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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

...and the Dynasty continues!

in a Seal in Wolf’s Clothing by Terry Spear.
...so it’s now time to tell the tale Hunter’s sister Marea’s search for a mate.
Finn is a great character and along the way, other interesting werewolves are introduced. There’s Ana, Bearwolf and more of Rauol (turned in Hunter’s story)
The development of the clan and the place of members within that group is the background to the torrid yet tender mating dance between the two main characters. Will they, wont they, should they, shouldn’t they. Will another take Marea?
I like the development of the group, the interplay of characters from one novel to the next. I feel like I’m reading the family chronicles supported by very personal and revealing diaries--and yet the plots are starting to blend into each other, and the differences just aren’t as exciting as the early novels in the series. That said, I will still continue to read any new offerings about this dynasty of which I have become so fond.

A Netgalley ARC

… ‘which was stronger, [Catarina’s] pain or her love for Ivano’

The House of Serenades by Lina Simoni is like a finely woven Italian tapestry. The threads weave in and out of the plot, sometimes woven in golden and crimson hues, at others, in the blackest of black. The interplay of tragic love story and wasted lives is high drama with dark secrets and hidden abuses. The story is at one a catalogue of attitudes to women and the treatment of women in early 20th Century Genoa.
Women of the upper class families are chattels to be bought and sold, to gain fortunes and alliances for their houses. Virginal daughters and sisters are fodder in the war of class, status and wealth.
It is not only fathers and brothers being unkind to wives, sisters and daughters but it is women being unkind to women--be they mothers, daughters or aunts.
This is a surprising story that invites reflection--what is, what could have been and what should have been. Throughout, the music of another century both seduces and repels with overtones of Wuthering Heights.

A netgalley ARC

Sunday, June 24, 2012

of ducks and swans and death and grief (Steampunk ... Yes!)

Have just finished reading, The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey.
Very Peter Carey-ish!

Think about the title as you read it. The words 'chemistry' and 'tears' reflect the novel's intricacies and dissections on a myriad of levels.

Went to hear Carey talk as part of the Luminato festival in Toronto
He was fantastic. Unfortunately eBooks are hard to write on so I had to have other titles signed.

... further thoughts on Chemistry of Tears. I had been hesitantly wondering about its relationship (somewhat tenuously) to the steampunk genre.
Really would have liked to ask Peter Carey about that--but you know how it is...
In the article, Of silver swans and steampunk, in Express Night (05/30/2012) by Stephen M. Deusneri, ! Asking questions in an auditorim full of others! Too theatening!
So imagine my surprise and feelings of vindication re my inuitve leaps when I came across this article where
Carey is quoted as saying that he,
“thinks his new novel, “The Chemistry of Tears,” might fall under the subgenre of “steampunk.”
“The notion, as I (Carey) understand it, is old technology in the modern world,” Carey says. His book has plenty of “old technology” — namely, 19th-century automata, incredibly intricate robots whose clockwork innards allowed them to (stiffly) simulate natural movement”
So, I'm feeling vindicated about my thoughts re steampunk and the novel.
The book showcases Carey at his pithy, puzzling best; relationally and historically, and leaves us with the disquieting reflection of the destruction of mankind by invention of the combustion engine.

Halifax horrors…

Tattooed by Pamela Callow
Lawyer Kate Lange is caught in the middle of clients, friends, painful deaths, past and present lovers, and personal tragedy. Kenzie Sloane’s return to community coupled with the release of the criminal, prison tattooist John McNally, ignites the spark to this racy thriller. All, including Kate are tied to the death of Kate’s sister, Imogene,
Kenzie Sloane is caught in the middle of past mistakes, painful family relationships, and a life made new.
A successful iconic tattoo artist, the person of Kenzie is displayed through her artistic endeavors and her own Japanese inspired body art –chronicling her life’s journey—personal and intriguing.
As Kenzie says to her mother, ‘with strength comes tranquility … and with tranquility strength … that was the idea.’ But can a bright future ever be built on dark deeds from the past?
Unknowingly, Kate and Kenzie are drawn together by a myriad of threads when a mummified body is found in a bog near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I was fascinated when Kenzie is being questioned by the police in the she continually smoothes her fingers over her tattoos revealing that these are her mantra, her chi and her guide. They give her strength. Her art is her religion.
Complex relations weave in and out of the past and present as this story carries us inextricably forward.
I read the book straight through constantly wondering how the twist and turns would come to fruition.
A satisfactory read.

A netgalley ARC  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Music of the spheres?

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie 

A Forgotten Castles novel. Book 1
Meet a Cinderella type heroine—even if she does own the crumbling castle, minus the wicked sisters etc. The castle comes with ‘ye olde retainers and loyal village inhabitants’. Our heroine, Alexandria Featherstone, is also the owner of disappeared, antiquities seeking parents who have gone off the map as it ‘were.
Add in a music loving bored duke, Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, appointed Cinders guardian, and the plot becomes intriguing.
Our duke’s sudden loss of hearing is devastating. Music takes a different turn as the story progresses with colors and music having an interesting affinity. I am guessing that this musical relationship will become even more important as the novels develop.
Alexandria undertakes a search for her parents whom the (Mad) King George has declared dead.
Felling that they’re been delayed in their quest, she sets off to find them despite her guardian duke’s command to come to London.
Along the way Alexandria collects protectors.  There’s an English Admiral, a giant Irishman, and a Lord. She also collects foes—two mysteriously dangerous Spaniards and other assorted ne’er do wells.
The story ended somewhat abruptly leaving me hanging for the next volume.  I hate that!
An intriguing storyline a cut above the usual regency romantic mystery … and yes I do want to read that next installment!

A Netgalley ARC