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review 2019-01-18 15:06
Loving You with Teeth & Claws
Loving You with Teeth and Claws: A Dead Things Prequel - Martina McAtee

This is the first book by Martina McAtee that I’ve read and it is totally outside of my usual genres.  I was just so drawn in by the unusual covers of her books.  She won the 2016 Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal for her first book, Children Shouldn’t play with Dead Things.  This book, Loving You with Teeth and Claws, is a prequel to the series.  Martina McAttee’s books are Young Adult and Paranormal with a bit of Romance to keep things simmering.  I loved this book and can’t wait to read Book 1, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things.

 

This story starts with Neoma, a young girl who is being chased by Dylan (a wolf shifter).  She hides from him but he can smell her.  She is so scared of him but she can’t remember why exactly.  She just knows that if he finds her, he will take her to the woman again and they will hurt her.  She finds a place and tries to make herself very small.  He finds her though, he always does, and in her frightened state she feels power coming up to her from the ground and then Dylan is dead.  At least she thinks he is.  She runs to the woods and runs into Wren.  She was so relieved because Dylan had told her that Wren was dead and couldn’t save her.

 

Wren doesn’t know what has been going on but he knows something isn’t right.  He left Neoma with his family to look out for her but they let someone hurt her.  He took Neoma and ran. They had to get as far away from there as they could before his dad found out they were gone.  They go to an old witch who tells him that someone has been hurting Neoma but he can’t see the scars because she has been glamoured.  There were also many other spells on her, some blocking her memory.  The witch showed Wren a glimpse of what Neoma really looked like and it was awful.  He couldn’t believe someone would do such a think to such a sweet little girl.  Then the witch suddenly told him the little girl has a passenger and is attacked by someone Wren can’t see.  The witch told him to get out of there and go to a town that is hidden by magic to see his betrothed.  He grabs Neoma and runs thinking maybe this person and her pack can help protect them from his father who desperately wants Neoma back.  Wren doesn’t understand why his father wants Neoma so badly but he plans to do whatever it takes to protect her.  Meanwhile, Alpha wolf, Isa McGowan, is trying to get four pre-teens out the door for school so she can get to work on time.  She is only 22 but can’t live her life like she would like to.  She has to care for these kids and run a restaurant to stay afloat.  Her pack isn’t what it used to be but she is doing all she can.  She also has no idea of the mess that is heading her way.

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review 2019-01-15 00:31
Dead Heat
Dead Heat - Patricia Briggs
This is one of my least favorite of the Alpha and Omega series so far (in the Mercy Thompson World/Universe). Anna's birthday is coming up, so Charles plans to get her a surprise. It turns out Charles is old friends with Joseph who just happens to own an Arabian horse farm. Off to Arizona they go- for pleasure and not a job. But, you know it's Charles, so of course something has to happen!
There is a powerful fae loose who is preying on children. Charles and Anna step-up to find the culprit along with Leslie (FBI agent from previous book) and 2 new Cantrip agents (who actually weren't all that bad). 
I get that Charles is 200+ years old. Yes, he has a history. But my issue with this book was, he DIDN'T TELL ANNA ANYTHING! This is what Charles said when he talked about Maggie: "We dated once upon a time," he told her somberly. "Though 'dating' is too formal a word for it. Flirting is better, but too lighthearted." Yeah, I got that they were in LOVE and she picked Joseph for Reasons. But he never forgot her and she him. Whatever dude. You. Had. A. Relationship. And didn't see fit to tell Anna about any of it. No heads up, nothing. 
As for other female characters, I did like Chelsea and Mackie. (Although Mackie is 5). For the most part I do like Anna and I think she's grown so much over the course of the series. What I didn't like (and this is coming from someone who doesn't have kids and NEVER wanted them, so I might not be the best judge here) what her persistence in getting Charles to say yes to kids. I was annoyed that his "no" wasn't treated as a no, but rather something she could change if she pressed hard enough.
So, while I still like this series, I think I'm falling out of love a little bit.
 
