I enjoyed this volume, as I enjoyed all the others, but not quite as much. It was still worth reading, of course, and there were some parts I loved. TI enjoyed this volume, as I enjoyed all the others, but not quite as much. It was still worth reading, of course, and there were some parts I loved. There were two very short stories at the end, one featuring Stephen Colbert and one featuring some old friends/foes, that weren't even necessarily good, but they were really fun. And there were some great parts of the main storyline as well, but I just didn't like it as much as I'd hoped.
This is not because of how upset I got every time someone said the word (or name?) "spike" in the presence of Twilight, although that really did upset me, whether it's a real clue or a fake clue. (And it had better be a fake clue. OR ELSE.)
It just didn't seem as good as the other volumes have been, particularly the last three, which were amazing and hilarious, but even the first two were better than this one. I think I just didn't like the idea of the story--I think they've tried this before, and found it didn't work. And even if it was new, what would be the point of reading about them if they went through with it? Plus the writing wasn't as funny as usual.
On the other hand, it was nice to see the whole gang back together again--and I'm not even talking about the guest character that they're hanging out with. Giles belongs with Buffy, even if she doesn't need him (as much) any more. He's HER Watcher.
Like the first two books in this series, I blew through this book at a ridiculously rapid pace. I read during every single spare second I could find,Like the first two books in this series, I blew through this book at a ridiculously rapid pace. I read during every single spare second I could find, but it would have gone fast even if I hadn't because it was such a quick read.
The setting was the deliciously creepy and literarily familiar moor, the characters, both new and old, were interesting, and the mysteries numerous and fascinating, even if I did figure some of them out before Lady Julia did.
In the end, we got some closure of long-left-open threads as well as a happy promise of new beginnings. I can't wait for the next installment....more
In a Victorian world where the supernatural not only exists but is out in the open, where vampires and werewolves, and a few ghosts, roam the night anIn a Victorian world where the supernatural not only exists but is out in the open, where vampires and werewolves, and a few ghosts, roam the night and are kept in line by the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, Alexia Tarabotti has the invaluable characteristic of being so un-supernatural that she's gone almost full circle: she cancels out the supernatural. Naturally, that makes her of interest to all who are supernatural, to all who fear the supernatural, to all who wish to control and/or understand the supernatural, and to plenty of others as well.
I might as well admit it: I loved this book. I really feared that I wouldn't, based on a number of reasons including that the author's British accent is pretty terrible and that I think books about vampires and werewolves (together--and actually it's more just the werewolves) are silly and have historically usually refused to read them.
Well, those fears were well founded, in that it was kind of silly (but it was lots of fun that way) and that the dialogue never sounded particularly British. (The characters say "Uh" instead of "Er"! Plus--and this is actually unforgivable--a Scottish werewolf earl at one point says "Gee". There is no way I can suspend my disbelief enough to even imagine that.) But they didn't matter. I enjoyed this book so much after the first chapter that I read it throughout a five hour plane trip and missed the in-flight movie Invictus, and then, when my boyfriend was forty minutes late picking me up, I was happy, because I knew I'd have to close the book when he showed up.
I don't really know how to classify or describe this book. It's not horror, because it's not trying to be scary; it's not humour because there is plenty of danger and drama; it's not adventure because in between the dangerous bits is a fair amount about clothes and courting and Victorian society; it's not romance because the characters and plot are realistic (if fantastical) and...well, I just don't think it is; it's got a bit of a mystery, but it's an easy one to figure out; it's not exactly urban fantasy because it's not modern; it takes place in the past, but for some reason I can't really call it historical fiction; etc. I believe I've heard the author describe it as steampunk, but that was for a steampunk convention so that's awfully convenient...but it's the nearest I can get to covering all the genres it touches, so steampunk it is. Actually, on second thought I think it should be all of them. Many of the best books are. And bookstores can figure it out for themselves (or put a copy or two in every section).
I don't think anyone's pretending that this is deep, high quality lit-ra-choor, but most stuff isn't and most stuff isn't as enjoyable as this (including plenty of that high-quality stuff). I will for sure read this again, which is more than I can say for the last book I read, and I already bought the next in the series, which was the one I originally wanted to read, having heard Gail Carriger read a selection. I really wish more books were as enjoyable as this....more
This volume is several short stories in the Emma-universe. The first story, about Ms. Stowner and her husband as a young couple, was a delight to readThis volume is several short stories in the Emma-universe. The first story, about Ms. Stowner and her husband as a young couple, was a delight to read. It was great to see her as a young woman and to see what her life (like the lives of others in the Victorian age) was like, as well as to see how much she and Douglas loved each other.
