Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity (2012) (Egmont)
Elizabeth Wein
Grade: A
Genre: young adult / historical
Source: own
Code Name Verity: (1) Code Name Verity
Young adult RBC 2014: The first book in a series 

Fearless Scotswoman and blue blooded ‘Queenie’ become unlikely best friends with Maddie Brodatt, aspiring female pilot, when the war brings these two girls together. Their unlikely friendship transcends their rank, official duties and geographical boundaries as their operations continue to bring them together and send them apart again. When the pilot who is meant to be flying Queenie to France for Code Name Verity is unavoidably detained, Queenie suggests Maddie for the task. Maddie is very familiar with flying her best friend to top-secret missions that she’s not allowed to ask about and so she doesn’t expect this flight to be any different from normal. When their plane is hit, Queenie is forced to jump for it and continue her mission as planned. When she’s captured by enemy forces after a stupid cultural blunder, one wrong move could bring everything she’s worked for crashing down …

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Lost in a Good Book (2002) (Hodder)
Jasper Fforde
Grade: B+
Genre: fiction / crime / alternate reality
Source: own
Thursday Next: (1) The Eyre Affair, (2) Lost in a Good Book, (3) The Well of Lost Plots
Fiction RBC 2014: The second book in a series 

Having just married the man of her dreams (after a very lengthy estrangement) and concluded the biggest case of her career as an operative in the Literary Detectives division (rescuing the fate of Jane Eyre from the hands of criminal mastermind Acheron), Thursday Next is ready for a little less excitement in her life. Adventure, however, is more than happy to find her and turn Thursday’s life inconveniently upside-down.

In a puzzling string of events, it becomes clear that Landon, Thursday’s newly-wed husband of just four weeks, drowned as a toddler thirty-eight years ago and no one other than Thursday has any memory of history being otherwise. The threatening Goliath corporation wants Thursday to rescue their operative Jack Schitt from the poem in which she’d trapped him, and are willing to go to any lengths to fulfil their goals. Thursday begins a mission to discover the truth while evading interviews and the press, trying to keep out of Goliath's clutches and going on a series of new literary adventures ...

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood

Honor's Splendour (1987) (Pocket Books)
Julie Garwood
Grade: B
Genre: medieval romance
Sex scenes: hot
Source: own
Romance RBC 2014: An AAR Top 100 Romance 1998 

Caught in the middle of vicious court politics, Lady Madelyne has suffered at the hands of her cruel brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in an act of vengeance against Louddon’s crimes, Madelyne is taken as the ultimate prize by Baron Duncan of Wexton, also known as ‘the Wolf’. It only takes one look for Duncan to know that he’ll protect Madelyne with his life. Strangely, Madelyne has never felt safer than when she’s been under Duncan’s capture. As she befriends his dysfunctional family and learns the reasons behind his hatred for her half-brother, Madelyne can no longer deny the love she feels for her captor …

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Pantomime (2013) (Strange Chemistry)
Laura Lam
Grade: B-
Genre: young adult / fantasy
Source: own
Pantomime: (1) Pantomime
Young adult RBC 2014: A book with a lion, a witch or a wardrobe 

Iphigenia Laurus – or Gene, to anyone who will listen – is the only daughter of a noble family. Her brother is her best friend, but her mother, while she has Gene’s best interests at heart, can be unbearably coddling. Born ‘different’, Gene’s very self is her greatest secret and given her social station, she’s destined to a life of corsets, petticoats and repressing her preferences for shedding her dresses and climbing trees and scaffolding …

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Devilish by Maureen Johnson

Devilish (2006) (HarperCollins Children's Books)
Maureen Johnson
Grade: C-
Genre: young adult
Source: own
Young adult RBC 2014: A book with magic 

Jane Jarvis is something of a certified genius: one of those annoyingly naturally gifted students, St. Teresa’s Prepatory School for Girls isn’t exactly the most intellectually stimulating of environments for a person of Jane’s abilities. Nevertheless, she’s got the company of her best friend Allison … who suddenly starts acting decidedly un-best friend like. Ally has attracted the attention of new girl, Lanalee and is more than happy to show her the ropes. Overnight, Ally is dressing better, has new things and is ditching Jane more and more … some dark forces are definitely at work …

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Total Eclipse by Rachel Caine

