Celia Lake


Mysterious Charm: Outcrossing (2018), Goblin Fruit (2019)

Mysterious Charm

Outcrossing (2018)

OutcrossingRufus returned from The Great War unscathed, to a village that doesn’t understand why he returned when their sons and brothers and fathers didn’t.

(T)hey found him even more suspicious and – just wrong, one of the wives had called him. “Nothing natural about a man coming out of the war, not a scratch on him.”

Ferry has no interest in the men her parents are selecting for her to marry, so she makes a different choice.

Ferry had not meant to be a governess, after all, but it was a suitable sort of occupation for a young woman from a good family who was refusing to get married.

The story is interesting, the writing however, is aggravating and repeatedly threw me out of the story.

“Not one one I’m much good at.”

Much of the story feels like it was dictated, rather than written, and then they didn’t go back to tighten up the prose so it would make sense to a reader.

“Mrs Wain, I do – I know it’s not at all proper, but the man I was speaking to. So I know how to avoid him, or people like him, what should I know?”

“See this? It’s got that line of rose pink, on the underside of the orchid, that’s just about right, lots of pictures don’t. And this, here. About the ponies. This is quite a good description of the breeding lines, much more detail than some. I don’t know the all of it, but it’s promising.”

In speech, our pauses and intonation help the listener fill in the gaps and pauses and stutters and false starts. Reading conversation may be accurate, but it’s not easy, and I don’t find it any fun.

Publisher: Celia Lake
Rating: 5/10

Goblin Fruit (2019)

Goblin FruitSet in England in 1924

Lizzie has taken a job for the ministry, hoping it will allow her and her sister to survive–especially since her work during the war hadn’t helped her to get any other jobs.

Carillon also does work for the ministry, and keeps a public facade of a rich and not to smart heir, to keep society from suspecting.

As with the previous book, I liked the mix up of history and fantasy and mystery.

Also as with the previous book, poor editing left me confused and sometimes thrown out of the story.

But my… associate wasn’t sure what it they meant it do.”

This one was on the first page:

He was one of half a dozen helper, sent from the auction house.

So it was aggravating to be thrown out of the story repeatedly, but it was better than the first book.

But this one had a couple other issues.

First, it brought up Lizzy’s family having a bad reputation, but never explained why. Also, her sister didn’t seem to have the same trouble finding a job that Lizzie did, which was confusing. We also had hints to problems with Carillon’s past, but neither of these things were explained.

I also frequently didn’t understand why some characters behaved as they did, which was also aggravating.

So, it was ok, but frustrating.

Rating: 6/10