Tag Archives: russia

Book Review: The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra

Hogarth Published Oct. 6, 2015 352 Pages
Published Oct. 6, 2015
352 Pages

A collection of short stories beginning in the 1930s Soviet Union and ending in the present Russia. 

I can’t seem to stay away from short stories; especially when they have a cover such as this one. But the moment I realized this was a short story, I actually didn’t stop reading it. Because it was pretty good.

Despite the seriousness of the stories, the author’s writing was very light. It didn’t feel heavy and I wasn’t feeling a weight on my chest of depression. But I wasn’t happy or excited either. The author made these stories easy to digest and I loved that method.

The story about a Soviet censor whose job was to correct offending photographs was my favorite. It reminded me 1984 by George Orwell, which is a classic. It could have been written as a full novel and I would have not complained at all.  It was extremely powerful and I felt so bad for the man. I wanted so much more from it.

Another story I loved involved an actress and her family. I loved how there was different points of view to an overall story and not necessarily the story about the actress. But again, I wanted more. The story didn’t feel incomplete but there was pieces missing that would have been great to know.

For most of the part, all of the stories felt this way, which was slightly unfortunate.

Although those were my top two stories, the entire book was well written, full of emotion and detailed. I loved how the stories were connected with more than just location. But I can’t completely say creative because it feels like stories from actual lives and the author is more of a storyteller than a story writer. This isn’t a horrible thing but it isn’t a reason why I read books.

Overall, I am going to have to put this on the shelf as a job well done in the short story category.


3 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

Clean Teen Publishing To Be Published Oct. 7, 2014
Clean Teen Publishing
To Be Published Oct. 7, 2014

15-year-old Sophie must try to get the Russian throne at any cost. 

Sophie travels to St. Petersburg with her mother at the request of Empress Elizabeth, who is fond of her family. Determined to do as  her mother says and her save her family from ruin, Sophie decides to wage war to win Peter’s heart. 

But when her life becomes in danger things and she falls for a man she cannot have things become complicated and Sophie must decide what is really worth sacrificing for the throne.

AMAZING! Simply an amazing read.

Sophie is badass. She is extremely smart, knows her worth and knows what she is capable of. The greatest thing about her is she isn’t a cold heartless female dog. I loved how the author decided to break that mold.

Sophie wasn’t a girl who needed to break out of her shell. She was perfect the way she was. I liked her a lot. Do I think she went dense when she fell in love? Yes. But I would be a hypocrite to think I never done that before.

The characters were really well defined as well. While reading the book, I felt that I knew each character and felt a connection to them all. The story was written with a pace I completely agree with medium to a low high (lol). The author took time to develop twist and turns and romances without making things too complicated and too predictable.

However, there are two things that bother me with this book; Sophie’s “love” and the ending. Without getting into too much detail, I don’t think she loved him at all. It was the first man that made her feel more than just a child and actually made her feel something. I also don’t think it is love because her moving on process was too fast for me. I believe she did what she did out of strategy not love.

Now the ending. . . . Ms. Sherry if you are reading this . . . Why? WHY?!?! Why do you feel ending abruptly is a proper ending? I understand this is a series and you want to keep people hanging on but there had to be a better way for that to have ended.

*Frustrated sigh* Overall, I really loved this book and it has been a long time since I completely fell for something like this.  4.5 Pickles