Taking advantage of the Christmas break to (very slowly) catch up on the book log. Alas, it’s long enough since I read these books that for most of them I can’t write anything in depth about them.
10) Subterranean Scalzi Super Bundle
Big ebook bundle, previously reviewed.
11) Agatha Christie — Death in the clouds (audiobook)
Abridged audiobook on 3 CDs, read by David Timson. A passenger aboard a plane between France and England is found dead, apparently of a wasp sting. Poirot rapidly finds evidence otherwise, and what appears to be the murder weapon — placed where Poirot is the most likely suspect. Poirot knows he isn’t the killer, but in proving himself innocent, he will also need to correctly identify the real killer, lest some other innocent be wrongly convicted by one of the many false clues.
The abridged audiobook is well edited, and ably read by Timson, but as always suffers somewhat from the abridgement. I enjoyed listening to it even though I haven’t read the novel in decades and remembered nothing about it; but I am minded to try the unabridged version read by Hugh Fraser the next time I want to listen to it.
12) Maria Dahvana Headley — Queen of Kings
Dark fantasy novel which takes as its premise the idea that Cleopatra did not commit suicide, but sacrificed to the dark goddess Sehkmet to try to protect her country and her husband from the invading Roman army — and found that she had sacrificed her own soul as part of the price. A price paid in vain, as Octavian tricks Mark Antony into committing suicide and the Romans take her children as captives. But Sehkmet’s new servant is now immortal, and consumed with a quite literal bloodlust for revenge. Octavian will find that his conquest of Egypt and its ruling family is not complete just because the Queen appears to have died at her own hands…
Cleopatra as a newly-made vampire fighting with a goddess for control of her own body while in pursuit of her stolen children is an intriguing premise. Headley’s novel has its flaws, but she makes good on the promise to the reader to provide an unusual twist on historical fact and historical myth. I’m glad I bought this. There’s an excellent review by Snat on LibraryThing which says pretty much all I would have liked to say about the book: http://www.librarything.com/review/75919863
13) Wilkie Collins — The Woman in White”13) Wilkie Collins — The Woman in White
One of the earliest mystery novels. I bailed about half way through, not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because I was having trouble concentrating on long work at the time, and this is indeed a long work. Out of copyright, and as such freely available from public domain websites such as Project Gutenberg and Feedbooks.