A short novella on the joys, growth and enlightenment reading can bring, even to the most enlightened, at any time in life. It's also an accurate portrayal of the consuming obsession reading can become (truth, as we all well know).
Layered atop this testimony of the power of the word is another accurate portrayal of the divide that exists between those who read and those that don't. Those who don't read should be forced to read this book, so that they know just how stupid they are relative to those that do. When empathy for others and a focus on inner reflection over sartorial splendour are confused with senility and deterioration ... well at least senility is honourable; nothing honourable about ignorance. But boy, do the readers get their revenge at the end - few books I've read ended with a better closing line.
My only complaint about this wonderful, brilliant little book is the author's conclusion that the natural outgrowth of reading must be to write. This conceit leaves a rather large ding in my enjoyment of the book. So is his assertion that to merely read is to be merely a spectator. Both are flagrantly wrong, although how an author could naturally fall into such a self-supporting perspective is obvious. Most readers will read their entire lives without every having a moment's urge to write, and I'd bet quite a few, like myself, often read and then go out and do. I mean, I can't be the only person who's propped a book about knot tying in the crook of a tree, simultaneously reading about how to tie a knot, while actually trying to tie said knot, am I?
If you share either of my complaints, don't let it stop you from reading this book given the opportunity. It's worth the small aggravations and disagreements to experience this charming, thoughtful and beautifully written novella.
One final note: Being Queen would suck. There are not enough books and private libraries in all the holdings of the British monarchy that would make referring always to oneself in the neutral third person worth it. If one had to constantly refer to oneself as one, one would send oneself's own head to the chopping block. Ho-ly hell.
This is a co-written work between Bridget Essex and Natalie Vivien. I have read several of Essex's work and a couple of Vivien's. Both are very talented authors and I look forward to each new work of theirs.
However this piece while engaging and very imaginative was not as good as I expected it to be. I'm a huge fan of vampire literature and other peoples take on different characteristics they may or may not have. Add in lesbians and you have me sold!
The world itself is set up like an alternative United States where it's only been a few years since vampires have come out of hiding. In this world, they even have a woman president who is also a vampire. Props. Throughout the story, it shows the discrimination vampires face, which is similar to what homosexuals and persons of color have faced throughout all over the world. Just a lot hate mongering from people who don't want to understand someone whose different from them. Which is a very interesting take and imaginative in my opinion. I even like the main character and her to be love interest. It's very sweet and romantic.
But the elephant in the room that I could not ignore was the fact that the main character Courtney; is still in a relationship. I will interject and say that she doesn't cheat on her girlfriend, but it's clear she's attracted to Lare. (her to be love interest) Throughout the story, you come to find out that her girlfriend, Mia isn't very good to Courtney. In fact, she's downright sleazy if you ask me. She looks at other women is clearly sleeping around on her girlfriend. The kicker? They have only been together for FIVE months. Mia has been doing all this to someone who she has only been going out with for a short period of time. Which is frustrating that Courtney continues to put up with her for nearly sixty percent of this book. All while feeling a deep pull towards Lare. I could see it being hard if it was like five years, and the other woman was good to her.
But there's really no real reason why they should still be together in any sense of the word. There are multiple examples of times where Courtney should have left Mia. But she doesn't. It makes zero sense to me and after a while it just got old. Especially when she keeps repeating that she needs to leave Mia but she keeps avoiding it. There was really just no need of this back and forth over a five-month relationship. It just really dimensioned the book as a whole; that wasn't even super long, to begin with.
This could have been much better and I wish it had been because I do adore both authors works. That aside I will continue to look forward to their work, but this one just didn't quite resonate with me as well as I had hoped for it too.
I liked this second book even better then the first! Right from the start, in the train ride through the Romanian countryside, the author did a fantastic job of evoking an eerie atmosphere and sense of foreboding. This continues throughout the book, as Audrey Rose and Thomas Creswell are residing in Bran Castle which is full of tunnels, traps, a creepy staff and someone determined to make sure everyone believes Prince Dracula is alive and hunting for his next victims. If you're a fan of this series then this book is a must read!
I do have one complaint though about the audio recording. I listened to the audio version of both the first and second book and I had a very hard time hearing the narrator in the first book. I thought maybe it was just a fluke thing with my download but I had the same exact problem with this second book. I have to turn the volume all the way up on my phone and car to be able to hear it then it sounds sort of diluted like you're in a tunnel. I don't think the narrator is speaking loud enough or directly into the microphone. I hope they fix that in the next book. Anyone else have that problem?