12.2016]
Spieldauer: [623 Minuten], ungekürzt
Hörspiel
Sprecher: Detlef Bierstedt, Roman Roth, Wolfgang Wagner, Ulrike Kapfer, Julia Lowack, Moritz Grove u.v.a.
“Das Lächeln der Fortuna” gibt es auch im TB- und HC-Format

 

klick zu Amazon.de
klick zu Audible.de

 

Inhaltsangabe (Audible):

England im 14. Jahrhundert: Nach dem Tod seines Vaters, des wegen Hochverrats angeklagten Earl of Waringham, hat der junge Robin alles verloren - auch den Anspruch auf sein Erbe und ist der Willkür der Obrigkeit ausgesetzt. Besonders Mortimer, der Sohn des neuen Earls, schikaniert Robin, wo er kann. Zwischen den Jungen erwächst eine tödliche Feindschaft, die sie bis ins Erwachsenenalter begleiten wird.
Aber Robin geht seinen Weg, der ihn schließlich zurück in die Welt des Hofes von Edward III, von Adel und Ritterschaft führt. An der Seite des charismatischen Duke of Lancaster erlebt er Feldzüge, Aufstände und politische Triumphe - und begegnet Frauen, die ebenso schön wie gefährlich sind. Wird es ihm gelingen, sich in dieser Welt zu etablieren?
Zu diesem Titel erhalten Sie eine PDF-Datei, die nach dem Kauf automatisch Ihrer Bibliothek hinzugefügt wird.

>> Diese Hörspiel-Fassung wird Ihnen exklusiv von Audible präsentiert und ist ausschließlich im Download erhältlich.

©1997 Rebecca Gablé (P)2016 Audible GmbH

Meine Meinung:

 

Was für ein Buch! Und was für eine perfekte Umsetzung zu einer Hörspiel-Reihe! Es ist nun schon 11 Jahre her, dass ich das Buch gelesen habe. Auffällig ist, dass ich mich auch nach all den Jahren noch sehr gut an die Handlung erinnern kann, und das sagt bereits genug über meine Bewertung aus: 11/10 Punkte für Buch wie auch den 1. Teil im Hörspiel-Format.

 

Die Sprecher haben wirklich alles gegeben und mit viel Gefühl gespielt. Wenn auch die Abschnitte des Erzählers mitunter recht lang waren, so habe ich dies doch nicht als störend empfunden, denn Detlef Bierstedt macht seine Sache wie immer hervorragend.

 

England im Mittelalter. Es gibt einige Schriftsteller, die sich an dieses Thema gewagt haben, aber ich glaube, die Waringham-Saga von Rebecca Gablé zählt zu den besten auf dem Markt. Sehr gut recherchiert, authentisch erzählt, mit Figuren, die nicht nur gut oder böse sind, sondern Ecken und Kanten aufweisen, sich weiterentwickeln und ein sehr gutes Bild der Zeit liefern, mit Musik untermalt und dem Gefühl, mitten unter ihnen zu sein – das ist dieser erste Teil des ersten Buches der Reihe.

 

Ich kann es jedem wärmstens empfehlen und freue mich bereits jetzt auf die Fortsetzung.

 

10-10

 

Bücher der Reihe:

 

1. Das Lächeln der Fortuna – gelesen 24.09.2006 – 11/10 Punkte
2. Die Hüter der Rose
3. Das spiel der Könige
4. Der dunkle Thron
5. Der Palast der Meere

 

Hörspiele der Reihe “Das Lächeln der Fortuna”:

 

1.1. Robin – Die Flucht – beendet 04.05.2017 – 11/10 Punkte
1.2. Robin – Die Wende
1.3. Robin – Die Rückkehr

 

Robin - Die Flucht (Waringham Saga: Das Lächeln der Fortuna 1) - Moritz Grove,Julia Lowack,Ulrike Kapfer,Audible GmbH,Roman Roth,Wolfgang Wagner,Rebecca Gablé,Detlef Bierstedt 

Source: sunsys-blog.blogspot.de/2017/05/gehort-robin-die-flucht-rebecca-gable.html
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