Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

Trying to shed a light on the wonderful maze of books...

Review
2.5 Stars
Sindbad The Sailor
Sindbad the Sailor (Little Black Classics #54) - Unknown

Initial response:

Silly me! I accidentally reread this book, and only noticed when I was halfway.  

Actual review:

I didn't plan on reading it a second time, but because the stories are in fact familiar (and resemble the Odyssey), I only at the final story realized I must have read it before. Since it was only a short booklet, I decided to just finished it now that I was at it.

Much from the first read remains the same. They are nice stories, albeit rather repetitive and you would like to smack Sindbad on his head for his stupidity of repeatedly going on these travels when clearly they are not safe. The language and writing are not the most flowing or particularly nice, but I am wondering whether this is due to the translation or maybe because it was penned down from an earlier oral tradition, where this is also often the case.

~Little Black Classics #54~

Review
3.5 Stars
The Infinite
The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone Book 2) - Lori M. Lee

The Infinite takes off where Gates of Thread and Stone ended (albeit with a cover that is not quite as nice), and Kai is finding herself in a new position, in more than one way. As she's struggling with these, some shocking news will upset everything.

I find I really like this series for some reason and I haven't been able to put a finger on exactly why. There were a couple of twists and discoveries in the book, which kept the pace fast and made it a quick read. Some things felt a bit rushed, and I would have liked to learn more about some of the events, but I enjoyed reading it. I learned that this was supposed to be a trilogy but we're almost four years after the publication of The Infinite and there still is no news, so I won't hold my breath, but will check every now and then.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3.5 Stars
Gated Of Thread And Stone
Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone series) - Lori M. Lee

First off, the cover is gorgeous and the main reason I chose to read Gates of Thread and Stone. Kai is some girl living in the bad part of a city with a secret, she can hold and adjust the threads of time. While she and her brother just want to get on with their lives, it's clear that will become impossible (otherwise, no one would write a book about it).

This book actually worked quite well for me. I've been reading a number of Dystopians lately, and many disappointed me in several ways, but I enjoyed this one. There is a lot going on, especially in the beginning, but I liked Kai's story and that made it okay. I was not such a big fan of the romance that was weaved through the story, but since it was still an enjoyable read, it didn't bother me too much. I'm curious to see where the story is going from here.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
2 Stars
The Nightingale Girls
The Nightingale Girls - Donna Douglas

I requested The Nightingale Girls because it immediately reminded me of Call The Midwife. Set in London's East End during the 30s it follows three young girls in The Nightingale, a training hospital for nurses.

It wasn't for me, unfortunately. I felt too little history and way to much soap opera. Besides, while it was a very easy read and not unpleasant as such, the multiple characters included felt like clichés to me and the stories were rather predictable.

I have to admit I don't think this genre really fits me, so I will leave the other books in the series as they are.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Normal
Normal - Graeme Cameron

Normal isn't normal. It's a serial killer book from the perspective of the serial killer, so what would you expect? We follow him around as he does what he does, but to say we got a view into his mind?

The premise was intriguing, it sounded like the kind of main character one would love to hate, but it never got that far. Because even though we are so to speak inside his head, we still learn very little about what drives him. Sure, he goes around preying on young women. But why? There is a little bit of backstory, but it is too little to build an answer on. Without moving into spoilers there were a couple of events in the second half that were very unbelievable.

However, the story didn't fail to entertain me, even though I'm left with the feeling that there could have been more and it didn't reach it full potential.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3.5 Stars
The Green Ember
The Green Ember - S.D. Smith

I have to admit I have no recollection of getting the The Green Ember, but according to Amazon I got it once when it was free. I'm the resemblance to Watership Down is what pulled me in.

The rabbits in The Green Ember are however, much more humanized than Watership down, fighting the wolves and birds-of-prey with swords and the like. Much of the story also takes place in a warren that acts mainly like a court and also feels that way. Into this world Heather and Picket, two young rabbits who have been driven from their solitary home, are plunged.

I liked it. It is aimed at somewhat younger readers, but this didn't bother me. As the story unravels there were a few twists that I didn't see coming, which was nice for a change. The writing was not the best, but I quite liked the story.

Review
3 Stars
Heir Of Ra
Heir of Ra - M. Sasinowski

Heir of Ra reads like an adventure novel. Sure, it is fast paced and there is not a dull moment with lots of things going on. It is also young adult. I know believe this is a combination that doesn't work for me.

The main character helps her father the archeologists at digs around the world, but is not present when one goes terribly wrong and her father and his team are poisoned when opening a special treasure in Egypt. She sets off after a valuable artifact which may or may not hold the antidote but is herself also hunted by people with guns. Lots of guns. She is also assisted by two other students.

I don't know. I don't think it was a bad book, but the story was way too unbelievable for me. (I have no problem with fantasy at all, but the many neat escapes these people manage is stretching my suspension of disbelieve a bit too far). The science-y part was rather more fiction than science, in case that puts you off.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
4 Stars
The Only Harmless Great Thing
The Only Harmless Great Thing - Brooke Bolander

The Tor.com Ebook of the Month club was recently brought to my attention (it was here on BL but I forgot by whom), and this was January's pick so I wanted to give it a try and went into it without any prior knowledge. Imaging my surprise when one of the narratives is from the POV of an elephant.

What unraveled was a wonderful short story, which was part alternate history where elephants have taken over the jobs after the unfortunate Radium girls start dying, part social commentary.

