Tag: #bookcommunity

Pestilence by Pamela Taylor Blog Tour Review

Today I am participating in my first blog tour. I will be reviewing Pestilence by Pamela Taylor. I was excited to be participating in the blog tour anyway, but when I received my copy of the book there was a note included. Pamela said that she recognized my address and decided to write. It turns out her father was a pharmacist at a pharmacy my family used to frequent. It was fun to be able to connect with her. It brought back great memories for me. Now on to the book.

Set at the dawn of the Renaissance, Alfred the second son must seek a destiny foreseen by his grandfather. Alfred’s brother has taken the throne, and it’s worse than anyone imagined. The kingdom is shattered and Alfred must decide how to help the kingdom built by his family.

Pestilence was a great read. The contrast between Alfred and his brother was striking. I’ve always enjoyed that element. As an only child, it’s interesting to see how siblings can be so different. Alfred’s loyalty was to the kingdom, while the king’s loyalty was to himself. The story follows Alfred on his journey to help protect the kingdom. It was a high stakes mission because he bordered on the line of treason.

I loved when Alfred decided to keep record of the actions of the king. As a history lover, I think documentation is so important. It gave a clearer picture as to what was happening in the kingdom.

I think it is important to read the first two novels to get a clearer picture of the kingdom. I am interested to see how the story develops in the next novel.

My Rating: 4/5

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The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths Review

Guys, I finally finished a book! I’m actually getting to do a review! I picked The Stranger Diaries for my monthly challenge. My prompt was, “read a book that was nominated for an award in 2020.” The Stranger Diaries won the 2020 Edgar Award for best novel. It deserved it. It was a great read!

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder, but most of the time it is a work of fiction. She is a high school English teacher that specializes in gothic horror. When her friend is murdered her life collides with her favorite novel. When Clare turns to her diary to document her feelings, she discovers writing that isn’t hers. Suddenly, she finds herself living in a horror novel.

The Stranger Diaries is what I wanted The Broken Girls to be. It incorporated a haunted school, a horror novel, and a murder mystery. Each element brought great depth to the story.

I loved the inclusion of multiple points of view. It had Clare’s point of view, her daughter Georgie’s, and Detective Sergeant Harbinder’s point of view. Even with multiple points of view I couldn’t single in on one suspect. I honestly suspected everyone.

The ending was unexpected. I love the way it wrapped up. I also enjoyed the friendship that developed between Clare and Harbinder. The Stranger Diaries was a well developed mystery with a lot of depth. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it until now. I feel like it is so underrated!

My Rating: 5/5

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The Afflictions of Praha by Simon Gillard Review

Murder mysteries and historical fiction have been my two favorite genres recently. The Affliction of Praha combines those into one quick read. Keep reading to see what I thought about it.

The Teralov Family are adored in 20th century Prague. Everyone was shocked when Peter Teralov was murdered. Detective Edgar Rollenvart is tasked with the job of bringing the killer to justice. Edgar teams up with Peter’s brother to learn more about the case. As suspects mount, the evidence dead ends, leaving the Teralov family with more questions than they had at the beginning.

The Affliction of Praha is fast paced. There was not a dull moment in the entire book. It didn’t take me long to finish. However, that did lead into my main problem with the book. The characters weren’t fully developed. I didn’t really connect with any of them. Trying to figure out the motive of the killer was impossible because Peter is barely discussed. I enjoy character motivated stories, but if you like plot driven stories this might not be an issue for you.

I do hope the author continues to write. His writing reminded me of Agatha Christie’s. With a bit more polishing and development I think he will be a great mystery writer. Toward the end there are several plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. He put a lot of thought and creativity into them. It made for a strong ending.

My Rating: 3/5

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Thanks to the author for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

A Short July TBR

July is always a busy month for me, so I probably won’t have a ton of reading time. I also decided to start a massive book at the end of June. I imagine it will take up a big chunk of my time. I’m hoping I have more time to read than expected, but I’m keeping it simple this month in case I don’t.

Synopsis:

Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man’s world in the Welsh mining pits…. Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House…. Two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution…. Billy’s sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London….

These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. It is destined to be a new classic.

I started Fall of Giants in late June. It is a tome that is going to take me awhile to read. I have made it to page 184 and I’m still only 18% in. It’s an amazing read though. I can’t wait to get further in.

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Synopsis:

At the dawn of the Renaissance, Alfred – the eponymous second son – must discover the special destiny foreseen for him by his grandfather. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Alfred’s brother is king. And it isn’t long before everyone’s worst fears are realized. Traditional allegiances are shattered under a style of rule unknown since the grand bargain that formed the kingdom was struck over two hundred years ago. These will be the most dangerous years of Alfred’s life, forcing him to re-examine his duty to personal honor and to the kingdom, while the threats posed by his brother constantly remind him of his father’s final words of advice. What choices will he have to make to try to protect the things he holds most dear?

I’m so excited to read this! I will be participating in the blog tour on July 25th, so keep and eye out for that. I was excited to read it anyway, but then I found out the author’s father used to be a pharmacist at a local drugstore my family frequented. I have included the blog tour poster if you want to learn more.

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So that is my simple tbr for this month. I hope to read more, but if not then so be it. What are you reading this month?

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