Tag Archives: Steampunk

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

29 May

10874177

Book One in the Finishing School Series

Rating: Two out of Five Stars

This book has some really awesome qualities. And some really not so awesome qualities.

Pros:

1.) Concept – steam punk, dresses, finishing schools and assassins! What is there NOT to like about any of that?! And there is plenty of all of those yummy little things in this story.

2.) Pace – the tempo of the book is perfect for the theme; fast paced yet balanced. It has the right amount of dialogue and action scenes so it doesn’t bore you or exhaust you while reading.

3.) Um… I’ll try to think of a third…

Cons:

1.) Believability – I know I know, steampunk is a genre that you have to get into like fantasy. But my WSOD meter was way off the charts and the descriptions weren’t as developed as I wanted them to be. Pictures, as silly as that may sound, would be immensely helpful. (Scott Westerfeld did it in Leviathan!)

2.) Character Development – I wanted to strangle Sophronia most of the time. She’s a cocky, self absorbed little shit who needs to be walloped upside the head. She goes to a damn finishing school to get lady-ized and all she does is start to break more rules. WHY do the adult figures put up with it? It’s infuriating and turned me off from wanting to read the rest of the series. There’s a little thing called discipline that needs to be introduced to the book. If Sophronia would get caught, held accountable for her actions, and learned something from being punished, maybe I could empathize with her more. But instead she’s a bratty little wild child with no restraint. No thank you.

3.) Target readers/audience level – I will just go ahead and admit it: I have no idea who this book was written for. None. Zero. Zip. I know Gail Carriger has an adult series (which I have not read) and this was meant to be a YA book (but set in the same world). Hmmm… I think she got confused sometimes as to whom she was writing this for. The writing style is elevated: big words, gorgeous syntax, delicious flow. But the character is definitely a middle grade target (which is obvi from my rant above). Maybe she thought if she wrote the same way she did in her adult book but just made it a 14 year old character it would be ok? But I think if I was a 14 year old reading this, it might be a touch over my head. It definitely doesn’t have a specific target nor can it really cross into a Harry Potter like phenom of everyone-can-read-it book. It’s just awkwardly in the middle.

Alright, so I know my cons were a lot more con-ny then my pros were positive. I wanted to like this book, tried, cajoled, bribed my mind into wanting to adore this book. But I can’t. So I’ll leave my rating at a two and if I’m ever desperate for a book, maybe I’ll read the second in the series. Mer :/

To-Read Tuesday – Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

15 Jan

10874177

Book One in the Finishing School Series

Previous Rating:  Nadda – new series!

Release Date: February 5, 2013

Why I Am Excited: First of all, who would NOT want to read this book with a title like that!?! It’s like The Luxe series, Graceling, and The Gemma Doyle series all wrapped up into one book of amazing tied with a giant bow of AWESOME! And since I am slightly obsessed with all things late 18th to early 19th century and badass heroines this book is like a dream come true! And apparently its a Steampunk novel?! *dramatic faint* So steampunk + Victorian era + kickass girls + pretty dresses? Gimme Gimme gimmegimmegimmeeeeeeee MEOW!

What I Hope To See: Since this is the first book in the series and I have never read a Carriger novel, it’s kind of hard to fill out my usual to-read standards. But what I hope to see is lots of manners, a good dose of Victorian societal norms being pushed, a devious villain and some nasty catty girls.

My Predictions: Umm… ditto to above. 🙂

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

21 Nov

Book One of Leviathan Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

I am a huge Scott Westerfeld fan after the Uglies series. It’s on my “Ultimate Top Favorite Series” list so I thought I would push my boundaries a little bit with a an author I enjoy. So cheers to me for frolicking into the meadow of steam-punk land hand in hand with my good friend Scotty! Whoo!

Unfortunately, I was kind of punched in the face by a meadow tiger with this book. I hadn’t really done any research on steam punk before but I figured “how different could it be?”. Being a SciFi, fantasy, dystopia, post-apocolyptic genre lover I talk A LOT about WSOD (Willing Suspension of Disbelief). For those that don’t know what it means, it’s basically how far can an author push a made-up world/plot in story before your brain goes “this is too surreal for me to enjoy”. Leviathan exploded my WSOD. The concepts were just too crazy for my meek mind to handle. The only way I had any idea what was happening was because of the pictures that Westerfeld inserted into the chapters. I read a lot of crazy shit, dragons that talk, mind magic, hell I love the batshit crazy world of Alice in Wonderland! But this history meets furturistic technology, Darwin meets Apple, Inc. Holy crap balls, what a ride.

Needless to stay, I like to be punched once in awhile. It’s the only way to learn and grow and all that jazzy jazz. I like the overall plot and characters, even though it was all a tich bit Bourne Identity-ish (they NEVER get hurt? WTH!) and happenstance may be a little TOO coincidental.

If you are looking at moving into steam punk, this a good book to ease into. I will read the rest of the series eventually, but I think I need to get my bearings again, do a little research so I can comprehend the basics so that next time I will enjoy it and not play catch up the whole time.

So while frolicking may not have happened, I tripped and stumbled into a quite enjoyable genre, once I have background. Snaps for new books!

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