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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Great read!

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal




Set in the First World War, I really enjoyed this! Action packed! The ghost talkers are mediums who talk to dead soldiers to find out enemy troop actions in an attempt to foil them.
Very clever premise!
Ginger Stuyvesant is an American heiress and medium, with an English mother. She has joined the Spirit Corps, an elite spiritualist force, as a volunteer. Her fiancé Captain Ben Hartford is also involved as an intelligence officer, fully aware of the Corps mission. He is looking for a traitor who is supplying information about the Corps to the Germans. The Germans are targeting the Corps. The Sprit Corps is in grave danger.
Plenty of intrigue and heart stopping moments. I admit to a tear or two!
Kowal has managed to capture the essence of the era, the battle fronts and the organizations that worked so diligently in secret. It's not the Bletchley circle but it comes close with the intrigue and devotion to cause, bringing an air of reality to an otherwise fantastical notion.

A NetGalley ARC


*****

... court intrigue and a bridal candidate

The Emperor's Arrow by Lauren D.M. Smith


For a moment I thought I wandered through familiar territory. I was wrong. This is an interesting departure from the warrior woman story, with shades of Terun Edun and Sarah Maas. The central character Evony of Aureline doesn't become a warrior woman despite the opinion of her society, she is one because she comes from a clan of warrior women, she is an Amazzi warrior. 
(Ok very close to Amazons but there you go--a small shrug of the shoulders!)
The Amazzi, unlike the rest of the satellite rulers are allies to the Fuscienne family from before they became Emperors. Emperor Galen is the Adnuhom (the man the Amazzi bow to). They are his arrows, his personal army.
Having won a competition amongst the Amazzi clans, Evony is sent to Emperor Galen's court. To her dismay Evony finds herself being presented as a candidate with other highborn women of the realm to be the Emperor's bride. (A fact her hilarious sisters had failed to notify her about!)
Of course Evony is startling different to the other contestants from the get go and sorely puzzled by the attributes her competitors see as desirable. Evony is happy to breed a child, but life at court is not for her. She has the freedom of a warrior. Indeed Emperor Galen finds he has bitten off more than he can chew with this particular candidate. Evony becomes involved in the court intrigue, searching for a traitor in their midst at Galen's behest. In doing so she and Galen come to know each other as comrades in arms and so much more.

 A NetGalley ARC 

****

... paranormal action!



Book 3 continues the SEAL team's fight against an unknown, powerful enemy as they endeavour to clear their names.
Lieutenant Seth “Rawls” Rawlings, ST7’s corpsman,  may have returned from beyond death but his crossing back over is accompanied by another challenge.
Rawls is thrown in contact with Faith Ansell, the scientist whose fellow workers were captured by an unknown force, and that contact has them both on edge.
MacKenzie isn't happy with the way his team is collecting partners--that is not going to happen to him!
Amy needs to be reunited with her children but that has risks no-one can foretell.
There's a dangerous force out to get the SEAL team with unlimited resources. Time and again they are rescued by Wolf, a Shadow Mountain warrior, Kait's brother and so much more.
We are starting to see the forces being arrayed against the Mackenzie and those supporting them. Neither are insignificant.
An exciting episode added to the 'forged' series as the enemy becomes clearer, sides are aligned and the unforeseen becomes reality. An eco, paranormal adventure that continues the tradition of honourable men and their equally honourable and feisty women.

A NetGalley ARC

*** 1/2

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hope for the wounded--body, heart and soul!

Obviously PTSD is very dear to Davis' heart. This book, a racey romance, deals with some very real and serious issues. That this is a vehicle for such concerns in no way detracts from the storyline. It gives us the unvarnished acceptance of this mental health issue, an issue that when present, deeply affects the lives of all involved.
'Survivor' highlights some of those issues. Of course the story ends on the road to hope. Something we would all wish for.
All that aside I loved the character of Navy SEAL Dustin Frank as he fights his inner demons and the gal who challenges him in every way, Kelcee Todd. A young woman who is harbouring some very dark secrets and fears--fleeing the Russian mob and a brother out for vengeance. Dustin, having lost part of his leg and suffering explosive panic attacks, is looking for quiet and rest--healing being a dim possibility. A possibility being offered at his ex-commanding officer's property, Eagle Ridge Ranch.
Warrior Falls, part is of the setting in the Hill Country of Texas has a place of importance for first peoples. It may just help all these wounded warriors of today.
As Kelcee and Dustin are thrown together they begin to see each other in new ways.
A great start to a new series.

A NetGalley ARC

****

... an elopement, murder and mystery



Enjoyable in only the way a British mystery set between the two World Wars, the Interbellum period, can be.
We have a self deprecating young woman, Lady Georgiana Rannoch of royal lineage, whose would be Irish fiancĂ©e, the Honourable Darcy O'Mara, learns that his father has been arrested for murder--just as they are enroute to Gretna Green. It seems the fates have conspired against them, including the fact that the Northern Road is closed due to blizzard conditions.
The interesting fact of Georgina's lineage and the elopement is revealed in the  in the quite engaging opening.
Solving of the mystery of Darcy's father's innocence is quite a challenge and makes for a good read. Georgina of course hies off to Ireland to support her man.
We are introduced to the eccentric and daring, sultry Russian Princess Alexandra Maria Zamanska known as Zou Zou. A wonderful character.

A NetGalley ARC

****

Interesting!

City of Wolves by Willow Palecek 



Tight writing is part of this succinct novella that explores the realm of gaslight fantasy.
Intrigue and nobility, with werewolves and the death of a Lord. Said Lord has been found dead in mysterious circumstances, made even more so by the bite marks all over his body. Alexander Drake, private investigator, is hired to find out the truth but sometimes the truth is too large and better left alone.
There is a certain predictability. Despite this, I hope we hear more about Drake.

A NetGalley ARC

*** 1/2

Heart and hurt--a dangerous mixture!


Lord Hadley Fullerton, the second son of the Duke of Claymore, has never forgiven Lady Evangeline Stuart the betrayal of their love all those years ago.
Now she is widowed and he and his fellow libertine scholars have more imminent and dangerous matters to consider. The enemy who has been hounding them must be stopped.
Lady Evangeline Stuart has her own set of secrets.
Romance and intrigue are braided together in an intriguing and heart stopping fashion as these two come together again. Neither is prepared for the outcome. Can trust once lost ever be regained?

A NetGalley ARC

****