Tag Archives: thriller

Meeting old friends again

I’ve been knee-deep in a very sticky first draft for most of this week (second-book syndrome; it has been kicking my backside), so reading time has been limited. Imagine my joy on Thursday evening when I finally got to write the magical words “The End”!

Cover of Olivia Wildenstein's The MasterkeyAfter that stress and strain, I was delighted to relax with Olivia Wildenstein’s The Masterkey. I love Olivia’s writing and was thrilled to find another book in the series. I read The Masterpiecers and The Masterminds a while ago now, and I think The Masterkey, although set chronologically earlier than the others, is a new addition to the world. It’s also utterly fabulous. The Masterkey focuses on Aster, Masterpiecer Ivy’s twin sister. Aster is heartbreakingly lovely and damaged, and Josh is simply a poppet (probably don’t tell him; he might not be flattered).

I’ve mentioned before my perception that everything’s part of a series now, and yes, sometimes that’s annoying, but The Masterkey reminded me that it can be a really good thing. As a reader, when you find a world you enjoy, you want to spend more time there. I know it felt like a real treat to get back with Ivy and Aster again. So now I’ve got the opposite problem of being sad that there isn’t more to read about them – never happy us readers, are we?

But sometimes, it’s better…

This week I finally got around to reading a sequel that’s been on my reading radar for yonks. Way back in the summer I read Ember Burning and loved it. I would love to psychoanalyse myself for this, because I’m not sure what drives me to go straight on and read more by the author IMMEDIATELY, or just to nod and say to myself, “Yep, I’ll look out for more from her/him.” I read Ember Burning, enjoyed it, put it down and that was the end of that, I’m sorry to say.

I wish I knew what triggered me to think, “I love this author and I know I’m in safe hands, where’s more?” versus, “I really enjoyed that, but, hmm, can their next one be as good? I don’t want to be disappointed…” because there’s got to be something.

Anyway, spool on several months and Oshun Rising jumped into my awareness and I actually loaded it onto my kindle and started reading.

Oh my giddy aunt, it’s AMAZING. Jennifer Alsever has outdone herself. Ember Burning was good, but Oshun Rising entirely blew my socks off. I think I hardly breathed through the second half of the story.

That’s a nudge to my cautious self. Sometimes a second book might disappoint. But other times it will catapult the author into, “Give me more. NOW,” territory.

And now I have to wait for the third in the series, which is a whole other kind of torture I’ll probably address in another post.

Share, readers, what book did you delay reading (for any reason) that you later wished you’d got on with?

O is for … Only knocking me sideways, blimey!

So, my “O” selection was Only Dancing by Jan Jones. Now, I love Jan’s novellas (An Ordinary Gift is actually extraordinarily fabulous, imo) as well as her Regency novels. So, I started with high expectations.

Cover of Jan Jones' Only Dancing
Click for the preview

Well, Only Dancing started out nice enough, a nostalgic little tale of lost friendship and how life conspires to not be quite what you expect when you’re young and it feels as though the world lies before you.

… But then it got all twisty and dramatic and people who’d seemed largely harmless turned out to be nothing of the sort! I can’t say much more without blurting spoilers all over the place, but, my word, my heart rate speeded up towards the end! I can safely say I wasn’t expecting that!

If you like getting not quite what you expect, try this!