Nov 032015
 
Martin Reviews: Undermajordomo Minor

. A castle and the town under its shadow is the setting for Patrick deWitt’s latest novel, Undermajordomo Minor (Ecco, 2015). It is in this alpine landscape where Lucien Minor (Lucy), deWitt’s protagonist, is provided all the requisite tests of adulthood and where deWitt loots the motifs of the Romantic coming-of-age tale to produce a rollicking, modern work. We join the seventeen-year-old Lucy as he leaves home for his new job as an under-servant at the castle Von Aux. After an exchange of farewells with his mother, he sets off down the road and soon finds the opportunity to sit […]

Oct 262015
 
Review: Owl and the City of Angels

This book is all about adrenaline. It’s starts off with a bang which got my heart racing, and it didn’t stop until the end of the book. There is so much action and excitement, it felt like I should read faster and faster in order to match the pace of the story. Even with all this excitement, the characters and plot are well developed. I love all the various creatures that Owl interacts with. Her firm no supernatural rule really likes to slap her in the face, as her circle of friends and jobs keeps expanding into that territory. It’s […]

Oct 162015
 
Review: Stray Bullets

This was a straight forward police procedure combined with courtroom drama story. The biggest “twist” is that it is very Canadian. The story is set in Toronto, Ontario, with locals sure to recognize scenery. The story clears shows the way the Canadian law and court systems work, with their subtle differences from US systems. I loved the sense of familiarity this book had. I find court-based stories to be rather relaxing as there is a definite pattern and expectation to the plot. Reading them is like wearing comfortable pyjamas, and to experience that with a Canadian version makes them flannel […]

Oct 122015
 
Review: The Accidental Prophetess

This was a fun action story with a lot of humour. Natalie has quite the adventure with The Society kidnapping her on the belief that she is a mystical prophet. Natalie is ditzy and reminded me a lot of the Shopaholic series, and a little like Stephanie Plum. She doesn’t always think things through, and that leads to disasters that are really amusing to witness. She does have good supporting friends, which help keep the story from getting too ridiculous. Overall, this was a nice light-hearted read with some frivolous fun.

Aug 062015
 
Review: Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces

I will admit that after the disappointing last book, I was a little apprehensive about this installment of Kitty’s adventure, but it turned out great. This book saw the return of the upbeat, determined, and adventurous Kitty, the one who knows right from wrong, and wants to solve a mystery, in order to help solve an issue. I was pleasantly surprised that Charlie joined her on this adventure. It was nice to see a returning character, especially one so integral to the original adventure. Kitty and Charlie have a great sibling-like relationship, and it played out very well in the […]

Jul 072015
 
Review: Those Girls

These girls are seriously cursed. And this book is seriously awesome, in a totally scary, uncomfortable, left me bawling on the ferry in public, kind of way. Do I need to back up here a bit? No way. I read this as quick as I could because it was entirely captivating and thrilling, but I don’t really want to relive it. Why? Because those girls went through hell, and I have no wish to go through it with them again. If anything could go wrong, it did. Think of your worst nightmare, and then double it. *shudder* I’ll never look […]

May 042015
 
Review: The Innocent Mage

This was a very classic feeling epic fantasy with magic story. It was slow and long, but also very satisfying. The highlight of the book was the friendship between Gar and Asher. The majority of the first part of the story was the building and deepening of this relationship, and it was quite special to witness. The last part of the story is where the action really starts. It’s where the plots start to unfold and events start happening. It all happens very quickly, and the story ends on a cliffhanger. Oh, the dreaded cliffhanger. Usually I don’t enjoy them, […]

Mar 022015
 
Review: Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic

I am so disappointed with Kitty’s choices and actions in this book. Up until now, she’s been a great heroine and role model, but the choices she makes in this book left me quite disgusted. Breaking and entering and stealing are not good choices, and the way Kitty shrugged off her actions as justifable because the victim didn’t want to work with them? Morally reprehensible. Maybe it’s just the mom in me, but this installment in the series left me very unhappy. I just wanted to shake Kitty and make her see that what she was doing was just not […]

Dec 302014
 
Review: The Imperfectionists

This felt like it took a really long time to read. It was almost too literary feeling for me, but gave the right amount of random insight into people’s lives to keep me reading. It satisfied my inner nosy neighbour, although the overall feel of the story was almost pretentious. Each chapter gave a slice of life insight into someone connected to The Paper, with the occasional interlude reflecting back on the founder’s life. It took a few chapters for me to grasp the connections between the characters, as it was not apparent at first. Once I understood the flow […]

Dec 032014
 
Review: Allison's Brain

This was a really remarkable story of survival. I was quite impressed at how determined Allison was to recover, and how much her recovery seemed to be influenced by that determination. As an insider view of the Canadian health system, it was both eye opening, and slightly saddening. It was good to see the highlights, but it clearly shows that our healthcare could use some improvements. It’s not without flaws, even while being quite amazing. For instance, Allison has access to world class surgeons, but encountered several delays in obtaining an actual surgery date. The story is narrated by Allison’s […]