Can I just say how much I love Carrie Ryan’s zombie-filled world? I LOVE IT. And she finally granted my wish of having some backstory to the Forest Vi...moreCan I just say how much I love Carrie Ryan’s zombie-filled world? I LOVE IT. And she finally granted my wish of having some backstory to the Forest Village before the first book! YAY!
So here with have Sister Tabitha (who makes her appearance in the first book) and her own little backstory – and surprise! One of the reasons she’s so hard on Mary is because she herself was like Mary in that she wanted out of the Village and wanted to go out in the Forest to find freedom, and when she meets the boy on the other side, love. Only to be betrayed by his little Infected brother, of course.
Now, at least, we know where the last entry in the Village Records came from.
Anyway, at 27 pages, this was a delicious bite of what would be a wonderful prequel, if there’s one scheduled or being written. I really hope there is, because I just love this world far too much to give it up for one trilogy and a novella. Ryan’s really sharpened things up in this novella – you can almost smell the dead flesh that’s haunting the forest, hear the wind in the leaves, and feel the rattle of the fence in your bones. The sensory input is stunning, and Ryan’s at her best in this novella (and in the final novel in the trilogy – I have the feeling that both were written at or around the same time due to how well the sensory language has been sharpened from the previous two novels. It’s lush, horrifying, and gorgeous all at the same time. We become Tabitha like we become Mary in the first book, longing for the wild Forest beyond the fence – so surreal that I had to shake myself back to this reality after reading it.
Anyway, I’m not one for novellas, usually – but this one takes the cake. I still demand more, though!
(crossposted to shelfari, librarything, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
Oh, Puck. Puck, Puck, Puck. I seriously think you’re now my favorite character (Sorry, Meghan, you’ve come in second, and Ash, you in third) in the “I...moreOh, Puck. Puck, Puck, Puck. I seriously think you’re now my favorite character (Sorry, Meghan, you’ve come in second, and Ash, you in third) in the “Iron Fey” series. I absolutely LOVED this novella – but there one was one pitfall. It was FAR too short for my liking. 57 pages? Not long enough even for a novella! I wanted more, and I still want more. It’s going to be a very long wait until October when “Iron Knight” comes out.
I had a feeling that Leanansidhe wasn’t done with Ash after the third book (“The Iron Queen”). I won’t spoil this fun little side quest that Ash and Puck take at her request (note to self: do not ever, ever, ever make a deal in Faery unless it’s to save a life!), but I love the fact that we finally get to see Puck’s POV in first person, that we get to see the workings of his wonderfully mischievous little brain. My heart kind of ached with him when he talked about his relationship to Meghan, mostly because I’ve been in his position so many times myself (and unfortunately for me, it’s never really ended well).
And then comes the Moral Dilemma ™: will Puck act for himself, or will he help his friend in this quest? What IS the ultimate goal of Leanansidhe’s request in terms of “what’s in it for Puck?”. Finally, Kagawa makes us ask ourselves the same thing if we were put in his place. Would we act out of love for our friends? Or would the temptation of fulfilling one’s most ultimate, dire wish control our actions instead? I love how Kagawa inserts this dilemma without shoving it down our throats, unlike a lot of the YA genre where the Moral of the Story is the ultimate goal of the author at the end of day. Here, it’s about having fun with a side of seriousness attached. At least, that’s the sense I got.
Anyway, we need more of Puck’s POV. Badly. And another novella with Ash’s POV would be great (just to even things out – I get kind of OCD that way about my series and characters and such). This was just such a delightful read, and should be on anyone’s summer reading list – after the first three novels (and first novella) first, though. Otherwise you might get a bit too lost. Definitely awesome, making my best of 2011 list. Be proud, Puck! You didn’t have to trick me to win my heart.
(crossposted to librarything, shelfari, goodreads, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
So now we have a backstory as to how Finley Jayne ended up working in London as a chambermaid when “Girl with the Steel Corset” opens. Cross really do...moreSo now we have a backstory as to how Finley Jayne ended up working in London as a chambermaid when “Girl with the Steel Corset” opens. Cross really does a good job of making the audience feel Finley’s self-hatred and independent spirit. If anything, this novella just made me love Finley as a heroine all the more.
This novella went on sale before the book did, so people are probably going to be reading this one first and “Steel Corset” second. I did it the other way around, and I think that’s what Cross intended in terms of mapping out Finley as a character and understanding (aside from the whole MPD/DID element) why she acted and felt the way she did in “Steel Corset” and hopefully, forthcoming books. Just like any novella from a series I really like/love, all this did was make me hungry for more. The hints at meeting the Duke of Greythorne were absolutely awesome, too. It was cute how she was swooning over him, even if she thought him gross at just imagining what he might look like. Funny how things turn out in the first book, which is exactly why this novella needs to be read after the book.
We get a look at Finley Jayne that we don’t really see within the first novel proper – we see her as a teenage girl, more innocent, and less jaded when compared to her entrance within the first few pages of the first novel. It’s refreshing to see that sort of transition drawn out, when in so many YA novels with a similar heroine it’s skipped over altogether.
And our favorite steampunk-androids are back, too! I missed them. Even if they’re creepy as hell. Gah. Growing up in the “Terminator” generation still makes me suspicious about Judgment Day, even though as of May 1st, we’ve successfully beaten Skynet to the deadline.
Still, if you’re going to read “Steel Corset”, give “Finley Jayne” a read. But do it AFTER reading “Steel Corset”, otherwise things might not make as much sense. I really enjoyed this little venture into Finley Jayne’s mind and world before getting involved with everyone in “Steel Corset”. It’s like watching a child grow up, and it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing how much Finley grew as a character between both works.
Even if ancient Skynet was along for the ride.
(Crossposted to librarything, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)
Since this is a novella, and there's not much material to go on, this will be a pretty short review. I've read parts of the first book in this series,...moreSince this is a novella, and there's not much material to go on, this will be a pretty short review. I've read parts of the first book in this series, and I wasn't quite feeling it, so I thought I'd go to the heart of the source - these letters from Kian to Breena. I thought I might get a little more depth, but honestly, I don't think I felt much more than when I was reading the first book.
The good thing that Gow does know how to do is really give us a timeline of how Breena and Kian's relationship, and how it starts to change. It's a great outline and though it might spoil you for the books, I recommend it to anyone just starting the series as it'll ground you more and prepare you for what's to come.
However, I could have done without the "they're meant for each other by birth, but betrayed by fate" trope (because it's getting really overused in YA right now), and I don't think it brought too much more to the table. Summer versus Winter is hot right now in faerie stories in YA, too, and I felt that was overused as well. Why do they have to be of different courts, and further, why do they have to be royalty? I felt that it might have worked better if say, one were royalty and one were not in either different courts or the same court. That might have made things a bit more interesting.
I do feel, though, the letters were a bit repetitive. Though we get some good insight into these characters' minds that we didn't quite get in the first book (and subsequent books, I'm sure). I know that it's hard not to repeat oneself when writing a book in the form of letters of missing that person you love the most, but it didn't quite feel diverse enough in terms of word choice. I think my favorite part was when we start to see how their love turns sour, and how nasty it really gets between them, because I finally felt more in the tension department.
At this point, I'm not sure if I'm going to read the rest of the series or not, but this was a fun little break from the rest of what I've been reading lately. "The Fairy Letters" is out now from Sparklesoup, Inc, so be sure to check it out.
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)(less)