DNF Review for Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

bloodredsnowwhiteBlood Red Snow White
By: Marcus Sedgwick
Release Date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

I DNFed at page 93

Summary:
There never was a story that was happy through and through.

When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his home in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, it is with little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously romantically entangled with revolutionary leader Trotsky’s personal secretary. Both sides seek to use Arthur for their own purposes…and, as he struggles to find autonomy, both sides grow to suspect him of being a double agent. Arthur wants only to elope far from the conflict with his beloved. But when he attempts to extract himself and Evgenia from the complicated politics and politicians that he fears will lead them both to their deaths, the decisions he faces are the most dangerous and difficult of his life.

My Thoughts:
Blood Red Snow White started off so strongly for me. I was immediately captivated with the writing and story telling. This book was written as if I was listening to my grandfather telling me stories. I was in love. I just KNEW I’d love this book to pieces.

So, what went wrong? The tone of the book changed as we got to the main character and his story. It went from the fairy tale feel to more of a dull account of what Arthur was doing, talking to and seeing. I wanted to be interested but sadly I was not.

This book heavily goes into Russian history which, at first, I found intriguing. I loved they symbolism Sedgwick utilized and felt that it was such a strong start. Once the scene was set and the real story began all the heart just seemed to leave the story. I felt nothing for Author though I wanted to.

Also, if you are thinking this is a fairytale retelling- it’s not. You might think from the title- Snow White- but nope. It has nothing to do with Snow White. The beginning did feel like a fairy tale but after that it felt very much like historical fiction. If you are a fan of slower paced historical or Russian history this book might be for you.

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Have you read this book? Should I continue? Does it ever got back to the beautiful feeling of the beginning of the novel?

 

Review of Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

GhostsofHeaven1Ghosts of Heaven
By: Marcus Sedgwick
Release Date: January 6th 2015
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating:
star

Summary:
A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

My Thoughts:
As other reviewers have pointed out this book is very difficult to rate and review. Sedgwick takes his reader on four different journeys which all share a common thread. I loved the idea behind the book and Sedgwick’s writing was beautiful as always.

The first story was my least favorite and this was probably because it was written in verse. I’ve not had luck with verse because I find it nearly impossible to connect to the characters. It was written well and was easy to read but I didn’t have the emotional response I’d have preferred. If you enjoy verse I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one. The second story was an easier read for me but I was a tad underwhelmed with the storyline. This one centered around a young woman being accused of witch craft. I felt the story was a bit predictable. The writing was crisp and beautiful but it wasn’t enough to really have me love this story.

The last two stories turned the tide for me though. I found them both to be mesmerizing. The third story centers around a hospital for the mentally ill. I absolutely loved the storyline and main character. It was sufficiently creepy, fast paced and really beautifully done. The last story kept that momentum but turned the story to space. This one was so imaginative, horrifying and breathtaking. I want Sedgwick to write a full length book centered in space (has he done this yet? If so let me know!) Everything about the last story was amazing. It’s a must read even if it’s the only story you read from the book.

So, how do I rate this book since two stories fell flat but the other two were incredibly strong? I’d say try the first two but if they don’t grab you read the last two. I am eager to read more from Sedgwick since I’ve only read this and She Is Not Invisible.

Final Thoughts:
Though the first two stories weren’t hits for me the last two makes this book worth owning. Each story was well done but the last two were breathtaking in their originality, elegant prose and haunting storyline. Once again I’m blown away with Sedgwick’s ability to construct a story and add his unique voice to all sorts of genres.

Review of She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

She Is Not InvisibleShe Is Not Invisible
By: Marcus Sedgwick
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Sourcs: ARC

Thank you Ksenia for the beautiful gift of Sedgwick books. He is becoming a favorite.

I read this with Jen from Starry-Eyed Revue. Check out her review here.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.

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Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review. So excited about this book haul!

Won (via Goodreads First Reads, thank you Random House!):

Dark Eden
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

For Review (via publisher-Thank you Macmillan!):
 SedgwickMy Last Kiss

She Is Not Invisible, White Crow, Revolver and Midwinterblood all by Marcus Sedgwick and My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
Borrowed:

Vicious

Vicious by Victoria Schwab from Steph at Inspiring Insomnia

Free To Read (click on title to read):

 The Little Android (Lunar Chronicles, #2.5)The Bridge of Snow: A Tor.Com Original

The Little Android by Marissa Meyer and The Bridge of Snow by Marie Rutkoski

Posts from last week:

How was last week for you? Which books did you get?