I really liked the Grimm Legacy. It enthralled me from the beginning, a girl who likes fairytales as much as I do? Excellent. Plus, a library that loaI really liked the Grimm Legacy. It enthralled me from the beginning, a girl who likes fairytales as much as I do? Excellent. Plus, a library that loans everything including books (though they actually leave most books to the public libraries), who would not want that?
The story is very well written with some interesting twists in the plot and some interesting threads that can be pulled out later. The Wells Legacy is one of those that will be featured in the upcoming sequel The Wells Bequest.
The characters were believable, I really like one of the particular twists it took with describing the four characters, but since it's near the end I won't mention it here.
Good book, can't wait for the sequel.
Also, if you liked reading this one try these:
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares focuses on the romance in the real world. It is a Christmas book, so be aware of that. However, there is no real magic in this book, just coincidence. It has the same light feel as Grimm Legacy.
Another book that has a little bit darker turn, and the romance takes longer to grow is Kelley Armstrong's young adult series Darkest Powers, which begins with The Summoning, takes three books to build to it's climax, but the romance is of a similar vein to that in Grimm Legacy. (No I'm not going to tell you what I mean by that. Go read the two books and find out for yourself!) ...more
Is the sequel that directly follows it, and continues to build onto the world she's built. She adds in more half breeds and more species that we wereIs the sequel that directly follows it, and continues to build onto the world she's built. She adds in more half breeds and more species that we were not necessarily aware of the first time. The hierarchy within the various groups becoming more apparent. It's easy to see how she is growing the world.
We're introduced to more characters of most species as well, all without ignoring characters (good, bad, or indifferent) from the first book. She has a really good basis to continue the series and maybe even get a spin off book or two.
The biggest thing that I did not like about this book is that it leaves off with a cliff hanger. Normally I wouldn't care about that, but this time I really do because no third book has been written, or will be. This is not the author's decision she was quite unhappy about it; it is rather the publisher's decision. She could take Kelley Armstrong's path with the Nadia Stafford books and go a head and write it and then look for a different publisher for it. ...more
Here is a young adult paranormal romantic comedy. That's a long string of subjects listed, but it lives up to all of them. Rather than being dark it rHere is a young adult paranormal romantic comedy. That's a long string of subjects listed, but it lives up to all of them. Rather than being dark it really is quite light, which is normal because it's a young adult chicklet.
No vampires yet, nor are there any angels. What Rowen does throw in, in addition to the demons, are fairies, dragons, and her own race called shadows. While she does a good job of plunging right into the whole world all at once she also doesn't throw so much at you at once that you get lost in her world.
There was also a good bit of very blatant foreshadowing very near the beginning, but the first time through I laughed it off until they came back to it.
If you want a more in depth preview: It definitely combined the classics of the Hunchback of Notre Dame (most notably in the main character) and thatIf you want a more in depth preview: It definitely combined the classics of the Hunchback of Notre Dame (most notably in the main character) and that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (In one of the other characters and some of the plot). However, as a whole the novel was definitely original and new. A steam punk coming of age set in a world of classics.
The plot itself was twisted and convoluted, and yet also straight forward. I would say that if you're paranoid it makes it a much more difficult read, and if you're trusting it becomes an even easier read.
One of the things that they mention is the Greek myth of King Lycaon, but I lost the reference so I couldn't compare that they said to what was in the book. Here's the myth of Lycaon, so if anyone's read this I'd love to know if the reference is accurate.
Other than the two characters that obviously come from the classics there is also a cast of characters which are sometimes over the top, but in their world it fits in. Men with steam powered limbs or metal hands. Secret organizations bent on the destruction of the British Empire, and others bent on being its salvation rub elbows with the rest of the London underworld.
It's not a dark and gritty novel, but it's not light and happy either. This is mostly because there can be no happy ending for Modo who is forever deformed. On the other hand, although it is aimed at teens it's not all emo and whining about what he wants, although he does experience perfectly normal bouts of self-pity (as anyone does).
Over all, I think it was a good book. And though it didn't drag me under with every word it was a fast read and kept me entertained. It's not a deep thinking book, but neither is it a bit of fluff; especially if you are the kind that lives it with your characters and wants to try to figure out what's coming next. If a sequel ever appeared (and I hope one does) I would definitely be willing to add it to my 'To Be Read' pile, but I didn't enjoy it enough to drop everything and read it when it comes out.
If you like X try Y: My first recommendation is to check out the classics previously mentioned. Both the Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have their influence on this book. Another influence, which plays in a much more minor way seems to be Frankenstein.
If you liked the semi-dark tone and the male narrator main character you should try Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak (which is the first in the Cirque du Freak series, also called the Darren Shan saga).
