The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in 2017, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Graphic Novel | 0 comments

The Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel GreenbergThe Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: 2016 Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 224
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

In the Empire of Migdal Bavel, Cherry is married to Jerome, a wicked man who makes a diabolical wager with his friend Manfred: if Manfred can seduce Cherry in one hundred nights, he can have his castle–and Cherry.

But what Jerome doesn’t know is that Cherry is in love with her maid Hero. The two women hatch a plan: Hero, a member of the League of Secret Story Tellers, will distract Manfred by regaling him with a mesmerizing tale each night for 100 nights, keeping him at bay. Those tales are beautifully depicted here, touching on themes of love and betrayal and loyalty and madness.

My Thoughts:
So many people I know and trust recommended this graphic novel that I just had to get on the waiting list at the library.

I am so glad I did. This is simply a wonderful graphic novel. The story and the stories layered within it are interesting, fun, sad, touching, dark and also humorous.

Also beautiful is the artwork by the author. It places the action firmly in a world created by the daughter of a god.

The stories Hero tells become stories within stories and are about the women. They’re part fairy tale and part feminist manifesto. Some are retellings of familiar tales but with changes that still make them new. They are also about the stories and the power of storytelling.

I loved it and I think you will too

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess – Audio Edition

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in 2.5 stars, 2017, Audio, Book Review, Elizabeth Peters | 0 comments

The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess narrated by Barbara RosenblatThe Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess narrated by Barbara Rosenblat

Genre: Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Series: #20 in the Amelia Peabody series publication order, #14 in story chronology order
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publication Date: 2017
Length: 13 hours, 18 minutes
Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

Egypt, 1912. Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters’ best-selling, beloved mystery series.
Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo when a man with a knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word – “murder” – before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried is a sheet of paper with Amelia’s name and room number and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: “Judas”. Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye. . . .

My Thoughts:
I have listened to and enjoyed all the Amelia Peabody books. Barbara Rosenblat’s narration has added to the entertainment. This will remain an audio book series that I will recommend. When Barbara Mertz (Elizabeth Peters) passed away I resigned myself to the end of the series. The good thing was that she had written the final book in the story chronology and her recent books went back and fit in the timeline between previous books. This meant that the series was left without an ending.

The Painted Queen was an unfinished manuscript that the author left when she died. Her estate asked Mertz’s friend Joan Hess to complete the book.

I knew going in that this wasn’t going to be classic Amelia Peabody but I couldn’t resist the chance for one last adventure with Amelia and her family. The book was enjoyable but it was clearly not all the original author’s work. It’s an adequate addition to the series but not a necessary one.

 

Rating
3 
<img src= 2.5/5 for the book

4 stars 4/5 for the narration

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Descender Book Four: Orbital Mechanics by Jeff Lemire

Posted by on Sep 8, 2017 in 2017, 5 stars, Book Review, Comics, Jeff Lemire | 2 comments

Descender Book Four: Orbital Mechanics by Jeff Lemire with art by Dustin NguyenDescender Book Four: Orbital Mechanics by Jeff Lemire with art by Dustin Nguyen

Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Descender #4
Format: Comics Collected Edition
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 120
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 4 is a compilation of issues 17-21 of the comic series.
From the publisher:

Tim-21, Telsa, and Quon finally escape the Machine Moon and head out on a quest to find the ancient robot who may hold the key to the Harvesters. Meanwhile Andy and his ragtag team close in on Tim, but their fragile alliance is shattered by Driller’s revelations.

My Thoughts:
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Jeff Lemire. This science fiction series he’s doing with Dustin Nguyen handling the artwork is wonderful.

This is volume 4 so the story is well in progress and the synopsis won’t make a lot of sense if you aren’t already reading the series.

My point here is to tell you to get your hands on this comics series and start reading it. You too will fall a little in love with a robot boy and have stronger than you expected feelings about a robot designed to drill mines.

The previous volume focused on the back stories of several of the main characters. This one jumps right back into the action and takes off.

The story is wonderful and the artwork is equally good. It’s done in watercolors which gives it a whole different feel than many comic series.

You need to read this series.

a9741-rating_5stars Rating 5/5

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My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in 2017, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Graphic Novel | 2 comments

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil FerrisMy Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel
Format: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 386
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.

