It is 1888, and the British are still controlling the American colonies through the use of magic. Sixteen-year-old Verity Newton has come to New YorkIt is 1888, and the British are still controlling the American colonies through the use of magic. Sixteen-year-old Verity Newton has come to New York City to become a governess to a rich magister's (magic-users) family. She soon discovers that everything is not all as it seems, with the family and in the city. Verity finds out that there is an underground organization of mechanics and engineers called the Rebel Mechanics who are developing non-magical sources of power by creating steam-powered inventions. She ends up becoming a spy for the Mechanics due to her connections with the magisters, but she harbors a secret herself. Will she be able to help the right cause? Recommended for ages 14+, 4 stars.
I love alternative history books, especially steampunk ones, so I jumped at the chance to read this one. Add in an independent YA heroine, and I'm sold. I really liked Verity's character because she questioned everything, and wasn't afraid to speak her mind. I liked that she was educated like a university student. She was very naïve in the beginning but her character definitely developed as the story progressed. I honestly would rather she have gone for Henry, than the Rebel inventor Alec (who was exciting at first until the reader found out he was just using her).
Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader's copy from the publisher Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review....more
Alessandro Tarabotti works for the Templars neutralizing supernatural elements and was sent to Egypt to do just that and leave no records behind. An aAlessandro Tarabotti works for the Templars neutralizing supernatural elements and was sent to Egypt to do just that and leave no records behind. An archaeologist contacts Mr. Tarabotti and he goes to investigate. But the British government also has eyes on the situation and send one of their agents. Just what will they discover in an ancient Egyptian tomb? 3 stars.
I picked this up after reading the author's newest book "Prudence: The Custard Protocols, #1", though I have had it on my to-read list for awhile. I sort of wish that this book was full-length as there are so many questions I have for the author in regards to Alexia Tarabotti Maccon's father, and she just agonizingly scratched the surface with this short story. The reader does find out how Alexia's father and mother managed to get together though, I must say I was curious given how crazy she acts in "The Parasol Protectorate"series, I always wondered what Mr. Tarabotti ever saw in her. ...more
I really enjoyed this manga, because it takes the very slow-paced action of the third book of The Parasol Protectorate series, and makes it much moreI really enjoyed this manga, because it takes the very slow-paced action of the third book of The Parasol Protectorate series, and makes it much more fascinating, though I will say with a great deal more nudity than I would’ve imagined from reading the book (though this not necessarily a bad thing). I loved the “cabinet cards” in the front of Alexia and Madame Lefoux, and the middle of Conall and Professor Lyle (they are made to look like 19th century pin-up photographs).
This is the summary from my previous review of Blameless, which the manga is based off of: In this volume, Alexia has been turned out of her house by her husband Lord Maccon after he found out she was pregnant and assumed she had cheated on him (which of course she would never do). She stays with her family for a short time until she is forced to go elsewhere and decides to travel to Paris and then Italy to see if she can find out more information about being pregnant (apparently it never happens for soulless and even less so when combined with a supernatural like a werewolf). Meanwhile, the vampires of London have put a hit out on her and drones have been trailing her with intent for assassination since Paris. 4 stars. ...more
Ever since watching the BBC show Sherlock, I have been fascinated with Sherlock Holmes. So another spin-off book definitely got my attention. My onlyEver since watching the BBC show Sherlock, I have been fascinated with Sherlock Holmes. So another spin-off book definitely got my attention. My only gripe about this book is the length. I do not mind reading long books but this is supposed to be the first book in a series and frankly, I thought the story went on for way too long (like 200+ pages too much), which made the story drag in the middle. This was the reason it too me so long to finish the book and I’m a fast reader. I will say though that despite my gripe, I really enjoyed the story and thought it was well-written and as others have said, it really puts you into the heart of this steampunk world in London. I love feisty heroines and I thought Evelina was a great character, though I know it must be difficult to be common born trying to fit in with all the rich nobs, and a female with not only a thirst for knowledge but with great mechanical ability as well.
The story is set in an alternative Great Britain, one where steam barons run the show (and all the utilities) and magic is outlawed. The book focuses on Evelina Cooper, who is the niece of Sherlock Holmes. Her mother shamed the Holmes family after eloping with a captain whose low-born family was part of a circus. After her parents died, the circus was where Evelina ended up living, until she was rediscovered by Grandmama Holmes, who took her under her wing and gave her an education. Evalina is super smart and can animate clockwork creatures through magic, two things that are very dangerous for anyone, especially women. She is about to attend her first Season in London, when suddenly a brutal murder happens in the house she is staying in with her friend Imogen. She figures that she can solve it but she doesn’t know who to trust. Can she trust Imogen’s handsome scoundrel of a brother or her childhood love, Nick who like her can use magic? Recommended for ages 16+, 4 stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. ...more
I was really excited to read this second part of the first book after the first part was so good. I really enjoyed this second book, though it was almI was really excited to read this second part of the first book after the first part was so good. I really enjoyed this second book, though it was almost like the author was trying to squeeze too much information in this book instead of perhaps trying to make it several books (like this should’ve been Book 2 of the series instead of Part 2 of Book 1). The excess information/story kind of bogged down the book in the middle and made it a little hard to slosh through. However the ending was well-done and I was surprised (in a good way) at all the storyline revealed by the end of it. I can’t wait to read the 2nd book in the series!
