My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Volume 47 picks up the storytelling that 46 got started, so less pointless never-ending battle scenes and more substance. About time. Aizen continues to battle Urahara and Yourichi and Gin has pretty much defeated Ichigo and is merely toying with him now.
Aizen steps it up to the next level. He and Gin slip away to the real Karakura town, leaving behind the riven Soul Reapers. Ichigo and his father follow and end up in this nifty little dimension between the two worlds where time moves 2000 times faster than normal. While his father anchors them there, Ichigo, under his father’s tutelage, goes into his sword to make Zangetsu tell him the final technique but cautions his son that he can only give him2000 hours (i.e. 1 hour of real time) and that the sword will not want to give up this secret.
Ichigo meets Zangetsu in his bankai form, Tensa Zangetsu (who is unaccountably hot). And things go sideways, leaving Ichigo facing uncomfortable truths. Back in Karakura Town, Ichigo’s friends are waking up and left to face Aizen who plans on making them examples to Ichigo, Medieval ‘hang a corpse on the town wall’ sort of example. A badly wounded Rangiku expected a move like this and has arrived to help but is she a match for Gin and Aizen.
It’s a shame that the level of storytelling yo-yos so badly in this series. When it’s like this, it’s very very good. Well, if nothing else it’s always pretty to look at.
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Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
After the deep disappointment of the last book, I was hesitant to get this book and I’ll admit, it was hard to rate. The mystery gets a solid three stars; Maisie’s personal life barely rates a two. I enjoyed the mystery but the overwrought personal stuff left me cold.
The mystery: Usha Pramal’s brother believes the police did a poor job investigating his sister’s murder and even detective Caldwell reluctantly admits this might be true. Usha had left India to be governess to an English family. Somehow she ended up turned out and living in a house with other ayahs and doing odd jobs as she saved money to set up a school for underprivileged girls in India. And then someone shot her in the head.
As Maisie starts to investigate, she can’t find the Allison’s whom Usha had come to England with as they are currently abroad. The house where Usha lived is more promising. It’s run by a religious couple who don’t let their beliefs get in the way of them bilking the otherwise homeless Indian girls out of most of their wages and forcing them to church with Reverend Griffith who has a strange branch of Christianity going. Maisie also learns that Usha was very touchy feely and we’re never sure but does she have therapeutic touch or Ayurvedic healing medicines; either way she’s making more money doing that. Her friend, Maya, was willing to meet with Maisie but soon after is also shot in the head.
Maisie has to confront that after Billy’s head damage in the beating last book, he’s not the same man. He’s quick to anger and doing a very poor job of investigating and she has to pick up the trail of a missing young boy. However, she starts to see intersecting threads between the cases but are they real or imagined.
Overall the mystery wasn’t bad. Usha was a bit too much of a Mary Sue, so much so that Maisie at the end is reminding people she was just a good woman and not a goddess on a pedestal. The rest, however, is a mess. I was wondering if this would be the last book. She has all the drama of trying to find Billy a different job but oooo am I overstepping my boundaries dilemma again and again. Then is Sandra and Billy having an affair? Well it’s none of her business as we’re reminded of too often. As for poor James Compton, Maisie claims to love him, refuses to accept him working with John Otterburn (see last book for why) and he’s going to Canada for a while and wants her to marry him so we get the will she/won’t she crap ad nauseam and it doesn’t even get resolved.
But the worst of the melodrama is Maisie wants to go exploring. Okay, fine but she makes such a huge deal of it. She wants to follow her mentor Maurice’s footsteps, you know, instead of being original. Oh where oh where shall I go? How long will I stay? Honestly, I didn’t give a damn. All it did was take away from and drag down the mystery. And then her answer to how to go about this almost made me toss the book across the room. I’m no Priscilla fan but she had it right when she pointed out all the stupidity of this move to Maisie. And if I want to know how it turns out I have to get the next book. Sigh. This series used to be so much better.
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