Tag Archives: steampunk

September 2020 in Books

September proved to be a busy little beaver of a month. October is looking much the same. I did manage to squeeze in 2 books for September. (I probably could have fit another in but with a planned trip in our near future, I didn’t want to start anything quite yet.)

4 out of 5 stars – I FINALLY caught up on this duology thanks to my BFF. I thoroughly enjoyed myself until the end, in which they had to do something to royally piss me off. Not in a bad ending way, just something I did NOT want to happen. This didn’t quite feel like an ending to me though. I feel like the author could easily pick up the story again and add onto it as she felt necessary.

3 out of 5 stars – The world building and even some of the characters were actually very promising and could have possibly kept me going with the series. However, this is one of those series where each book is based on a different couple and those just tend to lose me. LOTS of cheesy sex descriptions in this one. Throbbing members and molten cores and what not.

Books Purchased:

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse – $1.99

TOTAL: $1.99

I’m hoping to post more in October. It’s my favorite month of the year and I had fun posting weekly updates last year. The intention is there to do this, now hopefully will power follows through. It’s 2020, I just can’t promise anything. 😛

We’re off to spend a few days for bow season with my dad. I’m so excited to get away I can barely flocus at work. :3

What are your plans for October??

The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay #2) – Book Review

Published Date: July 29, 2010

Publishing Co.: Gollancz

Pages: 442

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I wish I could say that it took so long for me to read this book because life got in the way. Once, I did leave it at work over the weekend but honestly, I felt pretty unimpressed most of the way through.

The biggest problem? Captain Darian Frey. It took me almost ALL of the first book before I even began to like Frey, and then in this one, he just blew it all to shit. He is by far my least favorite character, which was unfortunate for me because he had the most point of view chapters. Why do I not like the down on his luck, rag tag captain? Well, long story short, he’s a misogynistic asshole.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking; “Cupcakes, this is supposed to be light-hearted fun! I think you’re reading WAY too into this.” And you know, you are probably right. But here’s the thing, I am SO fucking over male protagonists that are womanizers and use women to get off, characterizing them as basically useless otherwise. It’s especially offensive with a loser captain such as Frey. Sure he’s good looking but he’s pretty bottom of the food chain when it comes to males. Yet he has deep thoughts such as;

There weren’t many women Frey respected, but Jez was one of them.”

Of course, he must go on to explain that this is largely because he barely thinks of Jez as a woman. He’s not sexually attracted to her therefore, she’s worthy of his respect.

Do not even get me started on his fucked relationship with Trinica. You know, the woman he knocked up and left at the alter, which led to her killing their unborn child and ultimately ending up as a concubine until she became the pirate queen. Yet, he thinks she should go back to being the way she was before he and the world broke her, so HE can be happy.

Other than all THAT shit, I enjoyed it. The world building is always cool and the rest of the crew are much better characters that I would love to read about until the cows come home. However, if I had to read another book mostly from Frey’s point of view and he doesn’t grow as a character, I might just chuck the book at the wall and quit the series.

The Black God’s Drums – Book Review

410o6yueykl-_sx311_bo1204203200_

Publishing Date: August 21, 2018

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 110

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review.

An orphan girl wanders the streets of New Orleans, making a living picking pockets. She just so happens to have part of a goddess riding her body as well. She dreams of grand adventures and accidentally overhears the bad guys talking about kidnapping an important scientist. She takes this information to the captain of an airship and uses it as a bargaining chip to gain access to the ship when it leaves. But, before that can come to fruition, they fail to stop the kidnapping of the scientist. Thus, leads into a rescue adventure in the bayou.

This is set in an alternative New Orleans just after (or during, I honestly don’t remember now) the Civil War, where New Orleans is considered neutral territory. Blue cannot fight Gray here. But, that doesn’t mean that both sides aren’t working on secret missions to sway the results in their favor.

The entire story is rich with ideas and decent character building, but I just wasn’t feeling it the way a lot of other people seem to. I think it’s worth the read but I wasn’t blown away.

Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1) – Book Review

51y-zhonzql-_sx310_bo1204203200_

Published Date: April 26, 2011

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 402

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A proper steampunk caper.