The second story was about Eleanor after the events of Emma Volume 7. I can't say that I cared much, as I found her character not very likable, but it was still good to get to see her dealing with the issue.
The third story was a wonderful story of Victorian times, showing the uses and values--and lifespan--of the newspaper in that culture. The characters were not from any previous Emma volumes, but we got to know them in brief glimpses of their lives. I think this would be an excellent (if short) story all on its own.
The final story was about Tasha, Emma's roommate and fellow maid in the Meredith household, and her family and her dreams. It's another nice story that was fun to read....more
Although this volume is longer than the previous ones, I read it in under an hour. Probably I didn't take enough time looking at the (even more than uAlthough this volume is longer than the previous ones, I read it in under an hour. Probably I didn't take enough time looking at the (even more than usually) gorgeous art because I wanted to see the resolution of Emma and William's story, and because I was in the library. There were some times in this volume that the story skipped over what must have been days or sometimes even weeks, but then again it was rather long as it was, so maybe that was necessary. It definitely didn't confuse or very much harm the story, the way the jumps in the narrative did in Volume 5. It may seem odd--and frustrating to some readers--that their story ends at the very beginning of their life together, but I think that's a nice way of letting us picture our own happily ever after.
After reading this volume, and mostly after seeing the art, I definitely intend to buy it. I want to admire it at much greater length.
This is a fairly historically accurate story of what led up to the massacre of Glencoe, a horrible episode of Scottish history that took place duringThis is a fairly historically accurate story of what led up to the massacre of Glencoe, a horrible episode of Scottish history that took place during the Jacobite uprisings (one of many, sadly, but not anywhere near as bad as Culloden), and of all the people that were involved in it, from the victims to the perpetrators to people who were caught in the middle. The book weaves multiple stories together, including that of the machinations that led to the massacre and that of the the two people who fell in love despite clan rivalries. It does this by having the viewpoint switch between a number of different characters, all of whom we get to know throughout the years from 1682 through 1695.
This book is incredibly, wonderfully Scottish. The characters wear trews and arisaids and ride garrons and drink usquabae (and do other things you may not recognize) and, when talking, use many expressions that the average reader who isn't obsessed with Scotland may not ken. Och, but dinna fash, dinna greet, just bide a wee, and ye'll get used to it, aye?
Unfortunately, the Scottish-ness was my favorite part of the book. The love story, once it finally got going, was enjoyable for a while, and the politics and behind-the-scenes of the royal courts were interesting, but for some reason, not enough. It took me what felt like forever to get through this book (I had to renew it once), especially the first 180 pages. I wasn't really interested until the gathering of the clans at Achallader, and I didn't reach the point where I was waiting for just one more chapter--just one more! or maybe two, the next one's short--before I would get up to find food or take a shower or something until pretty late in the book.
I had really high hopes for this book, both because its subject seems right up my alley (I love Scotland and Scottish history and highlanders--I even wear a Jacobite rosette pin on my coat), plus there's a recommendation from Diana Gabaldon on the cover, and she's one of my favorite authors. I hope it didn't work for me because it was just the wrong time for me to be reading it; a lot is going on in my life right now. I did enjoy the book quite a lot, because the parts I liked, I really liked, but I fear that was outweighed by how frustrated I was at how long it took me to get into it. I wanted to give the book 3.5 stars, but since I liked it so much, I couldn't bring myself to round down, so it's four. Another reason I can't round down is that while reading I was bothered by how Jennifer Roberson portrayed John Hill as so sympathetic to the Highlanders, because it seemed unrealistic, but it turns out that he actually was, so I can't complain about that any more....more
I don't honestly remember anything about reading this book other than the premise, that I got it for free in London, and that I read it soon after I gI don't honestly remember anything about reading this book other than the premise, that I got it for free in London, and that I read it soon after I got home and was missing all things British. However, I think I would remember if I hated it or thought it was terrible, plus it's still on my bookshelf, so I must have liked it enough....more
Utterly beautiful...but what the hell is going on?
Seriously, the artwork is so amazingly gorgeous that I feel it was worth the price of the book. It kUtterly beautiful...but what the hell is going on?
