Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

Erlina of Whispering Pines by J.J. Burgess (♦♦♦½)

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Erlina (Gunn) Andersen is a determined, strong woman to whom life has dealt painful blows, first by losing both of her parents at an early age, and then losing both grandparents years later in a freak accident. At the time the novel starts, year 1880, Erlina has recently lost her husband to pneumonia. She and her children have the full support of her loyal friends and two of her servants, when she learns that she has lost her grandparents’ rather grand property Florette Manor because of her late husband’s gambling addiction.

As she learns from a trusted friend that she has inherited a modest property far away from Sydney Town, she readies for her new life at Whispering Pines in Van Dieman’s Land. To make a living, Erlina decides to train horses for racing, but she encounters serious opposition from local businessmen because she is a woman. Her partnership with Jason Caird--the man who bought Florette Manor and who also owns a neighboring property in Van Dieman’s Land—will prove useful for them both. Through the years, Erlina will uncover family secrets and also learn that her past and Jason Caird’s are intertwined.

I liked this book very much. It is very easy to read; the story flows. The first hundred pages are full of trivial aspects, but those are essential to set the pace and get to know the characters. As the book progresses, it becomes engrossing, so it feels effortless to empathize with all the characters. Family secrets, business rivalries and mystery are well incorporated to this concoction with fascinating results.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Erlina of Whispering Pines by J.J. Burgess as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

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