I had this as an audiobook, and though beautifully read by Emma Fielding, the story is slow. The language is literary with some nice turns of phrase. It could have been set in any household in the time period as the happenings in Pride and Prejudice are only peripherally mentioned. Darcy hardly gets a look-in and Elizabeth comes over as flat and uninteresting. Wickham gets some page time as he letches after Polly, the pre-pubescent maid, but otherwise only Mr Bennet is an ‘actor’ in this story. All the ladies do is create work for the servants.SaveSave
SaveDAW sent me the cover for the next book. Nimbus, due out in October. The cover artist is Stephan Martiniere, who did the covers for both Empire of Dust and Crossways.
This is the last of the Psi-Tech trilogy featuring Cara Carlinni and Reska 'Ben' Benjamin as they continue to fight the corrupt megacorporations. However, something is stirring in the depths of foldspace which might bring a dramatic change to spacefaring humankind.
I have a separate journal about my own writing, the craft of writing, and publishing industry-related items over on Wordpress at https://jaceybedford.wordpress.com/I don't seem to be able to quite figure out how to crosspost that to either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal, so I'm afraid you'll have to check out my Wordpress journal for all that. I would, of course, be delighted if you would follow my Wordpress journal by clicking the 'follow by email' link in the top right corner of my page.
Also, if writing floats your boat, you might like to follow the Milford SF Writers' Blog at https://milfordsfwriters.wordpress.com/ and follow that by email, too. Every two weeks (alternate Tuesdays) there's an entry by a published science fiction author on some aspect of writing
As I type DW is migrating 154 weeks of LJ posts - yes, that's correct, it's 3 years since I last called in there and migrated posts over
Anything by Lois McMaster Bujold is buy on sight. She’s one of my all-time favourite writers (perhaps at the very top of the list, in fact). If you haven’t read any of the Penric stories yet, I heartily recommend them. I would suggest reading all four in order, but to enjoy Mira’s Last Dance, you need only read Penric’s Mission to catch up with the story.
This is obviously a set-up book for a series, so not all questions are answered. Charlie is an engaging character, her brother less so, but Charlie, in trying to protect him and help her father, gets herself into a few scrapes which might have disastrous consequences but for one Royal Society mage who seems to know more than he should.
I’m a bit worried about George, the fiancé. It seems to be Charlie’s dream to settle down with him, yet she hasn’t told him about her secret life as an illustrator (under a man’s name, of course because this is Victorian England) and though she seems quite fond of him she’s not burning with passion. Now that young mage chap… he really seems to make her blood race.
This works as an introduction to a new setting, though I’m not entirely sure the moneylender plot makes a lot of sense. Why do the moneylenders need magic to off their debtors who don’t pay up, and what benefit is it to the mage in question to provide such a device. I suspect we shall find out in subsequent books. I certainly hope so, anyway.
Yes, we all know the story, so no recap of that, except to say that the Beast gives Belle a whole library! Wow! Who cares what he looks like? He's a man with a library!
Yes, of course they all live happily ever after, even the kindly teapot (Emma Thompson), the annoying animated candlestick with the cod French accent (Ewan McGregor), and the stuffy old Ormolu clock (Ian McKellen). It's sweet and the singing is qualiity. Now if only I could get rid of this damned earworm.
Logan is essentially the gunslinger archetype, trying to hang up his six guns, and, of course, something happens to make him take one last X-shaped chance. Following a shady breeding programme a bunch of mutant kids have escaped from custody, helped by their nurses who didn't want to see them put down like animals. Dafne Keen plays the child who is like Logan, claws and everything. (She's brilliant, by the way.)
Charles, not as senile as he sometimes appears to be, persuades Logan to help the child and thus begins Logan's (and Xavier's) last journey to take her to safety.
It's a thoughtful film, eschewing the flashy CGI super-hero mode for camera work that's more personal. This is a Logan who is more Logan than Wolverine. More human that super-hero. We all know he's going to suffer for his efforts, but that's OK because in the end Logan is going to do what he has to do, and do it well.
Sir Richard Wyndham – age 29 and the wealthy Corinthian of the title – needs a wife according to his family, so he’s about to be pressured into marrying a bit of a cold fish, the daughter of a family well bred, but constantly in debt. Since he’s never actually been in love he’s almost ready to give in. Then Pen drops into his arms – literally – and everything changes. Seventeen, young and impulsive, Pen, dressed as a boy, is running away because her aunt is pressuring her into marrying her cousin to keep Pen’s fortune in the family. Sadly the fortune-hunting cousin looks like a hake, so Pen is running off to marry her childhood sweetheart (whom she hasn’t actually heard from in 5 years).
