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review 2018-11-18 23:15
Legends: Tales from the Eternal Archives #1
Legends (Tales from the Eternal Archives, Book 1) - Jane Lindskold,Robert J. Harris,Margaret Weis,Robyn Fielder,Robin Crew,Deborah Turner Harris,Peter Schweighofer,Kevin Stein,Dennis L. McKiernan,Matthew Stover,Janet Pack,Brian M. Thomsen,Kristine Kathryn Rusch,Kristin Schwengel,John Helfer,Gary A. Braunbe

The short story anthology Legends edited by Margaret Weis, the first collection of the Tales from the Eternal Archives, contains almost twenty stories of near above average quality loosing connected to one another through a mystical library, titular Eternal Archives.  Although the majority of the nineteen stories were fantasy, historical fiction and science fiction were also featured.

 

The two best stories of the collection were “Wisdom” by Richard Lee Byers, which was followed an alternate interpretation of The Iliad and The Odyssey as Odysseus ventures to save the world from chaos.  The second was “Silver Tread, Hammer Ring” by Gary A. Braunbeck features an alternate world in which mythical and folkloric figures exist side-by-side as John Henry faces down a steam drill run by a minotaur.  Other excellent stories were the two opening stories, “Why There Are White Tigers” by Jane M. Lindskold and “The Theft of Destiny” by Josepha Sherman, as well many more such as “The Last Suitor”, “King’s Quest”, “Ninety-Four”, “Precursor”, and “Dearest Kitty”.

 

The two worst stories of the collection were “The Wind at Tres Castillos” by Robyn Fielder which featured historical individuals who didn’t interact with one another at the titular location and the fantastical elements just didn’t make sense creating a waste of paper.  The second worst story was “Final Conquest” by Dennis L. McKiernan, while short this story featuring Genghis Khan was a headscratcher though a nicely written one.  Although overall not bad, the preface and short introductions loosely linked all the stories with the mystical library between worlds though some were better than others.

 

The nineteen stories that make up Legends feature—more than not—very good short stories across fantasy, historical fiction, and science fiction.  Yet like all anthologies, it is a mixed bag of quality but only a few stories were completely subpar thus presenting the reader with a lot of good reading.

 

Individual Story Ratings

Why There Are White Tigers by Jane M. Lindskold (4/5)

The Theft of Destiny by Josepha Sherman (4/5)

Final Conquest by Dennis L. McKiernan (2/5)

The Wisdom of Solomon by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (2.5/5)

Bast’s Talon by Janet Pack (3/5)

Wisdom by Richard Lee Byers (5/5)

The Last Suitor by Kristin Schwengal (4/5)

Two-Fisted Tales of St. Nick by Kevin T. Stein and Robert Weinberg (3/5)

King’s Quest by Mickey Zucker Reichert (4/5)

Silver Thread, Hammer Ring by Gary A. Braunbeck (4.5/5)

Memnon Revived by Peter Schweighofer (2.5/5)

The Ballad of Jesse James by Margaret Weis (2.5/5)

Legends by Ed Gorman (3.5/5)

The Wind at Tres Castillos by Robyn Fielder (1.5/5)

Ninety-Four by Jean Rabe (4/5)

Hunters Hunted by John Helfers (3.5/5)

Precursor by Matthew Woodring Stover (4/5)

“Dearest Kitty” by Brian M. Thomsen (4/5)

Last Kingdom by Deborah Turner Harris and Robert J. Harris (3.5/5)

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review 2018-11-18 19:19
Dangerous Spirits (Spirits #2)
Dangerous Spirits - Jordan L. Hawk

I don't have much to say about this one. It was fun, and the ghost story was less obvious than in the first book, but I still figured it out way before the characters did and it still follows all the usual tropes. Henry does a stupid thing at the beginning of the book and then lies about it for the next 75% of it. Vincent is also holding things back, so all the relationship angst is based on them not talking or trusting each other. I did like the background that we get about Vincent and Lizzie and their mentor Dunne, and the climax was sufficiently tense. Overall though, this is pretty average.

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review 2018-11-18 08:31
A Night To Remember by Celeste Bradley & Susan Donovan
A Night to Remember - Celeste Bradley,Susan Donovan

In Wedding Knight Katrina Trapp takes her nervous twin sister's place at the altar, only to find out her sister never had any intentions of marrying Alfred Theodious Knight in the first place...


