Sunday Post – 30th April 2017

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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.

Looking back, I feel glad that I was sympathetic and concerned about poor little Oscar’s cold last week, because I went down with the wretched thing like a sack of spanners and have been absolutely flattened. I’ve spent most of the week in bed reading and sleeping, hence the rather ridiculously long list below… And I’m still feeling like a piece of chewed string.

 

This week I have read:

Snared – Book 16 of the Elemental Assassins series by Jennifer Estep
My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive. A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.
I really enjoyed this slice in the ongoing adventure of Gin Blanco’s life as she battles to find a kidnapped girl and uncover more about the shadowy organisation that were responsible for her mother and sister’s death. An engrossing urban fantasy murder mystery.

Dancing with Death – Book 1 of the Nell Drury series by Amy Myers
1925. The fashionable Bright Young Things from London have descended on Wychbourne Court, the Kentish stately home of Lord and Lady Ansley, for an extravagant fancy dress ball followed by a midnight Ghost Hunt – and Chef Nell Drury knows she’s in for a busy weekend. What she doesn’t expect to encounter is sudden, violent death.
A houseful of likely suspects with plenty of above and below stairs motivations and suspicious behaviour… This 1920’s historical cosy mystery was a cracking read and took me away from my bed of pain.

 

Reaper – Book 1 from the End Game series by Janet Edwards
In the year 2519, people on Earth don’t grow old and die any longer, their bodies are frozen and they start a new life in the virtual reality of the Game. Jex is almost eighteen, working twelve hour shifts, and dreaming of when she’ll be legally adult and begin her long-planned idyllic life in Game. When a bomber attacks a Game server complex, one of the virtual worlds of Game crashes, and eleven thousand immortal players die during emergency defrost. Death has struck Game for the first time in centuries, and Jex is questioned as a suspect in the bombing.
I really enjoyed this depiction of a stripped, monochrome world where all the adults have disappeared into virtual reality, while children’s childhood have also gone. Jex, on the cusp of being able to slough her actual body and become her virtual persona, finds herself a suspect for a bombing. This is a murder mystery with a difference – clever, inventive and enjoyable.

Fool’s Gold – Book 8 of the Liberty Lane series by Caro Peacock
September, 1841. A new arrival has taken London society by storm. Lord Byron’s handsome illegitimate son, George, recently arrived from the exotic island of Cephalonia in the company of his guardian, the mysterious Mr Vickery, has been setting female hearts aflutter. But not all the attention George attracts is welcome. Mr Vickery has been receiving disturbing letters from a woman who calls herself Helena, and he hires Liberty Lane to find out who Helena is and what she wants.
Yes… I know there is something of a theme going on here – yet another murder mystery. But they are all quite different – really. And this one features determined and observant Liberty Lane, trying to work out exactly what is the secret behind George and who he is. Another one that took me right away from my thick-headed misery and into another world.

Scavenger Alliance – Book 1 of the Exodus series by Janet Edwards
In the year 2408, a century after the invention of interstellar portals, seven hundred people scavenge a living in abandoned New York. The respectable citizens have either withdrawn to new settlements in the countryside, or joined the great exodus of humanity to new, unpolluted colony worlds, but eighteen-year-old Blaze is one of the undesirables that neither the citizen settlements nor the new colony worlds will accept.
This adventure is set in the same world as Edwards’ best-selling Earthgirl series, but much earlier. A survivor colony is scratching out a living in the ruins of New York, when they are confronted with a small group from another world. I loved this one, having been a solid fan of the Earthgirl books and couldn’t put it down until I got to the dramatic end.

