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Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation
Ian Marter
Power Play
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Anne McCaffrey
The Looking Glass Wars
Frank Beddor

The Angel Chronicles, Volume 1

The Angel Chronicles, Volume 1 - Nancy Holder I chased through the first chapter, then put it aside for months, just not getting back to it. Finally read the last half of the book, just to clear it off my table.
I like Angel, but only started watching the series after the second season. So I found these early stories with Buffy rather boring. He definitely improved in the later books/seasons.

Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress

Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress - Diane Gaston As said in some of the other reviews I read, the first half of the book was way more interesting than the second half. Although I enjoyed aspects, it was not my favourite. But then I tend to read to escape, so was not really wanting a history lesson on the misfortunes of the poor soldiers.
The hints alluding to the other books, surrounding the friends' romances, does make one want to read them. But I don't know if I would actually bother. I definitely prefer the rich gentleman sweeping the heroine off her feet, to the lower ranks.
I also did not enjoy the time jumps, as the characters did not really evolve enough to my satisfaction.

Captain Corcoran's Hoyden Bride

Captain Corcoran's Hoyden Bride - Annie Burrows Strangely enough, this was the second book I picked up & read where the hero had a damaged face & blinded/missing eye. Although it was the typical misunderstandings between the leads, I still read all the way through. The twists at the end made for a pleasant surprise.

The Earl Plays with Fire. Isabelle Goddard

The Earl Plays with Fire. Isabelle Goddard - Isabelle Goddard I actually read another book which referred back to events of this book first. As I enjoyed that book, I was only too pleased to find this copy. I enjoyed this story as well. As usual, a light read, with a few entertaining mix-ups. I was pleased to see how Isabelle had developed each character & how emotions thought forgotten, can rise up so suddenly.

Secrets of a Gentleman Escort

Secrets of a Gentleman Escort - Bronwyn Scott I forgot how much more explicit Bronwyn Scott is, in her love scenes. But, apart from a few blushes, it did make me wish for a man like that to sweep me off my feet. I was disappointed in the cover picture, as the artist obviously did not read the description of the main character. He is supposed to have long hair, which is what appeals to me, but the cover portrays a short-haired man.
Rant over.
I still enjoyed the story, & now am looking forward to reading the others in the series.

From Ruin to Riches

From Ruin to Riches - Louise Allen I enjoyed the story, though a few places had tears welling up.
A nice light hearted read.

The Last Rake In London and The Notorious Lord

The Last Rake In London and The Notorious Lord - Nicola Cornick I thoroughly enjoyed the 'The Last Rake in London'. The storyline & the characters appealed to me.
But the second story, 'The Notorious Lord' took forever to get into. I would read a page, then put down for a few weeks, then try again. Finally I reached a point where the storyline turned & the tale of espionage emerged. Then I could not put the book down. unfortunately, I felt the threads were not tied up at the end. So I don't know if she has a continuation in another book, as then I need to find it.

Kiss of Darkness

Kiss of Darkness - Brandon Alexander, Constance M. Burge I enjoyed the light read, as I worked late & just wanted to relax.
I did not realise it was the second book released, as I'm picking up the Charmed series haphazardly as I find them in the second hand bookstores. I loved watching the show, so the characters come alive as I read.

A Reputable Rake

A Reputable Rake - Diana Gaston Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Twists, turns & subplots fairly predictable with the happy endings. Just what I wanted.

City of Bones

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare I had looked at one of the later books to buy for my niece, but was worried it was a little to adult for a 14 year old. Then I found this first of the series in a second hand bookstore. Being a fan of Fantasy, including Young Adult, I really wanted to read it.
As I prefer starting books of a series, with the first one, I was pleased to find book 1 of the Mortal Instruments. I enjoyed the story, although a few places I would prefer to have 'edited' as I felt they were not quite congruent with the characters. Probably why only 4 stars. The one main twist, I had already suspected at the outset. But it might be a hidden memory from the synopsis on the later book's cover. The ending also left me irritated but I suppose that was to draw one into the next book. I prefer cleaner breaks. So now I need to go find the next 4 books to finish the story.
I enjoyed Cassandra Clare's writing style, so will add her to authors I want to read.

The Wicked Earl (Historical Romance) (Historical Romance)

The Wicked Earl (Historical Romance) (Historical Romance) - Margaret McPhee I love reading the Regency romances involving Rakes, especially when they find themselves fallen in love. Who doesn't want to be swept off their feet by the bad boy. And all those prim & proper misses hide such unbridled passions, that really just need to be allowed to come out to play.
Really enjoyed this one.

The Homeless Heiress (MB Historical Romance) (Mills & Boon Historical)

The Homeless Heiress (MB Historical Romance) (Mills & Boon Historical) - Anne Herries I enjoy the light romances set in Regency times. Especially hen the heroine is a minx or willing to stand up for herself. Georgie, here is more a minx getting in trouble & needing rescuing. As usual, the two lovers are at odds, neither wanting to admit their feelings, although his reasons made more sense to me. Still a good escape for an evening.


Code - Kathy Reichs, Brendan Reichs I was so pleased to get this one for Christmas. I really am enjoying the Virals series. Now if I can just get book #2.5. Probably not released in SA as a book.
As usual, I was left wanting more.
I like the development of the characters, but also was caught in the end with the 'betrayal'. Waiting to see how this works out in the next book.

