This series combines a steampunk view of England and the world with authentic and mysterious characters. Their connections to one another are unusual and mysterious and we believe this world to exist without question. We now find Mori headed back to Japan where Thaniel and Six are sent to find out the source of the multiple ghost sittings terrorizing the embassy as well as Mori's strange behavior. My favorite interactions are between Six, Thaniel and Mori. Six is the perfect blend of precociousness and innocence. Using Japan as a setting makes the book feel even more mysterious, filled with ancient knowledge, superstition, and quiet grace. Perfect for fans of C.J. Polk, Matt Haig, and Neil Gaiman.
The British Isles in the 1840s was an exciting age of exploration of the natural sciences and a trendy pastime for the privileged to explore. But, it was still very much an age of oppression and rigid conformation to religion and strict moral conduct. The story ties a wet nurse to the Chambers family and their brood of inquisitive children, an interesting find of a fossil and the publication of a secretive book that outlines the beginnings of natural sciences apart from church teachings. The banter and setting are totally Jane Austen's style as is the characters but then it goes off track with the questions of Constantia's (the wet nurse) background and the hereditary traits of some of the male Chambers children. The author shows an interesting juxtaposition between this age of exploration and maintaining the old moral standards.
As she is almost home after a very long shift at her vet clinic Cassie witnesses a brutal attack on a woman and confronts the attacker. The man escapes with her car and purse giving him all the information he needs to be a threat to her family. To add to that her husband disappears and Cassie's life starts spinning out of control. Very intense, very violent and a very well constructed complex plot - Cassie is someone I would want on my side in a crisis. Like a nightmare you can't wake yourself up from until you know how it ends, you will find yourself reading deep into the night to finish this debut. All fans of thrillers need to read this.
Maya served on a jury where she was the deciding vote against convicting a teacher of murdering his student. All the jurors were affected in some way by this case and now ten years later, a documentary is being made and the jury has been invited to participate. Maya, now an attorney, is reluctant but most of the others will be there so she decides to attend. Something really bad happens and she is put in the spotlight and on the other side of the courtroom. How well do we know the story of what really happened and what has happened to all of them in the ten years since the trial? The pacing is perfect and with every page, you finish you have more questions and doubt. This is a terrific legal thriller with a shocker ending that will satisfy every fan of courtroom legal battles (ala Grisholm) and today's savviest thrillers.
A perfect example of what makes a good thriller - the pace is perfect (speeding train), the characters are believable (flawed and human) and it makes you question every new bit of information at the same time the protagonists are (like a good Agatha Christie book). As a child Alice was a victim of a brief kidnapping that ended with her being found quickly, making her one of the lucky ones. She is now obsessed with an online group that looks for clues and hopefully finds missing people in addition to her job at her dad's construction firm. One day she sees a face that looks way too familiar and the story snowballs from there. Lori Rader-Day knows her stuff so prepare yourself to fall down the rabbit hole with Alice and get nothing else accomplished until the last page.
A family vacation in the Carribean leads to disaster, changing the family forever. Since that vacation when Claire was seven and her older sister was murdered, Claire has been a bit lost. Years pass and after changing her name and trying to cut loose from the shy alter-ego she heads to NYC where she runs into one of the main suspects in her sister's case. Suddenly, it brings it all back to the surface and she has to find out what happened. This is a story of loss, emotional sabotage and a look at how we remember the lost ones in a reverent way even if the facts say otherwise. This debut pulls no punches and doesn't sugarcoat the victims or the potential criminals.
Csorwe is about to be sacrificed as she has known she would be from birth but then is saved from that fate by a wizard who takes her away and trains her, and some others to become assassins and thieves.
The world created in this debut is well constructed and very colorful. The characters feel real and fantastic at the same time and while the violence and action never stop, there are very poignant moments of love, jealousy, and longing. It has all the elements of the great fantasy classics with a modern approach to non-gender biased relationships. There is plenty to think about until the next installment of the series arrives which I hope we will not have to wait too long to read. Fans of GIDEON THE NINTH, THE OATHBRINGER and GAME OF THRONES should love this.
A slim novel that packs a punch. Librarian Lizzie sees a very diverse group of people and corresponds with an even more diverse group in her side job of answering email. She is dealing with her marriage, her young son, mom and most of all, her addicted brother doesn't leave Lizzie with a lot of free time to figure out what she wants. A treasure trove of little survival skills and amazing answers to unanswerable questions, this book will have your mind working overtime.
A school for young women to encourage free thinking is begun by Caroline's father, a philosopher, in the late 1800s. He has her teaching English and she is the only female teacher. Soon the girls begin to show a disturbing illness that borders on hysteria and Caroline also begins to show symptoms she works hard to conceal from the others. A doctor is brought in to take care of the girls but his methods are anything but medical. This story puts together some interesting paradoxes including encouraging modern thinking and education for young women but their teaching is still male dominant and they are all starting to understand their bodies and freedom but then they are betrayed by this strange disease which again gives the male doctor and Caroline's father complete power over them. Caroline's mother died when she was very young making her father the only parent and without a good female role model. There would be much to discuss for book clubs.
I knew nothing about this fascinating woman, Desiree Clary, who was seduced and then dumped by Napoleon. The story should have ended there but Desiree was kept close to the Bonepartes when her sister married Napoleon's brother and later when Desiree married one of his trusted army friends. Allison Pataki paints a clear picture of the violence and uncertainty during the French Revolution and the stormy aftermath under the egomaniac Napoleon and his scheming wife, Josephine. Desiree ended up surprisingly on top as she was able to marry for love and she and her husband went on to become the rulers of Sweden where their descendants are still on the throne. For fans of historical fiction that paints a vivid picture of the lives of the well known and not so well known characters.
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