My Thoughts:
Thank you to everyone who recommended this. It was exactly what you told me it would be. A completely unique and fascinating graphic novel the likes of which I’ve never seen before. I was a little hesitant to read it because I’m not nearly as big a horror fan as the main character. I shouldn’t have worried. What she loves is the old classic horror movies and comics that I loved as a kid myself.

The layers to both the story and the artwork in this graphic novel are both complex and wonderful. This is a hefty volume but I didn’t want to put it down. I’m so glad I started it when I had plenty of time.

There is a second volume to this story coming and I’m stalking my library website in order to be on the waiting list early.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington

Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in 2017, 3 stars, Book Review | 0 comments

How I Married a Marquess by Anna HarringtonHow I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington

Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ebook
Series: #3 in the Secret Life of Scoundrels series
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 276
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

A SHOCKING DECEPTION . . .
Josephine Carlisle, adopted daughter of a baron, is officially on the shelf. But the silly, marriage-minded misses in the ton can have their frilly dresses and their seasons in London, for all she cares. Josie has her freedom and her family . . . until an encounter with a dark, devilishly handsome stranger leaves her utterly breathless at a house party. His wicked charm intrigues her, but that’s where it ends. For Josie has a little secret . . .

. . . LEADS TO AN EXQUISITE SEDUCTION
Espionage was Thomas Matteson, Marquess of Chesney’s game-until a tragic accident cost him his career. Now to salvage his reputation and return to the life he loves, the marquess must find the criminal who’s been robbing London’s rich and powerful. He’s no fool-he knows Josie, with her wild chestnut hair and rapier-sharp wit, is hiding something and he won’t rest until he unravels her mysteries, one by one. But he never expected to be the one under arrest-body and soul . . .

My Thoughts:
It’s been ages since I read a good old historical romance. I saw a review of this one on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and it just sounded fun and fun was what I was in the mood for.

Although mostly predictable (see the title), this was nevertheless a fun romp. Although this is the third in a series is stands alone just fine.

There’s more adventure in this one than there is house parties and dances and that worked just fine for me. Josie and Thomas were both fun and a bit unconventional. There was plenty of quick witty banter to go along with the sex. I both liked and wanted to slap the them equally. Josie’s brothers were a great supporting cast and I’m glad to see Harrington has a series featuring them.

This was exactly the light fun entertainment I look for in this genre. I will probably pick up the other books in this series.

3 stars Rating 3/5

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The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in 2017, 4 stars, Book Review | 2 comments

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen DionneThe Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

Genre: Fiction, Suspense
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 307
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

At last, Helena has the normal life she craved: a loving husband, two adorable daughters, a business that pays the bills. But when her father escapes from a nearby prison, she realizes she was a fool to think she could put her dark past behind her. Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by Helena’s father and held captive in a cabin surrounded by swamp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Helena was born two years later, and as she grew up she had no idea that anything was wrong. She loved her rugged childhood, and despite her father’s sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too–until she learned precisely how monstrous he could be. Now a young mother, Helena has hidden her past so thoroughly that even her husband has no idea of the truth. But after her father kills two prison guards and vanishes into the marshland he knows better than anyone, Helena knows the police don’t stand a chance of finding him. Only one person has the skills to catch the notorious child abductor and survivalist the world calls the Marsh King, because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter. Unless, that is, he finds her first.

My Thoughts:
As soon as I read the description for this book I got myself on the waiting list at the library. This is so my type of book.

The present-day story in this one takes place over the course of just a day or two. Interspersed is the back story of Helena’s childhood in which she didn’t know that she and her mother were captives of her father. As far as the child Helena knew her life was normal. Her transition afterwards was not an easy one.

This is part chase story and part psychological thriller. It’s told from Helena’s viewpoint so in the flashbacks it’s clear how much her younger self loved her father despite the emotional and physical abuse that was normal as far as she knew. Some of those sections are difficult to read as are some of the graphic hunting scenes.

Helena’s father taught her to hunt and track and now she’s hunting and tracking him in order to save her family.

This was my kind of suspense story and if the stuff I mentioned above isn’t troublesome for you, I recommend it.

4 starsRating 4/5

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