Category Archives: Genre: Historical Fiction

Quick Reviews

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Voyager by Diana Gabaldon ★★★★

This book was a little hard for me to get into at first, given the different setting in the beginning but I soon found myself once again falling down the veritable rabbit hole, nervous for the characters and enjoying every minute of it.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon ★★★★

This book, the fourth in the series was definitely not hard for me to get into, as I slid right in and began reading (and sometimes researching) about the different locales, characters growth which is aplenty and enjoying the pleasure of being safely in this time while traveling through a time very different from our own. I was very sad to realize I was unable to yet get the next book in the series.

Must Love Otters by by Eliza Gordon ★★★
This book was very cute, and a fun, funny read. There were more than a few times I found myself laughing out loud at Hollie’s antics, and found myself falling a little bit for Ryan.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

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Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book had captured my attention so quickly, that I was a little surprised and dismayed when this one didn’t as well. It was a slow burn for me, as the story and characters slowly wrapped themselves around me and pulled me in.

Jamie is as conflicting as always for me, often doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, or the right thing for the wrong reasons. And his actions sometimes, even in the historical context have been known to make me wince.

Claire is daring, and courageous and similarly so heartbreakingly wonderful and yet flawed.

In this world Diana Gabaldon has created something that can suck you in, whether it’s gradual or not. She has created characters that are never perfect, never without flaws and will not hesitate to make you care for at least one of them.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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Outlander (Outlander, #1)Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t expect to like this book, nor did I expect to stay up until 4 am this morning in a desperate bid to finish it, or spend my morning when I did awake doing much the same.

Claire is a character who I can get behind, she is stubborn, passionate, intelligent and yet at times so irrational that it’s enough to make me (and Jamie) crazy. But I love her. She is awesome.

Jamie is someone I liked almost immediately, able to picture him so clearly in my mind’s eye and enjoying every moment of it.

There were some scenes in this book that I did have a problem with, but I won’t mention those here as I know that is a certain amount of this novel which only happens because of the time it is in.

It’s not a perfect novel. The sex scenes are often outrageous, and the attitudes of the men concerning but it is fun.

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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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Code Name VerityCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I feel like I missed something in this book. Some undefinable element which made people love it so much. I didn’t.

There were parts where I wished for it to end, and it wasn’t until page 167 exactly that it captured my interest. The best thing I can say for this book is that when it captured my interest it managed to keep it. The truth evident in the fiction enriched the story, and the bond between the two main characters had me aching as I tried to imagine going through something like that.

The ending seemed poignant, but over all I felt like there was something lacking. Maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book almost disorienting to read, but yet I couldn’t put it down as I was drawn into Billy Pilgrim’s world, and the way he perceived what was going on around him. Yet, I don’t believe i would’ve read beyond the first chapter, if it hadn’t been written in the way it was. The story of a man struggling to come to terms with what he needs to write, and how to write it.

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The Book Thief

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The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had actually heard very little about this book before I read it, except for a few mentions about the fact that it was a good one.

Initially, before I picked it up, I was a little bit apprehensive, knowing that it was supposed to be young adult fiction but I am ever so glad that I picked it up. Because I would have been missing out on something in not having read this.

The way it is written, with Death himself as the narrator of the book is something that captured my attention immediately. Where some might have found it too out there, I felt welcomed by the way in which it was written.

Liesel, the main character, or one of two, is a refreshing change from the normal. Sometimes selfish, she is almost always an honest character even in her thievery. Her best friend Rudy, is a delight as well and the innocence of children even when effected by loss is present here.

Hans for me is one of the true heroes of the story, a fully fleshed out character with his own fears concerning his family, but his own convictions, refusing to fall to Nazi Germany’s regime. This book is something that I never could have expected, and while the end did make me sob it was perfect.

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A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell

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A Game Of Lies (Hannah Vogel, #3)A Game Of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is probably my favourite in the series so far, with more mystery for me than the other two combined and a great deal more drama.

I devoured it completely and loved it. I love the way history is melded with fiction and I drank it down like it was the richest of drinks.

The drama is heart wrenching and the stakes are definitely higher. Hannah is one of my favourite female characters in fiction, because she makes mistakes and is not infallible but she is soon ready to admit it.

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A Night of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell

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A Night Of Long Knives (Hannah Vogel, #2)A Night Of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I did not enjoy this book as much as the first one it was still very easy to sink into and Hannah is still one of the most formidable female characters I’ve read in a while.

She is strong, and yet at times her vulnerability is what draws me in more than anything else. Her life is one of quickly made decisions and thinking on her feet.

The suspense in this novel is rich, and yet it didn’t capture my attention as much as the first however it remains an interesting piece of historical fiction which had me reaching for more information about the time and finding only that Rebecca Cantrell’s research is immaculate.

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A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell

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A Trace Of Smoke (Hannah Vogel, #1)A Trace Of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did not expect to fall into this book at all. The subject matter initially left me feeling very aware of how this could be very poorly done.

Instead I found an enriching read with fully fleshed out characters. Hannah is definitely a female character to be proud of, displaying strength and vulnerability very realistically in situations which seem quite intense and are written in vivid detail.

The beauty in this is the way in which history is fleshed out with characters who feel as real as those who were actually there and using real people to make it all the more interesting.

This is a read for anyone who loves historical fiction.

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Except the Dying by Maureen Jennings

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Except the Dying (Detective Murdoch, #1)Except the Dying by Maureen Jennings
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As someone who loves mystery I absolutely loved this novel, but as a Canadian who lives near Toronto I loved it even more. The streets were described as they would have looked instead of how they do and this novel to me was half mystery and half a tribute to the city. It was painstakingly detailed in a breathtaking way and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

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