This book was SO disappointing. I finished it just for spite but I was desperately bored through the whole thing. The protagonist is the character leaThis book was SO disappointing. I finished it just for spite but I was desperately bored through the whole thing. The protagonist is the character least suited to exploring an alternate-history magical frontier America that might otherwise have been interesting, and Wrede doesn't let her DO much of anything until the very end when she conveniently saves the day in five minutes. ...more
I think I liked this one better than the first one. All the different Ottoman walkers were nifty. Curious to see how it all concludes. I'm still ambivI think I liked this one better than the first one. All the different Ottoman walkers were nifty. Curious to see how it all concludes. I'm still ambivalent about Deryn's feelings for Alek, but I get it. I appreciate the afterword explaining the historical differences. ...more
This book was so much fun, even though it was rather dark in many places. Lovely steampunk gadgets and bulletproof corsets. I love Braun and Books asThis book was so much fun, even though it was rather dark in many places. Lovely steampunk gadgets and bulletproof corsets. I love Braun and Books as characters and can't wait for the sequel. I love Morris' and Ballantine's other series writing individually, and they make a great team here. ...more
A classmate gave me this book for a birthday along with Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, but my mom took it away from me because the jacket summary said sA classmate gave me this book for a birthday along with Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, but my mom took it away from me because the jacket summary said something about scientists performing hideous experiments on children and she Did Not Approve. So I read it a chapter at a time, sneaking into my mom's room to fetch it back. It's one of my favorite books from my childhood. I badly wanted a daemon afterwards....more
Yet another of Philippa Ballantine's books that made me cry at the end. The characters were very solid and I quickly became invested in their doings.Yet another of Philippa Ballantine's books that made me cry at the end. The characters were very solid and I quickly became invested in their doings. The way the POV shifts between chapters to give a more full view of the unfolding situation yet not merely repeat anything you already saw is executed extremely skillfully.
This book is another in the growing pile of evidence that the author has an incredibly broad range and isn't afraid to explore her talents in new ways. Weather Child has some similar themes to Chasing the Bard, Digital Magic, and Weaver's Web (sacrifice is a big one, and finding equilibrium between power and honor, and how the meaning of home can change; also telepathic sex), but its format and emotional impact go to new places....more
Been reading this one in bits but finished in a rush. Quite the ending! Some mysteries from the previous book are explained and more are raised. EvenBeen reading this one in bits but finished in a rush. Quite the ending! Some mysteries from the previous book are explained and more are raised. Even funnier than the first one, if possible. I enjoyed the relationship between Alexia and Conall in this book; it's so cute the way they address each other as "husband" and "wife," something I would hate on many other characters I have known. I loved the addition of Madame Lefoux, and was glad to see Lord Akeldama is still as fabulous as ever. Can't wait to read Blameless!...more
I've described this book to several people as "alternate history Civil War-era steampunk in Seattle with zombies" and they all say "hey, yeah, that doI've described this book to several people as "alternate history Civil War-era steampunk in Seattle with zombies" and they all say "hey, yeah, that does sound good."
It was a real treat to read and I finished it quickly. The first sentence, although not actually the first sentence of the story, is gorgeous. Plenty of air pirates and devices and battles and interesting characters with distinct voices.
Looking closer under the hood, I want to know more about the universe that this quite tiny microcosm of destroyed Seattle is placed in. References to politics outside of Seattle (which doesn't seem to have any itself) are only in passing; this is probably because the protagonist and most of the other characters don't actually care, so I would've liked to spend more time with a character that did care. Hale Quarter, for instance—but perhaps he will have more to do in the sequel than simply bookend the plot.
I spent most of the book thinking "Boneshaker" would've been a more appropriate title for a prequel. It's a badass title, but I didn't see how it had relevance for the current events, fifteen years post-Boneshaker. However, I came to understand that the catastrophic Boneshaker event shapes every event in this book, so the title's not so inaccurate....more
I can't say this book was bad, and it still gets four stars, but I am glad I'm done reading it. It should not take me 2.5 months to get through an 800I can't say this book was bad, and it still gets four stars, but I am glad I'm done reading it. It should not take me 2.5 months to get through an 800 page book.
There is much more of the international intrigue I had found lacking in the previous two books. Imriel and Sidonie's relationship is tested to the limits, but I found myself not very invested in it most of the time; maybe because Imriel spends a chunk of the book as someone else, or because I didn't buy Sidonie's character as much in this book. I did enjoy the exploration of dark magic.
I thought Naamah's Kiss would focus on Amarante, but it looks like a whole new group of characters, and not even D'Angeline. Hopefully the next set will have more of the things I like and less of the ones I don't....more
When I started reading this one, Nobilis told me it was a solid 8 to the first trilogy's 9. I think I'd have to agree that Kushiel's Scion did not wowWhen I started reading this one, Nobilis told me it was a solid 8 to the first trilogy's 9. I think I'd have to agree that Kushiel's Scion did not wow me as much as the first three, but it was still excellent. It was decidedly bizarre to be seeing the world of Terre d'Ange and its neighbors through the eyes of someone other than Phèdre, having grown accustomed to her perspective during the previous thousands of pages of story. I was worried at the beginning that Imriel would turn out to be a pale shadow of Phèdre's character and lack a true voice of his own, but I'm glad to say I was wrong. Imriel's voice emerges surely and steadily once out of the obligatory recap phase, as well as many other delightful characters.
I enjoy that Jacqueline Carey seems to be visiting different lands in turn in each book. I hope some of the next ones take us into the Chowat, Ch'in, and Bhodistan. I did want there to be more mystery in Tiberium; Imriel ends up being very preoccupied with matters other than the city itself and its culture, and I felt like we didn't see as much of the "destination" of this book as we did of Menekhet, Jebe-Barkal, Saba, Skaldi, Alba, La Serenissima, and even Drujan and Khebbel-im-Akkad in previous books. Another reviewer said that Rome is too well-known to be reinterpreted well in this style, but I think it would have been possible if we'd actually seen more of it.
The only real complaint I had about this book was that it was just a tad too slow, hence the lower rating than the first three. I found myself gauging how much remained of the book and wondering whether there would be enough story to really stretch the last 400 pages. Of course, it turned out to be there was, but I dislike that dragging sense. This book was much less fraught with intrigue in my estimation, despite the very intense revelations that were made. Very little of what was set up in the earlier parts was resolved in the later parts, and the action and intrigue there was seemed to spring out of nowhere in the last half of the book. I much more enjoyed the resolutions of the story arcs of the previous three books, where most of the set-up of each book is resolved within it but with threads extending to the next. I guess the argument could be made that this book is more about Imriel's coming-of-age than political schemes, but Kushiel's Dart was Phèdre's coming-of-age and involved plenty of intrigue.
It's hard to say; on the one hand, Imriel is not Phèdre, and that's a good thing, but on the other hand the challenges that Imriel faces in this book tend to measure up short to the challenges the main characters faced in the previous books and even to the challenges he faced himself as a child in Kushiel's Avatar; but I guess that's the point the book makes for him, which is to accept he is not his foster-parents and doesn't need to chase around the world for the high adventure that fell unwanted into their laps. Which, though a good point to make and suitable to the character Imriel becomes in this book, makes for a slower-moving and less perfectly-arced story-line.
All-in-all, though, I recommend it as an excellent read, and I'm eager for the next one....more