Agent Eliza D. Braun is pushing her boss to the limits. She’s an extraordinarily good agent for Queen and country but her methods tend to involve a good deal of dynamite and a scattering of dead bodies. Despite several warnings, her missions continue to end in explosions and newspaper features that bring to forefront the secret agency of the crown that she works for, The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Luckily, few people even know of it’s existence, hence secret agency, but in order to keep it that way she might just get an assignment that does not let her blow things up or play with guns.

Like, getting shut away in the basement of the agency with the Archivist, who’s idea of a good time is organizing and cataloging case files.

Wellington Books is a gentleman of fine breeding, but he prefers the quiet and seclusion of his basement department filled with unique devices found on peculiar missions and overflowing paperwork. These things make sense to him. Guns, dynamite and death defying missions do not. His new partner is going to test his limits and then some. Her restless nature makes her a poor candidate for sitting in the darkness for hours on end.

But being tucked away, filtering through unsolved cases of the Ministry, leads to new information about Eliza’s last partner’s solo mission which ended with her partner locked away in the insane asylum. Agent Books can’t resist a good mystery and soon they are undercover inside another secret society investigating people intent on taking down the crown. One agent with extensive field experience, another with barely any experience but exceptional cunning. Will it be enough to get them out alive?

I had fun. Simple as that. Sure, in some parts my mind wandered a bit but it brought me back when the action picked up again. Books was a good anchor to Braun’s excessiveness, but I love a feisty lady.

Normally, I pay no attention to chapter names but these ones caught my eye every single saucy time;

InWhich Our Plucky Pepperpot Eliza D. Braun Must Pay The Piper for Her Feats of Derring-Do!”

Wherein Wellington Books Acts a Perfect Gentleman, but Is Not Above a Little Skullduggery Too”

AND, there is an Agent Bruce Campbell – mad props for that, intentional or not.

Army of Darkness (1993)
Directed by Sam Raimi
Shown: Bruce Campbell

Stalking Jack the Ripper – Book Review

28962906

Published Date: September 20, 2016

Publishing Co.: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 343

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I wandered across this book while browsing the shelves at the store. Honestly, all my other choices were out of stock but, I decided I would pick it up on a whim and see how it went. There are a million things you can do with a Jack the Ripper story and we’d just see where this went.

Good lord did this girl try to beat me over the head with how intelligent her boy toy was. Show me, don’t tell me. I’ll decide for myself if he comes off as even remotely smart. (He eventually does when allowed to talk for himself.) While we’re at it, stop telling me how good you are at resisting his charms when you’re clearly smitten from the very beginning. Let’s just make a promise not to lie to each other, okay?

Other than that, I did enjoy the main character, Audrey Rose. I always like a rebellious woman who decides to say, “Fuck your social norms.” I liked Thomas Cresswell even more as a strong male character encouraging said girl’s fiery personality and curiosity. Of course sparks will ignite between the two while they are elbow deep in cadavers. Nothing is more attractive than someone who can handle a bone saw like an expert.

Unfortunately, I figured out the identity of the Ripper early in the book. I had hoped they were just a red herring and I’d have a complete surprise towards the end, but I didn’t. No matter though, I still enjoyed the story. I don’t know that I would go out of my way to pick up the second book but if I wandered across it, much like the first, I may decide to read it.

Favorite Female Authors – Part 2

Women’s History Month is quickly coming to a close and I’m trying to squeeze in one more book by a female author. I decided that I needed another edition of Favorite Female Authors. It’s only 5 more because I keep flying by the seat of my pants on these lists.

After my last list of female authors, I added quite a few female authors I hadn’t heard of yet thanks to you guys. I can’t ever run out of things to read (though I think that’s impossible) so keep those suggestions coming!

