A Review: The Good Thief

renGoodreads rating: 1 out of 5 stars

I didn’t care for The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti.  I made it to page 50 where they steal the horse, and that was enough for me.  I didn’t like any of the characters.  It’s obvious that the long-lost brother who claims Ren from the orphanage is a liar and a con artist.  I also didn’t care much for Ren.  There was a lot of potential there, but it didn’t pan out.  I was reading this book for a book club through my public library and got my copy from the library. I’m glad I didn’t spend any money on it!

A Review: Shadow of Night: A Novel

SONGoodreads rating:  4 out of 5 stars

In Shadow of Night: A Novel, Deborah Harkness’s second installment in the All Souls Trilogy, we meet up again with Matthew and Diana.  Matthew is a vampire, and Diana is a time-walking witch.  Matthew and Diana have married and broken one of the main rules of the covenant that governs witches, vampires and daemons.  This book picks up where the first book left off – they have traveled to the past to find a witch to help Diana learn more about witchcraft.

In the past they (unfortunately, in my opinion) encounter many historical figures.  When they reach the past, Matthew’s character also changes for the worst.  Matthew is part of the School of Night.  He’s known as the Shadow, one of Queen Elizabeth’s spies.  When they initially encountered the members of the School of Night, this book lost me.  These characters were not likeable, and I don’t feel they added anything to the story line.  They were forgettable and in many instances obnoxious.  Christopher Marlowe, in particular, was horrible.  The Matthew from the first book would have beat the crap out of him or killed him.  The Matthew in this second book seems to turn a blind eye.  He forgives him all the vicious remarks he makes about Diana and doesn’t even seem to realize that this ridiculous character is plotting violence against her.

I had to put the book down several times.  I bought it in hardcover when it first came out in July, 2012.  I couldn’t wait to continue on with the story that was begun in A Discovery of Witches.  I read ADOW twice.  I tried to read SON when it first came out but could not get into the characters in the School of Night or even past the pages where they were introduced.  I finally purchased a second copy of this book on my Kindle on Christmas day and made myself soldier on past the parts with the ridiculous School of Night characters.  Once I got free of those pages, the book began to grab my interest and other characters (not real historical people) were introduced.  That was when the book got a lot better. Deborah Harkness does a great job with characters and details when they are fictional people. I’ve never been wild about authors throwing real people into novels and making them part of the story.  Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t ring true for me.

In the end, I would say that I enjoyed this book.  It just took me a while to get through parts of it.  I look forward to the final book in the trilogy.

A Review: Ruby Red

11531817Goodreads Review:  3 out of 5 stars

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier was written as part of a series (the gem trilogy). Even if I hadn’t know this ahead of time, the ending-that-wasn’t-really-an-ending would have given it away. (The second book reads like a continuation of the first as well).

Gwyneth Shepherd grew up in a family who expected her cousin Charlotte to inherit a time traveling gene. Her cousin has been prepared her whole life for the eventuality that one day she will travel through time. Imagine Gwyneth’s surprise when she travels back in time instead. After her third uncontrolled trip through time, she finally tells her Mother what’s happening. Gwyneth is introduced to a secret society – the lodge of Count Saint Germain.

This book was okay, and it kept me reading to find out what happens, but it felt like it was missing something to me. The secret society and the gemstone references along with the snippets in between chapters of pages from a secret journal or logbook just made it a little confusing and at times silly to me. I will likely finish the trilogy, and I’m hoping it improves as it goes along and more gets explained.

A Review: Dark Witch

A Goodreads Review: 3 out of 5 stars

darkwitch

In Dark Witch: Book One of the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts, we meet Iona Sheehan. Iona has ventured to Ireland to learn more about her family history and to meet her cousins, Branna and Connor. Iona finds that she and her cousins must work together to defeat an evil sorcerer.

I haven’t read anything by Nora Roberts in years. I gave up on her when she decided to jump into the vampire genre with Morrigan’s Cross (what an awful book that was!). I’m not sure how I feel about Dark Witch. It had its moments, and it’s typical Nora Roberts. It was a fairly quick read to an unsatisfying conclusion that leads to the next book in the series. I wish she had done more with character development. She didn’t explain a lot about Iona other than to say she was sunny and talked a lot and had been raised by parents who were cold and unfeeling. If that was the case, how did she turn out as cheerful as she was? I would also have liked to know more about the hero, Boyle (kind-of an unfortunate name). He owned a stable and used to be a boxer. Other than that, we don’t learn much about him personally either. Why does Iona fall in love with him other than for his good looks?

I am hoping NR explains more as the series continues, but I doubt she will. The second book will be about the second couple, and the third book will be about the third couple with a glossing over of what makes them all tick as well.

I get the feeling lately that Nora Roberts now rushes to meet deadlines and turns out only mediocre books. Maybe she doesn’t have to try as hard. I used to enjoy her novels very much.

A Review: Safe Haven

Goodreads Review: 2 out of 5 stars

safehaven

Meh. I put Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks aside to pick something else up and haven’t gone back to it. I guess that means I didn’t care enough for it to finish it. I kept dreading the moment the husband would turn up and make trouble for everyone in the story. I hate stories with an abusive ex. Some enjoy that kind-of tension in a story. I don’t.