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5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2020
Just finished reading the second of The Old Curiosity Shop Book series and have loved it. The series is one of the best I have read for many years. The amount of detail the author has In the book, particularly about the antiques she has is fascinating, as is the different times that the main character, Sarah Lester (Williams) moves into. The first book had comments by some people that they find the different characters confusing, but I have had no troubles keeping up with the storyline and changes. Kirsten McKenzie has a great way with words and settings.
A fast paced read with lots of characters, lots of settings, and lots of intrigue and adventure. At times, the main character Sarah appears to be the only connecting thread between the changing settings as she appears, disappears and reappears in various places. If you want all the loose ends tied up, then you are going to have to wait for Book 3 - there must be another book coming, Kirsten McKenzie has left far too many ends dangling otherwise. Wonderful historic settings and descriptions moving between modern times, colonial India, pioneering New Zealand and Victorian England.
The second in the series, the book didn't disappoint. The twists and turns are page turners for sure. Descriptive words brought Technicolor images to my minds eye bringing with them a feast for the senses. The only disappointment I had to this book was the use of the harshest of curse words. There are better alternatives to make a point. Other than that, two thumbs up!
5.0 out of 5 starsEvery scene is perfectly formed.
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2017
Once again the author dragged me in from her first few words. Every scene is perfectly formed, with all of them leading the reader on. With each new scene you’re immersed in a different country, a different time zone and a different challenge; some of them are Sarah’s some of them are of the other characters, but all of them are intense. The images came through thick and fast, filling my head for hours after I’d put the book down. I certainly hope there’s a third in this series. I need to know what happens to Sarah because she’s still got a lot of choices to make.
I have been surprised and gratified by the storyline. Just when you think you know where it's going, it makes a left turn into interesting territory! I have already started the last book in the trilogy.
I LOVED the first two books and can’t wait to read the third! It is like they were written for me! Although my parents didn’t disappear from my family’s antiques store, like Sarah’s, I ended up taking over our shop when my parents became ill and stepped down. I could completely relate to the author’s description of her store, customers, and other dealers. The Time Travel genre has always been my absolute favorite. I can’t tell you how many times an object from the shop has “swept me away to another time”! I will be sorry to finish the third book, knowing it is the last in the series.
1.0 out of 5 starsIf you loved the first book don't bother with the second, it only disapoints
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2017
I quite enjoyed the first book, enough to buy the second and I was completely disappointed with it. In the first book we essentially follow one charector and her travels through time which bring in a collection of other people. The charector, Sarah jumps from time to time collecting some antiques and having adventures. Her missing parents are alluded to and we are left understanding that they too seem to have jumped times and maybe got lost in their new time periods unable to go home. At the end of the book, Sarah's missing mum is introduced and the book ends. In book two the time travel idea continues but suddenly we are following loads of charectors and jumping all over without reason or a comprehensive story base. Each chapter suddenly becomes filled with different people and you have no idea who everyone is, what they are doing and what the plot is. I don't understand why her editors allowed the book to be so confusing and inane as you can't understand what is happening, there is no build up of story or suspense and instead you just stop caring about three chapters in.if you loved the first book prepare to be gutted and let down, not a keeper, more a recycle straight to the nearest charity shop bin whilst apologising for leaving them with a poor read
1.0 out of 5 starsDisappointed that it doesn't answer all the questions left by the first book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 21, 2017
I bought this as it's described as being the second of a series of 2 books so I thought I 'd find out the reasons for the time travel episodes that Sarah Lester experienced in the first book. To be honest, I just found this book even more confusing than the first and if it is the final book in the series it leaves a lot of things unfinished. I still can't understand how in the first book Sarah travels back and inhabits a couple of other peoples bodies but in this one she travels back as herself yet people still recognise her. She also seems to have found her soul mate in the previous book but then he settles for another woman and she settles for another man, almost as if the second book needed a quick ending. The descriptions of India are vivid and the author has obviously done a lot of research but there are basic flaws (for example, when did people first start referring to young people as teenagers?) which do spoil the atmosphere that the writer has been building up. This book seems to have been written in haste to bring the series to a close and it doesn't really answer all the questions from the first one and I don't want to spoil the ending for people who haven't yet read the book but I can't understand how Sarah is supposed to walk away from some of the situations she has left people to cope with. Perhaps there is another book in the pipeline but if so I hope the timeline is easier to follow and the reason for the time slips properly explained.
I have just started this second installment which focuses more on the people linked to Sarah through her time travels so that the plot seems to thicken considerably leaving more questions than answers. There is a third installment coming out in 2018 so fear not hopefully we will start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. As things are I am enjoying the story a great deal, but it gets four stars because, believe it or not, I find the time travel stratagem a little unconvicing. Here are the reasons why it feels a little contrived: Sarah seems to be "herself" only when she time travels to NZ, while in India and London she "reincarnates" in some other character connected in some way to the Grey family, while her parents and Sinclair seems to have maintained their identity. Not everybody travels in time touching the "portal" objects, do they have to be connected to the object or it is just a way to make the plot flow getting people where they are needed? Sarah seems always to find an object that takes her back to the present and precisely the shop while their parents in so many years of absence never came across any and it seems pretty unlikely. I look forward to the third book and hopefully a few of these questions will be answered.
2.0 out of 5 starsWhat!! No!! There must be more than this!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2017
I really enjoyed the book prior to this, Fifteen postcards. I bought this as it was listed as the 2nd book of 2 but if it is, then it is a real disappointment.
More questions than answers and an ending that is abrupt to say the least! I spent 5 minutes flicking back and forth before I realised that it really was the end of the book. It almost seemed to end mid page, let alone mid chapter!
I really hope there is another part to this story as it would be good to know the conclusions to the strands of the tale but I hope it is more satisfactory than this book
I enjoyed both books in the series but the second one ends so abruptly in the middle of a storyline that I thought that I hadn't downloaded it properly and somehow missed some. If this is some ploy to make sure people buy book 3 it isn't necessary, the theme of the books is enough to make one want to read on. Only criticism I have of the characters is that the main character is so self-obsessed, no thought for how she impacts on other's lives especially her best friend. A bit of remorse would go down well.