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review 2020-04-03 09:17
The Golden Cage
Golden Cage - Camilla Läckberg

No, just no.

I was really excited I could read The Golden Cage through Pigeonhole. I have been a big fan of the Fjallbacka series for years (though admittedly, the last book is still waiting for me to read it). So, I was expecting a great read during these COVID-19 times, but I was very disappointed.

The Golden Cage is a 180-turn of the other books by Camilla Lackberg, in that it is not cozy at all. Instead it is filled with bad sex, bad power plays, and ridiculous schemes (one even more implausible than the other). There are so many easy coincidences that my eyes started to hurt from all the rolling they had to do. Fjallbacka is mentioned a couple of times, but all that was good about her books were clearly left back in Fjallbacka.

I do not think I will read more of her standalone books.

~Read through Pigeonhole~

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review 2016-10-12 01:33
Children's Review: Ameila, the Venutons and the Golden Cage
Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage: Book Two (Amelia's Amazing Space Adventures) - Evonne Blanchard

We received this book to give an honest review.

So I figured A would like to read this book but she wasn't very interested in it. So I decided to read this to K and he really did enjoy the book. He is already asking if there is another book to read as he wants to see what other items they are going to get from the other planets. The pictures are very bright and colorful and I think the children will enjoy looking at them. K and I really laughed at the Venutons because they were so big and colorful that you could cuddle with them if you didn't get on their bad side. 

Uglesnoo and Ameila are both on a mission to Venus to get bliss bubbles as part of the items they need to help Uglesnoo's sister who is sick but what happens when the Venutons wake up? 

Just open this book and find out if they will get the item they need before they can move on.

We plan on reading book one as K did ask me how did the two friends meet, why are they exactly going on these missions and so forth. 

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review 2016-06-05 00:00
A Golden Cage
A Golden Cage - Shelley Freydont A Golden Cage - Shelley Freydont Dollycas’s Thoughts
I want to escape right into that picture on the cover.

This second book in the series picks up almost where book one left off. Deanna’s mother and sister are still abroad and her father is busy working so Deanna continues her stay with the Ballards. She goes on calls with “Gran Gwen” and they attend a few parties, keeping her in the eye of eligible bachelors that she really has no interest in. She wants a career as a detective and not many suitors would be happy to have their wives chasing down criminals. They attend a birthday party at the Grantham Estate where Maude Grantham has brought in a entire theatre company to perform. It was quite a night, Deanne even meets one of the actresses, Amabelle Deeks. Deanna is surprised when Amabelle shows up at the Ballard’s door in the middle of the night scared about something and needing a place to stay. Even more surprising is finding a body the next morning in the conservatory. A young actor from the play. When Deanna goes to tell Amabelle she is nowhere to be found. Dee thinks her new friend my have something to do with the murder especially because she ran away. Quickly Deanna, her wonderful maid Elspeth, and Joe Ballard are trying to help their friend Will, a sergeant with the Newport Police solve the case. But just because they are “working with” Will doesn’t mean that aren’t going to do some investigating and get into some trouble on their own.

I really like the characters and their development. We see Gran Gwen and Laurette are more liberal thinkers like Deanna while the Granthams are more conservative. All our very opinionated. Dee was growing more comfortable and trying things like riding a bicycle and joining a bicycle club. Her mother would definitely not approve. She is a strong willed young woman. A subplot dealt with her feelings for Joe and his feelings for her. They do make a good team but can they ever be more than friends. There are also several interesting characters connected to Amabelle and they play.

The story takes come great twists as our protagonist hones in on the guilty party. Secrets come to light and the reveal is filled with action.

Shelley Freydont’s descriptive way of writing brings all the characters to life right along with the “cottages” of Newport and the Fifth Ward. As a reader I felt like I traveling right along with Deanna as she followed all the clues and all the place she would sneak into to get the answers. It was really thrilling and fun.

An excellent addition to this series!
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review 2016-06-05 00:00
A Golden Cage
A Golden Cage - Shelley Freydont A Golden Cage - Shelley Freydont Dollycas’s Thoughts
I want to escape right into that picture on the cover.

This second book in the series picks up almost where book one left off. Deanna’s mother and sister are still abroad and her father is busy working so Deanna continues her stay with the Ballards. She goes on calls with “Gran Gwen” and they attend a few parties, keeping her in the eye of eligible bachelors that she really has no interest in. She wants a career as a detective and not many suitors would be happy to have their wives chasing down criminals. They attend a birthday party at the Grantham Estate where Maude Grantham has brought in a entire theatre company to perform. It was quite a night, Deanne even meets one of the actresses, Amabelle Deeks. Deanna is surprised when Amabelle shows up at the Ballard’s door in the middle of the night scared about something and needing a place to stay. Even more surprising is finding a body the next morning in the conservatory. A young actor from the play. When Deanna goes to tell Amabelle she is nowhere to be found. Dee thinks her new friend my have something to do with the murder especially because she ran away. Quickly Deanna, her wonderful maid Elspeth, and Joe Ballard are trying to help their friend Will, a sergeant with the Newport Police solve the case. But just because they are “working with” Will doesn’t mean that aren’t going to do some investigating and get into some trouble on their own.

I really like the characters and their development. We see Gran Gwen and Laurette are more liberal thinkers like Deanna while the Granthams are more conservative. All our very opinionated. Dee was growing more comfortable and trying things like riding a bicycle and joining a bicycle club. Her mother would definitely not approve. She is a strong willed young woman. A subplot dealt with her feelings for Joe and his feelings for her. They do make a good team but can they ever be more than friends. There are also several interesting characters connected to Amabelle and they play.