In this volume, Kit has escaped from Dredmore, the deathmage, only to be captured by the police and brought to court on use of magic charges, of course orchestrated by the wealthy Nolan Walsh, who seems to want to reek vengeance on her for meddling in his affairs. She manages to get out of those charges only to land in an even bigger crazier mess involving her dead grandfather Harry, whose ghost she can see and Dredmore, and evil forces set on destroying Toriana, from Rumsen to the rest of the country. Will she be able to stop the dark forces from overtaking Rumsen and her and the town’s way of life? Will Kit and Dredmore ever sort out their feelings for each other? To find out read the exciting conclusion to Book 1 of Disenchanted & Co. 4 stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. ...more
I love steampunk books, so when I saw this in the Teen/Young Adult section, I had to give it a try. I will say that I don't agree with their classificI love steampunk books, so when I saw this in the Teen/Young Adult section, I had to give it a try. I will say that I don't agree with their classification. I think a lot of people try to put all steampunk as a teen-only genre, and I heartily disagree with that. I love that she got help from one of my favorite steampunk writers, Gail Carriger, while writing it. One of the first things I will say about this book is the author has superb world-building skills. The book is set in an alternate history version of the US, called Toriana or more appropriately "The Provincial Union of Victoriana," and set in the middle to late 19th century in Rumsen, basically the equivalent of San Francisco in our world. In this history, the US has lost the Revolutionary War and are still British subjects. The author has gone so far as to create a whole dictionary in the back of the book to interpret words used in the book, a mixture of English slang and made-up terminology. Most of the stuff I could figure out living in Scotland and having an English spouse. In addition to the alternate history, add various kinds of mages and magic users and steam-powered carriages and mechs. It makes for one very interesting world. Then of course we have our main character Charmian Kittredge, Kit for short, who makes a living debunking magic frauds. That's where the story opens up, on Kit getting another client, this one a nob from up on the Hill (where the most wealthy in Rumsen live). Lady Walsh is convinced that someone has cursed her and wants Kit to investigate, but when she does she gets dragged into a lot more than she wanted. For one, she has to deal with the slimy Lord Dredmore, a death mage who does not take kindly to her intrusion onto the Hill. She ends up meeting a ghost, which causes her to find out about her own family history. Will Kit be able to unmask the truth behind Lady Walsh's curse? Will she finally figure out who her family is? To find it, read Part 1 of this exciting series! I personally can't wait to read the second part, though I'm not sure I can wait till December. 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I was given this book as an Advanced Reader's Copy e-book by Netgalley and but it has not influenced how I reviewed this book. ...more
Sophronia and her friends are using all their spy skills in the real world in the third book of "The Finishing School" series. In this volume, SidheagSophronia and her friends are using all their spy skills in the real world in the third book of "The Finishing School" series. In this volume, Sidheag gets some distressing news at the end of the 2nd term of Finishing School and immediately must leave for home. Sophronia (with Bumbersnoot in tow) and Dimity have been invited to the engagement ball of Sophronia’s brother, and Dimity’s brother Pillover and Lord Felix Mersey have been invited as well. Sophronia is still trying to sort out her feelings for both the sootie Soap and Felix, and events in this book definitely make it harder for her to choose between them. She is also trying to decide if she would like the patronage of Lord Akeldama, who has already sent her several gifts, or another patron such as the Queen. Between plots with vampires and the Pickleman to stolen trains and surprise endings, this third book really packs a punch!
As soon as I saw this book was about to come out in November, I jumped on Netgalley to see if it was available. Thankfully it was and I was allowed to preview a copy. The author left the ending pretty open, but I was glad to know that she had planned one more book in the series before ending it. I loved the idea of a steel fan turned weapon and its use on the book cover. I also loved that this book is like a direct precursor to "The Parasol Protectorate" series of books. Recommended for ages 12+, 4-1/2 stars.
Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader's copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. ...more
I am finally able to post this as the book is coming out Nov 5. I was so excited to get an ARC of this book as Gail Carriger is one of my favorite wriI am finally able to post this as the book is coming out Nov 5. I was so excited to get an ARC of this book as Gail Carriger is one of my favorite writers. After reading “Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing School, Book the First)”, I was hooked on the series and the characters and couldn’t wait to see what happened next! As I have read all of Ms Carriger’s books, it was nice to get more of a background on characters that are found in “The Parasol Protectorate” series.
In this volume, Sophronia has been at Madame Geraldine’s Finishing School (which is secretly a school to train intelligencers, i.e. female spies) for six months and is about to have her first evaluation. She does so well on the exam, that she is alienated by all the other girls in her classes, including all her friends. Soon afterwards, a field trip to London is announced as well as the news that boys from Bunson’s School for Evil Geniuses will be joining them along with their teacher Professor Shrimpdittle (Algonquin Shrimpdittle to be precise, crazy great name right?). Dimity’s brother, who we met in the first book, along with a potential suitor for Sophronia named Lord Mersey are in the group. Trouble-causing Monica has been declared not fit to be a spy, based on her exam results, and as a result is being sent home after her coming out ball, which is to be held in London. Sophronia suspects there must be an alternative motive for the trip. What is the motive and does it have to do with the boys coming aboard the ship? Will Sophronia’s friends ever talk to her again? To find out, read this impressive second book of the Finishing School series. Recommended for ages 12 +, 5 stars. ...more