Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe #bookreview #YA #historicalfiction #fantasy

The only life Mae has ever known is on the island, living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the magic on the island and the spirits who inhabit it. Mae longs for magic of her own and to have a place among the Prosper family, where her best friend, Coco, will see her as an equal, and her crush, Miles, will finally see her. Now that she’s eighteen, Mae knows her time with the Prospers may soon come to an end.

But tonight is First Night, when the Prospers and their high-society friends return to the island to celebrate the night Lord Prosper first harnessed the island’s magic and started producing aether – a magical fuel source that has revolutionized the world. With everyone returning to the island, Mae finally has the chance to go after what she’s always wanted.

When the spirits start inexplicably dying, Mae starts to realize that things aren’t what they seem. And Ivo, the reclusive, mysterious heir to the Prosper magic, may hold all the answers – including a secret about Mae’s past that she doesn’t remember. As Mae and her friends begin to unravel the mysteries of the island, and the Prospers’ magic, Mae starts to question the truth of what her world was built on.

Forbidden magic, a family secret, and a night to reveal it all… 

Although this is about magic on an island, the cover gave me Great Gatsby vibes (one of my favs), and I enjoy reading about that time period.

I immediately was captivated by the lush imagery in this book and intrigued by the magic. The beauty of the island and its ocean views filled my mind, and I felt as if I was running along the cliffs with Mae. The spirits who reside there add to the atmosphere – until they begin to die. There’s also a huge buildup of anticipation to the family secret reveal – I imagined all sorts of things and came up with several theories.

After Mae’s father, a servant to the family, passes away when she’s a young girl, Lord Prosper promises to let her remain on the island until she’s grown. Her best friend is Coco, Lord Prosper’s granddaughter, and she dreams of marrying Miles, his grandson. She longs to learn magic, although it’s only taught to the heir – never any outsiders. Why Mae would want to join this family or be anywhere near them is beyond my understanding. There’s not one likeable person among the clan. They’re a manipulative, spoiled bunch, and all I can conclude is since she’s never been off the island and gotten to know other people, she just doesn’t know any better. Ivo has potential, but he doesn’t get a ton of page time, and he repeatedly warns Mae away from magic. Even Mae didn’t impress me very much. She comes across as materialistic, nosy (she’s big on eavesdropping), and dim-witted. Once she figures out the lay of the land and exactly what’s going on, she becomes more tolerable, and by the epilogue I liked her much better.

This is loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, but it’s been years since I read it so I can’t make any comparisons. Although I had mixed feelings about most of the story, the ending is perfect and exactly what I’d hoped. Overall, Bright Ruined Things is an enjoyable story, but you may struggle to find a worthy character to root for.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz #YA #historicalfiction #mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

A gothic tale full of mystery and romance about a willful female surgeon, a resurrection man who sells bodies for a living, and the buried secrets they must uncover together.

Edinburgh, 1817.

Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry.

Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die.

When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, the university will allow her to enroll. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books – she’ll need bodies to study, corpses to dissect.

Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living, then.

But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets. Hazel and Jack work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.

Gothic tale, willful female surgeon, a man who sells bodies, and Edinburgh 1817 – there’s just nothing bad here, folks. Everything about the description made me want to read this novel. And then there’s the cover – what a stunning work of art!

Hazel is a woman ahead of her time. Although from a wealthy family, she’s continually reminded by her mother that Hazel’s brother will inherit their estate, and she must marry her cousin to maintain her lifestyle. But that’s not important to her. Hazel is determined to become a female surgeon, which is unheard of in her time. Women can’t possibly comprehend the complexities of the human body. Dressed as a man, she attends classes and is an exemplary student, until being tosssed out after it’s discovered she’s the wrong gender. That’s only a minor inconvenience – she soon makes a deal with a renowned surgeon. If she passes the medical exam on her own, he’ll train her himself. You’ll immediately root for this strong-willed, intelligent girl.

