Monthly Archives: February 2012

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

One thing I’ve noticed about myself since I’ve started blogging, aside from my love for Jewish fiction, is that more often than not, I like the books I read.  If I don’t like a book, it’s generally impossible for me to finish it.

This book however, was one of the few that I finished but wasn’t thrilled with.

Death Comes to Pemberley follows Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, after they’ve been married a number of years, have kids and are accustomed to their life as they know it.  The night before a big annual ball that is help at Pemberley, Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s sister, shows up in a panic claiming that Wickham is dead, slain by his friend Denny.

There ensues the quest to find Wickham, which they do, and their ongoing search for the truth surrounding the death of, not Wickham, but Denny, and Wickham’s trial for the murder of his friend.

This novel is the reason why “show me, don’t tell me,” is such a legendary writer’s adage.  This book had lots and lots of telling and very little showing.  I believe that’s why I feel like I didn’t really read anything once I was finished with the book.  I felt like I had sat through a really long speech where the speaker talked a lot but said very little of substance.   The plot was entertaining enough to keep me from putting the book down, but not entertaining enough to have me riveted, or even really all that interested.

The other big let down was that I didn’t see a lot of the Pride and Prejudice characters in these adaptations of them.  Elizabeth seemed like just a bleak shadow of the vixen I love.  She didn’t have any fire or spirit in this one and that’s probably the worst injustice.  To take a character that is so defined and beloved by so many people and do a mediocre job of portraying her.  Makes me die a little bit inside.

I would not recommend this book.  I would ESPECIALLY not recommend this book to people who really love Pride and Prejudice.

Also, having Wickham work for Walter Elliot, another character from a different Austen novel?  That was just lame.



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The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan

I’ve delayed writing this post because I’m not really sure how to put into words everything that this series is.

Jordan started writing the first volume, The Eye of the World, in 1984. The book was published in 1990 and thus the series began.
In 2007 Robert Jordan passed away, 11 books into the 14 book series.

The final novel was completed by Brandon Sanderson, of Mistborn fame, in late 2011.

My personal acquaintance with the series began in ’98 or ’99. I was in middle school and recently discovered an insane obsession with dragons. The third novel in the series is called The Dragon Reborn and through it I was introduced to the series.

I lost touch with the books once I became current and had to wait for new novels to be released. Now with the final installment scheduled to come out this year its finally time for The Great Re-read. I’ve been trying to hold off since the book won’t be out until late fall and its only 13 books.

I finally gave in and told myself I could only read it on the nook app on my phone. Hopefully that will be slow going enough that I won’t finish the series 8 months before the last book comes out.

Have any of you read this series? How do you feel about it? Jordan is far and away the best author I’ve ever read. Is anyone else excited about The Great Re-read? Man I really want to go home and binge read it. Wish me luck on holding out. 😀


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Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

I think if Robert Jordan had never written his Wheel of Time series, Juliet Marillier would have been my favorite fantasy author.  I’ve read all of her books, now that I’ve finished Seer of Sevenwaters.

Seer of Sevenwaters is the fifth Sevenwaters novel and follows Sibeal, Sorcha’s (the main character from Daughter of the Forest) grandaughter, as she spends a summer with her sisters on the island of Inis Eala. Sibeal is on the verge of taking her vows and devoting her life to the strict, celibate, Druidic Order.  However, before she does so at her young age, her mentor, Ciaran, insists that she spends time with her married sisters so that she is aware of what exactly she is giving up.

On her first day at Inis Eala, a ship founders off the islands shores and at first only two souls are rescued.   Later that evening Sibeal, while finishing an errand, stumbles upon one more who washed to shore clinging to life.  Unable to remember anything of his past Sibeal names him Ardal, and helps to nurse him back to health.  However, while reading the runes, Sibeal sees that Ardal and herself will have to make a journey before the summer ends.

As I said, Marillier has never disappointed me.  This novel was no exception but there were a few things I did like and some that I didn’t.

I loved the action of the novel.  And the introduction of a second, present-tense first person perspective.  Instead of the entire book being told from Sibeal’s viewpoint, we also get snippets from Ardal, who’s real name turns out to be Felix.  I can’t recall any other instances where Marillier divides up the perspectives like that.  I thought it was a great addition, I hope she adds this to more of her books.

Another aspect that I enjoyed is that Clodagh and Cathal, the main characters from Heir to Sevenwaters, were so prevalent in this novel.   Marillier has a habit of writing novels about different members of the same family.  So most of the time with her, you only get one book for each character and then the next one is about her daughter or sister.  I was particularly attached to Clodagh and was glad that I got to spend some more time with her and Cathal.

The only thing that really disappointed me was how hastily Sibeal and Felix’s relationship was wrapped up.  It was almost more of an afterthought.  With all of her other novels, the relationship between the main male and female characters is an enormous driving force behind the plot line.  However, with Seer of Sevenwaters, it seemed like the actions, Felix trying to remember his past, Sibeal and Felix’s sea voyage, Sibeal trying to decipher Svala, had the greater importance than the budding connection between Sibeal and Felix.  This book had very little of the finality and closure that comes with all of her other novels and I will admit it was a little disappointing.

This installment of the Severwater novels was quickly climbing up the ladder as my favorite in that series until the end.  I’m worried, that since Marillier has such a penchant for writing only one book about each character that I’ll never get the full closure about Felix and Sibeal that I would like.

Overall though, I greatly enjoyed this book.  I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, you can never go wrong with Juliet Marillier.


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February Book of the Month

Hi guys!

January’s already over and now its time for leap-month February. Over on Order of the Phoenix Arizona, my goodreads group, we started reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. The novel chronicles an ancient manuscript that is given to rare book expert Hanna Heath for her to restore. As she works she learns the history of the document and the stories of the people who protected it through the ages.

A while ago I read a book called Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. The premises of the books are similar. I did like Mosse’s novel but I think my hopes for Brooks’ is much higher.

I’m planning on starting this one this weekend after I binge read Seer of Sevenwaters since Juliet Marillier is one of my top three novelists.

Are you reading anything good at the moment? Any exciting weekend reads planned? If not, feel free to pick up People of the Book with me, or of course anything by Marillier. 🙂


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