Tuesday, 21 October 2014

GoodRead - A New York Christmas

Ok, I am writing this blogpost in September, but I think I shall post this near the UK publication date so end of October, which means I am breaking my own rule of writing review when I finished the book and airing it when it's written. Oh well!

Jemima Pitt arrives in New York. The year is 1904. She's there to chaperone her friend, Delphinia, across the ocean to marry one of New York's richest men. But when Jemima discovers a secret that could ruin the wedding, she tries to protect her friend.

And it backfires. Soon, Jemima has to prove her innocence in an unfamiliar city...

I requested this from BookBridgr on impulse. Plus, was going through a phase where I wanted to read Christmas reads and was requesting them (this was my third, if I remember correctly) and I thought this would be a light, cozy read.

Which it was. It's a novella that I can imagine fans reading on Christmas Day after Christmas lunch and the Queen's Speech to past the time before the Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing or Downton Abbey started.

However, while I liked it, I sense this novella wasn't for me. I love a good cozy murder mystery (remember, I own two DVDs of Murder, She Wrote - DON'T JUDGE ME!), but it was a tad too cozy for my tastes. I feel that this story was aimed for an older target audience rather than someone in their late twenties.

But, it was a different read for me, and I always like to try something new. And while it has started to get me in the mood for Christmas (I hate Halloween so am ignoring that holiday!) and I wanted something fast to read before I dare tackle a beast of a book (which I sense I have reviewed already... hopefully...), this story just wasn't my cup of mulled wine.

Monday, 20 October 2014

SMILE - Imperfection is Beauty

I saw this somewhere and I have always found it such a cool quote, so I wanted to share it with you!

My thanks goes to Pinterest for the best pic I could find with this quote.

If you want to follow all my boards on Pinterest, go to http://www.pinterest.com/pewterwolf/. Or, if you only just want to follow my SMILE board, go to http://www.pinterest.com/pewterwolf/smile/.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

GoodRead - The Guest Cat

I was meant to have this week off. This was meant to be a tiny RSM - my "radio silence" blog break. But I read this very quickly. Within 3 to 4 days so I thought I would quickly type this review up and then do the horror of "Picking My Next Read" (I shall ask Twitter to pick!).

In this translation, we follow a couple who rent a small cottage in the quiet side of Tokyo, who work as freelance writers. One day, a cat walks into their garden. After spending most of the day there, the cat's leave but returns the next day. And the following day. And the day after that. Soon, tiny joys that this cat brings towards this couple, and bring this couple closer together. And then something happens that changes all that. 

Now, because I read this on holiday, I can only really see this as a holiday read. I found this an easy read and the language used was simple yet there were times the writing was very beautiful. You can tell that Takashi Hiraide is a poet. His use of language is simple yet effective. You know he took time writing this story. 

However, because I read this while on holiday, it was an easy read and there was a few times I did wonder about the couple and the cat (I had cats in my life so I know that cats, while loving creatures, are only loyal to the person who feeds them. I know some cats that have food from several "owners"... don't ask), and there were paragraphs where it did feel like I was reading a translation because it felt "jarring" to read. 

It was a nice holiday read that I liked, so I sense some of you guys will love and some of you will hate. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Magnus Bane Quote Vote!

Also, you can have a look at http://www.ink-slingers.co.uk/ in the coming dates for the sixteen quotes and watching them battle it out for the next few weeks! 

SMILE - What on Earth Am I Doing Here On This Beautiful Day?!

My thanks goes to Calvin and Hobbes (Not heard of them? GO! GO NOW!!!) and, of course, Pinterest!

If you want to follow all my boards on Pinterest, go to http://www.pinterest.com/pewterwolf/. Or, if you only just want to follow my SMILE board, go to http://www.pinterest.com/pewterwolf/smile/.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

GoodRead - Last Days in Hunting Camp

As you guys are probably aware that I love The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Love it! So last Thursday, when I discovered by fluke, that there was a small eNovella linked to the character within the Snow Child, I instantly bought it (even though I am meant to be saving money).

Every year in their long marriage, Walt and Millie spend a month apart. Walt goes hunting for bear and moose while Millie takes to the concert stage with her violin. Throughout this month, they write letters to each other every week. But Walt begins to realise that this might be his last camping trip, and with a black bear prowling round the camp site, Walt begins to wonder if the letter he's written in his pocket will ever react Millie...

