I was thrilled to receive an ARC at ComicCon! I read book 2 of the Finishing School series in two sittings; I couldn't put it down. This was such a fu...moreI was thrilled to receive an ARC at ComicCon! I read book 2 of the Finishing School series in two sittings; I couldn't put it down. This was such a fun read and Carriger is a talented writer. In particular she shows her comedic chops in this novel. This was a very entertaining tale of Sophronia and her friends filled with conspiracies, covert missions, airships, balls and London society, gowns, gloves, and hats, as well as finishing lessons. Bumbersnoot even gets into the action! Fans of the Parasol Protectorate will enjoy the introduction of Lord Akeldama, the Westminster hive, Countess, Woolsley alpha and more of Professor Niall. PP fans will also like seeing more of LeFoux in this book and foreshadowing to the scientist she becomes as we know her in PP. Having this crossover is a fun prequel. We are also treated to a new love triangle with two boys competing for Sophronia's affection.
I do hope book 3 comes out ASAP! I'm hooked...(less)
I'm glad I read book 2 accidentally of the series first because I enjoyed book 2 much more than I did book one. I really just couldn't get into this b...moreI'm glad I read book 2 accidentally of the series first because I enjoyed book 2 much more than I did book one. I really just couldn't get into this book and it dragged on for me. I like the premise and the world the author created, but the pacing was off for me. I also enjoyed the strong female scientist protagonist, so the bones of the book are there and worth a read if you're a steampunk lit fan.(less)
I read this book first without reading book 1 and it was no problem. Great Steampunk read with a feisty female protagonist and lots of plot and action...moreI read this book first without reading book 1 and it was no problem. Great Steampunk read with a feisty female protagonist and lots of plot and action, the way I like my books! There's also a touch of romance to keep things interesting. (less)
This is quite the fun steampunk adventure. Our hero Gideon Smith encounters Countess Dracula, Brom Stoker, Einstein, an automaton name is Maria, agent...moreThis is quite the fun steampunk adventure. Our hero Gideon Smith encounters Countess Dracula, Brom Stoker, Einstein, an automaton name is Maria, agents of the British crown, and other folks in alt-Victorian history. We are entertained with tales that take us across land, sea and sky from Britain to Egypt. There is an epic airship battle scene, as well as a meeting with Queen Victoria. My favorite character is the feisty airship captain Rowena who challenges perceptions of what women are capable of. There are several story lines of love within this novel, all unique and engaging to the reader. The positive portrayal of Dr. Reed and Trigger's relationship was a highlight and touching. Each character had his/her own agenda for going on this adventure, and these stories were masterfully woven together. The novel had a satisfying conclusion, but it clearly opened the door for the plot of book two which I can't wait to read. Steampunk and alt-Victorian history fans will love this read, as well as anyone who enjoys a good adventure.
ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.(less)
As a big Shadowhunters fan, I was thrilled when NetGalley approved me for an ARC of this book. I sat down and devoured it in one sitting!
Unlike some...moreAs a big Shadowhunters fan, I was thrilled when NetGalley approved me for an ARC of this book. I sat down and devoured it in one sitting!
Unlike some companion's guides that have bordered on awful despite how much you loved the given series, this guidebook is a definite must-read for all Cassie Clare fans and won't disappoint! It is divided between The Mortal Instruments (TMI) and The Infernal Devices (TID) series, both of the Shadowhunter world. You will want to finish all the books before reading, because the guidebook does contain spoilers.
The first chapter starts off with Clare's history and how TMI & TID came to be. And, yes, they even acknowledge the plagiarism controversy. That interesting chapter alone was worth getting this book.
The guidebook then goes through each TMI book in this format: plot summary and literary analysis; how it was based on real life events or mythical/biblical history; the locations as they relate to real NYC geography and spots; and an annotated literary guide to related quotes and published texts that were referenced in TMI. The same format is used for TID, but locations in London. Unlike some other guidebooks, the analysis the authors made of Clare's work was both spot-on and engaging. It was also a fun way to relive the books and be transported back into that world and your favorite scenes.
