Sunday Post – 7th May 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.

The beginning of this week was a struggle – I was still feeling completely wiped out after doing next to nothing, which was a complete pain as I don’t have time to be ill. Consequently, I missed Fitstep and Pilates and my writing group on Wednesday. Fortunately, I was more or less back to normal by the time my sister arrived in the country on Friday. It was lovely seeing her again – and the best news of all… she’s planning to settle in the area. So for the first time since we were teenagers, we’ll be living in the same town – we won’t know ourselves! Saturday we went looking at flats before meeting my son in Brighton. It’s his birthday today, so as part of the celebration yesterday we had a meal at a vegan café – absolutely delicious and then went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I thoroughly enjoyed it except for a completely silly riff on travelling through a ridiculous number of star portals – they would have been a red smear in space loooong before they arrived. Himself thought it hilarious that was the one aspect of the film where I couldn’t suspend my disbelief… Other than that, it was funny and action packed and a great day was had by all.

Today is Robbie’s birthday so I shan’t be around all that much…

This week I have read:

Scarlet – Book 2 of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
I love the way that Meyer has wound the retelling and some of the characters we half recognise from the original fairy tale into her science fiction power struggle and in this slice of the adventure that structure becomes more apparent. I enjoyed it even more than Cinder.

The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach
Recently fired and residing with her sweetly overbearing mother, Madlyn needs a job—bad. In a moment of desperation, she accepts a part-time position reading at the bedside of adventurer and amateur writer Cody Lofton. A near-drowning accident left the young man in a vegetative state, and his chances of recovery wane with each passing day. Cody’s older brother, Dustin, and eccentric grandmother aren’t prepared to give up on the youngest son of Portland, Oregon’s royalty. Dustin’s a personable guy, bordering on naïve, and overwhelmed by familial corporate duties and cutthroat partners. Grandmother Lillian’s a meddler with an eye for the esoteric, dabbling in Dustin’s life and dealing out wisdom like a card shark. One innocent conversation at a time, she sucks Madlyn into the Lofton story, dubbing her the princess and bestowing on her the responsibility of both grandsons’ destinies.
I thoroughly enjoyed this roller-coaster ride through an unexpected fantasy world – and what happened to the main characters when they became their fantasy counterparts…

Spellbound – Book 2 of the Spellwright series by Blake Charlton
Francesca DeVega is a healer in the city of Avel, composing magical sentences that close wounds and disspell curses. But when a newly dead patient sits up and tells her that she must flee the infirmary or face a fate worse than death, Francesca finds herself in the middle of a game she doesn’t understand—one that ties her to the notorious rogue wizard Nicodemus Weal and brings her face-to-face with demons, demigods, and a man she hoped never to see again. Ten years ago, Nico escaped Starhaven Academy, leaving behind his failed life, in which he was considered disabled and felt useless. Now, in Spellbound, he’s starting fresh, using his newfound gifts in the dark Chthonic languages to pursue the emerald that holds his birthright. Unfortunately, he can’t escape the chaos of his old life. His mentor suffers from an incurable curse, agents of the fabled Halcyon hunt him day and night, pieces of Francesca’s story don’t add up, and the prophesized War of Disjunction looms on the horizon.
As I read these books out of order, this is the final book of the series for me – and is every bit as smart, clever and satisfying as the other two. I have never read a series where the magical system displayed such rigour with so many frightening and vicious consequences… Another outstanding book.

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 30th April 2017

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of Fool’s Gold by Caro Peacock

Teaser Tuesday featuring Spellbound – Book 2 of the Spellwright series by Blake Charlton

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of A Tyranny of Queens – Book 2 of the Manifold Worlds duology by Foz Meadows

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman

Friday Face-off – It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life… featuring The Pride of Chanur – Book 1 of the Chanur series by C.J. Cherryh

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL Review of Dancing with Death – Book 1 of the Nell Drury mysteries by Amy Myers

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

…Peter Ustinov… one of the best storytellers I’ve ever seen… This lovely article by Seumas talks about one of the great characters and actors who is still sadly missed. I loved his performance as Hercule Poirot and think it best captures the compassion and humanity that Christie wrote into the part.

The Best Literary Facts about London I really enjoy reading the steady stream of informative, interesting articles that come from this excellent site – and this is yet another gem.

Blogging rules (aka myths) I’m not very good at following Sooo… there are rules about blogging – who knew? Do you follow them? Or ignore them? Emma muses on these issues

Photolicioux – untitled I love watching this one…

The Library at the end of the World Once more Kristen uncovers a quirky, book-related article. I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that I fervently hope this discovery of hers continues to be an entertaining talking point and we never need it in order to survive or prevail…

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

34 responses »

  1. I hate being that sick. I feel for you, Sarah. I do hope you are feeling much better now. That is wonderful that your sister will be moving to town! It’s nice to have family close by. I don’t know when we’ll get to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but I would like to.

    I hope to start the Lunar Chronicle novels this year. I can’t wait to dive in.

    Have a great week, Sarah!

    • Thank you, Wendy:). Yes, I’m steadily improving – thank goodness! And you’re right, I’m thrilled to have my sister moving to town. Yes – Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is great fun with lots of humour and madcap action scenes in it. It didn’t hurt that everyone also put in thoroughly solid acting performances, too. I look forward to reading your thoughts on The Lunar Chronicles and hope you, too, have a great week, Wendy:).

  2. I’m pleased that you’ve been feeling better as the week has gone on, it’s awful feeling so wiped out by illness. How lovely that your sister is going to be living near you. I moved away from all my family a few years ago and while I love where I live I do miss seeing some of my family as often as I used to. I’ve been thinking of trying the Lunar Chronicles series so it’s good to know that you’re enjoying them. Hope you have a good week ahead.

