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review 2017-02-16 00:26
Bury the Living
Bury the Living (The Revolutionary Series Book 1) - Jodi McIsaac

Bury the Living starts off in Belfast Ireland, 1990. A tumultuous time in Irish history. Nora O'Reilly has always believed in the IRA cause. Because of the deaths in her family because of the "Troubles", Nora is now a missionary in Africa, where there is also danger. She comes back to Ireland for another funeral and is brought back into the fight for freedom. She starts having dreams about a man that she has never met, vivid dreams that she can't ignore.

Nora is given a historical artifact and is instructed to meet with Bridget of Kildare. This artifact mysteriously sends Nora back to the Irish Civil War in the 1920's. This civil war was between two factions, Irish republicans and Irish nationalists. This is where the book gets really good, her search for Thomas who is the man from her dreams who is actually Fionn mac Cumhaill, a mythical character from Irish legends. He is on a mission also to fight for what he believes in and with Nora's help, they try to change the course of history.

Since I am Irish, this book really intrigued me and I also love time travel novels so this book was doubly interesting. The addition of Bridget of Kildare, an Irish patron saint, who was a nun and founder of several monasteries for nuns is interesting.So for Nora to have this ability to go back in time and try to change the outcome of the Civil War is particularly intriguing. I won't tell you whether she accomplished her goals or not, you need to read the book. I think if you love Irish historical fiction mixed with a bit of fantasy, you absolutely need to read this book! I look forward to reading Summon the Queen which takes Nora and Fionn back to 1500's to meet with Granuaile Ni Mhaille or Grace O'Malley and Queen Elizabeth I to continue their quest for Irish freedom.

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review 2016-09-07 01:05
Bury the Living
Bury the Living (The Revolutionary Series Book 1) - Jodi McIsaac

Bury the Living is the latest work by Jodi McIsaac, and the first book in her new Revolutionary series. It's a bit of a hodge-podge genre-wise, but it all fits together, and creates a cohesive tale.


Nora O'Reilly is a rebel, born and bred. From her family fighting in the Irish Civil war, to Nora's working with the IRA, rebellion is in her blood. After losing her father and older brother during the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland in the 1990's, Nora joined with the IRA to help in the fight. That desire to fight carried her through to the present day, with Nora working in refugee camps in war torn countries.


Then Nora begins having strange dreams. Of a young man with grey hair, calling for her to help him. Telling her that she's the only one who can. Nora goes back to Northern Ireland, not for the express purpose of helping the man, Thomas Heany, but to help him nonetheless. 


Transported back in time to 1923, by the mysterious Sisters who follow St. Brigid, Nora finds herself in the middle of the Irish civil war. She also finds Thomas, and a whole mess of trouble as well.


Nora may have the key to saving her precious Northern Ireland, but she's got to convince Thomas to go along with her plan. And he has one of his own, that he's not revealing to Nora just yet.


Will Nora and Thomas prevail in their mutual want to save Ireland, and alter the course of history? Will Nora be able to return to her life in the modern day? Will Thomas be able to find his path? These are some of the questions left unanswered by McIsaac at the end of Bury the Living, and it makes a good cliffhanger in anticipation of the next book in the series.


Bury the Living was a good read. There was brilliant research done for it, from the IRA gangs in the mid 1990's, all the way back to the Civil War in the 1920's. Places were described, and people fleshed out so that the past seemed to be the present. Nora had to use the history she remembered from her lessons in order to not stick out like a sore thumb, and she succeed fairly well. It's quite obvious that McIsaac has some great love of Northern Ireland, and attention to detail. It's very well portrayed, and convincingly presented. And all the different themes, from Nora's teen struggles, Thomas's revelations, the war, Brigid, time travel, all were woven together in a believable manner, which I was a bit surprised by. Very pleasantly surprised. It's a book that I've mentioned to several other history fans, and those who enjoyed the Outlander series, and it's got some similar themes. 


I received a copy of Bury the Living from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.



Bury the Living
Jodi McIsaac
Series: The Revolutionary Series (Book 1)
Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: 47North (September 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1503935515
ISBN-13: 978-1503935518 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-02-02 14:48
Why prions?
A Cure for Madness - Jodi McIsaac

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Why prions? Throughout the entire book that thought kept circulating through my head. To put it simply, prions are proteins that are improperly folded. Due to the nature of their configuration, the proteins mass together and cause damage to the brain. Furthermore, they “attack” other proteins and refold them improperly as well. Prions are suspected to be the cause of a number of neurological diseases, the most well-known being Mad Cow Disease and Kuru. There are no known cures for prion caused diseases; both antivirals and antibiotics are useless in treating them. This much the author got correct, however, she got a few more important facts wrong. The incubation period for prions is a lot longer than 72 hours, we’re talking years here. Kuru has been known to incubate for as long as 20 years. Prions are transmitted in one of several ways: eating infected meat, coming in to contact with infected medical equipment, or coming in to contact with infected spinal fluid, brain matter, or lymphatic fluid. There is also strong evidence that a prion disease can be inherited. There are no known cases, outside of a laboratory setting, of prions being transmitted by aerosol, which means sneezing on somebody, while possibly infecting them with a number of other diseases, isn’t going to infect them with this one. Prion diseases are always fatal. Those two facts, punch huge holes in the premise of the story.


Don’t get me wrong, it’s an interesting premise, I just feel the author went about it the wrong way. There are plenty of ways to infect a large population of people, using the aerosol method feels like a cop out. Furthermore, I believe the author could have used the long incubation period to write a far more interesting story. Due to the fact that prions can be hard to test for, and can be passed on through some organ donations and contaminated medical equipment, the author missed a chance to spread this disease farther. The longer incubation period could also have led to a delay in the CDC figuring out what they were dealing with, which would have allowed the author to ramp up the panic in the population. Of course, the author would be telling a different story if these changes had been made. Which brings me back to my initial question, why prions? A bacterial or viral infection would have been far better suited to this type of story. Both are more easily spread throughout the population and can have significantly shorter incubation periods. If she was worried that the disease would be too easily cured, no worries, antivirals have come a long way, but they’re not miracle drugs. As for antibiotics, there has been a rise in the number of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Using either of those two options, the bulk of the story could have remained the same, even the cure could have been kept as is.


I realize, this makes it sound like I didn’t enjoy the book, but I did; I just had some issues with parts of it. Overall, the writing was engaging and the author did a good job of keeping the story moving, even if I didn’t particularly like the direction that it moved. It was interesting, but perhaps not really aimed at me as an audience. I gave this book 3 stars.

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review 2014-11-19 00:00
Into the Fire
Into the Fire - Jodi McIsaac I love this story. I loved the first book. As a mother the story just caught me. This is the 2nd book in a series. I know that I will not like the 2nd book as much as the first but still I am a little disappointed. I really wanted more. It was still a good book just not a five star book. It is still good enough that I am going to read the next book. The story in this one just went a little too far with the impossible.
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review 2014-11-10 00:00
Through the Door
Through the Door - Jodi McIsaac I loved this book. I was hooked by page 20 and crying by page 60. I do not cry over books. I have cried only a few (3) time because of books. Jodi McIsaac got me emotional involved in this book from the first page. I related to Cedar. She is this wonderful mother doing the best she can for her daughter. The rest of the story has wowed me. I was moved to tears of fear, sadness, and happiness almost right after another. Wonderful book to read! I am off to read The Thin Veil #2.
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