Friday, 16 October 2015

Mini Reviews: Historical Fiction

As I have been unwell the past two weeks I haven't been feeling as up to writing full reviews as I would have liked. There have been a few books that I would have liked to review but didn't feel able to so I thought I'd do bite-size reviews of them now!


Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties, #2)Grave Phantoms (Roaring Twenties, #3)
Grim Shadows/Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett: (3.5 stars) I really enjoyed both of these! This series as a whole is so fun and I love the supernatural element. The romance is the real strong-point of this series and that stayed true here. Each book follows a different couple and all of the characters were very different and I loved their interactions with each other. I would say that in these two the mystery/supernatural element was not as strong as it had been in the first book. In Grave Phantoms especially I thought more could have been done to integrate the mystery into the plot because it almost felt like two separate stories. However I found these to be a quick fun read and I definitely recommend them.
The Haunting of Maddy ClareAn Inquiry Into Love and DeathSilence for the Dead
The Haunting of Maddy Clare/An Inquiry into Love and Death/Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James: (5 stars) I do have a full review up for The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James which I loved. But I just read her other three books; The Haunting of Maddy Clare, An Inquiry into Love and Death and Silence for the Dead and I adored all three. 
They were all excessively creepy, way more in my opinion than The Other Side of Midnight was. I stayed up all night reading The Haunting and An Inquiry and then having read a little of Silence for the Dead I found myself constantly thinking about it all day, desperate to get an opportunity to get back to reading it. Ghosts are the only supernatural thing that really scares me in books (I mean who finds zombies scary really?) and these were among the scariest there was lots of being afraid to turn around and essentially if you do read these I strongly advise against following my example and reading them at night. I had to get up to get a drink at one point and I nearly turned on every light in the house. As it was I ran.
I really love the characters in her books, they manage to stay true to the times without being difficult to relate to for me in the 21st Century. Her heroes are always fascinating and always different. With the exception of them all having been soldiers, which is to be expected given they are set in the 1920's. I definitely recommend all of her books.
Mist of Midnight (Daughters of Hampshire, #1)
Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd: (2.5 stars) I thought the historical element of this book was fairly well done and I liked the setting of the book. However I didn't really like the main character. She acted very unrealistically in my opinion and never seemed to get passionate about anything. Someone stole her identity and every single person around her is being horrible to her and she just casually roams about like it doesn't even matter. Maybe this could be seen as admirable but honestly it just frustrated me. The hero was really bland, I was expected to wonder if he could be up to no good but mostly I just barely noticed when he was around and the two of them together had absolutely no chemistry.
I was really disappointed in this one because the blurb made me think it would be a bit of a mix between Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier both of which I love, and in the end it just really wasn't as tense as it could have been which is a shame.
Death In Kashmir
Death in Kashmir by M.M. Kaye: (4 stars) This reminded me a little bit of Mary Stewart's books. I love mysteries set in this time period because every character is so British and unruffled. People try to kill them and they sit around smoking cigarettes and discussing it ever so calmly. Even the romance was all precise and calmly passionate. Which makes no sense but I can't really describe it! Basically I really enjoyed this and I look forward to getting my hands on the rest of her Death in... series.
The Hanged Man (Her Majesty's Psychic Service, #1)
The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod: (3.5 stars) Technically not Historical fiction since it takes place in an alternate history. I really liked the changes Elrod made to the past, I kind of wish this was our genuine history but unfortunately not. Alex was a great character and I liked the side characters a lot, especially James. There wasn't as much creepiness as I expected, pretty much none actually although there was quite a bit of supernatural stuff going on. The romance was pretty much nonexistent although I did like it, I will definitely be continuing the series when the next book comes out.



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