Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
Man oh man was this book GOOOOD! It was steamy (though I must admit to skimming through the naughtiest of bits), extremely well written, well researched, action/romance packed and neatly wrapped up at the end (for most of the leading characters that is). It was told in multiple POVs which can be tricky but worked here. There was quite a bit of Romance so those who are deathly allergic beware BUT most importantly there was Science! Science how I love thee!! A few reviewers complained about the amount of Science in the book. I personally can not stress enough how the Science and the incredibly detailed Steampunk(ness) drew me in and kept me firmly within its loving, mechanically and biologically technical grasp until the very last page. The Steampunk/ Mad Science aspects were done so expertly that they not only seemed 100% believable but quite possible, for those of us who would be so inclined, to replicate in our very own garages. The Romance was not an insta-love, nor was the reader bludgeoned with its presence or urgency the entirety of the book. It was sweet, slow to mature, and you couldn't help but root for it to solidify (and I am not the biggest of Romance fans). I believe The Science was so well explained that even Scientific newbies could follow along and puzzle the concepts out without prior knowledge of anatomy, physiology or chemistry....All that is required is an interest imo. ALSO, there were kraken, derigable, personal submersibles, steam powered/ mechanical everything (including nerve repairing arachnids), mad scientists, international espionage and you guessed it...air pirates! No good Steampunk yarn can be spun without the trusty air pirate or two. If you like Alt-Historical, Steampunk, Romance or Science based tales of espionage, love against the odds, scientific perfection and mechanical wonders filled awesomeness...you have found your next fav and new topper of the ever growing TBR pile!
This book hit the spot!!! I have been skim-ditching, it's a horrible habit (one I am trying to wean from and sort of my thing lately), like crazy which led to my frustration levels building exponentially with every discarded book found littering my bedroom floor. I had been insatiable for a book...not just ANY book mind you..which book you ask?? I had no clue...a common problem no doubt but a catastrophe for a bibliophile on the hunt for a no named, non classified genre-less gem...searching (in vain) for too many weeks to be healthy. Did it have to be the motherload of all literature, the Holy Grail? Nope, just something to scratch a very ill placed itch. Agatha H and the Airship City had been sitting on my ereader for SOO long I had to scroll a ridiculous amount of times to even locate it again after relegating its name to longterm memory storage (cranially that is)..anywho, it was 2am and I came across Agatha and thought that I'd throw a Hail Mary and sample a bit. A bit turned into a bunch which turned into a marathon read...just what I needed...go figure. Who knew a Steampunk Bizaro- Europe, action packed, light hearted, Romance lite, compendium (previously a graphic novel) populated by Evil (?) Geniuses, madboy tinkerers, sentient bots (revavants), talking animals, LOADS of phenotypically varied chimera, air pirates and more (much much more) could be the answer? I really love the Steampunk genre BUT, and that's a big but, only when it is done right. A lot of books claim to be Steampunk and mention nary a doodad, robot, corseted Tinkerer or anything remotely Punkish. This was just plain old fashioned fun. It felt like olden times: reading with the blanket over my head as to not disturb, book hooked you right in the beginning, the pages and subsequent chapters flew by at breakneck speed, there were always an abundance of twists and turns (though a bunch being a tad too easily forseen) all wrapped up neatly with a satisfyingly succinct (sometimes saccharine sweet) conclusion. There are too many things I adored about this book but I do have a favorite concept and a warm fuzzy feeling for an entire group. My favorite concept is the Spark...that oomph which resides in each mad Genius beseeching/demanding them to build, create, beget and bring forth Newness and Life into a world where previously there was none...and at times after there was some but that's a whole other bag of technicolored -technomancy. My favorite group is the Jagers who are "monsters" who, quite humorously, pretend to be a lot dimmer than they actually are and the outcome is very amusing. They speak in a unique (yet endearing) slang. They take an instant liking to and are suspiciously protective of our kick @$$ (though reluctant at first) female heroine. It is told from varying POVs which I find tricky at times but thought Phil and Kaja Foglio pulled off nicely.
All this and 2 subsequent books already out for instant gratification, what more could you want from a 2am Hail Mary?? Be advised: this is set to be a 10 book series. So if you are of the sect who do not start a book unless the entire series is completed and available you might want to wait awhile before delving into this one.
"It might be possible for two versions of the same person to coexist: one who knew the thrill of adventure, and another who knew only the comfort of home."
"What was it like, on the other side? Watching the ships come and go, instead of watching the ports appear and recede?"
