This is a solid novel. There is just enough character development for people not to be caricatures (though I am not very impressed by how race is handThis is a solid novel. There is just enough character development for people not to be caricatures (though I am not very impressed by how race is handled, even if the author at least managed to include some people of other races. For awhile there, I was hoping the novel was colorblind, but it was not to be.). The plot is simple and well executed, ticking off every common cliche of the zombie genre, and with the requisite airships of the steampunk one. I've given it a fairly high rating because it was entertaining, but I also wasn't dying to finish the novel. A great novel is one I can't put down so this one gets 4 stars and I have no interest in reading more of this series because I have now read pretty much everything you can do with zombies in the 19th century. ...more
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was quick, and though the connection wasn't made, it was fun to read about what was essentially a ninja girl'sI really enjoyed reading this book. It was quick, and though the connection wasn't made, it was fun to read about what was essentially a ninja girl's academy. While I found the main character consistent, I also thought she was written a little too old or perhaps just her background didn't seem to fit (how does a 14 year old who is the middle child of a huge family grow to have such confidence?). It was lovely to see a bunch of parasol protectorate series characters when younger/alive. Unlike others, I thought there was just enough plot for a short, introductory book. However, I was expecting to get to know Monique more to find out why she was the way she was, and why the teachers treated her the way they did (even if she did have a patron or what not).
Things that could have been improved: the teachers were more boring than I expected them to be. More eccentricism would have been appreciated.
I would like for main characters in Carriger's series to start calling their friends on their racism. It was very much in Sophronia (sp?)'s character to do so and yet she didn't.
So far, I'm assuming all the mechanical servants are going to go bonkers at some point and their use will be discontinued in Britain because Carriger's not that careless with her continuity. But it is jarring to see such an advance in tech so long before the parasol series. ...more
**spoiler alert** Spoilers at the end for the next book preview as well.
Novik is a very good writer so I always find her books hard to put down, but i**spoiler alert** Spoilers at the end for the next book preview as well.
Novik is a very good writer so I always find her books hard to put down, but it was difficult for me to get through this book because my dislike for many of the characters grew to the point where I wanted to throw things rather than read one more word from Iskierka, etc.
There were some things I loved about this book. It was nice to see an author take into account the massive amount of death caused by plague after Europeans landed in the Americas, and Novik did some research on the Inca (I assume she's using the plague as an excuse to gloss over their human sacrifices...).
Some things were so long overdue that when they finally happened, you just felt pity for the characters for taking so long. Such was the case with Granby finally standing up to Iskierka. You want to be sympathetic, but on the other hand, this was so long in coming and put so many others through such misery (and us, as the damn readers)... *sigh* I'm also confused that Lawrence is still waffling around trying to protect ladies even though he's been told and shown a million times that they neither need nor want his aide, but barely blinks an eye when his friend tell him he's an invert? (A crime punishable by death in the very navy he came up from.) I needed more explanation for why Lawrence accepts that so easily but can't get it through his head that women are equal to men.
I took a long hiatus after the fifth book because this series pissed me off so much and I might have to take one again now and not read the final book until a couple of years have gone past because the preview makes it seem like they're once again going to be wandering around half the world rather than finishing the damn Napoleonic war. Also, it seems the new book involves Lawrence getting shipwrecked in Japan with added melodramatic amnesia. I have a special hatred for amnesia plots, and for plots about Westerners shipwrecked in Tokugawa era Japan so I'm really not sure if I'll be able to bring myself to read this book at all. ...more
I just finished reading Rivers of London/Midnight Riot (why must you change names bt countries publishers? Do you know how long it took me to find theI just finished reading Rivers of London/Midnight Riot (why must you change names bt countries publishers? Do you know how long it took me to find the damn book in the bookstore? Do you?). It's kind of like MIB set in London but with the background of the Dresden Files (without a main character as misogynist as Harry Dresden, though Peter Grant is your typical male) and it wins so many points for having a genuinely multi-ethnic cast and background setting, and for having an author who did a lot of research. On the other hand, it could stand to liven up its plots a bit. All in all though, I bought the second book today:)...more
I just devoured this book over the past five hours. Thinking over it now, I'm not sure if I'll ever read it again (all the glorification of the 80s coI just devoured this book over the past five hours. Thinking over it now, I'm not sure if I'll ever read it again (all the glorification of the 80s could get annoying a second time), but wow did it take me on a fun ride. It was fun to beat Wade to solving some of the clues, and imagine the worlds that must be available (I should take the opportunity to recommend the manwa 1/2 Prince, the funniest and most entertaining take on the theme of a worldwide gaming world). And I appreciated the occasional time spent in the real world as contrast. Was the message at the end a good one? I'm rather torn and will have to consider it further. But that's okay, since good books make you think and despite the silliness of the obsession with the 80s, there was a lot of heart and good characters hidden underneath the nostalgia. ...more
