A desert island and your favourite character(s)…

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Mmm, almost sounds idyllic!  Okay, this week at The Broke and the Bookish the theme is :

‘Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island’

Well, I’ve decided to turn this on it’s head a bit – I’m not going to pick ten characters and give the reasons why – I’m going to give you one character with ten reasons why!  I know, I know, this seems terribly lazy, I should be wracking my brains to come up with all sorts of people but, no.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you……. JEAN TANNEN!  Jean Tannen starts in the Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch – so far including The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies and Republic of Thieves.  Jean is my book boyfriend!!!:

  1. He’s a hottie – well, in my humble opinion.
  2. He can look after himself and is pretty handy with a pair of hatchets!
  3. He’s loyal – not like he has any option mind you – he’s stuck on a desert island with me after all!  Talk about your captive audience.
  4. He likes books – if that doesn’t get your attention then I just give up.
  5. He’s got a wicked sense of humour
  6. He’s an entertaining guy – funny, snarky.
  7. He’s intelligent
  8. He’s a beast – grr!
  9. He kicks ass
  10. He’s Jean Tannen

I rest my case – now why would I want another 9 people – two’s company.  The end, goodbye.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner readalong – final chapters

This is the final week of our Maze Runner readalong which is a timely finish for the film’s release.  See below for details of other bloggers taking part.  A big thank you to Sam for hosting this.  Without further ado let’s get to the Q&A.  Customary spoiler alert – the content below will undoubtedly let the cat out of the bag so stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers!

Sam

In Chapter 55, Alby sacrifices himself to try and gain an advantage for Thomas and Teresa to reach the Griever Hole. Do you think that Alby actually decided to do this, or is the mind-control the Creators seem to have over him what pushed him to do so?  I think that Alby was being mind controlled and used for a purpose.  Not quite sure what purpose it served having him killed other than maybe to drive the rest of the boys to desperation.

Katherine

Do you think the group B mentioned at the very end is the girl group? Or maybe a rival group of guys?  I think there’s a strong possibility that group B is a girl group – part of me even wonders if Teresa came from that group – got herself free and broke into Thomas’s group??  It kind of makes sense to keep the boys and girls separate in this sort of experience because it is then easier to gauge how one group compares to the other?  It could of course be a rival boy group but I don’t really think so at the moment (however I am quite often wrong!)

Nicole

Do you think at the end of the book the boys have any idea what’s in store going forward? Do we know if any of their families survived?  If what the rescuers told Thomas and Teresa on the coach is true then it seems highly improbable that any of the boys families will have survived but I suppose there’s always a chance.  I don’t think the boys know what is going on, it appears on the face of it as though they’ve just been rescued and yet the epilogue seems to end on a note that suggests that this is all still part of the experiment.

Ashlee

Do you trust the people who say they are fighting WICKED? Or are they part of WICKED and this is another variable? Well, I don’t know that I trust the people who think they’re fighting WICKED – although they have just broken into a facility and killed some of the people there so who knows.  This does all appear to be another variable though – and is it just me or did there seem to be something wrong with the people back at the Maze (the creators) the woman in particular – she came across almost like a robot.

Me

What are the implications of the epilogue?  The ending seems to imply that this whole experiment was just the tip of the iceberg.  Just a means of preparing the boys (and maybe girls) for something else.  Most of their actions have been nudged by the creators.  Their bits of returned memories were things that would conveniently help them along the way to escape.  They always got just a certain amount of information to help them figure out the rest.  Even after they broke out from the Maze they’re then rescued and hurdled onto a coach – now part of me was thinking that was very conveniently ‘timely’!  But, I suppose two possibilities are that the ‘rescuers’ are not rescuers at all but are part of the whole experiment and are taking the boys to the next phase or the ‘rescuers’ are also being played in this experiment – maybe given just enough information to help them rescue the boys and take them to the next place?

We’ll see.

I’m not sure whether I’ll read the next in series or not.  I’ll watch the film and make a decision from there I think – although to be honest I guess I do need to know what happens next!!

A big thank you to Sam for organising, co-ordinating and setting all this up.  It’s a lot of effort and is very much appreciated – ‘herding cats’ springs to mind.  And a thank you to all the other participants.  It’s been good fun taking part with you all – we should definitely do this again!

Lynn :D

Bloodshot by Cherie Priest

Bloodshot is the first in the Cheshire Red Series by Cherie Priest.  The story is narrated by Raylene, a vampire/professional thief for hire.  Raylene specialises in retrieving certain goods for her clients and of course her vampire abilities help enormously with this – night vision, ability to climb buildings and traverse the city using rooftops, extra strength and speed plus the ability to detect when people are nearby, coupled with a slight psychic sense all prove useful in this line of work!

