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text 2020-04-29 20:47
Reading progress update: I've read 169 out of 304 pages.
The Western Wind - Samantha Harvey

In my thirteen Oakham winters I'd never known such rain, nor seen this place so churned and soaked and listless in its mood and colour. I put my hand out and a dewy vapour settled on the back of it. My own chest and lungs had begun to labour from taking in too much damp and windless fug. For years on end nothing happened in Oakham out of the ordinary cycle of birth, strength, illness, death - there were no particular comings or goings, not things to surprise us. Then in September, Newman went on a pilgrimage to Rome. In November, we finished the bridge. In December, Newman came back from Rome. In January, Sarah Spenser went on a pilgrimage to see a rotten tooth. At the end of January she came back, feverish, and while away I'd been feverish, too. In early February, the bridge fell down. A week later Newman drowned. What curse was this?

Now here we were, besieged by a rural dean who, I'd come slowly to realise, was too intent on saving us wholly to care for the fate of any of us singly.

As much as I have issues with the book, there are some fine passages in this. It's just that this is not historical fiction. I've come to the conclusion that this seems to be contemporary fiction dressed up as a historical mystery (there's even a weird and completely anachronistic reference to Brexit in this). I'm strangely ok with that.

 

It's still no excuse for all the purple prose, tho.

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text 2020-04-29 15:05
Reading progress update: I've read 92 out of 304 pages.
The Western Wind - Samantha Harvey

"I was famished, the brief famishment I always had when I woke up. As if, each dawn, my body was petulant about rising again and threw a newborn's rage - feed me! It was a feeling that was always eased quickly with a mouthful or two of bread."

He's hungry for some breakfast. I get it. 

 

As mentioned earlier, the prose in this is of the purple persuasion. It's testing my patience, even tho it is quite successful in creating a gloomy atmosphere of a plague-ridded village that seems to be obsessed with cheese-making, candle-hoarding, and confessing to crimes they haven't committed.

 

We still have a character that wants someone to blame for the alleged death of the alleged victim - unless I have missed it, we still have no body, and the only time we "saw" the body was in the middle of a dark and wet night, and even then the person who saw it isn't sure. 

 

No, all we have still, is a missing man and a green shirt.

 

This is not going to be a favourite book. At this point, I am mostly interested in seeing what the author is trying to achieve with the symmetric chapters and the inversed timeline.

Oh, have I mentioned, yet, that this story is told backwards? 

We start on Day 4 after, I presume, the main event, and then get to visit the days that preceded Day 4. It's all very experimental.

 

And to be fair, that part is keeping me reading. I only wish it were executed by an author who is less prone to wordy celebrations of the inane, and who paid more attention to detail when it comes to historical facts and settings. 

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review 2020-04-29 10:30
#BookoftheMonth - Wind Warrior(World Aflame #1)by Jon Messenger
Wind Warrior (World Aflame) - Jon Messenger

@JonMessenger, #YoungAdult#Fantasy, 4 out of 5 (very good)

 

First things first, I thoroughly enjoyed this story! There were parts that didn't quite sit straight with me but, on the whole, I found this to be a great read.

Xander is a twenty-year-old college student who doesn't know what he wants to major in. He is best-friends with Sean, and has some sort of weird relationship with Jessica, a sorority president. He lives at home and doesn't have a job. His life changes when he suddenly gains some powers over the Air.

I loved the Elemental aspect of this book. No surprise to some of you, I'm sure. I thought the part that says only one Element can live on the earth at one time was a good one. I'm not completely sure why Fire is always cast as the bad guy but there you go. 

Sammy (a Fire Elemental) is a very intriguing character and I would love to learn more about her backstory. A lot goes on with her in this story and I can't wait to see where she goes next.

This was an easy read that kept me turning the pages. Like I said, some of it didn't quite fit with the background/story but not enough to disrupt my reading. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a YA/NA Elemental story!

Source: morganjsheppard.weebly.com/morgans-musings/bookofthemonth-wind-warriorworld-aflame-1by-jon-messenger
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text 2020-04-28 21:00
Reading progress update: I've read 36 out of 304 pages.
The Western Wind - Samantha Harvey

Hm.

 

I'm just over 10% into the book and I have a lot of questions. 

 

It's not clear yet what the story will be but we are somewhere in England in the year 1491, and we are following a village priest, Father John  Reve, whose young assistant seems to have found a body in the river. 

 

So, there is a whole lot of Cadfael feel to this (I'm referring to the series, I've not yet read the books. I really should, tho.)

 

Apart from the very purply prose, there have been a number of things that have struck me as odd so far, but since I am really, really not at home in neither the time period not the religious life at the time (1491), I am not entirely sure what to make of the book so far. 

 

Things that made me go "eh?":

 

- The priest referring to parts of his dress as "skirts that flowed behind me like a bridal gown". (First person narrator...)

- There is woman churchwarden (Janet). Were women churchwardens in 1491?

- A dean, who seems hell-bent on finding a murderer, even tho there is no body, no suspicion of any wrong-doing, and so far no mention of any suspicious circumstances.

- A young wife comes to confession and the priest advises her that "It's mere superstition to think that God is punishing us." Erm, ... I thought original sin was one of the pillars of medieval teachings.

 

I have a strong feeling that this might be style over substance kind of book. I really hope it isn't.

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text 2020-04-06 18:35
Reading progress update: I've read 100%. How wrong I was about Georgette Heyer
No Wind of Blame (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #1) - Georgette Heyer

I hadn’t expected something as playful as this. It’s mildly subversive in its way, pushing a little at the conventions of the genre. Vicky is a female Loki, a little goddess of mischief and chaos, The Prince is so over the top that he works. Emmy is a trouper in every sense. 

 

I think this would make a great stage play. It’s one step away from farce, the characters are larger than life and there are some fine set pieces.

 

And, good grief, I’m now a Georgette Hayer fan. My teenage self would never have predicted that.

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