Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Moorat, A.E. - Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter



Title: Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter
Author: A.E. Moorat

Genre: Fiction (Horror?)

Love/Hate?: Love!
Rating: 5/5
Did you finish?: Yes -- laughing the whole time, too.

One-sentence summary: Queen Victoria slays zombies.

Why did you get this book?: I've seen it around but haven't heard any buzz.

Do you like the cover?: Yes.

First line from book: Much later, as he watched his manservant, Perkins, eating the dog, Quimby gloomily reflected on the unusual events of the evening.

Review: I didn't know what to expect when I started this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was more graphically gross than I anticipated -- but I'm not normally a zombie/horror reader, so maybe it's not really too shocking for folks used to the genre? Gore aside, this novel has a wonderful sense of humor -- so much so I was constantly chortling, giggling, and chuckling on my commute. The alternate history presented by Moorat was fun and believable (for me, but I'm not a Victorian scholar). I think Quimby had to be my favorite character, followed by Queen Victoria -- I have a bit of a girlcrush on her!

Moorat's next book is on Henry VIII as a werewolf, I think -- I'll likely pick it up because the tone and humor in this one was so good.

Stiefvater, Maggie - Shiver

Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver (5/5)

I don't normally read YA fiction because I usually find it too formulaic or trite, and so the negative reviews left me a little apprehensive. I managed only the first twenty pages of the first Twilight book before putting it down in disgust. Shiver, however, captured me from the start and absolutely captivated me. I found the story icy-feeling (but not emotionally cold), bittersweet and poignant, and deliciously romantic. The high schoolers seemed like real teenagers, and while I was put off by Grace's absentee parents (are any parents really artists?!), the story was so engrossing and vivid I was able to move past it. Honestly, I'm shocked at how much I loved the romance of the two main characters; normally I'm so curmudgeon-y, I hate it, but in this case, Stiefvater made it just sweet enough to capture you without being cloying.

Disappointed

I'm glad I'm not the only one turned off by the weird Quaker thing and the artificial sense of steampunk in Katie MacAlister's Steamed. Octavia Pye might have been a great character but I couldn't get past page 30 to find out. Jack was so uninteresting (too bland to be unlikable) I didn't care if he had sex with Octavia or not. Giving up on that one!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Epic fangirl swoons


I'm having epic fangirl swoons over Shiver -- it's bringing out my 14-year old high school self in the best way. Really, if I had read this as a teen, I would have been even further convinced that my love of certain animals had meaningful implications and eventually, the love of my life would show up. I wouldn't say I'm a romance fan but Shiver has me all swoony!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Larsson, Steig - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Steig Larsson

Genre: Fiction (Mystery)

Love/Hate?: Love!
Rating: 4/5
Did you finish?: Yes -- couldn't stop reading it!

One-sentence summary: Underdog journalist solves multiple crimes and has sex.

Why did you get this book?: GWDT is very hot at the moment. I love noir and it's gotten good reviews.

Do you like the cover?: Yes.

First line from book: It happened every year, was almost a ritual.

Review: Overall, a very enjoyable mystery thriller. I wish the English edition kept the Swedish title (Men Who Hate Women) because that gave a greater sense of the story than the title currently in use (which makes it seem as if Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the tattoo, is the heroine). Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is our hero, for good and for bad (frequently I felt like Larsson was relating a little too much with his hero and making him a little too perfect, too handsome, too noble, too fabulous in bed).

I'm on the fence if I'm going to read the second book in the series: I absolutely cannot stand Blomkvist's relationship with his colleague and on-again-off-again lover, Erika Berger and I'm not entirely sure I can take more hero worship of Blomkvist.

This is coming out more negative than I intended, because I have been raving about this novel to anyone who will listen. It was surprisingly engrossing considering it opens up with a financial scandal (a topic that usually makes my eyes glaze over) and it concludes completely with absolutely no loose ends. Even though I was annoyed by the characterization at times, I was so satisfied with the mystery.

Tropes?: SPOILER!!!!

Older man has vibrant sex life with young nymphet that falls in love with him.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Next book?

I'm trying to pick out my next novel, but I don't know what to land on. Snobbishly, I don't want to read another male author. Despite the number of YA novels on my TBR list, I'm not feeling pulled toward those. Classics kind of make me sigh but nothing new is really tugging at me. I mentioned to my wife that I might just pull out The Doomsday Book and reread it, since our trip to the MFA put it in my mind randomly. I also need another library trip -- browsing sometimes helps me decide what I'm in the mood for.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Carriger, Gail - Soulless


Title: Soulless
Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: Fiction (Urban Fantasy)

Love/Hate?: Love!
Rating: 5/5
Did you finish?: Yes -- but I didn't want it to end!

One-sentence summary: A spinster with no soul battles

Why did you get this book?: Recommended by a friend who thought it sounded right up my alley (and they were right!)

Do you like the cover?: Yes.

First line from book: Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening.

Review: I really can't form complete sentences about this book, mostly because I'm still squeeing over it. Carriger has the complete package: fun premise, great heroine, delicious characters, wonderful setting, and outrageous plot. I couldn't put this book down, and I'm so grateful there's a sequel. I so deeply appreciated that Alexia wasn't a preternaturally beautiful woman; she had a kind of Austenian air to her -- smart and resigned -- and I found her very believable and very likable. Lord Maccon might be my new literary boyfriend.

Tropes?: