Tuesday, October 22, 2019

C. J. Archer: The Last Necromancer



C.J. Archer starts a new series off with a girl in hiding for her special ability to raise the dead:


Fleet Foot Charlie has been living on the streets since her father threw her out 5 years ago, but tonight she was not a fleet footed as she should have been. In a cell with men who have horrible ideas on their mind, one man ends up dead and that is when her true abilities come to life and allow her to escape. But those in the cell with her do not remain silent, and soon there are people desperate to find her to help with their own agendas. Charlie doesn't know who to trust and how long she can keep pretending she's not the necromancer they seek and with Queen and Country at stake she will have to decide who she can trust.


This was a good read. It had some interesting aspects in it especially the further you get into the story I just think there was a bit too much time spent on attempting to figure out Charlie's secret, that she was not a boy but a girl. This aspects takes about half the book to be found out and it took away from the actual plot of someone wanting Charlie to help raise an undead army to attack the Queen. This leads to the incorporation of a classis horror story and I think that Archer did a good job at melding the two books together and having the events/ideas unfold in an interesting way. Book was darker than I expected it to be, which was a nice surprise. I mean I feel like a book like this should be darker with having an individual who can raise the dead.


I wish that we had more than Charlie's point of view. I liked Charlie as a character but I felt that this story was not as well rounded as it could have been if there had been another point of view. I think that Archer should have had some points of view from Fitzroy as he is also the main male lead in the book. He was also an interesting character, as he was raised from birth to be the leader of the Ministry of Curiosities. We do not get a true sense of Fitzroy in this book, but I will say he seems to have some abilities that are not entirely human so I look forward to discovering who/what he really is.


I appreciated that while there is what a school girl crush that Charlie has on Fitzroy, Archer does not really peruse this aspect in this book. I feel like a romance between the two would muddle the plot, and you do get more of an older brother feel from the male character to Charlie.


I'm interested in seeing where Archer takes this series and if she chooses to connect her stories with other classic novels. I also hope we get more exploration in to Charlies' abilities and have her use them more often (I guess I'm being morbid as this means people have to die for this to happen) but the true extent of her abilities goes unexplored in this book. So I will be looking to read the next book in this series.


Enjoy!!!

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern takes readers on a decades long battle between two magicians:

The Night Circus just appears one night without warning and it is the most interesting place you will ever be. All are drawn towards it and no one will experience it the same, or each time they visit. But the circus is more than just a place to entertain, it is also the battle ground for two Magicians; One born with the magic, another who learned it. They are pitted against each other in a game fought by two long time rivals, who are the only ones who know the rules and will determine when there is a winner.

Alright, maybe I'm in the minority on this one but I just wanted the book to get on with it, get to the point, get to the battle that seemed to be promised in the premise of this book. I was like the two main characters, I had so many more questions than answers even as you read farther into the book. What are the rules, how do you decide the winner, what is the overall point of the circus. I understand these questions do get answered, it just painful at times getting there. Plus this all out battle that I thought was going to happen in some form, well I hate to spoil it for you, but there never really is a battle in the common use of that word. This battle is more of whits, imagination, moves and power (but not like chess, as this is stated several times throughout the book).

I felt like I never got to really know any of the characters, I think this had partly to do to the multiple points of view but also the writing style (characterizations are sideline for descriptive words). None of the characters exuded any emotions even at traumatic events. They were all written in a way that made them fall flat, as if they were all emotionless creatures. This caused me as a reader to no really care about any of the characters, sure there were some that were interesting but I never really felt engaged with them. Further, I never really understood the relationship that came of Marco and Celia, in my opinion it kind of came out of left field. I get that they had respect for each other as opponents but I just never felt the passion that they supposedly had for each other.

What this book has going for it is that it is beautifully written. The words flow together amazingly and Morgenstern description of the atmosphere or location of where the characters are you truly feel transported there. Honestly, if this book would not have been as well written as it was, I would have put it down part way through (well that and trying to figure the hell out what was going on...it was so frustrating at times). Additionally, I cannot fault Morgenstern with the creativeness that she display in both the idea of the plot and of the Night Circus itself as well as what the magicians are able to achieve. The Night Circus is a place that I would love to visit and I feel that I have through the many scenes the Morgenstern had take place there.

This book is a bit of a puzzle for me, while it was beautifully written I struggled to connect with the characters and plot. Maybe if Morgenstern can find a way to make her characters more engaging for the reader and the plot slightly less slow she would have a winner in my books. I think I would try a book by her again just for her ability to put words together.

Cheers!!!

Not sure I have anything similar to this that I could recommend, so I you have something you think I should try instead of this or like this, let me know.



Monday, October 7, 2019

Kelley Armstrong: A Darkness Absolute

This is the second book in Armstrong's Rockton series and while this book could be read as a stand alone novel, if you are okay with not knowing the entire backstory of Casey and how she became a resident at Rockton, but I HIGHLEY recommend the first book, City of the Lost, as it is a great read especially if you like the small town mystery/thrillers like I do.


Kelley Armstrong takes readers back to Rockton where a woman thought to be long dead is very much alive:


Casey And Will are hot on the trail of a runner from Rockton. He got cabin fever and decided to get out of there by going full force into the wilderness without proper supplies, when a blizzards hits out of nowhere. They are forced to weather the storm in a nearby cave and that is when they make a disturbing discovery. Nicole Chavez has been missing from Rockton for over a year and she was assumed dead but the truth was much worse. She has been held captive and only given enough just to survive by some unknown man. As Casey and Dalton look for clues as to who was capable of this, was it a Rockton residence or one of the unknown people of the forest, they discover the bodies of two other Rockton women who were presumed missing. There has been a serial killer lurking around Rockton taking advantage of the forest and those who venture one. Now it's up to Casey to find them before the next woman goes missing and it might just be Casey.


Wow this is an amazing follow up to the first book in the series and while it may have to contend with similar elements as the first, the story is completely different. There is much more focus on the mountains and cave systems that are accessible to those who live in Rockton as well as those who live in the forest. There are quite a few spelunking (never thought I would get to use that word in a review) scene that if you have a fear of claustrophobia your hands may sweat. Heck I don't have a fear of small spaces and Armstrong's writing made me uncomfortable. Armstrong also does a good job at keeping the suspect list long, which really is not hard considering the residence of Rockton all have secrets and some are more disturbing than other. I was able to figure it out, but that does not mean that Armstrong did not have me questioning myself more than once. There is also the outside meddling of the council who are able to really oversee and affect some decision that are made in Rockton as well as who they let in and their meddling is ever present in this book.



What I really like about this series and setting is that although this book is set in modern times they are forced back many decades within regards to forensic evidence. There isn't any fancy lab in Rockton and even if there was there would probably be no way to power it. There is no outside lab that they can send evidence too, what Casey and the other officers have to rely on in their own interpretation of the evidence when trying to solve the mysteries. It takes it back to good old detective work and I really love that.


Interesting to see the development of the relationship between Casey and Dalton and how this dynamic also affects some aspects of their work one. Especially with Dalton as he can be very domineering and Casey basically telling him that he has to be able to separate the two in order for their relationship to survive. And well Dolton get Casey a puppy so he gets points in my book.


This is an amazing series so far and I am completely hooked. I'm off to buy the next two books in this series. I read the blurb at the back of this book for the next book and it sounds amazing. I cannot get enough.


Enjoy!!!
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