Friday Face Off : “Ludo ….. down”

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, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are liste d below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – 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:

 “Ludo ….. down” – A cover that is Upside Down

The two books that sprang to mind for this were Neverwhere and I am Behind you but, I’ve featured both of those covers previously so wanted something different.  I’ve gone instead for the first book in Emma Newman’s Split World series.  This is a fantasy world that is quite different.  We have the modern day version of Bath, the land of the fae which exists alongside and then a layer in between separating the two – a reflection of the modern day version of Bath but that is set back in time.  Anyways here are the covers – only two I’m afraid this week

I like both of these covers.  The first has lots of little details taken from the story and I love the font.  The second is very dramatic with the top and bottom banners that make the centre piece stand out.  I think if push came to shove my favourite would be :

Between2

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so we can all visit and check out each others covers.  Thanks

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included 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 that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week –  A cover featuring children

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers)

2019

2nd August – “There are children here somewhere. I can smell them.” A cover featuring children

9th August – “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” – A cover featuring Pirates

16th August – “The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagles own plumes” – a cover featuring feathers

23rd August – A cover that is a movie tie in

30th August – “I wandered lonely as a cloud” – a cover that is predominantly yellow

6th September “Warm September brings the fruit” – a cover that is seasonal for Autumn/Fall

13th September – Friday the 13th – unlucky for some!  A cover with ‘curse’ in the title

20th September – “Your hair is winter fire,January embers.” – A cover featuring hair

27th September – Freebie

4th October – “Feed me Seymour” – A cover that is 60s horror

11th October – ““And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”  – a cover featuring an Inn

18th October – “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.

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Between Two Thorns Split Worlds #1) by Emma Newman readalong final week

BetweenTwoThorns.pngToday is the final week of our readalong of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.  The schedule is below and a link to the Goodread’s page here.  Please be aware of spoilers below and also look out for notification of a readalong for No.2 if you want to jump on board.

Part 1 – Monday 9th May: Chapters 1-9, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Part 2 – Monday 16th May: Chapters 10-18, hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings
Part 3 – Monday 23rd May: Chapters 19-25, hosted by x + 1
Part 4 – Monday 30th May: Chapters 26-End, hosted by Lynn’s Books

Well, book No.1 has reached it’s conclusion and I find myself with plenty of questions!  Even though this first book in series was a reread for me I’d forgotten a lot of the story and this reread has reminded me of how much this book leaves up in the air!  Not a bad thing to be honest but it definitely feels like a first in series type of book!  So, to the questions.

1. We seem to have a number of separate threads even by the end of the book – what do you make of it all so far. Were you surprised by any of the final revelations?

I think the biggest surprise for me by the end of the story was the conclusion that Max reached in his investigation of the death/murders at the Chapterhouse.  I also think that the Sorcerer is a very odd sort of character and I can’t really put my finger on what’s going on with him yet but I’m definitely keen to find out.  My thoughts are definitely a bit of a jumble with all that took place although at the back of my mind I feel like everything will lead back to one thing, not sure yet what that will be – unless perhaps one of the fae!

2. What are your impressions of the world that Emma Newman has created here?

I like the originality of the idea.  The fae world and the mundane with the nether in-between acting as both protectors and servants for both sides.  I found it easier to focus on it during this readalong because I think when I picked up the book originally I was too determined to find out what was going on and raced a little to the end.  I also really enjoy the different periods.  Newman has created an excellent opportunity to bring us a regency type period drama with all its own dilemmas whilst at the same time giving us the modern world which allows her to address all sorts of issues – in particular relating to sexism and the class structure.  I was a bit horrified during the final revelations and the punishments being dished out about this ‘agency’ that would swoop in and place people elsewhere – such as brothels (like the one Will visited whilst on his tour!!)

3. Do you have any favourite characters so far? Any characters that you’re still not sure of and who do you positively dislike?

Well, Will is a person who makes me conflicted.  Every time he does something right he then follows up with an immediate gaff.  I like that he and Cathy finally tried to work together in the last few chapters.  I don’t like it that he was a glory stealing hound but I can kind of see his reasoning for that – after all if Cathy had been at the centre of everything uncovering all sorts of nefarious plots everyone would have focused more on HER than on the PLOTS.  But, okay, whilst I can get over that issue I don’t like that in the next breath he’s saving the Rose girl (sorry, can’t recall her name) who was plotting along with her brother and the rest of the families.  He’s too fickle when it comes to outside appearance.  He’s made disparaging remarks about Cathy and how plain she is and is then prepared to help a woman, purely based on the fact that she’s beautiful, and yet she was trying to make him into a bit of a fool – presumably he wouldn’t have been so anxious to help a woman in similar circumstances if she was a little less easy on the eye!  I don’t know, he’s a product of his upbringing I suppose which leaves him as scared to step out of the bounds of society as everyone else and which in turn gives him a bit of a wishy washy lack of backbone type of feel.

