The Eternal Banquet – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, we’re up to the last book in the series and I can’t believe I’m finally done with the series!

Those little things that frustrated me in the last book were all corrected in this book while Ashley, Alexander and Plexis found their way through the rest of their lives.

The focus of this book is on their travels home from the land of the Eaters of the Dead. There were several revelations that, for the first time in this series, made me think about something philosophical. Normally I’ve found this series to be a great relaxation read rather than a reflective and learning kind of book.

The moment that hit me was when they were leaving Carthage for Rome. If you read the book, you’ll know what I mean with that moment. I was left wondering if maybe she was always meant to travel back in time to ensure that history played out exactly as it was meant to. Maybe every time traveller that got stuck back in time had a vital role to play in the history of the world and the Institute of Time let them make changes while also keeping up the reputation of wiping them from the Earth to discourage too much control.

As much as I loved the story, the style of the writing felt a touch off at a few points. Even the last couple of chapters felt a little bit rushed. Yet I can’t see how the ending would have been satisfying any other way.

Given the difference in the whole story compared to history, I can see why we needed the wrap up of what happened to Ashley’s children and where she ended up. I’m not sure if the main reason I didn’t like this was because I didn’t want the story to end, or because there really was something missing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week that last instalment of The Circle Opens quartet will be reviewed. After that, I’ll be starting a new set of series to replace this one.

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Altered Carbon – Fallen Angel ( Season 01 Episode 02)

  • Episode length: 57 minutes
  • Number of pages: 51
  • Number of chapters: 4

This episode follows the book pretty much to a tee. Theres hardly any differences between the two, although I’ve outlined them below for you.

SPOILERS AHEAD – WON’T RUIN THE SHOW BUT WILL TELL YOU SOME THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO KNOW BEFORE WATCHING/READING IT

You can see the differences summarised in the table.

SHOWBOOK
Kovacs is woken up by Prescott (the lawyer) being in his roomKovacs is woken up by the hotel with news that Prescott is on her way up
Kovacs sees the re-sleeving facility and interviews Mr and Mrs Bancroft while thereKovacs goes to Alcatraz to see the storage and re-sleeving facility Bancroft owns and uses
Kovacs reviews all the death threats with the AI from The RavenKovacs reviews all the death threats with Prescott
Elliot is a black man who has his daughters stack in VRElliot is an old white man sitting on a bench
Elliot needs to be forced to talk about what happened to his daughterElliot freely talks about what happened to his daughter
Kovacs chases a guy to cause a fight outside of the brothelKovacs is jumped by Elliot and then others
Ortega arrests Kovacs for organic damageOrtega saves Kovacs from the guy he was chasing

Although there are minor differences in how these are presented, I think I can understand why. I don’t think there was as much awareness around diversity back in 2002 when Altered Carbon was first published as there was 16 years later when Netflix released the TV show. Given the lack of black representation in a country that has such a huge black community I can understand wanting to make a few characters black that may not have originally been.

Although there are minor differences in how these are presented, I think I can understand why. I don’t think there was as much awareness around diversity back in 2002 when Altered Carbon was first published as there was 16 years later when Netflix released the TV show. Given the lack of black representation in a country that has such a huge black community I can understand wanting to make a few characters black that may not have originally been.

I think because this episode so closely resembled the book, they were only able to get through 4 chapters (51 pages) compared to the 6 chapters (72 pages) of the first episode. I’m looking forward to seeing the spread of the remaining episodes in the coming weeks.  

3

Altered Carbon – Out of the Past ( Season 01 Episode 01)

In case you missed it, I decided to compare the books to the TV show Altered Carbon. It’s a trilogy with both seasons 1 and 2 currently available on Netflix so I’ll be knocking out one episode a week for you over the next 18 weeks.

  • Episode length: 59 minutes
  • Pages read: 72
  • Chapters read: 6

I’m really looking forward to bringing you my thoughts on each episode compared to the book. Even though I almost instantly found differences between the show and the book, by the end of the 6th chapter I was able to say that the main points happened in each.

SPOILERS AHEAD – WON’T RUIN THE SHOW BUT WILL TELL YOU SOME THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO KNOW BEFORE WATCHING/READING IT

To give you a summary, I’ve broken the differences and similarities down into dot points.

SHOWBOOK
Flashbacks happen throughout the episode Flashback is the prologue only
The girlfriend is murdered by the Protectorates in cold blood Sarah (the girlfriend) is gunned down while trying to shoot the Protectorates
Kovacs is made a martyr Kovacs is show in the chest before he realises what’s happened while reaching for his gun
Bancroft lives in some tower structure where all the rich people live Bancroft lives in an estate out of the city, overlooking the Reach
Kovac knows what a Songtree is Kovac doesn’t know what a Songtree is
Ortega has a drink with Kovac while he’s tripping on various drugs before checking into a hotel Ortega has a drink with Kovac in his hotel room after he’s attacked
Kovacs knows The Raven is an AI hotel before going into it Kovacs finds out The Hendrix is an AI hotel after the firefight happens
Kovac is attached by like 5 or 6 guys (including one woman) Kovac is attached by one guy and one woman
Kovac tried to avoid working for Bancroft Kovac never tried to avoid working for Bancroft

Pretty much everything from when they wake Kovac up until he get’s to Bancroft’s place is slightly different as well. Little things like the process of being woken up, being discharged, knowing vs not knowing the cops are escorting him to Bancroft, being given a letter from Bancroft before being discharged explaining why he’s been brought back. Little things like that are more detailed in the book.

