Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The travelling book

Thanks to Polenth I have a copy of Ars Memoriae by Beth Bernobich for you to review while it's on tour. It goes to the first person replying to this post who asks to review it, provided they meet the following criteria:

1. You have a blog and you're not afraid to use it.
2. You're willing to read the book.
3. You'll photograph the book somewhere... in your home, on a rollercoaster, by your pet cat. Somewhere. Only one photo is needed but you can take more.
4. You'll post a review, and your book photograph, to your blog.
5. You send it along to the first person who replies to you, as long as they're willing to review/photograph/pass it on.

I've been very slow in reading it, partly because it's a  beautiful book and I didn't want to get soup on it. Let's not go there.

Here's the book in the wild at my house:

(The netting is Rufus's hammock. It was originally part of a scheme to stop the kittens falling off the landing onto the stone floor below but Rufus has made it his own. He is not spoilt.)

My review:

This is a story of intrigue set in an alternate history which gave me the sense of a steampunk novel without the steam. It begins with mathematics and theories abut time and we're told that Adrian Dee, the main character, is remembering things that haven't happened. That made me want to read on and there are snippets of his other memories dropped in from time to time.

I found the beginning rather slow, as the politics of the situation were laid out and Dee's mission for the queen put before him, but the action speeded up as the story went on and there were some tense action scenes which I enjoyed. The descriptions of places and people were very vivid and I found the ending satisfying.

Edited to add: it looks like stacy is the next reviewer.


Douglas Bruton said...

Sounds quite interesting and looks kinda cooky enough and brainy enough to draw attention.


fairyhedgehog said...

Douglas, are you asking to be the next reviewer, or just commenting? (It's fine either way!)

Ann said...

Book sounds very interesting. What an interesting concept. Sending the book to bloggers. So many activities going on in this blogosphere! Who would have thunk! Nice Library! I always dreamed of a library in my home. Lucky you. :)

fairyhedgehog said...

Ann, yes the blogosphere really is fun: full of competitions and parties!

I know I'm really lucky to have a library. It makes the living room look naked, though, not having any bookshelves!

Polenth said...

Yay! That's a nice library. I have a bookcase stuck in a random corner of the house.

My cat fell of the banisters a few times, but he always caught himself with his claws. Then blamed the banisters (or us).

fairyhedgehog said...

Polenth, I think normal people let their cats sort themselves out like that. Now Rufus thinks he owns the place.

Old Kitty said...


What an eye-catching title!

I'd be willing to read and review but I don't have a digital camera (I do have a disposable one though, LOL!)to take pics upload pics etc.

I've found this extract, so maybe I'll just do a mini-mini review? Is that ok?


And I love your library! Actually the netting (to save falling cats - bless their little furry souls!)looks quite good where it is!

Take care

fairyhedgehog said...

Old Kitty, I don't think I have any takers yet, so if you can find way to upload photos maybe by scanning them, then you could be the next person getting to hold the book.

I'm glad you think the cat netting looks cool. Rufus love to lie in it.

Old Kitty said...


I wrote a mini-mini review of the first 20 pages of the wonderfully titled: Ars Memoraie


The first 20 pages

I was immediately thrust into a world at once familiar and then not, of a time that I thought was perhaps Elizabethan (Queen Aine seems to be a mirror image of Queen Elizabeth) but was not (a car horn blows in the first few paragraphs). The effect of all these was that I was a little disorientated and was unclear if I was reading perhaps a second volume of a series. Where I found I was drawn in were the many hints of time and space fluctuating around Commander Dee. Memories lost or about to occur, a hint of unrest within the Queen’s inner circle, a hint of a love affair there that may or may not be real, a murder that may or may not have happened and above all the enigma of the main protagonist. Who is Commander Dee exactly? Is he of that time or from elsewhere? What is the significance of the dreams he refuses to acknowledge to Dr. Lusk?

So these first 20 pages were certainly intriguing – setting the scene for what I hope to be a complex and convoluted murder mystery set against a backdrop of global warfare.



Take care

fairyhedgehog said...

Nice review, Kitty. Are you sure you can't manage something with photos? Then I could send you the whole book to review.

Stacy said...

Not to try to knock Kitty out of the way, but I'll throw in my hat. I don't have a digital camera either, but I do have my phone camera, so I'll be able to put up a photo.

So should whomever you send the book to send it back when they're finished??

fairyhedgehog said...

Stacy, if you're offering then you're the first one and I'll pass it on to you. You have my email address to send me your postal address.

What you then do is the same as me: when you put up your photo and review, you pass on the book to the first person who asks to be the next reviewer and can meet with the conditions.

Looks like you're it!

Stacy said...

Okay - I'll send along my address, then. Thanks!

This is a really cool idea.

writtenwyrdd said...

Interesting way to do a contest. I'm waaaaay past the due date, lol. As per usual. Is this a good book in your opinion?

fairyhedgehog said...

stacy, thanks!

ww, straight to the point as usual! The book is beautifully produced and has its good points but it's not one that I'd have read to the end if I wasn't reviewing it. I'm glad I did, on the whole. It left me with unanswered questions but I'm never sure how much a book is being opaque and how much I'm suffering from Brain Fog, which can be a real issue for me at times.

fairyhedgehog said...

The book is on its travels again! It will take a week or so to get to its next temporary home.

Old Kitty said...


It's going to a new home!!!

Can't wait to see the result. By then I might have treated and taught myself how to use these darned new fangled digi wotsits camera...!

Take care


fairyhedgehog said...

Kitty, I hope you do get a digi wotsit camera. The new fangled ones are easier to use than the old ones because they do everything for you.

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