The story takes come great twists as our protagonist hones in on the guilty party. Secrets come to light and the reveal is filled with action.

Shelley Freydont’s descriptive way of writing brings all the characters to life right along with the “cottages” of Newport and the Fifth Ward. As a reader I felt like I traveling right along with Deanna as she followed all the clues and all the place she would sneak into to get the answers. It was really thrilling and fun.

An excellent addition to this series!
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review 2016-01-25 22:21
Review: The Golden Cage
The Golden Cage (A Dance of Dragons #0.5) - Kaitlyn Davis

This is the story of Princess Speeciaal Snoowflaake in the country of Eveerything Is Hoorrible Aand We Like Voowels A Lot. Which isn't really an improvement over Every'thing is Horryble And We L'yke Apostrophes and Ys a lot since the naming conventions are not the problem I have with so many fantasy novels.

So Ourthuri is a Horrible Place. It is so horrible that the Queens get killed if their first child isn't a boy.

 

Would you like me to go into why this is an extremely stupid thing to do and an incredibly cheap plot device to show that this place is horrible?

No? I don't care. I'm going to do it anyway.

 

First: noblewomen worthy of a king don't grow on trees. Noblewomen, in general, don't grow on trees but the fact that usually not every noble family is considered high-ranking enough to provide a future Queen/the mother of the future ruler (just as Franz Ferdinand. Not the band. The Arch Duke. Even if he hadn't met a very unfortunate end, his children wouldn't have succeeded him on the throne because their mother wasn't noble enough...she wasn't even noble enough to get a space in the family-crypt which is why Franz Ferdinand and her rest somewhere else...and that was a short excursion to the house Habsburg). Killing them off, just because they didn't manage to produce an heir immediately is cliche-villain-evil and stupid.

Second: even if we assume that every noble is equal and everybody can marry the king: shouldn't a lot of noble families go 'You know what? We have this nice marriage proposal from a different noble family which is a lot less risky. We really prefer them.'

I mean there is no mention of any superstition connected to what influences the gender of children. (Along the lines of 'if she is pure enough and never has improper thoughts the child will be a boy'). They should know that if they marry their daughter to the king there is a 50% chance of her dying. So the have the choice between 'marry her to a random noble, forge some connections, perhaps gain a bit wider influence' or 'marry her to the king, possibility of gaining a lot of influence but just as likely to go back to square 0 (or even further since presumably having a daughter who 'failed' would cause a loss of prestige)'.

Yeah. There's always going to be people who try but the king in this story needed 13 wives to get a son.

Thirteen.

Henry VIII is laughing about him.

And how big is that bloody country that they have 13 noble families with daughters that are the right age to marry/not yet promised to somebody else/noble enough for a king/willing to marry their daughter to him (especially after he went through...the first 6 wives or so).

 

Having voiced my minor misgivings about some details of the world-building let me come to the plot.

Now this is a 50-page prequel-novella which means it doesn't have terribly much plot (I also need to point out that I seem to have a problem with prequel novellas in general. They might be set chronologically before the main books but they tend to be written more for the people who have already read the main books...so bear that in mind).

 

The story revolves around Princess Leena, one of the middle of the king's 12 daughters. She can breathe underwater, is unhappily in love with a palace guard (to clarify: not unhappily because he doesn't love her back, unhappily because the love to a mere palace guard is forbidden) named Mikzahooq (bless you), and is special because she is the only one who can see how horrible everything is.

Out of all these things I would have been really fascinated by the 'magically being able to breathe underwater'-bit but that's the one we learn least about. In fact, we only learn that she can do that and she wonders if she got it from her mother but doesn't even go into details about whether magic is common in this world or not.

 

What we do learn over and over again is that Leena's and bless-you's love is pure and sad and that Leena is special because everybody else is stupid.

 

[After a description of how she and her half-sisters are all sitting on thrones, dressed in fine clothes]

 

Like statuesque decorations in flowing dresses and jingling jewelery, their faces were hidden behind veils. A backdrop. Pieces of art to be admired. Leena Sighed. Of the twelve princesses, she seemed the only one uncomfortable with the whole display.

Of course. Leena quickly invents feminism. Nobody else had misgivings about that before. It can't possibly have to do the fact that nobody else has voiced those misgivings to her because the king is a tyrannical psychopath and trusting the wrong person could be fatal. Move on. Oh by the way: the veils are not made of fabric but of tiny golden chains. Oh symbolism. So subtle. Much wow.

 

 

A cage invisible to everybody it seemed except her. But it was there.

Or don't move on and keep going on about this.

 

A princess. But it was not how she saw herself. This girl was weak, demure, meant for nothing other than a life of birthing sons. Leena wanted so much more for herself.

Yes and you are the first one to think like that, my dear. When Leena is not moping about not being like the other princesses she has weird ideas about property:

Her clothes belonged to the maids that dressed her. It was their job to rifle through her drawers. And the topside of the bed belonged to the servants who snuck in every morning to carefully pull her sheets back into place and fluff the pillows. Even in her room, nothing truly belonged just to her.

Yeah. Sure.

 

What she actually bemoans here is that she doesn't have any private place to hide things. Which is a valid concern but so different from 'Strictly speaking, my pretty dresses, belong to my maids', that I do not know where to start with all the wrongness.

 

So...yeah. Plot. Leena and bless-you-guard want to escape because true love. Will they succeed? You have to read this novella to find out!

 

I have the whole series as ARC-bundle so this is going to be fun. But then the author's prose is rather nice and perhaps this just suffers from crap-prequel-syndrome.

I hope.

 

ARC provided by NetGalley.

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