Cathy.  Conflicted again.  I like her but sometimes just want to shake her somehow – she doesn’t always think on her feet although she definitely improved as the book went along.

Max and the gargoyle – you have to take them as a double act.  Max can seem a little lacking somehow some times – but that’s because he does lack a soul – which is currently housed inside the gargoyle.  Taken as a double act they’re a good team that I enjoy reading.

Sam, interestingly, and although from a different era, Sam can come across as rather sexist.  I still hold out hope for him and his wife (although I do wonder if she’s already given up with the marriage – time will tell).  He’s not a bad guy but comes across very much as a bit like the rabbit in the headlights but hopefully he will gain a bit more charisma in the next book.

Lord Poppy – I like him – he’s odd, rude and dangerous but as far as fae go I like his strange eccentricity and I picture him with a knowing glint in his eye.  I have the impression that nothing is how you suspect with him and it’s going to be interesting to see how he’s involved in the next book.

4. What are your predictions for moving into the next story?

Well, I have no idea – hopefully we’ll find out a little more about the Chapterhouse murders and what exactly is taking place in the nether world.  It seems to me that there’s some sort of take over bid going on between Bath and London – and just how much of this is being engineered by the fae will be interesting to see.

 

Between Two Thorns Split Worlds #1) by Emma Newman readalong week 3

BetweenTwoThorns.pngToday is week one of our readalong of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.  The schedule is below and Today is week three of our readalong of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.  The schedule is below and a link to the Goodread’s page here.  Feel free to jump on board and if you haven’t read the book please be aware of spoilers below.

Part 1 – Monday 9th May: Chapters 1-9, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Part 2 – Monday 16th May: Chapters 10-18, hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings
Part 3 – Monday 23rd May: Chapters 19-25, hosted by x + 1
Part 4 – Monday 30th May: Chapters 26-End, hosted by Lynn’s Books

1. Sam is our fish out of water – any sympathy for his predicament?

Sam was just purely a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time and so yes I do have sympathy for him.  He doesn’t seem like a bad type of guy on the face of it.  He seems to be in a job that’s a bit ‘meh’ and in a relationship that’s definitely not going to any good places from where I’m standing.  At the moment he reads a little bit like a rabbit caught in the headlights.  He certainly doesn’t stand up for himself and he’s just getting pulled and pushed about.

2. Horatio Gallica-Rosa is claiming property to try to weasel his way into Aquae Sulis; and the Alba-Rosas are trying to weasel their way into Will’s good graces to stop him. Given what we know about Lady Rose, do we believe in the inter-Rosa feud, or is this all part of a plan? (if so, what do you think it is?)

Difficult to say too much here.  However, my first impressions of all of this is that one is as bad as the other.  I certainly don’t trust either to be honest.  There’s an awful lot of political manoeuvring in this book and it’s all about position.

3. We get to see a lot more of Will this week. What do you make of him now we’ve got to know him better? Do you think Cathy should give him a chance?

My first impressions of Will were not particularly good.  He does come across as a bit of a philanderer and it seemed like he used his ‘tour’ as an opportunity to be a bit wild.  I don’t really appreciate that to be honest.  That being said I did feel like he redeemed himself slightly at the Ball with Cathy.  To be honest, I still have mixed feelings, he seemed to want to almost rescue Cathy when he realised she was being beaten by her father, even requesting that the marriage be brought forward.  Of course that could be for some other self serving need but it did come across at the time that he was a bit outraged.  Then, in the next few chapters he acts like a giddy fool being all swept off his feet by a pretty woman batting her eyelashes at him.  Which isn’t good for a number of reasons.  Okay, he doesn’t love Cathy but is he really just going to openly flirt with any good looking woman that comes along?  Plus, he comes across as a bit too easily to manipulate – in spite of thinking of himself as terribly clever!

4. No sooner has Cathy survived Society – after a fashion – than she’s back in deep water with the Sorcerer and sent to Exilium. How well do you think she handled Lord Poppy?

I thought Cathy did remarkably well, in fact she almost came across as though she couldn’t be bothered even being scared.  A little like she already has enough on her plate so just get it all over and done with.  Of  course, she managed to flatter Lord Poppy and also steer Sam along through it all but she seemed a lot less timid that she did in the first meeting.

 

 

Between Two Thorns Split Worlds #1) by Emma Newman

BetweenTwoThorns.pngToday is week two of our readalong of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.  The schedule is below and a link to the Goodread’s page here.  Feel free to jump on board and if you haven’t read the book please be aware of spoilers below.

