Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Mirror - Book 2
This is a serious book! Not for the faint-hearted, let me tell you. And I loved it. :)
We're back with Matty and Grant who still have so many things to iron out between them. It's not an easy row to hoe by any means, love notwithstanding. Are they to be allowed to do this by themselves?
Oh hell no.
If it's not interference and at times outright disapproval from Grant's family, it's the FBI come knocking with a request for Matty to help them out with the tracking down and capture of his ex-lover, the chilling assassin, Jaeger Koning. And what's with Jaeger? Well, nothing other than that he wants his one-time submissive, Matty, back where he belongs. With Jaeger.
There's action. There's banter. There's humour. There's emotion. There's heart-stopping danger and there's moments that one is tempted to weep. Seriously!
But the main strength in this book, I think, comes from the way the author brings us into the minds of the three main characters - Grant, Matty and Jaeger - sharing their thoughts and how their minds and their.. well... their selves are guided and formed by the power exchanges of D/s relationships. I'm explaining it badly - who's surprised? - but I find the whole idea of power exchange to be sexy and heady and fascinating.
Loved it and I hope we may revisit the Mirror Universe at some point. :)
Saturday, June 17, 2017
First off, I really enjoy Trevor Noah on The Daily Show and any guest interviews I've seen him do over time. I also enjoyed his stand-up special Afraid of the Dark and will be looking to find his other specials. I'd heard many good things about this memoir of his, so when it was on sale, I snapped it up!
The book deals with Trevor's childhood in South Africa, growing up first in apartheid and then after the fall of apartheid. The written word sound just like him talking in my head, which I think is good, seeing as it's a memoir, right? Anyway, it's filled with lots of laughter and love, but there is also a lot of insight into apartheid and racism and bigotry of all sorts woven into the tales of the boy Trevor. I thought I knew about apartheid, but I learned so much more reading Trevor's story.
It's also a love letter to his mother in many ways. A fiercely independent woman when the times were not ready for independent women, she was obviously the light of his life. They didn't have it easy. There was abuse, emotional and physical, from Trevor's stepfather, but he tells the stories in the same tone that he tells the rest of his story that I didn't find myself getting upset, just quietly horrified. I don't know if that makes any sense, but there you go.
So yes, I loved this book and have been recommending it all over the place even though I wasn't finished reading it! *LOL* And now that I've finished, I shall definitely continue!!
Friday, June 16, 2017
Rhys Ford is one of my go-to authors. She never disappoints, not really, not even with a book that's not that stellar, such as this one. And I say not that stellar, but I'm still giving it 3.5 stars.
There's a lot of good stuff here. A couple of great main characters, the POV character being Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division of San Francisco. He's telling the story. He's part faerie, part human and has suffered some tremendous losses in his life. He's cranky and cynical a lot of the time and of course, I took to him immediately.
His partner, his new partner, Trent Leonard, is a big handsome hunk of a man, but I felt like we hardly got to know him. Yeah, his backstory was there and all, but I really never got the feeling I knew him the way I've gotten to know so many of Rhys' characters.
The setting is great and the plot works well. There's a lot of magic in this version of San Francisco and Rhys makes it all work quite nicely. We are immersed in Chinese culture, but there was just so much of it that was just there... never explained to one like me who is not familiar with a lot of it. I would have liked either a little more explanation of what was either food, drink, holy relic, a piece of clothing - there were times I was never sure and that tended to take me out of the story.
I also found that there was a lot... a whole helluva lot of description of things. Places, especially. Too much of it for my taste. Now, I have a theory.... this book was originally a short story in an anthology that was expanded into a novel and I wonder if what I was finding too much was due to the expanding of something already written? Maybe. But the thing is, the story didn't really need it! I wanted more character, maybe more interaction with the secondary characters who I really enjoyed and maybe just more discussion between Roku and Trent that wasn't all about the hot sex. But OMG, the sex was hot! There wasn't a ton of it - a lot of tension though. A LOT!
Anyway, should this turn into a series, I won't complain. I want to know more about Roku and Trent and Roku's family and friends and the world.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Sins of the Cities - Book 2
I honestly have yet to be disappointed in a KJ Charles book. An Unnatural Vice continues that positive string. It was terrific!
In An Unnatural Vice, we get the story of Nathaniel Roy who we met in the first book of the series, a friend of Clem's, the illegitimate earl's son and a journalist. He's out to expose a spiritualist, Justin Lazarus, who just happens to be tied to the over-arching plot of the trilogy.
Of course, the two men are drawn to each other despite their mutual distrust. There's just some kind of spark that quickly grows into a bonfire and it works! It's not insta-love, it's insta-lust. And that's okay because the author is just that good that we can see why they're so drawn to each other and it makes sense.
Alot of the reviews etc... that I've read of this book indicate that Justin is a total bastard, but you know what? I never saw him that way. Yes, he's not exactly an honest or upright man, but it's clear from the beginning, at least it was to me, that he had his own code of morals and while they might not be all pure and altruistic, they are constant and he lives by them. Sure, he makes his living by bilking what folks would consider innocent people, but those were the cards he was dealt and what was the alternative? So no, I didn't think he was a right bastard at all.
I will say that Justin was the more intriguing character of the two men. Nathaniel, the crusading journalist doesn't have many grey areas and at times he even came across as a tad snotty about being 'the good guy', but he's also charming and amusingly deprecating at times and this warmed me to him. He is really the perfect foil for Justin and the two of them falling in love was fun to read.
There is lots of action, both in and out of the bedroom and the mystery plot barrels along to an interesting and satisfying second act climax. I am looking forward to Book 3 - already pre-ordered, something I very seldom do - and seeing what comes of Mark, another of the friends, the private investigator, excuse me, the private enquiry agent and Pen, the young man he's discovered. I only have to wait until October. :)
Monday, June 5, 2017
The Checquy Files - Book 2
Sad to say that I didn't enjoy Book 2 as much as I enjoyed Book 1, The Rook. I can put it down to too much infodumping and backstory and not enough story set in current times with the current action. As well as there not being enough of Myfanwy Thomas, the lead character from Book 1.
The main focus of this book is really twofold, two main characters. First we have Pawn Felicity Clements, the Checquy soldier/bodyguard who is set to 'babysit' the Grafter girl, Odette Leliefeld. One of the best things about the story is the relationship between the two young women. I wanted more of that. Originally they dislike (hate?) each other, filled with distrust and suspicion but gradually, over time and adventures, that changes and they become friends, even close friends. I actually liked both of them quite a bit but felt that I would much rather be in 'their' story than reading back over their pasts - mostly Odette's.
Myfanwy is around, she's the boss and she's the one trying to broker the deal between The Checquy and the Grafters to join forces and fight the big, horror bad guys. She sees things very pragmatically and clearly and knows what has to be done. I liked how both young women seemed to look to her as a type of role model even though she's really only about 5 or so years older than they are.
The plot was windy and twisty and involved a splinter group of the Grafters and even some monsters popping up from God knows where. I would have preferred more thought be given to this part of the book than the set up and world-building (really infodump backstory filler author masturbation, if you ask me) and that would have made it hang together better and kept me turning the pages far past the time I should have been asleep.
So... good book, good read, but not as good as I was hoping or expecting.
Oh, I have to say, the artist who did the cover art, one Lindsey Andrews did a STELLAR job! In my ereader this cover looks as if there's a big crack in my screen! I kept doing double takes when I'd catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye. Big kudos!!