Richard’s excuse for getting involved in Pen’s wild schemes is that he was drunk at the time, but once he sobers up, he keeps up the act of being Pen’s uncle/cousin/tutor (the story keeps changing). Of course, there are misadventures on the road, a meeting with a chap who speaks almost unintelligible thieves cant, the above mentioned missing diamonds and a murder. When Pen finally meets her childhood sweetheart his feelings have changed (and to be honest, so have hers. But it takes a little persuasion for Richard to finally convince Pen that they are right for each other.
I read two Ella Quinn’s in the wrong order. (Ella Quinn not to be confused with Julia Quinn), so the beginning of this was more than a little confusing with rather a lot of characters (including 12 children) which made me boggle somewhat. Patience is a widower with four children from a loveless marriage. Richard, Viscount Wolverton lost her many years earlier, entirely due to carelessness on his part. Now he’d like to marry Pae, but her four children are officially the wards of her stepson and she’ll lose them if she marries. Complications abound even though sitting the characters down together and making them talk would solve everything. But, hey, it’s a fast read and even though you know everything will be all right in the end it keeps you guessing as to how. This is a confusingly numbered series, however, which doesn’t seem to include this one – though it obviously is.
Ella Quinn: Three Weeks to Wed
I should have read this one before ‘The Second Time Around’ because it tells the story of how Matt and Grace, each with responsibilities which seem insurmountable, manage to get together despite twelve children, an entirely unsuitable night of passion, two great Danes, a disreputable cousin in need of funds, and an over-eager investigator.
Nnedi Okorafor: Binti – Binti #1
This is very short – novella length – telling the story of Binti, a mathematical genius, who is the first of the Himba people (Namibia) to leave home and travel to university on another planet. Her customs are strange to her fellows. She uses otjize paste made from butterfat and ochre paste on her skin and hair – which is traditional because of the lack of water in the hot desert climate. (Despite the fact that water is plentiful on board ship and at university – her otjize is her cultural norm.) On the way to the university, the ship she is on is invaded by the alien Meduse. Binti is the only survivor and must use all her skills to effect a rapprochement between the Meduse and the people of Oomza University who have inadvertently wronged the Meduse through not understanding their culture. Basically it’s a novel about acceptance of other cultures and miscommunication. Binti mediates between the two groups and all is forgiven, which rather makes light of the shipload of people who have been horribly done to death and don't seem to count for anything.
Nnedi Okorafor: Binti: Home – Binti #2
When I read Binti, I wasn’t aware that it was the first part of a series of three novellas, and when I read Binti: Home I wasn’t aware that there was still one more novella to come. I’m going to state right at the beginning that I hate cliffhanger endings. Once again this is about acceptance as Binti returns home to Namibia of the future with her Meduse friend, Okwu, the first of his people to come to Earth in peace. Binti is now an oddity. Her family never wanted her to leave, now they aren’t sure about her return. It may be the old story of ‘you can never go back’. Something bothers me about the plotting of this. Binti still suffers from PTSD after the attack in which Okwu and his people killed everyone on the spaceship she was travelling on (except her) but despite this her only friend is Okwu one of the Meduse mass-murderers. Then because she is homesick she travels back to Earth and takes Okwu with her, despite the fact that the neighbouring people in Namibia regard all Meduse as the enemy. Okwu seems to have no status or protection or even a real reason for being there. He’s an odd choice of travelling companion.
This is a Cinderella story. Sophie Becket, born on the wrong side of the blanket, has been cheated out of the inheritance her father, the Earl of Penwood, left for her by her wicked stepmother and two stepsisters. She’s treated like a servant, but when she gets the opportunity to go to a masked ball she grabs it with both hands. There she meets Benedict Bridgerton—the second Bridgerton brother—and he becomes her prince charming. But Sophie’s fortunes take a turn for the worse and three years pass before the couple meet again. Though Sophie immediately recognises Benedict, he doesn’t recognise her and he still has his heart set on the mysterious masked woman from the ball. Another enjoyable romp from Julia Quinn.
