Readers reviews: favourite February fiction

A great way to find out what people are loving in our fiction collection is a swift browse of the Reader’s Choice display. These selections are highlighted with Reader’s Choice stickers so that others can find great reading material. You can find slips for Reader’s Choice reviews in new books, or ask staff for one if you have a review or recommendation to embellish the library collection.

The current selection is as eclectic as our multi faceted borrowers. People have reviewed books they have found to be delightful, absorbing, distracting and well written. These reviews are warts and all, some you may find yourself agreeing with, and some you might have a different opinion. Read on, and discover for yourself.

Bright young dead / Fellowes, Jessica
“Meet the Bright Young Things, the rabble-rousing hedonists of the 1920s whose treasure hunts were a media obsession. One such game takes place at the 18th birthday party of Pamela Mitford, but ends in tragedy as cruel, charismatic Adrian Curtis is pushed to his death from the church neighbouring the Mitford home. The police quickly identify the killer as a maid, Dulcie. But Louisa Cannon, chaperone to the Mitford girls and a former criminal herself, believes Dulcie to be innocent, and sets out to clear the girl’s name . . . all while the real killer may only be steps away.” (Catalogue)
Reader’s review: “A good read that encouraged research into the Mitfords, … and the ‘Bright Young Things’ so I know more about the 1920’s than I thought I’d need. The first book wasn’t on the shelf so I hope you have it, if not get it please!”
(Good news reader – we have the first in the series The Mitford murders in the library collection.)

The Hchom book / Churchland, Marian
“If you were a goblin, what would your treasure hoard contain? Gems and minerals, biscuits and pastries, fine-tailored jackets, or perhaps all of the above. The Hchom book collects illustrations and essays from Marian Churchland’s popular, long-running blog, Hchom.com.” (Catalogue)
Reader’s review: “Very creative with cute and interesting designs and illustrations. Relatable content in terms of clothing, food, life”

 

Here and now and then / Chen, Mike
“Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142. Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission. One afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives–eighteen years too late. Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember… A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.” (Catalogue)
Reader’s review: “Superb, modern. Proper time travel that’s both personal and clever. Great twists, hard to put down”

The cottage at Rosella Cove / Docker, Sandie
“Nicole is starting again. She’s left her old life far behind, and has just arrived in the sleepy town of Rosella Cove, renting the old cottage by the water. At first Nicole is determined to avoid making personal ties, but when she discovers a hidden box of letters she soon realises that she’s not the first person to have lived in the cottage who has been hiding secrets. As Nicole gradually begins to let her guard down, she starts to find real connections with the close-knit community at the Cove – especially with handsome Danny, the local handyman who has been helping her restore the cottage to its former glory. But Nicole still struggles with her own dark past, which seems determined to catch up with her. How long can she keep running? And what will happen if she stops?” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review” Despite a rather predictable plot a good example of a writer writing of a location they are familiar with and evokes the goodwill spirit of a small town very well.”

A sacred storm / Brun, Theodore
“Bound by honor. Haunted by loss. 8th Century Sweden: Erlan Aurvandil, a Viking outlander, has pledged his sword to Sviggar Ivarsson, King of the Sve rs, and sworn enemy of the Danish king Harald Wartooth. But Wartooth, hungry for power, is stirring violence in the borderlands. As the fires of this ancient feud are reignited Erlan is bound by honor and oath to stand with King Sviggar. But, unbeknownst to the old King his daughter, Princess Lilla, has fallen under Erlan’s spell. As the armies gather Erlan and Lilla must choose between their duty to Sviggar and their love for each other. Blooded young, betrayed often, Erlan is no stranger to battle. And hidden in the shadows, there are always those determined to bring about the maelstrom of war.” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: “Excellent read for lovers of historical fiction it’s one to enjoy. Some readers may be put off by the novels length but this is hard to put down and the writer left yu gasping for more. Can’t wait to read more by this author”

The pearl thief / McIntosh, Fiona
“Severine Kassel is asked by the Louvre in 1963 to aid the British Museum with curating its antique jewellery, her specialty. Her London colleagues find her distant and mysterious. No one could imagine that she is a desperately damaged woman, hiding her trauma behind her chic, French image. It is only when some dramatic Byzantine pearls are loaned to the Museum that Severine’s poise is dashed. Her shocking revelation of their provenance sets off a frenzied hunt for Nazi Ruda Mayek. Mossad’s interest is triggered and one of its most skilled agents comes out of retirement to join the hunt. From the snowy woodlands outside Prague to the Tuilieries of Paris and the heather-covered moors of Yorkshire comes a confronting and heart-stopping novel that explores whether love and hope can ever overpower atrocity in a time of war and hate.(Catalogue)

Reader’s review: “Riveting story. Excellent reading. Very enthralling.”  

A mind of her own / Harris, Rosie
“Newly widowed after fifty years of marriage, Betty Wilson is determined to remain in the home she has lived in the whole of her married life and retain her independence. Deciding she doesn’t need anyone to look after her, she won’t even accept help from loyal family friend Peter Brown. But it’s not always easy to cope when one is growing older. From errant hedge trimmers to unscrupulous conmen and a car which seems to have a mind of its own, modern life offers unexpected hazards for the unwitting septuagenarian. Will Betty accept the devoted Peter’s help and come to realize what he means to her, before it’s all too late…?” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: “Extremely well written but the subject, that is, dementia, the leading to and aftermath of Betty and Peter’s life is sad and depressing, a glimpse into peoples’ lives, the suffering. It ends too abruptly, leaving the reader wondering.”

The winter of the witch / Arden, Katherine
“Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic. Then a vengeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits. Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders. But she may not be able to save them all.” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: “Great final book in a trilogy. Beautifully written, interesting characters, strong female heroine unusual fantasy structure. Recommended, but read The Bear and the Nightingale first.”

Vigilance / Bennett, Robert Jackson
“The United States. 2030. John McDean executive produces “Vigilance,” a reality game show designed to make sure American citizens stay alert to foreign and domestic threats. Shooters are introduced into a “game environment,” and the survivors get a cash prize. The TV audience is not the only one that’s watching though, and McDean soon finds out what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera.” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: “Nice surprise to find this on the shelf after returning his terrific Foundryside. This short pertinent tale is an acute take on contemporary USA in all its frightening violence and self-absorption. Highly recommended” 

The kingdom of copper / Chakraborty, S. A.
“Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad–and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there. Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend.” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: “The book was amazing.”

 

 

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