even though it feels a whole lot like an endless name-drop, Gaiman's 1602 is a fun re-imagining of the laundry list of all of Marvel's major charactereven though it feels a whole lot like an endless name-drop, Gaiman's 1602 is a fun re-imagining of the laundry list of all of Marvel's major characters. instead of battling for NYC, everyone's fighting for the preservation of the English crown, having been transposed to Elizabeth's Britain. Costumes are subtly recognizable while being doublets & hose; names are tweaked to a 17th century ear. the plot isn't quite as fantastic as the setup, being over and done with in a great hurry (so much so that this feels like a series opener rather than a whole book), but well worth a look....more
A delightfully charming adventure story that takes plenty of old tropes into fun new places, Leviathan is the sort of book that has me checking out thA delightfully charming adventure story that takes plenty of old tropes into fun new places, Leviathan is the sort of book that has me checking out the sequel ASAP. We have a girl dressing as a boy to run away with the military, a deposed prince in hiding, a pair of crusty old advisors, Alp crossings, and pugnacious Germans, all setting the scene for a steampunk take on the dawn of WWI. The rollicking adventure tale that ensues is plenty of fun, marred only by the abrupt ending and some really odd lingo choices....more
after a pair of somewhat lighter historical-fantasy-romances (albeit, ones with a darker undercurrent in the form of nasty villains), the series divesafter a pair of somewhat lighter historical-fantasy-romances (albeit, ones with a darker undercurrent in the form of nasty villains), the series dives much more deeply into that dark tone with the 3rd installment. Hobson has apparently completed the tale of the delightfully-named Dreadnought Stanton and his dirt-witch bride, moving on to tell the story of the couples' youngest son here. from the get-go, the main character is a pretty gawd-awful jerk (his willful carelessness likely killed his elder brother's favorite horse), but again, the interesting little twists on both the world Hobson has built for these interesting people to walk through and their own personal foibles keeps being engaging. there's a lot going on here (Tesla and his super secretive factory, the remains of the magic rock system, a whackadoo preacher, some "cursed" children), and with the book ending on an almost-cliffhanger, we're left wondering how much of it is red herrings or real plot anchors....more
right from the beginning of this book, the 2 literary hooks being set are fairly obvious: this is utterly a Jane Austen pastiche + a gentle touch of mright from the beginning of this book, the 2 literary hooks being set are fairly obvious: this is utterly a Jane Austen pastiche + a gentle touch of magic, and there's a talented but homely heroine lovingly supporting everyone else while assuming no possibility of love for her own non-pretty self. i happened to be perfectly in the mood for both of these things, and so 'Shades of Milk and Honey' was an utterly charming read, quite firmly in the camp of comfort food.
Jane and her sister are very minor gentry out in the country (the family isn't called the Bennets, but you get the idea), where their father is working on putting aside a small dowry/living for each of them. Jane is very plain, but has natural talent weaving the sort of household glamour that a well brought-up lady would use to enrich her home. her sister Melody is the pretty one that of course relies on her face rather than any aptitude in a vocation to catch a suitor. a wacky mom, a host of possible suitors in the neighborhood, some balls and parties, a pending scandal of epic proportions, and a bright sparkle of everyday magic all end up in the mix. though the story about this family's escapades is complete in this volume, the writing is plenty enough to have me checking out the second in the series....more
volume 1 is the prologue of the story - a plucky university student that hasn't at all come into her own as a mechanical inventor has a mysteriously-alluded to past, and the set up for a potentially conflicted future. the art has bucketloads of fun little flourishes hidden off to the edges, but it's also more than a little cutesy for my taste. totally diving right on into vol.2....more
3.5 stars, better than the previous but still not the powerhouse of the first.
Temeraire and Laurence have left the court intrigues of China, but rath3.5 stars, better than the previous but still not the powerhouse of the first.
Temeraire and Laurence have left the court intrigues of China, but rather than a peaceful journey home, they rush into a dangerous overland journey to retrieve Turkish dragon eggs promised to Britain. This is wartime, so nothing goes as planned, with a long-game grudge match started that appears to be trailing then for books to come. Though this entry seems more like a bridge in the series than new ground, it's still a good story - the overt classism of the Napoleonic era as critically dismantled by a newly thinking dragon makes for a charming counterpoint to the relentless necessities of war. Combine that with a quick plot and plenty of die straits, and I'm ready to dive right into the next one....more
'blameness' corrects most of the issues of the disappointing 'changeless' by simply having the heroine run off to italy to avoid all sorts of unpleasa'blameness' corrects most of the issues of the disappointing 'changeless' by simply having the heroine run off to italy to avoid all sorts of unpleasantness at home (being drug through the gossip rags, abandonment, murder attempts, etc), and therefore neatly avoiding her idiot husband. it's a fun romp through one wacky cliffhanger escape after another, and you don't even realize that nothing actually happened until the end. ...more
in which the chinese ambassadors show up to britain demanding the return of the dragon egg they gave away to Napoleon, and amaybe closer to 3.5 stars.
in which the chinese ambassadors show up to britain demanding the return of the dragon egg they gave away to Napoleon, and are appalled that said dragon is in the line of fire of battle; Temeraire & Laurence sail off t china to sort out the mess.
this is definitely the "middle" book of a trilogy (yeah, i know, the series goes on way more than that, but this is what 'throne of jade' feels like). the major battle of the first book has been won, and so we go off on a far less immediately life-or-death journey to solve some left-over questions, but not necessarily engage in the same swashbuckling adventure. it's a slower paced book, heavier on political intrigue and waiting in anterooms than naval battles and explosions. i loved how the cultural differences of britain and china of time are extrapolated into the different views on how dragons live in different societies. without being even a little cliff-hanger-y, the ending is left wide open for the duo to sail into whatever sunset takes the author's fancy....more
starts off as eye-rollingly silly as the blurb makes it sound, but manages to very quickly get right on track as a snappy-paced swashbuckler of a UF/astarts off as eye-rollingly silly as the blurb makes it sound, but manages to very quickly get right on track as a snappy-paced swashbuckler of a UF/alternate history. massive bonus points for having both male and female main characters be actual well-rounded characters, not just stock-issued love interests or generic ass kickers.
random PSA for the day: this is SO not steampunk, guys. they may be wearing corsets and outdated fashion for the whims of their centuries-old undead monarch, but they have cell phones and cars, not dirigibles and clockwork....more