One Night with a Rake (Historical Romance S.)

One Night with a Rake (Historical Romance S.) - Louise Allen Just the blurb with the heroine waking up next to a strange man, caught my eye. I read the first page, enjoyed Louise Allen's style of writing, so bought the Double story book. I read the book over the weekend & enjoyed the repartee between the two. Lighthearted, as I've been tired. But with enough of a storyline to keep me intrigued. The twist at the end was a lovely little surprise. Although some areas were typical romance Mills & Boon, so expected the happy outcome.
I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys regency romances with a heroine with some character.

Sky Dragons

Sky Dragons - Anne McCaffrey, Todd J. McCaffrey I really enjoyed the continuing story, although there were gaps & questions I wished had been answered. I like that there are so many strong female characters.

Half Lives

Half Lives - Sara Grant As it has been quite a while since I last read an apocalyptic story, I was looking forward to reading “Half Lives” by Sara Grant.
Two stories told simultaneously, but set in two different eras, the reader alternates chapters from one timeline to the other. This technique allows clues to be revealed, slowly expanding the reader’s understanding of how the future evolved. Some readers may find it difficult to follow the duel stories, but I enjoyed the change in pace. This modern update on the fascinating hypothesis of how society could revert after a catastrophic event is well written. As the survivors are young, inexperienced teenagers, the society that ‘evolves’, is limited in their views and understanding.
The first story (Isis timeline) is set in the early 21st century. A bio-terrorist attack releases a virus that kills most of the human population. Isis, nicknamed Ici, is the key to the future. The story revolves around her escape to a secluded bunker near Vegas. Along the way Ici meets Marissa, Tate & Chaske. The four of them lock themselves in the underground bunker to await the passing of the infection. The seclusion takes its toll on each teen in a different way, forcing Ici to deal with her fears & desires. She is forced to kill to survive, to accept death as part of the new beginning, to overcome the guilt that she has survived, while everyone she knew & loved, died, and finally, to set down the rules for a new society.
The second story (Forreal timeline) is set in the future, hundreds of years later. This story is actually broken into multiple stories for each main character. As I started reading, I wondered why the people called themselves cheer leaders & rock stars; why they were born with deformities; & how the society had come to worship the way they did. As I read further into the Isis timeline, it all started to come together, showing how the past has influenced the future.
The Forreal characters are:
a) Beckett, Ici’s descendant, born with the eternity symbol denoting his connection to the great I AM. He battles to accept his position of leadership and responsibility, especially after meeting Greta, who he falls in love with. He, like Ici, has to overcome his fears to lead his people to peace.
b) Harper wandered onto the mountain as a child. Taken in by the village, but not quite fitting in, she loves Beckett. Her jealousy at seeing Beckett kissing Greta, causes her to lie about an impending terrorist attack. She has to accept her role as friend & advisor only to Beckett, & help him stop the start of a new war.
c) Finch is the antagonist of the story, craving the power & admiration given to Beckett. He has spent his whole life patrolling the mountain, wanting to fight the terrorists. (The bogeymen of past stories, turned from humans, into monsters, to explain why the world was destroyed.) Harper’s story of seeing terrorists, allows him to banish Beckett & to seize control of the village. He leads them into battle, attacking Vega during the night.
d) Greta is a descendant of another group of survivors, whose family have come to Vega to begin a new life. She is exploring the mountain when she meets Beckett. Brought up as the next leader, but also not wanting to take on the responsibility, she falls in love with Beckett. She is forced to choose between saving Beckett or her family from Finch’s mad attack.

In the end both Beckett & Ici realise that it is their strength & decisions that ultimately make the future.

I found the writing style easy to read. The story was gripping, although sad, especially as so many people die. The change in writing style between timelines, allowed me to feel the differences in life more acutely. Sara Grant’s descriptive narrative was sufficient for my imagination to create a visual scene for each timeline. I liked how Sara Grant warped our modern technology into rudimentary representations. Our Facebook, with its smiley faces, that is a modern way of communication; becomes an etched piece of bark, representing the reaching of adulthood. Teenager phrases of rebellion and songs become everyday greetings & prayers. With the higher power guiding them called the great I AM. At one point in the Isis timeline, Ici etches her initials onto trees. Isis Anne Murrey (IAM), & I realised she is the great I AM. Yet she was just a girl who lost everything but still found a way to survive and start a new society. When Beckett discovers her diary, telling the true events that led to Forreal’s creation, he has to decide whether to reveal the truth or allow his family to continue believing in I AM. The acceptance of their fates is quite clear in the telling of each character’s story. The psychological differences, that are so innately human, are well portrayed. I found the characters believable & well portrayed, although I would have preferred some of the minor characters to have been a little more fleshed out.
I felt overall that this story is encouraging, allowing the reader to see that no matter how hard life appears, we hold unfathomable depths of strength that will allow mankind to survive, no matter the odds. I recommend Half Lives to anyone who enjoys Fantasy/Sci Fi or a thought provoking read. I give Half Lives an 8/10 rating. I look forward to reading more of Sara Grant’s books.