Reviews and Comments

Annie the Book

AnnieTheBook@bookwyrm.social

Joined 1 year, 5 months ago

Librarian, velocireader, word nerd.

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Ashoke Mukhopadhyay: A Ballad of Remittent Fever (EBook, 2020, Aleph Book Company) 4 stars

In the early years of the twentieth century, Calcutta is grappling with deadly diseases such …

A Ballad of Remittent Fever, by Ashoke Mukhopadhyay

4 stars

Ashoke Mukhopadhyay’s A Ballad of Remittent Fever is a remarkable book that manages the difficult task of balancing engaging characters with entertaining plots and fascinating, important questions that are impossible to answer. The braided plots tell the tales of three revolutionary men, all doctors and all members of the Ghoshal family, from the late 1800s through to the 1960s. It’s a marvel how Mukhopadhyay’s book manages to contain all this in a little over 300 pages. This book is beautifully translated by Arunanva Sinha, who knows just went to leave a word or two untranslated...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

Joseph Kanon: Shanghai (2024, Scribner) 3 stars

In this dazzling thriller, New York Times bestselling author Joseph Kanon gives us his richest …

Shanghai, by Joseph Kanon

3 stars

Daniel Lohr is a cautious man for three reasons. First, his criminal uncle taught him how to watch his own back. Second, he’s a communist. Third, he’s a Jew and it’s 1938. As Joseph Kanon’s new novel Shanghai opens, Daniel is about to board a ship for the only foreign port that doesn’t require an entry visa and is one of the only places European Jews can find refuge. And he doesn’t know it yet, but Daniel is going to need every skill and trick he ever learned...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

Avik Jain Chatlani: This Country Is No Longer Yours (2024, Doubleday Canada) 1 star

In Avik Jain Chatlani's This Country Is No Longer Yours , a chorus of disparate …

This Country is No Longer Yours, by Avik Jain Chatlani

1 star

In 1980, the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) went to war in Peru. For almost twenty years, Senderistas terrorized anyone who didn’t follow their radical version of communism: urban and rural, rich and poor. Avik Jain Chatlani’s disturbing novel-in-stories, This Country is No Longer Yours, gives us a sense of what living in Peru might have been like in the last decades of the twentieth century. Chatlani shows us revolutionaries, reactionaries, survivors, and victims. Most of all, Chatlani shows us a country in turmoil with itself...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

Jacqueline Winspear: White Lady (2023, HarperCollins Publishers, Harper) 2 stars

The White Lady, by Jacqueline Winspear

2 stars

Linni de Witt is supposed to be retired. She’s definitely earned it, since she worked for the British government during the first and second world wars. And she would be quietly living in her grace-and-favor house in the countryside if people from London hadn’t bothered her new friends, Jim and Rosie Mackie. In The White Lady, Jacqueline Winspear’s protagonist shakes off the (very faint) dust of inactivity to protect the Mackies from the clutches of his criminal family. Alongside this caper, Winspear takes us to Linni’s war years, slowly revealing what drives her strongly protective instincts...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

Nina St. Pierre: Love Is a Burning Thing (2024, Penguin Publishing Group) 4 stars

Ten years before Nina St. Pierre was born, her mother attempted suicide by lighting herself …

Love is a Burning Thing, by Nina St. Pierre

4 stars

The way we grow up sets our definitions of what “normal” is. Childhood prepares us for the way we interpret and react to the world around us: with fear, with enthusiasm, with curiosity, with anger, etc. In Love is a Burning Thing, Nina St. Pierre takes us into a childhood where constant motion was normal, with a mother who saw plots and divinity everywhere, when a young girl had to be the parent as often as not. St. Pierre’s long look back is full of questions about mental illness, faith, responsibility, and (maybe) forgiveness...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

Rachel Harrison: Black Sheep (EBook, 2023, Penguin Publishing Group) 3 stars

Black Sheep, by Rachel Harrison

3 stars

There’s a floating aphorism about everyone fighting a battle we know nothing about. This has never been more true in the case of Vesper Wright, the protagonist of Rachel Harrison’s hair-raising novel, Black Sheep. Four years before we meet her, Vesper left her family, friends, and community to scrape together an independent life as a waitress at a TGIF clone of a restaurant...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

Anna Noyes: Blue Maiden (2024, Atlantic Books, Limited) 2 stars

From the author of Indie Next Pick and New York Times Editor’s Choice Goodnight, Beautiful …

The Blue Maiden, by Anna Noyes

2 stars

Anna Noyes’s The Blue Maiden is a strange book, about a strange pair of sisters. Before we meet the Silasdottir sisters, Noyes shows us the darkest chapter in the history of Berggrund Island. In 1675, a priest manufactured a witch hunt, leading to the death of dozens of women. One of the few survivors only avoided being murdered because she was pregnant. Her descendant is Silas, the father of Ulrika and Beata Silasdottir...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

John Connolly: Instruments of Darkness (2024, Hodder & Stoughton) 3 stars

From the international and instant New York Times bestselling author John Connolly, the beloved and …

