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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

Friday, November 16, 2012

Moonlight and Mechanicals (The Gaslight Chronicles #4)

Great read! I loved this novel so much I bought the rest of the series!
Absolutely enjoyed this foray in the steampunk, paranormal world of the Gaslight Chronicles by Cindy Spencer Pape.

In Moonlight & Mechanicals there’s a dastardly plot afoot!
The queen is in danger!
On the streets of Wapping animals, and people between the ages of 15 and 30, are disappearing. But it’s Wapping. Who’s going to notice? Well, Wink does.
Once more the Knights of the Order are called into action.
 Are the circumstances, animals and people missing, linked?
This is Wink and Liam’s story.

The stories that began with Steam & Sorcery continue.
I loved this title so much that I bought the rest of the series!
A NetGalley ARC

Turn Right at Machu Pichu

…‘the truth is that Machu Pichu is always going to be something of a mystery’
Machu Pichu is on my ‘bucket list.’
My attention to this fabulous site was further piqued by the interview author Mark Adams did about his then, forthcoming book, Turn Right at Machu Pichu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time, with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.
(I had already been talking to friends who had visited there and researched times to visit and costs.)
When NetGalley had this title as an ARC I couldn’t resist it.
As many have said Adam’s work is a factual, entertaining and sometimes humorous read that inspires at least me, to hasten a visit to this fascinating site.
I would love to do it the way Adams did, in the footsteps of Hiram Bingham III.
Alas for me, those days have gone. I can however benefit from Adam’s travels, by increasing my understanding of Machu Pichu from his book, and by planning a less rigorous but satisfying experience of the ‘mysterious’ Machu Pichu. A great read!

So when Machu Picchu Doing It Yourself (Travel) by Alan Swanepoel was free on Amazon I also had to make sure I nabbed it.
My journey towards Machu Picchu goes forward.

Silk gowns and pirate boots!

This is a gem of a novel with all the desired accoutrements.
A strong, coltish female lead, a disfigured deadly stranger of the shadows, deep running magical plots, self-centered attractive women of ethereal slenderness and magical mayhem, and attendant invasive worlds. Great!
Our star is Ananna a pirate captain’s daughter who absconds rather than make a marriage of alliance with the son of a rival pirate clan.
Strangely thoughtful, Ananna has all of a young adult’s attendant awkwardness as she strives to workout her destiny.
I loved the description of her in her silk marriage dress and clunky pirate boots fleeing the wedding proposal with requisite camel.
Her refusal to the marriage means death by assassin.
‘Oh really!’ seems to be Ananna’s response.
She is a thief and a fighter who leaps from one situation to another, that she might later regret.
Throughout the story we are treated to her internal dialogue, liberally sprinkled with her pirate captain father’s advice and memory of her water magic mother’s abilities.
Ananna of course had no magic of her own.
So we have a wealth of situations, interesting characters, camels, deserts, magical islands and oh so much more.
Totally enjoying and now I’m craving the next installment!

A Netgalley ARC

A woman of all Ages for all ages

Set against the biblical background of the Battle of Jericho, Rahab the Canaanite’s story is written with grace, understanding and compassion. Rahab walks strongly across the pages of the book, and in doing so deepened my understanding of the biblical story. To take a well known tale as old as time, and to give a new and compelling vision to it is indeed a gift and Tessa Afshar is without doubt a gifted writer.
Rahab as a young girl is sold into prostitution by her beloved father, yet rather than being annihilated by such a betrayal she demonstrates a vitality of spirit, an awesome strength and intrinsically honorable heart. Rahab hears the voice of God and responds.
The tale of Rahab’s trials, her challenges and very human responses are given a new impetus in this retelling and places her squarely in the forefront of great women of the Bible. This is no woman of the past, of insubstantial being, but rather the story of one who represents the many faces of women throughout time, including today. Her story speaks for ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Her response is that of heartbreaking courage.  Rahab is a woman of all ages for all ages. Afshar has given us a very accessible person in her portrayal of Rahab—a portrayal that has the ability to reach out, draw us in and touch us profoundly. An unforgettable story, superbly written, and well worth more than one read.  A great seasonal gift! Pass it forward.  

A NetGalley ARC

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sagara...never disappoints!

Cast in Peril  

‘The worst thing about having a roommate…was morning!’

(Well not counting a dragon for a roommate, an arcane bomb, and Dragons, the Barrani, and Hawk Headquarters in uproar).

And just like that we’re thrown into life with Kaylin Neya. Sagara continues to delight us with the differing facets of the world of Elantra’s Chronicles. The ongoing story of assassin turned Hawk, Private Kaylin and her various acquaintances and companions, drawn from the races found in Elantra, is as exciting today as it was from the very first read.
The wry and delightful humor that undergirds much of Kaylin’s interaction with her world is constantly present. Her relationship with the female dragon Bellusdeo, often bemoaned by Kaylin, is a treasure to be explored further.
We revisit known and loved characters in this continuing and surprising episode of Kaylin. Old friends take on new dimensions, as do old enemies—including ex barrani, now fief Lord, Nightshade, the barrani Hawk Teela, and oldest of friends Severn--a companion from the fiefs, one time Wolf, now Hawk. All frequently surprise, and are in turn surprised!
Kaylin of course remains the ingĂ©nue, from the wrong side of the tracks. The assassin turned Hawk, Guild Midwife, and anti hero, whose gigantic heart doesn't count the cost when helping those in need. Be they barrini, dragon lords, or the lowliest of orphans. More particularly it’s the children that reach into her heart every time. Race or class is no barrier to her.
The interesting acquisition of a familiar (or not as the case may turn out to be)--a small, smoky translucent, glass like dragon or lizard--by Kaylin is puzzling, frequently humorous, often an asset, and full of potential.
Once again, a fabulous addition to an exciting chapter in the being of Elantra!
I can hardly wait for the next book!
A Netgalley ARC

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Red Pole of Macau

The Red Pole of Macau by Ian Hamilton.

Excellent read. A fast paced modern thriller.
The action moves from Toronto to Hong Kong to Macau.
Ava, a forensic accountant, is drawn into her brother's affairs.
Saving the situation will save the family. Ramifications of funds and face are not to be underestimated.
Ava renews old acquaintances and makes new friends.
Well worth reading.

Loved The Red Pole so much that I read the 3 preceeding novels

In fact I've walked over to Avenue & Yorkville to determine where Ava's apartment might be. I think I have it pegged.
To get a further feel about Ava I looked at Brooks Brothers shirts online. If I were Ava's svelte build I'd invest.
Also looked at Shanghai Tang Happiness bags online. Loved the range. Wan't one but don't need one.
Re-lived times in Beijing. Hong Kong, Bangkok, Vancouver and London.