Sounds promising right? WELLLLL I hate to be the one to burst some expectation bubbles BUT... even with Time Traveling pirates, magical items and animals, and a unique perspective on Time Travel, this book was slow plodding, populated with extremely flat characters (except for Kashmir) and had one of the hardest to imagine, most awkwardly forced together love triangles I have read in decades. PHEW...run on sentence tirade complete. Yes the Traveling mechanics were unique but there's no cure for "I care nothing for the MC or her plights" disease. Kash was the gleaming jewel in this mishmash story which elicited both excitement for new Time Travel possibilities and boredom accredited to "Who-Cares-Just-Get-It-Over-With-Before-I-Start-Demanding-My-Time-Back)itis. The MC has a dad who is far from perfect but whom loves her above all else (even more than his obsessive dreams of a happily ever after reunion with Nix's mom). I saw love in his brief/ chilly encounters almost from the first interaction...almost. Where I saw pained fatherly endearment Nix only saw underapricated, neglectful indifference. Maybe it takes a parent to pick up on such subtleties BUT for me, it was annoying how she kept interpreting almost every word, action or glance of her dads' as being hurtful and callous. The MC has a love interest in Kashmir. Kash is young, dashing, talented, funny, loyal, roguish with a slew of unnamed enticing attributes all on top of a heaping pile of jewels he gifts Nix with whenever the chance presents itself. He is the logical love interest but she sidesteps the messy issue repeatedly and even starts to fall for an islander whose only companionable features are his looks and his curiosity/budding obsession with Nix. I know some of you really LOVED this book and I'm sorry that I may be pooping on your Time Travel parade but even though I could see glints of possibility, I ultimately was left adrift on a sea of disappointment. Too dramatic?!? OK, I might concede to that but I cannot budge on my rating...at least for now
~~~~~ Btwn 3.5 - 4.0 Stars~~~~
This book has me conflicted, torn in two and nervous. Please don't flog me for what I am about to say. On the one hand the main storyline (minus the gratuitous sexy scenes) is awesome! It is unique and engaging and engrossing (and a bunch of en- words to boot) all on top of being very well written. On the other hand, in my humble prudish opinion, the sexy time scenes seem forced and overused. The plot most certainly did not need such naughty parts at every twist and turn of the MCs journey. I get that the (completely predictable) ending somewhat explains the need but come on, there is NO way a person gets broken, torn apart and barely healed and the FIRST thing she/he does is insist on having sex. Not the gentle love making of panicked lovers who have overcome a great herculean feat only to be unexpectedly reunited... NO the kind that makes a reader blush feverishly while trying to finish the book out in the real world. I am sorry if that is totally your thing and I am yucking your yumm. I truly enjoyed the storyline BUT I would have loved it more sans (again this is probably "it's a me thing not a you thing") sex upon sex have I mentioned we should have sex, ok but only after we have some more sex again moments. There were some well placed blush worthy sexy bits that I KNOW will stick in my head for a long time to come...BUT...overall the steamy bits were done to death with no hope of a magic salamander. Ok...enough puritan preaching!! There are a bevy of swoon worthy characters, the action is crazy, there are no insta-solutions to any of the problems faced and the writing is addicting. Did I mention the awesome kick @$$ heroic female characters?? No?!? Well Cat is no longer alone in that category. No spoilers here so I'll just say thay all in all Breath of Fire is a pretty entertaining read!
Main Plot: 5 Stars
Characters: 5 Stars
Action: 5 Stars
the rest ~ 2.5 - 3.0 Stars
I have been looking forward to this book SO very much. I was terrified that it would severely disappoint but after reading some rave reviews from GR friends I trust, I couldn't wait any longer. I am relieved that I gave it a shot because not only did this book not let me down, it succeeded in ways I couldn't have predicted. Some people have complained about the pacing at places and of some info dumping at the beginning but for me, I did not find those to be true.
I have unfortunately (and annoyingly) been chapter checking lately, wishing the ending would arrive quicker. This was the case even when I was completely invested BUT this experience was completely the opposite. I absolutely devoured this in one sitting and time flew by so quickly I was confused when the acknowledgements popped up. There are some major twists and the final one threw me a bit but BEWARE: the ending is a cliffhanger (which I ferociously loathe). My main gripes are that the book isn't long enough and that cliffhanger at the end left me frustratingly anxious for book #2. The writing was seamless/effortless. The characters were rich, intricately complex, gloriously Human, understandably damaged and endearingly realistic.
Which sister was my favorite? The queens, and most of the characters, were beautifully/tragically flawed. All three had very interesting back stories, strengths, weaknesses, relationship (of all kinds) woes, and compelling aspects so picking a definitive side was difficult. If I had to pick one to get behind and root for it would most likely be Mirabella. Mirabella is an Elemental and is believed to be the strongest of the three sisters yet she is the most reluctant to kill her siblings. She is beautiful, which is not a reason in and of itself to pick her but that coupled with her tragic love situation (both romantic and filial), I couldn't help but feel for her.
