June 3rd, 2015

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

A few days, a couple books, you know.

First was Osprey Campaign #25: Leipzig 1813: The Battle of the Nations which was an important campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. The Emperor was trying to assert himself after the defeat in Russia, and failed. Usually I'm pretty happy with these Osprey books; they are quick reads chock full of plates, photos and maps, but somehow this one fell flat for me. Oh, well.

Next was Osprey Elite #83: Napoleon's Commanders (2): c. 1809 – 15 which was a compendium of French generals of the period, each with maybe a paragraph or two. As a fast overview, OK. Not exactly an in depth look. Better graphics in this one than the last.
book collector

Book 64

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2)Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More like a 3.5 stars but still the originality of it weighs in its favor. It's much slower and darker than the first book.There were entire scenes that I felt existed only to showcase yet another photo because they didn't do much to advance the plot and we could have done just as well without them.

It opens where the last book ended with the peculiar children rowing away from their island with Miss Peregrine stuck in her bird form and the wicked wights after them and WWII looming before them. Jacob has stuck with them even though he could go back to the present day without the fear of 'aging forward' as most of the other childern have to fear outside of the time loop (i.e. they're really elderly if not going to turn to dust before long). He stays because he's in love with the fire starting Emma (which okay, I always have trouble swallowing the I'm in love forever story tropes in teens this young. Yes I believe they believe it's real but really it's not something that pans out all that often).

The children run from loop to loop trying to find other ymbryne to save Miss Peregrine but almost all of the ymbrynes have been imprisoned by the wights for whatever nefarious purposes they have in mind. The talking animal menagrie of Miss Wren has put a deadline on this task of about 2-3 days or anything human will be lost to Miss Peregrine and she'll be a bird forever.

The children encounter hollowgasts, wights, soldiers, gypsies and German bombs as they struggle their way to and through London in search of Miss Wren, the only known ymbryne still not captured by the wights. Some of the children are left behind and new ones are picked up along the way. They encounter peculiars who want to fight for their right to live free and others who want nothing to do with peculiardom.

The story doesn't deviate much from it's simple plot but sometimes the path to it is overly long. The photos remain really neat. And like book one, this does finish up the plot but still manages to end on a cliffhanger, not my favorite sort of ending. That said, I will be looking for the next book in the series.

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lady in white

Book 53: Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Book 53: Sepulchre (Languedoc #2) .
Author: Kate Mosse, 2007.
Genre: Historical/Contemporary Mystery. Tarot.
Other Details: Hardback. 560 pages. Unabridged Audio (20 hrs, 32 mins) Read by Lorelei King.

1891. Seventeen-year-old Léonie Vernier and her brother abandon Paris for the sanctuary of their aunt's isolated country house near Carcassonne, the Domaine de la Cade. But Léonie stumbles across a ruined sepulchre - and a timeless mystery whose traces are written in blood.

2007. Meredith Martin arrives at the Domaine de la Cade to research a biography. But Meredith is also seeking the key to her own complex legacy and becomes immersed in the story of a tragic love, a missing girl, a unique deck of tarot cards and the strange events of one cataclysmic night a century ago... - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

The first two novels of the Languedoc Trilogy are loosely related and similar in structure having two female protagonists whose stories unfold in separate time periods in the same area of the France. In terms of the women I much preferred Meredith to the petulant and self-absorbed Léonie. Of course, as her story spanned a number of years she did mature but there were times when she was young that I wanted to reach into the pages and give her a shake. Still, that is a good sign that I was invested in the story and characters.

I enjoyed this very much and found it a compelling mystery with some supernatural aspects linked to a fictional tarot deck. A few characters from 'Labyrinth' are featured or mentioned and again there is a subtle reincarnation theme. Certainly Mosse has an interesting take on the mysteries associated with the Languedoc region.

As with a few other novels this year I elected to both read and listen to this. While a fairly long novel I found it went quite quickly and Lorelei King as usual was a pleasure to listen to.