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Jane Steele 

Jane Steele is surprisingly good, given that Jane here despite all her faults, despite all her murders managed to be sympathetic. She managed to make me feel for her situation. And I couldn’t turn away from her story the moment I read it, where everything goes downhill for Jane very quickly. 

Jane, whose mother may be a lunatic was sent to a schoolhouse where its headmaster is even worse. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed Jane Steele. As a murderer, she doesn’t regret too much. And most of them really deserved it, the fate that they got through the abuse of their power. I really enjoyed that part where Jane murdered them, and at the same time there were consequences for them. 

Even though she murdered one to save herself, the other to save her vest friend. The third for a woman who took her in. Her motives felt real, it felt plausible. And for her who already has her hands stained from the very beginning, she didn’t too much. At best, she was getting rid of another trash for the world. And I really like that. 

And then comes in Charles Thornfield, a man who also has his fair share of secrets and vices. And the moment at the end, where Jane and Charles have a long talk and she reveals all her secrets, I loved every inch of it. There is this charm about him that makes him fascinating, and that he is someone that accepts Jane for who she is. For me, I agree that most of the people she killed had it coming for them eventually. 

The plot is rather simple, and at the same time filled with plenty of obstacles that Jane encounters. Be it from those she killed, or those that she killed for. But it begins to change the moment she becomes a governess at the household she used to work at. Where Charles is introduced, and his character becomes interesting in the way he managed to keep Jane at a distance, yet still grew fond of her. And Jane, wanting to know more or finding the house strange. 

As for the style, where sometimes it breaks the fourth wall given that Jane sometimes speaks to the reader instead. But I found it quite endearing and interesting as an element to the writing. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book for what it is. Jane being a murderess and one that felt bad and at the same time didn’t look back on her victims. Charles who took in all she was, at the end. All the while looking at the society with all their problems, from headmasters abusing their power, to husbands deciding to marry another time. I would say that this is rather interesting and paints the Victorian world a lot less glamorous and lush than it seemed. Unless of course, you were of the nobility. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Duels And Deception

I think that this authors has improved in her writing, or perhaps I have finally gotten used to her style of historical fiction for the young adult genre. Regency romance with a tinge of comedy. Such as having a main character becoming engaged in situations which puts her reputation at risk, and having the guy in some way save her, yet giving her enough agency too. 

Lydia, here thinks that she would inherit. She would marry someone of nobility. And I liked it when she realised who it was to quickly change things. And also, realising that she does have feelings. To me, I guess that this book focuses on the real Regency. The historical fiction without fantasy in it, and in its own way it is rather interesting. Lydia resigns herself to marry someone for the sake of her family, then realising that she had someone she liked at the end, and the guy she was about to marry had been a complete jerk. 

All the while, she is also bound by society norms since she is a heiress. And really, I like it when she throws it all out the window at the end and decided to follow her heart. 

As for Robert, I would say that he is okay. A pretty good decent male character, works hard. But nothing really underneath all that. 

As for the villains here, I could see why they would eventually just decide to go after money. Since they were in desperate need of it. But it makes no sense unless they were delusional or something. They knew that she would have this much money, they knew that they would only get it after she married inside. What’s the point of going after money that belonged to Lydia in the first place. 

In fact, I would prefer if it had been a scheme and she simply found out and ruined it. Since it makes me more intent to think that they should be heading to an asylum for hallucinations and psychopathy instead of jail. Would do them a lot more good. 

Generally, I would say that this book is meant for those who want to read a Regency romance. There is no fantasy here, nothing about intrigue either. Just a fun ride with Regency. So, I would say that this is a book you should read if you feel very heavy, since it’s light, easy and doesn’t take too much of your time. Overall, I would say that I liked it, even though it does have some flaws of its own. And that the main leads are likeable characters, one who simply needs to marry for the sake of her family, the other just following his heart without any signs of the typical jerk we see so often in the young adult genre. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Stalking Jack The Ripper 

This book is utterly perfect. The mystery of Jack The Ripper, and the main character. To me, this was perfect in my eyes. Even if I could have seen where it would head with the characters, and who would be the murderer at the end slightly before it was revealed. The murderer’s motives were at least plausible and decent enough to be real. 

And from the beginning, Audrey Rose was a fantastic female characters. She isn’t obsessed with propriety, or even about how deserving of their fate those women were. She only thought that they also had mothers, they may also have children, they would definitely have a family. They might have only done this out of pure necessity not because of their choice. And that is what I like her for. 