I bought this on the gorgeous cover art, and was not disappointed. It's a beautifully illustrated horror story. The first two chapters are a bit generI bought this on the gorgeous cover art, and was not disappointed. It's a beautifully illustrated horror story. The first two chapters are a bit generic in plot, but it picks up after that and shows back story and heart. I devoured the final two chapters, and will happily read more. ...more
With the exception of one or two stories, I wasn't all that impressed by this volume. Compared to the second volume of Code Geass Knight that I've reaWith the exception of one or two stories, I wasn't all that impressed by this volume. Compared to the second volume of Code Geass Knight that I've read which had me laughing several times, this was disappointing. ...more
As I was shelving this book, I was looking over my categories and hesitated long and hard over whether I should put it in the Western category becauseAs I was shelving this book, I was looking over my categories and hesitated long and hard over whether I should put it in the Western category because that is what this book most reminded me of - the long, harsh, but always filled with a natural beauty journeys you find in many a Zane Grey novel. Such journeys are for characters to develop and change, and since I like how Temeraire (and to a lesser extent Lawrence) evolved here, I have little to quarrel with even though the long journey did get dull in places. As someone with an interest in history and a passing fascination with trade companies and their influence on the east, it was great to see a whole new interest insert itself into the picture. These books are one long argument against imperialism sometimes.
(As a whole, the series doesn't make sense since the author treats each area of the world as if it were independent of each other, when in fact most areas interacted through trade for years (China was in trade contact with the Romans for example) and Europe would therefore never have developed the same way it did in our world, a fact which becomes increasingly clear as each huge new difference in non-European areas of the world is revealed. It was enough to stop me reading for quite awhile, but I've since resigned myself to it.)
I was not disappointed in this book. It was a great improvement on the angst of the last book, and I have read enough fantasy novels to know that the ending does not mean anything in the long run. Now if only I could decide if I should put it on my Western shelves or not......more
**spoiler alert** It took me two tries to finish reading this book and I actually had to get some spoilers by reading the synopsis of the sixth book b**spoiler alert** It took me two tries to finish reading this book and I actually had to get some spoilers by reading the synopsis of the sixth book before I could force myself to go through with it. Why? Because I hate angst and it was near unrelenting in its' pace in this book, and when there wasn't angst, I was forced to pay attention to the antics of a million new characters who, other than Wellington and Perscita, I didn't give a fig about.
It gets three stars and not two from me though, because I'm thoroughly aware this is my personal preference, not a reflection of the author's abilities. There were things I liked like how Temeraire actually has the exact same mannerism as Lawrence of falling back on politeness when he's been taken aback, and Wellington was a joy, enough so to make me want to reread my Sharpe novels. On the other hand, there were things I disliked beside the angst like the fact that for someone who loves Lawrence so thoroughly, Temeraire doesn't seem to understand him at all.
I appreciate that the author did a good job of writing a believable battle at the end there, though with Napoleon alive and uncaptured, I feel a great weariness that there's probably more fighting to come. With that in mind, the endings a good thing. ...more
This was my second attempt at reading one of Guy Gavriel Kay's alternate historical novels (having given up after the second book of the Sarantine mosThis was my second attempt at reading one of Guy Gavriel Kay's alternate historical novels (having given up after the second book of the Sarantine mosaic). I was hoping that since he was covering an area of the world I had studied historically, it would capture my attention more than my waning interest in his other historical novels. Unfortunately, the fact that I was intimately familiar with the setting meant I spent a lot of the book wishing he'd hurry up the exposition and get back to the plot, disappointing as it was. I ended up asking myself why I wasn't just reading a Chinese history book instead since that would have been less predictable. I'd expected that even though the setting was historically the Tang dynasty, GGK would make it unique enough not to sound like he was repeating slightly altered versions of famous Chinese battles/scenarios etc. with a tiny amount of supernatural stuff thrown in. It's disappointing because there was so much possibility that wasn't fulfilled.
Other problems were that you didn't really like any of the characters that much, the motivation of all the female characters but Lin Mei was a complete mystery, the epilogue basically summed up what should have been another book, the tense jumps in the Lin Mei scenes were very annoying - I could go on. I do generally like Guy Gavriel Kay's writing, and there were a couple of scenes that stood out, which is why this book got three stars, but I won't be going out of my way to find any other GGK books. ...more