This was my first ever Steampunk novel, and I can't say I'm dissapointed. The Girl in the Steel Corset follows a group of rag tag supernaturals as theThis was my first ever Steampunk novel, and I can't say I'm dissapointed. The Girl in the Steel Corset follows a group of rag tag supernaturals as they try to uncover a mystery and save the Queen. Killer machines, wax dolls, supernatural powers, the head of the underworld, a duke, murder, deception, cyborgs, love triangles (yes plural) and even a cowboy. A book that can pack that much into one storyline without making it feel overloaded surely requires praise.
While being a young adult book, it doesn't have that whiny heroine feeling that a lot of YA books tend to have these days. Finley plays the role of the strong heroine that can do take care of herself. Her strange powers allow her to overcome impossible feats and has saved her many a time from injury or even death. She's a loner that moves from job to job attempting to not screw up when her dark side takes over. When she meets up with Griffin and the gang, she finally finds a place where she may belong. A place where people are different and seem to accept her despite her differences. Griffin plays the accepting friend role allowing Finley to stay at his house. His role seems to be the exact opposite of Jack Dandy, the seedy underlord and known criminal. Yet, with Finley's two halves feuding, she can't decide between the two. Will she go for good? or evil?
Overall, this book had me sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the whole story. The mystery aspect felt like a good ol' Sherlock Holmes story, uncovering clue after clue until the pieces fit nicely together. There's action and adventure, but also romance and friendship. Everything one needs from a good book.
Sidenote: I recomend reading The Strange Case of Finley Jayne if you're not sure on whether you'd like this or not. It's a short story that introduces Finley as a character and gives you a bit of insight into her world. While not necessary to read before reading this book, it definitely wets your appetite. ...more
Kendare Blake struck gold with her debut novel Anna Dressed in Blood. With all the hype this book has received since publication, I couldn't believe tKendare Blake struck gold with her debut novel Anna Dressed in Blood. With all the hype this book has received since publication, I couldn't believe that one, it was a debut novel, and two that it would actually live up to the hype once I read it. I was pleasantly surprised when the story blew me out of the water, or at least out of my reading rut.
While I wouldn't classify this story as a horror story necessarily, there were definitely parts that spooked me. The description of each ghost that Cas encounters is extremely vivid and somewhat graphic. Blake does a superb job of bringing the varioius entities to life. Whether she was describing a random ghost, Anna's transformation, or a ritualistic spell, you can picture every small detail as if you were watching it in movie form. The description of Anna's kills left me speechless and cringing as I pictured the mutilated bodies, and I cried in horror when I found out exactly what killed Anna because the scene was so realistic and gruesome.
Speaking of descriptions, Blake creates a great cast of characters to back up the gruesome plot. At one point the author describes Cas as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that's when it clicked in my head. The cast is totally the cast from Buffy! Cas is Buffy the ghost killer, Thomas is Willow the witch, Carmel is Cordilia the popular girls turned badass, and Will, well I couldn't place Will, but that's beside the point. You even have the English book nerd that compares to Giles. I love it!
The Buffy thing aside, I felt the cast was well balanced and each brought out the best in the next. Cas is your typical "I'm so alone in the world" type as he moves from town to town slaying ghosts until the day he gets to avenge his dead father. When he meets up with Thomas, the outsider at school, he finds that maybe a friend could be a bit helpful. Add in Carmel, the most popular kid in school, and you have the fearsome trio that make up the main cast of the story. Following these three through the various twists and turns of the plot never leaves a dull moment. I'd say this story is anything but predictable as the story changes from one antagonist to the next.
A couple of qualms with the novel. First off, even though I knew that Cas was a boy, I had trouble getting it in my head that he was male. My mind kept going back to a female lead for a good part of the book. This might simply be that I've read too many books lately with female leads and it was hard to switch over. Second, I felt the romance side of things was a little pushed. It wasn't necessary to make the story great. Affection between them was needed in order to move the story further, but affection doesn't always have to transcribe to romance in my opinion. If the author really wanted a romance aspect of the book, I would have done it with a different set of characters. (Leaving out names on purpose, don't want to ruin the surprise!)
