Date: January 3, 2017

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Published by NYLA on December 20th 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 257
Source: Purchased: ebook
Goodreads
five-stars

Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

I maybe screeched a bit while reading this the other day. It was so ridiculously good I could not keep a hold of myself. You get action, interesting new characters, new information about how the Innkeeepers mete out justice, and oh you get a really nice love scene (finally some of you are saying!) which was great. This whole thing was way too short for me. I needed more and felt really upset when we got the final page. The only thing I wish we had gotten more of was colored photos inserted in this one. I was disappointed a few scenes were not included that I thought would have looked spectacular in the final book.

Dina is coming to terms with Sean being back on Earth and her doing what she can to keep raising the stars for her inn. She’s still hoping someone will come to her inn who can shed light on what happened to her missing parents. Being awoken in the dead of night by Sean hanging about, they find an alien being that is almost discovered who comes to the inn delivering a message from Dina from her sister Maud asking for Dina to please come and get her. With that we have Dina calling Arland (you know who he is) for help and off the threesome go to an almost desolated planet.

What can I say people. I maybe fangirled the entire time while reading this. I was a bit eh regarding book #2, but that’s because I thought the whole thing had a lot going on (characters from previous series) and part of me thought that Dina needed to push back more than she did once she realized she was being manipulated. Book #3 definitely showcases Dina’s strength and even though she finds herself in love with Sean (and denying it, badly) she isn’t going to let him push at her to do what he wants like she’s some weak woman who just takes orders. We get to see how kickass Dina is throughout this whole book. And I got an even better understanding of her powers (yeah baby). I want to be an innkeeper so bad.

Sean I enjoyed a lot more. Still not my favorite male character (he is third behind Curran and Arland) but he definitely is given more to do in this book and not just be some foil for Dina. I could see how their relationship would work though I agree with Dina, he needs a cloak. Come on dude. Wear a cloak!

Dina’s sister Maud is now my new favorite in this series. Seriously. She is number one, with Arland as number two, and her daughter Helen number three. We need spin-offs people! Spin-offs. Because the little taste we get to hear about Maud and Dina growing up was not enough. I need some prequels. Also Maud reminds me what Kate Daniels would like like if she fell for a vampire and had a kid. She was fantastic. Can I keep going on about Maud? I am going to keep going on about Maud. I sympathized for her and wanted her to bring her husband back to life so she could punch him in the face. I definitely get why Maud was down on ever having a relationship with another vampire again, but her husband sucked.

We get old favorites such as Beast and Caldenia. And of course we get Dina’s new cook, Orro whose recipes need to start being included in these books. Don’t care if they are fake, it would be hilarious.

The writing and plot for this one for once was quite easy to get through. The last book left me so confused at times. We have Dina off to get her sister and niece and the next thing you know the whole group when they return to Earth are also involved with the possible eradication of an alien species. The ending to this made me dance with glee (I needed pictures people!!!) and I wanted to maybe go in your face to the big bad in this one. As I said above, I just really wish for more pictures. I got this via Amazon Kindle and my new Kindle Fire HD is my favorite thing right now. I was worried though something was up since I wasn’t seeing any pictures. I realized though that the book only really had two pictures inside of it which left me a bit disappointed.

 

The flow was great and I have no comments about it. I just wanted longer and longer and more information. I don’t know how I am going to wait for book #4 and hopefully the meet up with Dina and Maud’s brother.

FYI I read this book as part of Romance Bingo 2017! This book fits the Urban Fantasy Romance square.

five-stars

The Poirot Project: Appointment With Death

The Poirot Project: Appointment With DeathAppointment with Death (Hercule Poirot, #19) by Agatha Christie
Series: Hercule Poirot #19
Published by HarperCollins on January 1st 1970
Pages: 303
Goodreads
five-stars

Among the towering red cliffs and the ancient ruins of Petra sits the corpse of Mrs. Boynton, the cruel and tyrannizing matriarch of the Boynton family. A tiny puncture mark on her wrist is the only sign of the fatal injection that killed her. With only twenty-four hours to solve the mystery, Hercule Poirot recalls a remark he overheard back in Jerusalem: "You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?" Mrs. Boynton was, indeed, the most detestable woman he had ever met.

