Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #2
Tags: Paranormal Romance, steampunk, historical, Victorian, werewolves, vampires, dirigibleblebles, mummies, Highlanders!, pre-paired couple, managing female
Aww! What a cliffhanger!
The order I have read this series is #4, #1, #5, and now #2. I was reading it in ebook form but I found that I missed the audiobook narrator and all her different voices. I just couldn't replicate Lord Maccon (wife!) or Lord Acoldama (my petallll) well enough in my head.
Interesting thing, audiobook vs. reading with your eyes. I picked up many more of the little jokes listening to it than reading it.
Maybe because of the order I read it, but I found this story less climactic than the others. The book mostly helped me fill in blanks they mentioned in other books that I was supposed to have known at the time.
I could make a case for reading series books out of order. I'm very interested to read the third one now, because now that I have seen Biffy through 4 books, I have yet to read how he became a werewolf. I am much more interested in his transformation than I would have been formerly.
There are a lot of little things that are just so great, funny little turn of phrases that are only too true. When Alexia was explaining something (I think solving a mystery) she likened it to rearranging the furniture a room, including "the part in the middle where everything is in disarray and you don't know how it will all fit back together again."
Or something. Sorry, audiobook.
I can see how some have likened it to Jane Austen, because Carriger is a great study of manners. I can also see it being a Victorian version of Harry Potter. It's just so whimsical! You want to stay in the story to see what else Carriger will cook up.
Sometimes you read novels where you want to kill the characters, and sometimes you read novels where you want the character to be on your speed dial, so you can pick up the phone and be like, "GURL," and gossip for hours.
I totally want to be friends with Alexia. And Ivy, too, obliquely, so I can talk to Alexia about her. I also want to date Connell, or, alternatively, approve of him in the way that you are happy when your friend finds a good match.
I like how the villain of the story said something like, "I forgot that you do not think like a normal person." You feel her difference in this book more than others. She is the only preternatural that she knows, and she just thinks differently than everyone else. Her father was a preternatural, but he died. No one really understands why Connell married her, or why she married him. Yet she is accepting of who she is. She doesn't feel bad about it.
I like seeing a character that is unique, and accepting of her uniqueness.
Book of the Month!
Yay! Another Book of the Month package! This is the third and final package, and this month's theme is...
..some book that I didn't get!
It's advertising a new book out by A.M. Johnson called Possession. It looks to be of the tats and bikes subgenre. Not a lot of swag from this, but aw! She splatter painted the box blue!
Included in this box:
- Necklace with a blue paint brush on it
- Blue sparkle candle
- Promo bookmarks
- Two books this time! A deuce of dukes! The Duke of Daring and Forbidden Duke by Darcy Burke.
It looks like I've never read anything of Darcy Burke's. She's got an awkward bio on Goodreads. Two paragraphs and she manages to mention her first book written at age 11, and something about a 12 step program? But hey, she is an Oregonian! Probably lives in Deschutes or somewhere similar.
I haven't yet read the last one I got (still covered in that frightful Beauty and the Beast book cover), so I will have to add these to my To Read pile.
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #10
Tags: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, vampires, werewolves, coyote shifter, Coyote Spirit, golem, pre-paired couple, witches
This is a thing I do.
Start a series at book 10, I mean, with no plans of continuing the series or going back to the beginning.
OverDrive seems to have this book and only this book in the series because it is the latest, having been published this year. I'm up to G in my challenge to read all the authors in the OverDrive audiobook romance collection, so I tried it out because the author's last name starts with a B. That's enough of a reason, right?
I actually liked it more than I thought I would. The coyote spirit thing was kind of different and interesting. All the characters seemed to have mile long backstory, but it surprisingly didn't bother me that much. Maybe it's because as a Northerner living in the South, having moved her only a few years ago, I am constantly in situations where I am the only person in a room who doesn't know or know of everyone else. Maybe it's just because I don't care.
This verse's history is that werewolves and fae came out to live publicly among humans in Tri-Cities Washington of all places, and I guess, no other places? IDK. But TRI-CITIES. It is super weird because I used to live half an hour from Tri-Cities (really three cities smooshed together). It's the "big city" in the middle of Eastern Oregon and Washington, the closest place to go that has a mall. Wooohoooo! A mall!
It's kind of like seeing your cousin that you don't really like or talk to on the news. Why Tri-Cities? Let me tell you, there ain't nothing interesting about Tri-Cities.
The book opens on a scene of the werewolf pack LARPing. When I learned it was Tri-Cities, I was like, "of course LARP. Because there's nothing else to do."
The couple is married at this point. She is a coyote shifter, he is the alpha of the werewolf pack. Of course they don't have any conflict because the mate bond destroys all conflict! Interpersonal squabbles weep in the presence of the mate bond! BLISSFULLY FURIOUSLY HAPPY.