Ok, I am going to admit this here and now. I had my expectations of this short story REALLY HIGH because I loved The Snow Child. Because of this, Last Days in Hunting Camp didn't live up to my expectation. I'm not sure if it is because I had high expectations, if the story felt different compared to my memory of The Snow Child or if it's because there was the use of swear words (only twice, if I remember right) whereas I'm certain The Snow Child didn't.

But I did like it. It was interesting to have more insight into these characters's world before the events of The Snow Child and I did enjoy Eowyn's writing.

While this might not live up to the memory of the quietly beautiful Snow Child, it does get me excited for Eowyn's next novel, which should be out sometime next year (hopefully)...

Friday, 10 October 2014

GoodRead - Dreams of Gods and Monsters

As you guys are probably aware, I am a fan of this series. I liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone, loved Days of Blood and Starlight and I devoured Night of Cakes and Puppets. So, of course, I had to get my hands on a copy of Dreams of Gods and Monsters when it came out back in April. I got one of the special first editions that was signed and had a drawing (by the author) of Karou. 

So, why have I waited to review it now? Because I was just swamped with books. And it's size! I got scared by its size and, also, I had The Fear. The series was such a good urban fantasy that I was scared that, somehow, the final book in this series wouldn't live up to the hype. 

So, I held off. And then, the lovely Fliss from Midas (working on behalf of Audible.co.uk) asked if I wanted an audiobook version of this and I said no. Then changed my mind. And Fliss was very kind to send me a credit to download the audiobook. 

Now, before I go, I would like to make clear that I only listened to under half of the audiobook and I read the rest. I have reasons which I will get to, but bear with me. 

In this, the final book in the series, Jael's forces have made their way to Earth. Pretending to be holy angels, they are playing on religion and the fears of the humans to get weapons to crush his enemies once and for all. 

But for Karou and Akiva are going to stop. Or die trying. They must ally their enemy armies to defeat Jael. It's a twisted version of their dream from previous life. But Jael isn't the only threat... 

Now, let me explain why I only listened to under the audiobook. It took me over a month or so to get to that point. I stopped because of two reasons. The first was the last chapter I listened to, a section was missing. I think this was because of the download or the file got corrupt on my laptop/iPhone. The second reason, and the most important, was that there were times when the audiobook didn't follow the text within the book. It wasn't a big deal when it was a sentence of a slang/saying. But in one chapter, a paragraph was added. Out of nowhere. Which makes me think the audiobook is read from the US edition rather than the UK edition... 

And with reader of the audiobook - Kristen Hvan. I liked her voice - it fitted well with Laini's writing style. Though it did take me a while to get use to Kristen's voices from Zuzana and Mik - well, they are my favorite characters and, when I first heard them, I thought Kristen was having a laugh! 

Now, my thoughts of this book. I really liked it. I didn't love it like Night of Cakes and Puppets and Days of Blood and Starlight, but I really enjoyed it. I liked the fact that we had the new character, Eliza - a character who became a fave of mine very quickly (although not as much as Zuzana and Mik. Who, while reading this book, I was scared that Laini was going to kill off! If she did, I'm not sure I could forgive her...). And with the plot and twists, I liked how this book ended the series. 

I can completely get why there are some people that didn't like it. Some people will say the ending was too open-ended (which means that Laini could return to this world), certain characters never really got their just-dessert... 

But I enjoyed myself once I got into my stride (which was when I actually read the book), and I'm quite excited to read more from Laini Taylor's pen. 

GoodRead - The Lady Astronaut of Mars

I read this earlier in the week but only just now have time to write a tiny review for this short eNovella. The story is part of anthology where each story takes the opening line/character from a "classic" but put it into a sci-fi setting. This story takes the opening line of Wizard of Oz.

Just so you know, you can read this story for free on Tor.com or you can pay 36p on Amazon Kindle so either way, you can read this story for less that 50p. BARGAIN!!!

Sixty-three year old Elma is offered her dream - one last mission in space. It will be a three year-long mission. But there's a problem. Her husband, Nathaniel, has barely a year to live.

So, this a short sci-fi story that isn't sci-fi.

For a story that's inspired by the opening line of Wizard of Oz, we see very little of Dorothy, but we focus of the story/marriage of Elma and Nathaniel and I found this the main reason why I stream through this short story within an hour.

It's a sweet, yet sad and I feel you guys will enjoy this tale that will make you look at the stars (and your grandparents) in a slightly different way...