Seriously, the artwork is so amazingly gorgeous that I feel it was worth the price of the book. It kind of had to be, though, because the story wasn't, really. Or maybe it was; I couldn't understand what was going on sometimes. But I'll read Volume 2, and hopefully the story will be better, or at least less confusing....more
I didn't expect the quality of the prose or the depth of the writing to be equal to those of Jane Austen, but I did expect them to be as good as one wI didn't expect the quality of the prose or the depth of the writing to be equal to those of Jane Austen, but I did expect them to be as good as one would expect from any standard work of writing for adults. In this I was disappointed. Still, it was a somewhat entertaining read. It seemed kind of pointless that so much of it was the exact same events told in Emma but less eloquently from the perspective of someone else in the same room (although at least, since Jane Austen thought of them, they make an interesting story), but the events and characters that were unique to this book were more interesting. I did enjoy seeing how Mr. Knightly might have come to realize his feelings for Emma, and I enjoyed the sweet (if improbable) relationship for one of the few characters from Emma who doesn't end up married in that book. It's not a great book, or even a really good one, but it was an easy and somewhat enjoyable read. I plan to read at least one other book in the series (if you can call it a series), with the hope that it will diverge a bit more from what Austen already showed us, but even if it doesn't it will still probably be pleasant....more
This is the story of a pair of sibling masqueraders and adventurers who, upon reaching London and enjoying the society, have a desire to give up theirThis is the story of a pair of sibling masqueraders and adventurers who, upon reaching London and enjoying the society, have a desire to give up their adventuring and enjoy a more settled--and if possible, respectable--life there. Unfortunately, they have come to London in disguise, fleeing from their treasonous association with Bonnie Prince Charlie, and they must await their father, who started them on their life of adventuring and who, they hope, has a plan to get them out of their predicament. While they wait, Prudence, known to the world as young Mr. Peter Merriot, finds further enticement to stay and further complication to success in the large person of Sir Anthony Fanshaw, and Robin longs to get out of the corsets and petticoats of Miss Kate Merriot, and to begin to court the beautiful heiress Miss Letty Grayson.
There is plenty of adventure, from elopements and abductions to duels and highwaymen, in addition to the adventure of each sibling living as a member of the other sex, and there are also balls and parties and even some description of clothing. Plus there is lots of 18th century talk, like "Lud!" and "egad." Basically, it's terrific fun to read, without relying on suspense or being in any way low quality writing. I think anyone would enjoy it.
This was the first Georgette Heyer book I've read, and it honestly surpassed my hopes. Most of her books are set in the regency period, a little later in history than this, and possibly a more mannered and sedate time, but I'm sure she will find a way to make them exciting nonetheless, and so I plan to begin reading all her books as soon as I can get my hands on them.
I actually read it in part while waiting to be called for jury selection process (only during recesses and lunch breaks, of course, as you're not allowed to read while the court is in session), and at one point found myself grinning for about ten minutes as I read and paced up and down the hall to get the stiffness out of my legs. The other potential jurors may have thought I was eccentric, but I felt sorry for them that they weren't getting to read about Sir Anthony figuring out Prue's secret and insisting that she marry him....more
I think most people are already familiar with the story of Emma, and many are probably also familiar with the back-story, which is that Jane Austen deI think most people are already familiar with the story of Emma, and many are probably also familiar with the back-story, which is that Jane Austen decided to write about a character which she thought "nobody but myself will much like." I dare say there are plenty of people who indeed do not like Emma Woodhouse, but I have loved plenty of books, TV shows, and movies centered on a character I disliked (or even hated) far more than Emma, whose faults do not, at least, include witlessness, stupidity, or true ugliness of character. Added to Emma's attractiveness as a protagonist and other well-rounded characters that we may love or hate, is Jane Austen's excellent prose and story plotting, and, most importantly, her cutting humor and social commentary. Oh wait, perhaps most important is the love story--or love stories--that touch the readers' hearts. Or at least touched mine. Actually, considering Mansfield Park, I guess the humor is the most important for me...anyway, all of those elements are there, and so I enjoyed the book. While not my favorite book of Austen's, Emma is far from my least favorite (ahem, Mansfield Park).
It was an interesting experience reading Emma, because my level of enjoyment and interest varied throughout. I tore through the first few pages, and settled in for a couple of chapters--until I realized to my horror that the whole episode of Harriet and Mr. Martin was taken care of extremely early on, and the episode of Mr. Elton very shortly after that. Would there really be enough content of interest to take up the remaining four-fifths of the book before Emma comes to her sudden realization near the end? And I felt, for the next hundred or so pages, like I was slogging through it and that it would never pick up. Then, after about the first third of the book, and before I even realized it, it had indeed picked up. I was racing through each page because I was so eager to get to the next. Finally, after everyone has found their match and I thought the story was at an end, it went on and on, and even though it was still interesting reading, it was continually surprising to me that there was anything left to read....more