Ben Aaronovitch: Rivers of London – Peter Grant #1
(Midnight Riot in the USA)
New mixed race copper in the Met, Peter Grant, has his life turned upside down when he discovers that he can see ghosts and that he has the potential to be a wizard. Also that the Met has its own wizarding department – though no one ever talks about it – run by Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale. Seconded to Nightingale to learn the magical ropes, Peter discovers a world where the gods and goddesses of the Thames and its tributaries are real and interact with humans. This is a smart blend of urban fantasy and police procedural. The main character, Peter Grant, has a great ‘voice’ and his witty observations are crisp and funny. London itself becomes a character, too and there’s a solid sense of place. The supporting characters are well fleshed out, Leslie, the mysteriously silent Molly and her culinary experiments, the enigmatic Beverley Brook, Lady Tyburn and the other River gods and goddesses, Dr Walid the pathologist, Guleed, Seawoll, Stephanopoulos and even Toby the dog I enjoyed this so much that I galloped through all six available Peter Grant books without coming up for air. Highly recommended
Ben Aaronovitch: Moon over Soho – Peter Grant #2
Peter Grant’s Dad is an ex jazzer, so Peter instantly recognises the tune that’s hanging about the corpse in Dr. Walid’s mortuary. Yes, that’s ‘vestigia’ the after-trace of strong magic. So this book hinges on the jazz scene and a strange magically created menagerie, though aside from the current crime, there’s an ongoing plot featuring the Faceless Man and Leslie who is also faceless due to unfortunate consequences in Rivers of London.
Ben Aaronovitch: Whispers Underground – Peter Grant #3
A dead American art student in the underground seems like a fairly mundane mystery but when the murder weapon is a shard of strange pottery. There’s something slightly off happening, which is why the Met’s magical department is called in. Peter goes exploring underground (too far underground in one instance) and we meet a new character, Jaget Kumar a member of the transport police and explorer of hidden London. And Leslie is back—wearing a mask because of her facial disfigurement—but back.
Ben Aaronovitch: Broken Homes – Peter Grant #4
More Mayhem for Peter Grant and Leslie following a grisly murder which ends up with them going undercover in a tower block with impossible architecture. The Faceless Man, developing as the big bad over the whole series, is here but unseen… until the very end when there’s a dramatic escape and interesting plot twist that I didn’t see coming.
Ben Aaronovitch: Foxglove Summer – Peter Grant #5
London has always been a major character on the Peter Grant books, but this time Peter is out of his city and his comfort zone when sent to Herefordshire to assist with aspects of the disappearance of two girls that don’t quite fit ‘normality’. Ptere’s girlfriend Beveley Brook, the goddess of a small London river that feeds into the Thames, is even more in evidence in this one.
Ben Aaronovitch: The Hanging Tree – Peter Grant #6
The Hanging Tree was the Tyburn gallows, and Lady Tyburn, the goddess of that particular river has never been kindly disposed towards Peter, but she calls in a favour that’s been hanging over his head since Whispers Underground. Her teenage daughter has been at a party in an exclusive Mayfair apartment where someone dies of a drug overdose and Lady Ty wants Peter to get her off when she’s implicated. It’s not all that simple, of course. The Faceless Man is back, and Leslie is back – with a face.
I love all these books and read them quickly, one after the other. Especially good is Peter’s cheeky voice, often with added pop-culture references, but quickly snapping to attention when things get serious,. Nightingale as the mentor is very old school British but the rest of the cast of characters run the gamut of inclusivity. As you would expect in multi-cultural London the characters are multi-ethnic, too, from Peter himself who is mixed race to Guleed and Kumar. And it doesn’t stop there. There are half fae and a housekeeper who has more teeth than seems strictly necessary and a strange culinary relationship with offal. The orverarching story ark is a puzzle to be solved and I’m looking forward to the next one in the series.
Anyhow, now I can take a couple of days and catch up with book logs and movies of the week, so expect a flurry of reviews. I read these while writing, but have only just managed to log them.
