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review 2016-03-09 09:26
"The Bullet Catcher's Daughter" by Rod Duncan- good ideas strangled by terrible writing
The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter: The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, Book 1 - Rod Duncan

I couldn't resist buying this one: great title, striking cover art, a steampunk setting and the first in a series. It had to be worth a read. Except that it wasn't. I gave up after ninety minutes of this ten hour audiobook.

 

There's a lot to like in "The Bullet Catcher's Daughter": a truly original take on an alternative nineteenth century England; a brave and tenacious heroine who has to pretend to be a man in order to do what needs doing (which not only allows gender issues to be highlighted but gives lots of opportunities for cross-dressing fun); a tongue-in-cheek attitude that salts the whole thing with dry humour and big, impressive Victorian machinery.

 

Normally, I'd have settled down to this with the same kind of smile I have on my face when I'm reading the one of the "Parasol Protectorate" books but my enjoyment was destroyed by the faux-Victorian language. It was distressingly inauthentic, producing the distracting dissonance that one experiences when listening to a non-native speaker trying to use the vernacular of one's own language. It may be amusing for a short time but it quickly becomes wearisome. I was expecting pastiche but what I got was clumsy parody that rendered the dialogue lifeless and crippled the attempts at humour.

 

I'm aware that this is a very popular series, so perhaps the fault lies with my expectations but this one was added to my Did Not Finish pile.

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review 2015-11-10 01:51
Finished my 2nd Re-read of this book.
The Girl in the Steel Corset - Kady Cross

My Thoughts:

4 stars

I'm really glad i re-read this book, but i have to admit this time around i didnt get as caught up in the story and noticed some things i didnt like as much, such as some personality traits. Griffin and Sam got on my nerves quite a bit, i preferred Finley where she had a moor bipolar mood state, Em and jasper were great, with Jack Dandy probably being my favorite. also not only was there 1 long-triangle but 2!!! WTF Cross? at least one was settled quickly and if Jack doesn't appear in book two i imagine the other will be two - though why she would choose griffin over Dandy is beyond me.
Otherwise the read was still quite entertaining, even if i knocked off a star. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

 

My Original Review:
5 stars - 19.may.2013

LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. It was AwesomeTastic, which is a legit word, it means you MUST run out RIGHT NOW and go get this book cause it is that good!!!

I have to say im a little disappointed in my friends, whats wrong with you guys? Why didn’t you make me read this book earlier????? No matter i’v read it now :P

All the characters in this book where fantastic, and i loved their abilities, all of which were amazing. I cannot wait to go to America with Finley to go save Jasper‘s butt.

Now about the love triangle, i know i know your sighing and thinking of reading another book now, but it isn’t much of a love triangle, and its pretty obvious who Finley will end up choosing (not that she has done so yet, but im physic) :P personally i would chose Jack Dandy, that dude is Yum, with a Capital Y! Plus i like it when the underdog wins sometimes (isn’t that why all of us are cheering for pritkin? And also because he’s delish and clearly the best choice but we’ll ignore that part for the moment for the sack of my argument). Plus Jack clearly isn’t as cruel and emotionless as he pretends. I’ll feel highly..... mmm not disappointed but sad (maybe?) if he doesn’t win, though in saying that i’d prob feel the same if Finely doesn’t chose Griffin either.... its not really a win situation here. Hmmmmm. I KNOW!!!! Win win – she can have both! YAY!!!! Or she can give me Dandy, whichever, i’d be quiet happy with either option. Lol.

Well if the library was open today i know what i would be doing- going and hunting down the next book, but *sigh* i have to wait until tomorrow, dreadful i know, the world is clearly a cruel cruel mistress. I suppose i’ll just have to day dream and maybe play some xbox until then.

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review 2015-09-20 17:08
"Soulless - The Parasol Protectorate #1" - A truly splendid entertainment for those with a taste for steampunk, urban fantasy, witty writing and a redoubtable, parasol wielding heroine.
Soulless - Gail Carriger

"Soulless" did not live down to its title. It is, in fact, a book that demonstrates remarkable spirit and significant amounts of pluck under pressure.

 

Set in an alternative Victorian London, in which vampires and werewolves have been Establishment figures for centuries, dirigibles fill the sky and respectable young ladies do not move about town without a chaperon, "Soulless" tells of the trials and tribulations that befall the remarkable Miss Alexia Tarabotti after she unintentionally kills an impertinent vampire with the aid of a hair stick and a parasol.

