Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Graves of Whitechapel by Claire Evans

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Graves of Whitechapel by Claire Evans.  Why – because, murder mystery, Victorian London and Whitechapel have piqued my curiosity – a lot.

TheGravesofVictorian London, 1882. Five years ago, crusading lawyer Cage Lackmann successfully defended Moses Pickering against a charge of murder. Now, a body is found bearing all the disturbing hallmarks of that victim – and Pickering is missing. Did Cage free a brutal murderer?

Cage’s reputation is in tatters, and worse, he is implicated in this new murder by the bitter detective who led the first failed case. Left with no other alternative, Cage must find Pickering to prove his innocence.

His increasingly desperate search takes him back to the past, to a woman he never thought to see again, and down into a warren of lies and betrayals concealed beneath Holland Park mansions and the mean streets of Whitechapel – where a murderer, heartbreak and revenge lie in wait.

Expected publication June 2020

Top Ten Tuesday : 10 Shades of Love

ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic, probably in light of the fact that this Friday is Valentine’s Day, is:

Love – a freebie, any topic you choose

Well, I do tend to bang on about not reading love stories or romances but then when I look at my own shelves I do read more of it than I think, or at least books that aren’t all just about love but do have a romantic theme at their heart.  Here are 10 books that immediately spring to mind, I will warn you upfront that not all of these were favourites.  Some definite ‘Yeses’ and some positive ‘Nos’:

  1. Maybe not the most popular starter but given the title I had to go their – The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.  Well, I confess, I loved this series and I know it’s become one of those things that people now seem to deny liking but what can I say –  I loved this series – okay, maybe not the fourth book – but the first three, yeah, I couldn’t get enough of them.  I might not feel the same if I reread these now but at the time I totally swept up by the whole thing.
  2. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – this is another series that I simply inhaled at the time.  Looking at this in the cold light of day, I don’t think this would be a series that I would pick up today – I don’t tend to read as much YA and I have become very tired of love triangles – but at the time this was very entertaining – although I never got on board with all the other spin off series.
  3. The Poison Study series by Maria V Snyder.  I finished the final instalment in this series not that long ago and thought it concluded on a really good note.  This is a series that just worked very well for me.
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  Bloody hell I loved this series, although, I don’t think I ever concluded the full set. I got as far as No.6, a Breath of Snow and Ashes and I could have sworn that was the conclusion of the series (at the time) and yet it now appears there is a book 9 in the offing – who knew!  Did I mention that I live under a rock.  I’m not sure that I would continue reading these, I did love Jamie but at the same time I quite like the ending from No.6 and if I picked up the following books and didn’t enjoy them, well, it would probably taint the whole series for me.  Ostrich?  Who me ?? I have completist issues.
  5. The All Souls Trilogy (A Discovery of Witches) by Deborah Harkness. I’m going to go with the unpopular opinion on this one.  This series didn’t work for me.  I found the first one okay, I quite liked it in some respects in fact, or at least it started well but then seemed to keep spiralling down, but Matthew got on my last nerve and so although I read the second book it didn’t work out for me at all.  Matthew was too controlling and he came across as one of those characters who everyone seems to wax lyrical about being so fearsome but when push comes to shove he’s about as much use as a chocolate teacup.  He’s one of those chaps who seems to do a lot of growling with the overall notion of ‘hold me back’ or ‘there’ll be hell to pay’ but his bark seems worse than his bite (pun not intended).  Sorry, it’s just me, but I wanted to flick him on the nose.
  6. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.  I love this series so much.  Phedre and Joscelin are the most amazing couple, the world building is fantastic, the storylines are thrilling.  I.  Love.  It.  The end, goodbye.
  7. The Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris.  I read all of these, ngl – I was a bit disappointed with the ending – but, overall an entertaining series that maybe just exceeded it’s welcome a little.  Good fun though.
  8. The Princess Bride by Williams Goldman – more a silly adventure than romance but I do feel this should make the list.  And, it’s one of the rare occasions that I love both the book and the film.
  9. The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross.  A fairytale retelling of one of my favourite stories – Beauty and the Beast – told from the beast’s perspective. I really enjoyed this one and should give it a reread at some point.
  10. In conclusion – I had to go there, given the title, Twilight and the fact it’s fanfic – 50 Shades of Grey by EL James. Yes, I got caught up in all the hype and the fact that everyone seemed to be reading this, plus fanfic for Twilight so I wanted to check out what all the furore was about.  Seriously, this book was not for me.  If you loved this, I’m not having a go, it’s all personal choice at the end of the day, but this is a book that I would have liked to throw across the room.  Nope, no sirree.

