Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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3stars

Title: Lincoln in the Bardo
Author: George Saunders
Number of pages: 353 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s a very interesting and peculiar written book.
Bad things about this book: The peculiarity of the narration is a bit confusing at times.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Trap. Horrible trap. At one’s birth it is sprung. Some last day must arrive. When you will need to get out of this body.

I chose this book because I liked the title. There was something in it that made me interested in seeing what this book was about. The two different covers I saw were just as interesting and, after some thoughts, I decided to give it a try. This decision was mainly made because it was going to be a book I could get for free so if I didn’t like it I was not going to feel bad about having spent money on it. Luckily it didn’t happen.

It was weird and a little confusing at times but I liked the idea and enjoyed this crazy night with these crazy and conflicted characters. It sure makes you think. And, even if I don’t think I’ll be reading more about Lincoln, maybe I’ll watch the movie to understand him better. I don’t remember studying anything about him because I went to school in Italy and there’s so much history here and in Europe that they mainly teach you what happened here and in neighboring countries. I only knew what I’ve seen in movies or heard in American TV shows; so only the usual, that he was shot and that he was a vampire slayer. That movie was weird.

He was not perfect; he was, remember, a little boy. Could be wild, naughty, overwrought. He was a boy. However – it must be said – he was quite a good boy.

The chapters about Willie’s death were tremendously sad. They were written in this form I have never seen before, yet it didn’t take anything from the deepness of the situation. The emotions it made me feel were real and the sadness and tears were so profound, they brought me back to the many events in my life that, just like Lincoln, have brought me to the verge of losing myself to grief.

How sad it is life that gives you love to give but then can take it away without notice. Sad, yet full of happy little moments.

As much as I enjoyed the whole graveyard events, there were some parts that were more confusing than others. Some chapters I thought were about Lincoln, I found out much later that instead were about someone in the graveyard. At first I didn’t realize and after so many chapters it was a realization I thought had to be clearer from the beginning. Maybe it was just me getting used to this type of narration. Maybe I wasn’t really into it at first and it took me a little to see things as they were.

I don’t regret having read Lincoln in the Bardo, on the contrary I was glad I satisfied my curiosity and gave this book a chance. It was a peculiar read and I will recommend it to someone looking just for that.

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Necropolis by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

“I’d rather perish at your side than – than go home without you. You’re the world to me.”

Title: Necropolis
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #4

Number of pages: 202 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Ancient Egypt mysteries.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you’re a fan of Whyborne and Griffin then you should read it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Another day, another adventure for one of my many favourite book couples. I’ve had the 9 books already published for a long time but I’m trying to save them and read them slowly, afraid of having no more Whyborne & Griffin adventures when I need them the most. After a sci-fi book with mysteries from outer space, I knew I was ready for a sane dose of mysteries from ancient Egypt. It has always fascinated me and I have watched The Mummy and the sequel so many times I’ve lost count.

Christine sends a request for help to Whyborne; something is happening in Egypt in one of the excavation sites she’s working at. Grumpily, Whyborne sails for El Cairo, along with a much happier Griffin, to help Christine save her work and maybe also her life. Someone is rising from the dead and doesn’t want to spread love around the world. Our two beloved men will have to confront forces of evil, but also new love and a rather peculiar family reunion in the desolated and unforgiving lands of Pharaohs and sorcerers.

A disheveled and unshaved Whyborne was an image I didn’t think I needed in my life but now that I had it, I know I couldn’t have lived without reading about it. The clear pictures I have in my head of a smelly and dirty Whyborne are things of beauty. He, always so impeccable, now forced to be far from civilization for so long, but loving the mysteries of Christine’s new findings. I think he loved it, with all the sand in uncomfortable places and all. They still had time for steamy intimate moments, so I don’t think there was much to complain about the situation.

“I swear, you men have your entire egos tied to the functioning of a few inches of flesh.”
“More than a few,” Griffin said with a smirk.

Griffin was really careful in this book; after all that happened in the previous one, I think it’s understandable. He doesn’t like Whyborne experimenting with magic because he loves him so much he doesn’t want to lose him like he lost someone he cared about in the past. The nightmares are still very present in his mind and, in this adventure, he will have to summon all his courage and face his worst fears. Besides Whyborne being like a very stubborn baby with a new toy, and all the fights this could generate, this book is a chance for the two men to clear things up, things that are bringing Whyborne down for no reason other than his overthinking brain.

“I’ve always held humans are the stupidest of animals.” Christine cast us a rueful grin, “We’ve no notion when to turn and run screaming.”

Seeing Christine doing what she does best gave her so many more points in my book. She is graceful in her not standard feminine ways; I think her not wanting to conform with what society thinks a woman must or mustn’t do has shaped her making her someone who can do everything and more if you let her try. She will demonstrate she is valuable just as much as any man, and she can do things the same way, if not better, than her fellow male co-workers. I wish the world saw her as the force of nature she truly is. Go get them, Christine!

The fifth book of the series will have to wait because, as much as I love reading about Whyborne and Griffin, I realized I have so many unread books I want to read so much. Time just isn’t enough. Will I have to give up sleep? Nah, I don’t think my body is up to the task, it’s lazy.

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The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles

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There’s no good doing the right thing unless you stop people doing the wrong thing.

Title: The Magpie Lord
Author: K.J. Charles
Why you should read this book: Because there is magic, a handsome Lord, a tiny an powerful magician and it’s set in what maybe is vistorian London? It’s worth your time for sure.

Summary from Goodreads:

Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude… and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.

Warlocks are magical cannibals, yes?”
“That’s a…vivid way of putting it.”

Murders, suicides, a tattooed Lord just back from 20 years in Shanghai, a very short magician with a terrible taste in clothing; that’s pretty much the whole story. Put a little bit of flirting, a couple steamy scenes, a seemingly hunted house and you have me turning page after page until this too short book is over. Thank goodness the series has more books because I need more. I really need more of Crane and Stephen!

Lord Crane is such an interesting character. Exiled by his father to Shanghai with his manservant Merrick, he became a trader and had his fair trade of bad and good luck. He has to go back to London after his hideous father and even more hideous brother commit suicide. After he starts wanting to unwillingly end his life, Lord Crane seeks help in a magician, or better, practitioner, to find out what the hell is going on.

“Well, I didn’t like to say so, but that is a dreadful suit,” Crane agreed, as he pulled up the horses outside the house. “You’d look much better out of it.”

Who is said magician? A barely 5 feet tall scrawny little guy called Stephen with one awful suit after the other. At first he doesn’t want to help because Crane’s father ruined his father a lot of years before but then he met Lucien and he is nothing like the Lords who preceded him. Maybe he is not so bad after all. Yeah, well, my little magician, he is charming beyond compare, knows his way with words and you will be begging him to do bad things to you in beds, desks, against walls, etc. You little fox!

Stephen, you’re the only spark of light I’ve encountered in this whole vile country.

To go to the core of the mystery and to find out who wants Crane dead, they travel to Crane’s very old and sinister house, Piper House. Stephen feels there is something really wrong with it, there’s no doubt in it, and something is swallowing the magic in things. During their stay in this house infested with magpies, Lord Crane’s so also the Vaudrey’s family symbol, they find out that there’s so much more to what they initially thought. Mysteries everywhere. I thought I knew what was going on but no, I was half wrong. I loved that it kept me wondering until the very end.

“There’s something very old and odd and quite unpleasant about this house.”
“Yes, it’s Graham.”
Stephen grinned and followed him into the long room.

There were so many interesting things going on and I loved every single one of them. The story kept me guessing, it kept me rooting for them, for the triumph of good magic. I’m not revealing anything important even if I want to because there were so many good scenes. Stephen is brilliant, a talented practitioner; he goes from grumpy to smiley and I loved it. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!

Do I recommend it? Yes, it had me craving for more.
Rate: 5/5

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