Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Midnight Witch By, Paula Brackston


I loved The Midnight Witch By, Paula Brackston.  Taking place in London during the Edwardian era, The Midnight Witch begins with a funeral.  The death of Lilith's father brings about a major change in her life, not just the loss of her father, but new responsibilities, one of them being becoming the new head of the Lazarus coven.  Lilith tested and challenged throughout this tale with the; taking care of her troublesome brother, placating her mother, keeping a relic out of the hands of a nefarious group of sorcerers, dealing with a love triangle, keeping coven secrets, living a dual life, and becoming the woman her father would be proud of.  She struggles between following her heart and doing what is 'sensible' and proper.  The Midnight Witch doesn't disappoint, it's full of an array of different personalities from maleficent villains, and love struck artists, bohemian households, dubious spirits, and gallant fianc├ęs.  The only thing that I didn't like about it was that there weren't chapters, or breaks between which character I was with, but I received this book as an advance copy, so that probably will not be a problem when the book has been released.  This was a very enjoyable read I highly recommend it.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Furies By, Mark Alpert


John an unemployed, ex-gang member, meets a beautiful woman in a bar.  They spend the night talking, and connecting, leading up to what was suppose to be a night of lust.  It ends much differently than expected.  This novel is full of action, secret societies, genetic mutations, biker gangs, and betrayal.  The Furies has such potential to be a great novel, but there were things that just didn't work for me in this book.  The first and most important thing that would have helped me to connect with the story is the introduction.  The novel wholly takes place in the present; do not put something from the Elizabethan area, when the reader will never be brought back to that time period.  Everything that is shown in the introductory chapter is explained later in the book.  I would really drive the mystery of the story if the introduction were cut out of the book.  The second thing that was confusing to me was creating God, or 'birthing' God into the world.  I can understand wanting to make the world a better place, or creating heaven on earth, but how exactly would this group of people 'create God', it just didn't make sense to me.  Also if this group of people doesn't believe in a God or a deity, then why are they always thanking a 'Mother' or asking a 'Mother' for help.  It seems to me that they do believe in God, just a female representation of God.  Also, I'm not wholly buying into an FBI agent being as gullible as Agent Larson was in this book. The last thing that bothered me was the second sex scene, it was downright clinical.  Maybe, I didn't get it because I am a woman and it was written with a male audience in mind, but it made me uncomfortable reading it.  I have read books with a lot of sex in them, so it's not that I am shy and feel ashamed reading about sex, it wasn't unconventional dirty sex either...  I guess I am going to have to stick with it being too clinical.  I really hope that a second addition of this book is released, maybe with some rewrites, because I really like the idea behind the book, and I really enjoyed the science fiction aspect of it.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Here and Now By, Ann Brashares


I loved, The Here and Now, Preena a teenage girl from the future, has time traveled to our present time.  Preena is living here with a group of fellow time travelers who live by stringent rules, geared towards fitting in with the present time and not affecting the 'natives'.  Preena works hard to follow these rules until she meets a 'native' Ethan.  Preena lives in a world where connections are hard to make, the people in her community have been highly affected by the future they have come from, unable to talk about what they went through with each other, due to the communities rules, making it difficult to have meaningful friendships and romantic relationships within the community.  Ethan a smart guy who is in a lot of Preena's advance classes, he is charming, popular, cute, and kind.  Ethan is the ideal 'nice guy'.  The Here and Now, has everything from young romance, corrupt governments, apocalyptic disease,  and trying to save the world.  I highly recommend this young adult novel, the characters are easy to relate to, the story is believable, there are surprises and twists, and the narrative never drags.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Solsbury Hill By, Susan M. Wyler


Solsbury Hill is a novel about a woman, Eleanor, who is content with her life in New York.  She is dating a man, Miles, who she has known since she was a child and her clothing line is just taking off.  Her life is shook-up, when she receives a phone call from England letting her know that her Aunt is ill and wants to see her before she dies.  I wish I could write that I liked this book, but I would be lying.  I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters; they felt like outlines of people, not whole individuals.  That's not to say that the entire book was bad, parts of it were really good.  The pieces of the story just didn't gel together.  It is loosely based on Wuthering Heights, mainly on having to decide between two men, and trying to not make the choice that you will live to regret.  I guess there are gothic elements in the book, an old house on a moor, a dying relative that Eleanor never really knew, and ghosts, but it didn't have the drive that most gothic novels have.  I never felt a real turmoil in regards to Eleanor's choice between two men.  I really did, however, enjoy the budding relationship Eleanor has while Trent Hall.  The idea behind this novel is an interesting one, but it just wasn't the book for me.

This was originally published at:
http://www.firsttoread.com/Profile/Reviews.aspx

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Collector of Dying Breaths By, M. J. Rose


The Collector of Dying Breaths, is a romance mystery novel, alchemy, perfume, reincarnation, poison, occult, divination, past life regression, soul mates, murder and betrayal are woven into this tale.  The story is told through the eyes of Rene a perfumer living in 1533, in the court of Catherine de Medici.  As well as the life of a woman living in modern times Jac.  Jac is a TV shows celebrity that focuses on mythology; she also has skills as a perfumer, which is the family trade.  She is brought to France to care for her sick brother, Robbie, while in France Jac is left to take up where Robbie left off.  I liked this book, it has some slow parts to it, but over all I really liked this book.  It was lacking in suspense and at the end, I figured out some of the mystery before the book was over.  The use of past and present works in this book, it is written from first person point of view in the past, and third person point of view in the present.  This works it flowed well, and made it so that the reader knows what time period they are reading in.  The idea of soul mates is well executed in this book, as well as the relationship of Jac and her brother.