Total Eclipse (2010) (ROC)
Rachel Caine
Grade: A-
Genre: urban fantasy
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
Weather Wardens: (1) Ill Wind, (2) Heat Stroke, (3) Chill Factor, (4) Windfall, (5) Firestorm, (6) Thin Air, (7) Gale Force, (8) Cape Storm, (9) Total Eclipse
Romance RBC 2014: A book with magic 

Joanne Baldwin used to be one of the Wardens’ most powerful assets – able to control the Weather, Fire and Earth – but her powers have come at a cost. In a world where a select group of gifted individuals have the ability to manipulate the earth’s elements in order to control natural disasters and save millions of innocent and otherwise ignorant lives, Mother Nature is striking back. The human race has damaged the world beyond repair and Mother Nature is beyond angry. Harnessing the Djinn’s power for her own, forest fires are destroying huge swathes of land, oceans are putting countries under water and in the midst of everything, the human race is becoming desperate …

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats & Weaponry (2014) (Orbit)
Gail Carriger
Grade: A
Genre: steampunk / young adult
Source: own
Finishing School: (1) Etiquette & Espionage, (2) Curtsies & Conspiracies, (3) Waistcoats & Weaponry
Young adult RBC 2014: A book set in another world 

At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, Sophronia Temminick and her friends are trying to finish their education in espionage to the best of their abilities (i.e. by flaunting the rules as much as possible), but school isn’t quite the same as it was. After an experiment gone wrong, their vampire teacher Professor Braithwope has gone a little loopy in the head, Sophronia’s friend and resident scientific and technology whiz Vieve has sneaked off under the guise of a boy to get her own education at Bunson’s School for Evil Geniuses, and despite the fact that they’ve yet to learn the fine art of seduction techniques, Sophronia continues to receive (not wholly unwanted) advances from two wholly unsuitable suitors: Lord Felix Mersey, beautiful peer but unforgiveably, son of a Pickleman, and Soap, sweet sootie from the Academy’s engine room. Fortunately, Sophronia has now found her deadly weapon of choice: the steel-tipped fan and is eager to get as much practice as she can – including thinking of new places to hide one about her person.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

The Blue Sword (1982) (Firebird)
Robin McKinley
Grade: C+
Genre: fantasy / young adult
Source: own
Damar: (1) The Blue Sword
Young adult RBC 2014: A book with an incredible fight scene

When orphaned Homelander Harry Crewe is sent to live with an adopted family in Istan, she settles surprisingly well into her new home. She feels a strange affinity for the deserts that surrounds the town and she’s delighted to be reunited with her brother, Richard, after he was sent away for military service. She can’t explain her insatiable curiosity about the Hillfolk – natives of the Damar land who have taken to living in the hills when the area was colonized by Homelanders.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Command Performance by Nora Roberts

Command Performance (1987) (Mills & Boon)
Nora Roberts
Grade: C
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
Cordina's Royal Family: (1) Affaire Royale, (2) Command Performance
Romance RBC 2014: A book published in the 1980s 

Eve Hamilton has become a renowned theatre producer in America in her own right. Many dismissed her initial interest in theatre as a rich heiress’s hobby, but there’s now no question about her talents. When her presence is requested in the tiny country of Cordina by Prince Alexander Bisset, heir to the throne himself, she can do nothing but answer his summons, despite the animosity between them. Seven years ago, Eve had an embarrassing crush on Alex that he didn’t reciprocate. Alex has always been polite and courteous towards her, but it’s nothing like the friendship that she shares with his siblings, Gabriella and Bennett. Still, when Eve and her company are invited to perform at Cordina’s Fine Arts Center, she can’t say no, despite the knowledge that she and Alex will be working in close quarters.

Monday, 1 December 2014

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

The House at Pooh Corner (1928) (Egmont)
A.A. Milne / E.H. Shepard
Grade: B
Genre: children's
Source: own
Fiction RBC 2014: A book that is more than 10 years old 

Milne takes us back to the Hundred Acre Wood with The House at Pooh Corner and to the nation’s favourite bear (with little brain). With beautiful colour illustrations by E.H. Shepard, readers are delighted to watch as Tigger hops his way across our pages, Pooh discovers a tireless new game he calls Poohsticks, a new house is built for Eeyore and many more adventures!