Friday, March 27, 2015
On my quest to read a different type of literature, in this case historical mixed with fantasy, I came across this book. A fantastical murder mystery set during the time of Samuel Adams in Boston 1765 and I enjoyed every page of it.
I thought that D. B. Jackson did a really nice job with this tale. It easily transported me to Colonial Boston and the characters were all familiar since some of them were actual people from the time. Because I am sucker for description, I was taken with the setting and could honestly see the taverns, poor parts of town, rick parts of town, the wharfs, and even feel the cobble streets. A great deal of research was done for this book and it never once came off like a history lesson from 8th grade Social Studies.
The main character Ethan Kaille was pretty well rounded. In fact many of the characters were well developed. My only complaint with Ethan is that he seemed much more older in the way that he emoted than he actually was. I think that he was supposed to be in his thirties, but he came off as much older to me. Maybe even in his late forties. I also thought that he had interesting morals for basically being a thug or thief, which might be one of the reasons I found myself liking him.
Overall, the story was well paced and had some nice twists and turns. I especially enjoyed the scene in the tavern with Samuel Adams. Although, I had to keep telling my thoughts not to turn to the comedy sketch done by Dave Chappelle did in regards to Samuel Jackson selling beer. But I digress...I do wish that there was a little more action throughout it and that the conjuring side of the plot had been built up a little more. Especially since that is one of the main pieces to finding the murderer in the story. Speaking in Latin and then letting the ghost guide Reg do the casting seemed rather dull. If those scenes had been a little more fleshed out and fantastical, I think it would added another layer of dimension to the storyline.
The only other thing that needed wither further developing or should have been limited were all the beatings Ethan received from his enemy/rival Sephira Price. There were too many of them and I got a little tired of them as the plot went on. If they were taken out completely, I don't think that the storyline would have been weaker one bit. The only reason to keep them in would be a foreshadowing for a possible sequel, but even then, she could just be introduced in the next book.
If you enjoy fantasy books with a great deal of Colonial American History, then this book might be for you. If you're not big on spell casting and don't really enjoy American History, then this book might not be for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5
I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to review this book.
*May have a few things that could be considered spoilers*
When I saw the summary for this book I was instantly intrigued. I LOVE Beethoven and this book was a mystery set in Prague around his music. However, what I thought the book was going to be about and what it actually was when I finally read it, were two completely different things.
Sadly, there were several things about the book that detracted from how amazing it could have been. The main character Sarah and her sexual escapades was the biggest one for me. There was too much sex in the book for me and unless it serves a purpose to the plot, then it doesn't belong in the story. In this case it did not amplify or make the plot better and could have been left out without causing any issues with the overall feel of the book.
The other issue was the writing itself. I think at times it was quite brilliant and I loved all the music imagery in it. However, on many other occasions it seemed to detract from the story being told and I began to skip through areas. Flyte's attention to dialogue was quite wonderful though and it was extremely realistic. That I did enjoy, since I am not skilled at writing good dialogue.
For me, the last big issue was with the overall plot of the story. I was hoping that there would be some sort of time travel and it is shown that the main character Sarah was actually the "Immortal Beloved" the Beethoven wrote the three letters to that were never mailed. Unfortunately, the book really wasn't about the music, but about the Golden Fleece? It went from a murder mystery with political conspiracy to suddenly an alchemy driven search by a secret order. That was a little too much for the writing to handle and it did not work in the final version. I think that it would have been wise to stick with the Beethoven angle and then set it up for a sequel book dealing more with the alchemy and golden fleece plot.
If you like sexually driven characters that carry a murder mystery based novel, then this book may be for you. However, if you are like me and like your mysteries to have a little more mystery and little less sex, then this book may not be for you.
Rating: 2 out of 5
I borrowed this from my local library; I was not asked to write a review of this book.
This book was on a local book club's reading list and it sounded pretty interesting, so I checked it out.
At first I was taken in by the language and style of how the book was written. There was something about it that was different from what I had been reading and it was refreshing. I think that Kim Newman brought some wonderful description writing and in fact, the setting of where the book takes place is as much of character, if not more so, than the actual people characters brought to life among the pages.
It is interesting to see how a family moving into a home could alter themselves and the ghosts that inhabit the place upon doing so. This family was truly dysfunctional and it set up a wonderful foundation for a traditional ghost story with a few new tricks. Add in some ancient paranormal power, like the Druids for instance, and you have an explosion of supernatural potential.
However, about a third of the way in when it starts to take on that paranormal/horror persona, it began to get a little out of control and the structure of the piece began to suffer. I wish that Newman would have really thought about pacing and about why parts of the book happened in the places that they did. The biggest problem I had was how the book actually ended. Without giving too much away, it was almost as if the whole book was a family therapy session of sorts and that is not really what I am looking for when reading a scary book.
There were a few parts in the book that made me say things out loud, which is why I am not completely upset with spending the time I did reading it. The moment when the mother put the son in the magical dresser was one of them. I think I might have even got a little misty eyed as I wondered what would become of the little boy.
If you are someone who needs their scary books to be so freaky that you can't read them at night without every light on in the house, (or apartment or dorm room or hotel), then this book isn't for you. If you don't mind reading a scary book only to find out that you were in therapy for a few hours, then this book might be for you. Overall, an interesting book that had a few wonderful, nail biting moments.
Rating: 3 out of 5
I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to write a review of this book.
This book was on my local library recommendation list and because I enjoy historical fiction, I decided to give it a try. However, I did not realize that this is part of a series and I am torn as to if I will read the next one.
What I really like about C. S. Harris' writing is that it does appear that she tried to research the time period to make the setting very realistic. There was quite a great deal of effort and description of the region and time. Harris also did a pretty decent job with describing the politics of the era and how political decisions were sometimes 'influenced', in a manner of speaking.
From the beginning I was taken by the viscount Sebastian. Harris developed his character very well. I had no doubt what he looked like and found myself wondering about his unique eye color along with the way his movements were described. There was a part of me that was hoping a little bit of fantasy writing could have been implemented here instead of staying in the real world realm. He would have been even more intriguing with some sort of power. Unfortunately, it the author notes at the end of the boy, the wonderfully romanticized version I had created of Sebastian was shattered as Harris revealed what type of genetic anomaly the viscount may have actually had.
Overall, there were some interesting passages and I thought that the pacing was well done. In the back of my mind, I felt like I was still looking for something and I don't know that I ever got to that "can't put the book down must keep reading at all costs" point. It was interesting, but it wasn't a page turner for me.
If you like mysteries set in historical England then this book might be for you. However, if you need constant twists, turns, and action then this book may not be for you. Overall, a cozy little mystery book that won't keep you up at night, but was just enough entertaining to finish.
Rating: 3 out of 5
I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to give a review of this book.