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review 2018-04-21 02:34
Invisible City
Invisible City - Julia Dahl

First in a series is tough. Making the jump from journalist to novelist is tricky. 

 

Invisible City is a solidly plotted murder mystery that reads more like a police procedural than a cozy (though our main girl is a journalist not an officer of the peace).   While better than many first novels, there's plenty of room for growth.  In particular, I felt like the book was a hodge-podge of thinly veiled elements from a number of recent sensational news stories rather than being fully original. 

 

Like the main character, author Julia Dahl has a Jewish mother and a Christian father.  While it's always difficult to write about insular communities without a true in, I felt like a lot of Ms. Dahl's personification of the Ultra-Orthodox characters was built on stereotypes.

 

I'm counting this as an IRL bookclub read because Julia Dahl will be speaking in my community about book #3 in the series (released about a year ago) on Sunday.  I read Invisible City because Conviction was checked out of the Library and I wanted to have read something by the author before I went to brunch.

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review 2018-04-15 03:16
Out in June
City of Devils - Paul French City of Devils - Paul French

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

 

                Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom opens in 1935 at a club in the city of Shanghai.  Jones is going to met a gangster, and, of course, the shit hits the fan.  It is a Hollywood version of what Shanghai was like during the interwar years. Yet, there is some truth to it.  The city did have Badlands, and there were clubs that not only hired but catered to expatriates from America and Europe.  In his book City of Devils, Paul French presents the truth and while it does involve show girls there is a great more drugs, murder, and the looming threat of war.

 

                French details Shanghai, in particular Joe Farren and Jack Riley, two men who were sometimes engaged in legal business and sometimes in not so legal business.  Joe Farren started as a Fred Astaire or Vernon Castle type.  Escaping Vienna and touring Asia with his wife and the dance troupe they eventually started.  Farren is the dapper man, the married man with his wife Nellie.  He does resemble, at least in French’s description. 

 

                Riley is more of a gangster type.  American, blunt, and physical as opposed to dapper.  But not stupid, not stupid at all. His washing up at Shanghai isn’t so much to do with his performance ability. The two men are sometimes partners, sometimes rivals, sometimes enemies.

 

                In the story of the rise and fall of the two men, French also describes the imploding of Shanghai as an international colony forced upon the Chinese as well as the coming Second World War.  It isn’t just crime that causes the problems but also the Japanese and the shifting of power.

 

                At points, French introduces newspaper columns and Chinese views on what is occurring – either the view of the white men or the invading Japanese.  It is those bits that are the most moving and wonderful because they move the book beyond a simple history of the underworld.

 

                French writes with passion and vigor.  His prose is quite engrossing, and he does the best he can with limited sources.  What is most interesting (and hardy lest surprising) is that the women were harder to trace than the men.  It is to French’s credit that he shows the women as more than just molls or enablers.  In fact, a few of them are movers and shakers.

 

                The book is both engaging and engrossing.

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text 2018-04-01 03:07
Kill Your Darlings - Yellow Team (Round 11, 12 & 13-Finale)
The Masked City - Genevieve Cogman
The Burning Page - Genevieve Cogman
The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman
The Last Apprentice: Lure of the Dead (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #10) - Joseph Delaney,Christopher Evan Welch
Death in a White Tie - Benedict Cumberbatch,Ngaio Marsh

Round 11
>>Collected COD- Stabbed w/ a Sword- Read The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

(Silver on Cover)


>>Collected CS- Green Dragon Pub- Read The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman

(Three Word Title)

 


Round 12
>>Collected Victim- Atticus Finch- Read The Lost Page by Genevieve Cogman

(Author Last Name Begins with C in Finch)


>>Collected COD- Bow & Arrow- Read Lure of the Dead by Joseph Delaney

(Teenage Hero)

 



Round 13
>>Collected COD- Dark Alley Beat Down- Read Death in a White Tie by Ngaio Marsh

(Book written between 1925-1975)

 

 

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text 2018-03-31 16:08
March Recap
The One - John Marrs
Never Never - Colleen Hoover; Tarryn Fisher;
Forever Right Now - Emma Scott
You Look Different in Real Life - Jennifer Castle
The Queen of Hearts - Kimmery Martin
Gemina (The Illuminae Files) - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman
Only Human - Sylvain Neuvel
Tarnished City - Vic James
The Vanishing Girl - Laura Thalassa

Wow...this month was a long one.  I went on vacation (which was so needed), and then a week later I had surgery on my foot.  I have super bad plantar fasciitis, from working on cement floors for so many years.  So they cut me in my arch on the bottom of my foot and in my calf, to stretch the tendons, and hopefully, when I'm more stretchy I won't have this problem anymore.   Right now, I'm basically on bedrest because I can't put any weight on it, yet.  After my surgery on the 20th, I managed to listen to a few more books and boost my reading, it was way down from my usual.  My April reading should be phenomenal though...I don't go back to work until at least the middle of May.

 

 

 

 

(Audiobook) The One by John Mars

Finish Date:  03/03

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(eBook) Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Finish Date:  03/09

☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(eBook) Forever Right Now by Emma Scott

Finish Date:  03/15

☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Finish Date:  03/15

☆2☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Audiobook) The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Finish Date:  03/22

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Finish Date:  03/23

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(eARC) Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Finish Date:  03/26

☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) Tarnished City by Vic James

Finish Date:  03/27

☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

Finish Date:  03/30

☆2.3☆STARS - GRADE=D+

 

9 Books Total, 6 of those are Audiobooks, 2 eBooks, and 1 Netgalley eARC.

For a total of 3,364 Pages (including Audio)

 

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