To pass the exam, Hazel needs bodies to practice on, and it seems she’s destined to meet Resurrectionist Man Jack, who’s been unable to find honest work. When people begin disappearing off the street but then turn up alive with fewer body parts, Hazel and Jack have a mystery on their hands. The title may lead you to believe this is primarily a love story, but that’s not exactly true. Yes, there’s a romance, but it’s not at all the main focus of the story. I believe the title refers to Hazel’s love of anatomy over most anything else in her life.

The novel moves along at a brisk pace, but I was a little surprised at how quickly this standalone wraps up. Despite that, I thought the ending was perfect for these characters and the story setting. I haven’t read anything else by this author, but you can be certain I’ll be checking into her backlist. If you’re a fan of historical fiction and strong female protagonists, you can’t go wrong with this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith #bookreview #YA #historical #fantasy

The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.

In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.

Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.

Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined? 

The comparison to The Last Magician is what made me request this book from NetGalley, plus I seem to be on a witch reading binge this summer.

I don’t read a ton of historical fiction, but when I do this seems to be a popular time period for me. After her mother is taken to an insane asylum and her brother is murdered, Frances is on her own in NYC. After she’s attacked by her boss, who somehow winds up dead with her scissors in his neck, Frances learns she possesses magic. She’s taken to Haxahaven Academy, a school for witches disguised as a tuberculosis sanitarium. While she’s thrilled to learn more about her powers and meet more young girls like herself, she’d hoped to do more with her magic. Haxahaven teaches girls how to control their magic – a good thing – but to primarily use it to ease the burden of household chores – not so exciting. Frances isn’t having it, and she wants more. When her brother’s friend Finn reaches out (he’s a dreamwalker), he teaches her more about magic than she’s learned at Haxahaven. After more bodies of young men turn up, Frances is convinced their deaths are connected to her brother’s, and she and Finn find themselves in the midst of a mystery.

While I liked the 1911 setting, it really doesn’t play a large part in this story. Most scenes take place at the school, brotherhood, or in the forest. The magic system is interesting – males and females have different types of powers and abilities with varying degrees of talent. Frances’s popularity level waxed and waned on my scale. She has very little at the beginning of the story, and her situation is dire, but soon after arriving at the school and making new friends she thinks nothing of asking them to take risks for her without considering the consequences for them or herself. Needing to know the identity of the murderer kept me turning the pages, but I’d guessed who was involved pretty early. The last 20% of the book takes an unexpected direction – dark and kinda creepy to say the least – but fans of morally gray characters will probably cheer. Even with the different path, the ending was a whirlwind and felt rushed to me.

This novel has wonderful diversity and representation (especially with Lena and her backstory) and also deals with topics of feminism, racism, and sexual assault (trigger warning). I’m not sure if it’s a standalone, but the ending sure felt like a second book is in the works. It had some highs and lows for me, but if you’re looking for a witchy historical fantasy that leans more on the fantasy than the history, this is a book I’d recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke #bookreview #YA #mystery #historicalfiction #TuesdayBookBlog

MAY THE HAZEL BRING YOU WISDOM AND THE ASPEN GUIDE AND PROTECT YOU…

Samantha Knox put away her childish fantasies of archaeological adventure the day her father didn’t return home from the Great War, retreating to the safety of the antique bookshop where she works. But when a mysterious package arrives with a damaged diary inside, Sam’s peaceful life is obliterated. Ruthless men intent on reclaiming the diary are after Sam, setting her and her best friend, along with her childhood crush, on a high-stakes adventure that lands them in the green hills outside Dublin, Ireland. Here they discover an ancient order with a dark purpose – to perform an occult ritual that will raise the Specter Queen, the Celtic goddess of vengeance and death, to bring about a war unlike any the world has ever seen. To stop them, Sam must solve a deviously complex cipher – one that will lead her on a treasure hunt to discover the ancient relic at the heart of the ritual: a bowl carved from the tree of life. Will she find the bowl and stop the curse of the Specter Queen, or will the ancient order bring about the end of the world?

