Category Archives: LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Inga the Viking Girl by Jacqueline Grant

I received a copy of Inga the Viking Girl from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers & I have to say that it is a shame I have it as an e-book as I am positive that my nieces, Hannah & Morgan would love it!

Inga (who as the title suggests), is a Viking girl from Einersfjord, Greenland & this book comprises 2 short stories about her. The first is called Inga Goes A-Viking & is about the village & villagers of Einersfjord, who are facing a very big dilemma. They are running out of supplies to repair their home & the merchant ships which used to stop in Einersfjord have stopped coming. The elders must decide what to do to save their town & make the decision to go A-viking – to return to their old way of life, raiding, to save their homes.

The second story is called Inga Plans a Wedding. Inga’s sister, Anna is bethrothed to Gorvid, the meanest, smelliest boy in the village. Anna is distraught – she has her heart set someone else & she and Inga set about making a plan to get either Gorvid, or their father to change their minds & call off the pairing. Will they succeed?

Inga is a mischeivious girl – determined to be a tom-boy & get to do the things that boys do. She spends her days wrestling with the boys, practicing her hunting skills, and trying to avoid her mother who is determined to make a lady out of her.

I don’t often read children’s books, not having any children myself, but I really enjoyed this one!  My only complaint is that it simply isn’t long enough. I would like to see Grant write a whole series of them – kind of like the Nancy Drew books I read when I was a kid.

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Unwelcome feedback?

So, tonight I logged onto a site I frequent, to find a private message waiting for me. Turns out it was from the author of a book I had reviewed. She isn’t very happy with me because my rating of her book has dragged her “star system right down.” – well, I’m sorry, I didn’t get the memo which said I was only allowed to post positive reviews!

The simple fact of the matter is that her book is not something that I would envisage having a very broad market to sell to. It is a reference book (& not a very good one, at that). She asked me why I requested a copy of her book when she thought she had made it clear it was for people with a grasp of French already……well, Madam, je peut parler francais. Je suis Canadienne, je viens du Nouveau-Brunswick, le provinece seulement au Canada où l’on parle français et en anglais. Mon compréhension de la langue française est très bonne – je suis bilingue, en fait, mais ayant une connaissance du français ne serait pas rendre votre livre pas mieux, ou plus facile à utiliser si elle est censée être un livre d’expressions français-anglais.

I’m sorry you didn’t like my review, but if you didn’t want honest opinions, you shouldn’t have solicited them.

 

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False Friends: Book Two by Ellie Malet Spradbery

I received a copy of False Friends: Book Two through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers & I have to say, I really don’t see the point of this book. It is just a never ending (ok, slight exageration, it does have an end) list of English phrases, with their French counterparts. I will readily admit that I didn’t read these – why would you? Skimming was bad enough! This isn’t a book it’s a English/French phrase dictionary. To make matters worse, though they are presented in some form of order, it certainly isn’t an order that would ease searching for a particular phrase, say while in France on vacation. Also, there is no pronunciation guide, so again, it’s just a random collection of phrases that if you don’t already speak better than basic French you probably won’t be able to read, let alone say.

As suggested by the title, this is the second book in a series (which hopefully stops at two).

 

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Pain of Death by Adam Creed

When I received Pain of Death I briefly toyed with the idea of getting the other books in the series first as I really don’t like reading books out of order. Boy, am I ever glad I didn’t! It isn’t often that I make myself finish a book & this was one of those rare occasions where I did, only finishing because I felt I had to, with it being a LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s copy…

From the back of the book: “Kerry Degg, burlesque singer, is discovered beneath the London streets, barely alive. DC Josie Chancellor finds an abandoned newborn baby by Leadengate station. Staffe puts Kerry and baby together. His investigation draws a picture of a bad wife and mother with rotten friends, a dangerous husband and no idea about family life. But it is only when another woman like Kerry is discovered, seemingly dragged to bear her child in captivity, that Staffe realises he has stumbled across something terrible beneath the streets of London. Staffe must venture from Whitehall’s clubland to Soho’s fleshpots, trying to make his way through a labyrinth of trails on a desperate mission to rescue mother and child in time…”

All through reading this book I wanted to chuck it in the bin, it was that horrible. I hated the author’s style of writing (present tense is awful) & his choice of phraseology just grated on my nerves. One of the more memorable ones was: “Trousered” in reference to his mobile phone – so what, he went to Carphone Warehouse, bought an itty-bitty pair of trousers & put them on his phone? No, the author meant that DI Staffe put his phone in his trousers pocket. Creed used that one a few times & I just wanted to scream every single time I was forced to read it!

The sentence structure was dire, with the average sentence being about 6-8 words in length & the dialogue was wooden, forced & simplistic, with little to no flow. For example: “They’re driving in. My team is holding back. There’s no track beyond the tower. There’s no way out of there.” – that could easily have been 1 or 2 sentences that would have flowed much better & would have read like a real conversation that real people have.

There were also quite a few instances where I would have to re-read several passages a couple of times, just to figure out what had really happened, what was I missing. I think in part this was because (or at least I really hope it was because of) it being an uncorrected proof. For example, at one point I was reading about DI Staffe interviewing one of the early suspects, Lesley Crawford, in her home, with her lawyer. Staffe’s mobile rings & he sees that it is Josie (one of the other police officers), who is calling to tell him that the victim of the crime has been taken into surgery 20 minutes ago. Staffe is clearly still at Crawford’s house, but then as if by magic, without a break in the book, he is standing outside the theatre watching the surgeons operate. I mean by that, that this happened all in the space of a sentence, and there was not the usual gap that appears on the page when there is going to be a change of scene, so that the reader doesn’t get confused. This happened a lot. All of a sudden in the span of a sentence the characters were in different locations, or were no longer even there (as in we had moved onto another situation with another character) & there was no break to differentiate the 2 different situations/scenarios, which made it all the harder to read.

All-in-all, I thought that this was a very bad example of what the crime genre has to offer & I struggle to understand how this piece of unbelievably bad writing has been published.

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LibraryThing Early Reviewers

I had the worst day ever at work on Friday – almost 2 hours locked behind the door of my office in floods of tears. Those of you who know me might have an idea of how hard it as has been – we have not had any stability at work pretty much since I started there & we have had a change of managers 6 times in 16 months…..too much change. Add on top of that the change of 2 operating systems, which I am in charge of & it has meant that since mid-December I have not done much of own my job. I am so behind that I can’t seem to see the forest for the trees (& I don’t really see an end coming any time soon!)

So, you may be wondering by now what this has to do with books & LibraryThing Early Reviewers…….

I came home from work on Friday totally deflated & hating the world & just about everybody in it, until I walked into my livingroom & there was a big white envelope from Faber & Faber – the publishers. Inside the envelope was this lovely looking book:

Which I have been lucky enough to be sent as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers!!! My OH is baffled about why I keep getting sent these books, but I think it is such a great thing! If you are unfamiliar with LibraryThing and/or the Early Reviewers, have a look here. LibraryThing is an online catalogue for your books, a great place to “talk” with like-minded book readers, learn about new authors & a great place to snag some free books to review!

Oh I love getting free books!! Must finish the other 2 books I have on the go & get this started & get it reviewed!

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