Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

From Goodreads:

The Invincible Ninth Roman Legion Marches from York to Fight The Northern Tribes. and then Vanishes from the Pages of History.

Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.

Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it—not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.

Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.

This book had some of my favorite elements, Archaeology, ancient history, a ghost, local folklore, I really enjoyed it. This is my first read by Kearsley though I have considered a few of them several times and I'm glad I finally tried one! I chose this book as one of my three for the My TBR meme because we're doing an animal challenge in my Goodreads group, so of course it fits with Horses in the title. What I thought was funny is that one of the other books I picked out, before I had ever read the backs of them, was The Eagle of the Ninth, which is about, you guessed it, the same missing legion they are hoping to find in The Shadowy Horses!  I'm definitely looking forward to reading that one as well later on and seeing this story from a different perspective, as it takes place very near the time of the disappearance rather than nearly 2,000 years later.

I enjoyed the character building and interaction, they are all very distinct in personality.  Robbie, Kip and the ghost, loved them!  Also the archaeology detail, which is general enough not to bog down someone not familiar with a dig, while still giving us a variety of different tasks that would take place, the mapping/surveying, cataloging and cleaning of finds, the sifting of dirt to find tiny items and pieces of pottery, etc.  We also get to see a little bit of life in the village, have some romance, and even fall victim to some sabotage!  

This was an atmospheric and interesting mystery.  I especially like a mystery that isn't about a current murder, so that was another point in it's favor.  I'm looking forward to more from this author!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

From Goodreads:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

The Raven Cycle was my first encounter with Maggie Stiefvater, and it made her an immediate favorite author.  She is talented in so many different ways, writing, art, music, cooking, she just constantly amazes me.

Going back to Shiver, which was not her first novel, but at least one of her earlier ones, I was interested to see how it compared to The Raven Boys, and while TRB is a much more complex story, there is plenty in Shiver to like.  I actually ended up listening to this one, and the voice for Grace just seemed too young to me, but then it's been quite awhile since I was that age.  Yes, it is an angsty teen werewolf story, there is romance, and friend troubles, but the main characters are well done, with back stories and family challenges that add depth to their story.  The method of becoming a werewolf is traditional, being bitten, but there's more.  Grace herself is an anomaly, having been bitten in her childhood, but never turned.  Turning isn't moon driven in this story, it's based on temperature, but they can still only hold it off for so long, and there comes a time when they may not turn back, so there is the tragic aspect of losing your humanity forever. While some revel in the wolf and never want to turn back, Sam wishes he could stay human, to be with Grace.

I can definitely see Maggie has matured and grown as a writer over time, but I feel like whatever she does, she adds a unique spin, and I'm looking forward to the rest of this series, and catching up on everything else she has done, and will do!  In fact, I had to pre-order  All the Crooked Saints because she was offering to draw doodles on a limited number and I couldn't resist! Here is artwork she made for the Raven Cycle books, along with music she wrote for The Raven King, which I believe they used in the audiobook:


I may just be a little bit of a Stiefvater fan girl. ;)

My TBR List Winner April 2017 - The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley



 And the winner is...


From Goodreads:

The Invincible Ninth Roman Legion Marches from York to Fight The Northern Tribes. and then Vanishes from the Pages of History.

Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.

Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it—not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.

Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.

There are so many of my interests packed into one book!  Scotland, Archaeology, Roman History, Ghosts!  I'm really looking forward to it, thanks for the pick everyone!



50% of the votes

33% of the votes

17% of the votes

Saturday, April 01, 2017

My TBR List April 2017 - Animals



Welcome to my April 2017 edition of My To Be Read List, hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. This is a monthly meme where we offer up 3 choices from our TBR pile for our readers to pick from to help us make the super hard decision of "what do I read next?" a little easier and to whittle away at the ever growing TBR Mountain! 

Theme: Animals -  Each of these has an animal in the title, and a mystery to be solved!  You may in fact notice that two of them appear to be about the same mystery, at different times, and I swear I didn't even notice that until I did this write up, I just picked them from my voluminous shelves because they had animals in the title, synopsis unread!

I still owe you last month's review as well, for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, coming soon!

The poll will stay open through Friday 4/7, and I'll update this post with the winning book on Saturday 4/8, then post a review on the last Saturday of the month, 4/29.

If you think this sounds fun and would like to join (the more the merrier, because we love voting!) please head on over to Because Reading where Michelle lays out the rules for us!

And the choices are...



Book Synopsis:

The Ninth Legion marching into the mists of Northern Britain -- and they were never seen again.  Four thousand men disappeared and their eagle standard was lost.  It's a mystery that's never been solved, until now...

Marcus has to find out what happened to his father, who led the legion.  So he sets out into the unknown, on a quest so dangerous that nobody expects him to return.
From Goodreads:

The Invincible Ninth Roman Legion Marches from York to Fight The Northern Tribes. and then Vanishes from the Pages of History.

Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.

Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it—not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.

Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.


From Goodreads:

Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes' pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test.


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