Indiana Jones gets a refresh with this female-driven mystery adventure, set in the 1920s, full of ciphers, ancient relics, and heart-stopping action – the first in a brand-new series! 

As an Indiana Jones fan, I was all in after reading this description. A 1920s setting, ciphers, ancient relics, and lots of action? Sold.

Sam Knox is my kind of people – she treasures books. In the bookstore where she’s employed, she repairs and catalogues them and speaks to them as if they’re people. She has an insatiable curiosity about the world she lives in and dreams of traveling beyond the small town where she resides. And she doesn’t have to wait long. One mysterious diary, a life-threatening bookshop fire, and a frantic rush to Chicago later, she soon finds herself on a ship to Ireland.

Intelligent, determined, loyal, and selfless, Sam is a relatable main character. Seeing her step outside the comfort zone of the bookshop was thrilling, and I enjoyed learning how her mind works while solving the puzzles and following clues. She’s certainly not afraid to take risks. Bennett shares her love of archeology, and the hints of romance between them are sweet – they’re like a double dose of cinnamon rolls. Jo adds some lighter moments to the story – she’s one crafty, resourceful girl and a force to be reckoned with. She also challenges her brother Bennett at every turn.

This is an enthralling mystery with high stakes and surprising turns that takes you on an action-packed adventure overseas on an ocean liner and across the rolling hills of Ireland With shades of Indiana Jones, The Mummy, and National Treasure, this is a novel I’d recommend to readers who enjoy puzzles and piecing together clues. I’m hoping the author has plans to make this into a series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Through The Nethergate by Roberta Eaton Cheadle #bookreview #YA #supernatural

Can one girl banish evil?

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

A clever melding of fiction and historical facts. 

I’m always up for a good ghost story, and I have to commend the author (or cover designer) for such an intriguing, foreboding cover. It does a wonderful job of setting the tone of the story.

My heart immediately went out to Margaret. She’s lost both parents in a tragic accident and has been taken away from her familiar environment to live with her grandfather in a haunted inn. Having second sight, she encounters several ghosts, and I enjoyed learning their backstories and how some of them came to linger at the inn. With several historical characters woven into the story (many of them spirits – good and evil), it’s clear the author did extensive research. I’ve read several YA horror/supernatural novels, but a character with the ability to bring ghosts trapped between heaven and hell back to life is new to me and adds a unique spin.

After Margaret is attacked and taken, and Lucifer shows up with plans to use Margaret’s gift for his own benefit, the story becomes a battle between good and evil. A lot is going on, and much responsibility falls on Margaret’s young shoulders. She’s thrust into some extreme situations, and some scenes may cause goosebumps (love it when that happens).

Although categorized as young adult, with the historical aspects and social commentary on several important issues, this novel would also be a crossover to adults. With a mix of supernatural, horror, paranormal, and history, Through the Nethergate will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

#BadMoonRising The Alexanders 1911-1920 Vol 1 by Allan Hudson #thriller #historicalfiction

Part of the fun of Bad Moon Rising is meeting new authors and learning about their books. Today’s author is making his debut with BMR. He writes crime fiction, thrillers, and has published a collection of short stories. The book that kept him awake was written by – you probably guessed it – Stephen King. Welcome Allan Hudson!

Has a movie or book scared you so much that you couldn‛t sleep? Which one?

I remember reading It by Stephen King. While it didn’t keep me up all night, it caused me to wake and feel like Pennywise the clown was watching me, as if he was in the room. It was the only book that really scared me.

Name three items you’d take to spend the night in a haunted house.

I would take a cross, a hunting knife and the most comfortable running shoes I own.

Would you rather put your hand in a box and feel something slimy or furry?

Definitely something furry, slimy is way too eerie. I could live with something furry and moving rather than something icky on my hand.

Do you write to music?

No, I don’t. When I write I need total silence. I find music too distracting. On the other hand if I am only doing research, I like having music in the background.