If I hadn't looked it up, I wouldn't have realized that this book has sequel (coming out Aug 2012). The book leaves almost nothing open for continuation, other then the fact that there are always more ghosts for Cas to hunt down. I wonder if the story will stay in the same town and keep around some of the main characters, or will Cas run off on a whole new adventure? It's always nice to see a first book in a series stand on it's own, but I'm a bit baffled on where the story will go next. Too bad I have to wait so long to find out. ...more
Raylene is a feisty heroine that knows how to take care of herself. She's spent her life (and afterlife) as a high end thief taking on the impossibleRaylene is a feisty heroine that knows how to take care of herself. She's spent her life (and afterlife) as a high end thief taking on the impossible and staying invisible. Upon meeting a new client, her world is turned upside down as she tracks down an underground project that conducts experiments on vampires (like herself) trying to harness their abilities for use in government weaponry. A mix of espionage, satire, and bloodlust make this book a great read. I mean, what other books gives you CIA, vampires, military brutes, parquor clubs, and drag queens all in one go? I can't wait to pick up the next in the series and continue to watch the adventure unfold. ...more
**spoiler alert** This is definitely my least favorite book of the series so far, but its not terrible. I found that out of the 500 pages of book, the**spoiler alert** This is definitely my least favorite book of the series so far, but its not terrible. I found that out of the 500 pages of book, there were only a handful that actually kept me wanting to read more. I felt that, for me, there was too much love story and wishing things were different and very little action. I've never been one to like the lovey dovey stuff. That being pushed aside, I have a few qualms with this story.
First off, I felt that the bond between Lissa and Rose was used poorly to tell the story of what was happening at the school. In the past I've liked this version of narration and thought it was innovative. However, in this story I didn't understand how Rose was seeing days worth of stuff through Lissa's eyes when she sat there for minutes or hours. Yes I understand she could be getting Lissa's memories or what not, but it still bothered me.
The other thing I dislike about this book is that it didn't seem to further the series as much as other books. It was the longest book in the series so far, but I feel it said the least. It was just a lot of Rose whining and not knowing what to do with her life or how to get over Dimitri. I guess I just felt that there wasn't too much of a climax to this book, or that it was lost. I feel the story didn't need the extra issues of Avery using Lissa as it simply took away from the climax of Rose "killing" Dimitri, which I feel would have made a better ending point to this book then the whole Avery thing. It just seemed jumbled, almost like the author just had to give Lissa a conflict as well instead of just letting Rose decide to go back home. ...more
**spoiler alert** The entire first half of this book I was bored, not going to lie, but the end completely made up for it!
I felt the beginning of the**spoiler alert** The entire first half of this book I was bored, not going to lie, but the end completely made up for it!
I felt the beginning of the book could have been shortened. A lot of it was stipulation on what was happening to Rose with the aura/shadows/ghosts, and I felt that a lot of it was obvious. Great ideas, but didn't need to have the explanation drawn out quite so long. I like the addition of Adrian and the fact that he can actually see the physical change in auras as the transfer happens between Lissa and Rose.
The moment Eddie was taken I freaked out thinking, no, not another character I liked! I'm glad he's safe.
I love love love that Christian helped fight using his magic. I'm glad that he could show how beneficial magic can be as a weapon against the strigoi. Its nice to see that things are changing in the eyes of both Moroi and guardians alike.
I was never a fan of the Rose/Dimitri relationship (I rooted for Mason, and then Adrian after Mason passed) but I still loved the character of Dimitri and I teared up a bit when he was attacked and found out to be turned. I understand why Rose is going after him, but I wish she wasn't going alone. I'm interested to see what happens in the next book. Will it just be Rose running around chasing after Strigoi? Will all my favorite characters still play a big role? ...more
The first book the Vampire Academy series peaked my interest, but this book completely hooked me. I found I couldn't put the book down as we followedThe first book the Vampire Academy series peaked my interest, but this book completely hooked me. I found I couldn't put the book down as we followed Rose on her adventure. I feel that in this book Rose really grew up and loved watching that process as the book progressed. I can't wait to get my hands on the next one. ...more
I'll be honest, I didn't expect a lot from this book as I began reading it. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when the book turned out to be fairlyI'll be honest, I didn't expect a lot from this book as I began reading it. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when the book turned out to be fairly good. While I'm not really into the mushy gushy love parts of the storyline, I felt that the author used some very nice devices to truly pull you into the story.
I loved that Mead used the bond between Rose and Lissa as a way of telling Lissa's side of many stories intesad of switching narrators or other ways of doing it. I liked that while everything was technically from Rose's perspective, you were also seeing Lissa's perspective and feelings at the same time.
I like the idea of the Moroi being living vampires, a species that doesn't follow the traditional vampire mythology. It's always interesting to me to see the differences in vampire forms from one author to the next, and I'm greatly relieved that these vampires don't sparkle in the sunlight. ...more