5 stars · steampunk · young adult

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

 

Clockwork Princess

The Infernal Devices #3
Book 1: Clockwork Angel
Book 2: Clockwork Prince

author : cassandra clare

pages : [hardcover] 570

memorable quote Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.

favorite characters : tessa & jem

summary :

London 1873 shape-shifter Tessa Gray 16 is engaged to Jem Carstairs 17, dying of addiction to demon drug, all bought up by evil Mortmain. The “clockwork prince” controls an army of automatons to abduct Tess, kill the Shadowhunters, and blackmail Charlotte Branwell, head of London Institute. Will and Tessa hide their love, for love of Jem. Plus 2-pg Note on Tessa’s England.

review :

Oh my goodness. I don’t even know what to say about this novel, though first of all I’d like to tell you I’m going to try hard not to include spoilers from the first two books in this review. There definitely won’t be any spoilers from Clockwork Princess.

I feel like I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Cassandra Clare. On the one hand I absolutely love the world she’s built of Shadowhunters, Downworlders, and Mundanes. On the other, her writing style isn’t exactly my type and when I heard she was making this trilogy (and, apparently, yet another spin-off from the original Mortal Instruments) I wondered why she would keep delving into this world instead of writing about something new. Apart from her knowing that she has a large fanbase who’ll eagerly devour anything written by her.

I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this trilogy at the start. Some of the characters were interesting but they felt similar to ones I’d read about originally in City of Bones. But then Clockwork Princess came along. To be honest I’ll recommend this trilogy just so you can get to this last book because, believe it or not . . this conclusion makes it all worth it. What’s set up in the previous two falls together so nicely (and it’s fun to see how things will tie in to the other books she’s written!) and you’ll probably be shedding tears like I did when I reached the end of this book and the epilogue tore my heart in half, then stitched it up a little to make things slightly less painful and bittersweet.

Some parts of this book were predictable but where it counted most, where I was hoping it would pull through, I was surprised and things happened that I never saw coming. And it was awesome. This trilogy ended up being so much better than the original and I’m so thankful my friend convinced me to read it through to the end.

If you’re looking to get into reading Cassandra Clare, I’ve heard the best method is to read the original three books, then this trilogy, and then the next three Mortal Instruments books. But if you’ll take my recommendation and go with my favorites, you’ll stick with these.

5/5 stars

Have you read this trilogy? I’d love to discuss everything that happened (or why you haven’t read it yet) with you!

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5 stars · steampunk

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

The Clockwork Scarab

author : colleen gleason

pages : [hardcover] 356

favorite characters : mina & evaline

summary :

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

review :

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for ages, ever since I first heard about it! A young adult steampunk novel with Sherlock Holmes’ niece and Bram Stoker’s daughter as the protagonists? How could it not be awesome? I’m so glad that the writing in this book lived up to the fantastic premise because I loved every part of this book. Every twist in the plot, every alternating point of view, seemed to fit in perfectly. And then, of course, there were the steampunk elements that I absolutely loved. I really need to read more steampunk books but this version of London impressed me.

Once I finished the book, I was still trying to decide which girl I loved and related to more, Mina or Evaline. They both had their shortcomings and their advantages. I think I’d love to be as badass as Evaline was during her scenes but also feel more intellectual and uncomfortable in social situations like Mina. And the boys in this book! I was really relieved when I found out there’s going to be more than one book because I went into this not knowing whether this would be a series. I don’t feel like I got to know enough of the men in the novel, as mysterious and dashing as they are, and I hope more answers and their backstories will be revealed in the next book. Until then, I’ll eagerly wait and try not to worry about it too much.

This is the kind of book with a setting that immerses me in a new world and left me imagining new stories and details in it. I didn’t want to let it go when I closed the book. I could easily see so many new mysteries these two ladies will need to work together on. I can’t wait to see how their odd partnership develops!

If you like mysteries, steampunk, wonderful leading ladies, and a new series to get addicted to, you should pick up this book!

