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esurient

esurient

Joined March 2018

review
esurient
Midnight Radio | Iolanda Zanfardino
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Mehso-so

The meh-ingist meh you ever did see, and it's my own fault. I confused this one with a collection series of the same name, read the whole dang thing, and wondered over why the twist horror wasn't showing up. Oops.

Young adult modern social commentary isn't my preferred genre, I'm afraid, but I'd have liked this better if I hadn't read this on Hoopla. The art was not designed to view on a mobile screen, and it gave me a headache.

esurient For the horror comic, see here: https://elcomics.net/index.html 3h
4 likes1 comment
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Peer support ftw!

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This post contains spoilers
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Not gonna lie, I kind of want some pov writing from her husband.

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Oooo yes I would subscribe for body facts.

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Bailedbailed

Y'all, I was so excited for this! Revenge, betrayal, story-telling, CHEESE!? All of these things I want!

I spent Chapter 1 hating the narrator, and by Chapter 2 also loathed the writing style. Bounced with minor regrets, pacified by making myself a cheese plate. Bail.

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Wolf Gone Wild | Juliette Cross
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Bailedbailed

A nice light novel, I thought. It'll be fun.

It's a'la Tumblr-driven writing that sets up a projected series with multiple loads of infodumping. I slogged through for a bit but dead stop at Chapter 3 and an explanation of ship hashtags. Multiple loads. Chapter 3. Bail.

esurient And I say this as someone who's bookmarked numerous neat Tumblr writing-prompt responses! Gargh. 2mo
julesG I listened to the audiobook at 2.2x which made it a low pick for me. But I do understand why you bailed. 2mo
esurient @julesG Bah, they can't all match my reading taste. On to the next! 1mo
julesG On to the next! Is a good Motto. 1mo
15 likes4 comments
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Pickpick

Charmingly bloodthirsty! I loved Maud's complete unconcern for scruples and ingrained assumption she can do whatever the hell she pleases. Highly enjoyed the first few stories here, but the last, a paired companion set, made me think Maud is getting a bit too sloppy.

Still, I've already obtained the second book in this set, and I'll have to hunt for other works by this author.

esurient I really really want fanfiction here where Maud crosses into the territories of various literary detectives. 2mo
SleepyDragon Everytime I see this one pop up, I laugh because my grandmother was a Maude and was usually up to no good. Lol 2mo
esurient @SleepyDragon Glad it makes you smile! 2mo
21 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Merry Inkmas | Talia Hibbert
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Pickpick

Hibbert writes dialogue and character interactions extremely well, and I loved loved loved how the main pair have their own important, on page, friend and family relationships.

Bonus points applied for good communication and honest handling of backstory traumas. Points knocked off for the clipping fast pace with ending that resolved all issues forever in like an hour. Felt a bit like a novel shoehorned into a novella. Low pick.

esurient Hibbert also has a rep for being an erotica author; this one was far more vanilla than kink, but had some startlingly hot points, imo, admittedly as one who generally prefers books to be fade to black. 2mo
julesG Haven't read this one yet. But it's hiding on #MountTBR. 🙈 2mo
esurient @julesG I know how that goes! 2mo
12 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Radiance: A Novel | Grace Draven
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Mehso-so

High middling. Legit loved the interactions between the main pair and the slow growth of their relationship, and super enthralled by the author's descriptive writing -- she did a fantastic job of writing both human and non-human as the 'other' in each other's eyes.

Did not like the plot turn to high angst, which was perhaps inevitable in what amounts to a prologue novella but angst isn't generally to my taste.

esurient Did also not like the building of the main antagonist character from a relatively nuanced and interesting introduction to a hard hammer of EVIL, all caps. 2mo
esurient Several novels and a number of short stories follow this. I may pick them up, eventually. 2mo
9 likes2 comments
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What Moves the Dead | T. Kingfisher
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vivastory I was just listening to this being discussed on All the Books. It sounds great! 3mo
Sparklemn It does sound good! The cover is nightmare-inducing, however. 😂 😱 3mo
Clare-Dragonfly I really need to get around to reading T. Kingfisher! 3mo
13 likes3 comments
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Od Magic | Patricia A. McKillip
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Nettle & Bone | T. Kingfisher
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I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ONE!

