Publisher: Viking Adult

Audiobook Review – The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness

September 25, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2015 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review – The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah HarknessThe Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: All Souls Trilogy #3
Published by Viking Adult on July 15, 2014
Length: 23 hours and 52 minutes
Genres: Demons, Fantasy, Vampires, Witches
Format: Audiobook
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Shadow of Night

three-stars

The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

All Souls Trilogy

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) [Purchase]
Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)  [Purchase|Review]

Spoilers from the first two installments!

Since the beginning, we’ve followed in the steps of Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont as they seek out a lost manuscript called Ashmole 782, otherwise known as The Book of Life. In A Discovery of Witches, we watch the duo fall in love and setting aside Matthew’s exceedingly over-protectiveness we’re introduced to a most interesting world where vampires, witches, and daemons manage to exist in our modern world. In Shadow of Nightwe’re taken back through time to 1590 Elizabethan London to continue the search for Ashmole 782 and for an individual to help Diana control the plethora of power she now possesses. And with this installment, the All Souls Trilogy finally comes to a close. Diana and Matthew are back in the present day, continuing the seemingly endless search for the book that has become key to unlocking the mystery of the supernatural races and also ensuring the futures of Diana and Matthews unborn children.

While the plot was far easier to follow than Shadow of Nightwhere there were so many characters (and many historically accurate figures) that it required a glossary for them alone, The Book of Life was still convoluted and overly verbose. We have the continued search for Ashmole 782, much scientific research occurs in hopes of finding a cure for Matthew’s blood rage which he hopes was not passed down to the twins, an incredible amount of supernatural politics headed by the group known as the Congregation, and to make it even more labyrinthine we have a rogue vampire on the lose who is raping witches in the hopes of impregnating them. Oh, he’s also Matthew’s son. I honestly felt as if that whole “bad seed” storyline could have been dropped completely. I didn’t feel the addition of some supremely evil character had to be included to up the ante; it would have been just fine without.

What I did enjoy though is that this isn’t your typical fantasy taking place on some made up world. This is right here on Earth and the way in which it’s written makes the possibility of magic and supernatural beings all the more plausible, mlike how Harry Potter made me want to believe in magic. I’ve always appreciated how Harkness was able to incorporate so many supernatural creatures without it sliding into cheesy territory; the historically accurate detailing always made these stories feel of the highest quality. Watching Diana grow into her magic was wonderfully done as well and I loved the detail given to her spellcasting. While I felt the Life was unreasonably elaborate and the ending left little in the way of surprises, it was still satisfying to see Diana and Matthews story come to an end.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Price of Blood: A Novel (The Emma of Normandy Trilogy #2) by Patricia Bracewell

June 25, 2014 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 8 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Price of Blood: A Novel (The Emma of Normandy Trilogy #2) by Patricia BracewellThe Price of Blood: A Novel by Patricia Bracewell
Series: The Emma of Normandy Trilogy #2
Published by Viking Adult on February 5th 2015
Pages: 448
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Shadow on the Crown

Menaced by Vikings and enemies at court, Queen Emma defends her children and her crown in a riveting medieval adventure

Readers first met Emma of Normandy in Patricia Bracewell’s gripping debut novel, Shadow on the Crown. Unwillingly thrust into marriage to England’s King Æthelred, Emma has given the king a son and heir, but theirs has never been a happy marriage. In The Price of Blood, Bracewell returns to 1006 when a beleaguered Æthelred, still haunted by his brother’s ghost, governs with an iron fist and a royal policy that embraces murder.

As tensions escalate and enmities solidify, Emma forges alliances to protect her young son from ambitious men—even from the man she loves. In the north there is treachery brewing, and when Viking armies ravage England, loyalties are shattered and no one is safe from the sword.
Rich with intrigue, compelling personalities, and fascinating detail about a little-known period in history,The Price of Blood will captivate fans of both historical fiction and fantasy novels such as George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.

The Emma of Normandy Trilogy

Shadow on the Crown (The Emma of Normandy Trilogy #1) by Patricia Bracewell {PurchaseMy Review}

About Patricia Bracewell

Patricia Bracewell grew up in Los Angeles where her love of stories led to college degrees in Literature, a career as a high school English teacher, and a yearning to write. A lifelong fascination with the history of Britain and a chance, on-line reference to an unfamiliar English queen led to years of research, a summer course in Anglo-Saxon history at Cambridge University, and the penning of her debut novel Shadow on the Crown. The book was hailed as a magnificent work of historical fiction by England’s Daily Mail and an enthralling debut by Publishers Weekly.

