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Search tags: Castle-in-the-Air
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review 2021-07-19 22:47
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
This book made me feel a lot. Some parts made me angry or sad for the situations they were in and then other parts I could feel the love. I like how the author told the good and the bad. She seemed to try to just keep it real.
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review 2020-07-07 22:30
Review ~ Awesome!
Castle Walk - Melissa Bowersock

4.5

 

Book source ~ Kindle Unlimited

 

When the owners of the Castle Fitzpatrick in Ireland call Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud to come investigate some ghosts in the castle, Sam and Lacey are surprised. They had no idea that anyone had heard of their paranormal investigation business outside the western US. Lacey is even more surprised by the castle name. Is this a connection to her own family tree? She’s about to find out because they accept the offer and away they go.

 

Nice! I like how this one weaves Lacey’s family history into it. I’ve seen Sam’s family on the reservation, so it’s only fair to get some info on Lacey. And it’s a doozy! The ghosts are heart breaking though. I like the side characters and hope to see them again in another book. All-in-all a fast intriguing read.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/06/castle-walk.html
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review 2020-04-18 23:27
Desperate and Deceptive
Desperate and Deceptive: The Guinevere Jones Collection Volume 1 - Jayne Castle

Hoo boy...okay.

 

This book contains the first two books of the Guinevere Jones mysteries: The Desperate Game and The Chilling Deception. Both were originally published in 1986, and good grief, does it ever show.

 

The "hero" quite frankly (and excuse my language) was a dick. The heroine was pretty much a dishrag at times, despite that fact that I think she was intended to be a feminist character.

 

In the first book, the hero was pretty intolerable, and I was unsure I'd be able to get through it. But, thanks to a book light and sheer boredom, I prevailed. The second book was easier to get through, and I could see glimmers of Krentz/Quick/Castle heroes to come, but then this dude would say or do something that would enrage me all over again. I did find the heroine slightly more likeable in the second book, but there were times I wanted to grab her by the shoulder and shout that she could do better than this jerk.

 

From the perspective of a fan of this author, it was interesting to read a couple of her earlier books if only to see how much she improved during the ensuing years.

 

I have the second volume that contains the final two books, and I will read it. Just not right away, I don't think.

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review 2020-01-31 02:30
Meet The City of Trees' Resident Demon Hunter
Stone Cold Magic (Ella Grey Series Book 1) - Jayne Faith

(this post is about the audiobook edition that I'm too lazy to add to booklikes)

---

In 2001, a dimensional rift opens up in New York City, and all sorts of strange things come from out of it—demons, a virus that turns people into vampires, a zombie virus, and other assorted supernatural strangeness.

 

Thirty years later, Ella Gray is a Demon Patrol officer with modest magical ability. Her role is to keep her patrol area clean of minor demons that are little more than annoyances—there are more powerful officers in charge of taking down bigger threats. One day she and her partner try to take out some small demons only to find out there's a much bigger and more powerful demon in the building, too. In the following fracas, Ella and her partner are mortally wounded. Her partner dies, and Ella does, too. But her death doesn't stick and she wakes up in the morgue.

 

A few weeks later, she's back to work—she's having strange visions, has a new partner (with a mysterious past and more magical power than she's ever seen), a supervisor that seems pretty antagonistic to her and, well...life has become stranger than she thought possible. She finds herself investigating what seems to be a gargoyle possessed by a demon and somehow the gargoyle has imprisoned a human inside it, too. (don't worry if you can understand it, no one in the book can at first, either).

 

Ella enlists help from a very human PI with all sorts of nifty gadgets that can help on the supernatural front; a political activist always in search of a new cause to take up; her best friend, a pretty powerful mage; and a supernaturally-inclined mutt. No, really. The dog is a lot like Walt Longmire's Dog, just with freaky eyes and an apparent talent for protecting Ella from magical attacks. (some anyway). Such things ought to be encouraged whenever they're encountered, and I hope this will work in the dog's favor.

 

The novel's focus is setting up the world and looking at the tensions between various aspects of Ella's life and the characters around her. Although Faith tells a pretty good story along the way, I just can't help but think that it comes in second to setting up the overarching series stories.

 

I really enjoyed Faith's take on vampirism and zombies. It's a nice blend of vaguely-science-y with the supernatural. I have many questions (that I assume will be answered in the ensuing books) about the demons and magic—and just about everything that goes bump in the night, I guess—in this particular world, but initially I'm buying in.

