Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1) by Donna Leon

Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1)Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Found this on Kindle Unlimited, and having just finished one book about characters in Venice, decided to try another.

I’m very glad I did.

I totally enjoyed this and it kept me guessing superbly.

Commissario Brunetti is a fascinating and multi-layered character I absolutely want to know more about!

I’m going to find book 2 in the series for sure.

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Book Review: The Professor (McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers, #1) by Robert Bailey

The Professor (McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers, #1)The Professor by Robert Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading The Professor. I always enjoyed John Grisham, so diving into a Court Room style book series, sounded fun and interesting.

I liked Tom McMurtrie (The Professor) instantly. He is a very real character, facing real issues and dealing with getting knocked down and trying to find his way back up. While Rick Drake is just starting to find his way in life. Their own personal history, clouds their professional lives yet, it has brought them together to take on the greed of one man.

The female characters in this weren’t two dimensional, though I would’ve loved to see Dawn take on Tyler, but maybe in the next book. He beautifully showed symmetry, while contrasting how the two star witnesses to the case handled themselves under pressure, and what they were willing to do for their kids.

I’m looking forward to the next book (already downloaded on my Kindle). Especially as it’s about Bo – who out of all the side characters was the one I wanted to get to know.

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Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of AchillesThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deserves more than 5 stars!!!

Every now and then, you find a book that changes the way you think about certain elements of life, the world and everything.

This is one of those books, and it impacts the reader on THAT level.

Told from the point of view of Patroclus, lover of Achilles, this story retells the famous myths of the life and death of the greatest hero in Ancient Greece, making it accessible for a modern audience who might not be too inclined to read The Iliad etc..

The LGBT themes running through this aren’t too heavy or angsty either, and the author has woven them in such a way that they draw on the issues that are being faced today by the LGBT community and how the world views LGBT issues.

Brilliant, exciting, and a highly recommended reading.

I’m going to be enthusing about this book for a very long time!

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Reminder: Get The Secret Service Agent at 50% Off

Book Review: Enter the Saint by Leslie Charteris

Enter the SaintEnter the Saint by Leslie Charteris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who hasn’t heard of The Saint. You may have seen the TV Show with Roger Moore, or the film adaption with Val Kilmer (which we won’t talk about) … though you might not know exactly who The Saint was, you have had heard of him.

I picked this book up on my Kindle Unlimited, and was like okay lets go for it. I enjoyed these three smaller novellas thoroughly. I laughed, snorted, rolled my eyes, and had a great time while reading them. If you’re expecting more, you won’t get it with the Saint.

I wouldn’t recommend the whole series as over time there were many author’s writing The Saint, but I would recommend picking up one or two from the earlier years. You’ll fall in love with Simon Templar instantly, and his crew of Saints.

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Book Review: The Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

The Fencing MasterThe Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a truly remarkable book that hooked me from the first paragraph (which so rarely happens that I actually bought it without a second thought!).

Highly recommended!

Slow burning, brilliantly executed, stunningly graphic and beautiful, emotive and powerful.

I seriously want to hug the Fencing Master himself right now…

*sigh*

This piece caught me most of all, because YES!:

“We find ourselves in the last of the three generations history chooses to repeat every now and then. The first generation needs a god, and so they invent one. The second erects temples to that god and tries to imitate him. And the third uses the marble from those temples to build brothels in which to worship their own greed, lust, and dishonesty. And that is why gods and heroes are always, inevitably, succeeded by mediocrities, cowards, and imbeciles.”

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Book Review: Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro, Takami Nieda (Translator)

This is one of the books from Amazon’s World Book Day.

GoGo by Kazuki Kaneshiro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I randomly stumbled onto this book through Amazon Crossing, and wasn’t at all sure about it, as ‘coming of age’ stories really don’t attract me at all, but being curious I gave it a try and I was drawn into the cultural relevance of this story from the start.

It’s a very easy read and not particularly long, but I feel as though I have been quite dramatically educated on Japanese culture and Japanese society.

Excellent translation! Highly recommended reading!

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Book Review: Conclave by Robert Harris

ConclaveConclave by Robert Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my Lord, I couldn’t put this down despite needing to because daily life was getting in the way!

This story is absolutely brilliant, meticulously detailed, wonderfully insightful, with a kick in the end that still has me grinning and applauding even now as I write this.

Robert Harris never fails to bring the goods, and keep you turning the pages.

Awesome!

Highly recommended. And even if you’re not Catholic, this book will resonate for sure!

Love it!

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Book Review: Crazy Horse and Custer by Stephen E. Ambrose

Crazy Horse and CusterCrazy Horse and Custer by Stephen E. Ambrose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As an avid historian and a fan of Stephen Ambrose’s work, I was intrigued by this book – showing the parallel lives of George Custer and Crazy Horse. Two very different men, who were fated to face each other.

Ambrose shows insight into both men, he shared the lives they lived and then how they died. Custer is famous for his death, more than his life, while Crazy Horse is famous for his last stand, but few remember how he died.

I knew some of the myths and stories around ‘Little Big Horn’ but I hadn’t known about the world around it, and the factors that led to that very moment. I had no idea how devoted Custer was to his wife, Libby, nor anything about Crazy Horse’s own love for a woman he could never have.

The book brought to life these men, that made me see their world differently.

If you want to learn beyond the myth of Custer, Crazy Horse, and the Indian Wars – this is the book to read.

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Book Review: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2) by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went straight from the first book to the second, wanting to find out ‘what happened next’. I wasn’t disappointed, the story pulled me right back in gripping me with intrigue and twisting historical context around a fictional narrative.

I admit Elizabethan History is not my forte, as a matter of fact I had to do some research into the time period and the ‘School of Night’, learned a lot about Christopher Marlow, Sir Walter Raleigh, Thomas Harriot, George Chapman, and Matthew Roydon (by the way nice use of an historical character that has no information or identifying painting).

Following Diana through Elizabethan life, learning how to navigate marriage, while all the time trying to find the secret of her own heritage made me admire her. This isn’t a ‘kick ass woman’ who can do anything, be anything and just the best. Instead she is very human, screws up, admits faults, has anxiety attacks yet keeps going. Her love for her family, husband and doing what’s right, shows through.

Now it’s onto the 3rd and last book in the series.

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Book Review: All This I Will Give You by Dolores Redondo

This is one of the books downloaded during Amazon’s World Book Day.

One down … eight to go.

 

All This I Will Give to YouAll This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t normally find myself attracted to women authors, but this book was discovered as part of a free deal on AmazonCrossing (Books from Around the World), and being that it was a/ free and b/ had an intriguing cover, I dove in.

I surprised myself actually, given that I knew nothing of either the book or the author.

I was hooked. Less than 3 pages in, and I seriously couldn’t put it down.

I wish I could give it more than 5 stars!!

It’s been a very long time since I raved so enthusiastically about a novel, let alone one I was desperately driven to finish reading, because it was so beautifully addicting.

Even being translated from Spanish, it was gorgeous, flowing prose, utterly believable emotion, well drawn and deeply crafted. The characters are so real, the places so inspiring, that I was right there with them on their journey.

Wonderful! Just truly wonderful with a superb ending I can honestly say I didn’t see coming.

I’m bound and determined now to find more of the works of Delores Redondo.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough!!!!

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