#WWW Wednesday – 19 December 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

I’m posting quite early this week, since I’m taking advantage of a shift on the reading room desk at work to get this written up. Tomorrow is my last day of work for the year and I’m already in holiday mode, so very little work is really being done!

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Sixty Seconds by Jesse Blackadder. This was a 3.5* read for me. The plot, pacing and writing were good, but I never completely connected with the characters. Posted my review here

That’s the only thing I finished this week but I also reviewed Olmec Obituary by L. J. M. Owen. You can read that here.

Getting these two reviews up meant that I completed my 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge, which was to read 20 books by Australian women, including two by Indigenous authors and two by LGBTQI* authors.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork. This is quite a sweet story. I love that the magic system is music-based! Though it does make me want to go and throw the Nutcracker retelling I started writing years ago in the bin, since this one is so much better than what I was doing.

I’m also listening to Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I’ve never read any of Taylor’s other books but everyone seems to rave about this one so I picked it up when Audible recommended it. So far my only real complaint is how few women there are compared to men. But Strange is a librarian and researcher, so he has kind of stolen my heart. ❤

What do you think you will read next?

I really need to finish Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend so I can pass it on to my niece at Christmas. I think I’m about halfway through it? I’m flying to my parents’ on Friday so my plan is for it to be my airport/plane book. After that, I’m not sure whether to read another Christmas-y book or start on my January ARCs.

What are you reading this week?

Have a great holiday season, everyone, regardless of what you celebrate!

#AWW2018 // Book Review: “Olmec Obituary” by L. J. M. Owen

Title: Olmec Obituary
Author:
L. J. M. Owen
Genre: Mystery
Target audience: Adult
Date Read: 2/12/18 – 7/12/18
Rating:
★★

Review:

I have to admit my main reason for wanting to read this book was because it contained a fictionalised version of my own workplace. And reading those sections was pretty awesome because I was all like, “Hee! I understand that reference!” But once that novelty wore off, I found myself a bit flummoxed by how much the author was trying to squeeze into one book.

Between complicated family dynamics, a new job for the main character, shady academic behaviour and flashbacks to the figures in the historical mystery, there was a lot to take in. I’m not entirely sure it worked.

Sometimes the historical scenes felt a bit more like filler. It was interesting to see a bit about the lives of those whose skeletons Elizabeth was analysing, but at the same time, that wasn’t something Elizabeth would ever be able to know from her work, so there was no real connection between the two timelines.

I also felt that a lot of the character development felt forced rather than natural. Someone would be generally coming across as a decent person, then they would out-of-the-blue say something rude or mean for what seemed like no other reason than to establish them as an adversary.

Having said that, overall, the writing style is quite readable and accessible. There were some info dumps regarding ancient history, archaeology and linguistics, but they were interesting enough that they didn’t feel too info-dumpy. I am always a bit hesitant about things like eidetic memory and dreams to help a character solve a mystery (both things that happen in this book) – they both make it a bit too easy in my opinion, but that is a matter of personal preference.

At this stage, I don’t feel like I’m going to go on to the subsequent books in the series, though I haven’t entirely written them off yet. I just don’t think it’s the kind of thing where I can read all of it back to back.


This review is part of my 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

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#WWW Wednesday – 12 December 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Olmec Obituary by L.  J. M. Owen. While it was amusing seeing all the references to the National Library (that’s where I work, and the main character’s workplace is based on it), I felt there was a bit much going on for one book and that it suffered for it. My review will be up on Friday.

I posted my review of The Midnight Watch by David Dyer and some thoughts about Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (I realised I’d left it too long and couldn’t remember enough for a proper review, so that link just goes to my GoodReads review).

What are you currently reading?

Sixty Seconds by Jesse Blackadder is an exploration of a family’s grief after the youngest son drowns in the backyard pool. It also deals with social media and shady journalism in the light of such a tragedy. I’m really enjoying this… actually, “enjoy” probably isn’t the right word but it’s very gripping.

I’m also listening to Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson. This is about a Wiccan teenager who accidentally brings not only her best friend but two of the most popular students in her school back to life in an attempt to find out who killed them. I was expecting it to be a bit silly but it’s actually dealing with the main character’s grief in quite a realistic way. It does still have a sense of humour, though.

What do you think you will read next?

I’m not completely sure that it will be my thing, or that I’m in a fantasy mood right now, but since I have it from the library, I will pick up City of Lies by Sam Hawke. It’s due back on the 19th, so hopefully it will be gripping and I tear through it and don’t end up with any fines.

What are you reading this week?

#WWW Wednesday – 05 December 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Truly , Devious by Maureen Johnson on Thursday. This took a little while to get into – not much happens for the first half – but I ended up interested in the mystery.