Also, for the fact that she is skilled at forensic science and always tries to fulfill her curiosity. At the very beginning, against her father’s wishes she finds a way to do what she likes. And all the while, she doesn’t just fall head in heels for the first guy she meets. Their relationship is a developing one, where it goes from banter and eventually he helps her when it is most needed. 

Thomas comes off as conceited and arrogant from the very first page he is introduced. He knows a great deal, and loves to show off his knowledge. But the one thing that does set him apart is that he isn’t a complete jerk, he gets it that Audrey still needs her reputation, and he respects her for who she is without ever demeaning her. The way he acts arrogant is one that is in his personality, but never sounding incredibly rude if you ask me. And having his own charm lying in the way he speaks not his good looks, which I have been waiting for years for such a character. 

As for her family, there are some issues with them. Her aunt is religious and rather pious, which was quite okay if you ask me. She didn’t play a rather important role. Liza on the other hands was slightly more interesting, given that she allowed herself to love a variety of men. And well, let’s just say I pretty enjoyed a quote that she said. That Liza chooses who she wants to be and in certain times, she shows different sides of herself. To me, that was a rather interesting side of the story too. 

As for her father, I do admit that he has his faults but at the end he redeems himself instead. I rather like the ending for his decision and realizing that he wasn’t doing a pretty good job. Well, you would find out what would make him reflect on his choices. And well, I did like the ending where Audrey would leave to learn forensic science in Romania, which is why the next book is set there. Well, I definitely will be catching and continuing this series should the next book also have the same sort of mystery this provided me with. 

Since the ending, and no matter what the murderer will be someone that hurts Audrey rather deeply. And well, I cannot wait for the next book to be released since this has given me so much of a joy. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Gosick 


I have to admit that I took a very short time to finish this anime(technically three days). Firstly, it was mostly to kill boredom before it became an obsession with this show. I would say that this is less of a mystery but more of historical fiction. Mystery wise, it is very easy to solve it given who Victorique is. 

I would say that the plot is incredibly well thought out, with it simply being incredibly clever at many points. From the names, to the tales used. And even where it heads, the early mysteries merely set up the storyline before the ending. And all try cases are rather easily solved by Victorique, which is why I chose to place it under historical fiction, it isn’t a mystery when she can solve it with enough evidence which I would say to any detective might be sparsely any evidence at all, and less than is actually spent in investigation. 

But all the mysteries build up and is one piece of a puzzle to the next, perhaps not a chain reaction. But rather threads set apart and one day would come together, that is how the plot works and it comes together very smartly too. Even giving hints as to what happened to the characters at the end of the mystery if they were still alive. 

As for the characters, I do admit that they are well done. To me, Kazuya is a nice but kind hearted and also a badass(he fought in a war, and in episode two he managed to knock people out with brass knuckles). He’s clearly nothing compared to Victorique in terms of brains, but his combination is a nice for a main character. I might become pretty bored if it was solely Victorique. 

But the one whose past is even more important to the entire storyline is hers, with her history being of the most difficult to see. And that it explains her character rather well enough why she acts as she does, and why does she even treats Kazuya so incredibly badly. I mean, she has no social interaction up until Kazuya, I barely count conversations with her brother and her father. 

Another great thing is the last of support characters, where they might seem incompetent (Grevil at sleuthing or ridiculous(Cecile and Avril). But that all play a role in building towards the ending. 

And Grevil is one of the more developed, he is in love with someone else, sports a ridiculous hairstyle because Victorique made him too. And he has a personality, in certain ways being unkind to her yet helping her when he can. That makes him quite complicated, but also interesting. Particularly the part where he is a sleuth, he is absolutely useless as one, and depends on his sister, but not completely stupid and plays dumb when needed of him to. 

As for the characters later which draw my attention it would have to be Cordelia. She is by far the one with the most tragic back story, I mean being exiled for a crime that she did not commit, not really that bad. But what happens to her during the time where she brought Victorique to the world I really would not say, and even more after her birth. Rather insane if you ask me. And her end, I would say pretty tragic for someone of her life where she spent it moving from one terrible situation from another. She is clearly one which wins my sympathy in this case. 

Overall, I would say that this has been one enjoyable anime for me. Where I spent them putting clues together, some I managed to figure out, others, I couldn’t even begin to scratch the surface itself. And watching a romance develop to me, is something I enjoy if it is slow, and in this case it has to be as Victorique is clearly rather difficult to love immediately. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Outrun The Moon 


Mercy had my heart from the first chapter itself. She was a good character which I really related to her, her struggles and saw her journey to the end. And I do admit that she is one of the most unique characters lately, where I don’t feel as though she is so selfless nor is she perfect. But something in between, where she does make mistakes and see sacrifices being made by others. 