What was the hardest scene to write in your featured book?

When one of my major characters receives word that her brother died in Europe during the First World War, I wanted to write a scene where the family was at the funeral but with no body to say goodbye to. It was difficult to put myself in that situation as it has never happened to me or anyone I know.

What are you working on now?

I have two manuscripts on the go. The first is my follow up story of the original Det. Jo Naylor adventure. In the first – Shattered Figurine – she discovers crimes too close to home. After dealing with people searching for her and the aftermath of her father’s crimes, she flees Canada. In the second of the series she is on the run… but once a cop, always a cop.

I am 80% finished of the third Drake Alexander adventure. He and his team of vigilantes are on the hunt for two brothers that terrorized the French country side twenty years ago. They have very few clues to go with and as soon as they start looking, someone is hunting them.

In the turbulent waters off Saltcoats, Scotland, Danny Alexander dies in a boating accident. He leaves behind a wife, seven children and no hope. Dominic is the middle child. With a broken heart, his mother is forced to leave him with his bachelor uncle, Duff. None of them are happy with the decision.

Eleven-year-old Dominic Alexander must earn his keep. There are no free rides. Yet despite the difficulties, he finds his place in the structured world of his uncle and overcomes his loneliness.

Fortune and misfortune follow the young man until adversity forces him to make a decision that will affect the rest of his life. Is emigrating to Canada the answer?

Purchase Links

Amazon

Kobo

Author Bio

Allan Hudson was born in Saint John. Growing up in South Branch he was encouraged to read from an early age by his mother who was a school teacher. He lives in Cocagne with his wife Gloria.

He has published the Drake Alexander Adventure series. Dark Side of a Promise, Book one. Wall of War, book two. He has a collection of short stories – A Box of Memories. He also published, Shattered Figurine – a Det. Jo Naylor Adventure.

His newest work is an historical fiction of the Alexander family, originating in Govan, Scotland. The Alexanders. Vol. 1 1911 – 1920. It will be published in August, 2020

The second in the Jo Naylor series is ready for editing and will be published in late 2020 or early 2021. Also in the works is the third Drake Alexander Adventure.

His short story – The Ship Breakers – received honourable mention in the New Brunswick Writer’s Federation short story contest.

His short story – In the Abyss – also received Honourable Mention in the 2020 WFNB short story contest.

Other short stories have been published on commuterlit.com, The Golden Ratio and his blog – South Branch Scribbler. 

Social Media

http://www.southbranchscribbler.ca

Twitter – https://twitter.com/hudson_allan

Facebook author page – https://www.facebook.com/southbranchscribbler

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/allan-hudson-918751126/

Eventide by Sarah Goodman #bookreview #YA #historicalfiction #supernatural #TuesdayBookBlog

MADNESS, SECRETS, AND LIES

Wheeler, Arkansas, 1907

When their father descends into madness after the death of their mother, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves on an orphan train to rural Arkansas.

In Wheeler, eleven-year-old Lilah is quickly adopted, but seventeen-year-old Verity is not. Desperate to stay close to her sister, Verity indentures herself as a farmhand. But even charming farm boy Abel Atchley can’t completely distract her from the sense that something is not quite right in this little town. Strange local superstitions abound, especially about the eerie old well at the center of the forest. The woods play tricks, unleashing heavy fog and bone-chilling cold…and sometimes visions of things that aren’t there.

But for Verity, perhaps most unsettling of all is the revelation that her own parents have a scandalous history in this very town. And as she tries to unearth the past, sinister secrets come with it—secrets that someone will go to violent lengths to protect….

A haunting tale of long-buried secrets, small-town scandal, and single-minded vengeance by talented debut novelist Sarah Goodman.”

After reading some heavy fantasy books, I was in the mood for something different, and the atmospheric cover and intriguing description of Eventide immediately caught my attention.

