Rage against the machine?

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The Reader on the 6.27  Jean-Paul Didierlaurent translated by Ros Schwartz

As he commutes to work, Guylain Vignolles reads book extracts to his fellow commuters.  We soon learn that this is a an act of rebellion perhaps even a tad anarchic.  Guylain is in fact rescuing these extracts from the paper-recycling machine his job has him feeding.

There will be many who will see Guylain as some kind of proletarian hero, raging against the machine.  Personally, I found that aspect of his character more quirky than heroic.  What was heroic was his support for his friend and predecessor of the machine.  His ingenious way of supporting his friend touched my heart completely.

I wonder if the author wants readers to rage against the destruction of books.  My kindle so dominates my reading that I just don’t feel strongly enough about ordinary paperbacks to care.  After all surely recycling is a good thing?!  And the descriptions of the beast of a machine are fab.  Hopefully that view doesn’t negate the love of books and literature that is tightly woven throughout the story.  There’s a fundamental message about how books and literature can help you cope with something ugly in your life.  Shades of Neil Gaiman I think!

This is a heart warming and uplifting read about a cast of misfits brought together through a love of the written word. Yes, the characters are quirky and mostly society misfits but they are also believable and real.  It’s a very short but powerful read, beautifully translated – it should have you questioning the nature of work.  The reflections on the working poor are so apt for our current social discourse.

And I loved the ending. Overall sweet but with a touch of sass!

T-Rex v Abe

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Rock Wedding Nalini Singh

First up I have to admit it – I’m totally a Gabe/T-Rex fan.  I’m smitten, after all handsome, billionaire ex-rugby players with that Kiwi thing going on are hard to beat. So for me Rock Hard is the stand out book in this terrific series.

But Abe Bellamy gives T-Rex a serious run for his money. And some serious money they both have!

This is a second chance romance which they both really needed.  A lot of hurt and pain has happened, both to them as a couple and as individuals. I wasn’t sure I could get over some of it and see them back together. In fact, I wasn’t too sure they were right for each other.

I was wrong they’re perfect together. The journey back from where they were to where they needed to be was perfect in its simplicity.  And of course it would be, this is a Nalini Singh. The diva of romance never disappoints, even whilst she walks to the beat of her own drum!  This is one author that never does quite what you expect or want, but delivers so much more!

Abe’s journey is painful, but it’s Sarah’s very real pain that gives the story it’s soul.

Warning this book contains more than one wedding.  I love a good wedding, shoes, handbags, dresses, veils and confetti not to mention the groomsmen! So, I loved the weddings, but maybe that will be a little too neat for some.

 

thankyou to netgalley for an arc in return for an honest review.

 

Genetic love

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A Thousand Small Explosions John Marrs out July 15th

Emotive, imaginative and with a heathy dose of morality, that pretty much sums up the premise of John Marrs’ third book.  Add in Mr Marrs’ trademark ability to turn multiple characters and storylines into a gripping tale and you have an absolutely brilliant book.

Clearly, the author is a fan of the slow burn. He lets the characters seep into your consciousness and before you know it, you’re lost to a can’t put it down book!  And I do mean can’t put it down!

So, the question is if you could take a simple DNA test to find your perfect match, your true soul mate, would you?  If you were happily married would you take the risk?  Once you take the test are you forever sitting and waiting for your DNA match? What if you’ve no interest in taking the test, are you robbing someone of their match?  What if yours is a same sex match, are you gay and not aware? Oh, the permeations are endless.

Yes, there’s a bit of a sci-fi dystopian feel, but it’s the powerful exploration of human nature that makes this book. Who knew that a DNA matched pair would have such social cache?  Equally, how can social prejudice exist if your match is just as likely to be a black man when you expected a white woman? Interesting isn’t it?

I loved how the author combined the minutiae of the human drama with the big story that hurtles towards you at light speed.  The combination of light and dark, soft and harsh had me gasping.

The only downside of this book is that for whatever reason John Marrs remains an independent author, so you’ll only hear about it via word of mouth or social media. So, if you’re now a fan it’s down to you to spread the message!

 

Thank you to the author and TBConFB (probably the world’s best book club) for an ARC, in return for an honest review.

Brave new world

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Allegiance of Honour Nalini Singh psy changeling series #15

Truth be told, I knew I would love this book before it even appeared on my kindle (two days after the rest of the world!). After all the pupcubs finally appear, and Ms Singh had promised updates on favourite characters.

And love it I absolutely did.

With this book the author starts a new story arc, I just have to marvel for a moment at both her skill and bravery in doing so.  This book is so different from Ms Singh’s usual classy fare that she did risk fans not going with it. Yet, by combining glimpses of much loved characters and a new challenging story line that will move on from these favourites, she’s managed to extend the shelf life of an absolute gem long before it needed an update.  Many of her PNR peers could learn a lesson or two.

So, three aspects stood out for me. Firstly, and this maybe fresh in my mind with the recent Brexit campaign debacle, Ms Singh shows us the strength in genetic diversity and how isolationist tendencies create inherent weaknesses. Strength comes from tolerance and learning to appreciate others’ strengths. Absolutely the message of our age.

Secondly, let’s hear it for the girls!  Each psy changeling book has featured the story of an alpha male finding his mate. These are never silly dim girls, but it’s always been the men who’ve been front and centre. Not this time, damn these girls rock!  They may not all have Mercy’s dominant personality but the tone is set by the women. And you’ve gotta love that the men know it!

Lastly, I loved the author’s concept of family. Or the bonds that can connect people who aren’t always family.  Kaleb’s realisation that he’s acquiring ‘people’ and Judd’s reply had me laughing and tearing,  and then examining my own familial bonds. It’s just gorgeous when an author has you looking deep inside yourself.

The psy changeling world now has a fantastic new future, waiting for the next book will be a killer.  Thank you Nalini, just don’t make us wait those extra two days, please!!