#releasedayyay

Linsy Ohmygosh, im so jealous!!! Ive been looking out for this one 5mo
13 likes1 comment
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Bailedbailed

I completely misunderstood what this book was about. Turns out, it's Ready Player One updated to modern pop references. The best neutral review I'm seeing for this states "it's both weird AND all over the place." If that's your cup of tea, more power to you. I bounced at page 3.

Quote from comments section:
https://bibliosanctum.com/2022/01/27/book-review-battle-of-the-linguist-mages-by...

julesG Agree 100%. I forced myself to finish it, I had an ARC 5mo
esurient @julesG That's dedication! I'm going to go reread "Story of Your Life" (Chiang) and Alphabet of Thorn (McKillip) for something more along the 'exploration of language and personhood' I had been hoping for. 5mo
julesG And I'll be adding those two to my TBR. 😉 5mo
esurient @julesG Haha, I hope you enjoy them! 5mo
12 likes4 comments
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Farewell to the East End | Jennifer Worth
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Pickpick

A very moving conclusion and I wanted to read more. The whole trilogy is highly recommended.

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Catwoman's Nine Lives | Matthew K. Manning
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I'll take Humor That Has Not Aged Well for one million, Alex.

This fic dates at 2001, well after the 1992 tabloid coverage of Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi Previn and the 1993 investigation of the Dylan Farrow sexual abuse accusation, but well before the explosive 2014 New York Times article which was my own...

#notthetaggedbook #fanfiction

Cat-Tales, Book 1, Story 9, Satori (Chris Dee)
https://cat-tales.mobi/book1/CT_09.html

esurient ....introduction to the Allen controversies and accusations. I can't really blame the fic for this, but whoa how my enjoyment tanked here. 5mo
8 likes1 comment
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Shadows of the Workhouse | Jennifer Worth
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Pickpick

The opening section, of children and families in a workhouse, is so horrific I had to take breaks for nausea -- I haven't had to do that since reading a Holocaust memoir.

A pick. Moving and powerful, and I highly respect Worth's strongly compassionate approach.

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Pickpick

The TV series is critically acclaimed, but I'm not a big fan of TV and picked up the book instead. I think the series fictionalized a bunch to flesh out the storytelling; even so, I found the bones of the book fascinating. The coda on the Cockney language was particularly interesting.

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Mehso-so

I found this middling. I picked it up thinking that it had an arts focus, and that was wrong. The romantic pair seemed nice together and I especially loved the hero's parents, but the denouncement of the villains was mostly nonexistent and the heroine was thoughtless to her own safety well past the point of stupidity.

Read it if you like dogs

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Madam Secretary | Madeleine Albright
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Pickpick

This was hilarious! By the time the climax hit, I was in stitches -- the ducklings were particularly wonderful. This is my favorite by far of Heyer's.

Reader caveat for antisemitism, a moneylender character set as a minor villain. I appreciate that this edition hadn't experged the orginal text (1950), but I skipped the chapter anyway and thus missed the first time Sophy threatened someone with a pistol.

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Crowbones | Anne Bishop
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Pickpick

Moderate pick. I like the characters, but the villains were extremely disjointed.

Ineke remains introduced primarily by her tattoos. It came up in three chapters this time. The way Bishop clearly believes the very existence of these tattoos is both sexy and intimidating is pissing me off.

esurient They sound like perfect normal tattoos, and are discreetly invisible under normal clothing to boot. They sound like tasteful, private, personal tattoos to me, and I think it's skeezy how every character talks about them 7mo
iread2much I agree with the strange obsession about tattoos. Why does that define a person? 6mo
9 likes2 comments
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Every River Runs to Salt | Rachael K. Jones
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Uhura's Song | Janet Kagan
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Chemical Letters | Octavia Cade
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This is some really moving writing on the passage of grief.