A Tyranny of Queens – Book 2 of the Manifold Worlds series by Foz Meadows
Saffron Coulter has returned from the fantasy kingdom of Kena. Threatened with a stay in psychiatric care, Saffron has to make a choice: to forget about Kena and fit back into the life she’s outgrown, or pit herself against everything she’s ever known and everyone she loves. Meanwhile in Kena, Gwen is increasingly troubled by the absence of Leoden, cruel ruler of the kingdom, and his plans for the captive worldwalkers, while Yena, still in Veksh, must confront the deposed Kadeja. What is their endgame? Who can they trust? And what will happen when Leoden returns?
I was thrilled when I saw this sequel to the fantastic An Accident of Stars – see my review here – which was one of my outstanding reads of last year. It was a real treat to catch up on Saffron after her shock return home. This was another engrossing, vivid world full of adventure and excitement that took me away from my hacking cough and aching limbs.

Cold Welcome – Book 1 of Vatta’s Peace by Elizabeth Moon
Summoned to the home planet of her family’s business empire, space-fleet commander Kylara Vatta is told to expect a hero’s welcome. But instead she is thrown into danger unlike any other she has faced and finds herself isolated, unable to communicate with the outside world, commanding a motley group of unfamiliar troops, and struggling day by day to survive in a deadly environment with sabotaged gear. Only her undeniable talent for command can give her ragtag band a fighting chance.
I loved the Vatta’s War series and was delighted when Himself made me a present of this one for Easter. It is Moon at her tense, thrilling best and I found this particular military sci fi adventure impossible to put down until I got to the dramatic end.

The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman
The Broken Bridge is the tale of Ginny, a sixteen-year-old half-Haitian girl living with her father in a small seaside village in Wales. She’s becoming a brilliant artist, just like her mother, who died when Ginny was a baby. Despite the isolation she sometimes feels, her life is turning out OK. Then her social worker cracks open her files and her world falls apart. Ginny’s father has kept a devastating secret from her all her life. In fact, everything she thought she knew about her family and her identity is a lie. And now, to find out who she really is, Ginny must relive the dark tragedies in her past.
This is a beautiful book – Pullman brilliantly evokes a particular time and place with precise, well-crafted prose that drew me right into the middle of Ginny’s world. This one is all about families – both the best and worst of what they have to offer. Pullman’s perceptive, sympathetic depiction is both engrossing and thought provoking – and a joy to read.

The One by John Marrs
How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for. A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…
This ensemble piece, where we follow the fortunes of an unrelated number of protagonists who are looking for love, gradually builds up into a gripping adventure where all is not as it seems. I loved this one – it is definitely a slow-burn read, but by the end, I was blown away by the twisting plot.

Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson
Leo’s running from her past. Finlay’s running into trouble. Together, they stumble into a crazy new world of secrets, lies, and Chinese food. But someone is on Leo’s trail . . . Eccentric, unforgettable characters and genuine, heart-pounding suspense make for a stunning combination as celebrated author Julia Donaldson expands her talents in her first novel for young adults.
This is a great read. You realise just how fragile some people’s lives are when it all goes wrong. Unlike many YA reads, although the protagonists are both youngsters, this one also explores what happens to older people who fall through the cracks. A warm-hearted and thoughtful look at our society.

 

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 23rd April 2017

Review of Saven Deception – Book 1 of the Saven series by Siobhan Davis

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

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of Snared – Book 16 of Elemental Assassins series by Jennifer Estep

This week, due to being ill, I haven’t been online long enough to be able to compile a list of interesting articles. Thank you for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

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30 responses »

  1. Aaaaaarrrrgh! Here ye go again adding more books to me ports for plunder list. I don’t know whether I should be exasperated with ye or commend ye fer yer savvy in finding gems. Okay it’s definitely the latter. I be grumpy due to not enough time on me hands! But I know from experience that ye have good taste. So the one, cold welcome, and scavenger alliance are now in me sights! Thanks fer being an awesome crew member matey!
    x The Captain
    Side note- sorry to hear ye be under the weather. May fair sailing come to ye soon 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words:). Yes – I managed to get a bit of reading in while I’ve been poorly. Still not right, sadly – I think I’ve been sideswiped by a virus…

    • I highly recommend both books, Laurel – as you can see I rather binged on murder mysteries as I was poorly. Thank you! I’m hoping to feel better soon as this is rather miserable:(.

  2. I hope you hare feeling better, Sarah! How miserable! I envy you a bit, being able to read while sick. I usually can’t focus on a book when I’m that ill. These all sound like great books. Estep is on my list to try one day. And several others here have made it onto my wish list.

    Feel better, Sarah, and have a great week!

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes. Sadly, I’m still feeling grim – while I slept a lot, inbetween all I wanted to do was lose myself in a book… It massively helped that they were all great books, of course – glad you found of them caught your eye. Have a great week:).

  3. Snared has me really curious about that series, I have to say. I love the idea of a UF murder mystery. Reaper catches my eye too, and Janet Edwards- isn’t she the Earth Girl writer? Must be her new series? Sounds like it a bit of cyberpunk-ish flair and that appeals to me.

    Ooh scavenger Alliance- also by Edwards. I guess I answered my own question! She must be prolific. I seem to be discovering a lot of good SF/ fantasy reads on your blog lately- appreciate that! Cold welcome is another one that looks promising.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    • Thank you, Greg – yes, Janet Edwards is the Earthgirl author and her latest books are both great – and the first in two separate series. And Cold Welcome is a fantastic read, too.

  4. I am sooo sorry you have been feeling bad, but getting to do all that reading almost makes it worth being sick…not exactly! The saying here in Texas for how you feel when you have a cold is having the strength of a wet kleenex.

  5. I always find something in common we’ve read in these roundups of yours 🙂 This week I also finished Cold Welcome. It was my first Elizabeth Moon, and wow, what an awesome surprise! I thought it would be your run of the mill military sci-fi, imagine my delight to find it was more of a survival adventure!

    • It really is a cracking read, isn’t it? Moon’s books almost always entail more than just a straight shoot-em-up and there is also plenty of politics/powerplays etc. I love her worlds, particularly this one…

    • Thank you, Laura. Fortunately I’m FINALLY on the road to recovery, though I was flattened with this horrible cold thing for a week. And yes… DO go for Reaper, it’s a great read.

  6. Awwwww, sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well, Sarah. 😦 I know a few other people who have been sick recently, too. You’d think we’d be out of the woods illness-wise for the season by now. Take care of yourself.

    I don’t read much military sci-fi, but something about Cold Welcome keeps drawing my eye to it. And speaking of Phillip Pullman: Did you hear that he’s putting out a Dark Materials prequel trilogy?

    • Thank you, Sara:). I have been floored by this one, though today for the first time I have felt more like my old self – thank goodness! Cold Welcome is more like a survival adventure story and is a brilliant read. No… I hadn’t heard about the Dark Materials prequel, but this one is a little gem.

  7. Well, sorry to hear that you’ve got such a shocking cold but at least lots of lovely reading time – eh? Like you said though, lots of reviews now that won’t write themselves.
    Hope you’re feeling better.
    Lynn 😀

    • Yes, thank you Lynn. I’m now recovering, though still need to take it a bit steady as I am still a bit washed out. And now those reviews need writing…

  8. I am sorry to hear you’ve been sick this week, but wow what a long list of books you got through. that must’ve been great to read so much in week. I hope you’re feeling better now!

    • Have to say – this whole week has been a struggle and I’m still wiped out with very little energy. It’s so annoying as I really don’t have time to be sick – and I don’t get paid for it…

  9. Coming here late, I hope you feel better by now. I’m glad that at least you were able to read – nothing worse than a muddled mind that can’t focus on a story: the time in bed starts dragging then.

    • No worries, Di – I’m just terribly sorry to hear of your computer failure. That is always my worst nightmare and when it has happened, I feel like my world has come to a halt… I very much hope the issues are fixed and you won’t got through anything like that again, soon!

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