#WWW Wednesday – 14 September, 2016

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

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Thbeccacarlislecovere Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley and posted my review here. I ended up quite enjoying it for the most part. I also read The Mysterious Adventures of Becca Carlisle by Cate Morgan, which is the second in a series of steampunk novellas. This one was less steampunky as it dealt more with the Carlisle family’s legal matters and building a case against their enemy, but as with the first one, the characters were vibrant and fun and it was a quick read. In related news, my review of Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine also went up this week.

What are you currently reading?

dragoninthegardencoverThe Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner, which I also got from NetGalley. I’m almost halfway through it. Not  much has happened so far, but the world-building and characters are interesting. I’m a bit worried it might get messy, though, as we already have fallen angels and dragons, and the fey are apparently going to start showing up, too.

Still going with Shadows in Bronze by Lindsey Davis on audio. I haven’t had as many opportunities to listen to it but luckily I was able to renew it so I should be able to finish it before it gets returned.

What do you think you’ll read next?

illkeptoathcoverI want to try to read The Ill-Kept Oath by C. C. Aune in time to get a review up around its release on September 27. This is the one I accidentally-on-purpose requested from NetGalley last week. I have another one I that I requested in the same manner this week. Still waiting on approval for that one, but fingers crossed! After finishing the Birdman’s Wife and getting through Dragon in the Garden quite quickly, I feel a bit better about having a few ARCs sitting around.

I’m going to love you and leave you on that note, and try to do something that involves moving about. I thought I would try a new class at the gym yesterday, but it turned out to be well beyond my abilities, and  unlike the one I normally go to, didn’t really have different levels for those of us who are beginners. As a result, 36 hours and a massage later, I am still stiff and sore, but it wears off a bit when I move around.

See you all later!

~ Emily

Hard habit to break, friendship.” // Review of “Paper and Fire” by Rachel Caine

Title: Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA/dystopian
Date Read: 25/08/2016 – 08/09/2016
Rating: ★★

Review:

paperandfirecoverThis is going to be a hard book to review, because I can’t tell you exactly why I didn’t like it, just that I didn’t much. I’ve been having a terrible time with series this year. They keep impressing me at the outset and then ultimately disappointing me. Unfortunately, this was another one to add to the list.

Jess Brightwell is continuing to juggle his family’s smuggling business with the intense training of the High Garda soldiers at the Great Library in Alexandria. When he and his group of friends learn that their friend Thomas may not be dead, but alive and in prison in Rome, they make it their first order of business to rescue him, regardless of the consequences.

I can’t exactly put my finger on why this book disappointed me. Perhaps it’s because I’m in a book slump at the moment. Perhaps it’s because I had read some reviews in the same vein as this one and I let them influence me a bit too much, so I was looking for the flaws as I read. I know I definitely didn’t really care what happened to the characters, and that I never cared about the peril they were in. The aftermath from events in the first book, such as the war in Oxford, didn’t seem to have had much more than a superficial effect on anyone, and life seemed to be going on as it always had for them. Jess and Morgan’s romance didn’t work at all. It’s all tell and no show. It just feels shoehorned in.

I saw another review somewhere that said that the use of the “Ephemera” excerpts before each chapter ruins any suspense and to an extent I agree. If you already know that someone is going to secretly work for the main characters, even if it will cost them their career, because you’ve read an excerpt from their secret journal, there’s very little tension when the characters run into this person. The Ephemera thing worked a lot better in the first book, but it seemed to be used a bit too much and to less effect in this one.

I’ve got a year to decide whether I’ll finish the series or not. Maybe I’ll feel differently when the final book comes out, but this one turned into such a chore to finish, I’m not even sure I want to bother.


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#WWW Wednesday – 07 September, 2016

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

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

paperandfirecoverI finished Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2) by Rachel Caine and I am disappointed to say that it was a real chore to get through in the end. Admittedly, part of this may be that I’m in a bit of a reading slump at the moment, and so it’s probably not the book’s fault entirely, but…

All I can say is I’m having a really awful run with series this year! I need to get me some more standalones.

thecollectorcoverI also finished The Collector by John Fowles on audio. While I did find the second part of the book, from the POV of the kidnapped girl, a bit boring, overall this is definitely a book that will stick with me a long time. It was chilling, and I had a couple of moments after finishing it where I was quite wary about leaving my house. In hindsight, reading it when my partner was away for a week so I was alone during the evenings probably wasn’t the best idea, either.

