Review of The Ink Master’s Silence by C. J. Archer

Synopsis (from Amazon):

It should be a happy time for India and Matt, but forces beyond their control conspire to ruin their future. A distraction from their troubles comes in the form of murder.

When the editor of The Weekly Gazette is killed, controversial journalist and ink magician Oscar Barratt asks India and Matt to investigate. As the recipient of threatening letters written on magic paper, he believes he was the intended target. With suspects ranging from Oscar’s brother to guild masters and London’s elite, India and Matt have a lot of investigating to do.

But the more they dig, the more dark secrets they uncover. Secrets that involve blackmail and an exclusive club of magic collectors who want to preserve the value of their collections. When one of the secrets can give India and Matt the future they desire, will they give in to blackmail or sacrifice their happiness?

Review:
Oh, India. Finally, the chance of love with Matt, but family drama keeps them apart. I had expected that Matt’s uncle threatened something very different, and I am somewhat sad that Matt was so easily assuaged. This particular book felt like more family issues and like a set up for something more.

The way that relationships were portrayed in this novel, as they would have been then, was sad yet likely accurate for the time, but what was more sad was the stigma that having magic placed on people, and how some would be so prejudiced against it.

I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book!

Star Rating: 

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Review of The Magician’s Diary by C. J. Archer

The Magician’s Diary
Glass and Steele Book 4
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 338

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
India and Matt thought all their problems would come to an end once they found Chronos. But the watch magician brings with him as many questions as answers, and a load of trouble. To fix Matt’s magic watch, they must find an old diary that once belonged to a doctor magician murdered decades ago. The hunt drags them into a sordid mystery involving two of London’s craft guilds. With old and new enemies determined to stop them, and long-held secrets unearthed, Matt and India must work together better than ever.

But as the reason for India’s strangely strong magic is revealed, she wants to draw other magicians into the open, while Matt wants to hide magic to keep her safe.

Her plan backfires. His plan shatters. And danger comes to their door.

Review:
Finally, the search is over, and Chronos is discovered, throwing everyone for a lop. While Matt and India end up working continually in close proximity, it becomes harder and harder for them to deny there may be something between them. Seeing Matt and India go through so much together, with interviews, and dealing with friends and family, it is almost silly how uncertain she seems of his intentions. Nevertheless, there is surely going to be more turmoil to face in the future. His family is becoming more easily to hate with every book, and it is my hope that their stupidity doesn’t cause his eternal unhappiness.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of The Apothecary’s Poison by C. J. Archer

The Apothecary’s Poison
Glass and Steele Book 3
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 306

Date Started: April 4, 2017
Date Finished: April 6, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
When a newspaper report of a medical miracle catches Matt’s eye, he and India go in search of Dr. Hale in the hope he is more magical doctor than miracle worker and can lead them to Chronos. But Hale turns out to be an apothecary magician keen to educate the public about magic.

Their disappointment at not finding Chronos is soon forgotten when Hale is murdered, and Matt becomes a suspect. With Matt’s nemesis Sheriff Payne influencing the investigating detective, India and Matt know they must find the real killer, or risk his freedom, and ultimately his life. Time is running out as they hunt for a killer capable of turning medicine into poison with a magic spell, as well as continue the search for Chronos. A search that must end in success before Matt’s malfunctioning watch stops altogether.

Review:
This book seamlessly showcases the two opposing sides of Matt and India’s lives as they try to live in polite society but also have to skirt around magic without revealing India’s abilities. As they further their connection to each other, India is caught between what she wants and what she feels would likely be best for Matt’s future– something that many will relate to within their lifetime.

Seeing India become a stronger and more self assured woman has become quite a pleasure, and while she isn’t the same level of outgoing as Willie, she’s clearly willing to stand up for herself and the people she cares about. Because she is well mannered and intelligent she is able to get answers from people that Matt’s brashness wouldn’t work with.

Embedded in this series is a great lesson about people who are sick or have some sort of illness/disability, that despite whatever setbacks the person might have from it, they can’t consider it something that should hold them back. Another message in this particular book is that medicines don’t always do what they claim to, and it’s not right for pharmacists to claim they will.

Cyclops has an interesting past that was great to learn about, and I look forward to seeing if any relationships develop (though preferably NOT with Charity). Through learning of his fears of returning to America, one must wonder if all of Matt’s friends have similar issues, and if the posse will be able to overcome their individual problems to be able to develop lasting relationships and futures with others.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of The Mapmaker’s Apprentice by C. J. Archer

The Mapmaker’s Apprentice
Glass and Steele Book 2
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 312

Date Started: October 27, 2016
Date Finished: October 30, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)themapmakersapprentice_ebook_final
When an apprentice from the Mapmakers’ Guild goes missing, Matt and India are employed to find him. Going undercover as a married couple, they discover that not everyone at the guild is what they seem, and the lad’s unearthly maps caused jealousy, suspicion and fear.

