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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
by Kady Cross
Steampunk Chronicles, book two

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling-or dangerous Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him... for the life of the girl Jasper loves. 

One false move from Jasper, and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens and tightens. From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens follows Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship. 

More than ever, Finley must rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley... and will risk his life and reputation to save her. 

Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley must infiltrate the criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much... (Description from Goodreads.com)

God, I need to catch up with this series! There's four books now and I'm JUST reading book two *facepalm*.  Not only do I love Kady Cross' (also known as Kate Locke, whose books I DEVOUR) writing, but these are such fun steampunk adventures.  

I really enjoyed not only getting to follow some more of Finlay's adventures, but also getting to learn more about some of the secondary characters, especially Jasper.  Learning more about his origins added a whole new layer to the series and I'd love to see even more of that in the other books...we'll have to see when I catch up! LOL.  There were new nuances to the romantic relationships in this follow-up, as well, which left me grinning and slightly swoony at times.  I can't wait to see Finlay and Griffin finally figure their relationship out!! 

I liked the jump over to America in this one.  I thought it let things sort of start fresh for a few people.  The addition of some key New York inhabitants had me grinning, and I longed to be there at that time (in this steampunk world, of course! I want to ride a dirrigible!!). A great read that has me scrambling to find time to read the next one... 

Full Disclosure: Borrowed from My Library 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Quickie Novella Review: Goddess in Time

Goddess in Time
by Tera Lynn Childs
Oh. My. Gods Novella 

As a descendant of Greek gods, Nicole has attended the Academy alongside other students with magical powers on a Greek island. Life is pretty perfect—except for the fact that she was sentenced to stay there because of a childhood prank that also resulted in her parents' banishment. When Nicole discovers a book that teaches the forbidden magic of time travel, she knows she must take a chance to right her wrong. With the help of her friends Troy and Phoebe, Nicole sets off on a quest that will take her from the heights of Mt. Olympus to the ocean depths of Poseidon's home and to the bowels of Hades. Can she mend her mistakes? And is changing the past, what she really wants? The past and future combine in thrilling, unpredictable ways—especially when Greek gods are involved! (Description from Goodreads.com)

I was so happy when I finally got to read Nicole's story! Not knowing who her Greek God ancestor was had been driving me crazy with speculation. I loved who it turned out to be, too. Very clever TLC, very clever. It was neat to read a whole story from Nicole's perspective, too. It really fleshed her out into more of a fully-faceted character and made me feel more for her.  I truly loved diving back into this world and my only complaint was that this novella was too short! I hope there's more coming soon!! 

Full Disclosure: Purchased for my Nook 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park
by Rainbow Rowell

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
(Description from Goodreads.com)

I'm not sure if it's because I read FANGIRL first, or if I just connected more to the main character in that novel, or if it's because I just didn't "live" through the 80s, having been too young to really feel most of the culture of that time, but I didn't have the same overwhelmingly overawed reaction to this book that a lot of people did.  

I enjoyed it.  Rowell is a great writer. I really like how well she can craft a fully fledged character that feels as if I could meet him or her on the street.  I like that each one of her books is different...they take place in different settings and times, and yet, they have a similar feel to them. I know that Rowell wrote them.  

While I didn't love the setting of this book, I found it very believable. This book really felt like it was set in and embraced the 80s.  As I mentioned, I was just a peanut in the 80s so I don't have the same nostalgic connection to it that some older readers might, but I can remember the early 90s pretty well and some things felt eerily similar.  

I think what I liked the most about this book, though, was Park.  Eleanor was a fun and interesting character, but I LOVED Park...and I loved the way that Rowell described him. Here you really felt not only that Eleanor liked Park for his personality, but also that she really and truly wanted him.  Her descriptions of Park's skin as melted honey were truly evocative.  It wasn't just the way that Eleanor viewed him, though, either...Park was a fascinating character in his own right - flawed as any teenage boy would be, but also strong and brave and true.  The book almost broke my heart on Park's behalf, but thankfully Rowell left things in a way that left me satisfied at the end. 

As I said, not my favorite Rowell title, but well worth reading anyway. 

Full Disclosure: Audiobook borrowed from my Library