**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed it. My biggest complaint is the author felt the need to just pile in everything he could think of. So from this poin**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed it. My biggest complaint is the author felt the need to just pile in everything he could think of. So from this point on - SPOILERS - - I thought Red Death Tea Society was neat but unnecessary to the story. Might have been better to have less of them here (and save them for future books). It was too much, they already had a giant cat. Talking dog and talking car, both cool but maybe the car could have waited until the next book. Hiding the code to reverse the cat's growth and invisibility on people around town was needlessly complicated - though I did like the solution. The credit card was cute, but again needless AND it will attract a lot of attention. No one will forget the kid who used the legendary Pachyderm Express ;) - - All that said, looking forward to the sequel. ...more
**spoiler alert** Its a good book, and I LOVE Somber Kitty - But (and there is always a but, isn't there?)I am a little put out buy it.
Its not a compl**spoiler alert** Its a good book, and I LOVE Somber Kitty - But (and there is always a but, isn't there?)I am a little put out buy it.
Its not a complete book, not really. Clearly at least books one and two were written as a single story; so this book does not have a clear ending. It sort of meanders at its end. The only thing that could be considered a satisfactory ending is that Somber Kitty finally catches up and finds May.
The allies she has at the end, save for Pumpkin, I do not trust. I guess we will find out in book 2 if they are what I think they are.
Having bitched now, there is a lot to love in the book. Some of May's allies are ripped from her, even destroyed. May is herself an excellent character, Pumpkin is endearingly dim, and Somber Kitty is loyalty incarnate.
**spoiler alert** This is Great! My only complaint is Oliver should WIN. I felt the end was a tad bit of a letdown, just the tiniest bit Pollyannaish a**spoiler alert** This is Great! My only complaint is Oliver should WIN. I felt the end was a tad bit of a letdown, just the tiniest bit Pollyannaish and sappy; but it was so well done I didn’t mind that much. Oliver may not have won the election, but what does that matter to him! In the end he will rule the world, by hook or by crook. I kind of hope there’s a sequel....more
My only complaint... well actually I have three minor complaints, but they are minor and don’t really diminish**spoiler alert** This is a great book.
My only complaint... well actually I have three minor complaints, but they are minor and don’t really diminish the story much. These are (In order, biggest complaint to least):
1 - It does fit the genre and I totally expected it, but I wished Aldwyn had not been an actual Familiar with actual mystical powers. I think it would have been better if he were just smart, using his wits. IMOP his cleverness was a FAR better magic than telekinesis.
2 – Paksahara (the Gray Hare Witch, very clever I have to say) referenced the mountain cave the trio stayed in and fought the troll in. The fact that she knew animals use to be wizards and ruled the land, in fact performed all of the great feats of legend without humans; that’s great – but seeing the same paintings as the Familiars and then referencing it? Sorry, strains credulity a bit. IMOP it would have been better if she had another source for her revelation.
3 – The Familiars are destine to be the ones to save Vastia, well that’s a given BUT it shouldn’t have been so obvious and it shouldn’t have been reveled so causally as the end of this first book.
It did get a lot right! Plenty of minor, unresolved mysteries abound. What is the meaning of the silver anklets? Why does Gilbert’s father treat him like he does when he can see the future and knows much of his destiny? Will Skylar become the great wizard she so hopes to be? Why was Aldwyn apparently abandoned as a kitten and what family does he belong to? What of the Familiars Loyal's? Hopefully they will have more than a cursory role in the upcoming events, be more than bait. They should get the chance to participate, even maybe save the day some.
And the hunter Grimslade, I do hope we see more of him!...more
A satisfying conclusion to the Trilogy, with ample opportunity for him to revisit these characters at a later date should he so choose. Nikola Tesla,A satisfying conclusion to the Trilogy, with ample opportunity for him to revisit these characters at a later date should he so choose. Nikola Tesla, a personal hero of mine, made a fine mad scientists (I do love me a good Mad Scientists. Nothing makes me smile more than seeing a raving scientific genius get revenge on those who laughed at their theories! Mwahahahah(Chough)!
Overall this is a damn fine collection of stories, even the worst individual entries are still good, and the better ones are outstanding.
Individual raOverall this is a damn fine collection of stories, even the worst individual entries are still good, and the better ones are outstanding.
Individual ratings follow:
Some Fortunate Days (Cassandra Clare): *** - Possible clever idea spoiled by time travel, though I do give props for the devices limitations.
The Last Ride of the Glory Girls (Libba Bray): *** - Lots of interesting world-building that leads nowhere and a too-obvious time travel Gadget/MacGuffin that really dragged it down.
Clockwork Fagin (Cory Doctorow): ***** - Wow. Great story.
Seven Days Beset by Demons (Shawn Cheng): *** - Clever graphic tale. I loved the format, not enamored with its conclusion... but I don't see how it could have ended otherwise.
Hand in Glove (Ysabeau S. Wilce): **** - Really, really good.
The Ghost of Gwemlach Manor (Delia Sherman): ***** - Ghosts and strong female protagonist; more like this please!
Gethsemane (Elizabeth Knox): *** - Nice story.
The Summer People (Kelly Link): *** - More modern fairy story than Steampunk, but still a good story.
Peace in Our Time (Garth Nix): **** - Strampunk Nanotech, gotta love that!.
Nowhere Fast (Christoper Rowe): *** - Strange dystopian vision that corresponds more to a Luddites wet dream than a Steampunk story, and I find the provincialism of a bicycle-dominant society a bit strange. Still not bad.
Finishing School (Kathleen Jennings): **** - Yes, this is a good story with some strong female protagonists.
Steam Girl (Dylan Horrocks): ***** - Maybe because I was a geek in high school... well I am still a geek, this one really resonated with me. I LOVED it!!!!
Everything Amiable and Obliging (Holly Black): **** - Really, REALLY good story!
Oracle Engine (M. T. Anderson): *** - Solid Sandlepunk...more