Posts Tagged ‘guest review’
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Meet my friend Mekenzi Stephens. She’s sweet and silly and marvelously full of spunk, which is why I like her and why I’m thoroughly convinced you will too. I recently invited her to write up a book review for us, and shortly thereafter she sent me her thoughts on Elizabeth Peters’ “Crocodile on the Sandbank.” I actually squealed when I got them and ran off to grab my sister’s copy of the book, which I hadn’t read in YEARS even though it’s one of my all-time favorite adventures! If you haven’t checked it out, YOU MUST DO SO. And in the meantime, have fun with Mekenzi’s review!
So when Mary offered to let me do a book review for her blog, I was first of all psyched out of my mind that she offered cuz I think she’s basically really super cool, and second, I was convinced THAT would never happen. Me, with the three amazing and crazy kids five and under…with the bedroom floor covered in laundry needing to be done…with free time between 12am and 6am? Do a book review? Ha! Yeah right! Or…maybe I was just a chicken.
And then I picked up an old book that I had first read forever ago, called “Crocodile on the Sandbank,” and reintroduced myself to one of my favorite heroines ever, Miss Amelia Peabody. I think she is also basically really super cool, and I was inspired by her dauntless courage and use of a parasol to put on my big girl panties, take a deep breath, and write a review already! If Amelia can take on an ancient curse and a long dead mummy come back to life, I can do one book review right? Right. So. Here goes nothin’…
The story starts out by introducing its heroine, Miss Amelia Peabody, an extremely intelligent, efficient, and capable wealthy lady of Victorian Era England. (Think bustles, imperialism, and tea.) As she has reached the ripe old age of 31 without finding a husband sensible enough to tempt her, Amelia has decided to spend her resources and time imbibing the decadence and wonder of Egypt and the archeological marvels of that time. She is in Italy, getting ready to embark on her tour when her hired companion deserts her, being too delicate for the vibrant germs and parasites of abroad. But fortunate enough, she comes across a young and beautiful lady who has just fallen unconscious in the middle of a public square. After literally picking her up and dusting her off, Amelia discovers the girl is a deserted lady of questionable past, alone and destitute. Amelia’s compassion and need for someone to dress up and set to rights motivates her to engage the lady, Miss Evelyn Barton-Forbes, as her new traveling companion, getting a sweet, gentle, and loyal true friend in the deal.
The story follows Amelia and Evelyn as they make their way to Egypt. Upon arrival in Cairo, they visit the National Museum of Antiquities where they have a run-in with two English archeologist brothers over some pottery shards. Well, technically, Amelia has a run-in with the eldest brother, Mr. Radcliffe Emerson, who is as formidable as Amelia herself. Evelyn, on the other hand, falls immediately in love with the younger brother, Walter Emerson, intelligent, gentle and handsome. You can see where this is going, I’m sure…
After the aforementioned run-in, Amelia and Evelyn continue on their pleasure cruise up the Nile. Determined to grant Evelyn and Walter a little more time to get to know each other (*wink wink*), Amelia schedules a stop at Amarna, the site where the Emerson brothers are excavating. Their “impromptu” visit turns much more serious as they find Emerson in the grips of a rampaging illness and it is only Amelia’s sensible and capable ministrations that save his life. A true hero in distress. Amelia decides to stay on for a week to make sure he doesn’t relapse and during that time discovers a love of archeology blossoming within her. And that isn’t the only thing she falls in love with…
However, the week is a turbulent one, as an ancient curse and a long dead mummy arise to haunt them! With the help of Emerson, Amelia uses her indomitable powers of reason, her dauntless courage, and her trusty parasol to solve the heinous mystery!
What I liked:
- Probably my favorite thing about this book is Amelia’s tone. It is a first person narrative so Amelia is telling the story from her own viewpoint. Elizabeth Peters, the author, does such an immensely entertaining job of giving Amelia the right balance of sensible practicality and delightful disregard for encumbering social precepts that you can’t help but love her! She has a will of iron, a capability to take on whatever is thrown her way and yet is completely proper at every turn. She always has everything under control, and if she ever has to wing it, she’ll never let on. (I think she would have liked to borrow your throwing knives, Mary.)
