September reviews

Late again, but this time with a cast iron excuse. I was ill for a week at the beginning of October and only managed to keep switching on the TV and falling asleep to it.

From next month I’m intending to do at least a couple of more in-depth reviews/critiques, probably as separate posts.

Films and TV

Politics, politics, politics. I think most of UK has been glued to the News…

Darkness: Those Who Kill**** Danish police procedural – gripping even though we knew the identity of the criminal quite early. But I was startled to see a European cop series with the sort of glossy look (sets and actors) normally associated with American output.

Jamie Oliver vegetarian cookery series**** I must get the book. We aren’t veggie but our daughter is, and we like some veggie dishes anyway.

Long series about the Vietnam War**** I can’t remember the exact title. It was about eight episodes and was very interesting. I think our news at the time was quite curtailed in some ways, since we weren’t directly involved.

Books

The good:

Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch***** The state and future of English in the age of the internet. Fascinating research and commentary.

Gentleman Wolf by Joanna Chambers***** Werewolves and mm romance in Edinburgh – plus there’s a sequel on the way!

Lessons in Playing a Murderous Tune by Charlie Cochrane***** Cambridge Fellows mystery, set back when Jonty’s parents were alive. This long novella was really interesting.

Today by RJ Scott (Single Dads #2)**** A lovely story and well written. However, I wouldn’t re-read it because of the focus on the work of a firefighter. Fire tends to ‘trigger’ me since our loss in Portugal, and although I can read about it I’d rather not.

Lovers’ Leap by JL Merrow**** Nice romance story with plenty of humour set on the Isle of Wight.

Deep Magic by Gillian St Kevern**** Set in North Wales, using local legend about mermen, water horses, etc. I never quite suspended disbelief but enjoyed the tale anyway.

The Altered by Annabelle Jacobs**** Gripping thriller about werewolves, created when a medical/military research experiment went wrong. I loved the story but there was some less than stellar writing.

Going Home by Kris Ripper**** A clever exploration of the similarities and differences concerning slavery and BDSM in an alternative future. I got tired of the plot and the characters but finished it.

Scorched Haven by Amy Lane**** Urban fantasy with werewolves, fae, etc. I might buy series (Little Goddess), which sounds interesting. Well written, as usual. This was too short to merit five stars.

Not Every Time by Alexa Milne**** Shortish mm romance. Nicely written best friends to lovers story.

Flashbulb by Clare London**** PSTD after an air crash, explored through the characters of this mm romance.

The mediocre:

Nellie by Cynthia Woolf*** (Brides of San Francisco series.) I suppose the research about mail order brides in the nineteenth century was interesting but there was too much explicit sex and Nellie was a surprisingly modern heroine for the period.

Sweeter than Honey by CM Valencourt*** Pleasant enough short story about a beekeeper and a vegan.

And the poor:

Thunderpoint by Michelle Scott** A melodramatic ghost story with added mm romance and a whodunnit element. Not very well written.

Incognito by L.A.Watson** Tech industry spy/thriller but not well written. I felt there were plot holes, and the characters never really came to life.

The Clockwork Monk by Liv Rancourt** Steampunk thriller with a spy and his sister who is masquerading as a nun. Poor world building. The characters changed their names frequently which left this reader faintly confused. I’ve just bought a novel by the same author and am annoyed with myself.

Twins by Kevin L Nielsen** Nicely written but extremely short sci fi story. Winged twins save each other from death. That’s all…

And finally the dire:

The Woman without a face by Kendall Hanson* Police procedural but very short indeed with an unsatisfactory ending. There’s the threat or promise of a series but no suggestion this story will be finished properly.

Abandoned (mostly freebies):
The Society of Imaginary Friends by Kristen Pham. Valerie sees spirits which make her life difficult.
The Nuremberg Puzzle by Laurence O’Bryan. Thriller with so many characters in first chapters I lost track.
The Council by Kayla Kranz. This seemed to be a magic college story. It was boring and was told in present tense.
The Murder Diaries: Seven Times Over by David Carter. Serial killer? I couldn’t get into it.
Warrior by HJP. Confusing sci fi with too many characters somehow taking tech to the stars…

Fanfic

As usual, I’ve read odds and ends in various series, all too tied to canon to recommend to people not in the fandoms concerned. However, I’ve been watching the chaos caused by AO3’s Hugo Award. There are various stories and poems based on what happened but this was one of the first and, I think, sums it all up beautifully.
https://archiveofourown.org/works/20670977 Stanley Cup – What it Means by anonymous.

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