Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday Book Review

Small change to the book review format, seeing as I totally failed at my 100 Book Challenge. From now on, I'll do book reviews every Monday, just because I like to read, and it's a good practise to review books. :) I'm not promising a set number of reviews, but a minimum of one will be up for your consideration. Two is a good number, to add a bit of spice, and more than three would be overkill, I opine.

Herewith, the first of the Monday book reviews! Cue drum roll, please...

Author: Georgette Heyer
Genre: Period Romance
Blurb: Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal and fiery son of the notorious Duke of Avon, has established a rakish reputation that rivals his father's, living a life of excess and indulgence. Banished to the Continent after wounding his opponent in a duel, Vidal schemes to abduct the silly aristocrat bent on seducing him into marriage and make her his mistress instead. In his rush, however, he seems to have taken the wrong woman?
Determined to save her sister from ruin, virtuous Mary Challoner intercepts the Marquis's advances and throws herself into his path, hoping Vidal will release her upon realizing his error. But as the two become irrevocably entangled, Mary's reputation and future lie in the hands of a devilish rake, who finds her more fascinating every day.

Review: Ok, this is a romance novelist I’m familiar with, and she does not disappoint. I was a bit dismayed that the heroine found it necessary to run away so much, but it turned out to be a very clever plot twist, so Ms Heyer is forgiven.

Unlike the Period Mystery I reviewed earlier, this one used colloquial language that I could actually understand and, in some cases, even look up in a dictionary! I’ve always used a dictionary when I read (one of the great advantages of the Kindle is the built in dictionary) and it is frustrating for me when I’m unable to find a term. The advent of online dictionaries has reduced much of that frustration, but they don’t cover all of the words used a couple of hundred years ago. So it’s more  pleasurable to read a book where I can find most of the words in the dictionary and save myself the hassle of going online to search for it, especially when the search is fruitless.

More to the point, going online usually ends up distracting me entirely from reading the book!

This book didn’t feel at all long or wordy but did lead me on a merry chase. Her hero here was much younger than in her other novels, so I was occasionally surprised by his maturity. However  the plot is very plausible and, as always, laugh-out-loud funny.

I do so love Ms Heyer’s books!

Author: Craig Johnson
Genre: Police Thriller
Blurb: Wade Barsad, a man with a dubious past and a gift for making enemies, burned his wife Mary's horses in their barn; in retribution, she shot him in the head six times. But Sheriff Walt Longmire of Wyoming's Absaroka County doesn't believe Mary's confession. Leaving behind the demands of his upcoming re-election campaign, Walt unpins his star to go undercover and discovers that everyone-including a beautiful Guatemalan bartender and a rancher with a taste for liquor-had a reason for wanting Wade dead.

Review: Craig Johnson, I’m of the opinion, is a rancher’s son. He grew up in the outskirts of a small town near a Cheyenne reserve, played with the Cheyenne kids, herded cattle, took care of horses (perhaps used them to herd cattle), and had a well-loved dog by his side. He baled hay, carved wood, and hunted for dinner some days.

There is no other way I can imagine that anyone could be so in touch with the country and the people of which he writes. The depth of knowledge, that character of a man who grows up in the country, is not something you can just read about, or even know of, not this way. If this is all taken from knowing somebody, or reading about it, then Johnson’s talent is astounding.

The story itself is excellent, as all the books have been so far. Again Johnson uses flashbacks, but this time only going back 10 days, and counting forwards in each flashback until the flashback and the present collide. It’s an interesting idea, and one that he does well. Not only that, but he weaves the underlying tales of his friendships and love interest into the flashbacks so that I lived the experiences of Walt Longmire, experiencing the flashbacks as my memories as much as the character’s. Cunningly weaving in just enough information in the flashback to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the present, without giving anything away.

Pretty darn flashy, Mr Johnson!

And yet again, when you believe you’ve read all possible twists that could be found, Johnson finds another twist that is unexpected and brilliant.

A great book, a great series. I’m glad I found them.

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