It’s awesome! It’s a little bit steampunk, and a western, AND it has zombies in! what more could a girl ask for?
Our primary protagonist is named Jett,It’s awesome! It’s a little bit steampunk, and a western, AND it has zombies in! what more could a girl ask for?
Our primary protagonist is named Jett, a young woman from Louisiana who is out west searching for her twin brother. He went missing during the Civil War and she’s convinced that he’s somewhere in the wide open spaces of the western territories. Of course, she can’t just travel as a genteel flower of the South. Jett has disguised herself as a gunslinger and has the skills to back up her costume. She’s small and looks young so people test her frequently. When she gets into yet another saloon brawl she has no reason to think that anything different will happen this time. However, her private argument is broken up by a horde of zombies! Only the fact that her horse is brave and loyal saves Jett from the horrible fate of the rest of the town.
Outside of town Jett runs into the other two driving forces of this book; Miss Honoria Gibbons, a socialite and inventor from San Francisco, and White Fox, a freelance scout for the Army. Tensions are initially high as Jett has no reason to like those who worked for the Union army, but White Fox soon proves a staunch ally and a good friend.
Both Honoria and White Fox are in search of the same thing. Entire towns have been going missing all over the southwest. Honoria’s father is a rich, but terribly gullible man. Shysters have written to him claiming that flying machines have come and stolen all the people. They could bring him proof, for a modest consideration. Honoria travels constantly trying to debunk the hundreds of crooks who write to her father. She uses her travels as chances to test out her new inventions. Her latest invention is a sort of steam-powered horseless wagon with a few surprises for less than friendly visitors.
White Fox is also following the path of the missing. He was asked by a soldier to find out why his family had stopped writing. When he arrived at the settlement he found everyone gone and signs of a struggle. He began to track rumors and follow clues until he arrived at the same place as Honoria and Jett. Together, the three new friends will try to discover what the creatures that attacked Jett and the townsfolk are and who or what created them.
There are definite overtones of COWBOYS VS. ALIENS here, but only in the best ways. The two authors have come up with engaging characters and a fantastic world for them to play in. There are indications that this will not be the last we see of Jett and her companions, and I for one, am hoping for many more books!...more
I really don’t know what to say about Angelmaker. I have this problem with Nick Harkaway books. The easiest thing to say is, “It’s awesome, just trustI really don’t know what to say about Angelmaker. I have this problem with Nick Harkaway books. The easiest thing to say is, “It’s awesome, just trust me.” But that’s not a very effective review. It helps if you’re actually in front of me so that you can see how my eyes shine and my cheeks glow with happiness over the book. But since you’re at home, consuming this through a screen, imagine some sort of anime eyes staring up at you (even though, statistically, I’m probably taller than many of you.)
Ok, a few things about Angelmakerthat are totally awesome. First, the cover. Not only is it a very cool cover, but it has a code in it! The awesome designers over at Knopf actually designed a secret message and encoded it into the cover. So that’s awesome. The next awesome thing is the book trailer, which you can watch here. It makes me happy. I’ve probably watched it 10 times. I’m like that.
So, those are awesome things about the book. Now, let me tell you about the story. Our markedly mild mannered hero is Joseph Spork. He is the son of a fairly famous chanteuse and an old school London gangster. Joe’s grandfather, Daniel, was a clockmaker and Joe has chosen to follow almost religiously in his footsteps. He has given up his crown as a prince of the underworld and makes his living repairing clocks, windup toys, and other items made up of gears and cogs. The Spork legend lingers in the London undercity, but only like a hint of cigarettes and food the morning after a fabulous party.
One day, Joe’s friend Billy brings him a clockwork book and then all hell breaks loose. Joe is soon on the run from the police, a secret government organization, and a cult. He is accompanied in his flight by Edie Banister, former client, former super spy, current octogenarian; her dog Bastion, world’s ugliest pug; and Polly, an administrative assistant of epic abilities and very, very intriguing toes. It’s a little bit steampunk, a little bit of a spy thriller, and utterly, totally awesome.
I am a huge fan of Nick Harkaway’s. His first book, Gone Away World, is still one of my favorites. It also had a pretty awesome cover. It was fuzzy. I may have used it like a teddy bear once or twice. I’m not saying I did. Just that I might have. ...more
Interestingly enough, this book opened almost the same way that The Perfect Poison did, which since I was reading this while listening to that causedInterestingly enough, this book opened almost the same way that The Perfect Poison did, which since I was reading this while listening to that caused a little confusion. They very quickly distinguished themselves however. Heart of Brass is, unsurprisingly, a steampunk romance novel. I’d say it has about as much of a mix of romance and mystery/thriller as The Perfect Poison does. It is also the first in a planned series.