Yet I understand they needed to change it so show you what the narration of the book tells us. Unless they felt like narrating every episode, I can see why they chose to do this a little differently.

The similarities are straight forward in that the general timeline and progress Kovac’s makes in the book and the show are pretty bang on. There’s a detour in the show where Kovac’s goes to get high and drink whereas in the book he questions Bancroft and his wife.

However, if I remember correctly the scene I read in the book where Miriam (Bancroft’s wife) is questioned, that happens in a later episode. It could have just been creative license to get interest in the series early.

Unlike with books, you’ve got one to two episodes to get the audience interested. If you weigh those episodes down with boring stuff like someone being questioned, you might lose the audience and cost the show success. Which is exactly why the show is “based on” the book. Not a direct adaptation of the book.

3

Altered Carbon – Intro

Genres: Sci-Fi

A few years ago, a new sci-fi, steampunk series was released on Netflix; Altered Carbon. As soon as I saw the trailer, I knew it was one I wanted to see, so when it finally dropped, I binged it over a single weekend. The following month I was able to keep reliving each episode as my work friends worked their way through the series and I was able to talk about it with them.

We dissected each episode from the choice of actors, the cinematics, the way it was shown and what they could have done differently to make it better. When I started my book blog a couple months later, these same friends suggested I do a comparison of the book to the Netflix adaptation.

Before Christmas I saw the announcement that Season 2 would be dropping in Quarter 1 of 2020 so I realised I needed to get a move on with my comparison of Season 1 if I wanted to keep up. Especially since there are only 3 books!

To help with this I asked for a Secret Santa to give me a copy of Altered Carbon, and I was lucky enough to get it! Yay!

Unfortunately, I’d signed up for so many book tours in January and February I knew I couldn’t get to it until March. So even though Season 2 dropped a week ago I’ll be reviewing Season 1 with the first book over the next 10 weeks. Then I’ll go straight into Season 2 over the following 8 weeks.

Whether you’re a fan of the books or the show, come back every week on a Wednesday to see how the show and the book are the same or different, and who did it better. Feel free to disagree or even point out anything I’ve missed coz I’m only human and I may see or interpret things differently to you.

Come back in a week for my comparison of the first episode of Season 1!

You can also keep track of each episode and book over on my Altered Carbon page.

Image credit: Fanbolt

3

Soul of Time – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, today’s review is the second last book in the series. We’ve moved on from the filler book and it’s now full of action and everything I love about this series!

We pick up the start of this book right where we ended the last book, Chants to Persephone with everyone heading into the Eaters of the Dead territory. One of the best things about this book is that it’s full of suspense, action and surprises.

The prophecies Alexander and Ashely heard in the previous book start to make sense, bit by bit.

I found myself held in suspense for the majority of the book wondering what would happen. So many questions were raised and answered one at a time in this book. Yet, if I tell you any of them, I’ll probably ruin the story for you.

Although I loved the story and the action and how it all played out. There were a few small details that were a little bit off to me. One of them was how many pregnancies Ashely had had. In the first 4 books she’d been pregnant 5 times (possibly a 6th, not 100% sure without going back through them) yet in this book they said 4 times.

It might have been a mistake. They do happen. But it did throw me for a minute, and I had to go back through my memory and count all her pregnancies.

The other thing that started to bother me in this book was Ashely getting prophetic dreams. She hasn’t had them in any of the previous books (except maybe a brief introduction to them in the previous book) and I don’t feel like this is something that someone would develop all of a sudden.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be picking the Tamora Pierce series again. So stay tuned!

A Shape on the Air – Julia Ibbotson

Welcome back everyone, after so many romances I’m ticking off my first sci-fi/time travel kinda book for the year.

When I signed up for this tour, I was very much on the fence about whether I’d love it or not. Now I’ve finished it, I can assure you that I managed to fall onto one side very easily. Even with a few things that I didn’t like, I still found myself really enjoying this novel.

I liked that Julia created a reason for the time-slipping and created her own rhyme, reason and method. It made this element uniquely hers. The fact that Viv was able to speak to others about what was happening and get their help and support through the confusing time was amazing.

Also, the slow build towards a relationship (remember, this is not a romance!) for Viv was really well done. It didn’t feel forced or weird like they sometimes can. If you’re not a fan of romance, then you don’t need to worry with this one. There’s only a couple of small sections that talk about the romance aspect that you can easily skip over as it doesn’t really impact the story.

There were a couple of things I wasn’t a fan of. Given how descriptive Julia’s writing is, I felt the naming of the friends in both times the same was a bit overkill. Julia could have named them differently in each time and let their personalities and loyalties do the talking. I actually found myself rolling my eyes and thinking “duh” when it was revealed because it was just too much.

