Mini-reviews: God of the Hive by Laurie R. King; Flood Child by Emily Diamand; and The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

Title: God of the Hive
Author: Laurie R. King
Genre: Historical fiction, mystery
Publisher: Bantam Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: This ARC copy was a gift from Laura
First line: Two clever London gentlemen. Both wore city suits, both sat in quiet rooms, both thought about luncheon.

This one picks up right where The Language of Bees left off. King continues to hit them out of the park, one right after another, with this series! This one deals with political issues in Britain after WW I – the rise of the Labor Party and how it changes the face of intelligence and politics for Mycroft Holmes. It includes some scenes that had me in tears, others that had me holding my breath, and some of the scenes that involved Mary taking care of a small girl had me laughing. This remains my favorite mystery series ever.

Title: Flood Child
Author: Emily Diamand
Genre: Middle grade science fiction, futuristic fiction
Publisher: The Chicken House
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Charlotte Parry, James Clamp
First line: Cat puts up his nose to sniff the breath of wind barely filling the sail, and opens his small pink mouth to speak.

I can’t remember which book blogger recommended this one, but I am grateful. In a future Britain that is mostly flooded, Lilly Melkin is a Fisher. She owns a sea cat, a magical creature which helps her when she’s on her boat. The Fishers live in constant fear of the Raiders, pirates who occasionally raid Fisher villages. Scotland is the only area of Britain that has maintained at least a small amount of technology – most of which was destroyed during the floods, and which the Fishers and Raiders now believe is wicked or demonic. When a Raider ship comes to Lilly’s town and kidnaps the Prime Minister’s daughter, Lilly is determined to get her back and prevent her village from destruction. I loved the premise and the character of Lilly. I do wish the male narrator who read the character of Zeph, son of one of the Raider chiefs, was a little less melodramatic; his performance was a tad over the top. It wasn’t enough to make me stop listening, though, and I am looking forward to Flood and Fire, the sequel, which comes out next month.

Title: The Plague of Doves
Author: Louise Erdrich
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Peter Francis James, Kathleen McInerny
First line: In the year 1896, my great-uncle, one of the first Catholic priests of aboriginal blood, put the call out to his parishioners that they should gather at St. Joseph’s wearing scapulars and holding missals.

The Plague of Doves is more a set of connected stories than a linear novel, and like many story collections, some were definitely stronger than others. The over-arching mystery of a murdered white family and the Native Americans that were unjustly lynched for the crime, as well as the excellent narration, kept me listening to the end. I liked the writing, but there wasn’t anything there that stood out or took this from an okay book to a terrific one. If I had been reading it in print, without the amazing narration, I might not have continued reading it.

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10 Responses to Mini-reviews: God of the Hive by Laurie R. King; Flood Child by Emily Diamand; and The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

  1. Michelle says:

    I have Raiders Ransom on my wishlist already, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to picking up a copy at some point.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Michelle – for some reason, I thought it was you who recommended it, but I guess I was wrong! LOL

  2. It’s obvious that I need to try Laurie R. King’s work – I think I have one of her books on my Kindle.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – definitely start with book one in the series, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. The first few should be read in order, in my opinion. 🙂

  3. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads
    says:

    Great set of reviews. I need to read King’s first book. And I’m so glad to have read your review of Erdrich *before* I picked up the print copy I have here. I’m going straight for the audio.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Beth – yes, it was good on audio, but I really think the print copy would have bored me.

  4. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly
    says:

    Great reviews. It amazes me that I haven’t read anything by King or Erdrich yet. I need to change that.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Vasilly – you really must find time for The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – it is so wonderful!

  5. Kathleen says:

    I really need to read the Laurie King series soon!

  6. Pingback: BOOKS AND MOVIES » The Sunday Salon – August 8, 2010 (the “July reading wrap-up” edition)