What a wonderful surprise. As a Roswell fan, I love the idea of a girl in a small town meeting a guy who turns out to be from far, far away. Like anotWhat a wonderful surprise. As a Roswell fan, I love the idea of a girl in a small town meeting a guy who turns out to be from far, far away. Like another planet, Lux. What I didn't expect was to laugh so much while reading this book. To really really enjoy it. I adore these characters. They are written so well. Obsidian is a great "falling in love" story between the bad boy Daemon Black and the wonderful heroine he calls Kitten. Oh, gods. What a story. It's one of the best romance novels I've read, with nothing graphic or over the top. That's saying a lot. The tension and chemistry between these two characters, well both are just awesome. All superlatives! Laughing.
The truth, this is a very simple story, written well, with lots of chemistry, a mild plot, and great action scenes. There are some minor complaints, but they are so minor they are not even worth writing about. This story accomplished everything it promised and it did it perfectly.
I'm going to read the rest of the series. Also, at the end is a couple of chapters from Daemon. So good.
Firstly, if I had to recommend one book to wannabe YA authors from this year (2012), I would recommend this book. If I had a writer's group and we allFirstly, if I had to recommend one book to wannabe YA authors from this year (2012), I would recommend this book. If I had a writer's group and we all were to use one book as a critique on what's right with writing, I'd choose this book. I say this because I am a writer and I read all books like a writer. This is a wonderfully written novel. A very solid read. With lots to recommend.
(SPOILERS) When I began reading this book, I knew that it contained no paranornmal elements, that it was a straight YA book with some mystery elements and themes. I also knew immediately when Katherine's coach entered the gaslit tunnel (with room for two coaches) that the author was going to use one of Victoriana's greatest eccentrics, William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland as a character, although I did not know how. I was so excited to see what the author would do with it. I was very impressed. As for the steampunk, this is the real thing from Victorian England. And that is why you see the illustration of the mechanical fish at the beginning of the book. And one should pay attention. It's not there for "nothing." But there is little fantasy to the steampunk elements, and this is not what one expects from steampunk, but I knew that, too, so I had no expectations of reading the sort of steampunk that is on the shelves now.
The plot is about a girl of seventeen, sent on a mission by a cruel aunt, to visit her mysterious uncle in a gothic estate, to see if the uncle needs to be sent to an asylum. The heroine is very likable and not the typical YA heroine of today. She's pragmatic and ordinary, no super powers, no big emotional scars. She is sort of the everyman character (but with a lot of heart) who is placed in extraordinary circumstances. You don't see enough of these kinds of characters today. Why? They are (actually) harder to write, to make interesting in a market full of vampires, werewolves, and angels.
Katherine is a remarkable character to study. I liked her a lot. Her journey is not on the road, but in a big house full of tunnels, clocks, dark and dusty rooms, mirrors, and strange sounds. That's harder to write, too. And the author does a splendid job. SPLENDID. (Laughing) Because that is one of words often used in this book.
Now for the other characters.
Uncle Tully--Uncle Tully is based on the eccentric real-life Duke. I cannot express on Goodreads all the things I loved about Uncle Tully, from his creation, to his own creations, to his wonderful dialogue, to his actions, and so forth. He is perfect. And he creates a change in the lives of all who know him, even Katherine, and it is because of Uncle Tully that Katherine becomes a round and heroic character. I write this because Uncle Tully is sort of the sphere on which all the other characters spin around. His madness is genius and what we today would probably call autism. The author did such a great job with this, down to the smallest detail.
Lane--the dark mysterious young man whom Katherine slowly (Thank goodness) falls in love with. This relationship is so unlike all the other YA bad boy relationships that I almost wept for joy. He is a great character. If I had to change one thing in the whole book, it would be to give his character a viewpoint. That would be a risk technically, but I would have done it. I think it would have added a complexity to the storyline and took this book out of the claustrophobic first person narrative found in so many YA books. It would have offered a relief from that narrow focus of the main character without taking away from Katherine's character. Lane really had nothing to keep secret.
All the other characters are charming, even the villains.
