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text 2017-09-20 04:27
Reading progress update: I've read 92 out of 97 pages.
The Dark Victorian: Risen Volume One - Elizabeth Watasin

Done, except for an excerpt of the next work in the series.

 

I'm going to have to think about my final rating for this. At the moment, I'm debating between 2.5 and 3 stars. Something about Watasin's writing didn't work for me - I often found myself having to reread passages because I had trouble following what was going on, and I kept forgetting the characters who weren't Art or Jim. The world and characters felt like they were stuffed into a container too small for them, but I did at least find them intriguing, enough that I'm tempted to give the next work in the series a shot, despite my issues with this first one. It's four times longer, which might be a good thing if Watasin does better with longer works, or it could end up being a slog.

 

Well, that's another Bingo square taken care of. This would work for Ghost, Darkest London, Supernatural, The Dead Will Walk, and Terrifying Women. I've already marked Terrifying Women, and all the others except Ghost haven't been called yet, so I'll be marking Ghost.

 

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text 2017-09-19 15:15
Reading progress update: I've read 35 out of 97 pages.
The Dark Victorian: Risen Volume One - Elizabeth Watasin

I think this is approximately where I stopped reading this morning. It's clearer now that, yes, this will work for the Ghost square, although the character still isn't quite what I'd normally think of as a ghost: Artifice is referred to as an artificial ghost and has the ability to take ghostly form and move through walls, but she spends most of her time solid.

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text 2017-09-17 17:07
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 97 pages.
The Dark Victorian: Risen Volume One - Elizabeth Watasin

I picked this up a while back after several reviews here on Booklikes put it on my radar. I decided to read this for Halloween Bingo because 1) it's short and 2) it looked like it would qualify for several squares. I was hoping to use it for the Ghost square, but so far it's a better candidate for squares that haven't been called yet, The Dead Will Walk (several reanimated cats and a horse), Supernatural, and Darkest London. Nothing yet that I'd say qualifies as a ghost.

 

So far this isn't necessarily bad, but it's not grabbing me enough to make me want the rest of the series. Still plenty of time, though.

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review 2017-09-13 15:55
Halloween Bingo - Locked Room Mystery - I liked Mycroft better
The Sign of Four - Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

I hadn't made up my mind about the Locked Room Mystery square until the last minute.  For some of the other squares my choices were fairly long and I was looking forward to them, so I was glad to spot The Sign of the Four on the suggested list. 

 

The novel is included in The Works of A. Conan Doyle published by Black's Readers Service, one of those inexpensive sets that used to be advertised -- maybe they still are? -- on the back cover of the Sunday newspaper magazine supplement.  My dad had a set bound in red cloth; I bought them in the tan paper-embossed-to-look-like-leather-and-stamped-in-gold back in the early 70s.

 

 

 

And it's been about that long, or maybe even longer, since I read The Sign of the Four, when I was on a Holmes binge.  Having just read Kareen Abdul-Jabbar's Mycroft Holmes, I thought the comparison would be interesting.

 

Yeah, I liked Mycroft better than his younger brother.

 

The opening scene with Sherlock shooting up cocaine because he's bored didn't shock me, because I had remembered it quite well.  Unfortunately, I didn't like it 45 or more years ago, and I didn't like it now.  "Well, if you're so freaking bored, why don't you go out and find a puzzle that's worthy of your supreme powers of deduction, you arrogant asshole?" was my thought yesterday.

 

See, Mycroft was arrogant, but he never reached the stage of full-fledged assholery his younger brother had.

 

As I continued reading, bits and pieces of the story came back to me, but not all in one flash, so as far as the story itself went, it was pretty much like a fresh read.  But Sherlock's personality didn't improve.  The general Victorian racism was no surprise either, but it sat no easier on my mind than Sherlock's addiction.

 

The locked room mystery part was quickly solved, and the rest was the search for the actual perpetrator once he'd been identified.   And the last quarter of so of the novella was in turn his tale of the events that had led up to the murder.

 

Many elements of Jonathan Small's history brought to mind The Moonstone (1868), but the Wilkie Collins novel was in my estimation not only much better done with a more interesting set of characters, but also dealt with the social issues more aligned with current attitudes than with the traditional Victorian views expressed by Conan Doyle.  Small's disposal of the treasure he considered he had a right to contrasted sharply with the ending of The Moonstone.  The mystery of the treasure really overshadowed the locked room mystery in The Sign of the Four, and Holmes had no part in solving it other than finally capturing Jonathan Small.

 

 

 

 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-03 17:29
No Rating
Dark Embrace (Dark Gothic Book 6) - Eve ... Dark Embrace (Dark Gothic Book 6) - Eve Silver

I deliberately gave no rating; from a technical point of view: there were a few typos (auto-correct?) but that was not why.

 

I quite liked the first two in this series; the next three were okay but nothing special.  It was my first foray into gothic style romance (okay, other then many years ago Victoria Holt) so I was not entirely sure what to expect. I had already pre-ordered this one and after the last three had meant to cancel the order but forgot.

 

The book (the reader will know early on) took a paranormal turn. Vampire novels just don't do it for me. 

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