5/5 stars

4 stars · fiction · steampunk · young adult

Steampunk! an anthology edited by Kelly Link & Gavin Grant

Steampunk!

editors : kelly link & gavin grant

with stories by M. T. Anderson, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Shawn Cheng, Cassandra Clare, Cory Doctorow, Dylan Horrocks, Kathleen Jennings, Elizabeth Knox, Garth Nix, Christopher Rowe, Delia Sherman, Ysabeau S. Wilce

pages : [hardcover] 421

memorable stories : steam girl, everything amiable and obliging, & the summer people

summary :

In an alternate steampunk universe created by 14 authors, romance and technology reign. Tinkerers and dreamers craft a world of automatons, clockworks, calculating machines, and other marvels that never were. Scientists and schoolgirls, fair folk and Romans, intergalactic bandits, utopian revolutionaries, and intrepid orphans solve crimes, escape from monstrous predicaments, consult oracles, and hover over volcanoes in steam-powered airships. Settings range across Appalachia, ancient Rome, future Australia, and alternate California.

1 Some Fortunate Future Day by Cassandra Clare
2 The Last Ride of the Glory Girls by Libba Bray
3 Clockwork Fagin by Cory Doctorow
3 Seven Days Beset by Demons by Shawn Cheng

4 Hand in Glove by Ysabeau S. Wilce
5 The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor by Delia Sherman
6 Gethsemane by Elizabeth Knox
7 The Summer People by Kelly Link
8 Peace in Our Time by Garth Nix
9 Nowhere Fast by Christopher Rowe
10 Finishing School by Kathleen Jennings
11 Steam Girl by Dylan Horrocks
12 Everything Amiable and Obliging by Holly Black
13 The Oracle Engine by M.T. Anderson

review :

I’ve been trying to read more steampunk! I feel like I haven’t even broken past the surface of this genre and I’m already completely fascinated by it. What better way to get a little more obsessed than to read fourteen stories written by some of my favorite authors? I love anthologies in general, anyway. I feel like they always splash a few popular author’s names on the cover to gain attention, but I always see them as a chance to find new favorite writer’s, too. If I’m completely captivated by an idea or writing style, I’m definitely more likely to go out and look for other works by the same person.

Steampunk! was no different. Of course every tale didn’t have the same impact on me and I enjoyed some a lot more than others. I mentioned a few memorable ones up top, but there weren’t any that I detested or found it hard to get through. All of them were a good length and two were in comic form, which was different and awesome. Some different quite end how I expected them to and some didn’t really have any conclusion to them at all.

I really enjoyed this anthology. I think that it was a wonderful mix of the subtle steampunk changes and those in full-blown Victorian steampunk settings. There are battles and wars, ladies and orphans, gadgets that belong only to dreams. It was nice to escape into this world for a little while and I think fans of this genre, as well as those just discovering it like I am, will enjoy Steampunk! I definitely recommend that you give it a try!

4/5 stars

3 stars · fiction · steampunk

Steampunk: Poe

Steampunk: Poe

Written By: Edgar Allen Poe

Illustrated By: Zdenko Basic & Manuel Sumberac

pages: 264

memorable stories: the spectacles, the raven

summary:

If you combined clockwork gears, parasols, and air balloons with Edgar Allan Poe, what would you get? Steampunk: Poe! This is the first collection ever of Poe stories illustrated with the influence of steampunk. Running Press Teens has selected some of the most popular, thrilling, and memorable stories and poems by the classic 19th century American writer whose literary talent continues to open the mind to countless interpretations.Every Poe story and poems is fully illustrated with steampunk-inspired art—from 1920s aviation gear to elaborate musical instruments—creating a fresh perspective on his work containing bizarre characters of madmen and mystery. Just in time for Halloween, Steampunk: Poe is the perfect classic horror choice with a haunting steampunk twist!

review:

I was soooo extremely ecstatic when I walked into my library and spotted this book! I first noticed it on Goodreads and thought that it would turn out to be one of those books I’d admire from afar but would never get the chance to get my hands on. Little did I know that someone out there saw fit to supply my local library with a copy, making me happy and hopefully introducing others to Poe’s work through the wonderful illustrations, as steampunk is so popular right now. Though I never would have thought the two would go together.

I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Edgar Allen Poe because I either really enjoy his stories and poems or detest them entirely. And I have no idea why this is. The same was true for this collection; I’d already read a handful before, but wanted to re-experience them complete with the pictures, anyway. Sometimes the images fit in wonderfully, making it all the more gruesome or mysterious. At other times I think that it would have been better had other scenes been selected for illustration because the panels didn’t fit in quite as well.

I found a few new favorite works by Poe, as well as had the opportunity to revisit some old ones. There were a few that I was very, very tempted to abandon and skim through . . . But I managed to resist that impulse. This book took me longer to read than I thought that it would because of that.

