The Clockwise Man by Justin Richards
England 1924: the Doctor and Rose find themselves caught up in the hunt for a murderer. With faceless killers closing in, can they solve the mystery of the Clockwise Man before London itself is destroyed? This is the first of a new series of hardcovers featuring the new Doctor Who from the new TV series.
My first Doctor Who novel. I've been slowly working my way through the TV series, and can't get enough! Eccleston is still my favourite Doctor, and Rose one of my favourite companions, so it was fun to return to their "era". The Clockwise Man was adequately well-written and diverting. Not on the same level as one of TV episodes, but still fun. As with a typical NuWho episode, the story combines elements of mystery and sci-fi. This particular book had something a steam-punk feel to it, thanks to the heavy involvement of clockwork - stuff - in the story. 3 out of 5 stars.
The Storekeeper's Daughter by Wanda Brunstetter
Time seems to stand still in Naomi Fisher's tranquil community, but it cannot hold back tragedy. Helping her widowed father run a store, manage a household, and raise seven children is a daunting task. There is no time to think about courtship or having her own family, though her heart yearns for the attention of Caleb Hoffmeir. But her days are plotted for her-until the afternoon her baby brother disappears from the yard. How can Naomi expect anyone to love and trust her if she can't take care of one small boy? Should she leave all that is familiar and seek a new avenue of life?
My first Wanda Brunstetter novel. Also my first taste of Amish fiction. I wasn't particularly taken with it. The story moved VERY slowly, and the dialogue seemed stilted and unnatural, particularly from the non-Amish characters in the book. There was one particularly ludicrous plot point. . . at which point I stopped reading, and skipped to the end of the book to the resolution that I knew was coming. I gave this 3 stars originally, but considering that I didn't even finish the book, perhaps I should make that 2 out of 5 stars.
Colonel Brandon's Diary by Amanda Grange
A vibrant retelling of "Sense and Sensibility," Grange's sweeping epic breathes new life into another of Austen's best-loved novels.
At the age of eighteen, James Brandon's world is shattered when the girl he loves, Eliza, is forced to marry his brother. In despair, he joins the army and leaves England for the East Indies for the next several years. Upon his return, he finds Eliza in a debtors' prison. He rescues her from her terrible situation, but she is dying of consumption and he can do nothing but watch and wait. Heartbroken at her death, he takes some consolation in her illegitimate daughter, who he raises as his ward. But at the age of fifteen, his ward goes missing. Devastated by the thought of what could have happened to her, he is surprised to find himself falling in love with Marianne Dashwood. But Marianne is falling in love with the charismatic Willoughby.
Not perfect, but a brave effort on the part of Amanda Grange. I liked the part of the book that detailed Colonel Brandon's earlier life, but I was actually a bit disappointed with the handling of Brandon and Marianne's relationship. Worth a look if you're a Brandon/Marianne fan like me, or for anyone who loves Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility and would be interested in reading a sensitive retelling of the neglected back story of S&S. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Doctor Who fan? Amish fiction reader? Read any of Amanda Grange's Austen hero books? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!