Clockwork Angel has a similar tone, but a female lead and more beauty to it. Or if you want to stick with a male narrator and the steampunk, but kick out the dark tone try Airborn (which has a much more adventurous tone).
Finally, if you enjoy the secret societies operating beneath the notices of the normal townies. You might try the Secret History of the Pink Carnation. It's a light romance, especially in the beginning, but the secret societies get deeper the deeper you get into the series. It's also adults only, not for teens. ...more
**spoiler alert** Just this morning I finished Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (who also wrote the Silverwing Trilogy). It was very enjoyable and sucked me i**spoiler alert** Just this morning I finished Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (who also wrote the Silverwing Trilogy). It was very enjoyable and sucked me in I had it finished almost as soon as I started reading. It is an easy read, mostly because it is geared towards children. It's kept in the Juvenile section at my local library, but can be enjoyed by anyone who loves classic steam punk adventure.
It's an American tale about a cabin boy on board the Aurora who recovers the balloon and body of a dying man who rants of mysterious beautiful sky beasts. A year later the same man's, very wealthy granddaughter, boards the Aurora intent on proving that her grandfather was not a lunatic. From there, their adventures take them to pirate hide outs on uncharted islands, and to see the sights of the mysterious flying cats.
There were not that many twists in the book, and any well-read reader would be able to predict what comes next. But what really drug me under was the characters. Matt Cruse: the poor, but intelligent cabin boy eager to see the skies; Kate de Vries: the rich girl who wants nothing to do with fashion and fripperies; and Bruce: the rich young man who's father wants to push him into the family business, but who really doesn't know where he belongs. And that's just the main cast - there's the kind captain, and the crazy cook, to name just two others - who all appear cliche at first, but as the story unfolds, each takes on new dimensions and aspects. I could tell you what they become, but that would be cheating.
Because it's for juveniles, and designed to reach both boys and girls, there is not a lot of romance in the story. But it is there, and made all the sweeter for the little hints it gives.
This story is certainly not a heavy thinking piece, but children can learn lessons from it, and children of all ages can enjoy it. I liked it so much that I have already begun the sequel, Skybreaker, which continues the events of the main characters.
Oppel's steampunk world doesn't have a definitive date, not even one so vague as "Victorian era." The clues they do give to when the story takes place are just as vague, and hidden. However, on a single read through I got that the main character who's fifteen now, was born during one of the great migrations from Europe to America. It was also done during the great trading age (the Aurora is on her way to Sydney), and after the Hawaiian islands have started to be cultivated. The destination of Sydney also implies that Australia is no longer a penal colony.
His science is built on a single additional element to the periodic table - hydrium, which is lighter than hydrogen. That's sort of where he lost me for a bit, but as long as I continued to think of it as Hydrogen I had no problem with it. I didn't really see the need for anything lighter than hydrogen in the book either, unless maybe it was to counter some of the weight on board the Aurora.
Of course there were also the ever present goggles and Orinthopters (for those of you unfamiliar with steam punk they're sort of like hovering motorcycles in most interpretations). Those amid other steam punk accessories.
Now of course I have to include my "If you like X try Y," part of the review. My immediate first suggestion is Leviathan, which is more historical, and has just as much steampunk. It's also told from the point of view of a cabinboy, and contains the tangles of the rich dealing with the poor.
If you like Kate de Vries willingness to go her own way you might try L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack. Also, a cabin boy. However, this one has less steampunkery, and more historical tech, though it's not as obviously historical as Leviathan.
Though I did not finish the Kingdom Beyond the Waves, adult readers who enjoyed the mythical animals from here may find that they enjoy that series. It is heavier, larger, and more world-centric than character-centric. However, it contains the same plot like of "Looking for what everyone considers impossible to prove that a male in my family was right," by a young woman. (Although in Kingdom she is much older than fifteen).
One classic that you might like is Little Men. It involves lots of male characters, and girls who want to be more than just pretty wives and loving mothers, set historically during the same time period, but without the whole steam punk facet.
If you want to keep the male protagonist rising above his circumstances, but you want more fantastical elements you might Mercedes Lackey's Joust, which swaps steam punk for an Egyptian culture with magic. Or Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen which is a futuristic version of that plot line. ...more
I just finished reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (who wrote the Uglies series). It took me less than a day to read, of course the fact that it isI just finished reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (who wrote the Uglies series). It took me less than a day to read, of course the fact that it is a Young Adult novel, and added to that it has several wonderful and imaginative drawings inside made it an easy read. However, the biggest contributor was the story, the plot and the characters just drew me in and made me want to know more.
