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review 2020-01-28 14:33
The Second Midnight
The Second Midnight - Andrew Taylor

Hugh Kendall is a young boy in England, 1939.  Hugh is seen as a burden by his father and after Hugh is kicked out of school, Hugh's father is offered a mission through the British Intelligence Service. Alfred Kendall or Captain Kendall, as he prefers to be called is sent to Prague on a simple exchange mission and takes Hugh as a cover.  While in Prague, Hitler invades and Hugh is left behind.  Hugh is taken in by one of the Resistance contacts and is given a new identity as Rudi.  Hugh is eager to learn the language and picks up Czeh and German.  As the war progresses, Hugh's caretakers fall victim to the violence and Hugh ends up with Bela Juriga, a violent member of the resistance until Nazi Colonel Scholl come into Bela's shop and Hugh saves his life.  Scholl thanks Hugh with a place in his household. Hugh quickly adjusts to life at the Scholl's as a gardener.  The Scholl children, Magda and Heinz see Hugh in different ways, Magda is entranced while Heinz is filled with contempt.  When Hugh finally makes it back to England 10 years later, he is changed and wants to leave his ordeal in the past, except for Magda, that is.  Although, it seems that the past will continue to haunt him.


The Second Midnight is a historical spy thriller that begins at the start of World War II and continues throughout the 1950's.  There is a lot going on in the story with secret missions in England, Germany and Czechoslovakia, the political spread of Nazi's and Communism and changing allegiances.  At the heart of the story, however, is Hugh and his will for survival as well as his knack for continuously being able to adapt to new situations.  Through ten years in a strange place, Hugh was able to learn the languages and customs, maintain his cover as Rudi and earn the trust and friendship of Colonel Scholl and Magda. Hugh's is story the driving force in the book.  Through Hugh, I was able to see many faces of Nazi Germany and the Resistance.  However, the writing bounces back and forth between Hugh and his family in England.  The point of the focus on the rest of Hugh's family does not become apparent until the end of the book.  After Hugh escapes back to England, the pacing slowed down for me and I was just wondering when and how he would reconnect with Magda.  While I didn't quite know where all of the background espionage was leading, it was interesting to see all of the different players, their impact on the War and how Hugh fit into it all.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-27 07:24
Book Review: Crown of midnight Sarah J maas
Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

Jan 2-27

An assassin's loyalties are always in doubt but her heart never wavers

Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become the King's Champion. But she is far from loyal to the crown. Though she hides her secret vigilantly, her deadly charade becomes difficult when she realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. No one is above questioning her allegiance—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then, one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie ... and whom she is willing to fight for.


Review: I freaking loved this book even more than the first one so Celena is now the king's champion and has to kill people on his list but she cant do it so shes been faking his death now shes supposed to kill this guy named Archer who apparently is in charge of this movement against the king . Celena sees this creature in the library and is freaked out and goes to visit Elena but shes resting but the door knocker is talking his name is Mort . She is trying to figure out a way to fake Archer death so she meets with him and tells him the plan and threatens him if he screws her over .I liked chaol way more in this book he cares so much for Celena they ended up dancing on one occasion. The king is still trying to silence Nehemiah and there is a hit on Nehemiah life . Chaol and Celena have dinner and they kiss and end up sleeping together they are finally happy . Dorian has discovered he may have some magic abilities. Chaol is taken and Celena goes to get him and Archer is apart of a movement what the fuck and Nehemiah was killed by an assassin and Celena kills her killer . Celena is in mourning over Nehemiah cause they got into a fight before she died . Celena goes back into the library and finds the creature and Dorian is there also what the fuck is the king hiding . Celena opens a portal to talk to Nehemiah and it's bad news cause something comes out after she talks to Nehemiah and Dorian and Chaol come and help but she gets into the portal and Celena turns into her true form a Fae what the hell . She tells chaol that she is Fae . Chaol ends up getting the king to send her to wendolyn where there are Fae . Chaol finds out that Celena is the lost princess.


Quotes

Dance with me, Celaena," he said again, his voice rough. When her eyes met his she forgot about the cold, and the moon, and the glass palace looming above them. The secret library and the king's plans and Mort and Elena faded into nothing. She took his hand and there was only the music and Chaol.

Chaol raised his brows. "So I'm just here for decoration?"

"Be grateful I consider you a worthy accessory.”

“Roland gave her a courtier’s smile. “And what sort of work do you do for my uncle?

Dorian shifted on his feet and Chaol went very still, but Celaena returned Roland’s smile and said, “I bury the king’s opponents where nobody will ever find them.”


