Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, #1)Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this. I don't think it was flawless, but I loved the story, its world and characters. The device of making the protagonists live in a time loop (or 'time slip' in the book) where they have to live (but not relive) the same day over and over is not new (yeah, Groundhog Day, etc) but I felt it was effective, even though there might be a few loose ends and maybe one continuity flaw -and the use of language (American & British English in the 1940's sometimes feels wrong and a few terms used are anachronisms, wouldn't have been in use at the time) grates a bit at times. But such a lovely story.

Loved the use of the old, black and white photographs. The author explains that the photos were actually at the origin of the story.

The only thing I'm finding ever so slightly annoying about this kind of story: Modern fantasy comes in threes. At the end of the book you're left on a 'fermata', a suspension point if not a cliffhanger, thenthey pimp the next instalment of the story and the film I didn't know had been made of the book. You know there's going to be a second book (they tell you and give you half of the first chapter) but from all the precedents, you also know there's going to be a third one... it's very worth a read, though; a lot of fun.

This book was the set reading for the Bibliogoth meeting for January 2017.

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A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the book set for the April Bibliogoth meeting. A tale of magic and parallel worlds, four cities that share the name and location of London but are utterly different -ours is 'grey London', where magic does not exist. There also are a Red, a White and a Black London, in which magic is prevalent in different ways. The characters were a little bit cartoon-like, almost stereotypical of the genre, as was their quest (any more detail would be a spoiler). For me, the most attractive bit was the world in which the book is set although this, too, needed more fleshing out. As this is the first in a series, I expect this should happen in the later books.

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The Tropic of Serpents (Memoir by Lady Trent, #2)The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In spite of initial reservations, I loved the whole series -and the second one I liked better than the first. The characters are .. better shaped, more credible as people. The dragons themselves are quite believable on the whole as an object of interest to a scientist. Some things still jar a bit -one, for me, was that for some reason I found the use of German, French and Italian names (and perhaps stereotypical national characters). On the whole, though, it was an enjoyable book, an enjoyable series.

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A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (Memoirs of Lady Trent)A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the book set for the next Bibliogoth meeting. I was fully expecting not to like it and, at first, it seemed to confirm my fears -a bit twee, pseudo-Victorian fantasy, the memoir of a woman who is a naturalist in a world where women are supposed to be dainty and fragile -and not capable of intellectual pursuits. There's the corresponding bag-load of clich├ęs to accompany that. And yet, I loved the book. The main character turns up to be quite credible (if her husband and some of the support cast somehow less so), the story is to an extent predictable (but the dragons whose natural history this is about are almost credible) but enjoyable nonetheless... I loved this book and have now bought the rest of the series!

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