The year is 1914, and it is the brink of World War One, the Great War, the War to End All Wars. Of course, it did not happen, but what is more interesting is his take on the story. He opens with a piece of real history - the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his commoner wife Sophie. He also draws heavily on what was supposed and assumed following the fall out of the assassination. From there things begin to diverge, characters who did not exist in real life appears, as does paperwork. Another bit of history that Westerfeld draws on is Darwin, Britain and France (as well as Russia, and all of Britain's colonies) are known as Darwinists in the novels.
Which brings me to the second point. All of the traditional steam punk equipment is there - air ships that run on hydrogen, and advanced looking spectacles and communication devices. They even have walking mechanicals like the great mechas of Japanese animes. Some of the walk on more than two legs - up to eight are explored in the book. And that by itself is an advanced look at Steam Punk it's quite thorough, and the era of steam punk obviously came early to this world.
But I did mention Darwin above, and that is the other aspect of the steam punk in this novel. Darwin basically managed to figure out DNA and genetic manipulation which is now used to create creatures and entire ecosystems which do not exist in real life, but which are even more symbiotic than reality. For instance the British Airship of the same name as the title is actually a manufactured whale that flies through the sky in hydrogen sacks. They have all sorts of creatures which also grace the drawings in the book, creatures which seem very thought out.
This is essentially the lines which are drawn for the war, the Darwinists (who manipulate genetics to create war creatures, as well as beasts from every from every walk of life for every purporse). On the other side are the Clunkers, basically Germany and Austria-Hungry. These are the guys that build the mechanical monstrosities with which every steam punk novel is populated. Both sides hate each other with (as my sister would say) "a flaming firey passion from H," and they also make up things about each other and tell horror stories about what the other side can do. For instance the Clunkers refer to the genetically manipulated breeds as "godless." The British are just as derisive and horrid about the mechanicals as the Austrians are about the beasts. And neither really knows a lot about the other.
In much the same way that the modern day real life religions sometimes, and often unintentionally, demonize other religions without really understanding them. They do the same thing in the book. However, in the book they offer hope when one group of British and one group of Austrians get together and work together and agree. Of course, there is a common enemy, but otherwise all the tension would go out of the book and we wouldn't have another book.
This book was good enough that I certainly intend to pick up the sequel, Behemoth, and read that as well.
And of course, I have to include and "If you like This, then try These..." section.
First of all, if you like strong female characters that dress up as a male you might try L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack. There is no steam punk, but it is much more historically accurate (in some ways) than this book. Another one, with less history and more magic is Tamora Pierce's Alanna: The First Adventure. This one also pulls up the matters of aristocracy versus commoners, though it does it much more subtlety.
Both of those are young adult novels, but neither one is steam punk. If you're dead set on the steam punk then try Soulless by Gail Carriger, the first in the Parasol Protectorate series. It's still a strong female lead, but it is much more adult than the other two, and also includes paranormal elements. ...more
Alright, the part about the angel was anticlimactic, but it ended on a cliffhanger. This book took me a lot longer to read, it just didn't drag me undAlright, the part about the angel was anticlimactic, but it ended on a cliffhanger. This book took me a lot longer to read, it just didn't drag me under the way some stories do. However, the mysteries are not solved so I will probably go on and read the next book. Be prepared for that if you read this: the mysteries are not all finished in the first book. Which makes sense because it is a trilogy; if you solved all the problems in the first book then you would either have to come up with entirely knew problems for the second and third books and that just seems hard.
The world is well designed and well thought out. She did a good job adhering to Victorian England for the most part (though it was in a much more serious rather than a funny way, unlike "the Parasol Protectorate.") She put thought into the races and where they came from. Now because, although this is a prequel series, it was written after the Mortal Instruments series, I do not know how much of the world building is identical, because I have npot read those yet. I really prefer to read things in the order in which they occur within the world even if that leads to some "spoilers" later.
The plot is good and twisty, but her pacing is slow. Which I think is why it did not hold my interest as well as some others have. I did not see the biggest twist coming either which is always good. The side plots almost seem as if they may, eventually, lead back into the main plot. Whether that was planned from the beginning or not of course I do not know. However, I am curious enough that (as I said) I will continue to read this series.
The characters are not one dimensional, they are all multifaceted and display many of those facets to the audience. There are a few characters who are not quite so well developed, and most of them tend to be the bad guys. However, because many of them are still alive to develop more in another book. So hopefully we will see how they grow and change.
Overall the tone of the book is very dark. When I see it play out as a movie in my head it is with very dark colors and somber music. That is not one of the things that I like in my books, however, it suited this book and will probably continue to be dark as it continues.
If you like Victorian era, or steam punk, this is certainly a book you should try. However, if you read to escape and enjoy happiness and light books then this is probably not going to be one of your favorites. Good job, well written. ...more