 

 

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Posted On 10 February 2020

Filed under Book Reviews
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DeeplightDeeplight by Frances Hardinge has to be one of the most impressive YA fantasies that I’ve read for a long time.  Imagine a world terrorised by Gods that rule the Undersea, massive monsters that are a strange combination of different elements that ultimately feed on fear.  Then imagine that these Gods annihilate each other in some strange cataclysmic event driven by the desire to be …  well, I can’t tell you more about that without sailing into the land of spoilers.  And, yes, this review is going to be chock full of cheesy, nautical and fishy references and overflowing with gushy good humour.  I don’t know where Frances Hardinge has been hiding all this time but I’ve found her now and I’ll be picking up plenty more of her books.  Also, take a minute to look at that cover.  I loved it when I first laid eyes on it but now I’ve read the book I’m able to see all the beautiful and relevant details and it’s even more stunning.

So, Myriad is an archipelago of small islands that, since the demise of the Gods, is thriving.  No longer held hostage by the whims or mercy of ruthless underwater creatures the people can sail further abroad to trade goods and with the abundance of Godware available since the cataclysm business is booming and tourists flock to the area for glimpses of godlike treasure.  With this in mind we start the story with an introduction to Hark, a young boy who makes his living off aforementioned tourists, conning them into parting with their cash.  Hark’s longest known and best friend is Jelt.  Jelt is a little more ambitious than Hark and likes to think of himself as something of a player.  Unfortunately, his latest scheme to ingratiate himself with the local pirates goes pear shaped and Hark finds himself left high and dry taking the blame for the entire operation.

I’m not going to elaborate further on the plot. What I particularly liked about this is it went in a direction I really hadn’t anticipated and that I thoroughly enjoyed.

So, the good, the good and the good?

Well, the worldbuilding is excellent and the bonus is you’re barely aware of it, it’s so inextricably linked with the overall story.  No exposition, no info dumps, no history assignments, everything feels like it’s naturally delivered as the plot progresses and I just love this.  It’s so immersive.

Then the characters.  Let’s be clear, Jelt is an absolute jerk – in fact that was how I started to read his name he got on my last nerve so much.  He is such an abusive character but Hark had too much attachment to him, this wealth of history that they shared and the protection Jelt offered Hark when they were young lonely orphans.  I just wanted to punch Jelt and shake Hark!  There is also Selphin.  I loved her character.  Like Hark and Jelt, she isn’t perfect, she makes mistakes and does things she regrets but she’s a great addition to the story.  Selphin almost died in a sea incident and although she survived the underwater experience left her death.  In fact being ‘sea kissed’ is common for Island people who deep sea dive and is considered with a sort of reverence by the Myriad people, in fact most of the people on the island learn how to sign as the norm.  This brought such an interesting aspect to the story that I loved.  It was seamlessly worked in but at the same time it made you sit up and take note.

The plot is probably the weakest aspect of Deeplight, not that it’s weak, more that the world building, the characters, the creativity at play here, the wonderful writing, well, the plot almost played second fiddle in a way – it is a good story though, don’t get the wrong impression from my ramblings.

In terms of criticisms.  I don’t really have anything, maybe a slight slowing down of pace at certain points but nothing that was really noticeable.  I was totally hooked.