TW: Child death (incompatible with life).

#notthetaggedbook #shortwork
You're Not the Only One (Cade)
https://clarkesworldmagazine.com/cade_02_22

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Well, I'm bummed Klune hadn't genderflipped the spawn of Satan, even if it's my own fault for hearing the name Lucy before reading the gender indicators. I haven't been this disappointed since The Hunger Games and learning that Gale and Peeta were both men.

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Pickpick

An intense pick, but distressingly realistic. My fantasy preference would be for MacCallan to be jailed, instead of the heroine leaving the position and resolving to consult with a lawyer, but alas.

Reads like a marvelously written case example of 'what to do in case of X.'

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Okay, I know it's been years since 50 Shades published, but I remain charmed by the authors who responded to it, 'No. That's awful. I'm going to write my own dang book.'

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Nettle & Bone Sneak Peek | T. Kingfisher
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Oops.

Clare-Dragonfly Goodness, I had to read that five times to figure out what was intended. 7mo
esurient @Clare-Dragonfly It's a little jarring! I hope they fix it for final publication. 7mo
5 likes2 comments
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Mehso-so

The heroine was a complete Angel of the House and I wanted to shake the hero until his head rattled and his teeth fell out. And I also loved the secondary charcters and wanted a whole other book for them. But lowest marks for, again, the poor quality of villain characters. They're all off screen! I didn't even get a good denouncement here! Gr.

Middling fun.

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HERO, YOU ARE AS DUMB AS A BOX OF BRICKS.

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Ahhh! Book, you are deliberately being That Sort of book!

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Ha, I'm here at Chapter 2 and I've lost count of our number of musunderstandings.

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This is the first, I fear, of many misunderstandings. This seems to be that sort of book. Oh, dear.

#pricedrop

Clare-Dragonfly Let me guess, she‘s a governess and he thinks she‘s their mother? 7mo
esurient @Clare-Dragonfly Bingo. 7mo
7 likes3 comments
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All Systems Red | Martha Wells
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I haven't read the first two and cannot comment, but I'm amused that the third, a first-person narrative of a strongly asexual character that shows absolutely no romantic interest in this book, is part of something labeled 'Bundle 'o Love'.

It's perfectly valid to celebrate Valentine's Day platonically, of course, I just practically never see that in media.

https://www.tor.com/2022/02/14/download-tor-coms-bundle-o-love-before-february-1...

annahenke It is funny that All Systems Red is in this haha! 7mo
See All 9 Comments
esurient @annahenke I can just imagine Murderbot writing VD cards: "Dear Amena, you are the subadult human I've interacted with the most and I'm glad you've never had to stab a mind-control device off your neck." 7mo
esurient "Dear Tapan, if you agree to never, ever again sign a contract with an obviously evil Corperate Rim mob-boss who will murder you, I will be your security consultant a second time." 7mo
annahenke @esurient haha! Love it so much 😆 7mo
rabbitprincess Haha I totally just downloaded this bundle because of Murderbot 😂 7mo
Clare-Dragonfly You‘ve nailed Murderbot in your comments! 😂 (Dear autocorrect: I like it, but I don‘t understand why you would make MURDERBOT all caps!) 7mo
shanaqui I was not sure why ASR was included when I saw the bundle but can attest that it is a great read to discuss with one's queerplatonic/romantic-adjacent life partner. 😂 7mo
10 likes9 comments
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The Witness for the Dead | Katherine Addison
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TWO sequels in the works for this one! Hm!

https://uncannymagazine.com/article/interview-sarah-monette

snapsnarlgrowl Don‘t mind me, just screaming in excitement. 8mo
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Pickpick

Absolutely a pick. The story was wonderful, romance and all, and the artwork was gorgeous. I have to read more by Wang.

