Sunday Post – 23rd April 2017


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.

It’s been all about the grandchildren this last week, as they have been with us again. Unlike most of their recent stays, the weather has been grand – though the fly in the ointment has been poor little Oscar’s hacking cough and heavy cold. So instead of trips to the Wetland and Wildfowl Trust, along the beach and to the bluebell woods, we had to rein in our activities. We did manage a couple of trips to the cinema – the first to see Beauty and the Beast which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Oscar and I returned to see a truly dreadful Smurf film yesterday instead of the proposed trip to the climbing wall, which was vetoed by me because of his cough. We did manage a visit to Highdown Gardens on Thursday. It was a beautiful morning – bright sunshine without the easterly wind and I decided we all needed some fresh air and the added pick-me-up of a wonderful display of Spring flowers. As ever, it was lovely and the children had fun running around together.


This week I have read:

The Tropic of Serpents – Book 2 of The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
Attentive readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world’s premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career. Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics. The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell . . . where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.
Once again, I loved being swept off to the steamy humidity of the jungle where Lady Trent finds herself confronted with a lot more than the savage swamp-wyrms. Brennon’s plucky adventuress leaps off the page with her frankness in how she defied social conventions to follow her passion to discover more about dragons.

From Darkest Skies by Sam Peters
After a five year sabbatical following the tragic death of his wife and fellow agent Alysha, Keona Rause returns to the distant colony world of Magenta to resume service with the Magentan Intelligence Service. With him he brings an artificial recreation of his wife’s personality, a simulacrum built from every digital trace she left behind. She has been constructed with one purpose – to discover the truth behind her own death – but Keona’s relationship with her has grown into something more, something frighteningly dependent, something that verges on love. Cashing in old favours, Keona uses his return to the Service to take on a series of cases that allow him and the artificial Alysha to piece together his wife’s last days. His investigations lead him inexorably along the same paths Alysha followed five years earlier, to a sinister and deadly group.
This far-future murder mystery is a classy, accomplished noir whodunit set on a miserable planet with too much gravity and weather, as Rause returns to Magenta to confront unanswered questions about the bombing incident in which his wife died. And uncovers a whole lot more…

Goldfish From Beyond the Grave – Book 4 of the Undead Pets series by Sam Hay
Just when Joe thought things couldn’t get any stranger, he is visited by Fizz, a zombie goldfish. Fizz was flushed down the toilet by his owner Danny’s little sister, who doesn’t realize that she’s sent the fish to a watery grave. Fizz needs to ensure the truth is revealed before his fellow fish meet a similar fate. But how do you get a goldfish to rest in peace?
Well, this is a hoot! I love the premise that Joe’s magical amulet given to him by his archaeologist uncle means that undead animals look to him to solve their unresolved problems. Fizz the goldfish is definitely on the warpath after being flushed down the toilet and determined to discover who perpetrated the crime.

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 16th April 2017

Top Ten Unique Reads…

Teaser Tuesday featuring From Darkest Skies by Sam Peters

Review of Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan

Review of How To Twist a Dragon’s Tale – Book 5 of How To Train a Dragon series by Cressida Cowell

Friday Face-off – Burning my bridges… featuring The Bridge by Janine Ellen Young

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of From Darkest Skies by Sam Peters

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

Seven of the Best Epic Poems by Female Poets Once more this excellent site has come up trumps with another informative, interesting article.

How To Fail Dismally at Book Blogging I loved this funny, helpful guide on how avoid some of the pitfalls that can stall your book blog.

Meeting Deadlines – Remember to Breathe! Fellow Grimmie author and all-round thoroughly nice person Sophie has had a real roller-coaster month – and a cautionary tale for freelance artists…

It’s a Dog’s Life I laughed out loud at this quirky, funny story – if you want some light relief swing by and enjoy this one.

Why Not More Love for the Brontë Sisters? Having been a fan of their writing for a very long time, it has often puzzled me why Charlotte, Emily and Anne are not a lot more popular, given the rise and rise of nostalgia for classic reads.

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

38 responses »

  1. Sounds like you had a great week, despite little Oscar’s cough. Oh, I hate it when the little ones (or big ones) are sick.

    The books, as usual, are new to me. Enjoy! Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

  2. I have promised to do Beauty and the Beast this next weekend but had heard kids were finding it sad? I am quite looking forward to it still. Sounds like you have had a nice weeks with the grandkids.

  3. Those Brennan books look so good- I just love the imagery of a humid jungle and swamp- wyrms. How awesome. I need to get those. And From Darkest Skies sounds like it might be up my alley, too. Will look into.

    Glad you had nice weather. I hope it sticks around!!

    • Yes… though having looked at the weather forecast, we’re in for a cold snap, apparently. And yes – the Brennan books really are great, while I think you’d enjoy From Darkest Skies, too. Have a great week, Greg.

  4. I hope Oscar is feeling better soon. Those coughs can be pretty nasty. I am glad you enjoyed Beauty and the Beast. I did too! It’s too bad the Smurf movie wasn’t better. I admit I have not had any real urge to see it.

    From Darkest Skies sounds really intriguing–and unique. I will have to look for that one.

    I hope you have a great week, Sarah!

    • Thank you, Wendy – it really is a nasty hacking cough and leaves him struggling for breath. Yes, wasn’t Beauty and the Beast a delight? I hope you have a great week, too.

  5. A couple weeks ago my husband and I took our 5-year-old to see Beauty and the Beast – she LOVES Belle – and we all ended up enjoying the movie. On the whole we were very impressed how close they stayed to the original.

    And glad to hear you enjoyed The Tropic of Serpents! This is one of my favorite series, and I just recently finished the last book. It was very enjoyable, though I can’t help feeling a bit sad that the series has come to an end 🙂

    • Yes, the film really has stayed true to the original – but with some extra slices of backstory that I thoroughly enjoyed. Yes – I am LOVING the Lady Trent series:)). No wonder you are feeling a bit bereft it you’ve reached the end…

  6. That’s so nice that you get to spend so much time with the grandchildren! I’m sorry little Oscar has been so ill though 😦 That’s awful.

    I loved Beauty and The Beast and I’m debating going back to watch it again!!! 🙂

    I hope you’re having a lovely week this week and that everyone is healthy and happy!

  7. Sounds like you and your family had a lovely week, Sarah. The flowers are blooming here, too, and I’m looking forward to visiting my parents next weekend to (among other things) see how their yard is coming along. My mom is a gardener like you (I love flowers, too, but I didn’t inherit her green thumb), and her front and back gardens are always lush and colorful. 🙂

    I really want to go see Beauty and the Beast at some point… but I’m terrible at making time to go to the movies when I’m home. :S

    • Yes, it was very busy, but lovely to spend so much time with the children again. Himself is being a star and helping the garden to come to life this year as I am flat out with writing and teaching just now. I highly recommend Beauty and the Beast – particularly if you enjoyed the Disney version at all. It’s a joy.

  8. I hope you had a fun time with your grand kids visiting. i hope your grandson his cough is doing better by now. And that’s nice you got to see Beauty and the Beats. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I might watch it eventually. I heard good things about it. I like the title and cover of Undead Pets, it sounds like a fun one! I hope this week was a good one.

  9. Sorry to hear that Oscar’s cough got in the way of your planned activities. I hope their next stay at your place will have a great weather and you’ll be able to make up for the missed trips.

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