One of my goals for this year is to go back and finish out some of the many series that I started and then got distracted before finishing. I’d read Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld a while ago, so when I landed on Paradise Pier I thought it might be a good time to go back and finish out the trilogy.
As I read, the song Handsome Cabin Boy kept running through my head:
'Tis of a handsome female , As you may understand.
Her mind being bent on rambling unto some foreign land,
She dressed herself in sailor's clothes, Or so it does appear,
And she hired on with a captain, to serve him for a year….
Well the adventures of Miss Deryn Sharp aka Mr. Dylan Sharp turn out somewhat better than that of the “cabin boy” in the song, but I think you can understand why the story of a young woman disguised as a midshipman brought the song to mind.
I still like Scott Westerfeld’s clever re-imagining of World War I as a contest between the Darwinists who use bioengineering and the Clankers who create mechanical creatures and still love how Keith Thompson’s interior art enriches the story. However, I found the third volume in the trilogy less enthralling than the first two, and the ending not satisfying at all. Perhaps I would have felt differently if I had read the last volume sooner when the series still had a magical glow and I had momentum (the magic of BL says that I read Leviathan in December 2012 and Behemoth in February 2013, even longer ago than I had thought).
Goliath (543 pages) finished May 27th brings my bank balance to $43
I feel like it has been a long time since I did a Friday Reads post. I hope all my fellow US'ians have a safe holiday weekend. I hope my British neighbors have a safe bank holiday weekend. We got caught in a heat wave (in the 80s come afternoon time) so I broke out the kiddie pool; forecast states we have one more beautiful summer day, then the rain and lower temps are coming by the end of the weekend. I am spending most of my weekend with books and a long walk in the Thetford Forest with the family before the rain comes.
Here is what I hope to read over the weekend/the final week in May.
1. After the Storm by Linda Castillo
2. Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo
3. Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo
I picked these three books from the library. They're from the Kate Burkholder series (Amish police procedurals). I've wanted to try this series for a while now. These books are from later in the series.
4. Death by Tiara by Laura Levine
5. Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs
6. Purl Up and Die by Maggie Sefton
Another bunch from the library, this time in really cute cozy mystery flavor. The first is from the Jaine Austen series, and the name of the series was enough for me to take it off the shelf. I tried one book from Laura Childs before (from that tea shop mystery series) and DNF'ed it, so I don't have much expectation for this one (from the Cackleberry Club series). The last one's titled just made me laugh.
7. Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren
Borrowed this one from OverDrive because I kept getting recommended it (OD has the first three books in the series). I'm at the 62% mark and really liking it; PJ is not one of those perfect model of a Christian, but she is a Christian with good intentions and a good heart. The writing is different from a lot of Christian fiction without being profane. I am looking forward to book two and three.
8. Diary of an Accidental Wallflower by Jennifer McQuinston
My BL-opoly pick which makes it a priority. New to me author, but I loved the interviews she did for the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books podcast - she talked about her work at the CDC in general and her work in Africa dealing with Ebola outbreak specifically....along with her weekend job writing historical romances.
This was an intense look at the history of London from ancient druid period to the Blitz of the 1940s as seen through the eyes of a few families. I actually understand the Tudor period and the Restoration period much more now than when I took a class in college on the same topics.
The way the book is set up is each chapter being its own short story, making it easier to put down for the night and picking it up again in the morning. I am not used to reading long family sagas, so I had to refer to the family trees in the front of the book a lot; funny, I didn't need the maps of London in the different time periods at all - maybe because I have been to London many times that I knew where about the place was being described. My favorite chapter was The Whorehouse; why wasn't the political and social structure of the whorehouse in medieval times talked about in my college class? I feel a little cheated academically. If a character in the chapter I was currently reading was getting on my nerves, chances were high they weren't in the next chapter (rather it would be their descendants with different character arc). I also liked that I didn't have to read about endless battles; the book focused on political, social, and religious intrigue with splashes of family drama. There was also a healthy dose of Romance, and my favorite couple was Jane Fleming and John Dogget - they didn't get together until they were in their late 50s/early 60s. My least favorite chapter was the last one, titled The River - it was corny and an undisguised way of the author telling the reader how much research went into the book.
The men were described with one physical trait that belonged to the family (Duckets and Doggets had a white streak in their hair and webbing between their fingers; the Silversleeves had cartoon-ishly long noses; the Barnikels had vibrant red hair; the Bulls had the typical Anglo-Saxon fair hair and blue eyes). The women were physically described by their family traits and the size of the breasts, but were not objectified (well, maybe the whores) and were shown to be much more smarter and cunning than history often paints them. These were no wall flowers; these women were survivors.
I am really glad I took the chance and read this book; the size of the book intimidated me for only a couple of chapters, but I was soon reading 3 chapters a day and making decent progress without feeling like I was slogging through any part. I am going to read Rutherfurd's book New York late this year or next year.