Tag: Historical Fiction

Author Interview & Book Review: The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Posted December 19, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Interviews / 19 Comments

Title: The Faerie Ring

Author: Kiki Hamilton

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication Date: September 2011

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One


Synopsis can be found here.

Review:


In 1871 London, our world and the Otherworld blur. Queen Victoria’s ring is lost, setting off a chain of events that may lead to an all out war with the Fey. The thief is a young girl named Tiki, an orphan who lives on the streets of London. Little did she know what she was going to start!
Trying to care for her family of orphans, Tiki is now being watched, and followed by humans and Fey alike. One of them is a fellow thief Rieker, but can he be trusted? And which side is he on, anyway?

The Faerie Ring blew me away. We start in the dirty, grimy streets of London where our heroine and her family are scraping by with what they can. Life is hard and while Tiki has a good heart, sometimes we all do things we can regret. (Like stealing Queen Victoria’s ring for instance!)

The darkness of London is the perfect setting for the Fey, who hover in shadows, preying on innocent people. The two worlds blend so well, it was easy to be completely lost in the story. The twists and turns in the book are unexpected, reminding me of running through the narrow streets of London. In fact, one particular twist at the end is so surprising, I had to read the passage twice!

Tiki is a very likeable character, sometimes making wrong decisions but always with good intentions. Rieker, another thief, is mysterious, handsome and a little bit dangerous. The attraction between these two is obvious as the banter goes back and forth easily. Do we trust Rieker? Should we? 

Overall, The Faerie Ring is a wonderful mix of fantasy, rebellion and mystery. I loved reading every moment of this book! 
Rating: 10, One of the Best



Author Interview with Kiki Hamilton!

Kimberly- Thank you so much for stopping by Kiki!
Kiki- Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog!

What inspired you to become a writer? 
I’ve always loved to write but I was so busy with work and my family and life that I didn’t make the time to write. Then I read Harry Potter. (I didn’t actually start Harry Potter until the Goblet of Fire came out… I read books 1-4 in a week.) I’d forgotten the magic of a well-told story. The magic of becoming the characters in a book and experiencing their adventures. I loved Harry Potter so much that I decided I’d write a little story for my daughter and that’s when the madness all started…


What was the last book you read?  
I read REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly recently and enjoyed that.

What sparked the idea of your book? 
I’ve always loved the idea of things not being what they seem. That other dimensions or worlds exist side by side with our own, just beyond our ken; that the scope of our world is more than just the three dimensions that we are able to easily comprehend.
At the same time, I’m intrigued by the past, by our history, by what may have occurred that might not have been formally documented for future generations. The untold story, if you will. And I am particularly fascinated with those untold stories that have a thread of documented fact woven through them, hich makes the reader question whether they are reading fiction or nonfiction. A story that makes the reader say… “What if…”

How did you choose the setting and time for your novel, which takes place in London 1871? (Do you have a time machine?) 
Victorian London is a mysterious and magical time in history.  It is an era of great change, great technological advances, yet at the same time, beliefs in the occult remained strong.  Additionally, the era offers a startling dichotomy between the classes and the way people lived, providing a great gap of motivations. 

What are your favorite things about Tiki? 
I like how loyal Tiki is – that she will stand up for and take care of people even when it’s frightening or difficult.


I’m a little in love with Rieker. Is he real?  
LOL, don’t we wish? That’s the fun of being a writer – you can create exactly what you want. But no, Rieker is not based on a real person.


Are you sure? 
LOL – You never know. I’ll let you know if I run into him in crowded railway station one day. J


What was the biggest challenge writing your novel? 
Actually, there wasn’t any great challenge. I wrote the story I wanted to read and it just fell out of my head onto the page.  I wrote THE FAERIE RING in 30 days.  Editorial revisions, however, took a bit longer. ;-}


How do you like your potato? 
Boiled, mushed with lots of butter


If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? 
I’ve been in business for many years.  Right now, I also work at a financial advisory firm.

Do you have a favorite literary character? 
I LOVED Eugenides in Megan Whalen Turner’s THE THIEF series. And of course, I love Harry Potter and the Weasley twins…

What do you do when you’re not writing? 
Clean the house, mow, walk the dog, grocery shop, cook dinner, laundry, haul the kid around….you know – the usual. But I also like to play the guitar, ski, play tennis, I paint occasionally and stuff like that.

What is one thing you would tell aspiring writers? 
Never, EVER give up.

What is your next book about and when is it coming out? 
Stay tuned!


Thank you again Kiki for stopping by! 

You can visit Kiki Hamilton here and follow her on twitter @kikihamilton

Posted December 19, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Interviews / 19 Comments


Book Review: The Agency: The Body At The Tower by Y.S. Lee

Posted September 30, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments


Title: The Agency: The Body At The Tower

Author: Y.S. Lee

Publisher: Candlewick

Publication Date: August 2011

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two

Synopsis can be found here.
Book One review can be found here.