Part 1 – Monday 9th May: Chapters 1-9, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Part 2 – Monday 16th May: Chapters 10-18, hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings
Part 3 – Monday 23rd May: Chapters 19-25, hosted by x + 1
Part 4 – Monday 30th May: Chapters 26-End, hosted by Lynn’s Books

We get to meet Will and see a couple of different sides to him. What do you think of Cathy’s betrothed?

My first impression of Will was not entirely positive to be honest.  First off he’s been on a tour of Europe where between his and his father’s remarks it seems as though he was perhaps sowing his wild oats.  Not a good start.  Then debating with his friend about which would be the best bride for them or at least the most acceptable.  A tad arrogant not to mention shallow.  And on top of that he seems just as centred on status and outward appearances as everyone else.  However, all those things being said, I’m willing to be proved wrong and in his favour I thought coming to Cathy’s rescue at the ball was an excellent start.  She didn’t make it easy for him and he really did try to be positive – at the end of the day it’s not just Cathy who is being forced into the marriage.

The Sorcerer seems to be acting a bit inconsistently, any ideas what is going on with him?

The thing that really occurred to me was that he was acting more like a ‘stand in’, like he wasn’t really himself and so wasn’t quite sure how to behave or what to say.

Things are starting to link up now that we have context for the events at the beginning of the book, but how do you think it all connects together? Could it really be all coincidence? How do you think Cathy will tie into Max’s story?

Well, it seems like Sam may have witnessed the kidnap (or worse) of the Censor when he was caught having a pee on his way home from the pub – or have I made the wrong leap with that?   It also seems like the Rosa family are up to no good and I can’t help wondering what Lord Poppy is playing games of some sort doesn’t it? It’s difficult to say too much because I’m not quite sure which of my suppositions are truly remembered from the book and which I’ve just made up!  I can say that I think it all connects and I’m assuming that Max will eventually connect to Cathy when his investigation leads him in that direction.

We get up close and personal with Cathy’s family. What do you think of her brother Tom and sister-in-law Lucy? Her parents? Do you think she’ll have any allies going forward?

Lucy I really liked.  Tom, I felt a little bit disappointed with after his remarks to Cathy but then I put it down to his worry about whether she was okay or not and the fact that her disappearance must have had an impact on him too.  Her mother and father come across very badly.   In terms of allies I think that Lucy will definitely be an ally and also Will – providing that he and Cathy can manage to communicate better.

 

 

Between Two Thorns Split Worlds #1) by Emma Newman

BetweenTwoThorns.pngToday is week one of our readalong of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.  The schedule is below and a link to the Goodread’s page here.  Feel free to jump on board and if you haven’t read the book please be aware of spoilers below.

Part 1 – Monday 9th May: Chapters 1-9, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Part 2 – Monday 16th May: Chapters 10-18, hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings
Part 3 – Monday 23rd May: Chapters 19-25, hosted by x + 1
Part 4 – Monday 30th May: Chapters 26-End, hosted by Lynn’s Books

1. Let’s tackle the setup, first of all. The world of the Nether is caught between the Fae world and ours, and is also apparently too old-fashioned for Cathy, our escaping protagonist, to want to live in. What were your first impressions given her views on her home and family?

I’m not surprised she wanted to leave home to be honest.  It sounds incredibly old fashioned and on top of that her father sounds a bit abusive (punishing her with a beating and burning her books! – I’m not happy with that guy!)  Plus, no technology, which doesn’t really surprise me too much.  Difficult to say too much more at this point.

2. There appears to be corruption and murder afoot among the Arbiters, a sort of supernatural police, and it doesn’t lead to good times for Max. What do you make of the magical soul surgery that the Arbiters undergo to do their jobs?

It feels really original to be honest – not sure I’d want to undergo a procedure to remove my soul – or, for that matter, how you would go about such a thing – it makes me want a bit more information on how it affects the arbiters themselves – one thing we already know of course is that it isn’t a failsafe against corruption.  I like Max – but I love his partner the gargoyle!  Who wouldn’t want a gargoyle as a companion?  Come on!

3. Even more mysterious is Sam’s accidental involvement in the mystery. Any thoughts on the hapless mortal and what might become of him?

You can’t help having a sneaky snigger at Sam’s involvement – all down to taking a pee in the wrong place at the wrong time!  At the moment he seems to have had his memory tampered with and can’t remember anything but it will be interesting to see if his memories come back.  I do have a few queries – why was he protected (or how) from his attackers – what were they up to, and who was this person who came to question him and then fell down in a heap???

See you all next week where hopefully I will have more answers than questions!

 

 

 

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