This was such a delight, I can not recommended it highly enough for fantasy lovers and lovers of Royal intrigue. The romances were tastefully done and not rammed down the reader's throat...so if that's not your thing don't worry, it's not a raging love fest of yuck.
“Vomit is not the loveliest of perfumes.” Mary pats Bunting’s leg before standing up. “Oh, but there you’re wrong. To me, it smells like Traitorous Bitch Who Got What Was Coming to Her by Spilling Her Guts—and that, ladies, is a glorious smell.”
It's hard to believe that this is the end of the Collector's Society and all of the world's they protect. It is a bitter sweet end with lots of questions finally answered and a pretty inventive ending. I LOVED finally finding out who the Librarian is and what she is capable of. The romances are epic.
"No one will come for us, not any time soon, at least. And even if they did, would there be anything left to save? No healing spray can tend these injuries. “I love you,” Finn says. “I will always love you. I’m here with you, Alice. I’m with you until the end, and then beyond.”
But don't underestimate the power of Love (que nauseating awwwws and cheesy harps and such) or the cleverness of our MCs (especially Alice and the Librarian). The bad guys are terrible and numerous. The odds seem appallingly bleak. The hits are constant and seemingly insurmountable. The dialogue is witty and natural and I am going to miss this series something fierce. I hate goodbyes especially when it's to an incredible series with amazing characters, witty banter and clever world(s) development. I LOVE this book, this author, this series and want to scream it all from some rooftops...or cry....FRABJOUS, I'm a mess! If you are a fan of Literature and the classic characters that reside therein then I suggest you check out this series, you won't be disappointed!!
I enjoyed this gem via audiobook using Hoopla, which is annoying and glitchy but that's neither here nor there, and I am astounded anew each time I venture into the extremely rich, creative mind of Mr. Neil Gaiman. He narrates his own books and really who knows better the tone implied or the necessary pivotal points to be highlighted than the Creator himself? I know that is not for everyone. Not all writers are orators to boot but Neil Gaiman has a melodic British accent that is both hypnotic and unassuming (which makes the creepy or scary bits all the more terrifying) AND he is great at varying the character voices so each character feels viable, alive. The depth of this man's imagination knows no bounds and I am always amazed at how well crafted his insanely unique worlds can be. My favorite is still Neverwhere but I LOVED this book...that is until the end which seemed a bit unsatisfying and too much like a copout. Harsh sounding? YES! But only because his work commands, attains and exceeds such high expectations. His tale's impressively woven tapestry is so beautiful that I did not protest too much even after being slightly disappointed. I was thankful to have the chance to experience this wild ride alongside each and every loveable/loatheable creepy crawly, uniquely exotic, and believably Real being within. The MC and his journey encapsulate every fiber of being young and powerless and the beauty and subsequent loss of Youth's innocence (or did he?). I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a dollop of Fancy, a large helping of Whimsy and an abundance of literary excellence.
This was a cute, campy book that was interesting but nothing special. Sorry for the brief review but there wasn't much more to say.
"I’ve missed two class periods by sitting in my car gnawing on the universe."
I know how that feels. You could say that I missed anything and everything while gnawing on this bland book and I am far from sated.
Aerie is not only bland but disappointing to say the least. I read Magonia only days before Aerie so it was fresh in my head and entirely too anticipated. I REALLY liked Magonia! I know that isn't a common opinion but I really did. This book is a watered down version of Magonia wherein: 1) the main characters are less rich in complexity 2) the banter and interplay between characters are not as authentic or tangible and 3) the whole fantastical imagery not only falls short of WOW but hovers squarely at SOOOOO, I CARE WHY?!? for the entirety of the book. There were new extraordinary creatures introduced, barely utilized and then essentially forgotten. Things simply worked out for the best where need be without effort. A few examples are like when Aza escapes a prison ship with no idea which way to go and no real means to get there & randomly picks a direction only to fall directly into the very (invisible) ship she had been seeking to begin with. OR how the humans can find a way to hook up with the Resistance when they need to, no problem, almost like hailing a cab. OR how they can withstand the lack of oxygen up high by ingesting a miracle pill Eli just happens to carry around with her in bulk...etc...etc...etc
"You don’t know how much you can lie until you find yourself in the middle of it, lying again to cover the lie you already gave out as truth. You don’t know how much you can mess your own life up until you’re looking out from the inside, and thinking you’re not the person you set out to be."
No lies here with this review and I definitely didn't get the journey/experience I set out to get when I wasted the Time, Money and Hope I had with regards to this dud.