Category Archives: Becks’ Reviews

Review: Penelope: A Madcap Regency Romance by Anya Wylde

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Penelope: A Madcap Regency Romance3.5 Stars

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this one going in, but I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the story much more than I thought that I would, especially considering that, despite what MrsJ claims, I am not really a romance reader. Occasionally I’ll dip a toe into romance, but it’s not really my genre of choice.

So, I actually liked this. It was a bit over the top, and in the middle I started feeling like it was getting repetitive with the antics and mishaps, but, thankfully, the book overheard me, and moved along.

I thought that the characters were fleshed out pretty well, and I liked seeing things from both Penelope’s and Charles’ perspectives. I particularly enjoyed Madame Bellafraunde. She reminded me quite a lot of Lord Akeldama from the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger… Only, you know, not vampiric. Apparently I find Fashionistas in Regency fiction appealing, despite being abysmally fashion-backwards myself.

I enjoyed the progression of the story, though the ending felt a little rushed. But I thought that the tension was done well, and that the little chips in Charles’ ice-facade were well-placed and mostly well-timed. His situation, with Lydia, was a little coincidental, but of course it had to be something. I did think that his history though was a little much. It’s a little much to believe that Charles would have fallen so many times for so many different women, all of whom would try the exact same snare tactic in such a short period of time. I think it would have really only needed one to put Charles’ guard up, not 3 or 4 or… however many there really were.

I also noticed several typos and misused words in the text. For instance, “bucked” was used instead of “bucket”, “peak” instead of “peek”, and “breath” instead of “breathe”. “Of” and “off” were mixed up more than once as well. I noticed that the frequency of typos increased the further along in the story I got – the beginning was quite clean and well edited.

Overall, this was a fun read, and I enjoyed it. I’d recommend it to fans of Regency romance easily.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-book copy of this book for review from the author.

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Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Standards…

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RapunzelPhotobucket
This is the second retelling of Rapunzel I’ve read, and unfortunately, I just felt that it did not do the story justice. This is a dark story – an evil witch, or in this case an evil sorceress, steals a baby, and locks her in a tower cut off from the world. When she chances to find happiness anyway, that is snatched away as well… and then only by luck is there a happy ending. For all its darkness though, this story read like a Wikipedia summary. There was no feeling of danger, or fear, and the “terrifying” evil sorceress was about as scary as vanilla ice cream. I don’t think even children in the age group this is aimed at would find her scary if this was read to them… probably only if they saw her picture.

I did find it terrifying in a different, disturbing way, though. The story, being rewritten for such a young audience (ages 4-7), feels like all of the substance of the story was removed. There’s no personality. The evil sorceress is just the ugly lady who stole a baby and locked her away in a tower to punish her parents for petty theft. Rapunzel has no personality at all, is barely even a character in the story, despite being the TITLE character. She has one line, and that’s it. But she’s described as being the most beautiful girl under the sun, so who needs personality when you have your looks? They’re the only thing of value a girl has anyway, right fashion industry?

Not only is that message incredibly disturbing, but after Rapunzel is cast out, and her beloved falls from the tower and is blinded, and then Rapunzel and the prince meet again for their Happy Ever After, we hear no more about the evil sorceress… does she live, die, stay in the tower in Rapunzel’s place as other versions suggest? Is there NO punishment for the stealing and imprisonment of a child? Are children just supposed to think this is OK?

I know that this is a fairytale, but this is also a retelling aimed at young, impressionable children. And this one was very disappointing. The more I think about it, the less I like it.

The only things I DID like about this were 1)the choice to place the story in an African village setting, rather than having yet another beautiful, blonde haired white girl as the main character; and 2) the collage style artwork, which I thought was great.

So two generously given stars for this blase retelling.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenPhotobucket
This book was nothing at all like I expected it to be. I’ll admit that I thought it was going to be a kind of ‘carnival-freak’ book, where all the weirdness is exploited and glamorized into something sexy and cool, but it wasn’t like that at all. And I’m very glad that it wasn’t.

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Review: The God Killers by David Simpson

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The God KillersPhotobucket

I was asked to review this book, and I agreed, thinking that it was an interesting premise. And it DOES have an interesting premise, one that I was very curious about, but anything interesting about it was buried under the writing. This book is in desperate need of an editor. I think that with a good editor, this book could be quite good, but as it is, it was just… not. I tried, but I just could not finish this book. I could barely make it the 30% I read. And that was a struggle.

I don’t think I’m an overly critical reader… But I do have certain expectations…
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Lie to me, Locke Lamora! (A Review)

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The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, #1)Photobucket

4.5 Stars

If books were boys, with the exception of two really awesome but short flings, my relationships in 2012 would be stuck firmly in the dreaded friend-zone.

But this book, this book took me by surprise…For about 200 pages, I thought this was another book for the friend-zone. It was good, smart and funny, but it didn’t really hook me until almost the mid-point. After that, I couldn’t get enough. After that, when everything started to come together, I realized how masterful this book is, and how it snared me without my even realizing it. I kept coming back for more because I just needed to know what would come next. If books were boys, this one would be my boyfriend.

Well… for a while, anyway. 😉
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Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner [Maze Runner#3] (In which I use lots of foul language to rant about this series “conclusion”…)

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The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)Photobucket

*Sigh*

This was such a disappointment. It pains me to say that. It really, really does, because I loved the first two books, and thought that this series had huge potential. I was so excited to read this book, to find out what was going on… And then this? This is just… it?

So. Frustrating.

I just don’t even know where to start. I thought that the concept of this series was fascinating. The mysteriousness, the everyone starts at One and figures it out as we go thing was great – I loved it, although I am sure many others didn’t. The action, the confusion, the mistrust… all of that was great in the first two books, which had me chomping at the bit for the conclusion.
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