The other awesome chapter of the book was dedicated to the upcoming City of Bones movie. Again - you should get this book just to read this chapter, if nothing else, to tide yourself over until the movie comes out. It gives a great behind the scenes account of the development of the movie and Clare's involvement. It also provides a bio on all if the main actors, including interviews surrounding their roles in City of Bones. In this chapter I learned that Clare insisted an Asian actor be casted in the role of half-Indonesian Magnus Bane. She acknowledged that there are less acting opportunities for actors of color and Magnus' heritage is important to show. From this I developed a whole new respect for Cassie Clare.
Finally the book concludes with a chapter dedicated to the fandom for Clare's books, included fan websites, Twitter accounts, etc. It shares interviews with Clare where she discusses how much her fans mean to her. Finally, we get an outline of her future writing projects which include the last TMI book, a graphic TMI novel, a new Dark Artifacts series set in LA in 2012 in the Shadowhunter world, and another series in development. This leaves fans excited that there will soon be more to read in this world Clare built.
My only reason for not giving it five stars is that I was hoping for more pictures and for some fan art to be included. (less)
Doctor Who comic book that is a must-read for any DW fan. It follows the 11th Dr, Rory and Amy jutting across different times in earth's history. With...moreDoctor Who comic book that is a must-read for any DW fan. It follows the 11th Dr, Rory and Amy jutting across different times in earth's history. Within it there's an aether Steampunk tale and Victorian London. The illustration is fabulous. Amy's snarky humor comes through the well-written dialogue. My favorite scene is with the Brea Tar Pit "kitty" get a rolled up newspaper across the nose. Entertaining and funny.
Review copy provided by NetGalley for my honest opinion.(less)
This book took me forever to get through, and I am someone who usually finishes books in a day or two. I really thought I would like this book because...moreThis book took me forever to get through, and I am someone who usually finishes books in a day or two. I really thought I would like this book because it has everything I like -- a strong female protagonist questioning traditional gender roles of her time and lots of steampunk fun. The Uncle Sherlock Holmes was an added bonus. Nonetheless, the story didn't grab my attention and it dragged on. It had a really good plot in terms of lots of mystery and whodunit, but there was too much repetition with the same scenes being told from multiple POVs. It felt like it really needed an editor to trim down the extras. At almost 500 pages, it could have been told in a satisfying 350. I was also hoping for more of Uncle Sherlock being featured.
A highlight were the mechanical creatures Evie built and then animated with devas, or nature spirits. They made for fun sidekicks. Also the entire world-building of the steam barons controlling the economy was fascinating.
In terms of the love triangle between Tobias and Nick, I felt like there was a lack of development. I didn't understand as a reader why she was supposed to be attracted to either. Tobias she thought might be a murderer and womanizer (isn't that enough to stop in one's tracks right there?), and Nick we learn is her childhood best friend, but I didn't see enough development of her romantic interest in him or why when he comes off as possessive (although loyal).
Also toward the last quarter of book there was lots of foreshadowing for book 2 in the series, so it made you wonder if there was even going to be a tidy, satisfied ending (there was, sort of, but still lots of open doors and unanswered questions).
I am just not sure what to make of this book, the start of a series. Would I recommend it to a friend? No, probably not, given how difficult I found to immerse myself in it. On the other hand, steampunk and alt Victorian history fans may enjoy the building of this world. I will say that I am tempted to read book 2 too see if the style becomes more developed, because I will say that there are some solid characters and storylines to be played out - enough that I am willing to give it a try.
Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley for my honest review.(less)
Book two of this series started right where book one left off; it was an extension of book one and the completion of that storyline. It did not bring...moreBook two of this series started right where book one left off; it was an extension of book one and the completion of that storyline. It did not bring in any new story lines but nonetheless it was a great read. Disenchanted is more of an alt-history fantasy book than Steampunk, but there were steampunk elements. What I like about book two is that there was a lot more action and less world-building. Everything really fell into place and we got to see how the foundation from book one played out. It was an engaging, fun read - more so even than book one.