 

Miss Tarabotti is remarkable not because of the stain of having had an Italian father from whom she has inherited unfashionably tanned skin and an over-proud nose, nor because, at twenty-seven she is still  a spinster, nor even because of a regrettable tendency to read science and ask inconvenient questions, but rather because she was born without a soul. Being soulless gives her the ability to neutralize the powers of supernatural beings, cancelling out the over-abundance of soul that is believed to explain their existence.

 

"Soulless" is witty, fast-paced, and complex: It is delivered with a deftness of touch that keeps it from plummeting into the horrors of pastiche. It is far from simple to create a Victorian feel to a book while introducing supernatural beings and an alternative political history but Gail Carriger does it with an ease of execution and flair for linguistic nuance which enables me almost completely to overlook the misfortune of her having been born in America. This is, after all, not her fault.

 

"Soulless" provided me with a splendid diversion from its first page to its last. It was aided in this by skillful and playful narration by Emily Gray, who mastered not only the rhythm of the language and the pace of the humour but the wide variety of voices and accents that the book calls for.

 

If you feel the need, or simply are privileged enough to have the opportunity, to spend a few hours away from the cares and traumas of the early twenty-first century, then this reader recommends an excursion into a supernatural Victorian London in the company of Miss Alexia Tarabotti.

 

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review 2014-12-27 23:24
Ye Gods!
Ticker - Lisa Mantchev
      Arc provided by Amazon Children's Publishing through Netgalley
                                        
    DNF at 34 %
 
I blame it on the pretty cover.
If it weren't for it, there's no way I would have requested this on Netgalley, not with the avalanche of one star ratings that this is getting!
But no...I decided to be stubborn.
Also, this explains why you only had to click on the request button to be approved. :/

Here's what I could understand from this story...
________
________
O_O
________
?????
_____
?
I guess it attempts to flow in that light, quirky tone of the TV series "Pushing Daisies". Remember it?
But instead of pies,and a pie maker that brings people to life, we have strange contraptions, with even strangest names! And you have no idea what they're for. Because there's no explanation!
I don't even know why I am making that comparison, because the series was GOOD.

The setting is somewhat steam-punk(ish)...I guess...at least it attempts to, but there's just not enough description, world building, characterization, nothing!
So we have strange words, and strange expressions like:

“What the blanketed codfish are these?”

"Dear Cogs"

Silly and impossible things:

The Ripley’s Personal Aethergraph strapped to my ribboned leg garter fired to life, a welcome distraction. With a series of clicks, the RiPA tapped out a message.

Defiant in the face of my fears, I marched from the room and made my way downstairs via a slide down the banister. Difficult to do when wearing a bustle skirt.
Difficult, but not impossible.


I would really, really like to see this last one up-front.

The characters are like puppets and they act and dress accordingly..

I didn't find any "friendliness" on the part of the so called "friend"..

No spark from whom I believe will be the love interest...they bantered, and now he has given her some bracelets with diamonds _also, there might have been some stalking involved _ and that makes her part of "the task force" or whatever..

Some Latin names are also used to the mix, just to give it that lovely and casual "Roman taste"...
The brother doesn't show any brotherly affection...well, there's some disdain, I guess, maybe because it is fashionable?
Then there's the bisexual friend who has blue hair and beard, because...in another lifetime he was a Smurf? o_O

He’d inherited his good looks, cheerful demeanor, and eye for the ladies from his father.
His weakness for infernal, newfangled contraptions and rakish gentlemen came from his mother.
 
 
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text 2014-10-02 19:43
One more September Favorite -- (didn't fit into a convenient category)
The Dark Victorian: Risen Volume One - Elizabeth Watasin

"This day marked her sixth day of life; her first was when she woke in eldritch fire and electricity in the Secret Commission’s laboratory. Dr. Gatly Fall had resurrected her as an artificial ghost devoid of personal memories, though she understood that like the rest of the Secret Commission agents, she was formerly an executed criminal. She’d also been allowed to keep some elements of her identity. Why she was allowed to remain Quaker was a mystery. The name given her then was Artifice, and thanks to the papers this was how the people of London knew her. Jim Dastard, an animated skull and her partner, urged her to name herself, so she took the name Art."

 

It's her sixth day of life; we were introduced to her in Bones, where she had a very hectic week tracking down a case of missing children.  She isn't going to be able to slow down in this book either.

 

Art was "allowed to remain Quaker," but why is not the only mystery she faces.  Art and Jim are on the case of a series of mysterious deaths where the victims' organs and skeletons are removed while leaving their skins intact. 

 

 The mystery is a good one, the steampunk environment is fascinating, and the characters are compelling.

 

(I like this cover better)

4-1/2 Stars

 

 

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