Almost seven years ago Luke Grey, Lord Huntley, left his young wife, Arden, to go on a mission for the Wardens; a secret organization that protects the Empire. He never came home. Only Arden believes that he is still alive. Finally, with only days to go before Luke’s brother has him declared legally dead Arden sees him in London. The only problem is that he’s trying to kill her.
Luke was captured by a rival organization during that fateful mission. He no longer remembers anything about his old life. He is a faithful agent of the Company and has been enhanced to be one of the most efficient killers in the world. He has come to London to assassinate Warden Arden Grey. But there is something about her…
Meanwhile, someone is murdering eligible young debutantes. Arden has been called in by the police to assist them. She has invented a device that allows her to see through the eyes of the victims and observe their last moments. Unfortunately, none of the victims took a good look at her killer’s face. The killer has enhanced strength and Arden is horribly afraid that her husband may be responsible.
The adventure element of this book is very fun. There are dangerous secret agents, narrow escapes, even air ships. The romantic side of things was a little less satisfying to me. Arden has been alone for seven years. Her husband’s best friend is in love with her, but she has never been tempted. However, when said husband does show back up… I don’t know. It’s not that it’s not passionate. I just felt kind of ‘meh’ about their romantic relationship. probably because I root for the underdog and liked the friend.
Also, the murder mystery seemed a bit tacked on. I actually liked that part of the story, but it was kind of superfluous to the thrilling daring-do going on with the Wardens and the Company. I’m curious to see if the next book will be more agents of the Wardens or more of Arden and Luke. I kind of hope for more of them solving mysteries together, but I suspect that I’m going to get more new couples instead.
The Affinity Bridge by George Mann I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but this book is BRILLIANT! The female character is sympathetic, the male characterThe Affinity Bridge by George Mann I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but this book is BRILLIANT! The female character is sympathetic, the male character is flawed, but in an undertstandable way. There are shades of Alan Moore's "From Hell" lurking about creating dark, atmospheric pockets. The zombies are spine chilling and extraordinarily well conceived. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. Literally. I can't wait. I may explode. It could happen. ...more
Steampunk, time travel, and, dare I say it… zombies? Matthew Cody delivers all of the above with aplomb in his forthcoming book “The Dead Gentleman.”Steampunk, time travel, and, dare I say it… zombies? Matthew Cody delivers all of the above with aplomb in his forthcoming book “The Dead Gentleman.” The story centers on two children, excuse me, young persons. Tommy is a street thief in the New York at the dawn of the 20th century, and Jezebel, is an average young lady of today. Tommy’s adventures start when he steals a clockwork bird from a rather dead looking gentleman, who nevertheless, resents the loss of his property. The flight from the Dead Gentleman and his minions leads Tommy to Captain Scott, Explorer. Explorers travel through portals to worlds beyond imagining and now Tommy finds himself an apprentice explorer.
Jezebel’s life is dull and just a bit uncomfortable. Her parents have divorced, but that hasn’t stopped the fighting. Her best friend has grown apart from her because of some guy. With nothing better to do with her time she takes to exploring the basement in her apartment building. She sees a strange boy, wearing goggles of all things. He gives her a dire warning and then just vanishes. She would really like to think that she just hallucinated him, but that night, strange monsters try to come out of her closet. They whisper something about a clockwork bird…
Soon Jez and Tommy are lost in space and time; working together to survive. They have a narrow window to find the bird and stop the Dead Gentleman from making Earth into an extension of his realm where everything is quiet, and still, and dead.
