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review 2016-11-03 16:32
Ein unvergessliches magisches Abenteuer!
Witches of Norway, Band 1: Nordlichtzauber - Jennifer Alice Jager

Inhalt:

 

Kunststudentin Elis hat kein glückliches Händchen in Sache Liebe und Schuld daran ist allen voran ihr langgehütetes Geheimnis, denn Elis ist eine Hexe und noch nicht einmal eine gute.

 

Nach dem ihr Leben förmlich am Abgrund angelangt ist flieht sie kurzer Hand nach Norwegen zu weitläufigen Verwanden. Als Kindermädchen engagiert versucht sie dort mehr über sich, ihre Magie und deren Kontrolle zu erfahren. Dabei lernt sie den charismatischen Hexer Stian kennen und sofort ist eine gewisse Anziehungskraft zu spüren.

 

Doch als sie wieder an das wahre Glück zu glauben beginnt, funkt auch wieder ihre Magie dazwischen, denn urplötzlich findet sich Elis im Jahre 1905 wieder und steht vor der Herausforderung den Lauf eines schrecklichen Schicksals zu verändern….

 

Meine Meinung:

 

Der Einstieg in das Buch machte sehr deutlich, welche Probleme auf Elis lasten und zeigt dem Leser zugleich, wie kompliziert es ist ihren Alltag zu meistern ohne eine riesen Katastrophe zu verursachen.  

 

Nicht nur, dass es sofort magisch und mysteriös wird, nein Jennifer Alice Jager spielt sogleich auch mit einer sehr angenehmen, spannenden und knisternden Atmosphäre, die den Leser im Nu in den Bann des Buches und seinen Inhalt zieht.

 

Mit Elis bin ich sofort warm geworden. Sie ist ein starker, taffer und auch etwas sturer Charakter mit dem ich mich auf Anhieb sehr gut verstanden habe. Ihre Emotionen sind sehr greifbar und stark beschrieben, auch was sie in ihr und mit ihrer Umgebung so bewirken.

 

Aber auch die Vielfalt an Nebencharakteren, die man besonders bei der Ankunft in Norwegen so kennen lernt, ist sehr beeindruckend und sie haben alle so ihre Stärken und Schwächen zu verbuchen.

 

Ich muss gestehen, dass ich anfänglich davon ausging, dass ich nach dem Prolog eine Art magische Liebesgeschichte erwartet habe, was im weitesten Sinne auch irgendwie mitschwingt, aber nach Beendigung muss ich gestehen, dass der Inhalt mich total überrascht hat und gegen meine eigentlichen Erwartungen noch viel besser gefiel. Man kann sagen, dass es eine Art von Ahnenforschung ist mit sehr spannenden, mysteriösen und magischen Inhalt.

 

Der Schreibstil ist wundervoll. Er schmückt die Handlung mit Leben und entführt den Leser auf eine atemberaubende Reise. Im richtigen Moment lässt er die Emotionen in einer Farbbracht leuchten, so als könne man sie packen und selbst empfinden, und im nächsten Moment verleiht er dem Leser eine Gänsehaut, die sich nur schwer in Worte fassen lässt.

 

Die Mischung in diesem Buch macht das Ganze so lesenswert und ich bin schon total gespannt, wie Jennifer Alice Jager diesen Auftakt noch toppen will!

 

Das Cover ist der absolute Hammer. Es verspricht mit seinem düsteren und geheimnisvollen Auftreten so einiges und es macht riesen Spaß hinter die Fassade zu schauen.

 

Fazit:

 

Dieser Reihenauftakt ist eine Reise wert! Nicht nur, dass der Leser an der Seite der jungen Protagonisten ein fabelhaftes Abenteuer und wundervolle Landschaft geboten bekommt, so macht der malerische und anschauliche Schreibstil dieses Buch zu einem unvergesslichen Erlebnis!

Source: www.carlsen.de/epub/witches-of-norway-1-nordlichtzauber/84783
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review 2016-10-20 00:00
Most Secret (Vintage Classics)
Most Secret (Vintage Classics) - Nevil Shute Norway This is another of Nevil Shute's novels set in England during World War II. It's a period of time that fascinates me. Times were terrible, but somehow the British muddled through and eventually entered a new era in which they could once again thrive. The plot is a bit more convoluted than most other Shute books I've read, and also rather more blood thirsty. Not my favorite of his works. But still rather engaging.

Basically we have four protagonists, or perhaps five. Charles Simon is an Englishman who was brought up in France, sent to public school in England, and then returned to work in France as a cement engineer. He is fluent in both French and English and, although his accent and word choices are slightly off, can readily pass as one or the other. When the Germans get too close to where he is working, he manages to escape to England and gets taken on by the military.

Oliver Boden is the son of a wool spinner. He takes rather a fancy to sailing. His life-long friend and, for a short time, spouse, is killed in a German air raid over London. He wants revenge.

Michael Rhodes is the son of a doctor who died while Rhodes was still young. Despite some hard times, he did make it through school and procured a job as a chemist. He loves mixing up concoctions, whether it be skin-restoring face cream, or something more akin to napalm.

John Colvin is a sailor who has bummed around here and there. He was living in Seattle when the war broke out and immediately found his way to England so as to sign up with the Royal Navy.

Then, we have Commander Martin, who is sometimes narrator of the story, and who is nominally the head of the war-time operations described.