I’d recommend this book for fans of classic horror stories, Edgar Allen Poe (obviously), steampunk, pictures, literature, classics . . .

WOEFULLY INTRIGUING.3/5 stars

(Or should I say . . . Poe-fully? Heh.)

5 stars · fiction · romance · series · steampunk · young adult

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

 
Goliath

Author: Scott Westerfeld [also wrote So Yesterday, Extras]

Pages [hardcover]: 548

Book 3 of the Leviathan Trilogy
Book 1: Leviathan
Book 2: Behemoth

Memorable Quote:

Favorite Characters: Alek & Deryn

Summary:

Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.

Review:

I’ve been in love with Scott Westerfeld’s books for . . . longer than I can remember. Several years. And when I picked up Leviathan, the first book of this trilogy, a few years ago, I never imagined the extreme anticipation I’d have for this conclusion! It seemed to take forever for the buildup to stop and the finale to actually arrive, but it was well worth the wait. This is an end I both loved and enjoyed.

Alek and Deryn are two fabulous characters. Alek, prince of Hohenburg, is wonderfully awkward and courageous at the same time. He’d do anything for his friends and allies, including risking his own life and reputation, and thinks nothing of it. Deryn doesn’t let the limitations society puts on girls hold her back, and decides to follow her passion even if that means dressing as a boy. And that makes her attraction to a certain prisoner a squick awkward . . .

I don’t think I’ll be able to rave about this book enough! First, the pictures, something that attracted me to the trilogy in the first place. The artistry is perfectly wonderful, making everything pop vividly and letting me picture every aspect-both Clanker and Darwinist-of the story precisely. The entire steampunk genre is still new to me, and while I’m not entirely certain where I’ll go next with it, I’m definitely excited to read more like this. It’s not something I’d like to sample and give up on.

I hate it when I get too excited for a book and it doesn’t meet my expectations. I never had that problem with Goliath. From cover to cover-beginning and ending with more pretty pictures!-the action, suspense, romance . . . All worth it. And though I hate to say goodbye, it ended smartly and didn’t leave me hanging.

I shouldn’t have expected anything less from Scott Westerfeld. 😀

I give Goliath 5/5 stars. Go try this trilogy! Now!

fiction · science fiction · steampunk · young adult

“Leviathan” by Scott Westerfeld


“Leviathan”
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Pages [hardcover]: 464
Available in stores now
Opening Lines: The Austrian horses glinted in the moonlight, their riders standing tall in the saddle, swords raised. Behind them two ranks of diesal-powered walking machines stood ready to fire, cannon aimed over the heads of the calvary. A zeppelin scouted no-man’s land at the center of the battlefield, its metal skin sparkling.
Memorable Quote: Maybe this was how you stayed sane in wartime: a handful of noble deeds amid the chaos.
Favorite Character: Daryn/Dylan
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
[Summary taken from Goodreads]

I borrowed this book from my friend, after hearing her rave about how good it was. I trusted her judgement, and she was right! “Leviathan” takes World War I and ramps it up. The British and their allies are Darwinists-they have learned how to manipulate genes and create animals that can mimic zeppelins or carry messages in the same voice they were given, among other things. Germany and their allies are Clankers. They prefer big, weapon-clad machinary that walk around on metal legs. The Clankers are afraid of the fabricated Darwin animals.
Every two chapters, the point of view switched between Deryn and Alek. I personally couldn’t decide who I liked more. I’ve always liked hearing stories where girls prove they are just as good as boys are, yet Alek, though naive and conceited, was an interesting character that matured as the plot thickened. Yet, at a single point, different for each of them, they annoyed me greatly. If they hadn’t, the plot wouldn’t have been as great, but it was just a pet peeve of mine.
I think I’d like to be a Darwinist. The huge, fantastic creatures they come up with sound more interesting than cold, lifeless machines.
But that’s just me.
Scott Westerfeld is, well, awesome. I love this author. I’ve read quite a few books by him. If you’re looking for a good science fiction read, pick up one of his novels.
“Leviathan” was an original and well thought out novel. There is going to be a sequel, called “Behemoth”, set to come out October 2010. Same month as the new Percy jackson.
This novel gets 5/5 stars.
So…Anyone have any idea on how to pronounce Leviathan? 😀