Mini Reviews: March 2017

Life has been crazy busy for me the past few weeks between working, reorganizing my house, and planning for a wedding. Happily enough, I’ve had plenty of time to read while sitting on the train every day. I haven’t had much time to sit down and write, so instead here are a few mini reviews for books I’ve read in the last month!

 

Except the Dying

Except the Dying – Maureen Jennings

The Toronto-based Detective Murdoch series is the basis for the Canadian television show Murdoch MysteriesThis period novel focuses on Detective William Murdoch as he investigates the death of a servant girl. I enjoyed the feel of this novel, as it was darker and grittier than any historical fiction I’ve read – and certainly more grim than the show. The novel drives you to discover who is guilty, and I was pleased that I was guessing until the end.

Rating: 4 / 5

 

The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena 

A couple goes to a party next door, leaving their six-month-old daughter at home. When they come back to find her missing an extensive police investigation is launched. Soon, everyone is a suspect, and everyone is pointing fingers. The novel has plenty of plot twists and multiple bait and switch scenarios, but the characters seem distant, and I couldn’t connect with them or their actions. While I was curious to find out what happened, I was never quite shocked or surprised enough to really love the story.

Rating: 3 / 5

 

Bonds of Wire

Bonds of Wire: A Memoir – Kingsley Brown

This collection of memories comes from Kingsley Brown, a Canadian Royal Air Force pilot in WWII who became a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft III, the location of the Great Escape. Brown was part of the forgery committee for the Great Escape, but his stories don’t focus on that. Instead, Brown shares moments of laughter, friendship, and kindness, focusing on heartwarming memories that surface even during the darkest of times. Brown shows us moments of pure humanity, and the bonds that men can create behind the wire.

Rating: 4 / 5

 

And finally…

I Don’t Wanna Be Sad – Simple Plan

This is the song that has been getting me through the past few weeks and I just had to share it. Simple Plan is my favourite band, and they’re Canadian! This song always puts a big smile on my face. I love putting in my headphones and cranking this up while I’m at work to help power through those tough projects. And hey, my boss has only caught me dancing once!

 

Eye of the Labyrinth – Jennifer Fallon

eye-of-the-labyrinthOn the Cover: Since the Age of Shadows ended, the people of Ranadon have lived under the merciless heat of two suns and the tyranny of Antonov, the Lion of Senet. Consumed by his lust for power and his unshakable belief in the capricious, almighty Goddess, Antonov’s rule is absolute. Only one man has the intelligence and will to break that hold… a man who could be King.

Suddenly widowed, Morna Provin, Duchess of Elcast, has lost her only protector. With her son banished for an unspeakable crime, she faces a horrifying fate at the hands of the Lion of Senet as retribution for her relationship with the heretic Johan Thorn. But it is only part of a cunning scheme to lure her son, Dirk Provin, back into the fold so Antonov can consolidate his power once and for all.

With his mother’s life at stake, Dirk Provin must emerge from hiding in the Baenlands and return to Elcast – setting in motion a rebellion that will expose long-buried secrets and ignite festering hatreds. For a ruler’s fears and a madman’s prophecy will start Dirk on a quest for truth that will spark a fierce battle between two very different men: one who believes only what his five senses tell him, the other obsessed by his faith in the divine. It is a clash that will bring to light a revelation that may shatter them all.

Published: 2004

Other Books in this Series:

Lion of Senet

 


 

The Review:

I totally appreciate Jennifer Fallon’s writing. The depth and vibrancy of the world she has created made it incredibly easy to step into this book despite how long it has been since I read the last one. This novel only serves to expand on what she presented within the first book, and with a wide array of characters, a rich landscape and deeply intriguing religious and political systems, Eye of the Labyrinth delivers on all levels.

The further I read in this book the more excited I got. Dirk Proven reaches the Labyrinth and between him and the Eye lays a path riddled with traps and puzzles. I absolutely loved the archeological feel of the adventure and the mystery of the puzzles, yet the solid foundation of religion and politics lent serious implications to the discoveries made in the Labyrinth.

eye-of-the-labyrinth-2

While I was disappointed that Dirk’s short time at the Labyrinth – I could have read an entire book that took place there – I was really impressed with this story. The novel does a great job of both expanding on the character story lines from the first novel while also paving the way into the final book. The book really builds up the plot and raises expectations for the conclusion in the third novel. I am looking forward to reading this next novel, and cannot wait for it to come in to the library so I can get my hands on it! Definitely check this one out if you are a fan of fantasy stories rich in political motivations and history told through puzzles.

Rating: 4 / 5

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