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  • Great Installment - spoilers!

    # What I liked

    The first thing I liked was that the characters weren't perfect. All of them had their flaws and I'm glad that Maas didn't write Mary Sues or Gary Stues. I hate characters that can do anything and have no problems at all in their life. Because that's not real and I'm honestly pleased that Sarah J. Maas didn't do that with her cast of characters. And as for the first two books, the world building finds its place again in the What I liked section. Rhysands Squad is really goals. All of them are so brilliant and hilarious. I couldn't get enough of these passages. I loved Nesta's character so much in ACOWAR especially her bickering with Cassian. I want more of them!!! Lucien is forgiven for his mistakes (I still hate Tamlin though) and I felt so bad for Elain during this book.

    I frickin loved the pairings and I'm so glad that nobody died for real. Or at least that those who died got resurrected. I don't know what I'd do if one of my faves would die. I want a happy ending for once in at least one of my favourite series! So please don't kill anyone! I also liked that Maas told us more about Morrigan's past. I really embraced her homosexuality.

    # What I disliked

    Absolutely nothing!

    Overall I really enjoyed reading this book even though ACOMAF was 100% the best book in this series. For now! I'm so excited to get my hands on the Novella when it comes out later this year. And I hope that we're going to get more books in the future about Prythian. And maybe with other main characters. As I think that Feyre's and Rhys's story is perfect right now. I recommend it if you don't mind the frequent sex scenes. This could possibly be a problem for some people but if you don't mind such scenes you should really read the third book in this series.

  • An emotive story

    This impressive debut novel is both absorbing and thought-provoking, with the complexity of family life and relationships, and the stress of uncertainty, being convincingly portrayed.

    The intriguing scenario, the discovery that parents have been raising children that are not their own, biologically speaking, is handled sensitively and realistically. We see the situation through the eyes of the various characters involved, learning about their motivations both in their own words and as viewed by others. This leaves readers to form their own opinions, likes and dislikes.

    We are left guessing up to the end how matters are likely to be resolved , and it is clear that, as in real life, there will be further challenges ahead.

  • Wordery books are a terrible provider. Late delivery no show delivery problems with refunds..absolute jokers avoid at all costs !

  • Excellent all-round guide

    I found this guide book readable for browsing through, interesting for background reading and informative when searching for something specific. It helped us to find a perfect restaurant for our Valentine's Day dinner and allowed us to watch craftsmen meticulously polishing diamonds and to learn about different cuts and qualities of this precious stone on a tour of Gassan Diamonds. Without 'The Rough Guide', we would have been unaware of this attraction which was just minutes from our hotel and provided a pleasant contrast to visiting the museums we had selected.

  • Generally disappointing but good on the Rijksmuseum

    I normally like 'Lonely Planet' guides but found this one quite lacking in detail. Admittedly, there are a lot of sights in Amsterdam, but even so 'The Rough Guide to Amsterdam' managed to give more depth. However I did find the section on the Rijksmuseum helpful. It points out that there are two rooms on the third floor where a small but interesting 20th century collection is displayed (a fact omitted from 'The Rough Guide') and alerted me to the value of the Rijksmuseum app.

  • Florida in Yorkshire

    This book wraps you in a big comforting hug and doesn't want to let you go. Written with warmth, humour and a good dose of reality the characters live and breathe beyond the page and you are left feeling that they are still scuttling around their renovated hotel long after your reading has finished.

    The tale swaps between Rosie's life in New York and her ambitions for her career until she meets Chuck. It then jumps forward to Scarborough and her job of the last 3 years managing a rather run down Victorian pile that has a combination of permanent residents and short term guests. Maybe that is why I enjoyed the book so much it reminded of me of holidays in the late 1970s to Scarborough for a week every year - in fact in my mind the hotel was The Grand perched perilously on the North Bay Cliffs (even though this hotel is closer to The Spa at the Southern end of the bay).

    The characterisation was wonderful and, no matter how minor to the story someone may be, everyone had a real sense of humanity about them and of complicated personality. I did find Rosie rather annoying much of the time and wanted to give her a good shake; how Rory put up with her subservience to the new bosses I really don't know. That said Rory comes across as a bit of a milquetoast despite his role as a freelance transition manager so that likely explains it.