TW for a scene where the prince was traumatically outed, by a character's deliberate malice.

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This is fucking the best.

tjwill Yes. Yes it is. I loved that moment. 8mo
esurient @tjwill Supportive and protective parents for the win. 8mo
18 likes2 comments
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Okay, my hopes are dashed on the friendship-only front, alas.

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#pricedrop and for me, an autobuy. The only thing I really know about this is that it's beautiful.

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#pricedrop! I indulged.

Oh, I hope the plot isn't romantic! I'm in the mood for something friendship focused, and this seems perfectly positioned for that.

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Ooo, I was given an ARC because I know a guy who's married to a guy who's related to a guy, in a lineage straight out of that Spaceballs scene. But oh, I'm in the mood for a new romance!

#notthetaggedbook
A Compromised Lady (Boucher)

esurient Publication anticipated Feb 8. 8mo
8 likes1 comment
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Fantastic Hope | Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton
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Panpan

Somewhere between a pan and a bail. Anthologies can be a mixed bag, but this started off more uneven than most: I skipped over three authors I know from experience I dislike, I disliked the two stories I read, I DNF'd a third at the third sentence, and the remaining 10 stories didn't attract so much as my glance. Massive thumbs down here.

esurient Shinn (Not in this Lifetime) - an utterly ungrounded ghost story. I liked the friendships. I loathed that the mystery of the haunting was vastly less desirable for Shinn to explore than the romance was. And then social justice issues were introduced at the climax? 8mo
esurient Briggs (Asil and the Not-Date) - I've enjoyed Briggs' writing for years now, but I'm over this series. The plot only worked if all characters were idiots. I think it was supposed to be funny, and I just thought thought it was dumb. It made me unhappy to be reading, from an author I once adored. (edited) 8mo
esurient Hamilton (Zombie Dearest) - just. I need to stop reading Hamilton. I need to forget that I've been following her writing since the 90s and concentrate on the fact that the last book I've enjoyed in this series was in 2001. The writing has become unbearable and grating, the horror elements have long been eclipsed for sex, and I cannot stand the characters. I just need to remember all this the next time I see one of her works. 8mo
AmandaBlaze I think I stopped reading the Anita Blake books at Obsidian Butterfly. 8mo
esurient @AmandaBlaze I think I lasted through Incubus Dreams. I should have stopped where you did. 8mo
7 likes5 comments
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Hm! This is a nice coda to Tor's earlier essay series on Lewis' works.

Essay, #notthetaggedbook

https://www.tor.com/2022/01/24/our-country-c-s-lewis-calormen-and-how-fans-are-r...

ozma.of.oz Oh that is fascinating! Thank you for sharing! 8mo
esurient @ozma.of.oz You're welcome; enjoy! 8mo
12 likes2 comments
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Silver | Rhiannon Held
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Pickpick

Mild pick. Held has a sciences background, and I liked how that perspective was built into the main character. It made the 'secret saboteur turned defender' much more grounded and nuanced.

I'll be curious if the other novellas in this series follow this character, or new ones.

Novella / Clean Install (Held)
#notthetaggedbook

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Silver | Rhiannon Held
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Right, and now for something completely different. I've previously hugely enjoyed Held's fantasy works; this seems to be her first scifi work.

Clean Install (Held)
#notthetaggedbook

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The Siren of Sussex | Mimi Matthews
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Pickpick

(Author's note quoted above.)

I broke down. I bought it. It's very sweet.

