Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fractured

Fractured. Rae Elliott. 2014/2015. Smashwords. ebook. [Source: Bought]

An android slave named Lough seeks to return to his previous life as a powerful human king.

But Lough begins to question that goal when what's left of his human heart is inspired by the royal family he serves. Lough is in awe of Queen Darphina, a selfless mother who would face death in order to protect her children. Lough befriends young prince Fenton, who seeks to liberate his oppressed people from the tyranny of his father, the King.

As Prince Fenton is about to come of age, the blood-thirsty and power-hungry king plots against his heir to the throne. But the queen overhears his plans. (Synopsis shortened. Full synopsis here.)

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Rating: 

When I bought this book off of Kindle, I was excited. It was the first Science Fantasy with an android in it I had yet to come across, and I was thrilled. And an android that used to be human? A corrupt human? How juicy is that?!

As a note: I classify this as a 'Science Fantasy' due to the fact that there are heavy science fiction elements in this story, yet it's set in a distinctly fantasy-like setting, with a monarchal government system and elements like poor citizens of the kingdom who use horses as a main mode of transportation.

In all honesty, the synopsis lead me to believe that Lough was going to be the main focus of the story, but it quickly became apparent that the attention was to be divided between Lough (whose name is pronounced like the word 'low' and does not rhyme with word 'bough' like I thought), the queen, and her children. Not that I minded, I was just caught off guard.

The only problems I had with the story was that it didn't feel like it focused on Lough desiring to be who he once was in the way that the synopsis lead me to believe. I thought he would dwell on the desire to be the powerful king he had been, despite the gaping holes in his memory, a lot longer than he had. And the only other thing that had me pursing my lips in a careful mix of uncertainty and doubt was the fact that the main inciting incident didn't seem to occur until halfway into the story.

I loved the world-building, though. That was my favourite part. I was immediately sucked in in the first chapter. I found myself falling into a world of fantasy that was delightfully free of any apparent magic - world of fantasy mixed with science fiction that successfully brought together my two favourite genres. There were elements of dystopia, because of how the king treated his people, but it distinctly didn't feel like a dystopia, for which I am glad - I don't like dystopia. There's only so much depressive themes in a story that I can take before I can't take it anymore.

I really loved this story and I'm so glad I chose to sit down and read it during my Christmas break. It's so refreshing to come across a story like this and not be bowled over by profanity and inappropriate scenes.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Agatha Christie. 1920. William Morrow Paperbacks. Pages: 230 (plus an extra scene). [Source: Bought]

Who poisoned wealthy Emily Inglethorp and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? Suspects abound in the quaint village of Styles St. Mary - from the heiress's fawning new husband to her two stepsons, her volatile housekeeper, and a pretty nurse who works in a hospital dispensary. Making his unforgettable debut, the brilliant Belgian detective is on the case.


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Rating: 

Although I finished this novel on New Years Eve, this review comes a couple days too late and doesn't count towards the Back to the Classics challenge I participated in last year. Unfortunately, I went to college, and the course load didn't let me pick it up other than to move it around my dorm room.

I have mixed feelings about this mystery, I guess I'm still getting used to Agatha Christie's style, but I found this mystery to be rather long-winded. I get that this was the first book of her Hercule Poirot series and that she was basically introducing her character in this book, but there were some things that irked me.

Silly me, I found myself introducing myself to Agatha Christie through the tenth book in her Hercule Poirot series, Murder On the Orient Express. So it came as quite a shock when I began to read The Mysterious Affair at Styles and I found the story had been written in first-person - since the other had been written in third. I guess this is what I disliked the most about this book, because I came in expecting to follow Poirot around and instead found myself following this guy around whose last name was not 'Poirot'.

All in all, I did enjoy this novel, even though the time it took for me to finish reading this (which was 4 months) made it feel like the mystery had stretched on forever. I enjoyed the mystery because you couldn't tell who was the murderer until the very end. And the true murderer of Emily Inglethorp came as quite the shock to me. I never saw it coming!

True to You: a book review

True to You. Becky Wade. 2017. Bethany House Publishers. Pages: 367. [Source: bought] Commanding voices and the clatter of a scuffle dre...