Tag Archives | 9 Stars

Touching earth lightly

ISBN: 1864488239 “I’ve got to get our of that house.” Janey looked almost small, walking past these angled girders. Growing […]

Alien

Dir. Ridley Scott

Can you believe that this film is 31 years old? Thirty one years old. That’s as old as I am. And yet it is still as effective as ever. And perfect for the RIP’s Peril on the Screen.

You probably all know the plot; a commercial space vessel’s crew is woken from cryo-sleep midway through their journey home. The ship’s computer has picked up a transmission that may be an SOS call. As they investigate they find an abandoned ship but suffer an attack on a crew member. They retreat to their own ship, carrying their injured member, and ignoring quarantine procedures, they undergo treatment from the science officer. And then things begin to go wrong…

The small hand

by Susan Hill

Coming home one evening from meeting with a client, rare books dealer Adam Snow takes a wrong turn and ends up outside a derelict Edwardian house. For some strange reason he is drawn to this building and its wilderness of gardens and finds himself wandering through the overgrown weeds. And, standing all alone, he feels the strangest of sensations. A small hand, in his. As though he were a father taking hold of a son’s hand. But he is not a father. And there is no child.

The god of the hive

I really wish that I had gone back and reread the previous book in this series before starting this. The language of bees is the ninth in the series, but it was the first that I read, I then went back and reread from the start, skipping this because it was checked out of the library and I haven’t gotten around to buying them all yet. But I should have waited, because this starts off right where language left off, so it took me a while to catch up on exactly what was going on.

Clouds of witness

After solving the mystery of Whose Body Lord Peter Wimsey holidays in the wilds of Corsica, but, tiring of the rustic and wanting a bit of luxury he heads to Paris where he gets the shocking news that his brother, the Duke of Denver, has been arrested for murder. And the victim was Denis Cathcart, his sister’s fiancée. Wimsey heads for home straight away, and together with Inspector Parker he begins to investigate what actually happened.

A civil contract

by Georgette Heyer
The library at Fontley Priory, like most of the principal apartments in the sprawling building, looked to the south-east, commanding a prospect of informal gardens and a plantation of poplars, which acted as a wind-break and screened from view the monotony of the fen beyond.
Adam Deveril has just left the army and the Peninsular War. Not through choice, but because his father recently died and he must assume his family responsibilities as the new Viscount Lynton. Added to his problems is the fact that his father was not the most reliable with money, and Adam finds himself hugely in debt. He may even be forced into selling the family home, as not only does he have mortgages and debts, but he will also have to support his mother and provide for his two sisters. But he is also a man of principle and honour; he does not even consider his advisor’s opinion that he find himself a wealthy bride. But he forced to reconsider when the wealthy business man Jonathan Chawleigh suggests he marries his daughter.

Knife edge

“Oh, come on, Jude. My feet are killing me,” Morgan moaned.

This continues pretty much where Noughts & Crosses finished up. If you haven’t read that one you really have no business reading this book. It won’t make a lot of sense to you, not to mention you’ll know how the first book ends, and you won’t know the characters at all. Have I convinced you to go read the first yet? Good, off you go.

Now, if you thought that Noughts & Crosses was depressing and dark, I’m guessing that you’ll feel this one is simply a black-hole of despair. Where is the hope? Where is the faintest of bright endings? Cause, wow, darkness is all around.

Spoilers for book one follow

Noughts & Crosses

I wriggled my toes, enjoying the feel of the warm sand trickling like fine baby powder between them.

Callum and Sephy have grown up together, best friends, and now in their teens maybe their friendship is developing into something more. But there is a problem, Callum is a Nought, and Sephy is a Cross, and the two don’t mix, not in this world. But there are moves towards progress and integration, or at least hopes of that in the future; for the first time noughts will be allowed into Sephy’s school, and Callum is one of the four that managed to pass the entrance exams. He will be allowed in, but he knows that it will be difficult, Sephy is more innocent. She’s just glad they’ll be able to spend more time together. Neither knows just how hard it is going to be, and all that is before the bomb goes off.

The help

Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August, 1960.

The Help of the title refers to the black women domestics who worked all other the southern states, the maids and cleaners who went into the homes of “polite” society and looked after children, cleaned house, cooked, and generally looked after everyone before returning to their own homes to do the same there. Specifically this is about two maids, Aibileen and Minny, who agree to tell the story of their lives to Miss Skeeter, a white woman in her twenties who wants to be a writer.

The absolute Sandman vol. 1

Where do you start when trying to review a collection like this? I really have no idea. I was going to give up before I even began; admit defeat without letting anyone know about it, but I decided, what the hell, lets give it a go.

I first read some of Gaiman’s Sandman series years and years ago. Like a genius I started with A Doll’s House rather than at the beginning, but I soon realised my mistake and retraced my steps. The first few issues never really grabbed me. But they begin the story, so you do need to start there, and then, even if you dislike them, persevere for a little while longer. Because, lets face it, the character of Morpheus isn’t really that likeable. He is an arrogant ass. But his story is interesting. And the stories and places Gaiman gets to explore through the Sandman and his sibling Endless characters are fascinating. If you like comics and myths then you should give this a go.

Monsters of men

Author: Patrick Ness ; Bk 3 in Chaos Walking trilogy.
The final book in a series can often be a tough one to read and enjoy. On the one hand you want it to end happily ever after for the characters. Especially is you are at all invested in them. But at the same time you also want it to be truthful. By which I mean you don’t want the author to duck the difficult decisions and have some quick get out of jail clause. And I’m happy to say that Ness manages it all, with some brilliant writing along the way.

The chalk circle man

Author: Fred Vargas ; trans from the french by Sian Reynolds
An Adamsberg novel

Chief Inspector Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg has recently been transferred to Paris. His police methods aren’t exactly standard procedure and his inspectors have a lot to get used to. But they can have no doubt that he is a born policeman, and while even he is unable to explain how he arrives at his conclusions he is usually correct. In this case he thinks that there is something strange about the blue chalk circles that have been appearing in the Parisian streets. He is convinced that there is something sinister about them.