So, the British have a French fishing vessel in one of their ports. At the suggestion of Simon, they outfit it for some covert war intrigue. Simon thinks that the people of Brittany will turn against their local German occupation force if some horrific acts of defiance can be accomplished. They decide to use the French fishing vessel to insinuate itself into the fishing fleet and then rain fire on the few German boats "guarding" the fishermen. So, they get the boat outfitted with a flame thrower, and Rhodes concocts a rather deadly pyrotechnic mix to spew onto the Germans. Bowden is the overall head of the operation, and Colvin provides expertise in navigation and general seamanship. Something like that.

Like all Shute books, it was well plotted, rather interesting, and, of course, somewhat nerdy on the science, engineering, and sailing parts. It was a bit more blood thirsty than I would like, but then I spent too much time in Sunday School as a youngster.
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review 2016-07-16 03:14
The Witches
The Witches - Quentin Blake,Roald Dahl

I could see kids squeeling with delight with this one. I don't think Dahl's books would be right for every kid, but for the ones who have the stomach for it, this is a fine place to start. My favorite line from this: "It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you." Well now, that's certainly some good news! 

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review 2016-05-30 18:55
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
Kristin Lavransdatter - Sigrid Undset,Tiina Nunnally,Brad Leithauser

As an omnibus, the length of this classic trilogy is daunting; it was on my to-read list for years before I decided to read just the first, 300-page book. Of course that was excellent and I soon read the rest of the trilogy. While I understand the omnibus packaging – the later books assume knowledge of the earlier ones such that it is akin to one three-volume novel – for me, reading three individual novels worked best.

Kristin Lavransdatter is the life story of one woman, and the people closest to her, in 14th century Norway. The first volume follows Kristin’s childhood and her teenage romance with a man her father would never have chosen for her; the second, her life as a young wife and mother, struggling with the practical and religious fallout from her choices in the first book; and the third, her life as a middle-aged woman navigating complex relationships, while her importance in her sons’ lives diminishes. Kristin is a fascinating character, because she feels entirely realistic and human. Undset never pandered to the faction who insist that female characters be “likeable” (i.e., flawless); she simply presents the character as she is, in all her strengths and weaknesses, noble impulses and bad decisions. But I think most readers will like her and relate to her fight to marry the man she loves and to build a future for her children. It’s not all domestic life, though; political maneuvering, swordfights, and other drama keeps Kristin’s life from becoming too predictable.

Many reviews discuss the religion in these books: Catholicism is a major part of the characters’ lives, and the author herself converted. But though religious themes are present throughout, I never found the books preachy. Religion was an essential aspect of medieval life, and Undset captures that well; interestingly, while Kristin is a religious woman by today’s standards and in the eyes of some of the characters, in the context of her time and in her interactions with religious folk she seems far more interested in the secular aspects of her life, but raised to be guilty about that preoccupation.

At any rate, every aspect of life at the time, from social interaction to farming to the layout of homes, seems grounded in solid research that allows the author to create an immersive and believable setting. Few authors could write about such a foreign world in a way that’s both realistic and accessible, but that’s just what Undset does; at times it was hard to believe that the story was set in medieval times, not because there’s anachronism present (there isn’t) but because the characters are so human and relatable regardless.

The writing is excellent, and Nunnally’s translation superb: the prose is smooth and absorbing, very readable but with a hint of distance that puts the reader in mind of ancient sagas. The story has a strong sense of place, and contains beautiful descriptions of the Norwegian landscape. Like the story itself, the writing manages to be entirely accessible to the modern reader and yet faithful to its medieval setting.

In sum, this is an excellent trilogy, and fully deserving of its awards. I give four stars rather than five because it didn’t rock my world (it’s been some time since any book has), and because the middle volume often felt tedious; the second book was perhaps longer than necessary, and only toward the end did it regain strength. That said, the trilogy returns to form with an exceptional final volume. It was overall a great reading experience, providing both depth and entertainment, and one I would not hesitate to recommend.

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review 2016-05-30 07:06
The Cross by Sigrid Undset
Kristin Lavransdatter, III: The Cross: The Cross: 3 - Sigrid Undset,Tiina Nunnally,Sherrill Harbison

The final volume of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy is perhaps the best of the three. Judging by the titles and cover images, I had guessed that Kristin would spend this book as a widowed nun and that the book would be mostly about her grieving and repenting her sins. Fortunately, that’s a long way from the truth – the plot picks up again after the slower and more contemplative second volume, balancing its detailed portrayal of medieval life with plenty of juicy drama.

 

But the heart of the story is Kristin’s struggle for fulfillment in her role as wife and mother. As a modern reader, it can be easy to get frustrated with Kristin’s silent resentment of Erlend – you want her to either deal with the problems in the marriage or move on. But of course, she can’t move on and without the possibility of divorce as an escape valve, I wonder if addressing the problems with Erlend head-on might be too dangerous; if they can’t successfully resolve them, then bringing them into the open might only make their home life less tolerable. At any rate, their relationship continues to be as messy and destructive as ever. Meanwhile, in the shadow of their parents’ tumultuous marriage, their sons are growing into young men, and Kristin’s influence in their lives is on the wane, to her distress.

 

Others have found this volume depressing, and yes, it’s a bit melancholy. The ending is a sad one, though appropriate, and artistically (and historically) sound. But I enjoyed reading it nonetheless; the prose had a calming effect, as I was absorbed into the lives of Undset’s three-dimensional characters and the richness of their world. Having finished, I’m sorry it’s over.

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