Monday, November 10, 2014

Minis: An American Duchess & The Forever Watch

An American Duchess by Sharon Page

This historical romance set in both England and the United States, a few years after World War I, is a solid read but expect a two-part sort of read, first filled with passion and then with angst. The tension leading to the romance between the main protagonists ends about half way through the book when they marry after falling in love. This romantic section is very much what might be expected of a historical novel with that immediate dislike/attraction between a modern, independent, headstrong American woman and a conservative English aristocrat. It leads to some pretty passionate scenes and eventually to a promising future. The second part of the story focuses mainly on the aftereffects of war and how the male protagonist's PTSD affects the marriage. Page's characters describe PTSD as it was viewed in those times, as war madness and other less than acceptable terms used to describe it. The problematic issues that arise between this couple are not instantly resolved and I like that about this book. There are, however, what I think of as over-the-top Hollywood scenes toward the end that interfered negatively with the intimacy between the protagonists. Overall, however, a solid historical with good World War I background.

The Forever Watch by David Ramirez

The Forever Watch is a science fiction story with a mystery at its core. It also contains a romance, alien technology, and the creation of a new AI. It has a familiar world-building with people traveling in a spaceship searching for a new world after Earth is destroyed. Individuals receive implants as children to help them realize their potential in a class conscious society that otherwise has no knowledge of decease, religion, or war. The story is slow to begin and overall  slow to develop. Science is detailed and it is obvious that Ramirez spent much time developing this aspect of the story, however it comes off as convoluted and hard to follow at times. The final few chapters are fantastic, but it was rough getting there. I put down and picked up this book countless times before finishing it. I had to raise my eyebrows at the final "message," if that was the purpose, but this is what I got out of it: those in power keep realities from the masses, for their own good of course, because they wouldn't be able to handle the truth. Hmm. . .

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