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Archive for the category “Jess Talks”

Jess Talks: Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley

I’d like to give a warm welcome to Jess, my good friend who’s just as big a book nut as I am! Today in Jess Talks, Jess gives us her thoughts on Queen of Kings, by Maria Dahvana Headley:

queen

History merged with magic is an intriguing idea, and that’s what Maria Headley sets out to do in Queen of Kings. The trick to this sort of story is how well you pull it off: is it realistic, despite the magic? Do the characters stand up? Is the narrative clear? Here’s what I thought of Headley’s execution:

It’s 30BC, and Octavian Caesar and his legions are determined to take Alexandria. Having always wanted Cleopatra for his own, Octavian devises a ruse that leads Cleopatra to believe her beloved Mark Antony has taken his own life. Driven to the brink of madness by Octavian’s deception, Cleopatra calls upon the god Sekhmet, seeking his aid in reclaiming her Kingdom, and returning Mark Antony.

Calling upon Gods is never free, however, as Cleopatra quickly discovers. Sekhment agrees to return Mark Antony: in exchange for Cleopatra’s own soul. Under Sekhmet’s influence, Cleopatra is transformed into a shape-shifting, blood-sucking immortal being with only one driving force: vengeance. Completely devoid of anything human or good, she will settle for nothing less than the complete destruction of Octavian, and the world he has taken for himself. Hell Hath No Fury Like A Cleopatra Scorned?

Jess Talks: Home Front by Kristin Hannah.

I’d like to give a warm welcome to Jess, my good friend who’s just as big a book nut as I am! Today in Jess Talks, Jess gives us her thoughts on Home Front, by Kristin Hannah:

home frontNormally I stay away from romance novels, but I really respect Kristin Hannah’s writing style. She doesn’t write cliché romance, instead taking her readers on a whirlpool ride of twists and turns.

In Home Front, Jolene Zarkades has spent the last twelve years of her marriage believing that a smile and a positive attitude will fix most problems. Her husband Michael is quite happy to let his wife take the lead in the marriage, parenting and social interactions whilst he throws himself into his work as a defence lawyer. The only sour issue in their relationship is Jolene’s job. See, Jolene flies helicopters for the Army National Guard, an occupation that neither Michael nor Jolene’s eldest daughter Betsy approve of.

When Jolene is suddenly drafted to Iraq for one year the problems in her marriage threaten to overflow. Michael is 100% anti-war and resents Jolene for leaving her family. Jolene can’t fix these problems regardless of how positive she tries to be. Instead she has to trust Michael to step up and be the father her two daughters need and deserve. Leading Each Other Out of the Dark:

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