May 2018 books

I’m on a history kick this month.

The ImmortalistsThe Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Immortalists is at times an incredibly depressing book but it is also utterly beautiful. Telling the tale of four siblings in 1969 New York, who go to see a fortune teller who tells them the dates of their deaths. The book looks at how the siblings respond to this knowledge and how it affects and alters their lives, as you watch them grow up. It’s about how words affect you and about truly living instead of surviving for as long as you can.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was really good, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a cross between an Agatha Christie novel and Quantum Leap. Set at a house party at a crumbling house in the 1920s, a man wakes up in a forest with no memory of who he is and having just witnessed a murder. Quite a lot of body swapping goes on, as the man is charged with finding out who killed Evelyn Hardcastle, the day of her death endlessly repeating until he can identify the murderer. There are friends and foe in the house but how can the man truly know who to trust?

The Wicked ComethThe Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Wicked Cometh is very much a book of two halves and the first half is not as good as the second half. The first half very much sets up the story, set in the 1830s, it tells the tale of Hester, a parson’s orphan, who is very down on her luck, living in squalor in the East End of London. Her life is so bad, getting hit by a coach actually counts as improving her life, as she is rescued by the coach’s occupant, who happens to be a doctor and she is taken to his villa to recover. From there it is decided that she will be taken to the country to be educated and it is there she meets the doctor’s sister, Rebekah. Meanwhile, both in London and at the country manor, people are disappearing.

This book was okay but the two halves of the book are so different, it’s almost jarring, the main character is a bit of an annoying soppy wet blanket and the big reveal of the crime is really not that surprising, although there were a few twists that I didn’t expect.

The Fire Court (Marwood and Lovett, #2)The Fire Court by Andrew Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Fire Court is the second in the Marwood and Lovett series set in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London. It is now eight months after the fire and the Fire Court is sitting to make decisions about who has the right to rebuild London. There are squabbles between landholders and leaseholders which results in plotting and intrigue, add to this a body found in the ruins and a family connection, Marwood investigates.

It took me a little while to remember who was who but I enjoyed this story, it’s fascinating reading about life in London after the fire, I can’t wait for the next one!

The ImmortalsThe Immortals by S.E. Lister

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Immortals took me quite a while to warm to, it was an interesting enough idea, a group of people who could time travel, pulled by tides in time but at first it’s just the main character’s dissatisfaction with her life with her family, constantly repeating 1945 over and over again. Then we see what she does when she escapes this repeat and as she travels through different eras and meets different people, it’s interesting enough but nothing really happens but oh it’s worth sticking with, all that slow build anx, all that character development, by the last third of the book, the whole thing is achingly beautiful and really sad! So this book went from a three star, to a four star, to a I can’t give this anything other than five stars, this book will haunt me for a while.

View all my reviews

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