- Emerson is one of my favorite leading men EVER. He’s got that passionate, manly vibe that is just so sexy, you know? I also love the interaction between Amelia and Emerson. Watching Amelia awaken to the possibility of finding love is super fun, like, in a perfectly girlie, giggly type of way.
- I really like how Peters uses factual information in the archeological aspect of this book. The tools and methods Amelia and Emerson use in the book are the same tools and methods the actual archeologists of the day used. So you are learning and being entertained at the same time. Two-fer.
- This is the first of at least seventeen books in the Amelia Peabody mystery series. THAT is a selling point in and of itself—am I right? The rest of the series follows Amelia and her budding family through escapade after escapade with lots of romance, suspense, and laughter thrown in.
So I hope you pick up this book and check it out. Then you can be inspired by Amelia’s kick-butt attitude to do something epic too, like uncover a crumbling pavement decorated in the days of the pharaohs, or hike up a pyramid, or take out a zombie mummy, or write your own book review!
What’s the mood noise of the moment? The super cute Cleopatra Stratan
Friday, March 19th, 2010
This is the fabulous Jeanette Morris: busy editor, writer, and goddess of her kitchen (always a bonus find in a friend), and a partner-in-crime in our four-lady writing group (worddivas.com). Plus she’s a little weird (in the “she makes me laugh at unexpected times–like when I’m reading through her editorial notes on my novel” kind of way). I like her. And you shall too. This is Part Uno in her series of three reviews which I’ll post at random over the next few months. Enjoy .
A few weeks back my husband and I were vacationing in Las Vegas, and I found myself stuck indoors with nothing to read. Before the panic attack set in, I asked my DH if he had any books with him. He is also an avid reader, but not “my kind” of reader. Nevertheless, my desperation overcame my hesitation, and I began reading whatever one calls the opposite of “chick lit.” Guy stuff . . . you know . . . mass-market thrillers, crime fiction, etc. Ironically, my little dunk into the man thing became a channel crossing, and I read three of his generous (but odd) offerings. Knowing Mary would probably never include reviews of any such testosterone-laced novels on her blog, I offer the following for those of you who just might be interested in something other than Twi-fiction and literary classics.
The Scarecrow (2010) – (sequel to bestseller The Poet) by Michael Connelly is a pointed commentary on the demise of print journalism and a fast-paced thriller featuring L. A. Times crime reporter Jack McEvoy. When Jack is laid off with 14 days’ notice to tie up loose ends, he decides to go out with one last big byline. What starts as a story about the wrongful arrest of a young gang banger for murder of an exotic dancer (yes, a bit cliché) turns into a much bigger and far more complex mystery that takes McEvoy into Las Vegas high rises and to a high-tech data-hosting facility in Arizona. FBI agent Rachel Walling, a femme fatale with whom he worked on the serial killer case in 1996′s The Poet, joins the hunt for another serial killer who always seems to be one step ahead of the star-crossed duo. As the pair uncovers more about the killer and his unsettling predilections, they realize that they too are being hunted. Jack’s close encounters with death allow him to unravel the mystery but, unfortunately, lose the byline. He gets the girl instead–not a bad exit from reporting. Unfortunately, the plot becomes a bit predictable as it unfolds. Connelly switches voices between Jack and the killer, which in one sense ratchets up the tension, and in another sense reveals the inevitable outcome much too soon. And although I could appreciate the one strong female character, Connelly’s inability to communicate her feminine side is probably one of the reasons he’s on the list of crime-thriller authors to which men are drawn.
So, (Mary’s) question for the audience: Which is better–chick, chunk, Twi, or man thriller lit?Jeanette Morris is a freelance writer and editor who has helped over 30 clients achieve their publishing dreams. You can find her at any of these places: www.firstimpressionswriting.com www.worddivas.com www.ministryofwords.wordpress.com
Annnnnnd here’s the book trailer for it (the end being the best part).
- « Older Entries
- Newer Entries »