- Julia Quinn: And Offer from a Gentleman (Bridgertons #3)
- Lisa Shearin: Wedding Bells, Magic Spells (Raine Benares)
- Lisa Shearin: Treasure and Treason (A Raine Benares World novel)
- Nnedi Okorafor: Binti
- Nnedi Okorafor: Binti - Home
- Lisa Shearin: The Grendel Affair
- Ben Aaronovitch: Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1)
- Ben Aaronovitch: Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant #2)
- Ben Aaronovitch: Whispers Underground (Peter Grant #3)
- Ben Aaronovitch: Broken Homes (Peter Grant #4)
- Ben Aaronovitch: Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant #5)
- Ben Aaronovitch: The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant #6)
- Diana Gabaldon: I give you My Body
And the movies:
- Star Wars Rogue One (again)
- The Great Wall
We had to go to Sheffield to find a cinema showing this in an afternoon. (Wakefield, our usual venue) only had it on for one week in the evening.) It was worth the effort - well worth it. Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, and starring Taraji P Henson as Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson, this tells the true (more or less) story of three of the black women mathematicians (known as 'computers') who worked for NASA (pre electronic computers) and calculated the trajectories for the Americans first flights into space in the 1960s.
Great quote from the script:
KATHARINE JOHNSON: On any given day, I analyze the binomial levels air displacement, friction and velocity. And compute over ten thousand calculations by cosine, square root and lately analytic geometry. By hand. There are twenty, bright, highly capable negro women in the west computing group, and we're proud to be doing our part for the country. So yes, they let women do some things at NASA, Mr. Johnson. And it's not because we wear skirts. It's because we wear glasses.
Held back from senior positions by their gender and their colour these women eventually succeeded to become leaders in their field. It's easy to forget that the 1960s in America still had separate toilets and drinking fountains for 'coloureds', separate sections in the library, separate schools, and that racism was endemic with a kind of casual, unthinking cruelty that passed over the heads of white folks who believed they were enlightened, but who really weren't. This movie brings it all back:
Kudos to Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons for playing second fiddles so well in order to let the real story shine through.
Go and see this movie. You won't regret it.
Spoiled only by the mum who brought two children way too young and let the older of the two kick the back of our seats all the way through. Yes, it's a movie for children, but not exclusively so and the guidelines suggest age seven. No wonder the two and five year old kids were bored.
When his fellow sensitives begin dying, Kaaro is motivated to investigate before he becomes the next victim - always circling back to Utopicity. This isn't a linear story. We get flashbacks to Kaaro's less than admirable past and Kaaro acts as our tour guide to the xenosphere and a greater understanding of what it is. There's a gritty realism, and Kaaro is no hero, but he tells it like it is.
Extremely well-written, this is essentially an alien invasion story, or possibly an aftermath story. They're here. They're staying, and they don't give a flying f**k what humans think about it. We gradually come to understand as Kaaro does.
Yes, this is a romance so you can already see the ending looming on the horizon, and that's fine, but before then Merrick and Mira have adventures on sea and land -- she managing to fool Merrick into thinking she's a strange little sun-allergic gunner (with her hat pulled down over her face) on board his newly built schooner. There's a lot to like here--the research into ships and sailing seems particularly sound -- but there several occasions when I bounced out of the story needing a reality check. For someone who is supposed to be an excellent horsewoman, Mira managed to have a lot of out-of-control accidents/incidents, and shows next to no patience when teaching a nervous pupil. Merrick himself doesn't know how to ride, which is next to impossible as he's the son of reasonably well-off parents. He'd have been put on a pony as soon as he could walk. When horses (and carriages) are the only mode of transport, you learn how to use them or you do an awful lot of foot-slogging. Merrick must be as blind as a bat not to have rumbled Mira's disguise -- though all his sailors connive against him to keep her secret. And the Ashton family arguments escalate out of nothing at all. At least if people are going to start screaming at each other, give them a logical reason. Mira judgmentally jumps to a wrong conclusion at one point and I really didn't like her for it.
Merrick is a decent character, though I find it surprising that the son of an admiral and a committed Royal Navy officer would so easily turn himself into a privateer to fight against his king and country. His argument is with one particular Navy officer, not with the whole damn navy. And how did his crew manage to follow him to the Americas? Getting off a British fighting ship is not so easy. Ms Harmon glosses over the mechanics of that. Merrick starts off on the wrong end of a rival officer's pistol and is plunged overboard. Then, suddenly, he's reinvented as an American privateer and his crew has defected, too.
Merrick's sister is a somewhat confused and confusing character. She's depicted as not particularly likeable, but I think we're supposed to like her. There's a villain - an English naval captain, whose enmity for Merrick stems from a promotion Merrick got while still in the Royal Navy. He's very one-dimensional (evil through and through).
I gather this is one of Harmon's early stories. This is supposed to be updated from the 1992 edition, but I think it shows the need for an astute editor. As it is, it's a bit of lighthearted fluffy romance which you mustn't think about too much. (And it has a terrible generic cover.)