With one of the apprentice’s magic maps in their possession, India and Matt must use their wits and India’s fledgling, untried magic to find him. But the more they investigate, the more sinister plots they uncover, including a link between the Mapmakers’ and Watchmakers’ Guilds, and an ancient magical treasure buried beneath the streets of London.

As the net of suspicion widens and enemies draw closer, it’s not just the apprentice’s life that’s in danger, but Matt’s too. Someone will go to great lengths to prevent him discovering the name of the man who can fix the watch keeping him alive. Great lengths indeed.

Review:
I will start out by saying I did find some grammatical issues in this novel, though they did not detract in any way from the story being presented.

The relationships really endear me to this series.  There is so much more than what is being said when you read between the lines of interactions between everyone.  Learning more about the hereditary passing of magic was quite useful, and it’s been quite enjoyable learning more about the various types of magics as India does.

It’s refreshing that India seems to care so little about romance, though there is clearly something brewing.  She seems resigned to being a spinster, but she doesn’t allow herself to make poor choices, instead using that situation to her advantage, acting as a strong, independent woman. Romance is still possible for her, but she doesn’t intend on seeking it as a solution for what to do with her future, which I really adore.

I had not figured out the mystery by the time the plot wrapped up, though I had suspected partial involvement by the time it was revealed.  I believe the special collection mentioned in this novel will potentially play a pivotal role in one of the future books in this series, though I could be wrong.

I really enjoyed seeing India become even more independent and knowledgeable in this novel, and I would recommend this book highly.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C. J. Archer

The Watchmaker’s Daughter
Glass and Steele Book 1
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fantasy
Number of Pages: 300

Date Started: October 23, 2016
Date Finished: October 27, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)thewatchmakersdaughter_ebook_final_small1
India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill. Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life. With a cast of quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and a dash of romance, THE WATCHMAKER’S DAUGHTER is the start of a thrilling new historical fantasy series from the author of the bestselling Ministry of Curiosities, Freak House, and Emily Chambers Spirit Medium books.

Review:
I honestly wasn’t sure what I thought this book was going to be like, but it was far better than I had anticipated.  I absolutely adore the depth that Ms. Archer puts into her characters, their backstories, their desires.  While it is often plot that drives a story, the deep characterization is what makes the reader truly feel for this heroine, who is far more outspoken and forward than most women (especially those looking for a husband) would be in that time period, which makes her all the more intriguing.  I love the relationships between characters, and the so obvious tension that no one is willing to push pass to address.

I absolutely love how important clocks are, and I had almost thought we were going to end up with a steampunk vibe, but although there is a bit of connection it is not enough to consider this novel that genre.  While there might be something supernatural going on, the events are expertly entwined with coincidences and knowledge that the heroine would have that it isn’t obvious.

Though Ministry of Curiosities is still my favourite of her series, this is my second so far.  India is a very strong female lead, someone that I found myself wanting to rally behind and see accomplish great things, and find happiness in life, even if she thinks she’s “spinster age”.  If you have the chance, I highly recommend this book.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of A Little Princess; being the whole story of Sara Crewe by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young People, Young Adult
Number of Pages: 2649781435142091_p0_v4_s260x420

Season Read: Fall

Synopsis:(From Amazon)
At Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies, young Sara Crewe enjoys the friendship of her classmates and the staff–much to stern Miss Minchin’s disdain. When Sara is unexpectedly impoverished, she is forced to become a servant under Miss Minchin’s control. To escape her dreary life, Sara imagines herself a princess, and her experiences soon teach her that being a princess on the inside counts more than any outward expression of royalty.

Review:
I love this novel so much.  What’s wrong with being a princess?  Being a princess is hard work.  You have to remain poise and collected no matter what adversity strikes you.  You have to do what is good for all above what is good for yourself.  You must also be kind.  Are those not the attributes many like to see in not just women, but all people in society?  There is a great deal of difference between “princess” and “damsel in distress.”  Sara is an amazing character who, despite everything horrible going on around her, tries to remain strong and trustworthy for those who rely on her.And I still love the 1997 movie just as much, although there are some significant changes to what happens.  Most of the changes between the book and movie adaptation could have been done to make it easier to understand the complete story for a new generation, and to tell the story without having a three hour movie.

500px-Frances_BurnettAuthor Bio: (From Wikipedia)
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (24 November 1849 – 29 October 1924) was an American-English writer of plays and prose fiction. She is best known for the three children’s novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (published in 1885–1886), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).

For more information, check out Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Wikipedia page.

 





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