The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub

A magical version of Lydia Bennet’s story in her own words. I’m no Janeite but do enjoy reading Austen, her sparkling prose and ability to make “dull” romance/marriage plots interesting and funny is always a delight. I’m also fond of fantasy and a good retelling, but I did not enjoy “The Scandalous Confessions…” very much. The magic system was dull, the various subplots tedious, and I didn’t care for the writing. I was vaguely bored throughout and didn’t care about what happened to any of the characters. Original flavour for me from now on. ★★★☆☆

The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

I was excited to read this as the premise is brilliant. Sadly, I found it a bit of a dud. The story got progressively less engaging and incorporated a “twist” I found trite, and the middling resolution made the whole story weaker. No characters were particularly engaging and I found the arctic chapters and the musings of the main character more of a distraction than an enhancement. I didn’t particularly care for the writing style, and also lampshading something doesn’t magically make it not bad. All told, an ok read but not a book for me. ★★★☆☆