The abbey is short of funds and it seems that if they can acquire suitable relics as the focus for pilgrimage, then their finances and their standing might both take a turn for the better. When one of the young monks has a vision, an expedition to find and recover the bones of Saint Winifred from the small Welsh Village of Gwytherin includes Brother Cadfael, a native Welsh speaker.
The villagers haven't exactly looked after the Saint's resting place but they are still reluctant to allow some English 'foreigners' to dig her up and take her away. When the leader of the opposition id shot with an arrow and the wrong man is blamed for it, Cadfael begins a quiet investigation which not only catches the killer, but smooths the path of true love - twice.
OK, from the beginning. This is a world of magic and the magic system is complex and well thought out. Drafters use light to draft coloured luxin that can have different properties, temporary or permanent. Most drafters can handle one colour, some can handle two, but Gavin Guile is the Prism, who can handle all the colours at once, which makes him tremendously powerful. He's nominally the 'emperor' figure, but not quite as grand as he eschews sitting in his ivory tower for being a hands-on prism, sorting out problems in the satrapies. The Chromeria - the governing guild which rules the drafters from training to their 'freeing' - is presided over by 'The White' and between them the White and the Prism are the head honchos of the magical fraternity. Unfortunately the more a drafter drafts, the closer he or she gets to going bonkers and turning into a colour wight. Before they get to that stage drafters are expected to volunteer to be 'freed'.
We pick up the story some fifteen years after a war between Gavin and his brother Dazen (the False Prism's War) which laid waste to a fair amount of real estate (and people), but Gavin is trying to put things right and turn things around. He doesn't have much time left. A prism doesn't usually last more than 21 years and he's had 16 already. He has goals for his final years (but we aren't party to them).
It turns out that in the heat of battle (well, maybe not during the battle, but you get what i mean) Gavin fathered a son and is now introduced to his 15 year old bastard, Kip, a potential drafter. There's something slightly awry (but we don't find out what until later in the book and no spoilers) however Gavin duly accepts Kip and sends him to be trained at the Chromeria as his... nephew.
It's a sprawling plot involving an uprising and a battle. There's tension between Gavin and Karris (his ex fiancee) who is also a super-soldier. Kip's point of view is on the point of being amusing as we get insights from his fifteen year old viewpoint. There's a reveal part way through the book that suddenly makes Gavin's character much more complex.
This is a traditional school story (YA) with a difference. Raised on Mars in low gravity the Newtons have immense trouble adapting to Earth gravity, and since they have spent their lives in a closed environment, just stepping put under an open sky without protective clothing and a breather mask is scary in the extreme. The school they are sent to thinks itself to be super-elite where all the kids of 'people who are somebody' are sent, so their classmates are snobby and elitist, looking down on the non-earthers, because - hey - there has to be someone to look down on if you want to feel superior. Polly doesn't fit in, and doesn't have much desire to fit in, while Charles - too clever for his own good - seems to manage just fine.
But then a series of accidents involving high profile kids starts to happen. Polly, Charles and a few of their trusted classmates try to get to the bottom of it. Charles is the brain, but Polly is the heart.
The cover is boring (so similar to so many others), but though it's fluffy, some of the dialogue carries the story well.
So what have I been reading in 2016? Well, since I’ve also been busy writing I’ve tried to read books that haven’t interefered with my writing train-of-thought-at-the-time. Mostly I’ve succeeded. Highlights of 2016 have been:
- the discovery of Jodi Taylor’s St. Marys books, wacky but with serious stakes
- Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom duo and the rest of her Grisha books
- Gaie Sebold’s Babylon Steel novels which I’ve been meaning to read for a few years and finally managed it
- Ann Aguirre’s final Sirantha Jax book which i kept putting off reading because I didn’t want the series to end
- catching up with Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus novels at long last – now i can’t wait for the next one
- Sean Danker’s The Admiral
- finally finding a Zelazny that wows me. (A Night in the Lonesome October, narrated by Jack the Ripper’s dog.)
- reading more Georgette Heyer Regency romances – always a delight
Here’s my full reading list.
- Patricia Briggs: Fire Touched – Mercy Thompson #9
- Andy Weir: The Martian.