Review: 

And she’s back!


Mary Quinn, spy extraordinaire is back for another mystery! A man falls to his death from the under construction clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. It seems like an accident, but of course, foul play is suspected! Enter our heroine Mary who disguises herself as a boy, sneaks around the site ready to uncover the truth. And who should she run into but none other than James Easton.

The second book in the series is just as good as the first. The intrigue and mystery is there. Mary is fearless and finds herself is a lot of dangerous situations. The action is quick and the storyline rolls by fast. The chemistry between Mary and James heats up. Both characters have grown since their last encounter and it’s rewarding to see these two develop together. They make a great time both as detectives and love interests. I love James and Mary. Both are headstrong and their banter is natural and fun. It’s fire, arguments and butting heads. It’s passionate- arguing one moment and kissing the next. Really, this Victorian London is fun!

The mystery itself is more intricate than the first book. The secondary characters are well drawn out, each with distinct characterizations. Their voices are thick and rich in my head. And some of these guys are just plain scary.

If you haven’t read the first book, I highly recommend you start with that. Lee does a good job of recapping Mary’s previous adventure without being too wordy (don’t you hate that?). But really, the first book is amazing and you’ll have a different appreciation for Mary and James coming from that first novel.

What is my gripe with this series? That I have to wait until 2012 for the third book to be published in the US! (I can go to book depository and buy the third book, UK edition right now though. Just saying.)

Looking forward to the next installment, sooner rather than later.  Once you read the ending, you’ll understand why.
(Book Depository here I come!)

Rating 9, Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream

Posted September 30, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments


Book Review: The Agency: A Spy In The House by Y.S. Lee

Posted September 26, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Title: The Agency: A Spy In The House

Author: Y. S. Lee

Publisher: Candlewick

Publication Date: February 2011

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Mystery

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One


Synopsis can be found here.

Review:I will be honest. I was hesitant to read this book. I’m not a big fan of historical Victorian England fiction. Perhaps I haven’t read enough of it, or perhaps what I had read was too dry for my taste.

But this book series turned it all around for me.

My friend Alethea at Read Now Sleep Later recommended I read it. Thanks to the powers that be that 1. She knows her stuff! And 2. I listened to her.

This is one of those books secret gems that isn’t widely known, but my friends who have read it all love it. And what’s not to love?
The mystery is rich and thrilling. Mary Quinn herself is multi-layered, full, diverse and complex. And her big secret? Well, I just wish there will be more characters modeled after her in the future! She’s an old soul in a teenager’s body, coming to terms with her past and her future. Facing danger at every turn. And perhaps, falling in love?

The love story isn’t the central storyline in the book, which is refreshing in itself. James is a great companion for Mary and their conversations made me giggle. Tension filled and funny, the chemistry between these two leaps off the page. And James is a great lead male. He’s equal parts intriguing, dashing, funny and strong.

Lee’s writing is so strong, I immediately appear in her Victorian England just by opening the book.

An awesome debut. Book two “The Body At The Tower” is currently out and book three “The Traitor and the Tunnel” will hit shelves in the United States in February 2012. My friend bought book three already, UK edition, from Book Depository. Yeah, she couldn’t wait. That’s how good.

Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome, like Cookies and Ice Cream

Posted September 26, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments


Book Review: Death Cloud (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins) by Andrew Lane

Posted August 29, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Title: Death Cloud

Author: Andrew Lane

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
 

Publication Date: February 2011

Genre: Young Adult Historical Mystery Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.


Review: There may be more stories written by other authors about Sherlock Holmes than by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself.  That says a lot right there. Holmes is clouded in his own mystery- a solitary figure, master in the art of deduction, a bit eccentric and very little is known about his past.

This is what makes Andrew Lane’s Holmes so enjoyable. Whether you are familiar with the original Holmes stories or not, he is so engrained in western culture with his signature deerstalker style hat, its hard to not recognize the popular literary figure.
Lane’s Holmes is young, curious and adventurous. While we see the slowly layered foundation of the man he is to become, this Holmes is fun to read. Along with his tutor Crowe and friend Matty, Sherlock starts his first adventure. He is only just a boy, but the potential is there and fueled by Crowe’s own skill and wisdom, it’s easy to see how young Sherlock develops into the man he is famous for.
Matty is true and loyal supporting character. Young, alone and rough around the edges, he makes the perfect friend for privileged Holmes.
Lane does a good job of prolonging the mystery, even if I had guessed it chapters earlier. There is a good deal of action and a couple of very threatening characters, so I think young boys might really enjoy this early Holmes adventure.  It’s light on the girl, and yes, of course there’s a girl, and heavy on the danger, which makes it perfect for boys maybe around 13 yrs old.
A quick read and a good debut to a promising series.



Review 6 Good but wouldn’t own a copy

Posted August 29, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments