Please excuse the poor lighting, but I have been waiting two months for this to arrive and I am so excited!
I’ve been a fan of Fiona McIntosh since she was writing fantasy, so the chance to review Nightingale was very exciting, despite it being a bit out of my comfort zone.
Nightingale follows Claire Nightingale and Jamie Wren through WWI – from landing at Gallipoli where they first meet, to Egypt and the Western Front, and even some time in Istanbul after WWI as they both cling to a promise to meet again after the war.
While it’s ultimately a historical romance novel (not my fave), it’s also a brilliant insight into the things people can survive and the strength needed to get through such an overwhelming experience.
I adored Claire and Jamie right from the beginning. They’re both so warm and full of life, it’s impossible to not want the world for them. I also really liked the supporting cast, especially Eugenie Lester, who is an absolutely delightful older lady and I’m so happy she got to play as large a part as she did.
Even if you don’t usually enjoy romantic novels, this book is a must for anyone who enjoys history and brilliant storytelling.
I can’t admire my new books because I have a cat.
The Sunken is a delightful exploration of an alternative Georgian England – one where industry is god, dragons still exist, and something is lurking in the palace.
I really enjoyed this portrayal of steampunky England – a place where industry isn’t just a feature, but the new religion with different sects following different Industrian gods. There’s a lot going on in this book – each of the main characters has a complex backstory of their own slowly trickled through the book, and there are several important elements woven into the main plot. It was a pleasant surprise to find that this doesn’t make it difficult to keep track of what’s going on, I found that the pacing of various reveals and flashbacks fit perfectly with the “present” and enhanced the story well.
I found all of the characters quite interesting and well-written, and I liked that while the majority of the main characters are given their own POV, the one character whose thoughts and opinions are often the most relevant, is notably absent. Instead, we see him from everyone else’s angle, and the difference in their opinions about his personality and motives are fascinating. The chance to make up your own mind as the novel progresses isn’t something you get to see all that often.
I’m really curious to see where book 2 will take the story, as the majority of the story is wound up neatly by the end of the book, leaving only a tiny thread to move forward with. That said, I’ve no doubts it will be just as good as this one. This book is absolutely worth a read.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
- Lewis Carroll: The Man and His Circle by Edward Wakeling (27%)
- Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams (32%)
Time for the inevitable top 10 list. Not all of these were published in 2014, they’re simply my top 10 from the ~60 books I read over the year, and they are in no particular order (that was too hard).
Links go to my reviews, where published.
- The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil
- Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil
- The Brewer’s Tale by Karen Brooks
- The Red Knight by Miles Cameron
- The Scrivener’s Tale by Fiona McIntosh
- Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper
- The Book of Days by K.A. Barker
- Clariel by Garth Nix
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- City of Dragons by Robin Hobb
This turned up in the mail yesterday, and I’m quite looking forward to reading it. It’s the first time I’ll be reading Gayle Forman, and I hear very good things about her writing.