I was stunned when Goodreads told me I had read and reviewed 51 books in 2017. That is nearly one a week. I do love reviewing as it is the best way to help a (Indie) writer. I've became part the books go social reviewers group on Facebook. Its a great community of writers and reviewers. What I like about it most is that it is a large group and it has writers in all sorts of genres so I can pick and choose what appeals to me. I thought with 51 books read I should come up with a top 5. The 5 star reviews that shone extra bright. Number one and two were easy but then it got harder. So here is my Top 5.
1. The future of London series by Mark Gillespie.
A sharp and satirical alternative version of history. This book won because it had everything; Satire, action and some real human characters (Even a cat!)
2. Moristoun by Kevin McAllion
A very Scottish book that totally surprised me.
3. Dance of Chaos by Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
Laugh out loud, very Australian, comedy.
4. The Indigo Rebels by Ellie Midwood
Historic fiction with strong female characters.
5. The Troubleshooter by Bard Constantine
Original take on the film noir genre. (Bogart meets blade runner)
Wednesday, 27 December 2017
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
You might know by now that I love reading historical fiction. This writer came across a wee while back and I loved her characters. Often women who have to make difficult choices and not always take the right ones. This book is no exception. I hugely enjoyed the Indigo Rebels by Ellie Midwood and the follow up I'm glad to say is also a 5 star read.
Click on the pic. to take you to Amazon.
Click on the pic. to take you to Amazon.
This is the second book in the Indigo Rebels series. It follows on from the Indigo Rebels, but the action moves from Paris to Lyon in the Free French zone and Dijon which is very much in occupied territory. It is a sequel but it would stand on its own. We are introduced to a number of new characters that take their lives in their hands by joining the resistance. What I like most about Ellie Midwood are her very human characters, and here we are introduced to two complex ones in the shape of Blanche and father Yves. Blanche is embittered by her past. Born of a German soldier and a French mother who alleged that she was raped, she has been shunned and teased since childhood. She joins the resistance to get back at the Germans that ruined her childhood. Blanche doesn’t find the kinship she so craves with her fellow resistance fighters and starts to wonder if it was really the Germans that ruined her childhood. The other character I loved was Father Yves, a man with a dark past who is reluctantly drawn into the resistance, where he struggles with his vow to not harm again. There are many others but I don’t want to give away too much. Just pick up this book and let the heroes and villains reveal themselves. Some nail biting action too as they find out they have a traitor in their midst.
Friday, 30 June 2017
As you know, historical fiction and non-fiction are my favourite genre. I've read and reviewed Emilia by Ellie Midwood a few weeks ago, and it impressed me. I was therefore keen to get this book and it didn't disappoint. A well deserved 5 star. Click on the photo to take you to Amazon.
This is the second book of Ellie Midwood I’ve read and I’m rapidly becoming a big fan. Here are the four reasons why; Historical fiction is my favourite genre and you can always tell if a writer has done her research and Ms Midwood’s has. Secondly she writes a great female character. I absolutely loved Giselle. Intelligent but nihilistic she is not above causing a stir and using people to her advantage. At the same time she is full of life and charming. You have to admire her gut and courage as she becomes involved with the resistance even if it was initially for a thrill. Thirdly the writer has a very engaging style that keeps you entertained and reading. And the last reason is the most important for me. I don’t like writers who portray history as black and white. Germans are baddies/French are goodies. Things are never that simple and people are rarely pure evil. I liked that she pinpointed the fact that the Wehrmacht were soldiers and often ordinary decent citizens that just did their duty, compared to the SS and Gestapo, which were idealistic fanatics capable of horrendous atrocities.
Great story with some nail-biting action and believable complex characters. Recommended.
Monday, 6 February 2017
I had no trouble giving this book 5 stars. It held me engrossed from start to finish despite it's difficult subject matter.
Emilia the central character in this book is a complex one. She is a young woman who knows wrong from right, but takes a morally dubious decision to help her family to survive. A woman that survives because of her good looks is not a popular one with her fellow Jews. She finds out that camp life, rather than shape a common bond against the enemy, is poisoned by jealousy. Rather than facing sympathy, that her good looks are a curse as much as a blessing, she encounters hostility from every corner.
I liked the fact that this book was not just about the Holocaust, it was also about what happened to Emilia after the war ended. It followed the story of Europe after the horrendous events of World War II. Soviet occupation, the release of prisoners of war and the big strive to rebuild cities and lives. It shows that the writer has done her research and knows a great deal about Poland during and after the war. The book is written in an engaging style and I read the book in a few days, even though the subject matter was very painful at times. The message that forgiveness is the first step to healing your wounds is a very hopeful one. It is also a timely reminder that we should have tolerance and not let racial hatred destroy us again.