Finley Jayne has always had something 'other' inside her. This dark side sometimes takes over and Finley ends up in situations her lighter side can haFinley Jayne has always had something 'other' inside her. This dark side sometimes takes over and Finley ends up in situations her lighter side can hardly fathom, much less escape. The night that her employer's son accosts her it comes out in full force. After leaving him in a (deservedly) bloody heap on the upstairs carpet she runs into the darkness of Hyde Park and almost gets run over by Griffin King, duke, entrepreneur, and Aetheric magician. Finley is adopted into his group of unusually gifted secret agents. Here she hopes to find a solution to her dual nature. What she is not expecting is to find herself embroiled in a murder, accused of treason, and torn between the love of a duke and the regard of a dandy. This novel is a good introduction to light Steampunk and manages to be entertaining despite the sometimes translucent plot twists. ...more
I was so excited after I finished "Changeless" that I looked for "Blameless" in two different states two days before it was out. I loved Alexia's deteI was so excited after I finished "Changeless" that I looked for "Blameless" in two different states two days before it was out. I loved Alexia's determination to prove to Conal that he is a fat head. ...more
God Save the Queen takes place in a post-steampunk, post-vampire/werewolf virus England. The setting is essentially modern day, but a modern-day influGod Save the Queen takes place in a post-steampunk, post-vampire/werewolf virus England. The setting is essentially modern day, but a modern-day influenced by immortal Victorians. The plague, which swept through Europe repeatedly over the centuries began to have some rather strange consequences. Those who carried antibodies to the plague began to gain in strength. Their lives were usually longer. Some of them began to have certain dietary requirements. The effects were different depending on the strain of the virus. Intermarriage with other plague-carriers increased the effects. These side effects were refined during the reign of Queen Victoria, resulting in a supernatural aristocracy. Werewolves and vampires now rule the British Isles. There is a third strain of the plague - the strain that creates goblins. Goblins are the strongest of the three types of immortals, but they are by far the least attractive. They have been relegated to the sewers and the underground train tunnels beneath the city. Xandra Vardan is a half-vampire. She is the offspring of an aristocrat and a mortal woman. Halfbloods serve as the protection for the ranks of the nobility since they possess much of their immortal parent's strength while suffering few of their weaknesses. Xandra has always been an exemplary guard. She has never deviated from the path expected of her. Until now. Xandra's sister has gone missing and Xandra is willing to break every rule in the book in order to find her. Even if that means going to the goblins for help.
This book was a little odd for me. I somehow missed that it was set in 2012, so the first time Xandra hiked her bustle up to get on her motorcycle I was a little taken aback. But I settled into the groove pretty quickly. There are twists and turns and plot-lines ducking down dark passages like Alice's white rabbit. I had a ton of fun with it. Xandra starts to question the reality she has been given and along the way finds out things about her family and herself that she never could have imagined. I'd recommend this to fans of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series or Kim Harrison's The Hollows series....more
This is the third (and, as far as I know, final) book in the Frontier Magic series. I love this series! My quick and dirty tagline for it when I'm tryThis is the third (and, as far as I know, final) book in the Frontier Magic series. I love this series! My quick and dirty tagline for it when I'm trying to hand-sell it at the bookstore is: Harry Potter meets Little House on the Prairie. It's so much more complicated than that, but when you've got ten seconds to get a middle schooler's attention you work with what you've got. I like these books so much that I did a video review of book one, The Thirteenth Child. It's pretty terrible, but you can go watch it if you want a good laugh. The world is essentially 19th century America, but magic has always been known and because of that things have developed a little differently. The biggest differences for our purposes are these: it's not America, it's Columbia; westward expansion has essentially stopped at the Mammoth River (The Mississippi for us) due to the uncontrollable wildlife on the other side; Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson managed to create a barrier using the river that keeps all magical animals to the west; there is no Native American presence (I assume because of the dangers of the wildlife although it is not specified in the text); the Civil War worked a little bit differently, but the end result is the same and slavery has been abolished, although it was never as big a deal there as it was here due to the difficulty of clearing large plantations. As in most fairy tales, the seventh son of a seventh son is considered the most powerful magician known. However, especially in the eastern-most areas of the country, thirteenth children are considered more than unlucky, they're seen almost as plague carriers. The best case scenario is that their bad luck could spread unintentionally; the worst case is that they become twisted and lash out on purpose. Eff is a thirteenth child, but also the twin of a double seventh son. Throughout the entire series she has been struggling with the matter of who she is, what she can do, and what she should do. At the same time, she has begun to come into her own as an explorer. In each book she takes a trip across the Great Barrier into regions very few people have explored. In this third book, Eff joins an academic expedition into the far west. Their aim is to go further than the last successful expedition and catalog the plants and animals along the way. Several new threats have been moving eastward in the last several years. The expedition hopes, among other things, to give the settled communities some hint of what is coming so that they can prepare for it. I cannot say enough good things about this series. I've read the first book three times now, the second twice, and I think tonight when I get home I'll start book three for the second time. It is an amazing series. And I don't mean for a young adult series. There are things in this series about identity, self-worth, inner strength, and ways of seeing the world that I'm still trying to get a grip on in my thirties. So, if you have any interest in this type of book, westward expansion, fantasy literature, awesome female characters, please please please give this series a shot....more