    The plot unrolls at a pace which feels natural and never really gets bogged down in mundanities. Instead it inserts flashbacks so that when we rejoin our intrepid hotel family things have moved on by weeks or months. The descriptions of the execrable uniforms and decor imposed by the American overlords were genuinely funny - although, if you lived them I am sure they would make you weep. I was also a big fan of how long it took us to find out what had happened with Chuck that made Rosie run back home to Scarborough.

    I genuinely enjoyed the tale and felt it almost lived up to the Carlton Road books which I absolutely adored. If you enjoy this particular genre then this is the book for you - but don't take it on your commute, you will miss your stop!

  • Coming Of Age

    I wasn't exactly sure where this book was going at first. Was the mysterious Nathan Nephilim? Was he her Guardian Angel? It even crossed my mind that he might be a were-creature of some sort. Turns out neither of those was the right answer, but the reveal of what the 5% of him is that isn't human takes a while. When it comes it isn't particularly shocking but makes you wonder how you missed the clues - as they are there.

    The tale itself is well paced but the situations are a little fantastical. I was with the characters most of the way though and did find that I cared what happened to them. The only suspensions of disbelief were the car chase after the beach party and then the underground lair. They just felt bolted into the story somehow and didn't have near the flow of the hideout at the little cabin, almost as if the author was trying too hard to get action into the tale. It's not often I say this but maybe they should have been allowed a few more pages to develop instead of rushing into them.

    The characterisation is particularly good for Kris, Nathan and Alex but everyone else is a bit too one dimensional for my tastes. Although the character of Cassie, as the token full human, has promise to develop well in the further books in the series. The blending of mythology in to a modern fantasy works well and the author has managed to make it feel relatively realistic whilst giving the feeling of worlds along the one we trust to be true.

    All that said I didn't end the book wanting to rush and get the next in the series. Written well enough with a fairly strong plot it just didn't grab me enough to want to know how it all turns out.

  • Thorougly enjoyed it

    At first, although I was enjoying it, I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book. However as I continued reading I became more and more engrossed in the story, and it got to the point where I read half of the book in one sitting!

    I was pleased to see that my predictions about Judge Kettle were correct, and found myself becoming more and more invested in the lives of the characters! I was always thinking in the back of my mind as I read about Mabel and Harry, or Dylan, or Gertie, even during times when they weren't around in the story.

    The only reason I decided against giving it five stars is due to the emphasis on the cover about religion and sins. I felt that for a theme to be mentioned on the cover, it would need a bigger part in the story than it was in this one. Religion kind of popped back up from time to time but mostly took a backseat, and the time spent in the Convent honestly felt like such a small section of the book that I almost didn't see religion as a part of the main story at all.

    It felt like the story was a little rushed, as the time jumps that take place are considerable, an example being the character development of Dylan. He seems to go from one behavioural extreme to the other in an instant with not a lot of insight into how this progressed. This played a part in the story not feeling as though it had that traditional structure of working up to the main conflict, then dying down with the resolution before ending. New conflicts and issues kept popping up throughout, more than someone could realistically experience during the space of ten years or so, and I honestly felt like this couldn't be compared to someone's life, but more to a television show.

  • Fabulous!

    The thing with the "Bird Tribunal" by Agnes Ravatn is that it is so spellbinding and mesmerising you won't be able to put it down once you start reading, I couldn't and flew through the book in a couple of days.

    Hauntingly chilling, the smouldering intrigue that starts the book leaves you with no doubt that this story is going to leave a lasting impression and guarantees that you'll remember reading it.

    This brooding and character driven psychological thriller features only two characters, Aliss Hagtorn and Sigurd Bagge, who are eccentric and intriguing. The story is written uniquely and utterly distinctive but remains beautifully poetic and sophisticated with an enigma of escalating tension and suspense that silently wraps itself deep in your thoughts and doesn't let go.

    Allis leaves her life in the city, her husband and job, to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord to be a housekeeper/gardener. However, silent and brooding owner, Sigurd Bagge is not the old man she was expecting. As they await the arrival of his wife Nor from her travels, their relationship becomes obsessive, chilling and all consuming but with each hiding dark secrets, it soon becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough.

    I constantly felt my senses on guard in anticipation of something happening and at times never realised I was holding my breath. I truly LOVED this book and cannot sing it's praises enough!

    "The Bird Tribunal" is an excellent literary example of Nordic Noir and has been impressively translated by Rosie Hedger. Although quite a quick read this breathtakingly atmospheric slow burner still packs a chilling punch that will leave you very much deep in thought.

    Can only be a fabulous 5 stars!!!