 

 

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text 2019-01-15 00:06
Reading progress update: I've read 334 out of 409 pages.
Dead Man's Hand (anthology) - John Joseph Adams

enjoyed the Ken Liu story, my introduction to the author’s work. only four stories left in this Weird West Collection, and I already wrapped Straight Outta Tombstone, my rival book of similar tales. I had such fun running two “duelling” short story collections (one short story between each novel I read), that I’ve decided to keep going with that set-up, but I decided to have each collection represent a different genre...so I can keep better track of how much I’m enjoying each grouping of stories, without everything mushing together.

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review 2019-01-12 00:48
Book 1 of an ongoing series.
Dead Simple - Peter James

Although I listened to this as an abridged version, it had been well cut and was excellently narrated by William Gaminara, so I was barely aware that it was not the full book. I've never read anything by Peter James before, although I had heard him speak at a literary festival.

The plot itself was well suited to audio, as there was nothing too demanding or complex to concentrate on and I was happy having it playing in the background while I worked in the house.

 

I wonder whether the 'Simple' of the title might be considered politically incorrect these days, being as it refers to a young man of low intelligence, who finds a walkie talkie, yet fails to comprehend its importance; to him it is just a toy. In reality it holds the clue to the whereabouts of Michael Harrison, who has disappeared while out celebrating his stag night. Mark, his business partner and best man, seems to know more than he is letting on, while the fiance, Ashley Harper, is distraught, with the wedding just a few days away.

 

Detective Superintendent Grace leads the investigation. He is a likable enough detective, if a bit ineffective at times. His use of a medium towards the end did seem a bit of a cop-out. The fact that his wife had disappeared 10 years ago, though, was a good cliff-hanger for the future of the series.

 

I am vaguely familiar with Brighton and my Grandmother used to live in Hove, which added interest and I would certainly give the second book a try, preferably in audio format again.

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text 2019-01-11 19:34
Proposed buddy read
Excellent Women - Barbara Pym

Themis-Athena, Murder By Death & I are planning a Buddy Read of Barbara Pym's Excellent Women to tentatively begin on Friday, January 25.

 

Plot summary: 

 

Excellent Women is one of Barbara Pym's richest and most amusing high comedies. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman's daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those "excellent women," the smart, supportive, repressed women who men take for granted. As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors--anthropologist Helena Napier and her handsome, dashing husband, Rocky, and Julian Malory, the vicar next door--the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing world of manners and repressed desires.

 

Barbara Pym was born in 1913 and died of breast cancer in 1980 and Excellent Women was originally published in 1952.

 

According to Wikipedia:

 

"several strong themes link the works in the Pym canon, which are more notable for their style and characterisation than for their plots. A superficial reading gives the impression that they are sketches of village or suburban life, and comedies of manners, studying the social activities connected with the Anglican church (Anglo-Catholic parishes in particular.) (Pym attended several churches during her lifetime, including St Michael and All Angels, Barnes, where she served on the Parish Church Council.)

 

Pym closely examines many aspects of women's and men's relations, including unrequited feelings of women for men, based on her own experience. Pym was also one of the first popular novelists to write sympathetically about unambiguously gay characters (most notably in A Glass of Blessings).  She portrayed the layers of community and figures in the church seen through church functions. The dialogue is often deeply ironic. A tragic undercurrent runs through some of the later novels, especially Quartet in Autumn and The Sweet Dove Died."

 

In 2013, The Telegraph published an interesting piece for Pym's centenary, which can be found here.

 

If any of this sounds interesting, feel free to join us!

 

Participants (so far):

 

Moonlight Reader

Themis-Athena

Murder By Death

BrokenTune

Lillelara

The Better To See You My Dear

Person of Interest

Peregrinations

 

Honorary participate: Mike Finn

 

Let's use "pymalong" and "excellent women" to tag our posts!

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