In a world where a perspicacious loris has it all figured out and the bowler hat is seemingly the international accessory for scientists, the Leviathan trilogy reigns. The conclusion to Westerfeld’s trilogy (see Leviathan and Behemoth), is an inventive spin on the First World War and a Shakespearean love story looking through the rose-colored goggles of steam punk.
Tag Archives: Steampunk
I really suck at updating regularly, so here’s another massive list of my book reviews since last time. I keep promising myself to be better about updating on the group blog, and then it all goes to hell again. 11 books away from my double Cannonball now.
Book 78: Delightful young adult book. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/10/78-folk-keeper-by-franny-billingsley.html
Book 79: Book 2 in Kate Elliott’s epic fantasy series. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/10/79-cold-fire-by-kate-elliott.html
Book 80: What if Cleopatra became a vampire? http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/10/80-queen-of-kings-by-maria-dahvana.html
81: Another wonderful book by Franny Billingsley. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/10/81-chime-by-franny-billingsley-read.html
82: The most recent Discworld novel, starring Sam Vimes. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/82-snuff-by-terry-pratchett-read-thon.html
83: Historical romance from Courtney Milan. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/83-unclaimed-by-courtney-milan-read.html
84: Amazing paranormal fantasy, set partially in Prague. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/84-daugther-of-smoke-and-bone-by-laini.html
85: Young adult fantasy with a slightly unusual heroine. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/10/85-girl-of-fire-and-thorn-by-rae-carson.html
86: A persuasive argument for romance reading, wittily and cleverly written. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/86-everything-i-know-about-love-i.html
87: I finally discover Tamora Pierce. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/87-alanna-first-adventure-by-tamora.html
88: Awesome Steampunk adventure romance. Archeology! Kidnappings! Zombies! http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/88-heart-of-steel-by-meljean-brook.html
89: Alanna grows older and starts noticing boys. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/89-in-hand-of-goddess-by-tamora-pierce.html
90: Alanna joins a desert tribe and becomes a shaman. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/90-woman-who-rides-like-man-by-tamora.html
91. Amazing historical romance from Joanna Bourne. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/91-black-hawk-by-joanna-bourne.html
92. Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this sci-fi/fantasy/romance. http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/92-no-proper-lady-by-isabel-cooper.html
93. What if Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett were rock stars on tour with each other? http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/11/93-fitzwilliam-darcy-rock-star-by.html
So because it’s summer, I’ve been reading a whole lot. My last update here on the group blog was in early July. I’m Norwegian. I live in Oslo. Most of you know what happened here on the 22nd of July. Because of the news reports, varying from truly unbelievable and horrifying in the beginning, to just plain depressing now, in addition to reports on the English riots (my husband’s from Newcastle), I’ve not been in the mood for a lot of heavy reading over the last month or so. So there is a lot of romance here. Books that guarantee a happy ending. No unhappy rioting youth or crazy right-wing mass murderers.
55. After 11 long years, I finally know what happens to Jon Snow, Tyrion and Danaerys: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/55-dance-with-dragons-by-george-r-r.html
56. Book the fourth in Gail Carriger’s entertaining Victorian Steampunk adventure/romance series: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/56-heartless-by-gail-carriger.html
57. Victorian mystery with romantic undertones: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/57-dark-enquiry-by-deanna-raybourn.html
58. Contemporary romance with a fairly ridiculous premise. Fun, though: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/58-yours-to-keep-by-shannon-stacey.html
59. Contemporary and historical fiction, both in the same book!: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/59-winter-sea-by-susanna-kearsley.html
60-62: Trilogy about the three sons of a notorious widowed Duchess. They’re all very good in bed: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/60-62-londons-greatest-lovers-trilogy.html
63. Twelfth and rumoured to be penultimate book in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/63-spell-bound-by-kelley-armstrong.html
64. Second book in Rick Riordan’s entertaining young adult series. Even more Egyptian gods!: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/64-kane-chronicles-throne-of-fire-by.html
65. A teenage girl gets abducted and taken to the Australian Outback. A strange relationship with her abductor develops. Budding romance or Stockholm Syndrome?: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/65-stolen-letter-to-my-captor-by-lucy.html
66. Book 1 of Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/66-perils-of-pleasure-by-julie-anne.html
67. Book 2 of the Pennyroyal Green series: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/67-like-no-other-lover-by-julie-anne.html
68. Book 3 of the Pennyroyal Green series: http://kingmagu.blogspot.com/2011/08/68-since-surrender-by-julie-anne-long.html
I think I may have reached my saturation point for historical romance for a while, and will probably read something completely different next. We shall see. I will endeavour to update on the group blog a bit more often, so my link and tag lists don’t become quite so long.
Profile: Fantasy, Steampunk, Alternative Fantasy
Empire in Black and Gold is very hard to pin down. It is a piece of epic fantasy, complete with clashing kingdoms, valiant warriors and good versus evil. It is also a story of spies and political intrigue. And the world is a strange and wonderful hybrid of classic medieval kingdoms, post-renaissance sensibility and industrial age technology. The mash-up of setting tropes is jarring at first, but becomes endearing as more of the world and the setting is explored/explained. At the end I was forced to admit that what I thought was going to be a junk novel turned out to be a pretty spectacular bit of alternative fantasy.
Profile: Steampunk, Speculative Fiction, Alternate History
Mark Hodder’s tales of Burton and Swinburne are some of the least focused but most entertaining steampunk novels out there. Book two of the series does little to improve on the formula of its predecessor, but the electricity is crackling away. The Clockwork Man is a messy, fundamentally flawed adventure, which nevertheless keeps you turning the pages until the very end. It is steampunk fluff, but if you can deal the lack of literary merit, its still a fun little romp through Hodder’s twisted past.
Profile: Steampunk, Speculative Fiction, Alternate History
The only reason you can’t hear me giggling like a lifetime Bedlamite right now is because I accidentally corrupted the recording I made while I was finishing The Strange Affair. Hodder’s alternate history of the early years of Victorian England is the best iteration of the modern penny dreadful I’ve ever read. It doesn’t set out be funny, but the final product is so completely over the top that it’s hard not to laugh at the villainous caricatures and bizarre steampunk contraptions. At the same time, there’s a decent adventure story here, and some very interesting pseudoscience behind the crazy. And the history is just accurate enough to prompt further exploration, which is exactly what alternate history should be.