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Our Lady Of The Dunes

I really like the writing. How it is complete and full, all the while the tale is rather literary. And the ending was something that rather surprised me.

I really like this slow development of the story as it slowly escalates, and also talks about the war which was happening. What Jessica hopes to become reality, is of course peace. All the while the entire place strangely never attracted me much.

Although Jessica is a realistic character, she is about as arrogant and as intelligent as any teenager. But the truth is, is that I could not really relate with her. Although there are some moments where she did manage to get to me, most of the time I spent it as a distant reader.

What was surprising to me was the ending. Really, although there were so many moments where it was hinting that it might not go down well. Such as the time where they manage to find a boy, who may be wanted by the camp. And really, it’s 1942, what can you expect at the time can be guessed through the time and what is happening.

But it really didn’t hit me at all, since I didn’t really like Jessica or Sophie or really any of the characters. Just that Jessica seems to know quite a lot about the world and various things. So, yeah, I did on some level like this book but I really couldn’t connect with the characters at all.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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A Queen’s Spy

This is a case of mismatched expectations. What I expected form this was plenty of interesting conversations and finding out and also spying.

Here, I don’t even know where is the spying. All the characters are boring, and it was set in a time where Elizabeth did need a spy most. But I wanted more than this, it wasn’t to my expectations. It was not to my thoughts, and not to what I really wanted from this book.

And even more so, was that I really couldn’t click with any of the characters at all. Not even one of them made me interested in them. And really, I didn’t find where the plot was focusing about.

It was just all around the death of Edward VI, Mary. I did expect a lot more interaction than that, and a lot more of the Tudor Court than that. To my surprise, this didn’t really give me any of that. Some intrigue here and that, but it just wasn’t what I really wanted.

It just wasn’t what I wanted from this book, and that I couldn’t really click nor enjoy the story. This just wasn’t what I thought it would be. So, to me, it’s really just not to my taste and expectations.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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When I Cast Your Shadow

I have really got used to her writing and style, and that this was slightly easier to read than Vassa In The Night.

Once again, this tale is like her previous. Bizarre and filled with weird events, with a hint of paranormal but no clear explanation on how the dead can be brought back to life, but I’m more or less fine with it.

As for a beginning, I really like Everett. He is the one reason why I really kept on with this story, and well he isn’t all that perfect either. And so aren’t any of the other characters. However, he always has sensibility and insecurities since he is different when compared to his brother. But I’m all the while fine with it. Truly, really fine with it.

As for Ruby, she is rather brave and at the same time naive. Since she relishes control over to her own brother, who does seem quite evil at times. But at the same time has always trusted him. As for her brother, who I have grown some sympathy for towards the end. Seeing as how he had plenty of moments where he seemed the same and yet different, towards the end, his character feels a lot more rounded with his awareness. And that it was a rather nice change to know them, and sibling relationships always do get my attention. Although it did bordered at times, but I didn’t feel as though it was really incest in any way possible. At least the end really revealed it all in a good light, convincing me that it didn’t seem that way. And all the while having the characters be a lot deeper than what they seemed.

As for the weirdness of this, I like it. It’s as simple as that, and that I have really gotten used to and even enjoyed how it was done. And that it was a lot easier to read when compared to her previous work.

So, this book may not be for everyone which is what I admit. But if it sounds interesting, do give it a shot. Also, check it out if you really like magical realism, for it gives no real explanation just plenty of possibilities as to why Dashniell could come back.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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A Madness So Discreet

Initially, I thought that this would be purely about being in an asylum. But it went so much more than that, to bring about criminal psychology and mystery. Which to me, was a fine deal as it was.

I really liked Grace, since the beginning opens up by her having a child. A child which her own father puts into her, that is even more terrifying. Since it wasn’t her fault that she ended up carrying his child, and going into labour in a mental asylum. Thankfully, she manages to survive. And above all, she is a survivor. She never gives up, and neither does she ever forget what her father did to her. She seeks revenge, and that at times didn’t end up well for her. However, what she did in the ending, those words to her own father was perfect.

Thornhollow, was interesting. He and Grace have a working relationship, which isn’t romantic. But he cares for her and even does things for her, he protects her. And one time, he serves as her moral compass. I fully agree, since certain actions Grace undertakes isn’t the kindest, however Thornhollow disagreed and I think this is where they balance each other out.

He knows why she became like that, especially towards her own father. He raped her and when she got pregnant put her in an asylum. Even worse, was her own mother didn’t even protect her from this. And I could see why some had pity, but Grace is a lot more than that. She would survive no matter what she is put into.

Despite the lack of any romance, there is a very good set of friendships whcih Grace has. With Lizzy, with Nell and of course with Thornhollow. There isn’t a need for her to have someone save her soul, nor heal her heart. It is she who finds that kind of strength in the first place, and she who moves on. Even at times where Grace loses herself, her friends do help, her friends do understand and sometimes even covers for her.

Although this went from madness to being about.Murders and criminal psychology. I was always interested, always fascinated. And this was one which a lot about the mind, and one where a person’s background likely affected their actions and even forced them to do certain things.

