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Michelle

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Down and out among the toffs of the 20s

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-01-19

I enjoyed this even more than I expected. Our heroine is naive but determined and quite shrewd. The ridiculous situations she finds herself in come about fairly naturally. It lets you enjoy the dresses and champagne of Downton Abbey or Nancy Mitford style high life while also laughing at the snobbery and xenophobia on show. I wanted to beat the patronising and entitled love interest around the ears, and I think she could do far better, but you can't have everything. The series is off to a rollicking start and I immediately downloaded the second novel.

A great setup and a likeable heroine

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-01-19

I really enjoyed the first half of this book. At 14 hours, it began to flag around 9 hours, partly because i had guessed the ending. I skipped ahead and I was right. I'm not saying its obvious, I'm not sure why I guessed. But once I guessed, I found it hard to fall for the red herrings and felt a bit impatient. I found the heroine likeable, in spite of the deception she is perpetrating on the Westaways. In fact, her growing realisation that her own desperate predicament isn't really a good enough reason to prey upon the family, even if they are rich and can be a bit entitled, is one of the good strong motors that keeps the plot moving. I found the character of Mrs Westaway pretty unlikely, but if you like your crime fiction a bit gothic and your heroine a mix of naive and unscrupulous you'll love it as much as most readers have. I'll happily give Ruth Ware another go with her next novel.

An excellent new series

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-01-19

A whimsical action adventure set in London and Paris at the start of the 20th century. It was great, and the author played fair in giving us an ending, while leaving much of the tale for the next book. I'm not sure if it will be a 2 part or a trilogy. If you enjoyed the film or book Hugo, you will probably enjoy this. Sophie is found floating after a shipwreck, aged 1, and adopted by Charles, an eccentric bookish Englishman. While suitable for younger readers, there is plenty to enjoy for adults.
By the time Sophie is 12 the authorities, concerned by her unusual upbringing, are planning to remove her from Charles' care and send her to a school to become more ladylike. So they run away to Paris where Sophie hopes to find her mother, who she remembers is a professional cellist - which is impossible because everyone knows that professional musicians are always men. They're on the run over the rooftops of Paris. Nothing will ever be the same again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

A series that goes from strength to strength

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-12-18

I imagine this would be enjoyable if you’re not read any of the previous stories. The history adds even more depth and enjoyment. Irène goes from strength to strength, with courage and excellent manners, as always. Now I can’t wait for the next one.

Muster, espionage, dragons, seduction, cats, witches, Paris, a great detective, an invisible library, this book is a whirlwind adventure with more heart than most.

A special thank you to Susan Duerdin for maintaining the characters ‘individual voices across five novels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Strange, beautiful & wonderful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-11-18

I’ve read Angelmaker and Tigerman and loved them both. This is different again. It’s a story you have to relax into. The first change of direction startled me. Go with the flow. It’s not slow, it’s action packed & laugh out loud funny in places. I do wonder how Harkaway managed to harness such a beast of a tale. A tour de force.

Onwukwe does a great job considering what he has to get his mouth around in places. There were only a few moments when I wasn’t sure who was speaking, and they all resolved before I became annoyed. The beauty of his voice definitely adds. The audiobook format helped me to not skip ahead, to stay with the story & allow myself to be immersed in it.

After a marathon listen over 3 days, and not quite enough sleep I emerge satisfied and refreshed. Truly wonder-full. And almost indescribable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

A match made in heaven.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-10-18

Rosamund Pike is sublime. I hope she reads many more books. She brings great depth and assurance to an Austen novel I have read several times, but never with so much enjoyment.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Fiendish plotting keeps you guessing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-09-18

There are several subplots in this deceptively simple story of a missing teen and her murdered twin. The tension builds consistently throughout. Keeping you listening to the end. This story was a bit too gruesome in places for me, hence the three. Jim Kelly has a talent for making characters three dimensional - the bad guys can be quite likeable when they aren’t killing, bettering or embezzling. The King’s Lynn Tourism Board are probably not fans... the mean streets of this town are truly mean.

Excellent full strength fairy tale

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-08-18

This will keep you guessing as you follow the three main characters through their adventures and dilemmas. The setting is fascinating, the challenges real and heart breaking. First class fantasy fiction from an author at the top of her game. I look forward to what Novik decides to write next.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Dark and twisty

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-08-18

Scandic crime from the pen of a talented English writer. I gave this 3 stars because it’s so well written I found it a bit rich for my taste. The tension is sustained throughout. Highly recommended if you like your noir as dark and bitter as your coffeee.i

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Life changing

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-08-18

Brené Brown puts into words so many things we’ve sensed but couldn’t describe. If you want to Dare Greatly, this is the book for you.