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[personal profile] kitchendinah
1. The Iron Duke - Mejean Brook (Steampunk Zombiegasm Romance)
2. Boneshaker - Cherie Priest (Steampunk Zombiegasm)
3. The Book of Yarn - Clara Parkes (nonfiction craft)
4. The Book of Wool - Clara Parkes
5. The Admiral's Penniless Bride - Carla Kelly (Harlequin)
6. Slow Hands - Leslie Kelly (Harlequin)
7. Wedding of the Season: Abandoned at the Altar - Laura Lee Gurhke (Romance)
8. The Heir - Grace Burrowes (Romance)
9. Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean (Romance)
10. Side Jobs (Dresden Collected Shorts) Jim Butcher (Fantasy)
11. Miss Wonderful - Loretta Chase (Romance)
12. Matched - Allie Condie (YA Dystopia)
13. Catch of a Lifetime - Judi Fennell (Romance?)

So I've been reading quite a bit since the first of the year. Romances are like potato chips - Harlequins especially.

I'm honestly not sure what to make of the current trend in zombie steampunk. I think I'd prefer it plain, but if there are going to be zombies, I suppose there are worse ways to use them. if you're into Romance, The Iron Duke may be up your alley. The Mongols have finally been driven out of England after two hundred years of nanobot-related mind control. Mina, a police inspector from the tatters of the the aristocracy, stumbles into a plot to discredit the Iron Duke, a former pirate who is responsible for freeing the English people. Hijinx ensue with air ships, pirate ships, and some canoodling amongst the leads. It reminds me in a lot of ways of the romances I read in high school which were much more in the high-seas, swashbuckling, alpha-male hero, but Mina is generally much more independent and kick ass than the heroines of yore. There is some attempt to address both race and class in the book, (Mina is half British/half Mongol,) and I'm not sure the author always succeeds in what she's trying to convey as it comes off as a bit heavy handed, but it's good to see a tale that doesn't feature a lily-white miss in the lead. Trigger warnings for mentions of (past) rape.

I'm frankly still pretty enamored with Boneshaker. It's not a romance, so those who are adverse to that sort of thing - it's pretty much straight adventure. It's 1880s Seattle, which makes me all kinds of giddy - yay for something that takes on the relatively untamed west and isn't England or the east coast. 15 years prior, Briar Wilkes' husband destroyed half the city, unleashed a gas that spawns the undead, and disappeared. The city was walled off, but those living outside of it have long memories, and don't let Briar or her son Zeke forget what has happened. When Zeke sneaks back inside the wall to try to gain some understanding of the man his father was, it's up to Briar to bring him home. Clear, authentic voices, creative gadgets and a well developed world make this a completely satisfying read.

The Books of Yarn and Wool are actually pretty darn nifty. I took them out of the library and will probably end up buying the wool one. The book of yarn talks about the different fibers and weights that are typically used in yarn, and how to decided what's appropriate for certain projects. It also has a healthy number of patterns I'd actually make. Totally recommended for someone who is just getting past the scarf stage and is trying to understand what is at their disposal. The Wool book is much more oriented towards the different types of wool producing creatures and the finer points of each. There's quite a difference between merino and shetland, for example, and knowing the characteristics and the types of projects it's best suited for (next to the skin as opposed to outerwear, or even rugs,) is important when planning projects. and again, Wool features a bunch of patterns that I'd actually make, but the over all number of patters in the wool book is less than the yarn book.

The Admiral's Penniless Bride is a fairly fluffy Harlequin historical. Penniless widow who can't get a job runs across a softhearted (if somewhat hardheaded) retired Admiral and finds herself in a marriage of convenience. There's a secret, they fall for each other, blah, blah, blah. I kinda wanted to smack the Admiral upside the head a bit towards the end, but the HEA was cute.

Slow Hands was adorable - and free on Amazon! (I think it still, is, I'd download it if you like contemporaries.) Mistaken identity - hot paramedic gets purchased at a bachelor auction, but the winner thinks she bought a rich playboy. Hijinx ensue. There is a second book dealing with the Playboy who was mistaken for the paramedic, but I'm not sure if I'm going to go for that one yet. I get all the snobby airs I can handle in my historicals, thank you.

Wedding of the season was very cute, kinda funny, and hit a bunch of my buttons - childhood sweethearts, Edwardian era, running down people in cars... (Okay, the last not so much.)Jilted childhood sweetheart is about to get married to a duke when the ex who ran away to Egypt shows up looking to fund his next expedition and wreaks havoc. I liked it a lot, will probably pick up the next book in the series soon.

I do not remember a damn thing about The Heir. That should tell you something.

Okay, so I hated MacLean's YA regency The Season. There was something about the way she wrote the characters as modern teens in a period setting that completely turned me off. (Which is weird, because I apparently have a decent tolerance for that, see The Luxe for examples.) Anyway, her adult romances don't seem to give me the same issues. Nine Rules...: Spinster goes wild, makes a list, pounces on her long term crush. I liked this for the most part, and will probably but the next one soon, and if that one doesn't suck, the one that comes out in April, too.

I have a lot of issues with Side Jobs and books like it. I am going to rant about that probably this weekend. In general the stories are good (well, the first one sucks majorly because while he's mostly got Harry down, dude could not write a believable kid to save his life,) and if you're a Dresden reader, you should probably pick it up at some point in some edition, and definitely try to do it before Ghost Story comes out.

Miss Wonderful was not. You know how the really early Julia Quinn's (the ones before she hit her stride with the Bridgertons) kinda sucked because you can still see her trying to figure out the mechanics of writing and making everything flow? Yeah, some here. It wasn't unreadable - but just not up to par with her last couple, and kind of contrived at the end. That said, a friend loaned me the entire series so I'll keep you appraised on the rate at which they get better.

Matched sucked. In the YA dystopic sweepstakes, it really suffers for having come out after the Hunger Games in that it's so bloodless and there's no urgency to the whole thing. (It's very ABC Family.) It's unfortunate because there are some fun ideas here that could have been utilized better. Anyway, you've got a spotless bubble of a world where everything is controlled and rationed and manicured by the government. When you're a young adult, you're matched with you ideal genetic counterpart. That's who you're going to marry. Unfortunately, there's a glitch in our heroine's matching and she find herself falling for someone inappropriate. Hijinx sorta ensue, I'm ignoring any sequels.

Catch of a Lifetime was free. Just because things are free does not mean they are good. DNW.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-02-02 09:04 pm (UTC)
kerithwyn: Oracle (Default)
From: [personal profile] kerithwyn
I've been considering Boneshaker for awhile, and you probably just pushed me over into buying it. So yay. :)

Just started Side Jobs and pretty much know what I'm going to get out of it..the kid in the first story was pretty terrible, wasn't she.

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Sarah

February 2012

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