Sunday Post – 8th January 2017

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

Christmas now seems a distant dream, but I’ve still been having a lovely social time as my sister has been staying for the past week. She lives in France, so it’s been brilliant catching up with her. As a result, I haven’t been online quite as much as usual – and have also been busy working on this term’s course at Northbrook, which starts on Monday.

On Tuesday I hosted my first blog tour, which was something of a milestone – I’d like to do more. On Wednesday, Mhairi came over for the day and we set our Shoot for the Moon targets together for the coming year and looked at how we’d done in 2016 – both posts I’ll be publishing in the near future. Readingwise, the start of 2017 has been mixed – I’ve read a couple of great books, but also encountered my first DNF of the year which was something of a disappointment as it doesn’t happen all that often these days. Hopefully, it will be an aberration.

This week I have read:
Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn
martiansabroadPolly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly’s plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever. Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there’s more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high.

I really enjoyed this interesting school-based, science fiction YA offering. The twist with this one is the protagonist and her brother come from Mars, so find Earth with its heavier gravity and profusion of life very difficult. Some of their classmates aren’t all that friendly, either – so when stuff starts happening around them, they are dangerously isolated. I like Vaughn’s writing and this one is great fun – those of you who enjoyed Janet Edwards’ Earthgirl series may also like Martians Abroad.

 

The Falconer – Book 1 of The Falconer series by Elizabeth May
She’s a stunner. Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the thefalconerMarquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.
She’s a liar. But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.
She’s a murderer. Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.
She’s a Falconer. The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

I’ve seen recommendations for this series by various bloggers and so was delighted when Himself brought it home from the library and plonked it front of me with a command to read it. He was right – it’s a storming read. May manages to balance the rarified life of a gently bred heiress with the vicious savagery of her regular battles very effectively. I’ve now ordered the second one and am waiting eagerly for its appearance.

 

Strangers by Rosie Thomas
strangersSometimes the victims of tragedy are the ones who survive. Annie and Steve are from different worlds. She is a wife and mother, he is a wealthy executive with a stream of broken relationships in his wake. They do not know each other exists until one morning, on a shopping expedition, they becomes victims of a bomb blast, thrown together in the debris to fight for their lives. As they lie in the darkness and the rubble, the hours slowly tick by. To ward off fear and death they talk: of everything they have to live for, of their disappointments, loves, failures and their hopes. And so a bond is created that binds them deeper than family, than friends, than lovers. With such strange intimacy, such strange trust, how can they get through the future without each other?

Well this book starts with a bang. Trapped in the debris of a department store, Annie and Steve are injured and afraid. But the bomb doesn’t just snare them in a nightmare scenario – it blasts apart their former lives and leaves them to pick up the pieces. Thomas’s vivid writing really captures the desperation and pain these two endure, however I did have difficulty in believing they wouldn’t have been offered counselling and help to get through the mental trauma they suffered.

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 1st January 2017

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Graveyard Shift – Book 10 of the Pepper Martin mysteries by Casey Daniels

BLOG TOUR – Freeks by Amanda Hocking

2016 Discovery Challenge and Tackling my TBR – December Roundup

Review of Just One Damned Thing After Another – Book 1 of The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor

Friday Faceoff – Undernearth the spreading chestnut tree… featuring Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Series I Want to Continue in 2017

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:
Edyth and Andrew kissing on top of taxis https://photolicioux.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/edythe-and-andrew-kissing-on-top-of-taxis/
There is a steady stream of lovely photos from this quirky site – and this is one of them…

Tsundoku: The Art of Not Reading https://kristentwardowski.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/tsundoku-the-art-of-not-reading/
For word nerds everywhere, but particularly those who are avid readers – and surely as we are all feverishly spending our book tokens, this is especially apt.

Caramel https://richardankers.com/2017/01/04/caramel/ Another thought-provoking micro fiction story from this insanely prolific author.

Happy Birthday Mabes! https://readlorigreer.com/2017/01/05/happy-birthday-mabes/ A poignant and beautifully written article about that most interesting and loaded of relationships – a young wife and her mother in law.

Five Fascinating Facts about The Merchant of Venice https://interestingliterature.com/2017/01/06/five-fascinating-facts-about-the-merchant-of-venice/ Once more this informative site produces another readable article that teaches me something I didn’t know about a much-loved classic.

Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

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24 responses »

  1. Martians Abroad has a nice premise- the MArtians coming to Earth rather than vice versa with colonists. I remember wanting to read The Falconer too and never did, although I read an excerpt and was intrigued. Fae hunting was an idea that appealed to me, maybe I’ll get to this one at some point.

    Congrats on the blog tour- and sorry to hear about the DNF. Happy reading this week!

    • Thank you, Maureen – I’ve had the best Christmas in a very long time despite 2016 being an awful year for both of us… And spending quality time with my wonderful sister was icing on the cake. Thank you for swinging by and I hope you, too, have a great reading week:)

  2. I’m pretty interested in reading the Falconer too. I’ve seen the cover around but what other bloggers have said made me curious. Lol that’s funny how u were ordered to read it lol.

    • When he tells me to read it in that tone of voice I generally pay attention – it means he’s sure I’m going to love it:). And he’s generally right… I’ll be reviewing it in due course.

  3. That’s nice you go to catch up with your sister. And yay on hosting your first blog tour!

    I got Martian’s Abroad from netgalley and hope to read it soon. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it and you make me even more excited to pick it up now! I also heard good things about the Falconer, but I haven’t read it myself. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    • Thank you, Lola:) Yes, it was lovely having her to stay and properly catch up – I’m missing her today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Martian’s Abroad – the premise was interesting and I think mostly very well done. I hope you, too, have a great week.

  4. It’s wonderful you get to spend time with your sister. I’m looking the books you shared today. My poor Kindle is playing hide and seek so I won’t add more books. LOL Have a lovely day!

    My Sunday Post

    • Well all my restraint and stern lectures to myself to keep my TBR under control has flown RIGHT out of the window… What with a rather intense NetGalley session where they approved every single one of my requests AND a spending spree courtesy of some book tokens I was given – I’m back to square one! Or is it minus one? lol… Oh well, I shall now have to read then, won’t I? I hope you, too, have a great day and a wonderful reading week as well, Laura:)

    • He’s a Keeper:). I’d love to know what you make of The Falconer – I’ve just ordered the second book from the library. Hope you feel in top form soon, Kimba.

  5. I don’t do many book tours – half a dozen a year at the most – probably more like 3-4 but I don’t find them particularly enjoyable. I don’t hate them but they feel a bit ‘forced’ sometimes.

    By the way, I know what you mean about Christmas. My mother visited yesterday (Sunday our time) and it occurred to me it has been 2wks since Christmas! ONLY 2 weeks but it felt like forever ago. It’s funny that the time before Christmas flew by but since then it’s felt slower. Perhaps time speeds up as the year passes!?

  6. Sounds like a nice visit with your sister! Most of your books are new to me though The Falconer has now definitely caught my eye! I’ve read 2 books by Rosie Thomas and really enjoyed them. This one sounds really good as well though like you I think it is odd that they weren’t offered any kind of counseling after an explosion. Have a great week!

    • Thank you, Katherine:). The house feels rather empty now my sister has gone home, but as I started back teaching today, I haven’t had time to really dwell on it. I hope you, too, have a wonderfull week.

  7. Christmas does seem like forever ago already… But that tends to happen with every holiday season, doesn’t it? I’m glad you enjoyed your visit with your sister, and I look forward to reading your Shoot For The Moon goals for 2017 (and your evaluation of last year’s). And yay for The Falconer! If you enjoyed the first book, then the second one might blow you out of the water (in a good way, of course).

    • Thank you, Sara. It was one of the best Christmases I’ve had for a very long time and family issues were largely resolved which was marvellous:)). I’m looking forward to Falconer #2 – it’s in at the library, so we’re collecting it tomorrow:). Now I’ve got all my course admin out of the way, I should be able to sit down and write all the blogs I’ve slipped behind with.

  8. It’s crazy all the months of prep we put into a holiday that’s over in a blink of an eye. At least that’s how it feels. Hope you had a lovely holiday with your friends and family and a wonderful new years eve.

    Take care!

    • I did, thank you – though as you say, it seems a very long time ago and passed by in something of a blur. I loved your Christmas tree – it looked beautiful in the corner and at least we had all those lovely twinkling coloured lights shining out into the December gloom! A happy and successful 2017, Melissa:)

  9. I’m always stunned how you manage to balance your reading and social life: not that I have any of the latter, but I’d still love to balance my reading with other aspects of life.

    • Thank you! Though I’m not sure I can claim there’s been all that much balance this month… I do feel a tad overwhelmed at present, though I’m sure things will get more normal (whatever that is!) soon.

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