I also finished The Midnight Watch by David Dyer and I’m really glad I stuck it out. I actually ended up going and reading everything on David Dyer’s website and then watching simulations of the Titanic’s sinking on YouTube. It really is bizarre that the SS Californian saw all 8 distress rockets fired by the Titanic and yet did nothing to help.

haven’t had a chance to write reviews for either of these as I was busy with uni work all weekend, so they’ll be up this coming week.

What are you currently reading?

I have started Olmec Obituary by L.  J. M. Owen this week. It’s always a bit strange reading books set in Canberra. This one is even stranger as the Mahony Griffin Library, where the main character works, is based on the National Library, which is where I work. I kept giggling at things that weren’t remotely funny simply because I got the reference.

For the third week in a row, still going with Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend but this is mostly because I haven’t actually been reading it at all, not because it’s terrible or anything. I’m re-gifting this to my niece for Christmas, so I’m not carrying it around in my work bag, where it’s likely to get damaged. I need a book sleeve.

What do you think you will read next?

I’ve got to be honest: even though I’ve got the two books that follow Olmec Obituary out from the library, I don’t think I’m going to be interested enough to follow on with them. Not back-to-back anyway.

I’m probably going to read Sixty Seconds by Jesse Blackadder, a drama about the aftermath of a small boy drowning in a backyard pool. I have read one of this author’s children’s books before this is my first adult read by her.

What are you reading this week?

#WWW Wednesday – 28 November 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

Only one book finished  this week: Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts. This is a superhero series and this book is from the perspective of a YouTuber/journalist, Friday Valentina, whoses mother broke the first story of superheroes in Australia back in the 80s. It was cute but I think I liked this author’s other stories more. Here’s my review.

I also reviewed All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. Click here to read that one.

I ended up DNFing Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi. The anachronisms were bothering me and I hadn’t connected to the characters after about 30% of the book, so I decided it was time.

What are you currently reading?

I started Truly , Devious by Maureen Johnson a couple of days ago. This is a YA murder mystery with parallel storylines in the present day and the 1930s. So far it’s just fine. I’ll get through it pretty quickly but I am not expecting to be wowed by it.

Still going with Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend and I hate to say it, but I think it’s going on a bit too long! I’m over 250 pages in and still have 200 pages to go and not much has really happened! But I still love the world of Nevermoor and a lot of the characters. I wish Jupiter was around a bit more, though.

I’m also still listening to The Midnight Watch by David Dyer. I was considering DNFing this one today, though I decided against it in the end. I am not a fan of one of the POV characters, and the pacing is very slow. I won’t DNF but I am thinking I might put it on hold for a while and listen to something else. 

What do you think you will read next?

This hasn’t changed from last week. I’m still planning to pick up Olmec Obituary by L.  J. M. Owen next. Cozy historical mystery!

What are you reading this week?

#WWW Wednesday – 21 November 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

I can’t believe November is two-thirds gone! Septemberand October seemed so long to me, but this month has flown past! I’m well on my way to completing the ARCs I have due by the end of the year, as well as finishing up my Australian Women Writer’s Challenge. So yay all around!

What have you recently finished reading?

I read ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost, and it was so fun! I actually wasn’t expecting to be able to take it too seriously, but I got quite invested! You can read my review here. I have the first book in the series still to read (this one was an ARC and the release date is this Friday, hence my reading it first), so I plan to read it over the holidays.

What are you currently reading?

This answer hasn’t changed much from last week!

I am about a quarter of the way through Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi. So far overall it’s okay but there are little things bothering me, like the fact that this is based in Greek mythology, but keeps referring to Greece, as though the country existed at that time. And I’m not really getting much of a sense of the Greek mythology aspect coming through. You could replace the names and this could be any fantasy. But we’ll see if it picks up.

Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend continues to be delightful. I feel like everyone needs a Jupiter North in their life, who goes on grand expeditions to prove to you that you are more than you think you are.

On audio, I am still listening to The Midnight Watch by David Dyer. I’m finding I have to be in the right mood for it, but it is  still quite interesting. I’m finding the character of Captain Lord of the Californian quite interesting. I don’t know if the historical figure was like this, but in the book he’s basically blackmailing his subordinates into lying about them seeing the Titanic’s distress rockets.

What do you think you will read next?

I have owned a copy of Olmec Obituary by L.  J. M. Owen for ages, and so I picked up the two sequels when I saw them at the library today in the hopes I  will then read all three and tick that off my TBR. The fact that I already had the cover uploaded to this blog suggests I have planned to read it at some earlier stage and never got around to it, so it will be good to finally make a start. Owens is a local author and one of the locations in the book is apparently slightly based on my workplace, so it’ll be fun trying to spot those references!

What are you reading this week?