Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, March 1, 2024

Book: The City of Mirrors

 Book: The City of Mirrors

Author: Justin Cronin

Pages: 624

This is my 42nd read for the year

In the last book of the Passage trilogy, we open with The Twelve being destroyed.  But The Zero still remains.  Amy has left the walled city to hunt for him knowing that until he is destroyed, humans will never be at peace.  Zero waits for Amy - knowing she will come and try to kill him.  But while he waits, he starts to raise an army against her. 

However - 20 years pass and the humans have not seen virals for many years.  They have opened the gates to the walled cities and started to branch out into the country.  Just as they start to breathe, people and animals start to disappear.  The folks who were there when The Twelve were at their peak know what is coming and they are woefully unprepared.

This was a fantastic book.  I have really enjoyed this trilogy.  The writing was fantastic and the story just draws you in.  This story was a back track to when The Zero was human and his life story and how he became who he was.  It kept me page turning late into the night and it was probably my favorite part of this book.  I did have to subtract a half a star because of two reasons.  1) there was a little too much "sweetness" in this book compared to the others.  A few too many things working out and flowery language that didn't really fit.  My assumption is how much Cronin loves these characters and if there was a death of a character he probably felt it personally.  2) The ending - not my favorite.  I LOVED that it went far into the future and kind of wrapped up how the book starts (which is from reading notebooks from the past) but he introduced a few new characters that just through it off for me.

Overall - excellent book and excellent series.  Well worth the read.

Stars: 4.5

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Book: The Scarlet Pimpernel

 Book: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Author: Baroness Orczy

Pages: 330

This is my 41st read for the year

This is the story of Marguerite Blakeney and trying to figure out who is the daring Scarlet Pimpernel that is rescuing French aristocrats from being hanged.  He gets them out of France and into England safely.  Marguerite is approached by Chauvelin who is trying to capture the Scarlet Pimpernel and bring him to justice.  Chauvelin promises her that no harm with come to her brother - who has been sentenced to die in France - if she helps him.  She agrees until she finds out the true identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel.  Then it is a race to see if Marguerite can save him and her brother in time.

This was a pretty good book.  It isn't a hard read, and the reader can probably figure out who the Scarlet Pimpernel is pretty early in the book (before Marguerite does).  However - if you go on Amazon you will know before you even read the book, so you are warned.  The writing is not bad but the ending could have been better.  

Stars: 3

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Book: The Twelve

 Book: The Twelve

Author: Justin Cronin

Pages: 608

This is my 40th read for the year

This is the second book in the Passage Trilogy.  The story opens in the past when the infection was just starting to spread.  Lila, a doctor, has seen something horrible at the hospital and now has locked herself in her house, refusing to believe what is happening outside her walls and going about her life as nothing has changed.  As other survivors find each other and start to trek to safety, they all hope that whatever is happening is over quick.

Years in the future (and 5 years after the timeline of book one), we meet our crew from the first group struggling to hold things together.  Amy is on her own mission.  The crew are mourning the loss of some of their own. Amy is changing, even though at 103 years old and one of the original 12, she shouldn't be.  She has powers that come in handy.  The other virals are discovering that they can die if they cannot feed, an so the original 12 make a plan for world domination and control their numbers.  Meanwhile the insurgents have infiltrated a prison that has been built by the 12 and have plans to pic them off one by one.

This was a great book. I think I liked it even better than the first.  I really liked that Cronin backtracked in the beginning of this book to the beginning of the infection and told the story from other points of view.  I like how he used that as kind of a "recap" but also a prelude of what was to come with some of those characters in the "here and now" of the characters we became aquainted with in book one.  He is a superb writer.  This is a slow burning story, but like The Stand it has the perfect pace.  He doesn't have a ton of characters so we get in be heavily involved in their lives in these books which makes it wonderful.

Great series.  Cannot wait to read the third and see how he finishes the story.

