Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell

4 Stars

Witches of Lychford - Book One

What a pleasant surprise!  I've had this book in my TBR for a long while and kept avoiding it, probably because it was a novella and I'm not big on novellas.  It's too bad, because I started it late last night and finished it this evening.  It was really good! 

The story is set in a small town in contemporary England that just happens to be the boundary between our mundane world and a world filled with many wild and dangerous and evil things.  A bigbox store wants to set up business in the town and that would bring down the barriers and well... you can imagine. 

Three women stand between the evil, the town cranky lady, the vicar and the skeptical owner of the magic store.  All three of them are terrific characters, filled with flaws and emotions and authenticity that I just loved and was quite frankly surprised to see in the shortened framework of a novella. 

But I'm not gonna lie, I wanted it to be longer!  I wanted to spend more time with these women and learn even more about them - and that bit of a twisty ending!  Surprised the hell out of me, it did!

And Book Two is now on my wishlist!

Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart

4 Stars

Li Du Mysteries - Book One

This book was recommended by my favourite mystery author, Louise Penny, as one of her favourites, and I thought it was a great read.

It's a true mystery, not a thriller, not suspense, but a true mystery, set in 1708 China. Our hero, a one time imperial librarian, but now an exile, turns detective when he arrives in the last city near the border of Tibet in the midst of preparations for an imperial festival celebrating a solar eclipse. The celebrations including the presence of the emperor who is believed to command the eclipse. 

There's a murder, a Jesuit astronomer, and there are many suspects. The plot is a little twisty turny, plenty enough to keep me turning page after page, enjoying multiple surprises.  I had my suspicions about the murderer, but I was never really certain until the reveal.  And even then there was more to the story!  And, I'm happy to say, the wind-up was quite satisfying to me. 

The writing is good.  I enjoy the way it brought me into the story and created a great sense of atmosphere.  And the characters were well rounded and easy to relate to and I really liked the ones I was supposed to like. Enough that I already have the second Li Du book on my wishlist.

So... excellent, classic mystery!  Thanks for the rec, Mme Penny!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Blood Binds the Pack by Alex Wells

4 Stars

The Ghost Wolves - Book Two

I really enjoyed this book and can't figure out for the life of me why it took so long to read it!  I think I have to blame the weather because it seems when it's really humid, I cannot concentrate on any book for longer than 15 minutes.  Sadly. 

Now this is the second of the Ghost Wolves books, and I adored the first one, this one was just not quite as wonderful by a smidge but I think that's because of my problems with the heat.  Again, as in the first book, the beginning half of the story starts slow, and I find myself wondering if I'd read this book on the heels of the first one (read that one over a year ago) if I wouldn't  have found it so.  It this that makes me think the plot line with Shige and the Mr Yellow, the Weatherman, held more import than I gave it. But anyway, come the halfway point the story picked up with a vengeance. 

Our favourites are back and although I'd have liked more interaction with Hob and the Wolves, it was good to see how she'd taken complete control of her people.  I also would have liked more with her and Mag, but that's not the way the story went - they each had a job to do to take care of their folks.

Mysteries were solved and my suspicions about the Bone Collector turned out to be true.  Go me! 

I loved the world-building and most of the characters and I was truly sad when the story ended because I wanted more action, more plotting, more raids, more fighting for the right reasons. I wonder if the author will ever revisit Tanegawa's World?  I hope so, cause I'll sure be there to read about it.