Since they are fine, the conflict is what seems to be pretty standard for werewolf packs in Urban Fantasies in general. She gets kidnapped as part of a multilayered vampire plot that ultimately doesn't have to do with the pack. She gets in and out of trouble while he tries to rescue her. Some sort of new discovery, people die, and then they are back to baking cookies and LARPing.
I feel like that's just a Tuesday for them.
I noticed that this author likes to keep you informed, almost to the point of spoonfeeding. The chapters trade off POVs, and sometimes the timelines don't match up. There is always an intro that tells you how they fit together, BUT ALSO there was an intro in the beginning that said "pay attention to the intros, because timelines don't match up." Eh?
Oh shit, what if I missed the intros's intro? Shouldn't she make an intro to the intro for intros?
Mercy, the main character, is kidnapped and taken to Italy and Prague, so she gets to be travel writer for a bit. It was a little odd how much info there was about Prague.
She also knows an awful lot about different things because she "was an liberal arts major." Or, as it should be called "the convenient for exposition's sake major."
She has a major in Liberal Arts and works as a mechanic. There's a truth bomb for you in this fantasy novel.
I would like to read the first book to hear her origin story. I think that might be interesting. Some characters I already know can go fuck themselves. There's this benign pretty vampire named Stefan that Mercy is linked to for reasons not in this book. I can just tell he is 1) the "other man" type character who creates a love triangle for no reason other than conflict and 2) emo as fuck.
UGH love triangles. Love triangles or other potential side pieces. Most of the time the love triangle is not even fleshed out enough that there is even a reason for it. The second guy who shows up hangs around looking like a tool. The girl starts looking attention grabby and shallow. Just let one go, alright? You can't keep all of the pretty things. No hoarding of supernatural hotties.
It was mildly interesting and entertaining. The catnip is how many times Adam, the hero, talks about wanting to kill everyone to defend/protect/find Mercy. Awwww. I may read something from this series again if it is easily accessible, free, and in audiobook form.
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #3
Tags: Paranormal Romance, steampunk, historical, Victorian, werewolves, vampires, pre-paired couple, managing female
Awwwwww! I'm so sad to have finished this series. Such whimsy! Such hilarity!
I want to hang out with them more. Carriger has a spin off about their daughter Prudence, and even though it's YA, a genre I usually avoid, I might read it for the sake of returning to the verse.
She also has a short YA series about a finishing school? IDK.
I can tell that I have a character crush on the whole crew because on off times I imagine what the supernaturals of the book would be like if they lived till modern times. But no, I must stop myself, because even though this is set in Victorian times, its set in an alternate verse where steam and magic ether replace gas and electric technology.
The conversations I have with myself.
In this book, Ivy Hisslepenny turns out to be a bit of an ironic character, showing herself to be smarter than people think her.
I don't know how I feel about that. I can't decide if I like it as an expert character twist, or if I hate is because the author tampers with an otherwise unsympathetic character.
It never comes up again, though, so that makes it interesting.
Also, high marks for the plot conflict for this prepaired couple! The conflict manages to be strong enough to shake the security of the relationship, and still not make us wonder if they should be together in the first place. Hurray!
Sinful in Satin
Author: Madeline Hunter
Series: The Rarest Blooms #3
Tags: Historical Romance, Regency, courtesan, bastard, spy, woman with a job
Here are some reoccurring themes in Madeline Hunter novels:
- Women do shit to survive, like actually have jobs and such.
- Men actively seduce them.
- The very last book of the series is dedicated to the often drunk, ne'er-do-well Duke, the ultimate reformable rake.
- Men have friendships.
- Women have friendships.
- The conflict is often about the sins of the previous generation.
- The resolution of the conflict often has something to do with the disillusionment of one of the characters about a formerly revered loved one.
- All is not forgiven and forgotten. Side characters who were assholes are not necessarily welcomed back by the heroes of the stories. Sometimes relationships are broken irrevocably.
- Other times, side characters are accepted for their limitations.
- Usually the punishment for high ranked bad guys is having "to live with it" since they probably won't be convicted in the House of Lords.
So many of her novels have to do with learning to live with, or discard, and ultimately move on from the limitations of your loved ones. I think that's why I like her. It's a very smart, pragmatic way of looking at relationships. It's a tough subject, and something that is worth exploring in novels. Other novelists may go to extremes to make everyone in the end likeable and redeemable, but Hunter does not.
Good for you, Hunter.
This novel is more of the above, with a double whammy of both characters confronting their families about their illegitimacy.
I wanted to like Johnathan more than I ended up liking him. Not sure why. Celia was pretty good.