Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mini Book Reviews

I have read several books over the past few months that I had intended to review but just never got around to.   As I'd still like to share my thoughts on these novels I've written up a mini-review for each of them after seeing this idea used on a couple of other blogs I follow. 

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

4 Stars

This beautiful and moving story follows four people whose lives intersect during the Indian Emergency of the 1970s.   The prose is lovely, the story captivating and each of the four main characters are well developed and sympathetic.   Mistry does an outstanding job of illustrating the experiences of those less fortunate in India.   While I thought this to be a remarkable novel overall, at over 600 pages in length it ran a little longer than necessary.   

The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens

4 Stars

The Kingdom is the second novel in Stevens wonderful Graveyard Queen series.  This novel takes cemetery restorer Amelia Gray to Asher Falls, South Carolina where she has been hired to restore the local cemetery after years of neglect.   While Asher Falls appears on the outside to be a sleepy small town, Amelia soon learns that appearances are deceiving and finds herself seeking to uncover the strange goings of the town in order to determine how they relate not only to her cemetery restoration, but also to her life.  Like this novel's predecessor, The Restorer, The Kingdom is full of spooky atmosphere and creepiness.  In fact, I thought the creepiness factor was upped in this novel.   Amelia Gray continues to be a compelling heroine and her back story is more fully explored and fleshed out.   I can't wait to read the next book in the series! 

Henry Tilney's Diary by Amanda Grange

3.5 Stars

The latest novel in Amanda Grange's Austen hero diary series, Henry Tilney's Diary tells of the events of Northanger Abbey from Henry Tilney's perspective.   It also goes back a little further and explores Henry's childhood and life before he crossed paths with Miss Catherine Morland in Bath.   Overall this was a fun novel and I think Grange does a good job portraying Henry Tilney's character in a manner consistent his characterization in Northanger Abbey.  I also liked that Henry's sister Eleanor played such a large role in this story.   I definitely recommend this one to fans of Jane Austen spin-offs.