Tag Archives: time travel

Review of Laurent and the Beast (Kings of Hell MC, #1), by K.A. Merikan

I borrowed an audio copy of Laurent and the Beast (by K.A. Merikan) through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

1805. Laurent: Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart. 
2017. Beast: Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. 

Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living. 

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.

Review:

Honestly, not bad. I generally enjoyed this, but several things held me back from loving it. First, I struggled with how naive Laurent was. That he would be confused by the future makes sense. But he also seemed naive in his own time and there was at least one point in the story where his naiveté seemed so extreme as to feel artificial to force the plot along. 

What’s more I struggled with him only being 19, to Beast’s 32. I understand that in 1805 19 wouldn’t have been very young. But the way he was constantly called ‘the boy’ and treated as a child, even during sex scenes squinked me out. 

Second, the lack of communication between the men, leading to misunderstandings annoyed me. This isn’t a rare plot device, but here some of them were too ridiculous to swallow. What was causing the problem was so very obvious that I couldn’t believe Beast didn’t see it.

Lastly, I didn’t feel like anyone outside of Laurent and Beast were given any depth. Everyone accepted time travel and demons with barely a raised eyebrow, and Merikan wasn’t whole successful in making the bikers both dangerous outlaws AND not bad guys. 

Despite all of that, I did mostly enjoy it and will likely pick up the next in the series at some point.

Review of Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach – by Kelly Robson

I borrowed a paperback copy of Kelly Robson‘s Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Discover a shifting history of adventure as humanity clashes over whether to repair their ruined planet or luxuriate in a less tainted pass.

In 2267, Earth has just begun to recover from worldwide ecological disasters. Minh is part of the generation that first moved back up to the surface of the Earth from the underground hells, to reclaim humanity’s ancestral habitat. She’s spent her entire life restoring river ecosystems, but lately the kind of long-term restoration projects Minh works on have been stalled due to the invention of time travel. When she gets the opportunity take a team to 2000 BC to survey the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, she jumps at the chance to uncover the secrets of the shadowy think tank that controls time travel technology. 

Review:

Not bad, and I liked it a lot more by the end than I did the beginning. I thought the way the two narratives were interspersed and eventually intersected was really clever and I liked the world with it’s generational differences and integrated tech. (And I love that the main character is an 83-year-old woman.) But honestly I was bored for a lot of the time while reading this. So, my overall experience was middle of the road.

Review of Stumbling On A Tale, by Suzanne Roche

Lately, I’ve been making a concerted effort to read all the Middle Grade books that I’ve shelved with the intention of reading before passing them to my children (but basically forgot about). Today I finished Stumbling on a Tale, by Suzanne Roche. I won it through Goodreads.

Description:

It turns out the trips back in time haven’t ended for Peri, Henry, and Max. In the second book in the TIME TO TIME Series, the children find themselves right in the middle—the Middle Ages that is. And this time they’re lost in a forest, where they stumble upon a group of travelers who seem to be long on medieval tales but short on helpful information.

Peri and her stepbrothers are sure they know what they have to do to get home though, so there won’t be any problems this time. End of story.

Okay, maybe not.

It turns out everything Peri and the boys know is wrong and nothing is how they expect it to be. So when none of their ideas work, they have to rely on a peasant chaperoning his pig, a maiden searching for her dog, a dragon-hunting page, and an unappreciated sorcerer to find the answers. Only everyone seems to be better at losing things than finding them.

At the end of the book, you can get your hands on history—make medieval gingerbread, learn to play Nine Man’s Morris, and solve a riddle from the 10th century, plus more! 

Review:

I found this an interesting miss-mash of a book. It’s eminently readable (even if the editing hitches on occasion and it looks like it’s been formatted in Word *shudder*). And it’s obviously intended to introduce and educate children on aspects of the Middle Ages, the story being the vehicle to drop facts in their laps. It mostly works too.

Where I think it falters is in the pictures. Not the pictures themselves, but that they’re pictures with captions. They seem out of place in a fictional story, as opposed to a textbook. It requires quitting the story to read the caption, which disrupts the flow. I found it really distracting. The only way I actually see this working with a child reader is the time-honored practice of not reading the caption at all.

Having said that, as with so very many books with ignored caption, I can see this doing well in a school library. And for the record, it stands alone just fine. I had no problem with the fact that I hadn’t read book one, Making it Home.

Edit: I noticed, when I cross-posted this review to Amazon, that Making it Home is a freebie. So, it would be easy enough to pick up.