#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.


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


“He’s not human; he’s an empty space disguised as a human.” // Review of “The Collector” by John Fowles

Title: The Collector
Author: John Fowles
Genre: Thriller
Audio book narrator: James Wilby
Date Read:
31/08/2016 – 03/04/2016
Rating: ★★★


This book came up in conversation at work, and while I’m not usually good at getting into classics, even modern ones, I thought this one sounded nice and dark and right up my alley. It was  all of those things, though in hindsight, I’m not sure it was the best choice of book to read while my partner was away and I was home alone for a week.

Lonely, uneducated butterfly collector Frederick Clegg fixates on Miranda Grey, a middle-class art student who lives nearby. When he wins a huge fortune in the football pools and his only living relatives go to visit siblings in Australia, he uses the money to buy an isolated house and fit out the cellar, then kidnaps Miranda in the hopes that she will fall in love with him. While he thinks that his plan his working, Miranda is slowly being driven made by her imprisonment, and the diary she writes and keeps tucked under her mattress is the only thing that keeps her from tipping over the edge.

If this book had been entirely from Frederick’s point of view, it probably would have got five stars. His narrative voice is so flat and matter-of-fact that it’s chilling. And yet, at the same time there’s a real earnestness about him. He cannot see what he is doing is wrong, and becomes petulant when Miranda does things he doesn’t like, such as breaking his china or trying to escape. But for all that, somehow you still feel a little bit sorry for the bastard. (Only a very little bit, though).

Part 2 takes the form of Miranda’s diary entries over the course of her imprisonment. In some ways, it was interesting hearing her side of the story of her imprisonment, but so much of this section is taken up with her preoccupation with an artist she calls by his intitials G. P., with whom she had a difficult relationship when she first moved to London to go to art school. While it makes sense that the diary of someone in her predicament would contain repetition (mostly of the “I must escape!”) variety, this made the story lose some of its momentum. I kept wishing I was back in Frederick’s head. Which, you know, is saying something.

The story ends almost abruptly, but in a creepy way that fills you with dread. I was spoiled for the ending during the conversation at work where I first heard of the book, but I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone else. It might not be the ending you expect, but it is an ending that makes a lot of sense. As I said, I listened to this book while my partner was overseas (he comes home tomorrow, yay!) and it did make me wary about venturing outside after dark. Hell, even the empty house made me warier than usual. I kept thinking about how I would act in Miranda’s situation, and have come to the conclusion I would do no better than she does, which is terrifying. This is a book that will get into your head, and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

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#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.


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