The best part, of course, is Kit, our heroine. She kicks ass and challenges gender stereotypes and expectations of her era. We also get more wizardry and romance in this book which proves interesting.
I really enjoyed this Book 1 of a trilogy. As an avid steampunk reader, this book piqued my interest when I saw that Gail Carriger wrote a blurb for i...moreI really enjoyed this Book 1 of a trilogy. As an avid steampunk reader, this book piqued my interest when I saw that Gail Carriger wrote a blurb for it (and the author later thanked her in the Acknowledgements for her help). This is a tale of Kit, a women living in an alternate history version of the new world, Victorian era, where women have very few rights. I love that she's a feisty feminist strong female protagonist. I don't actually see this novel as being steampunk; however, there were a few steampunk elements, but that did not detract at all from what a great world that the author built. This world is complex, inventive and entertaining. This book is filled with action right in the beginning through the end; it keeps up an engaging pace and Kit works independently as a detective in the city. The elements of discrimination whether it be classism, racism, or sexism are dealt with throughout this book, and it makes for a very intellectual while yet entertaining read. This is not a romance book - there are love interests, but it is not the focal point. It has a hearty plot to carry the story, and it doesn't need any filler to move it along. My only complaint is that this is not a standalone novel. The book ends in a cliffhanger with no resolution to the main storyline. While I'm thrilled to go on to read book 2, I do think it is good if books can actually complete their storyline while yet trying to draw you into a new one for the next book in the series.
Disclaimer: I was given this book as an Advanced Reader's Copy e-book by Netgalley and but it has not influenced how I reviewed this book.(less)
The Red Plague Affair brings us to book 2 of the Bannon and Clare series. In this Book we are introduced to the mysterious Dr. Vance, as well as patho...moreThe Red Plague Affair brings us to book 2 of the Bannon and Clare series. In this Book we are introduced to the mysterious Dr. Vance, as well as pathogens as weapons which are little understood in this Victorian era steam punk novel. We get more of saucy Ludo and less of Emma's sorcery. We are exposed to a different side of Emma that we didn't see in book one, a side with her emotions run raw. We also learn more about her origin and past. We are treated to some information about Mikal's mysterious background, but much is left to be answered.
I really enjoyed book 2 and read it in two days. The ending sums up this storyline nicely, but definitely opens the door with some new questions, so I eagerly await book 3. I do recommend reading book 1 first, however, to understand the world built. I like the complex emotions and thoughts of Bannon and Clare and that there are steampunk elements but it doesn't feel forced. If you like Gail Carriger's work, I think you will like this series. This series is fast paced with a lot of action. There are still beautiful descriptions of Emma's intricate clothing, as well as the delicious British food they devour.
My only grips -- we are introduced to some evil guy, nary to be mentioned again. Perhaps he will surface in book 3? And we never understand what Vance did to Clare. Perhaps just taunt him as Moriarty did to Sherlock?
Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley to review under no obligation.(less)
I'm surprised there are not more four-star reviews of The first Bannin and Clare series book. I like the alternate history, steampunk, fantasy world t...moreI'm surprised there are not more four-star reviews of The first Bannin and Clare series book. I like the alternate history, steampunk, fantasy world that the author built and I like that you had to inter a lot of it. Sometimes it's nice when books aren't painfully spelled out and your brain actually has to do a little bit of work. It keeps it interesting and engaging. I love the strong female protagonist of Emma Bannon, the mysterious Mikel, and the interestingly complex Archbald Clare. This book was more wizardry than steam punk, but it had the elements automatons and alternate British history. Emma kicks ass in the book, all the while bucking gender role expectations. The author paints this world in vivid, descriptive imagery. I love the details spilled on her jewelry used in sorcery, as well as her clothes ever getting ruined through fights and conflicts. I am definitely looking forward to reading book two of the series. My only critique is that I wish Clare actually demonstrated more deduction in the narrative. we were told that he's a master at deducing things, so I had expected more Sherlock-like synopsis of various situations and he walked into in the story.(less)