The Instruments of Darkness, by John Connolly

3 stars

Charlie Parker returns in The Instruments of Darkness, by John Connolly, the twenty-first book in the series. Parker has been bruised and battered by his work as a private investigator, but he can’t stop when there’s a chance that he can take a measure of evil out of the world. Evil is absolutely real for Parker. He can sense the presence of supernatural evil when it begins to infect our world. It’s a wonder Parker can still joke. This entry in the series sees Parker taking on two evils: a child murderer and a pack of neo-Nazis...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

Carmella Lowkis: Spitting Gold (2024, Simon & Schuster, Incorporated) 3 stars

A deliciously haunting debut for fans of Sarah Waters and Sarah Penner set in 19th-century …

Spitting Gold, by Carmella Lowkis

3 stars

Baroness Sylvie Devereux would enjoy her life a lot more if she wasn’t haunted by the fear that her past might catch up to her. Before she married her baron, Sylvie and her sister Charlotte were the Mothe sisters. They conducted seances and banished ghosts for whoever could pay. Now that she’s a member of respectable society, Sylvie does her utmost to keep that past far away from her. Unfortunately for her, that past has just turned up across the street from her home in the opening pages of Carmella Lowkis’s intriguing novel, Spitting Gold...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

Seth Dickinson: The Traitor Baru Cormorant (2016, Tor Books) 4 stars

Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home …

The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson

3 stars

Baru Cormorant’s life changed forever when she was a small child. Her recollections of life with her hunter mother, shieldbearer father, and blacksmith father sound idyllic. Her mother taught her about the birds that lived on their island. Her fathers taught her about tradecraft and keeping her ears open. But when the Empire of Masks arrived with their paper money—and, later, their plagues and schools and “hygiene”—her childhood was obliterated. Years later, Baru Cormorant walks a fine line between obedience and treachery in Seth Dickinson’s powerful novel, The Traitor Baru Cormorant...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

Kaliane Bradley: Ministry of Time (2024, Simon & Schuster) 4 stars

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and …

The Ministry of Time, by Kaliane Bradley

5 stars

Time travel stories usually follow the exploits of someone rocketing through time to change history. This person ponders the various time travel paradoxes or wrestles with the implications of an ever-splitting multiverse. All of which is to say that Kaliane Bradley’s The Ministry of Time is a unique look at the perils of time travel. Instead of travelers deliberately injecting themselves into history, a mysterious British Agency has used a recovered time machine to “rescue” five Britons from the past from their inevitable deaths by pulling them into a future ravaged by climate change. Our narrator is one of the few civil servants in on the secret, selected to help acclimate one of the “expats” to life in the twenty-first century...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

Doina Ruști: The Book of Perilous Dishes (Romanian language) 3 stars

1798: A magical, dark adventure. Fourteen-year-old Pâtca, initiated in the occult arts, comes to Bucharest, …

The Book of Perilous Dishes, by Doina Ruști

3 stars

Pâtca is on the run in Doina Ruști’s The Book of Perilous Dishes (carefully translated by James Christian Brown). She flees from her small village when her grandmother is accused of witchcraft. Unlike so many others accused like this, Pâtca and her family really are witches. Sadly, their knowledge is no match for a pissed-off mob and Pâtca must seek refuge in Bucharest, only to learn that this is just the first in a series of unfortunate events...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

Lindsay Lynch: Do Tell (2023, Diversified Publishing, Random House Large Print) 3 stars

As character actress Edie O'Dare finishes the final year of her contract with FWM Studios, …

Do Tell, by Lindsay Lynch

3 stars

Before the studio system was broken up by the Supreme Court, film studios would sign actors up to multi-year contracts. Actors under contract would not only be told which films they would appear in but also told which parties to go to, when to go to rehab, and sometimes placed into fictional relationships. Show business wasn’t just what the audience saw on the screen. It continued in the newspapers and magazines and, perhaps especially, in the gossip columns. Edie O’Dare, the protagonist of Lindsay Lynch’s novel Do Tell, is rapidly approaching the end of her seven-year contract and is unlikely to see a renewal. In 1938, there weren’t many legitimate ways for an unconventional woman to make a living...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

reviewed The Brides of High Hill by Nghi Vo (The Singing Hills Cycle, #5)

Nghi Vo: The Brides of High Hill (Tor) 3 stars

The Cleric Chih accompanies a beautiful young bride to her wedding to an aging lord …

The Brides of High Hill, by Nghi Vo

3 stars

Cleric Chih returns in The Brides of High Hill, Nghi Vo’s fifth entry in the Singing Hills Cycle. Chih is once again on the road and collecting stories. This time, they have fallen in with a small family on their way to see their daughter married to the wealthy lord of Do Cao. This daughter has insisted that Chih follow along to keep her company. The daughter’s parents are less cheerful about their newest companion. Politeness keeps them from tossing Chih out on their ear. Before long, I daresay that Chih would have preferred to be tossed out on the road...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.