At one moment in the book, the climax, I felt the story a little rushed. I would have lingered on the explosion and added a chapter or so with Lane and the recovery elements before finishing up with the aunt's cause and so forth. But all and all, the ending was perfect and this is how a book should end. I literally screamed for joy because the story arcs were concluded, and one tiny arc remained, to be finished in another book or by the reader's imagination. That is how to write a BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ms Cameron is an excellent writer, and her story was vivid in detail without overwriting. Her language is clear and concise and beautiful. It's imaginative in its creation and in the control the author used to keep the story tight and focused. I might have liked the story bigger and more complex and darker, but that did not deter my interests.
I know a good book when I read it. This is one of them. I can't wait to see what the author does next. Highly recommended.
NOTE: I do believe this book was marketed toward 12-16 year old girls. There is a certain expectation in the lower YA years. Some YA books are really 16 and older. The story fulfills this genre requirement.
Finally it so nice to read a book that is just so unexpected in a genre that is overcrowded with the same story told over and over. The love triangle, the bad boy, the supernatural elements. Yes, I love supernatural elements and I might have enjoyed them in this story, but that's okay. I loved this book. I did not put a mark in it, but used a notebook for my remarks. I wanted to save it for a shelf devoted to my two-year old grandchild. It's a Keeper....more
One of my favorite books. I've read it several times. I have the three book in one edition so it reads like one BIG STORY. Steerpike is one of most enOne of my favorite books. I've read it several times. I have the three book in one edition so it reads like one BIG STORY. Steerpike is one of most endearingly horrible character in literature. He's an anti-hero who almost becomes heroic. Gormenghast itself is mythic in its creation.
This book is about everything.
Added note on the last reread. "I don't think the last novel works as well as I used to with the first two novels. Just a thought. On another reading, I realize how much Steerpike is just the shadow of Titus Groan, and the main character of this story is really the city of Gormenghast and its traditions. Love it. Masterful....more
REREAD. Had some issues with novel again. This book really helps me make decisions that otherwise I might not be able to make for weeks and weeks. ClaREREAD. Had some issues with novel again. This book really helps me make decisions that otherwise I might not be able to make for weeks and weeks. Clarity on what the novel is, what it does, great examples when talking about 100 other novels. I love it. Highly Recommended.
I've had some issue with my own writing lately and to work out some problems in my mind, I stopped and read this book, which has been so helpful to me. Jane Smiley is a genius! For one she wrote this book for herself when she got stuck in a writing project and she wanted to think about reading and writing novels.
She explains that there are many sorts of writing and how novels fall into certain categories, and that the more categories the better. I always felt certain that I was writing a history of a city but now I know better. You can be writing about death and tell the story of a wonderful life and how important just living is.
Richness is important. Don't cheat your reader and you won't cheat your book or yourself.
Mainly this is a book about reading novels, and how reading provides us with a rich inner life. I've been thinking about why I read lately. It occurred to me that I don't read just for pleasure. It's not about being entertained. I work as a reader and there is nothing wrong with that. A good book can change a life. That's what a novel does....more
I finally read all the stories I had missed over the years. This will be a reread for me. Not the first time or the last. Next time, I will pick storiI finally read all the stories I had missed over the years. This will be a reread for me. Not the first time or the last. Next time, I will pick stories that really interested me as a writer....more
This is the book that changed my life. It's not about making art, but the psychology of making art, all kinds, painting, writing, and so forth. I woulThis is the book that changed my life. It's not about making art, but the psychology of making art, all kinds, painting, writing, and so forth. I would not be the person I am today if I had not bought this book and did each and every exercise with deliberate purpose. I just re-read it because I needed a boost to work when ill. Or when life gets in the way of art. It stays on my desk....more
Emily Bronte is such a mystery. How could she write such fierce fiction. There is power and deep longing in her poetry especially her Gondal poems whiEmily Bronte is such a mystery. How could she write such fierce fiction. There is power and deep longing in her poetry especially her Gondal poems which she used for Wuthering Heights. I want to write a story about that! Love her....more