I enjoyed this rather less than #1. Alexia seems less intelligent and less capable in this book, which is odd because she did do more. But she was uniI enjoyed this rather less than #1. Alexia seems less intelligent and less capable in this book, which is odd because she did do more. But she was uniformly dense to a number of things were made blindingly obvious to the reader much earlier on than Alexia deduced the information. Additionally, I liked Ivy very much in the first book and here she was overused and underwhelming. But at the same time, I didn't approve of Alexia's treatment of her and would have preferred that Ivy were a capable addition (or at least not outright handicap) to the mystery at hand.
I know I took off probably a full star for the end. I was very put off by how the author chose to end the book and it seems just rude. while the intent is to surely make me want to read the next one and put a crux of an issue between Connell & Alexia (in the same way that TV married couple are rarely left alone) as they are more interesting when they at odds. However, I had thought that Carriger had done a good job of keeping that relationship interesting and respectful and loving without resorting to such underhanded tricks.
2nd book in the Kate Daniels series. I'm really enjoying Kate's story line and her interactions with Curran.
Kate has become more solid in her role bei2nd book in the Kate Daniels series. I'm really enjoying Kate's story line and her interactions with Curran.
Kate has become more solid in her role being shared between the Order & as a Merc, and falls into another world-ending event that happens to take place in Atlanta. While the credibility of this being to approach Buffy and the Hellmouth, I'm okay with that comparison.
We have the return of Curran (me-OW), Jim, Saiman, & Ghastek among others as well as the introduction of several new and intriguing characters. This book was heavier on the gore than the first, but the storyline called for it.
Spoilers: (view spoiler)[The romance heated up, though there is still much left to discover. I really enjoyed the Hyenas informing Kate as the seriousness of Curran's offer. Bran was a highly enjoyable foil for Kate to refuse and still irk Curran.
Andrea was also a personal fave as a new character and I hope we see more of her. (hide spoiler)]
Kate retains her ability to snark at anything that moves, and still kick butt.
Definitely want to read more in the series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I read this as part of the Vaginal Fantasy Book club, run by Felicia Day and the other awesome ladies, for April of 2012.
This was a fun steampunk, verI read this as part of the Vaginal Fantasy Book club, run by Felicia Day and the other awesome ladies, for April of 2012.
This was a fun steampunk, very hot, explict sexy book with a heroine who knows herself and the world she inhabits. Meljean Brook knows how to worldbuild, and that was one of my favorite things about this book. Her use of slang, the melding of Victorian sensibilities with steampunk conventions, and hte overall ability to weave a world that has nanobots controlled by the Mongols was exhilarating to inhabit.
Mina is a wonderful character and the Iron Duke is a very alpha male hero. There are some potentially trigger scenes cunnilingus rape, but unintentional and somewhat understandable as to how this could be very unclear to Rhys that Mina was saying no, as well as intimated rape of Rhys via sodomy, but the majority of sex scenes were super hot. The Iron Duke is a very Alpha male. Which is fine, but I was reading another great book with an Alpha (Magic Burns) so I was a little Alpha Maled out.
The core of the misunderstanding that keep these lovers apart and at odds were more believable than many plotlines of this nature, but I did feel the ending and resolution came a mite too quickly. The other books in the series seem to stay in the world but follow other characters, which I am moderately interested in but I almost wish there could be more of Mina & Rhys....more
This was an enjoyable read. The romance developing during an emotional coming of age in a unique alternate current Earth was compelling. The heat of tThis was an enjoyable read. The romance developing during an emotional coming of age in a unique alternate current Earth was compelling. The heat of the physical developments was a treat to read. I am unsure how sustainable this series is as one Psy breakdown works but multiple I think will bother me. ...more
This was the alt read for April 2012 for Vaginal Fantasy book club and also highly recommended in all the comment threads prior to that, so it was onThis was the alt read for April 2012 for Vaginal Fantasy book club and also highly recommended in all the comment threads prior to that, so it was on my list. When I saw that my library had a copy, I put it on hold and was very happy with the result.
The opening of this book is one of my favorite things about it. It takes so many conventions of vampire/werewolf novels, Victorian novels and even strong Female Romance novels and turns them on their head very quickly. The world of Alexia Talbotti is similar to our own, but Vampires & Werewolves are real and integrated into British society and have been since roughly the dark ages. I found it an interesting way to combine the various three genres and I enjoyed Alexia as a lead character, though occasionally she was a little too Cinderella for my tastes what with ditzy (instead of outright bitchy) half sisters, a mama who is less than fond of her eldest due to the Italian ancestry (of the man she married...) who also thinks she is unworthy and not beautiful but really truly is.
