Avengers: Age of Ultron by Alex Irvine

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Phase Two: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron by Alex Irvine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Tony Stark and Dr. Bruce Banner (Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk) have good intentions when they begin working on a global peacekeeping system. But when the plan goes awry, Iron Man, the Hulk, and the rest of the Avengers will have to stop Ultron from destroying humanity in Avengers: Age of Ultron, adapted by Alex Irvine.

So, in my journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’m past the point when I might have “had” to know exactly what happens in Age of Ultron. But I decided to go back and read the story based on the screenplay anyway. I’m glad I did.

As with other installments in the series, this one jumps right in without preamble or introductions. Yes, there’s good superhero action and danger. But like the rest of this ongoing sci-fi saga, the layers of the Avengers’ individual stories are what give compelling, even poignant, relevance to it all.

Ultron has interesting personal bits about some of the characters, and as usual, the parts when the Avengers come together and get all Avengery are pretty great. Alas, this book does have a little language I’m not keen on for children’s reads, so I beg the kids and their parents’ pardon on that score.

I wasn’t planning on it, but now that I’ve read this, I think I will go on (or go back) and watch the movie.

 

Ace Carroway Around the World by Guy Worthey

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Ace Carroway Around the World by Guy Worthey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Cecilia reached for a map from a shelf. She scooted the dishes over and spread it out. “After the funeral, though, I think I’ll fly around the world.”

Um…okay. Who just says that?

Pilot Cecilia “Ace” Carroway thought she’d killed a major menace back during the Great War. But now she believes the menace is still alive—and that he’s the one behind the murder of Ace’s father. When Lieutenant Drew Lucy takes on the case, however, he considers Ace to be the prime murder suspect in Ace Carroway Around the World by author Guy Worthey.

Here, now, we have an American crime adventure set in the 1920s that first made me think “crime noir.” Only this story isn’t exactly super-dark or laden with sex or anything. In fact, it includes a nice share of humor with its intrigue, and though it isn’t a comedy or the lightest of reading, I found it to be a lot of fun.

The story has a great sense of atmosphere, along with the heroine I became a fan of back during the Great War. I still say Ace is one bad, bad chick, almost too perfect, but the observant eye can see evidence of her weaknesses. She’s a supporting character for much of this story, as most of it comes from Drew’s perspective. Sometimes I felt the lieutenant to be one step away from buffoonery, but it’s a convincing enough step.

I’ll admit some appearances and mentions of key characters from the preceding book gave me a nostalgic, wistful feeling. And a poignant moment toward the story’s finish brought tears to my eyes.

Yes. I consider tearing up while reading to also be a lot of fun.

As a further admission, I’m usually not a fan of books ending with cliffhangers, but since I’d already pre-invested in whatever’s coming next for Ace, I wasn’t bothered enough to be bothered this time.

To get in on the uniqueness that is The Adventures of Ace Carroway series, you should read Book One before this one.

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Here’s my review of Ace Carroway and the Great War.

 

The Gentleman’s Quest by Camille Elliot

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

The Gentleman’s Quest by Camille Elliot

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

And yet he never quite felt he deserved to be anything other than alone.
Alone was where he was comfortable… Alone was where he belonged.
It was hard to remember that here, talking to Honoria…

Christopher has stayed away from Honoria since the accidental death of her brother, Christopher’s best friend. But when a man is murdered on Christopher’s property, Honoria may hold the evidence that will prove Christopher’s innocence in The Gentleman’s Quest by author Camille Elliot.

I don’t read a ton of Regency romances. But I enjoy them from this author because the main characters command a level of respect, and there’s always danger mixed in. Higher stakes than just questions about who’s going to court or marry whom.

This romantic suspense tale doesn’t shy away from the characters’ harsh realities. Honoria is feminine without being wispy or weak, and the British spelling throughout the novella is a nice touch.

Now, the emotional development seems a little awkward and hard to follow at times, and the characters’ thoughts wander on a bit long, here and there. Also, it’s not my favorite thing when a plot climaxes or resolves with “all of a sudden” information. When a momentous detail near the height of the story isn’t tied to some detail or hint from earlier, or a character has a key memory that doesn’t pop up until the end to make it all clear, it gives the resolution a thrown-together feel.

Nevertheless, other fans of inspirational and historical romantic suspense may want to check out this quick and entertaining read.

 

Carpe Diem by Katy Huth Jones

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Carpe Diem by Katy Huth Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Face that “if” if it comes…

I only read poetry collections once in the very bluest of moons, but I decided to take a quick break with Carpe Diem by Katy Huth Jones.

I connected most with her reflections on her experiences with illness, especially where “true love” comes in. Can’t say I didn’t tear up a couple times while reading, and I wasn’t expecting that at all.

Anyone who can appreciate inspirational poetry can find something to appreciate in this collection. Light and sweet here, haunting and defiant there, with moments that are profound and uplifting.

Uplifting–and now I can see just how fitting the balloon on the book cover is!

…For now, live and rejoice.
That is hope.