  3. I like how Meyer includes the fairytale characters too, or rather their personalities, in the Lunar Chronicles. I wasn’t a fan of Scarlet though, the series and the character. I thought the romance progressed too quickly and I’m not a fan of characters who’re quick to anger
    The Sorcerer’s Garden sounds interesting so I’m gonna look it up.

    • I can understand why you feel the romance moved too fast – and also why you found Wolf’s character too quick to anger. Yes – The Sorcerer’s Garden is definitely something a bit different… Have a great week, Zezee and thank you for swinging by

  4. I adore The Lunar Chronicles series and keep hoping they’ll be made into movies. And I can’t wait to see Guardians 2. I still watch the first movie once in a while. I want to see baby Groot. LOL

    I hope you feel better, Sarah:)

    My Sunday Post

    • Yes – I think The Lunar Chronicles would be an excellent TV show – and Baby Groot is adorable… Thank you for your kind good wishes, Laura – I am now feeling a great deal better – at last!

  5. Ahhhh the season for big Hollywood blockbusters is starting! I’m going to try very hard to make it out to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Like you, everyone’s is saying it’s really fun. I guess on some level I’m expecting it to be silly 🙂 I can’t wait.

  6. Not feeling well, not good. But excellent news about your sister. We were supposed to go see Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday but couldn’t get up the energy after too much Sunday lunch- next week. Finally thanks for sharing my post….much appreciated 😀

    • You’re very welcome about the post – I really enjoyed it and figured others would also like to read it, too:). Yes – I’m still pinching myself at the wonderful prospect of having her so close – we have always got on so well.

  7. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is in showing our town, won’t even have to travel to Houston to see it, BUT it’s been sold out every night since it got here! We may get tickets in Pearland, town nearby but not as far as Houston. I sure want to see the Lil’ Sprout. So glad you’re feeling better and what great news that your sister is relocating nearby! Life is good. God is good.

    • Oh I do hope you get to see it – Baby Groot is a delight and it is such silly fun:)). Yes, I’m thrilled at having my sister so close. Amen, say I…

  8. That wiped out feeling is awful. Hope you’re feeling better and got plenty of rest! I loved Scarlet but have yet to read Cress. That’s great news about your sister! And I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy despite all the portal travel. I really liked the first one and am looking forward to the 2nd one. Have a great week!

    • Thank you, Katherine. Yes… STILL not right and feeling a bit grim again today. But I am steadily improving – thank you for swinging by and your good wishes. I hope you have a great week, too.

  9. Hope you’re feeling 100% now? I can’t wait to see Guardians of the Galaxy – sounds like you had fun and you’ve had a great reading week even though you were still a bit tired.
    Lynn 😀

    • No… still not completely okay – I fell in a heap again yesterday, which is very annoying! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy.

  10. Sorry to hear you had such an off week!Wow you must be so happy about your sister moving closer to you! I may watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this week so happy to hear is good!. I loved Scarlet more than Cinder too 🙂 WOLF!!!

    • Thank you – and I’m STILL not 100% which is really annoying… But yes, I’m thrilled with the prospect of having my sister moving to the same town:)). I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy 2… And as for Cinder – oh exactly *howls*

  11. I feel terrible that I’m just getting to this now. It was just a super-busy week for me, so I haven’t had a lot of time to visit your blog and others. :/

    Anyways, I hope you’re feeling better, and that’s great that your sister is planning to move to your area. You’ll be able to spend more time together. 🙂 And I’m visiting my parents this weekend, so my brother and I are planning to see Guardians tomorrow. Very happy to hear you enjoyed it despite that minor critique. The first one was so much fun, I was a little worried how they’d be able to follow it up.

    • No problem, Sara – I’m horrendously behind with all my blog comments and responses given that I’m STILL battling with that wiped out feeling and spending a fair amount of time looking at flats with my sister.I hope you really enjoy Guardians today – it is a lot of fun.

  12. I’m still catching up with blogs (how did I let myself to fall over a MONTH behind? 😦 ), but I’m glad to see a ray of sunshine: that you’re feeling better and doing some exciting things. I hope your sister’s move will go smoothly, and I’m glad you enjoyed the Guardians. It was a fun movie, though I had mixed feelings about it as at some places it seemed that they were either hastily wrapping up plots or setting things for the Avengers: Infinity War and Thor: Ragnarok.

    • Yes… it was definitely a bit of fun and nonsense. I do slightly despair that ALL physical laws are not just broken but pulverised in what is supposedly a sci fi blockbuster – but it is really fantasy, isn’t it?

      • Yes, I think it’s in a similar vein to Star Wars. And, on top of that, it is kind of a tribute to all the 70’s and 80’s sci-fi movies that were exactly like this.

      • Agreed. I think GotG2 suffers from the “second book syndrome” when it comes to the plot. Also, being tied into a huge universe weighs on it: they need to make sure stories match across the movies.

      • Yes! It was okay – and I’ve sat through a great deal worse, but once again, halfway through I had the sinking feeling that any worthwhile sci fi content had been consigned to the bin. No wonder science fiction as a genre is so often discounted and sneered at as lightweight fluff…

      • At least in the cinematics, because when it comes to books we have Peter Watts (if you haven’t already, get his Blindsight and Starfish – though the second one is very dark), some of Charles Stross, Ted Chiang, to name only my favorites.

      • Ooo… no – I haven’t read any Peter Watts, so I need to get hold of Blindsight – many thanks for the recommendation, Joanna:)

      • I think you might enjoy it. 🙂
        Starfish is even better and more science-heavy (you can see he really knows his oceans), but it’s also very “heavy” when it comes to emotions: the characters are a broken bunch with many serious issues.

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