With Verity and her sister arriving on an orphan train in Wheeler and then sent to different families, you immediately sympathize with them.  Small towns always seem to hold the biggest secrets, and this one is no exception.  With the locals warning Verity not to venture into the woods, it reminded me of the movie The Village, which excited my supernatural-loving soul.  From the first page, the author does a wonderful job establishing an atmospheric setting, and fans of this genre will be thrilled with several spine-tingling scenes.

The characters are all well-written, and Verity finds some very likeable, supportive friends, but I especially adored Big Tom and Hettie, the couple who take her in to work on their farm.  The found family dynamic between them is so heart-warming, and one of my favorite parts of the story.

All of the long-buried secrets and scandals are revealed by the end, but the author holds back just enough to keep the reader guessing until almost the last page.  With this book releasing in early October, it would be a perfect one to curl up with on a chilly autumn evening.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee #bookreview #YA #LGBT

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

I’ve had this book in my TBR for a while, and when I had to be in the car for an extended period, I took advantage of the audio book.  And I wonder why I waited so long to get to this fabulous novel.

Christian Coulson is an outstanding narrator and a perfect voice for Monty.  Monty himself is a mess – narcissistic, oblivious, and generally a danger to himself and others with his actions, but he does it in such a charming way, you can’t help but go along with him.  And Percy – such a sweet, gentle soul who deserves some sort of award for sticking by Monty for so long.  Their Grand Tour is one dangerous situation after another, mostly due to Monty’s poor decisions, but an exciting, nerve-wracking adventure for the reader.  He has so many quotable lines, I could fill a notebook with them.

This is an easy five stars for me, and I only regret it took me this long to read the novel.  If you’re a fan of historical fiction with a heavy dose of humor and adventure, and brash, self-destructive MCs with a good heart, here it is.  It’s a wildly entertaining ride.

 

The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray #bookreview #YA #historicalfiction #supernatural

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

I’ve had this book in my TBR for quite a while and even started it a couple of times, but then had to drop it for other reading commitments.  When it fit the monthly category for my book club last November, I vowed to finish it.

The hidden secrets and supernatural powers thrilled me, and there are some chilling moments that may cause you to look over your shoulder.  A whirlwind of energy, Evie is the driving force of the story and occasionally charges into situations before considering the consequences of her actions.  She can be a bit annoying at times, but her heart is usually in the right place.  There are numerous other characters, but Jericho is a standout for me.  He begins the story as a bland character taking up space, but the gradual reveal of his backstory is both riveting and heartbreaking.  The characters’ paths intersect over the course of the story – and no doubt they’ll find themselves together again in future novels.

I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but this is a highly atmospheric novel.  The author did an exquisite job with researching this time period from the language to the clothing styles, and I felt immersed in the 20’s.

At over 500 pages, this is a long read and the pacing wavers, but I definitely plan on continuing with this supernatural series.

 

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig #bookreview #YA #historicalfiction #adventure

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.

I was happy to read this for one of my book clubs.  It was on my list when first released, but I was never able to get around to it.

Mention time travel, and I’m immediately on board.  Throw in some sort-of-pirates?  Just icing on the cake.  The crew on this ship immediately won me over – especially Kash.  He may be a thief, but he’s also charming, clever, and the biggest highlight of the book for me.  I loved how the characters were just as comfortable in modern day New York City as in 1868 Honolulu, and had items like contemporary clothing and cell phones stashed below deck.  The complex relationship between Nix and her father is unusual and intriguing.  His obsession to find Nix’s mother is certainly understandable, but could also result in Nix disappearing – yet, she still helps her father search.

The story was moving right along for me and held my interest – until the crew arrived in Hawaii, and soon after the pace came to a grinding halt.  It picked up again after a while, but there was a definite lull that I skimmed through.  The introduction of a love triangle surprised me – it didn’t seem to fit in with the plot, and got in the way of the real story.

This was an interesting read, but a lengthy one at over 450 pages.  If you’re a fan of history, time travel, and love triangles, I’d recommend The Girl from Everywhere.