Patricia lives with her husband in Oakland where she is completing the second book in her trilogy about the extraordinary queen, Emma of Normandy.

Shadow on the Crown was superb and definitely one of my favorite reads of 2013. I was so pleased to hear Emma’s story would be continuing. This cover is phenomenal and I cannot wait to get my hands on this.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Early Review – The Burning Air: A Novel by Erin Kelly

February 14, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 3 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Burning Air: A Novel by Erin KellyThe Burning Air by Erin Kelly
Published by Viking Adult on February 21st 2013
Pages: 336
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Of course it was love for my children, love for my son, that caused me to act as I did. It was a lapse of judgement. If I could have foreseen the rippling aftershocks that followed I would have acted differently, but by the time I realised the extent of the consequences, it was too late.

The MacBrides have always gone to Far Barn in Devon for Bonfire Night, but this year everything is different. Lydia, the matriarch, is dead; Sophie, the eldest daughter, is desperately trying to repair a crumbling marriage; and Felix, the youngest of the family, has brought a girlfriend with him for the first time.

The girl, Kerry, seems odd in a way nobody can quite put their finger on - but when they leave her looking after Sophie's baby daughter, and return to find both Kerry and the baby gone, they are forced to ask themselves if they have allowed a cuckoo into their nest...

Gripping and chilling, with a killer twist, The Burning Air reaffirms Erin Kelly as one of Britain's foremost psychological thriller writers.

‘Of course it was love for my children, love for my son, that caused me to act as I did. It was a lapse of judgement. If I could have foreseen the rippling aftershocks that followed I would have acted differently, but by the time I realised the extent of the consequences, it was too late.’

The Burning Air tells the story of a privileged family, the MacBrides, and how one small decision changed their lives forever. The story opens with Lydia, the matriarch, in her final days of life looking back on past regrets and one in particular that altered life far more than she had ever thought possible.

It’s funny, but this first came out in the UK and not only does it have a different cover but a completely different summary that, in my opinion, gives away far too much regarding the plot. I’m quite glad I didn’t actually notice this until after I had finished reading and knew less going into this. It made it much more exciting (so stay away from those UK summaries!)

There is much that can be given away, so I will keep this brief. Erin Kelly can really write one twisted, sordid mystery. I actually had a hard time getting into this one at first, I believe because you’re given information in huge chunks that doesn’t make a single bit of sense at first until you continue reading and all the answers slowly unravel themselves. And once those answers slowly begin unraveling and you think you know what’s going on, you’re thrown for a loop, then you find yourself reading at break-neck speed because you have to know what’s going on right now. I was completely captivated. To me, there’s not a better book than one like this.

So why only 4 stars? Wellll…. I was looking for a different ending and was actually looking for ‘evil’ to trump ‘good’. This family is the definition of prominent, however, even they have their sordid secrets and those secrets definitely had the effect of changing your opinion of them. This essentially caused questions as to which side to root for, since neither side is truly ‘good’. The Burning Air is a highly convoluted yet fantastically written tale of family secrets and an obsession that changes their lives forever.

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Short & Sweet – Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman

December 27, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012, Short & Sweet Reviews 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short & Sweet – Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip PullmanFairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman
Published by Viking Adult on November 8th 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment—witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White”—Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.

From much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Rapunzel” and “Hansel and Gretel” to lesser-known treasures like “Briar-Rose,” “Thousandfurs,” and “The Girl with No Hands,” Pullman retells his fifty favorites, paying homage to the tales that inspired his unique creative vision—and that continue to cast their spell on the Western imagination.

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version are 50 of Philip Pullman’s favorite tales from the original Brothers Grimm. These are ‘retold’ but still mostly maintains the original version of the stories. Being fully aware of the well-told stories of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Snow White’ I found the lesser-known stories to be the most entertaining.

I’d been incredibly excited for this one for a while now after having finished Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy; I definitely wanted to read more of his writings. I’m not sure this would be a good one to start with if you were looking into trying Philip Pullman out for the very first time though.

I have a passing knowledge of the original Grimm Fairy Tale stories, having read only a few of the originals. With that said, I was interested to see just how original this new English Version by Philip Pullman actually was. It doesn’t appear that much was actually changed, however, this is still an enjoyable collection and one that I believe many fairy tale lovers will enjoy.

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