Monday, November 5, 2012

Soulless by Gail Carriger [Review]

Plot Sketch: Alexia Tarabotti is a preternatural.  What the heck is a preternatural? Someone who has no soul, and thus can neutralize any paranormal being.  She has no formal connection to BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry) but is formally registered as a preternatural with the agency.  Lord Maccon, Alpha of the Woolsey pack, has been working (with) Alexia for years, and when she kills an unsanctioned, unregistered vamp at a social gathering, the two begin to work together to solve the mystery of the unsanctioned vamp.  They run into scientists, dirigibles, automatons, and more along the way.

Verdict:  Well.  I enjoyed the book.  I did.  But I took issue with a lot of the elements.  Plot, characters, and setting were sufficient for me to be engaged, but just enough.  Tense and point of view were often confusing as they shifted without so much as an extra space's warning (at least on the Kindle version).  The novel has both steampunk and paranormal elements, and I've been told for a long time that though it's technically not YA, it will still have a large appeal to the YA audience.  Which is true.  But, make no mistake.  This is an adult novel with inappropriate sexual content not suited to the younger set that reads YA.  I mean, I enjoyed it, but I'm a thirty-year-old married woman.

Additionally, the world building is a little lacking as it is set in the past, but the rules have shifted and sometimes it's hard to keep track what is shifted and what is true to history.  I understand that this argument could be made for many a sci-fi or steampunk novel (and yes, steampunk this most certainly is) but the building in this case was not sufficient for me to understand all of the rules and keep up with the happenings.  There were several "huh?" moments where backing up and rereading did not clarify what was going on.

If you're in the mood for a historical paranormal romance with sci-fi/steampunk elements, then dude, this is your series.  But you'd better be in a mood for all three of those genres to enjoy it without focusing on its flaws.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2012 Events [Local]

Monday, November 5th, 7pm, Changing Hands: The Get Real Tour: Four teen authors present three hot new novels in one night! Miranda Kenneally presents Stealing Parker; Janet Gurtler visits with Who I Kissed; and sisters Lisa and Laura Roecker share The Lies that Bind, the second book in their Liar Society series.

Friday, November 9th 7pm Changing Hands: Laini Taylor!  Daugher of Smoke and Bone author visits with Days of Blood & Starlight... an IHM 5 pick this November.

Tuesday, November 13th, 7pm, Changing Hands: Margo Lanagan: The Brides of Rollrock Island.

Monday, November 19th, 6pm, Changing Hands: Christopher Pike: Witch World

Thursday, November 22nd, all day, American Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The IHM 5: November 2012 [Reading List]

November.  My birthday month.  Yeah yeah yeah, there's that pesky Thanksgiving holiday too, you know, the one that coincides with my birthday every few years and must be canceled.  You know, the one I'm not thankful for.  *gasp* I know.  Regardless, here are the books we're reading for thankful's sake or birthday's sake this month:

1. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor.  Yes, this comes out on Tuesday!  November 6th.  I've been waiting waiting waiting for this follow-up to Daughter of Smoke & Bone for what seems like EVER.  So, thanks for the early birthday pressie, Little, Brown!

2. Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George.  Yeah, so I read Princess of the Midnight Ball like forever ago and immediately bought Princess of Glass.  Do you think I've read it yet?  Um, no.  Course not.  Thankfully, a book group is giving me the chance this month.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I know, I know.  This one should have been read a long time ago, but you know, I just never ever got to it, which is why it's on the list for this month!

4. Crewel by Gennifer Albin.  There's nothing like a good someone-else-is-determining-your-life dystopian to make you thankful for what you have and the freedoms you enjoy.  Which is why it's on the November list.  

5. Touched by Cyn Balog.  It seems like an interesting concept that could get psycho-thriller in a second or two, but could also get you on the whole concept of "Thank goodness I don't have to deal with that!"  There's nothing like messing with the future to get your brain in overdrive and get you to considering all the things that could go wrong but haven't.

Notable releases and preorders I'll be grabbing this November include:

  • Reached by Ally Condie.  We loved Matched, but haven't gotten through Crossed yet, hence it not being on the list.  But you should know, the trilogy is complete as of November 16th.  There's also a trilogy boxed set if you haven't started reading/acquiring these yet, or have listened to these on Audible like me.
  • Princess of the Silver Woods the next book in Jessica Day George's series comes out next month.  Might be worth a preorder, yo.  I did.
  • Perfect Scoundrels, the third in Ally Carter's Heist Society series and the follow-up to Uncommon Criminals (which I tackled in Africa on a rainy afternoon).