To summarise.  Unusual and fearsome Gods, smugglers, crazy scientists, monks who no longer have a vocation, lots of tentacle waving and underwater scenes that really do come alive on the page.  A beautifully written, highly creative and evocative story, at its core a coming of age tale about two boys who have outgrown each other but also a story that shines a light on fear or uncertainty – better the devil you know?

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4.5 stars

 

Weekly Wrap Up : 9th February 2020

Posted On 9 February 2020

Filed under Book Reviews
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Is it just me or are the weeks flying by at breakneck speed.  I cannot believe it’s the 9th February and I feel so busy at the moment that instead of doing a few things very well, I’m doing a lot of things very badly!  So, I’ve only read one book this week, but it was quite slow going for some reason.  I’m doing all sorts of projects but I’m stuck in that trap where you start one thing, then realise you have another couple of things and you keep going from one to the other.  Consequently everywhere is a bit of a pigsty, there are incomplete gardening projects, unfinished house projects and unread books, plus my blog hopping has been dire.  I can do better, lol.  At least I’m still trying to eat healthy and exercise a little more each day.  So, here’s my reading this week:

  1. The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

TheSisters

What I’m reading next week:

  1. Crownbreaker by Sebastien deCastell
  2. The Wolf of Oren- Yaro by K. S. Villoso
  3. Starsight by Brandon Sanderson (audio)

Upcoming Reviews:

  1. King of the Road by RS Belcher
  2. Queenlayer by Sebastien DeCastell
  3. The Absinthe Earl by Sharon Lynn Fisher
  4. Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
  5. King of Assassins by RJ Barker
  6. The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

I’d love to know what you’re reading this week.

Friday Face Off : “Is that a lion with horns and a pitchfork?”

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

Lion- “Is that a lion with horns and a pitchfork?”

A lot of the new themes are open to interpretation which might make choosing the covers and seeing other’s choices very interesting.  I can’t stress enough that this is all about your own interpretation and hopefully this new open feel to the meme will bring a larger selection of books and covers.  It’s not supposed to be hard work, there are no rules, just enjoy yourself.

I’m not entirely sure what I had in mind for this week’s themes but as it happens I had a few more possibilities for this than I first suspected would be the case.  I’ve gone for another fairly recent read which only has a couple of covers.  A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay.  This was the first book I’ve read by this author and I really enjoyed it.  Here are the covers:

There’s only one favourite for me:

ABrightness

Is this even a lion?  I’m not sure but I’m having it for this week’s theme.

Which is your favourite?

I’ll be updating the list in order to include forthcoming events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share then let me know in the comments).  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know 😀

Next week –romantic – “thus with a kiss I die”

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers) (I’ve added some new themes – some of these are slightly different, in order to avoid too much repetition I’m trying to make the themes more of a suggestion that everyone can interpret how they like.  

2019

14th February – romantic – “thus with a kiss I die”

21st February – meringue – the puffy dress? – Lots of covers with ‘big’ dresses

28th February – Leap Year – One Ring to rule them all – A cover with a ring

6th March – Skeleton – them bones, them bones, them dry bones…

13th March – Exotic – ‘That which yields, is not always weak”– anything that represents something from distant lands.

20th March – Brown – a cover or covers that are brown

27th March – Freebie – choose one of your favourite covers

3rd April Fools – a trick of the eye – a cover that is more than meets the eye.

10th April – Moody – a cover that is atmospheric,

17th April – out of focus – double vision or all a blur

24th April – Armour – ‘“Pretty armour doesn’t make a warrior.”

1st May – Canine – “And then there were cats, thought Dog.:

8th May – graphic novel cover – “Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel”

15th May – pink – as pink as cotton candy – any cover that is pink

22nd May – Sorrow – a cover that makes you feel sad

29th May – Silhouette – an island, a person, anything you like

5th June – Flight – any type of flight – to flee, to fly

12th June – The bodice ripper – exactly as it seems

19th June – Time – time waits for no one

26th June – Windows – windows to the soul?

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