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen – Vorkosi #16
- Paul Cornell: The Witches of Lychford
- Seanan McGuire: Every Heart a Doorway
- Julie Kagawa: The Iron King – The Iron Fey #1
- David Tallerman: Patchwerk
- Jim C Hines: Codex Born – Magic ex-Libris #2
- Benedict Jacka: Taken – Alex Verus #3
- Adrian Tchaikovsky: The Tiger and the Wolf – Echoes of the Fall #1
- Zen Cho: Sorcerer to the Crown – Sorcerer Royal #1
- Emma Newman: Between Two Thorns – Split Worlds #1
- Veronica Roth: Insurgent – Divergent #2
- Liesel Schwarz: A Conspiracy of Alchemists – Chronicles of Light and Shadow #1
- Ann Aguirre: Endgame – Sirantha Jax #6
- Leigh Bardugo: Six of Crows – Six of Crows #1
- Anne Gracie: The Perfect Rake – Merridew Sisters #1
- Georgette Heyer: The Masqueraders
- Jim Butcher: The Aeronaut’s Windlass – Cinder Spires #1
- Diana Gabaldon: Virgins – Outlander (novella)
- Rachael Miles: Chasing the Heiress – The Muses Salon #2
- Tim Powers: Down and Out in Purgatory
- Guy Haley: The Emperor’s Railroad – Dreaming Cities #1
- Tim Lebbon: Pieces of Hate with Dead Man’s Hand
- Sarah Hegger: The Bride Gift
- Gaie Sebold: Babylon Steel
- Jodi Taylor: Just one Damn Thing After Another – Chronicles of St Mary’s #1
- Jodi Taylor: A Symphony of Echoes – Chronicles of St Mary’s #2
- Jodi Taylor: A Second Chance – Chronicles of St Mary’s #3
- Jodi Taylor: A Trail Through Time – Chronicles of St Mary’s #4
- Jodi Taylor: The Very First Damn Thing – Chronicles of St Mary’s 0.5
- Jodi Taylor: When a Child is Born – Chronicles of St Mary’s Short Story 2.5
- Jodi Taylor: Roman Holiday – Chronicles of St Mary’s Short Story 3.5
- Jodi Taylor: No Time Like the Past – Chronicles of St Mary’s #5
- Jodi Taylor: Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings – Chronicles of St Mary’s Short Story 6.5
- Jodi Taylor: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? – Chronicles of St Mary’s #6
- Jodi Taylor: Christmas Present – Chronicles of St Mary’s Short Story 4.5
- Jodi Taylor: Lies, Damned Lies and History – Chronicles of St Mary’s #7
- Joe Hill: The Fireman
- Benedict Jacka: Chosen – Alex Verus #4
- Lisa Tuttle: The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief
- Peter S. Beagle: Summerlong
- Tom Lloyd: Stranger of Tempest (Couldn’t finish)
- Georgette Heyer: The Nonesuch
- Benedict Jacka: Hidden – Alex Verus #5
- Isabella Barclay: A Bachelor Establishment
- Walter Jon Williams: Voice of the Whirlwind
- Alexandra Bracken: The Passenger
- Eileen Putman: The Dastardly Duke – Love in Disguise #2
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Penric & the Shaman – Penric & Desemona #2
- Georgette Heyer: The Quiet Gentleman
- Karen Tuft: The Earl’s Betrothal
- Sally MacKenzie: What to do with a Duke – The Spinster House #1
- Julie Daines: Willowkeep
- Kevin Hearne: The Purloined Poodle – Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries
- Willow Palecek: City of Wolves
- Georgette Heyer: Sylvester
- Georgette Heyer: Devil’s Cub
- Georgette Heyer: Regency Buck
- Jodi Taylor: The Great St Mary’s Day Out – Chronicles of St Mary’s Short Story
- Regina Scott: The Husband Campaign – The Master Matchmakers #3
- C.E.Murphy: House of Cards – The Negotiator #2
- Allison Butler: The Healer – Borderland Brides #1
- Sean Danker: The Admiral – Evagardian #1
- Jodi Taylor: The Nothing Girl
- Cassandra Rose Clarke: The Wizard’s Promise
- Jodi Taylor: Little Donkey
- Donna Lea Simpson: Lord St Claire’s Angel
- Roger Zelazny: A Night in the Lonesome October
- Georgette Heyer: The Talisman Ring
- Alastair Reynolds: Revenger
- Janis Susan May: Miss Morrison’s Second Chance
- Regina Jeffers: Angel Comes to Devil’s Keep
- Leigh Bardugo: Crooked Kingdom – Six of Crows #2
- Leigh Bardugo: Shadow and Bone – The Grisha #1
- Leigh Bardugo: Siege and Storm – The Grisha #2
- Leigh Bardugo: Ruin and Rising – The Grisha #3
- Sean Danker: Free Space – Evagardian #2
- C.C. Aune: The Ill-Kept Oath
- Den Patrick: The Boy with the Porcelain Blade – Erebus Sequence #1
- Julia Quinn: The Duke and I – Bridgertons #1
- Benedict Jacka: Veiled – Alex Verus #6
- John Scalzi: Miniatures – The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi
- Julia Quinn: The Viscount who Loved Me – Bridgertons #2
- Benedict Jacka: Burned – Alex Verus #7
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Penric’s Mission – Penric #3
