Tag: NetGalley

{Review} Lord of the World – A 1907 Dystopia with Interesting Similarities to Today

Posted February 25, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

{Review} Lord of the World – A 1907 Dystopia with Interesting Similarities to TodayLord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2016 - original 1907)
eARC (352 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2015

Synopsis

In an airplane news conference on his return from the Philippines in January 2015, Pope Francis mentioned Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World and said, “I advise you to read it.” It wasn’t the first time the Holy Father had praised the book since becoming pope. This 1907 futuristic narrative has been hailed as the finest work of this unsung, but influential author and son of the Archbishop of Canterbury whose conversion to Catholicism rocked the Church of England in 1903. The compelling book includes a new introduction, a biography of Benson, and a theological reflection.
Popular young adult books such as
The Hunger Games and Divergent, as well as literary classics such as Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, have created a growing interest in dystopian novels. In one of the first such novels of the twentieth century, Robert Hugh Benson imagines a world where belief in God has been replaced by secular humanism. Lord of the World describes a world where Catholics are falling away and priests and bishops are defecting. Only a small remnant of the faithful remains. Julian Falsenburg, a mysterious and compelling figure arises, promising peace in exchange for blind obedience. Those who resist are subjected to torture and execution. Soon the masses are in Falsenburg’s thrall and he becomes leader of the world. Into this melee steps the novel’s protagonist, Fr. Percy Franklin. Dauntless and clear-sighted, Franklin is a bastion of stability as the Catholic Church in England disintegrates around him. Benson’s harrowing plot soon brings these two charismatic men into a final apocalyptic conflict.
With an imagination to rival H. G. Wells and theological insight akin to G. K. Chesterton, Benson’s astute novel has captured the attention of many today, including Popes Benedict and Francis. This new edition makes it easily available and features an insightful introduction by Rev. Mark Bosco, S.J., a brief biography of Benson by Martyn Sampson, and a theological reflection by Rev. Michael Murphy, S.J.

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{Review} These Vicious Masks – Strange “Powers” in Victorian England

Posted February 8, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

{Review} These Vicious Masks – Strange “Powers” in Victorian EnglandThese Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas
Publisher: Swoon Reads (2016 - Feb 9)
eARC (352 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2015

Synopsis

Evelyn has no interest in marriage and even the dashing Mr. Kent can’t make her want to live up to society’s expectations. She’d much rather assist her beloved sister Rose in achieving her radical dream of becoming a doctor. But everything changes the night she meets Sebastian Braddock – not only is the reclusive gentleman both vexing and annoyingly attractive, he’s also quite possibly mad, and his interest in Rose is galling. So when Evelyn wakes up to discover that Rose has disappeared, she immediately suspects Sebastian.
But then she discovers that Sebastian’s strange tales of special powers are actually true, and that Rose’s kidnappers have worse in mind for her than simply ruining her reputation. Surrounded by secrets, lies, and unprecedented danger, Evelyn has no choice but to trust Sebastian, yet she can’t help but worry that Sebastian’s secrets are the most dangerous of all…

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{Review} The Painter’s Daughter – Married to a Stranger to Escape Scandal

Posted November 25, 2015 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

{Review} The Painter’s Daughter – Married to a Stranger to Escape ScandalThe Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House (2015)
eARC (464 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Also by this author: The Secret of Pembrooke Park
Reading Challenges: 2015 Color Coded, Read 2015

Synopsis

Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It’s where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she’s beautiful.
Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother’s neglected duties. Home on leave, he’s sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter’s daughter. He’s startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him–one of Wesley’s discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.
Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she’ll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.
Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family’s estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?

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{Review} Li Jun and the Iron Road – Chinese Workers on the Canadian Railroad

Posted November 9, 2015 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

{Review} Li Jun and the Iron Road – Chinese Workers on the Canadian RailroadLi Jun and the Iron Road by Anne Tait
Publisher: Dundurn (2015)
eARC (216 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2015

Synopsis

Adapted from the award-winning TV miniseries “Iron Road,” starring Sam Neill and Peter O’Toole, the story of a woman whose search for herself helped shaped two nations. Set in the 1880s in southern China and the mountains of British Columbia, “Li Jun and the Iron Road” tells the story of a feisty street urchin nicknamed Little Tiger, who works in a fireworks factory and yearns to sail across the ocean to the country she knows as Gold Mountain. Sent by her dying mother to find her father, who had left years earlier, Little Tiger disguises herself as a boy and finds herself working on the railroad in Canada. When her deception leads to a forbidden love with a privileged son of a Canadian railroad tycoon, the results leave two worlds shaken.

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{Review} A Thousand Nights – Demons, Smallgods and Storytelling

Posted October 1, 2015 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

{Review} A Thousand Nights – Demons, Smallgods and StorytellingA Thousand Nights by E K Johnston
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (2015)
eARC (336 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2015 Fairytale Retelling, Read 2015

Synopsis

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.
And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.
Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.
Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

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