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review 2017-11-22 13:09
Foxglove Summer ★★★★☆
Foxglove Summer: PC Peter Grant, Book 5 - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

More fun with my favorite apprentice wizard cop, this time out in Herefordshire on the border of Wales instead of in London, investigating the disappearance of two preteen girls. We get to meet a retired wizard cop and his weirdo granddaughter, and we have more – much, much more! – of Beverly, and we even get a teeny satisfying peek at what’s going on with Lesley. I can’t say I came away really understanding all the logic of what happened, but that’s probably because I was listening to the audio while distracted, and one of these days I’ll get around to re-reading these books and will take a more critical look at such things. For now, I’ll just say it was enormously entertaining.

 

Audiobook, via Audible, with another masterful performance by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 14: Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting.  –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere. This story is set in high summer, as we are constantly reminded of the oppressive heat (Are the West Midlands that much hotter than London?), and seasonal flora that are relevant to solving the mystery.

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review 2017-11-21 17:34
The 13th Gift ★☆☆☆☆
The 13th Gift: A True Story About a Christmas Miracle - Joanne Smith

 

Ugh. Within about 5 minutes of listening to this audio, I could only wail Nooooooooooooooooooooo. I didn’t expect much from this one, so the bar was set pretty low. I expected a bit of light Christmas glurge, a memoir about a family dealing with the loss of a loved one, who found their Christmas spirit when their friends/neighbors/whatever got together to leave anonymous gifts to remind them of The Meaning of Christmas. Sounds like the perfect story to get you into the season, if you go into it without a cynical heart. I was even willing to overlook the amateur quality of the audio narration, because it’s a memoir read by the author. But I simply could not overlook its pushing my biggest button with respect to writing style, the dreaded First-Person-Present-Tense, further committing the egregious sin of mixing past tense inner monologue directly in with the present tense narration of story events. No. Nope. No way.

 

DNF at 5%. Ordinarily I wouldn’t rate a book after less than 20 minutes of audio time, but FPPT always gets a 1 star from me unless the writing and story are so fantastic that I don’t even notice it enough to be annoyed by it.  

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library, read by the author.

 

I was attempting to read this for The 16 Tasks of The Festive Season, square 4: Book themes for     Thanksgiving Day:  Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.  –OR– Books with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover. I don’t have any other books lined up for this task, so I might have to use my other Light Joker for it.

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review 2017-11-21 16:06
fab 4 star read!
Lavender Fields - Claire Smith,Hot Tree Editing,Natalina Reis
Personal Review, I was asked to read this book by the author, that I write a review was not required. Sky meets Caleb when he falls too fast and can't stop in time. And falls for Caleb. Problem is, Caleb is the soul Sky has been sent to collect. Sky can't carry out his job so another angel is sent. But Sky keeps saving Caleb, and the other angel keeps coming. Can they figure out why Caleb has been targeted? I'm not one for instant professions of love, and it happens here, right in chapter one when Sky falls in love with Caleb. Now, it does kind of explain that away, since Sky falls in love often, but not to the depth of emotion he feels with Caleb. Still, its and instalove thing. Also, first person, present tense AND single point of view is not for me, because ...la.la.la.you know what I'm gonna say, and blah blah blah, hearing from everyone! BUT!!!! It's a nice book, a well written one by a new to me author. It does move at speed in places, and it gets a little . . . painful reading about what Samael does to Sky and his wings. Made me cry a little there! The heat level creeps up through the book. I did think it might actually end up clean but the boys do get their down and dirty on! Not explicit, but well written. Right level of heat for this book. It didn't seem the 200 odd pages its billed at, so a little longer than the usual hangover cure, but it landed in my queue just at the right time, so I'm filing it as such. A great little read. 4 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-11-20 23:22
Broken Homes ★★★★☆
Broken Homes: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

This installment in the Peter Grant series was so much fun and the plot twist at the end was so unexpected and exciting that I rushed right into the next book in the series, which wasn’t at all on my planned TBR list. And in my excitement, I originally put a 5 star rating on the book, but after further reflection am bringing it down to 4 stars, because there were a few problems with the story. It was a little discombobulated at first, with episodes so seemingly unconnected that I did have some trouble tying them all together at the end. I’m also, on reflection, a little unsure about The Faceless Man’s objective with the Skygarden Tower and its relation to the 

magic battery function

(spoiler show)

 that Peter has discovered. To be fair, it’s entirely possible that I missed some of this, because I was glued to the audio while also trying to run errands and finish shopping in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday demands this week – not the optimal kind of multitasking that lends itself well to catching clues and parsing complicated plot points. I suspect that, once I get caught up on the series on audio – because I have every intention of continuing to experience them through Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s fabulous narration – I’ll probably pick up the text version and re-read them, to better immerse in the world-building and location details that can be missed on audio and a first read.

 

But I loved this book for all the same reasons that I’ve loved the others in the series – the interesting cast of characters, including some strong women of both good, evil, and in-between varieties, the strong sense of location, the fun magical world, and the humorous observations of both society and policing.

 

Audio, via Audible. As noted, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s performance is masterful.

 

I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, Square 5: Book themes for Advent: Read a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover –OR– Read the 4th book from a favorite series, or a book featuring 4 siblings. Broken Homes is the 4th book in the Peter Grant series. 

 

 

Previous Updates:

11/17/17 26%

The powers that be made a concerted effort to rid London of its working class. The city was rapidly losing its industry, and the large numbers of servants who were needed for the Edwardian households were being superseded by the technological wonders of the Age of White Goods. London just didn't need that many poor people anymore.

 

11/18/17 100%

On the audio side, I had to DNF My Brilliant Friend on Thursday because it was booooorrrrrinnnngggg and then I decided on Broken Homes for the Advent square and OH MY GOD that plot twist at the end made me spend another Audible credit so I could jump right into Foxglove Summer.

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text 2017-11-20 22:35
Reading progress update: I've read 91 out of 464 pages.
Swing Time - Zadie Smith

This is so much better than the last 3 Book of the Month selections. Thank God.

 

Also, wtf Booklikes? Geez. Please stay online for more than 12 hours. And don't break the comments and posts again. K? Thanks.

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