In the beginning I was afraid that three different narratives in one novella would prove to be too much, but in the end I thought it was just fine. Very interesting, I would definitely like to read more by Brooke Bolander.

TBR Thursday
Not much reading since Sunday. I'm reading The Disappearing Spoon but so far I've been disappointed a bit. Hope it will be a little less chaotic in the later chapters.

 

TBR as of today: 1752 (+6)

 

Books read in 2019: 9 (+1)

 

Pages in 2019: 1282 (+168)

 

What I've Read This Week

 

 

 

Currently Reading

 

On Paper

 

  

 

On eReader

 

                          

 

On Audio

 

 

Books added to Mt TBR

 

ARC

 

        

 

Have you read any of these books?

 
 
Review
1 Stars
Gang Of Fools
Gang of Fools - James Otis Smith

I really didn't like this.

And Dystopian settings are usually among my favorites but I just couldn't get myself to like Gang of Fools. I felt a fool reading it because it came across as very chaotic. There are so many story lines, all of which we are old just slightly to little to either completely get it or care about the character. I got the idea the author just wanted to throw as much as possible at the reader in hope of shocking them. I'm sure it was a clever story, but it really wasn't for me. Also the art didn't work for me, it felt rushed at some times and chaotic at others, filling the panels with a lot of text and characters.

It really wasn't for me.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Mr. In-Between
Mr In Between - Neil Cross

I first got interested in Mr. In-Between when I learned Neil Cross is behind the series Luther and used to work on Spooks. While I was expecting it to be a raw story, I'm not sure anything could have prepared me for the thoroughly depressing world of Jon.

As an assassin to The Tattooed Man he kills and maims on order, without ever feeling anything about it. It is not just his job, but everything that seems to have this dark, gruesome and hopeless atmosphere. Even when he meets some people from 'before'  and he is said to re-enter the normal world, a feeling left me wondering whether he was being pulled there, or was he not pulling them with him into the darkness.

Nice is not a term to describe a novel like this. I can't even say I enjoyed reading it. But somehow it did have something interesting. However, I bore quickly from lengthy descriptions of torture and I'm not sure I would read more books by Mr. Cross.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

TBR Thursday (on a Sunday)

Last week has been a bit of a weird week for me. The weekend I spent with a short trip to London, followed by - finally - the move of our research lab to the health campus when on Thursday I managed to burn my hand when trying to pour a cup of soup. I never new soup was that warm. While the hand is healing fine, I completely forgot about the Thursday update, and typing was quite difficult anyway.

 

On to the Bookish stuff. Both the month of January and trips to London always bring great books to add to the TBR. I hope to finish some of the quickly, but also need to take a look at the ROOT part of my challenge, because I fear at this point I'm failing it quite dramatically.

 

TBR as of today: 1746 (+4)

 

Books read in 2019: 8 (+2)

 

Pages in 2019: 1114 (+398)

 

What I've Read This Week

 

 

Currently Reading

 

On Paper

 

  

 

On eReader

 

                           

 

On Audio

 

 

Books added to Mt TBR

 

Tree Books

 

     

 

ARC

 

 

 

Have you read any of these books?

Review
3.5 Stars
Cry Fox
Rivers of London Volume 5: Cry Fox - Ben Aaronovitch

It is no secret I'm a fan of the Rivers of London series and one of the things I like is the multiple ways in which the story is told, e.g. here the graphic novel. Like its predecessors it is good in keeping you entertained while waiting for the next novel in the series.

Cry Fox only contained four issues so it was a very fast read. It was a take on a very well known tale which was maybe not the most surprising or original but the nice cast of characters make up a lot. As one of the characters plays a role in the sixth book, The Hanging Tree, it is best read after it. At the end there is some more information about the Fox in several cultural and literary settings.

Review
3 Stars
Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick - Laurent Queyssi

Philip K. Dick was a very well known science fiction writer, but I have not read anything by him besides Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (which became the movie Blade Runner). I was mostly interested in the comic biography form, but was also glad to learn more about Dick's complicated life.

This was not the most in depth analysis of the author or his work, but I think it worked quite well for those who just want to know a bit more about him. I certainly learned new things, one of the most shocking the shear amount of novels the man wrote in a very limited window. 5 in one year alone.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
4 Stars
Waves
Waves - Ingrid Chabbert

Waves was a beautifully told story about hope and loss and what it takes to find hope again. The story floats as much as you would expect from the title. The illustrations were really nice and for me they helped a lot to make the story more powerful and added much to the story.

While it was a quick read for me, it was one that stayed with me for quite some days, so I was very glad Netgalley granted my wish on this one.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review
3 Stars
Ripley's Believe It Or Not
Ripley's Believe It or Not - Tony Isabella

I went into reading this without any knowledge of Ripley's Believe It or Not. I believe it was once suggested for a London city trip, but just as quickly abandoned. However, reading about some strange facts never seems to bore me, so I gave it a try.

I didn't care much for the artwork, it felt very comic-y and not much refined. However, some of the short stories were quite interesting although quite a few of them were already known to me. The Irish Giant for example, was one of the oddities I did see on the aforementioned London city trip, where it still stands in the Hunterian museum. There is always a short comic followed by some information around the topic.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

currently reading

Progress: 80/394pages
The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories - Edgar Allan Poe
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