  1. Laini Taylor – I felt as though I really ripped her off not putting her on the first list BUT I did not enjoy the conclusion to The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It was a big let down after eagerly devouring the first two books. However, that will never take away from Taylor’s talent and prose.
  2. Diana Gabaldon – I’m only a couple of books into the Outlander series but Gabaldon has clear talent. I love historical fiction and Jamie Fraser is the world’s best written man. So much so, it’s pretty clear he’s written by a woman. 😛
  3. Gail Carriger – Steampunk extraordinaire. I’ve only read one of her series so far but they are fun and full of sass. Strong female characters abound.
  4. Delilah S. Dawson – She writes great paranormal romance, but she also writes under another pen name. Lila Bowen, who I am currently reading the second book in her The Shadow series. The worlds she creates are so unique.
  5. Becky Chambers – Character driven space operas are her thing and she knows what she’s doing. I’m eagerly awaiting the third edition in her Wayfarers series.

 

 

Curtsies & Conspiracies – Book Review

Finishing School Book Two

4 out of 5 stars

The Finishing School series is one that is perfect for burning through on a pleasant pre-autumn day on the back patio with your dogs. Who may or may not be trying to bust through the screen to ambush their arch nemesis….squirrels.

Classes continue and conspiracies also continue to arise. Sophronia and her friends are of course, smack in the middle of it all, per usual. There isn’t much of a purpose of laying out the plot line since it’s full of silly shenanigan fun. This isn’t a deep read but one in line with just thoroughly enjoying a romping good frollick.

Airships, gadgets, poison, mechanimals, ball gowns, vampires, werewolves, evil genius’, and spectacular inventions. Why couldn’t school have been like this for me?

45402c1b8991b5e50c986f1df7964ee9

Karen Memory – Book Review

2 out of 5 stars

DNF at page 110.

If you’re going to write a story set inside a brothel, in a steam punk old western world , it should be interesting without even trying. But somehow, instead, you’re welcomed to Bland Town with bland MC and a bland story line. In fact, my entire reaction to this is bland….MEH.

Keep on, keepin’ on. There are better books in your future.

The Shotgun Arcana – Book Review

5 out of 5 stars

I called The Six-Gun Tarot a seven layer cake.

This is unabashed second helpings.

Set one year after the events of The Six-Gun Tarot, Jim is a deputy partnered with Mutt. Mutt and Maude are approaching item status much to the chagrin of many town racists. Malachi Bick owns practically everyone and everything in town and someone has begun brutally murdering prostitutes.

An ancient artifact buried beneath the town is luring serial killers from far and wide to Golgotha. (Serial killers who are clever blends of real serial killers.) Trouble once again braves the 40-mile desert to bring suffering, pain and loss to the townspeople and the only ones that can stop them are our motley crew of heroes; Jon Highfather, Mutt, Jim Negrey, Maude Stapleton, Harry Pratt and Clay Turlough. (Introductions to some new bad ass heroes as well.)

This second installment was not a disappointment. When you think to yourself that the author could not possibly add one more element to this, then they do and they do it successfully, it makes you want to weep with joy.

R.S. Belcher, you have one more stalker for life.

itssobeautiful

Retribution Falls – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

I have a GR friend who is always suggesting new books to me, we shall call him, Sir Lancer. I have this wonderful habit of adding said books to my TBR pile, or even purchasing them outright based on his suggestion. This wonderful habit evolves into myself not reading them for quite sometime, despite the recommendation. So this past week, I decided that it was time to break my own habits and crack open a Sir Lancer novel!

I am most pleased with that decision.

funny-meme-face

If you find these things fun: steampunk, swords, guns, cannons, smuggling, piracy, rebellion, daemonism, golems, people with mechanical body parts, airships, sky battles, and alcohol just to name a few things; then you should quit reading this and sign yourself up for adventure immediately!

The crew of the Ketty Jay are a mixed bag of nuts. All hiding from their pasts, all keeping their secrets to themselves, all while attempting to function as a decent crew.
But when they take a job that ends in unintended massacre, set up by an unknown enemy, they must come together quickly to clear their names for neither side in this brewing war believes them.

For most of the book, I enjoyed the other characters more than the MC. However, towards the end even the Cap’n was growing on me. The entire book was entertaining, spunky and at parts hilarious. If you happen to be stuck in a book rut, like I was when I picked this up, it will easily turn the tide for you.

Mighty fine suggestion Sir Lancer.