Note from MR: This review is coming out of order in my Poirot Project recap! The bulk post for books 16, 17, & 18 will be published tomorrow.

This book is about what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. It is one of my absolute favorites of the Poirot novels for both the setting – the rose red city of Petra, Jordan – and the villainy of the ultimate victim.

Christie again draws on her experience travelling with her archeologist husband, Max Mallowan, as she did in Murder in Mesopotamia and Death on the Nile. In my opinion, this mystery is loads better than Murder in Mesopotamia, and is every bit as good as Death on the Nile.

The book begins with Poirot overhearing two people speaking in the hotel room next to his, through an open window. The voice of a man says “You do see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?” The first section of the book occurs at the hotel, where the reader is introduced to the Boynton family, including Mrs. Boynton, who is a simply unredeemable, petty domestic tyrant. She has exercised total psychological control over the four children who travel with her: Lennox Boynton, Raymond Boynton, Carol Boynton and Ginevra Boynton. She is manipulative and extremely cruel to her family, and she has them so cowed that they have simply collapsed under her tyranny.

The book is partially narrated by a young doctor named Sarah King, because once the Boynton family leaves Jerusalem for Petra, Poirot is not present until the end. The murder occurs with him off-stage. Sarah King is also an interesting character – one of Christie’s bright young women – and she is more than capable of seeing clearly that Mrs. Boynton is mostly pathetic, in spite of her ability to terrorize her family.

Mrs. Boynton is the sort of person who doesn’t understand that everyone has a breaking point, so by the time we get to Petra, it becomes clear that she is going to come to an unhappy end. This is essentially a closed circle mystery, with an ingenious solution. The first time I read it, I was a bit blindsided by the identity of the murderer. In subsequent readings, I’ve been astounded at how cleverly Christie drops clues into the book that, with exquisite subtlety, point the reader to whodunnit.

five-stars

The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga #4) by Mary Stewart

The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga #4) by Mary StewartThe Wicked Day by Mary Stewart
Series: Arthurian Saga #4
Published by Eos on May 1st 2003
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 417
Source: Borrowed: print book
Goodreads
two-stars

Now, the spellbinding, final chapter of King Arthur's reign, where Mordred, sired by incest and reared in secrecy, ingratiates himself at court, and sets in motion the Fates and the end of Arthur....

Holy moly this was bad. I lost any sense of interest in this book about 1/3 of the way through. I think that Stewart did the best she could. She wanted to keep the legend of Arthur and his Round Table on point as much as possible. However, the characterizations in this whole book were off for me. Arthur pretty much is not that smart. Mordred is just misunderstood. And Guinevere is not bright at all, and is only wanted by every man it seems due to her beauty. I don’t read any of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s books anymore, but I still like her look at the King Arthur legend much better than this series because she ties things up a lot better by looking at the growing conflict between the pagan religions and the growing spread of Christianity. She also managed to make every woman and man in the story three dimensional.

The Wicked Day follows a lot of Mallory’s story about the final days of Camelot. Unlike with previous books I just found myself bored since I have read the poems and other books about it. I was hoping for a different spin, but besides a few details that Stewart changes here and there, everything is the same.

I think the thing that threw me a lot though is that this book was more detached than the other three. I think not having Merlin as a narrator in this one hurt the book. I didn’t get a true sense of anyone this time through. As I already said, everyone felt very one dimensional to me. No one had a brain in their head either. Morgause and others who have been causing problems in the last two books are pretty much done away or put aside in a few sentences or two.

I think the ending was supposed to have me feel pity for Mordred, but I didn’t. We just have him laying with a fatal wound knowing that his father was being taken away to be healed.  Considering that he was doing what he could to be crowned king and to take Guinevere as his wife I felt meh towards the guy. I think what gets me is that Mordred falls in “love” with Guinevere and Stewart makes it that he is doing everything he can to have her. I hate story-lines that have it that some poor man had his head turned by a woman and if not for that maybe Mordred could have been a good person.

two-stars

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