Stars: 5

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Book: Loki

 Book: Loki

Author: Melvin Burgess

Pages: 272

This is my 39th read for the year

I am borrowing from Amazon for the synopsis (I am on vacation and don't want to paraphrase)
"Starting with the Norse creation myths, the trickster god Loki takes the reader on a wild ride through Norse mythology, from the era when the gods—the founders of Asgard—defeated a race of monsters, and then hurtles through legendary stories, including Odin hanging himself on the World Tree, the theft of the corrupting gold ring, and the murder of Baldr, the god of love and the sun.

Born within the heart of a fire in the hollow of a tree-trunk, Loki arrives in Asgard as an outsider. He is a trickster, an unreliable narrator, the god of intelligence and politics. In spite of his cleverness and sparkling wit (or, perhaps, because of this), Loki struggles to find his place among the old patriarchal gods of supernatural power and is constantly at odds with the god of thunder—Thor.

Alongside the politics of Asgard, the novel charts the course of Loki's many loves and families, from his mothering of Odin's famous horse to his intense, turbulent, and, eventually fatal relationship with Baldr the Beautiful—a tender and moving story of a love that goes wrong.

This is a retelling that is contemporary in tone, at once amusing and relatable. It is a heartfelt plea to overthrow the old gods of power and authority and instigate a new era ruled by love and intelligence"

My husband got me this book for my birthday.  I do love Norse Mythology, and I was interested in the story of Loki.  There are so many twist in turns in myths, and with this world, and I thought the author did a nice job with Loki's story.  I have read about him and Thor in the past, but this Loki view book was interesting.  The story is short and doesn't get into the weeds like Norse Mythology can do with all of its "cast of characters" which I appreciated.  Fun read.

Stars: 4

Book: I Feel Bad About My Neck

 Book: I Feel Bad About About My Neck

Author: Nora Ephron

Pages: 137

This is my 38th read for the year

This is Nora's own story.  She uses humor to talk about purses, cooking, books, and of course - her neck.  In her 60s at the time of her writing this book, she talks about what it is like to be an older woman.

I read this book for a challenge and it was so fun.  Ephron was quirky and funny and I enjoyed this novella very much.  She discussed her time in New York, her three marriages, and raising kids in the city.   I am glad I read it.

Stars: 4

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Book: Swamp Story

 Book: Swamp Story

Author: Dave Barry

Pages: 306

This is my 37th read for the year

This is the story of a rag tag gang in Florida.  Jessie - the only level headed one of the group - is stuck with her baby and her boyfriend who is a wanna be reality star.  Jessie left her family for her boyfriend and he squandered her trust fund.  Broke and desperate, she finds some gold on a walk and now is wondering if it is her ticket out of town.  

There is also Ken Bortle and his brother Ben.  Ken has big dreams to make money for their soon to be closed store by making up a Everglades Melon Monster to rake in some money and some fame.  What happens is beyond anyone mixesd up in this sceme dreams of.  Nothing goes the way they planned, but as Dave Barry always says "This is, afterall, Florida"

This waa silly book.  I always enjoy Dave Barry's books - they are hysterical and after living in Florida myself - "so Florida".  It is a well written, quick easy read that I am glad I read.

Stars: 4

Book: Ethan Frome

 Book: Ethan Frome

Author: Edith Wharton

Pages: 77

This is my 36th read for the year

This is the story of Ethan Frome  A poor farmer who lives with his ailing wife in New England.  When his wife, Zeena's, family member Mattie comes to live with them, Ethan starts to fall for her.  Ethan knows he is in a loveless marriage to a wife 7 years older than he is and he wants more.  Whtn Zeena's realizes that Ethan has feelings from Mattie, she makes arrangements to have her sent away and another servant brought to the house to care for her.  When tragedy strikes, Ethan spends the rest of his life paying for it.

This was a great book.  I have actually visited Edith Wharton's home here in Massachusetts and learned of her history.  This apparently is her most famous book, so when it showed up on the Rory Reading Challenge, I was happy to give it a read.  This is a novella and a quick read, but very well written.  The story of Ethan and his terrible wife (who you will love to hate) keeps you enthralled in the story to the very end.  I am anxious to read a few more of her works.

Stars: 4.5