My review of The Collector went up on Monday, along with my review of the first Marcus Didius Falco book, The Silver Pigs, last Friday. Click the links to read them.

What are you currently reading?

birdmanswifecoverI am back to reading The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley, a fictionalised account of the life of illustrator Elizabeth Gould. I’m over halfway through now. I think it may end up being one of those tricky books to review, because while it’s well-written and enjoyable, there is the fact that is based on someone’s actual life, so there’s no “plot” exactly,  just stuff they did. Which is sometimes a bit frustrating.

After a brief flirtation with Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White, I realised that shadaowsinbronzecoverclassics don’t really do it for me in audio form either, and I decided to stick with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version of that one. Instead, I’ve started the audio book of the second Marcus Didius Falco book, Shadows in Bronze. I’m really enjoying these books, though it’s a different narrator for this one! He’s not bad, but I really liked the first guy. And going by Overdrive’s listing, it sounds like nearly every book in the series has a different narrator. Oh well.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m debating whether to return to The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, or keep going with some more ARCs. I accidentally requested another book from NetGalley today. The cover seduced me. I couldn’t help it. I do have two four hour train trips coming up this weekend, so I’ll be able to get quite a bit of reading done on those at least.

What are you reading this week? If you’ve read any of the books listed above, what did you think?

~ Emily

#WWW Wednesday – August 31, 2016

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

wwwwednesday

What are you currently reading?

paperandfirecoverMy main focus at the moment is Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2) by Rachel Caine. It is doing that middle-book-in-a-trilogy thing of being well-written and easy to read even though nothing much is happening. I really enjoy the world it’s set in, though, so I’m okay with that.

On audio, I have started The Collector by John Fowles. This book came up in conversation at work a little while ago and I thought it sounded delightfully disturbing, so when I saw the audio book available, I grabbed it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finally finished the audio book of Votive by Karen Brooks. I still enjoyed some parts of the story, but I felt it was too long and had too many POV characters. My review is here. I do want to see the series through, but I’ve decided I’m going to read the third book rather than listen to it. It’s much easier to skim the boring parts of a print book than one you listen to.silverpigscover

I followed that up with The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis, which I also listened to. This is the first in the Marcus Didius Falco series, a series of crime novels set in ancient Rome. It was light-hearted and fun, and exactly what I needed after a dense historical fantasy!

I also posted my review of This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab.

What do you think you’ll read next?

birdmanswifecoverOnce I’ve returned Paper and Fire to the library, I need to get back to  The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley so I can get my review of that up before publication, and The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, which I have on loan from a friend.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

#WWW Wednesday – 24 August, 2016

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

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

thissavagesongcoverI finished This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab and while I liked the plot, I never really warmed to either of the main characters, so that let it down for me. I’ll go into more detail in my review, which will go up on Friday.

My reviews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling et al and Tallow by Karen Brooks both went up in the past week.

What are you currently reading?

birdmanswifecoverMy main focus at the moment is The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley, which I received from NetGalley. This is historical fiction based on the life of the illustrator Elizabeth Gould. I’m about a third of the way through and John Gould’s demands and taking for granted of his wife are making me frowny, but the fact that she was so overshadowed by her husband is partially why the author set out to the write the book, so I am glad this book exists.

I am still going on Votive by Karen Brooks and The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. I have about five hours left of Votive, so I’ll probably finish it in the next couple of days. I am still enjoying it but it’s way too long! I didn’t relaly feel like returning to the world of the Rook immediately after This Savage Song, hence checking out The Birdman’s Wife first.

What do you think you’ll read next?

paperandfirecoverPaper and Fire (The Great Library #2) by Rachel Caine is waiting for me at the library, so that will be next. The reviews have been mixed but I hope I like it as much as I liked the first one. After that, back to my extensive list of ebooks and physical books that I own and need to get through.

That’s all from me today. I’ve decided to take a bit of a hiatus from WIPpet Wednesday while I’m editing rather than writing. See you on your blogs!

~ Emily