Although this wasn’t so much about the madness, but a lot more on murders instead. And also, Grace getting justice done for herself, for all the other women who suffered under him. And this is a story about Grace, and eventually surviving her ordeal and moving on with her life.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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The Cure For Dreaming

I loved this book, whether it went to talking about women’s rights, to Olivia as a character. Also, for once, a guy who isn’t sexist when the clocks are turned back. What more could I ask for?

The way the setting managed to be so feminist when the time was of such sexism. Women should remain in the homes, and I like how Olivia rebukes it. It is fantastic, brilliant even. The way she said that running a household is doing the exact same thing as running a country. That is really true, except that a household is a smaller scale when compared to the country. But she couldn’t have been more right.

I was attracted to Henry, he may not be rich, but his beliefs are the sole reason why I like him. And why I think despite the open ending, I would still want to see them together. They are meant for each other, clearly as Henry respects her and that is the basic of relationships.

Despite it all, there are some women by Olivia’s side. Frannie, although not playing such a large role but proved her friendship for her. And Genevieve, whom I like has cancer. I really them to be fully fleshed out characters rather than the men by the side who were all sexist.

Also, I really couldn’t feel anything more than just pity for her father. And that he pushed his own daughter and wife away, I certainly saw that. And I think it brings a closure to him, as he still believes that she should stay at home and raise children. But I could see why her mother eventually left him, and why Olivia managed to become a strong independent woman. Even if she barely has a role and is only mentioned, her entire character is what I consider instrumental to her beliefs.

As for the ending plot twist, now that is how I pull it off. Remind them what they do not have, except in the most literal form and see how they like it. I love the way she did it, as a form of saying, “are you sure you don’t want freedom? Or are you sure that you want to keep all thoughts to yourself and lock yourself at home all the time?” Now that was brilliant, and a wake up call to the ones who really got a taste of their own medicine or what it was actually like.

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The Appearance Of Anne Van Sinderen

Well, with it being a ghost story, and some phenomenons about why Annie can time travel. All the while I found this to be easy, and quite a ride. Both in the present and in the past. As for the ending, that was the perfection I wanted. Middle ground, an open ending for Wes, and the one that Annie would have regardless of whatever happened.

All the while revealing America in its early days for being one of using slave labour, and many had been African Americans. Also dealing with the death of a family that dealt in slave trading, one which Annie only became aware of after a while. When her father revealed to her, I really died a little inside.

History can be cruel, and it can be disheartening to know that such things existed. Slavery existed just for a man who had a different skin colour so that white men could earn good wages, and to me the way Anne reacted was just right. She was reacting in a way that someone who was raised with kindness would do, and I admit her family had it coming for them. Just a bit sad that Annie couldn’t escape her fate.

Despite the entire story dealing around a cameo, and how Annie is searching for it. I prefer it as it is a mystery of why Annie wanted it, her family’s death and eventual survival.

Maddie did reveal herself to be someone different, as was Tyler. In the beginning it was mysterious, and Wes was merely doing a school project and finding that Annie often interfered. Slowly it became more, and I enjoyed their interactions.

Clearly Annie left an impression on Wes, and Annie would never forget him. Even if the way they meet still remains unexplained, and possible have some weird form of magic is involved. But their meeting had changed them, I saw it after.

So, this book as a case of me stepping out from my usual zone. And finding myself having some enjoyment, even though the book is far from perfect. Do I think you should check it out? You could, since this proved to be a nice surprise. Once more about social issues and history. All the while about slavery, and revenge to a family who was involved in it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Kuroshitsuji 130

Nothing really happened this chapter. Except that whenever I see Vincent knowing that he had twins, I would expect him to spend the next couple of days just thinking about names. And he clearly looked surprised. 

Before: 

After: 

And during this wedding, did Frances manage to comb his hair or something. Seems as though it is possible, since Vincent would probably never let his bangs be swept back. 

Generally, nothing really happened, except that Ciel acknowledged that he had a twin. And he was his spare. That’s really all that was to this chapter. Nothing much, other than Tanaka appearing fine, and not just disappearing. 

However, I did want to know more about their relationship together. Since right now, Ciel is pretty hostile, and if he is responsible for Agni’s death. I won’t see a pretty ending coming. 

As for what the Earl did on that day, when he was taken by the cult. Perhaps he had done it intentionally and causes Ciel to be the one who was sacrificed on the altar, or perhaps it is the Earl who wanted to escape. But it does suggest a lot more than survivors guilt, remember, this manga is dark. And Yana would love to subvert this and present a twin relationship that ended in one sacrificing the other, and one coming back by brutally killing one of the Earl’s companions. I would say forget about good brotherly relationships. 

As for why Ciel could come back, the way Sebastian mentioned that he never seen someone like this. Perhaps it is someone who has lost their soul yet managed to be standing and normal. Since chances are, Sebastian ate his soul as the price for him to come to the Earl. 

Well, I do want to know what the Earl’s real name is. Chances are, it is one of the older names Yana thought of using. Or even an anagram of Ciel, but I’m curious. There is a crack theory that Vincent may have called the Earl, Earl Ciel. But I’ll leave it up to the next chapter.