Monday, July 15, 2013

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

About the Book:

In Bee Ridgway’s wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, the future. 

“You are now a member of the Guild . There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.

In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.

My thoughts:

I'll be honest......I don't know what I think about this book.

Did I like it? Did I get lost and bored with the meandering storyline? Was I intrigued with the unique time travel? Was I not amused at witty attempts? Was I invested in the love story of Julia and Nick? Did I hate the ending? 

Yes, to all of the above! So I'm left scratching my head on this one.

I loved Ridgway's original and imaginative concept of time travel -- I'm always drawn to stories of characters traveling through time (either forward or backward) and their adventures as they attempt to conform to the social rules and mores of their time period. Imagine the jar to the senses for a nineteenth century marquess to be hurdled 200 years forward from a battlefield to the 21st century! This could be quite interesting! Especially since he is told he can never return to his own time, and he yearns for a special young lady and her beautiful eyes from his past.....

And then there is Julia Percy,  back in the 19th century, raised by  a grandfather who possessed special powers that could play with time. When her grandfather dies, she is left to suffer at the hands of her cruel cousin Eamon who is determined to find out all he can about the secret powers the man took to his grave, even if it means destroying Julia in the process. 

Part time travel, part mystery, part romance, part spy far so good!

From here, I began to drown in the story. It meandered like the Mississippi River. I got lost. I skipped pages. It went on forever. The Guild. The Ofans. The future in peril. Who can you trust? Who is really who they say they are? Secrets are slooooowly being revealed. It picked up and I got interested again. I thought it had me as the love story developed, and just ended! I actually thought  my kindle edition was missing the last few pages. What?! 

I don't know........there are many, many 5 star ratings on different sites and terrific reviews, so this genre mash up appealed to a majority. Just didn't end up being my cup of tea.

3/5 stars

**This book (kindle edition) was purchased by me and is part of my personal library.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Got Jamie?



New Original Series Based on Diana Gabaldon’s International Best-Selling Novels 

From “Battlestar Galactica” Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore

Beverly Hills, Calif., July 9, 2013 – Starz in association with Sony Pictures Television has announced today that Sam Heughan will play the role of Jamie Fraser in the original series “Outlander,” adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s international best-selling books, which will premiere on STARZ in 2014. The chivalrous young Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser, has been adored worldwide by fans of the seven-book series that has sold more than 20 million copies and has graced the New York Times best-sellers list six times.

Diana Gabaldon said, “Oh. My. God. That man is a Scot to the bone and Jamie Fraser to the heart. Having seen Sam Heughan not just act, but be Jamie, I feel immensely grateful to the production team for their painstaking attention to the soul of the story and characters."

"From the very beginning, I knew the part of Jamie Fraser would be difficult to cast,” said Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore. “I had no one in mind for the part. I knew that someone would just come into the audition and be Jamie Fraser. And that's what Sam did."

In “Outlander,” Jamie Fraser strikes up a passionate affair with Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. Armed with sheer grit and enduring strength, he is a strapping young Scottish clan lord with a complicated past and a disarming sense of humor. He is intelligent, principled, and, by 18th century standards, educated and worldly, with a tenderness and compassion that stands out in contrast to his contemporaries. A natural leader of men, he has no political ambitions or desire for battlefield glories. Instead, he wishes to remove the price on his head and return to his family’s ancestral farm.

Sam Heughan is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, he was a 2003 nominee for the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performance for his work in the program. Last year, he originated the role of Batman in the DC/Warner Brothers and Waterlane production of "Batman Live," an international tour which opened at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and went on to tour in South America and throughout Europe. In 2010, he was nominated for a British Soap Award for “Villain of the Year” for his role as Scott Neilson in the BBC soap opera "Doctors." He has also had roles in a range of television series including, "River City," "Island at War," "The Wild West," "Midsomer Murders," and, most recently, "Any Human Heart" as Lieutenant McStay. His TV movie credits include, "Breaking the Mould" for BBC Television, "A Very British Sex Scandal" for Channel 4 and "First Light" for BBC2. He was nominated for a "Grace award" for his performance as Prince Ashton, the son of Sir Roger Moore, in “A Princess for Christmas” for Hallmark Channel. His film credits include the short film Small Moments, and the feature films Alexander the Great from Macedonia and Emulsion. He will also be seen in the upcoming film Heart of Lightness. On stage, Heughan has performed at a variety of theatres in such productions as “King John,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Vortex,” “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and more. At the Royal Scottish Academy, Heughan starred in productions including “Crime & Punishment,” “The Seagull,” and “Prometheus Bound.” He is repped by United Talent Agency in the US and United Agents in the UK.

The series adaptation for “Outlander” will be written by Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation”). Ronald D. Moore and Jim Kohlberg are executive producers of “Outlander,” which is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

The series will begin filming in Scotland this fall. 


Just doing my part to spread the word and share in the excitement of the STARZ production of Outlander!!!

I wanted to wait patiently for the official announcement, and Diana Gabaldon herself has posted this with her blessings!! The actor is gorgeous, tall, and Scottish -- and Diana approves!

Can't wait to see more as they cast more characters -- brilliant casting of on to Claire!

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »