Showing posts with label Historical Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Historical Fiction. Show all posts

Friday, November 25, 2022

Should a Jordan Fan Read Fallon?

Lately, all this talk about Robert Jordan has put me in the mood to check out that one copy of his Reagan O’Neal Fallon books my library has to offer. While I’ve always seen/hear about these books, reading Michael Livingston’s Origins of the Wheel of Time laid out the story as to how this trilogy of books came to be. However, the question is how worth it for Wheel readers to take on Jordan’s Historical Fiction offerings?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

What Happened With My Reading of The Cutting Season

"Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A dead body. 
At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn't know. As she's drawn into the dead girl's story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted."
So, yeah. Time for me to get to hammering with my TRUTH. Like how I had the total gall to DNF Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season. I know. I know. I know how stuff works around here. This was a book–like so many others–that I’m “suppose” to like. Nah, this mug was bor-RING.

The Cutting Season is a literary (if that word is necessary) murder mystery. It weaves together two periods in time alongside two respective mysteries. Mystery One: Civil War era plantation where a female slave once went missing. Mystery Two: same plantation now a historic landmark, where a present-day body turns up at the property line. Two interwoven mysteries blossoming with possibilities and profundity, as they pounce upon a study of American slavery era throes with its present-day echos and resonance. Sounds like a hit–like no other! And I believed it possible in The Cutting Season. Both concepts of the depravity of slavery and its compelling illustration of 17th to 18th century southern American history would become a taunt-like joy to unbraid around a present day murder mystery.

Yet, no. Or, at least, I didn't get into the book deep enough to step into its truth. Because I couldn't quite shake the wafting ennui in the book's first fifty pages. Nor could I shake the book's vibe of projection, as oppose to presences.

But while I did struggle with that, here’s why I decided to call it quits overall...

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Another Abandoned Series I Haven't Licked

In Me Trilogy Order
I’m ashamed I’ve collected, but haven’t completed, the In Me trilogy by Kathleen O’Neal Gear.  If you’re not familiar with Gear, she and her husband, W. Michael Gear, co-authored fiction and non-fiction books surrounding Native American history.  Or, to be specific, the First North Americans.  Which is the title of the couple’s most popular and long-running historical fiction series.  On occasion the two step out and write books alone, and this is where the In Me trilogy came from Kathleen.  It’s a trilogy that has always caught my eye, while shelving them on bookstores.  However, it would be years later when I spent a night fighting a tipsy disposition before I actually finished the first book.  Yet, I'm sad to say, the following two books hibernated on my shelf thereafter.  I simply never made it back.  And I say so despite really enjoying the first book.  I guess it was a situation of never wanting to spoil a debut's magic.
Nevertheless, the series is about a young High Chieftess name Sora.  She’s the head of a Native American tribe called the Black Falcon Nation.  Sora, described as extraordinarily beautiful and desirable, was married to a warrior named Flint.  Flint was a warrior who would kill men with even the slightest glance toward his wife.  So with a possessive and territorial rage uncontrolled, Flint divorces Sora and moves back to his original clan.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Gerritsen Playing with Fire (A Quick Look)

That’s two Tess Gerritsen books in one year!  Can I get an amen?  Well, of course.  Yet, the latest, Playing with Fire, doesn’t involve Gerritsen’s series regulars Rizzoli and Isle.  Nope.  Playing with a Fire is a stand-alone thriller.  To me it waggles between sometimes lukewarm in areas but immensely fascinating in others.  Either way it's a quick, thrilling dash between the past and present.  Done in classic, multi-layered Gerritsen style.
First, a summary of the book.
Playing with Fire is about a violinist named Julia Ansdell.  Julia had the misfortune of acquiring an old, handwritten piece of sheet music called The Incendio Waltz.  While traveling with her orchestra, she came across the piece in an antiques shop in Rome.  So during a routine practice session back home in America, she plays it (or attempts to considering its difficulty) before her three-year-old daughter.  During this practice session Julia blacks out, and wakes to find her daughter next to their just mutilated pet cat.  Horrified, Julia suspects her daughter is responsible for the killing–for whatever reason.  That suspicion leads the two into hospitals and therapy sessions for biological/psychological testing.  
Desperate, the tests seem necessary for both Julia and her daughter.  Yet when another practice sessions leads to another blackout, this time Julia awakens to a stab womb.  And standing over her is her child.  She concludes the common denominator of these violent-resulting blackouts are, somehow, the sheet music.  Julia’s argument is the sheet music has a way of triggering something savage in her daughter’s subconscious.  This, in turn, leads her to trace the composer's Venice origins.  However, she comes across a problem on her journey.  It appears an organization of political heads don't want the secrets of the piece revealed.  And they’ll pull murderous stops in keeping Julia from unveiling its atrocious origins.

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