Monthly Mini Review
Nightwork by Nora Roberts, narrated by Will Damron – A- I wrote a thread on Twitter about my reaction to this book. I’ve reproduced the tweets below rather than just providing screenshots so it’s accessible to anyone.
I just finished Nightwork by Nora Roberts. 5 stars. Excellent on audio (although I though Will Damron’s accents slipped here – I wasn’t always convinced by his French accent – the narration really was fantastic ). 1/?
The main character is an art/jewel thief. Here I think La Nora taps into the zeitgeist. Booth starts stealing at age 9 because his mother has cancer, can’t work & they can’t pay their regular bills or their medical bills. Very relatable in the US context. 2/?
He starts off picking pockets but then graduates to B&E by age 12. He’s never violent, doesn’t carry a weapon & doesn’t take everything. Just what he came for. Of course at this point he’s stealing from the very rich. 3/?
Some of his thievery is from people who’ve stolen the art or jewels themselves. He becomes, in some ways, a modern day Robin Hood (except not so much of the giving to the poor – he does public service instead by being a (very good) public high school teacher). 4/?
The villain is a Very Bad Guy. He is violent, filthy rich, arrogant, entitled. (Sound familiar?) And he threatens Booth into stealing things for him. In the words of Elvis, Booth is caught in a trap. 5/?
What’s additionally interesting is that law enforcement are barely a presence in the story and Booth runs rings around those that do appear. Zeitgeist. 6/?
Merry Christmas, happy holidays and best wishes for the coming year from me to you. However you celebrate, I hope you are safe, healthy and happy and everything only gets better from here on in.
~ Kaetrin ~
My top 10 reads of 2021 at Dear Author
My top 5 listens of 2021 at AudioGals
upcoming Audio Reviews
Reviews of these books will be up soon at AudioGals.
Monthly Mini Review
CW: torture/abuse in interrogation
Siren’s Call by CS Harris C Siren’s Call is the fourth and final novella from The Deadly Hours, a multi-author anthology of historical mysteries with at least some romance, connected by a cursed gold pocket watch called “La Sirène”. I had expected (maybe even hoped for) a Sebastian St. Cyr novella but Siren’s Call has completely new characters and is set in June 1944 just after the D-Day landings. Rachel Townsend-Smythe, daughter of a prominent family in New Godrick in Kent, discovers the dead body of her elderly friend, Major Henry Crosby. Rachel is a museum curator, she had hoped to finally convince the major to store some of his treasures (including the watch case which once held La Sirène in safety from potential German bombs. It is apparent the major was murdered and it turns out, the watch case is missing.
Jude Lowe, former spitfire pilot injured in the war turned MI5 agent is in New Godrick with a colleague looking for a spy after the military had intercepted a series of coded messages emanating from the area. Given Major Crosby’s recent duties with the Royal Observation Corps, there may be a connection to the spy and the murder so he ends up investigating.
The mystery itself is well done and an enjoyable story. There is a hint of romance which ends happily but I wouldn’t call this novella a romance. Most of the courtship between Rachel and Jude happens off page and in the space between the mystery being resolved and the brief epilogue. The main thrust of the story is the mystery, which is solved in only a few days. I don’t judge the story by the romance (or lack thereof) however, because I approached the anthology as a series of historical mysteries.
However, there was one aspect to Siren’s Call which gave me pause and it did have an effect on how I viewed the romance as well as the story overall. It’s a mild spoiler so look away know if you don’t want to know.
Monthly Mini Review
Mercy Thompson World – the epic re-read – I haven’t quite finished it yet. I’m currently on Burn Bright and I will have to briefly backtrack for Unappreciated Gifts (a short story from A Fantasic Holiday Season which has just come in from my library) and for the graphic novel, Hopcross Jilly which just arrived today, and I don’t have Fantastic Hope which has a brand new Asil short story in it as it’s not available outside of the US at present but… I’m nearly through the entire series, short stories, graphic novels and all. After Burn Bright, there are only Storm Cursed and Smoke Bitten by way of full length novels.
I have loved revisiting this series. It has long been a favourite of mine but it is even more worthwhile to read the series in its entirety and close together. The world building is so dense and complex at this point it is easy to forget things. There were callbacks in Smoke Bitten (which I only recently listened to) from Moon Called. I had forgotten how Ben’s character had evolved. I had forgotten, between reading Fire Touched and Silence Fallen, who Zack was. I had lost track of certain secondary and tertiary characters but now I feel like I have the whole picture. Also, once the events of Fair Game happened, the Mercyverse and the A&O world forever merged and it wasn’t really possible to fully understand either series without having read both. Reading the books and most of the novellas in chronological order has been a massive boon for me. A couple of things have changed; I liked Fire Touched better the first time I read it and I liked Silence Fallen much better the second time and reading it so close to the other books. There’s a reason these books are among my favourites. There’s a reason I have all the audios and all the ebooks and many of the print books and all the graphic novels.
Not only has it given me life during lockdown, I’ve picked up all of these wonderful things I missed the first (or in some cases, second, third, or fifth) time around. Spending time with the cast of the Mercy Thompson world has felt like hanging with old and beloved friends.
AMAZON KOBO BOOK DEPOSITORY
Monthly Mini Review
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner – B I’ve had the ebook of The Thief on my TBR for ages as the entire series comes highly recommended. I was warned that this first book in the series had a slightly different tone to the later books and that it wasn’t as strong a story. But I like to start at the beginning. The entire series has recently been re-released on audio with a highly rated narrator, Steve West.
It is the story of Gen, a young thief who begins the book in the prison of Soonis. The Magus of Soonis offers Gen a chance to get out of jail. There is a stone, called “Hermiathes’ Gift”, said to bestow immortality on whoever it is given to. The Magus needs a thief to steal the stone and then to give it to the Magus so the Magus can “give” the stone to the King of Soonis, thus strengthening his suit with the Queen of Eddis. Gen, the Magus and his two apprentices set off on a covert mission across Soonis, through Eddis and into Attolia to seek the stone.