Pros: Matthews packed this story full of female friendships, descriptions of beautiful gowns primarily from the perspective of the maker, ladies on sidesaddle, gentlemen introduced first by their horses, and a POC hero. I especially loved the horses and the focus on non-noble characters.

esurient Cons: the novel is very brisk. The British occupation of India is a minor plot point and important to several characters ranging from career military involved to characters who feel they can neither claim to be English nor Indian to characters who are just discovering what British occupation means. It's a detail that would easily absorb a whole book, but there's only enough pagespace here to allow Matthews time to mention it and move on. (edited) 8mo
esurient The same goes for other historical details involved here, working conditions for seamstresses and the difficulty for a POC character to set up a trade -- all absolutely real things I wanted to learn more about, and I clearly needed the book to be about a thosand pages longer. 8mo
esurient And while I like the main characters and their growing feelings for each other, the romance felt too smooth. There were massive, important reasons for them to halt or delay their relationship, and while this was acknowledged in the plot, it didn't actually cause so much as pause for breath. The villains didn't pose much of an obstacle either, and could by and large be safely ignored by even the reader. (edited) 8mo
esurient Matthews is planning a four book series here, so I will be interested in seeing if the brief historical elements are explored even further (I have high hopes regarding the British occupation -- there's a captain who is poised as the next hero). (edited) 8mo
esurient All in, the villains were dull, the dresses were pretty, the female friendships were my favorite part, and this wasn't a bad pick. I'll look forward to the next one. 8mo
8 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Hither Page | Cat Sebastian
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Pickpick

The way Sebastian grows this relationship gives me all the warm fuzzies. I've read so many books where the couple comes to an understanding in Book One, and Book Two opens with already a misunderstanding and separation -- a will-they-or-won't-they forced to drive reader engagement that I find vexing. But Leo and James are utterly different here.

The Missing Page (Sebastian)
#notthetaggedbook

esurient It's a romance in a mix of 'I don't deserve to be so lucky', 'and now what do I do', 'but wait, he wants... the same?' that I found utterly charming. 8mo
esurient And I found that I heartily enjoyed the mystery angle here, too. Every part, which almost never happens for me -- mysteries are not my preferred genre. 8mo
esurient All in, very solid cozy pick. I'm laying bets that Book Three (more) involves a spying angle. 8mo
See All 6 Comments
shanaqui Ahhhh I want it. XD 8mo
esurient @shanaqui Soon! It will wait for you! 8mo
shanaqui @esurient I'm more enthusiastic than ever now that you've said it doesn't end up with a forced will-they-or-won't-they. :D That does drive me mad sometimes in series like this. 8mo
8 likes6 comments
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Hither Page | Cat Sebastian
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Finally, a sequel.

The Missing Page (Sebastian)
#notthetaggedbook

shanaqui I'm so irritated I'm on a month of no non-essential purchases, because I waaaant. Maybe I'll reread the first book... 8mo
esurient @shanaqui Hey, January is more than half over. You're almost there! 8mo
9 likes2 comments
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Panpan

I had really enjoyed John Eyre by the same author, and when this was offered as a freebie I snapped it up.

I hated it. Loathed it. I rolled my eyes at least once a chapter, and I only slogged through to the end to see if the karma bit those characters I hated and, spoiler, it didn't.

esurient Even the romance that was the main plot was such stupid fluffy gloss that I'm rather wistfully thinking that fanfic in a future setting where the spouses murdered and manipulated each other would be a fantastic read. 9mo
esurient The best I can say about this is that the writing was competent and I liked how the author deliberately introduced historical details of economics and non-aristocratic society into the book, even I wanted about 300 times more of especially the latter. 9mo
esurient But I wanted to shake the stupid characters and I'm infuriated that those mild 'villain' / obstacle characters all ended the story with exactly what they wanted and barely a tsk to their actions. 9mo
esurient I wanted the house to burn down. Not recomended. My next read by this author will be only if I can find a library copy. 9mo
esurient (Which is a shame because I was really excited about her new one releasing next week.) : 9mo
18 likes5 comments
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Let's Kill Uncle | Rohan O'Grady
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Whew. It took longer than I'd have liked for the children to try sabotaging the airplane -- in my own murderous heart, that would have been Plan A. But the fun of this book isn't really the murdering so-much as the characters at the edges.

I adore the mountain lion.

A pick. I'll look up more by this author.