- Bianca Blythe: A Rogue to Avoid – Matchmaking for Wallflowers #2
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Penric’s Demon – Penric #1
- Gaie Sebold: Dangerous Gifts – Babylon Steel #2
- Nick Wood: Azanian Bridges
- Genevieve Cogman: The Burning Page – Invisible Library #3
- Jodi Taylor: My Name is Markham – Chronicles of St Mary’s short story
- David McKie: What’s in a Surname
- Allison Kinney: Hood
- Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward: Writing the Other
- Susanne Alleyn: Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders
- Louise Allen: Walks Through Regency London
It all goes well at first, though of course he hasn't told her that he's deliberately woken her... but then the ship starts to glitch a little and then seriously malfunction. A third person wakes, luckily, this time, a crew member. The three of them have to save the ship...
But that's not everything - the chatty android bartender has let slip Jim's big secret to Aurora, i.e. that he woke her deliberately and scuppered her life plans
This is as much a study of the effects of loneliness and a relationship which progresses in extreme isolation. It could be set in any closed environment, but having to save the ship adds a touch of drama and tension to the otherwise fairly static plot.
I write this on 27th December, the day that Carrie Fisher's death has been announced. RIP Princess Leia. Taken far too young.
Beta Steward, penniless, accepts a shady job from Griffith, a soldier who fought on Sheol in the Artefact War, and is sucked into a little not-quite-legal work on the side when he eventually gets his wish and goes back into space as an engineer on a cargo vessel plying its trade between stations in the solar system.
Things get complicated when Steward is taken to be his own alpha and is accused of murder. Getting more out of the interrogation than he gives, Steward begins to add things up and piece together what his alpha was doing to get himself killed. There's a nicely twisty plot. I did wonder whether the alpha was actually dead, but credit to the author that the plot didn't go where I expected it to.
Elinor Bascombe, a middle aged widow with a penchant for hard riding, almost tramples her new neighbour, Lord Ryde, while taking an illegal shortcut across his land. Ryde has neglected his property for years, taking whatever rents it yields while putting no effort into caring for the land. He's planning to do the same again and go straight back off on his adventure-seeking travels.
Elinor and Ryde don't exactly hit it off, but when Elinor is shot it's expedient that Ryde takes her into his decrepit and distinctly bachelor home. From that point he hardly knows what's hit him. Even from her sick bed Elinor (and her army of loyal servants) can manage a household, and Ryde finds himself thoroughly managed without actually realising it. The characters strike sparks right from the opening and a thoroughly believable romance develops without the usual breathless hearts and flowers. The shooter is still out there and after a second attempt the couple have to work out which one of them is the intended target and why.
I really enjoyed this somewhat unusual take on regency romance.
Another good instalment in this excellent urban fantasy series set in London.
Waldo is admirably but quietly persistent. Despite his reputation he's not ostentatious. (Good heavens, he drives a curricle rather than a high-perch phaeton, even though his horses are 'proper good 'uns'.) Tiffany is somewhat one-dimensionally selfish. The cousins, George and Julian are polar opposites. George is solidly dependable and even Julian, though not endowed with vast intelligence, is occasionally grasping, but not an utter cad.
The story unfolds in typical Heyer fashion and ends where you expect it to end. On the way it's a delightful, if frothy read. Exactly what you expect (and want) from a Heyer Regency romance.
There's a lot riding on this film. A Harry Potter spin off without Hogwarts and without the Boy Wizard. Can the franchise reboot itself? It largely carries it off, and Potter fans who've been with the Potterverse from the beginning will not mind the darker tone. Does it succeed? Mostly. Yes, though I think it might be easily forgotten unless there's going to be a whole string of Fantastic Beast movies or further Potterverse spinoffs. (Which seems likely.)