Who said anything about shame?" She gestured down to her naked body, even though it was covered by the blanket. "Honestly, I'm surprised you're not strutting about, boasting to everyone. I certainly would be if I'd tumbled me.
"Does your love for yourself know no bounds?"
"Absolutely none.”


If they wanted Adarlan's Assassin, they'd get her.

And Wyrd help them when she arrived.”


If they wanted Adarlan's Assassin, they'd get her.

And Wyrd help them when she arrived.”

Because she wasn't human, Chaol realized, gaping at her from where he still crouched over Fleetfoot.
No - she wasn't human at all.
Celaena was Fae.”


There was a poem scribbled at the top of the Ashryver family tree, as though some student had dashed it down as a reminder while studying.

Ashryver Eyes
The fairest eyes, from legends old
Of brightest blue, ringed with gold

Bright blue eyes, ringed with gold. A strangled cry came out of him. How many times had he looked into those eyes? How many times had he seen her avert her gaze, that one bit proof she couldn't hide, from the king?

Celaena Sardothien wasn't in league with Aelin Ashryver Galathynius.

Celaena Sardothien was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, heir to the throne and righful Queen of Terrasen.”

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text 2020-01-27 06:31
Reading progress update: I've read 418 out of 418 pages.
Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

 

WHAT

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review 2020-01-27 05:02
Midnight Stranger, Vol. 1 & 2 (Complete Series)
Midnight Stranger, Vol. 1 - Bohra Naono
Midnight Stranger, Vol. 2 - Bohra Naono

The titular story of the series, and also the one that made up the bulk of the 2 books, focused on Roi, a black goat spirit, and Xiu, the fire god he served. The two met when Roi was attacked by humans and about to be burned alive. Xiu saved him and gave him a human form, and the two had been together ever since as master and servant.

 

This was definitely not a cute and fluffy romance. Aside from their first meeting involving Xiu saving Roi from being burned alive after being beaten, shot with arrows, and stabbed, Xiu burned Roi alive when he got angry with him and Xiu's confession of his feelings to Roi is accompanied by him hitting him to the point of blood coming out so that when they have sex for the first time, Roi's face is covered in bruises and blood. That's all in the first chapter. I was honestly surprised at how brutal it was. The book instantly stopped that after the first chapter and didn't have anything like that between the two of them again until the end of the second book with a two page "funny" story about how any time Roi would try to grow a beard, Xiu would burn it off his face. I could have down without that.

 

Outside of those two sections, I enjoyed them as a couple, even if I just kept wishing they would simply talk to one another. They both had severe self esteem issues and thought the other would leave them once they realized there was "better" our there, not thinking about the fact that they've both been pining for the other for centuries.

 

Their story did throw in a sexual assault scene, unfortunately. It's thankfully not between the two of them. All their scenes were consensual. Instead, a side character started stripping Roi to have sex with him despite Roi's repeated protests. It's another one of those things I could have done without.

 

There were also 3 other stories in series, 1 in the first book and 2 in the second. The first was another supernatural story, although the supernatural elements were only hinted at in the beginning. The main character, Takara, was just fired again and his neighbor, Katabami, was hoping he'd finally let him take care of him. But Takara was determined to get a job and an old acquaintance had an opening to interview for. But nobody was quite who they seem in this story. This was an interesting one, but definitely a twisted romance once the reveal of what was going on came.

Takara was a reincarnated beserker without a soul because Katabami was his demon sword who ate his soul so that he could be one with his beloved master, but then regretted it because he wanted his master's body too. Katabami gave Takara a tiny part of his soul back, but kept most of it, so he got his master's soul and body by the end of it.

(spoiler show)

 

The next story featured side characters from the main story. It was a short story about the couple sorting out an issue with their relationship after having just gotten back together by communicating (it took a little bit of time to get to the communication). It was pretty sweet.

 

The last story was my least favorite and also felt out of place as the only contemporary story in a book of supernatural stories. It opened with a nephew and uncle having sex on page one of the story and things didn't get better. Additional revelations that the uncle had been the primary caretaker of the kid since he had been an infant because the parents kept leaving him with the uncle to go on extended vacations, that the nephew was still a kid, that the nephew didn't eat so that he'd stay skinny like he thought the uncle would like, and that the nephew didn't want to grow up because he though the uncle only liked young boys just made everything unpleasant. I was very happy it was a one-shot and the book went right back to Roi and Xiu after this.

 

Overall, it was an enjoyable series (except for the incest story, Someday's Dream, which I would just skip). It's certainly not for everyone, but if fantasy BL that gets a bit dark without going grimdark is your thing, this might be one to check out.

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text 2020-01-27 04:00
Reading progress update: I've read 389 out of 418 pages.
Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

Archer

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