But most importantly, a diverse culture here is what I appreciated. And having them come together even though they originally kept to their own race, during an Earthquake which to me became a turning point in the story itself. 

Although it did drag a little towards the end, where I skimmed a couple of pages. And Mercy dealing with the death of her family, even though her father survived it. But to me, it was a dragging point of the book where I was more bored than anything else. The beginning had hooked me, in the hilarious way Mercy described herself sometimes, the culture here being rather authentic, there was still so many things that I didn’t know existed within my own culture. 

However, Mercy is what keeps the book together. If you don’t like her, I would suggest that you put this book down, as it will be all about her journey and struggles than anything else. This is a very character driven book and Mercy is what drives the entire storyline, since she is someone that makes things happen than anything else. Which to me, is a much better way to drive it than having a series of coincidences which lands her to a school here she finds her way around it and does everything to ensure she still can stay. 

Overall, I would say that this book is a good one for the young adult genre. Where it falls about adversity, people coming together to face adversity and during the Earthquake. All historical events, and having a very decent character at the centre of it. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 

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The Requiem Red 


I do admit that this book was realistic on many accounts, yet it was still hard to read at times. Mostly because of the consent switching of POVs, I would have preferred it merely being Jules and Jane, they were the really important characters. The rest of them merely made me confused as to who was narrating or what they were saying. 

As for the asylum here, and its procedures was definitely one of the more horrifying and true to history about what they did with the mentally challenged. Jane here clearly was rather sane, she simply saw the word in a different manner when compared to others. Same for Jules as well, both of this characters were similar. 

As for the ending, it felt abrupt and that there were some loose ends which needed to be tied up from there. The plot to me was rather simple and yet was confusing at times due to the style of the narration, as such it really confused me at times. I didn’t even figure out who was Jules until the middle and the extra names, to me had made little sense. I prefer my books to have narration by many characters to avoid using the word, I, and in this case it is so because I was just so confused by it. 

The historical setting to me felt real here, seeing as how it went by within the asylum and the best pulled off task seeing how they were and the asylum were treated. I know that during those times most patients were women, where it could be used as a convenient method to remove them without any divorce occurring. But an asylum during these times simply are horrible places to live, and as such, not exactly a good place. As for children who grew up there, they mostly remained there. 

I guess that I prefer the darker side of history where procedures were performed sometimes with disastrous effects, other times with little help at all. And most importantly, being ablated was the same as cutting off a part of the brain, many became infantile because of it. I really like this book in how it drew me to read up about it. 

Overall, I do think that this is those who like first person narration and would not mind having multiple narrators, I thought they were her split personalities above all. But I do like in how it gives a realistic portrayal of the mental illness and how it was viewed in that era. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Love, Lies And Spies 


It was okay I guess. This book had little of the typical ya expectation, having some supernatural twist. Even though it grabbed my attention for most of the book but it was mostly the plot which didn’t meet my expectations. 

The characters are intriguing and even quite unique. I mean, how many authors think of using a female wanting to get her research published as the main character? It really has a lot of potential, and I was expected some sci-fi twist at the end about her research. 

As for Spencer, I do like him even if I had wanted more about his espionage mission. It didn’t feel as though he had been a spy in actual reality, and spent more time just socialising than really feeling like a spy and gathering any form of information. I mean, isn’t that what a spy does?

I think that while this is a good historical romance, but in the genre it is in, I expected a little more than just the romance. They are good for each other with chemistry but it came a little underwhelming because of the lack of a big reveal, and the small decisions at the end really making it hard to move me to even care remotely about any character. 

And the plot, it was mostly just a letdown here. I couldn’t really feel anything for the main enemy, the Pyebalds which had been quite obvious front the start. And they also never really talk about motivations. The ending is nice and everything but didn’t really seem to tie up many loose ends as to what happened to some characters, what happened to them and all. 

It was just too much on the romance essentially. I just couldn’t feel wanting to care about them really, not when I could see the possible outcomes for Julianna and Spencer together being more than what I got. 

The writing however was a good point here, and really brought me back to the era far more. 

So, overall, I would say this is a good historical romance but as a ya genre, I would say avoid it if you expect supernatural or fantastical twist in such an era. This is pure historical romance, with no actual intrigue. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5