More Sweet Than Bittersweet. I fully admit that when I got this book, I didn’t realize it was the third book in a series. And yet it doesn’t really read like one, since it uses the shared world style of building a series – yes, some other characters have already had their tale told, but this book focuses on characters who haven’t yet. And it does a really great job of showing a caring young woman scarred by events of the last 20 ish years trying to move forward and achieve her dreams… while finding some startling personal and municipal history along the way. Excellent Hallmark type book, and very much recommended.
Loose Threads Come Together Quickly. And Explosively. The front half of this book is very much setup for the back half, but it is intriguing in a very mysterious way in its own right. But then at around the halfway point, Payne inserts a “Holy Hell!!!” moment that explosively changes everything and sets in motion the back half of the book – with some explosive revelations of its own, up to almost literally the last page of the tale. Truly excellent book, and I’ll very much be looking for future books from this new author. Very much recommended.
Much Of This Book Should Terrify You. Walsh does an excellent job of sharing the current state of research into the various existential crises humanity faces – crises that would make the human species extinct if they fully come to fruition. He lays out the narrative in such a way that after beginning with asteroids, each crisis leads into a discussion of the next. Some of his own commentary is hit or miss and different readers will appreciate more or less, but overall the work is solid in its journalism standards. Very much recommended.
This review of End Times by Bryan Walsh was originally written on June 21, 2019. In accordance with its publisher’s wishes, it was originally published in wide circulation on release day, August 27, 2019.
One of the things I like about Meinel is that she tells stories where the characters happen to be lesbians – and romance and sex aren’t driving features. In this opening to a new series, she stays true to that form.
In this book, we get a survival story in the present day – a woman has been mistaken to be a man and has been shanghaied in circa 1900 San Fransisco and is now trapped on a ship full of men who have no idea she is a woman. Here, Meinel does an excellent job of showing the stress and creativeness necessary for her heroine to survive such a situation, and she truly makes the reader feel the heroine’s terror.
In flashbacks, we get the heroine’s history – including the romance that eventually put her in San Fransisco to begin with. Here we do get a bit of the sappy, played well to the period of the book. And yes, there are indeed a couple of sex scenes. But even through these events, the focus is on showing the heroine’s history and motivation while giving a bit of a well needed reprieve from the stress of the present day storyline.
Excellent work, and very much recommended.
Also, the author would like me to note that the rest of this series will be available shortly after the release of this book and thus is very bingeable. 🙂
As always, we end with the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Continue reading “Featured New Release of the Week: Shanghaied by K’Anne Meinel”
Riveting and Illuminating. Despite being one of those “know a little about a lot” types, I fully admit that prior to reading this book, I didn’t know much about the Bismark or its sinking. I knew that it was the pride of the Nazi German Navy during WWII, that it was supposedly the most deadly ship afloat, and that it was sunk in a famous naval battle. Thus sums up my knowledge of the topic prior to reading this book. Yet Konstam does a deep dive into the full history of the Bismark and the events leading to its demise, and he does it in a very readable fashion almost akin to watching an actual movie about it. Thus, this naval historian – not exactly a group known for their readability outside their own circles – crafts a tale Tom Clancy would be hard pressed to top, even were he still alive. Truly excellent work. Very much recommended.
Intriguing History. Fagan and Durrani do a superb job of showing the construction, uses, and activities associated with the humble bed throughout hisrory. Truly eye opening in so many ways, it really does bring to mind the quote about if something happens for just a couple of generations, people generally assume the thing has always been that way. Here, Fagan and Durrani do an excellent job of showing how the bed and its associated practices have changed throughout history, and in particular over the last couple of centuries. Truly amazing work, and very much recommended.
Solid Pointers, Regardless of Philosophy. This is a partial review based on the first 5 chapters of this text being provided by the publisher.
Here, one of the icons of my childhood, Max Lucado, takes on the topic “how can I be happy?”. And regardless of your particular belief system, he makes some really great points. Yes, the man has been a preacher most of my life if not longer. His first book was published when I was just 6 yrs old and learning to read, and his style really hasn’t changed in all that time. And honestly, that is one of the things that makes him so great. His style is very conversational and quite funny, and that makes any of his books – this one certainly included – very easy reads.
And yet, it is exactly that approach that gets him 4 stars here. Why? Because I *need* to see the back half of the book to see exactly where between 3 and 5 stars this text will ultimately land. With what he has laid out in the beginning of this book, combined with the titles for the back half that I don’t yet have access to, this book could go anywhere from mind blowing to just run of the mill Lucado (which, again, is still great – particularly in regards to how easy it is to read his books). Based on what I know of him from reading his books for literally most of the time I’ve had the ability to read and of his situation from having grown up in the same types of circles he has lived in throughout my life, I *expect* Lucado to play it a bit safe in that back half. He likely isn’t going to say anything that will get too many people too angry either direction. What he likely says will be theologically orthodox, but verbally kind – that is pretty much Lucado in a nutshell. But man, if he does the unexpected and actually takes some bold-for-his-age-and-position stances… it could be revolutionary.
A pessimist will find several faults here, chief among them the continued use of proof texting, and likely hit that 3* ranking.
An optimist is going to see how readable this text is and how refreshing its message is and likely hit it with the 5*.
This realist could agree with both of them and really needs more information to make a more sound judgement, so the 4* feels like the right option at least for now.
Excellent work, and it truly is an honor to be able to ARC a book from one of my childhood literary heroes.
Century Old Memory. In this repackaging of a 3 yr old book under a former title, Gillard weaves an excellent pair of mysteries across a century of the English countryside. Both mysteries drag the reader in and compel them to keep reading via well paced clues and ultimately resolutions, though one of the mysteries isn’t resolved until the closing pages of the book. Excellent work, and my first from this author. Very much recommended.
Rushed Shipping. In this second installment of the Valentine’s Inc Cruises event, we get Ashe Winters’ solid entry of a transatlantic back to back cruise – though curiously, Ashe never mentions the words “back to back” in relation to the cruise itself. The pacing is solid through most of the book, until we get to the end. At that point, Winters rushes to wrap up the various story lines rather than simply writing a second book to conclude them. Perhaps this is due to the nature of the project? Regardless, a solid MM romance featuring two very relatable characters. My first book from this author, but it will not be my last. Very much recommended.
Amundsen. Scott. Shackleton. Levick. … Wait, who? The world knows of the exploits of Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, and Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton – men of renown from the turn of the 20th century famous for their exploits in the Antarctic and beyond. In this book, Davis – a lifelong penguin biologist and filmmaker – traces the path of a man who both inspired his own work and is forever tied into the lives of the more famous men who were his contemporaries. That man being George Murray Levick, the member of Scott’s crew who inadvertently became the very first penguin biologist – and who made discoveries about Adelie penguins that would go hidden for nearly a century before Davis himself next observed them. In this book, Davis explores both his own path and research and that of Levick, as he finds himself on a quest to find the “real” George Murray Levick and the reason Levick hid his more salacious findings about Adelie penguins. Truly remarkable work, told in an incredibly approachable and easily readable manner. Very much recommended for all, particularly those who – like this particular reader – find themselves also very attached to penguins.
This review of A Polar Affair by Lloyd Spencer Davis was originally written on June 15, 2019. In accordance with the publisher’s stated wishes on NetGalley, its publication has been delayed until August 20, 2019.