Also, Pete’s actions in the early part of the book just felt odd to me. I’m luck enough to have never experienced domestic violence so I don’t know if my perception is off. But it felt like there would have been signs to point towards him acting the way he did. Even if that was a first and only time, it felt more like he’d been possessed, or someone had replaced his personality or something. Although that’s all based on limited knowledge and how it was written.

In the grand scheme of the book, those little annoyances were nothing. They had no real impact on the story. Only on my experience reading it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Wednesday (I told you this was going to be a review heavy period, didn’t I?) I’ll be reviewing When Adam Met Evie by Giulia Skye. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Acclaimed, award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then an academic as a senior university lecturer and researcher. As well as medieval time-slip, she has published a number of books, including memoir/history of food (The Old Rectory), children’s medieval fantasy (S.C.A.R.S), a trilogy opening in 1960s Ghana (Drumbeats), and many academic works. Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Check out Julia on her socials and Pinterest.

Giveaway - Win a paperback copy of The Old Rectory, bookmark, postcard, key ring and handbag fob (UK only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK  entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

A Crown In Time – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, it’s officially time to start the crazy few months of Rach Random Resources tours! Today’s is one from Jennifer Macaire, a little over a yr after I first read one of her books.

Although this is set in the same universe as the Time for Alexander series you don’t have to have read them to understand what’s going on. Jennifer has skill at writing a story and repeating information that those who have read the books will know, but new readers wont, in a way that doesn’t feel repetitive.

This is great as it ensures all readers know what going on without boring regular readers. There were even some differences in the reason and way Isobel was sent back in time. This was emphasised at the beginning of each chapter as a nugget of information from her Correctors Handbook was quoted before moving on.

I need to add that I want to talk about a spoiler coz it was part of what made this story so good for me!

The fact that Isobel couldn’t save his life had me thinking that that was going to be the end of things for her. Yet the fact that she was pregnant and able to continue his line after all meant that the key thing that he needed to do, have kids, was achieved.

But it left me wondering what the Institute saw in the history books when they compared the results. Like, did they see that he still died but his line continued? Did the books even record that?

I wanted to know more!

Ok, that’s the spoilers done.

As a stand-alone book using the same universe as the Time for Alexander series, I love the way this story was so different, and had so much emotion and backstory involved in such a short space.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Wednesday I’ll be doing my first Wrap Up post for the yr and on Friday I’ll be reviewing Lillian and the Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath (book 4 in the same series as Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquees by Jenni Fletcher). Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in France. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Website

Blog

Giveaway - Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Chants to Persephone – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, I’m finally back into my series reviews so I hope you’ll forgive me for kicking it back off with The Time for Alexander series. I couldn’t help but come back to it!

Last year I read the first four books in the series and I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy the rest of the series coz I loved them!

After the ending of the last books I was desperate to see what Ashley would do next. Since I hadn’t read any of the blurbs for the remaining three books, I had no idea who was alive, who was dead and where the stories were set. Given how much travelling Ashley and Alexander did in the first four books I assumed that there’d be more travelling.

The overall feel of this book was that we needed context and background on the latest adventure to understand the future books. I know series need these, but it also makes me feel a little dejected when I do read them.

As we’ve seen in previous books the oracles prophecies tend to guide the actions of those in the past, but they are just plain weird! I honestly don’t know how people back then managed to decipher anything to be able to go about their lives. Yet they somehow manage to do it and find their way through horrible times.

The final thing that felt different to me was that we had a clear direction for the next book. The other books had a general direction, but nothing set in stone. This time we were left knowing exactly what we were working towards, who was going to be involved and a general idea of what the outcome is going to be.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I restart the Tamora Pierce reviews and in two weeks I’ll be reviewing Legend of Love by Lisa Kessler.

Cold Attraction – Zoe Ashwood

Welcome back everyone, I bet you weren’t expecting a review today!

Well neither was I!

Zoe gave me the heads-up last week that she had a new release ready to be read and reviewed and I just so happened to be finishing up another book and am way ahead of schedule. So, I figured why not throw in a surprise review for you! Especially since this was released YESTERDAY! So it's really fresh off the press for you.

Zoe has written paranormal romance and sweet romance before, and I will admit to preferring the paranormal romance. But I think that has more to do with my ambivalence to sweet romance than anything else. With the new series being an alien romance, I was hoping it’d lean back towards the style I like.

Right from the start it was infused with political intrigue, sexual attraction and verbal sparring. We come in after Adriana and Taron have already had a kiss that was interrupted so there’s already some history. Meaning we skip all the awkward meeting, will it, won’t it initial kind of insecurities.

With some handy gadgets that translate any language spoken to one the wearer understands, Adriana and Taron skip a lot of potential misunderstandings that happen when people speak different languages. I was left a little confused when he understood some sayings, but not others. I mean, people from another language probably don’t understand any of my Aussie sayings and phrases, so how is it that an alien species understand half of them?

Do I seem to have some weird love of alien romance? Apparently, I do!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be back to my regular Monday reviews, this time with Intimate Strangers by Lasairiona E. McMaster.