This was a quick, quirky and funny little romp about a woman switching places with her sister, who ends up disappearing and leaves her in the lurch of being married to a supposed tyrant of a man. But as the two newlyweds come to get to know each other, they also rediscover themselves, and dare we hope fall in love?

I liked the two protagonists, although I felt Katrina was a tad too bratty at times, and I loved how they slowly changed for one another as they got to know each other and developed tender feelings of one another. Of course, seeing how everything was based on a switch, the inevitable twist had to come.
I felt it was resolved a little too quickly, but that's scandal for you.

A lovely little budding romance story.



In Have Mercy Winifred Mackland, having failed to deliver a good manuscript, is packed away on a forced writing retreat by her agent...Who turns out to have matchmaking tendencies...


Quick, funky and hot as hell.

Initially, I felt it was all moving a tad too quickly (even for a short story), but as it moved along, and the two got into their easy rhythm beyond jumping naked into the hot tub on the day they met, I came to love them and their little romance.

The progress and the reservations thanks to Mac's profession, was organic and realistic, and they were super cute and super hot together. Besides, the story made me smile, which is always a plus.

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review 2018-11-17 21:50
The Vagaries of War
My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Clarissa's Conflict - Pura, Murray

Many aspects of “My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg” reminded me of “Gone With the Wind,” one of my favorite classics. The Civil War setting drew me in, especially since it was set in such a renowned location. In fact, that was one of the striking parts of the reading experience because most of the action took place prior to the famous Battle of Gettysburg, when the town was just a quaint place that outsiders would never have heard of. The heroine, Clarissa Ross, points this out herself, commenting that she does not want her idyllic town and its environs to be remembered for death and destruction. Given all of the tragic events that have occurred even recently in the U.S., this was a reminder that disasters can happen anywhere, and this is where faith comes in as we trust God that He is ultimately working all things for the good of His children.

Clarissa was a distinctive character, to be sure. In some ways she reminded me of Scarlett O’Hara, with her stubbornness and her temper. An inimitable redhead, Clarissa was very strongminded and outspoken, which I think was due in part to her being an only child and also to her living in the North. Had she been raised in the South, I think that the patriarchal society there would have had a deeper influence on her and she may have been somewhat more submissive. At first I found her character to be off-putting, but I soon grew to admire her and her antics. The romance, which is usually my least favorite part of a story, was very engaging because it was fraught with both danger and surprises. From a historical viewpoint, I was pleased that this novel pointed out that the Civil War was about much more than just the issue of slavery; states’ rights and the economy were at the forefront of the fighting, especially in the beginning. The many different levels of conflict in the book were well balanced by the Christian and romantic aspects, and I only wish that the story had been a bit longer in order to fill out some of the details more fully and allow for the plot to play out more slowly.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-11-17 20:13
Full disclosure: I don't necessarily know Mary Shelly's story of Frankenstein, I only know of movies and such depicting it. Also, I'm not a fan of the Classics...
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - Kiersten White

 

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the year's pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.
 
 
 
 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏

 

 

 

This is not a terrible story, or badly written...I just don't think it was my kind of story.  I couldn't connect with the characters or the story itself...but I know that others have.  It felt overwhelmingly depressing and it switched timelines constantly and I never knew where or what time we were in.  The latter could have been due to listening on audio, with not enough quiet space between each time period to differentiate between them.  Overall, I couldn't keep myself engaged in the story.  The only part I actually liked was the last 45 minutes of the story.

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

☆3.2☆STARS - GRADE=C

 
 
 
 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

 

Plot⇝ 2.8/5
Main Charactes⇝3.2/5
Secondary Characters⇝3/5
The Feels⇝ 2.5/5
Pacing⇝ 2.8/5
Addictiveness⇝2.3/5
Theme or Tone⇝3.5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝3/5 
Backdrop (World Building)⇝3.8/5
Originality⇝4/5
Ending⇝ 4/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope. 
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝I love it! I wish I loved the story as much...
Narration⇝ Katherine McEwan, not too bad...
Setting⇝ Somewhere gloomy...or England
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
๏ ๏ ๏
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