 

I'm not saying that Faith borrowed (intentionally, anyway) from other UF series, but I had an impulse throughout to say "Oh, she got X from Kim Harrison," "And that bit is from Sarah Kuhn," "Is that Butcher or Strout there?" and so on. If she did, more power to her—she picked some good influences—and she took those elements, shuffled them up and put her spin on them. If she didn't, all the better—fans of the things I think were influences will find plenty to like here. My gut instinct is to say that Faith is a student of Urban Fantasy and has read widely within it so she can produce something that draws from the best. Ignore the voice of the cynic and enjoy this book.

 

To be honest, I wasn't looking for a new UF series (I'm always open to one, however), but a friend at work emailed me, wondering if I was familiar with this Urban Fantasy series that appears to be set in Boise of all places. This piqued my interest, and as I'd just finished an audiobook, I figured I'd take this one out for a spin. Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but Boise (and the general area) isn't exactly a popular setting for fiction. I can think of a tiny handful of books that have a character stepping foot in the town, but only two (this and Kolokowski's Boise Longpig Hunting Club) that actually portray the city in a recognizable fashion. Faith clearly knows Boise—her use of local names and locations testifies to that, and for those familiar with the city, we can easily see the action and movement of characters in it. Which is an added bit of fun, if only for the novelty. This isn't to say that people who don't know Boise will be lost or won't be able to enjoy it—it's like any other novel set in a city that's not commonly used. Who doesn't like getting to see a novel set somewhere that's not NYC, Washington DC, Chicago, LA, SF, etc? Briggs' use of the Tri-Cities in Washington, Vaughn's Denver, Carey's Pemkowet, Michigan; Hearne's (all-too-brief) use of Tempe, AZ, and, now, Faith's use of Boise.

 

(If—and this is a big if—Jayne Faith happens to be reading this, I'd love the opportunity to ask you a few questions about your choice of—and use of—Boise. Feel free to drop me a line!)

 

Landon does a fine job with the narration. I can't really think of much more to say—I didn't hear anything remarkably good (nor, remarkably bad) Simply a strong, capable narration to help listeners to get invested into the characters and story.

 

I really enjoyed this introduction to the Ella and the rest, the magic and the world Faith has put them in. I have a pretty good idea where some of the stories she's set up are going, and am looking forward to watching them develop. At the same time, I also look forward to Faith showing me that she has a better idea for them than I assume. It's a solid Urban Fantasy story with an unconventional setting. You should give it a shot.

2020 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2020/01/30/stone-cold-magic-by-jayne-faith-amy-landon-narrator-meet-the-city-of-trees-resident-demon-hunter
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review 2019-12-01 23:02
A Castle in Wartime - Catherine Bailey
A Castle in Wartime - Catherine Bailey

This is how highly I think of Catherine Bailey's work: she has a new book, I place an order, I receive it, I start reading it. Why no, I hadn't even noticed the subtitle until I pulled the book up here to mark it Currently Reading.
Doesn't matter. It's going to be fascinating.

***

And it was. I hate the title though. Not that I have a better suggestion.

The topic is right in my wheelhouse: women in wartime. In this case, a young woman, daughter of the German ambassador to Italy during WWII. She met and married an Italian nobleman, bore two sons, and tried to hold the estate, its farm, and the surrounding community safe against the Germans. Meanwhile her father and her husband are both off, fighting against their respective country's fascist leaders.

The Gestapo come for her, taking her and the boys to Austria, where they are taken from her and she is sent through a succession of concentration camps.

Italy isn't a country whose history I know very well, and although I've read a fair amount about WWII none of it was ever about the resistance within Germany to the Nazis and their atrocities. You know how in time travel stories everyone's first thought seems to be "Let's kill Hitler?" There couldn't have been many more attempts on his life if all those stories were true. I had no idea.

It is heartening to know that so many within these countries were resisting, often at enormous personal and familial cost. There are those who think blaming some poorly-treated minority for the ills of their society, rather than, say, the actual people who are running the government and controlling the capital. But there are also the others who despise aggression and are appalled by violence. I need to hear more of those stories.

Side bar: it is not a "brothel" full of "prostitutes" in the concentration camps. Rape as an act of war isn't any less horrific for being indoors and controlled by military authorities.

Library copy

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