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Sagas: Book Review

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Elizabeth Cage, Book 2
Jodi Taylor
Fiction, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller
Headline,
(1 Jan. 2019)
368

Betrayed, terrified and alone, Elizabeth Cage has fled her home. With no plan and no friends, she arrives at the picturesque village of Greyston and finds herself involved in an ages-old ceremony that will end in death.

And that might be the least of her problems - the Sorensen Institute would very much like to know her whereabouts. And Michael Jones is still out there, somewhere, she hopes. No matter how far and how fast she can run, trouble will always find Elizabeth Cage.

Barnes and Noble Editors say: In Taylor’s chilling sequel to 2017’s White Silence, Elizabeth Cage, a human lie detector who can detect other people’s secrets, has attracted unwelcome attention. In order to live as quiet a life as possible and avoid being deployed as a psychological warfare weapon, Cage flees her home in Rushford, England, with the idea that if she keeps on the move, she’ll be able to remain free. After taking a random series of buses, Cage ends up in Greyston, a creepy, suspiciously neat village, which reminds her of one in a TV program “where half the population is dead by the end of the second advert break.” Her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Greyston is a matriarchal society led by the Three Sisters, who preside over the annual ritual slaughter of the man designated as the Year King, and she’s told that she must become one of the Three Sisters. While the trope is a familiar one, Taylor makes it her own with both humorous and ominous passages. This supernatural thriller will please fans of the classic film The Wicker Man(Mar.)

My Review

This is Jodi Taylor’s second book in this series. And for my mind this is where the story should end.

Jodi is a storyteller in great tradition of the Icelandic Sagas. You get hooked on the story and the characters and want more – the story is many stories wrapped up in one. Some authors might have been tempted to split it into several books, but for me, it was more satisfactory to read the great saga as one. Jodi gave me the full experience.

Unlike her stories about St Mary’s these are not light and humorous stories, but equally well-crafted and very dark indeed in places that echo traditional myths about the Mother and the Year King and fertility rites.

I thought the ending was a good ending and at present find it difficult to see how another story could be added, but Jodi surprises me a lot with her imagination and story craft so…

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The Worst Always Happens

Plan for the Worst Book Cover Plan for the Worst
The Chronicles of St Mary's #11
Jodi Taylor
Fiction
Headline
April 14, 2020
512

The eleventh book in the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary's series. If you love Jasper Fforde, Ben Aaronovitch or Doctor Who, you won't be able to resist Jodi Taylor. I would have trusted this man with my life. Until a couple of days ago, anyway. You know what they say - hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Max is quite accustomed to everything going wrong. She's St Mary's, after all. Disaster is her default state. But with her family reunited and a jump to Bronze Age Crete in the works, life is getting back to normal. Well, normal for St Mary's. And then, following one fateful night at the Tower of London, everything Max thought she knew comes crashing down around her. Too late for plans. The worst has happened. And who can Max trust now? Readers love Jodi Taylor: 'Once in a while, I discover an author who changes everything... Jodi Taylor and her protagonista Madeleine "Max" Maxwell have seduced me' 'A great mix of British proper-ness and humour with a large dollop of historical fun' 'Addictive. I wish St Mary's was real and I was a part of it' 'Jodi Taylor has an imagination that gets me completely hooked' 'A tour de force'

So Jodi, I mentioned the yellow puddles to my husband- he wanted to know Why I was giggling_and the answer came back: Liquid dynamics;
pressure flow; pipe diameters and drips. So there you have it.
 I have read every book in this series so the beginning confused me.
I had last read of Matthew being grown, so to have him back as a child was wrong. However, I soon got back into the swing of reading, giggling, and sheer amazement at the characters' behaviour and pickles they find themselves in.
 I should point out though, that the flu pandemic mentioned about Paris, was no doubt COVIDI9.
 Just not recognized in this version of history.
 This is not the book to start the series though, and it really isn't standalone. There are too many characters who appear tangentially and too many past adventures.
 I love this series and the madcap weary disasters and  the strange romances between unusual characters. 
History is explained in a very readable form and thus the books are educational too! And very very funny, but with bathos and pathos, and sadness too.

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Boys helping Boys

The Bromance Book Club Book Cover The Bromance Book Club
#1Bromance Book Club
Lyssa Kay Adams
Romance, Romantic Humour, Sports Romance
Headline Eternal
Pub Date 30 Jan 2020

If you love Jasmine Guillory, Sally Thorne and Helen Hoang, you'll LOVE Lyssa Kay Adams! The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club. Gavin Scott's marriage is trouble. The Nashville Legends baseball star has recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. His reaction to the revelation is the final straw for their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he's let his pride and fear get the better of him. Welcome to the Bromance Book Club. Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency called Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his beloved wife.

I loved the concept here and would recommend people to read this book. The title is slightly misleading in that it implies bromances – ie romances between men – but it is not that at all. It about a group of men who get together when their romances get into difficulties and read romance novels to give them hints as to how their women would like them to behave – and what they could say!

An interesting idea and hey do consider one book in particular, but it might have been nice to find out a little more about the other books they had read ad why and who, choose them.

The issue is that these are men who are archetypal alphas, with women usually falling over themselves to be with them, and thus have never had to actually woo a woman. So when their partner decides that is not who she is, or never was, they find themselves unable to respond in a suitable manner and need to learn different behaviour and speech patterns.

It has some fun situations but does bring up the basic problem, particularly in the US I believe, of the hero worship of sports stars, which means that these men fail to fully grow up and take responsibility as they have never needed to. They are cushioned by the clubs that they play for and the people hired to ensure that they have everything that they need and that any trouble is just magicked away. So they are spoilt.

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Eldorado here I come…






The Smoke Hunter Book Cover




The Smoke Hunter





Jacquelyn Benson





action and adventure




Headline




August 16, 2016




448



Unlock an ancient mystery. Unleash an earth-shattering secret. THE SMOKE HUNTER by Jacquelyn Benson brings you the thrills of Indiana Jones, the action of Scott Mariani, the conspiracy of Dan Brown and the authenticity of Clive Cussler. Are you ready to join the adventure? 'Intrigue and suspense aplenty. A refreshing and original new voice' Scott Mariani 'The illegitimate love-child of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones... Fast-paced and action-packed' Stephen Leather Chasing a threat born in smoke... London, 1898. Archivist Eleanora Mallory discovers a map to a legendary city . But is it the key to unravelling an ancient mystery or a clever hoax? Compelled to find out, Ellie journeys to Central America - with a merciless enemy hot on her heels. In a race to uncover the map's secret first, Ellie is forced to partner with maverick archaeologist Adam Bates, a man she's not sure she can trust. Together, they venture into an uncharted wilderness alive with smoke and shadows, where an even greater danger awaits them. For what lies there whispering to be unearthed has the power to bring the world to its knees. Join Ellie and Adam as they battle rivers of scorpions, plummeting waterfalls and pre-historic death traps on the journey to uncovering a deadly secret that could shake the fate of the world.

Go girl go – who needs Indiana Jones when you have Ellie? She can beat you to Eldorado any time! Yes, H. Rider Haggard we finally have a female heroine to match your males…

So yes, here we have an adventure story very much in the style of H. Rider Haggard and all the expected attributes of such a story: a villain who is manipulating behind the scenes; his merciless henchman ready to kill anyone who gets in his way; maps; and mysterious artefacts; codes; and explosions; and jungles and….

Wonderful nonsense and great fun reading. Will make a tremendous film.

 

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