The story moved along relatively quickly, though the head was significantly reduced and I think of this as more of a Victorian Steampunk Paranormal, with romantic elements, rather than a Steampunk Romance (see The Iron Duke), with paranormal elements....more
**spoiler alert** Read as part of Felicia Day's book club for Feb of 2012.
Overall I was rather unimpressed. While I didn't dislike the book, I also do**spoiler alert** Read as part of Felicia Day's book club for Feb of 2012.
Overall I was rather unimpressed. While I didn't dislike the book, I also don't hold it in high regard. Part of the issue is surely my misconceptions going into the book. I had thought that I would be getting a Victorian historical novel, laced with Romance (cap R) with perhaps a little steampunk or fantasy for spicing. What this book was, however, was a capably handled Coming of Age story in the Mystery genre set in Victorian London with a extremely undetailed barely romantic attraction subplot. I will own that I have a slight irrational dislike of mysteries. IT is perhaps because I'm not widely read and therefore I haven't actually found a good one, but the genre as a whole seems to encourage authors to play the a game of leaving out names of characters, descriptions of items, etc. that known to the narrator/viewpoint character in an effort to draw out the suspense for the reader. Mostly this results in me being either annoyed because I know who the dark man is in the shadows because it is blatantly obvious or there is through the fault of the author little way I could know and they are playing a 'HAHA LOOK HOW SMRT I AM' game. It is unfortunate for Deanna Raybourn that I have read Steven Erikson, who is extremely intelligent and adroitly handles such melodrama to good effect rather than frustrating.
Further, again playing to my own baggage that I brought to the read, I was rather disappointed in the romance. In that... there really wasn't one and there was specifically no scenes that were even remotely heated. However, being a Harlequin novel as well as recommended as "Vaginal Mystery" lead me to believe there would be some physical relationship between the male & female lead. Their only true interaction of a physical nature was so vaguely detailed that I wasn't sure a kiss had occurred until spelled out several pages later.
All that aside, for a book I would not have read otherwise, this was put together in a decent package. Julia's transformation from a 'little mouse' to Lady Julia of the March family of ill repute was an interesting journey to tag along for. In the course of investigating her husband's murder (after a significant delay from the death and the start of the book), Julia finds well more than she bargained for. Though she was warned by her investigator Nicolas Brisbane (lifted directly from the pages of Sir Conan Doyle's great work but a much less intelligent man than Sherlock) that everyone has secrets and those secrets have a way of coming out even if unrelated to the murder, she continues through loss of innocence after loss of innocence. During this same time she is shedding the thoughts of who she should have been, and trying to figure out who to become. Not every scar transforms itself to mettle or even true learning but overall Julia grows over the course of the investigation.
Nicolas, however, is little more than a dark brooding foil for her to rail against, despise, be attracted to, worry over, hate, and aid by turns as necessary. He experiences no visible growth and his motives for taking and keeping the case while clearly related to Julia are never fully resolved. I recognize this a trilogy of the more standard variety with a romance that must span several novels, rather than a romance series where each book features a new couple, but even still his character is very much a paint by numbers dark brooding male with a dark past who is inscrutable. While this can work (see Angel in Buffy), it wasn't doing it for me here. The addition of 'the sight' seemed out of place.
Where this book shines is in the setting. Raybourn brings to life Victorian London very well. While the Marchs are modern in their views to the point of disbelief, they give the modern reader a gateway to this alternate time and space. The proper decorum of a lady, the gossip of the well to do, the codified class structure that even Julia cannot completely get over, the incomplete medical knowledge of the time and the racism rampant in the gentry is all well done. I am not an expert of the time period nor a history aficionado, but this felt right enough for me to enjoy the book based on my experience at Dicken's fair and other historical re-enactment societies.
The secondary characters also shine, honestly more than the male lead. Monk, Portia, Father, Fluer and the household staff all have depth to some degree or other and do more than mirror back Julia's whims.
I would not have read this book if not for the book club, and I don't intend to read further in the series. But if you are a reader who enjoys Mysteries set in Victorian London with a very slight romantic subplot and can come to this novel without my pre-conceptions, it seems like a decent romp....more