Once again I find myself swept up in the lush imaginings of Diana Gabaldon's second family. What I have come to know as the lesser characters, those who are not Jamie or Claire, come to life in these stories. There are Lord John Grey's practical observations on the creation of zombies that actually sound believable and the sweet adventures of two young Scottish lads acting as mercenaries. The one really wonderful addition to the audio in this collection is the background notes from the Duchess of Time Travel herself. I found her research to be very interesting and it helped me to understand and appreciate why it takes so long between her books. You can enjoy these stories even if you have not read the Outlander series, as if there is anyone left who has not read, heard about or watched some of it.
14 years since the first invasion of the Martians came to Earth and much has changed - we are ready for a fight which is good because that is what the Earth is in for. A much larger invasion is already on its way and the old team seems to be the only ones who might be able to understand them and stop it from complete devastation. I was equally drawn into how close Baxter's style fit that of Wells and how the alternative history worked perfectly. The old gang will soon be back together and the only time I took a step back was to sort out who is narrating each chapter. The world building - 1020's Europe made better by Martian technology is fascinating and you will recognize many of the "real" historical figures dropped in. The characters are both clinical and real as you would expect the Brits during war time. Get out your ray gun and stay away from the ponds of red weed because -"they're back and they are mad".
Cyril has not had an easy life having always lived under the shadow of not being enough - not enough for his natural mother to keep him, not enough for his adoptive parents to stop reminding him that he really isn't their son, not enough for the friend he loves who can't except him for what he is or isn't and not enough to prevent those around him from being hurt. Life goes on and as an adult, Cyril is finally able to admit that he is gay - something he could not do in Ireland without ending up in jail or worse. Characters, both gay and straight, bounce in and out of Cyril's life but he remains reserved, loyal and a sweet soul. John Boyne gives us an epic look at what it was like to be gay early on in Ireland, Amsterdam and later in AIDS ridden New York. You will smile at the witty banter, cry at the tragedy and violence that befalls some and shake your fist in righteous indignation at how stupid people can be when confronted with someone different. His poetic storytelling will stay with you long after you finish the book.
Milo has lived many lives but he is just about out of them. Every time he is reborn he tries to live a better life than the one before then death grabs him (death just happens to be his girlfriend). The challenge is to achieve perfection which it turns out, is really tough. Death is tired and wants to retire but it turns out that this is difficult as well. This very witty book helps us look at human shortcomings and laugh about them. We are imperfect but some of us try hard to overcome, just like Milo, and we always want what we can't have - like Death for a girlfriend. Unique and witty , this story makes you think about how you should live your life and your search for a soulmate and if you are lucky enough to be like Milo and Suzie and find each other then the road is clear.
Nils Shapiro is a gritty ex-cop turned P.I who is helplessly still in love with his ex-wife. He takes on a case of a brutally murdered "nice" woman in a "nice" suburb of Minneapolis during the day in a snowstorm. Did the ex-husband do it or the rich boyfriend? Maybe it was someone with a secret that she was going to tell. The fact that the police, Nils and the FBI all have some piece of the puzzle should make it easy to solve but it isn't. And, why doesn't this intriguing murder and a string of attractive women that keep throwing themselves at him get his ex-wife off his mind? Moves quickly and ends with something I didn't see coming. Lovers of juicy police dramas will eat this up.
Ultimate imagined story of the founding Norwegian Viking families. There are the same political alliances, sworn oaths and bloodshed that you find in the other cultures but this story starts with a jolt and spirals with twice the action. Ragnvald wants to take over his birthright and wed the beautiful Hilda but must first survive an assassination attempt, the loss of his land by the very man who held it and paid to have him done in and the assassin himself. Solvi wants Ragnvald's sister for himself but she will have nothing to do with the man who tried to kill her brother and then buy his way out of it until she begins to see him for who he really is and the freedom he can offer her. Dramatic and blood thirsty representation of a proud race where loyalty, courage and political alliances meant everything-
even more than family.
Futuristic debut by a Swedish journalist that will have people talking around the water cooler. Anna is a workaholic with a young daughter she never sees and is about ready for a flame out when she is offered an unusual job, that of going to a remote island with a group of job applicants for a top secret job and then faking her own death in order to observe their reaction remotely. Sounds like one job interview you don't want to apply for but she takes the job. There is one catch though, her old boyfriend ends up being one of the job applicants. Once her death is official, others begin to disappear ala "And Then There Were None". A storm, lies, missing people and government shenanigans are all part of the program. Who is the manipulator and who is being manipulated and will anyone get off the island alive to tell?
This story is told in two parts - the past through the female managerette Sara Smythe and in 1985 from a poor cousin to the building's architect, Bailey. Sara falls in love with her employer and is sent away under suspicious circumstances only to have Bailey later discover the truth generations after. The history of the famous apartment, the Dakota, one of New York City's most famous buildings, is told so well you can imagine the imposing facade and the elegance of its furnishings. The sheer size of it and the number of staff to run it was impressive enough but Fiona Davis brings a touch of humanism to the deep mahogany of the stairs and breathes life into its many ghosts. Exceptional historical storytelling - just like the Dollhouse, that tells the story of the rise of the glory of New York City.
Great WWll story of a female typist working at the famous top secret Bletchley Park who starts receiving packages passed to her that she realizes are of the famous Amber Room that disappeared after Hitler invaded Russia. She risks it all by accepting the packages from a stranger who claims to work at another hut and thinks they may be coming from her brother but then realizes that this is not a test to see if she can keep secrets and it is not a game. People are dying and soon Honey finds herself deep in danger and fighting for her life. Brew yourself a strong pot of English tea and cozy up with this delightful, well thought out wartime mystery. You will love Honey Deschamps and want more.
Merrick has led an adventurous life but is now stuck living with his cranky brother at their crumbling country estate struggling with a leg injury. When the East India Company and his friends lure him into taking a trip to Peru to discover and smuggle out cuttings of the plant that produces quinine, he is hard pressed to say no. After they assure him that his leg won't slow them down and they need his expertise the trio travel to South America where they pose as coffee growers, hire a guide and stagger off into the jungle. Merrick and his friend along with a Spanish speaking priest of the highlands who is their guide make their way through a surreal area where automated statues demand tribute, trees explode and their path is lit by glowing pollen. Madness, violence and an unexpected friendship with a doomed priest send Merrick on an unusual journey of mind, spirit and soul.
I love to read good books and share the new books that are available and those that are coming soon