At the start of the story Raylene meets her latest client, Ian, also a vampire who it seems has been captured and held in some sort of military experimentation zone – during which he lost his sight.  Having now escaped he’s desperately trying to piece together any information he can uncover about the nature of the experiments and in particular his own case files as he thinks he has found someone who may be able to reverse the damage and restore his sight.  Raylene takes the job and almost immediately opens up a can of worms that will not only affect her only livelihood but will also put her in the sights of whoever is rounding up and capturing vampires.

I did quite enjoy this book.  I wouldn’t say I loved it however and I think part of that is that Raylene is a little difficult to like at the start of the story.  I think that’s possibly because she’s trying too hard to inject humour into her narration and it doesn’t come over as entirely funny.  Let’s face it – she’s a vampire, she kills people and she’s unemotional about it.  Which to a certain extent is refreshing – she’s not wringing her hands about having to drink blood, she’s not torn about being a monster and there are no deep reflections on how she keeps her humanity.  She’s a vampire.  Plain and simple.  Priest isn’t trying to bring anything new to that particularly myth – there’s no sparkly skin, Raylene sleeps during the day, she needs to feed every few weeks and she’s pretty tough to kill – unless you remove her head – which works pretty much for most critters!  There is no garlic, crosses and stakes.  In fact the vampirism is almost secondary to the story really.  Raylene is pretty much a cat burglar with a difference.

That being established the story does pick up as Raylene becomes involved in a cat and mouse style chase with the men in black.  She finds herself flitting from one part of the country to another as she tries to pick up a trail that has seemingly gone cold whilst staying under the radar of the military and other covert operations.  As I mentioned above she has gained the wrong sort of attention and so the stakes have now changed quite a bit.  Raylene now needs to find out what is really going on whilst staying at liberty – in fact if she ever wants to regain control over her life she must uncover who is behind Project Bloodshot.

The action undoubtedly picks up and the cast list grows to include a former navy seal (Adrian) who now performs under the Pseudonym Sister Rose. I did like this character and also enjoyed the affect he had on Raylene bringing out her rather unashamed-lecherous-cop-a-feel nature!  I thought Adrian was a good addition to the cast and would make quite a good sidekick for Raylene.

In terms of the other vampire – Ian – well, I didn’t really have any feelings for him in fact I thought he was a bit of a weak link but perhaps his character becomes better defined in the next edition – which brings me to the next problem – it seems that this series is not set to continue.  Apart from Hellbent (No.2) there have been no further instalments and it appears unclear if the series will continue.  I think that’s a bit of a shame and also now means I’m conflicted about continuing!  In one respect I would like to know what happens next and the story definitely isn’t concluded.

Overall, started out a little weak but definitely developed – particularly in terms of Raylene who began the story seemingly as a cold hearted loner but who during the course of the book demonstrated a softer side and wound up with an odd bunch of misfits becoming part of her life.

 

 

Fan Art Up

 

 

Fan Art Up is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha at Not Yet Read.  Details here.  Each week I see if I have a book doodle or just a random doodle to  place here.  This week I’ve been reading The Thousand Names by Django Wexler and Bloodshot by Cherie Priest.  My, ahem, art is below (it doesn’t bear too close scrutiny because it’s drawn on a piece of scrap paper!  Also – this is not supposed to depict Cheshire Red – it simply started out as a pair of bloodshot eyes and grew a bit more than I intended!

 

photo-13

 

 

 

Shiver me timber and splice the mainbrace, pirates be Tough Travelling this week!

Every Thursday Nathan at the Fantasy Review Barn takes us a roaming through some of the tropes of fantasy.  This week the topic be pirates:

‘PIRATES range the seas in force, though most of them operate individually…The sole qualifications are that they must be rough and ruthless, which a penchant for dressing gaudily.’

 

1. The Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  Much feared his daring and sword fighting abilities precede him.  However, there’s more to Roberts than at first meets the eye????  I won’t give it away here though.

 

 

2. The Sky Pirates from Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.  Captain Shakespeare sails his vessel around the skies illegally collecting lightning until one day he collects two unsuspecting passengers instead.

 

 

3.  Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch.  In which our two Gentlemen Bastards turn to the high seas and try to find their sea legs.  They are unwittingly captured by Captain Zamira Drakasha and taken on board her pirate ship.

4.  Anvil of the World by Kage Baker.  A fantasy tale packed with action and so much wit.  Blending fantasy with murder mystery and pirates.  Smith, a retired assassin  takes on the role of caravan master.  Lets just say a lot of trouble ensues.  False names, butterflies in glass, Lord Ermenwyr – who is literally one of the funniest characters ever, not to mention a duel of fatally verbal abuse.  The pirates only play a small part in this story and I can’t remember what they were called!  I was thinking Gilders???

That’s it for me this week.

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