August 17th, 2010

42. Stalking Darkness - Lynn Flewelling

Link to the prequel's review, Luck in the Shadows.



42. Stalking Darkness – Lynn Flewelling – 501 pages

Rating: 4 stars

Background/Synopsis:


The first two books in this series are more of a duology, as they were once one book and then separated by the publishers. Seregil and Alec confronted traitors in the last volume, but there are still many loose ends that must be tied regarding secrets that the wizard Nysander cannot tell them.

But not only do Alec and Seregil have to navigate the political intrigue and threat of total evil domination, but also their growing attraction for each other, which they both hesitate to tell each other act upon because it may damage their friendship. Alec also learns about his family history and the other characters are further developed, such as Micum and his daughter, Beka, who has joined the Queen’s Guard.

Strengths:

The budding, awkward romance between Alec and Seregil is handled very well and is very sweet. The pace is very quick and there’s never a dull moment.

Weaknessses:


The bad guys are Just Evil™, and the reader doesn’t really know why. The prose is still occasionally clunky. Needs more fun nightrunning escapades.

Musings


This is probably my favourite installment of the trilogy, mostly because I really like the awkward romance and courting. There's quite a lot of little details of the world that I enjoy.

(PS - as per usual, booksforfood  is my blog where I post book reviews, and blog about libraries and being an ex-pat American in Scotland. Always looking for new friends!)
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Manga Follow-up

I just wanted to thank everyone for their two cents on my post inquiring where to start in the manga world!  I picked up Nana Vol. 1, as several people suggested, & then proceeded to read volumes 2-4 as well. I plan to continue with the series (& might even go pick up volumes 5 & 6 today) :] I didn't think I'd like it, but it's goofy enough that it's up my ally.  There are several others I plan to give a shot as well:

Fruits Basket
Midori Days
Death Note
Emma
Monster
Fullmetal Alchemist
Angel Sanctuary
Battle Angel Alita
Parasyte
Cineralla
Scott Pilgrim [I know for a lot of people, this doesn't count, but I still plan on checking it out as I've heard good things about it]
From Eroica With Love
I Luv Halloween
Pandora Hearts
Bleach

Opinions?  & thank you all again so much, for helping me find a new genre to read :D
Kitty: Angry Calico

Priest, Cherie: Clementine

Clementine (2010)
Written by: Cherie Priest
Genre: Steampunk/Alternate History
Pages: 201 (Hardcover)

The premise: ganked from Subterranean's website: Maria Isabella Boyd’s success as a Confederate spy has made her too famous for further espionage work, and now her employment options are slim. Exiled, widowed, and on the brink of poverty…she reluctantly goes to work for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in Chicago.

Adding insult to injury, her first big assignment is commissioned by the Union Army. In short, a federally sponsored transport dirigible is being violently pursued across the Rockies and Uncle Sam isn’t pleased. The Clementine is carrying a top secret load of military essentials—essentials which must be delivered to Louisville, Kentucky, without delay.

Intelligence suggests that the unrelenting pursuer is a runaway slave who’s been wanted by authorities on both sides of the Mason-Dixon for fifteen years. In that time, Captain Croggon Beauregard Hainey has felonied his way back and forth across the continent, leaving a trail of broken banks, stolen war machines, and illegally distributed weaponry from sea to shining sea.

And now it’s Maria’s job to go get him.

He’s dangerous quarry and she’s a dangerous woman, but when forces conspire against them both, they take a chance and form an alliance. She joins his crew, and he uses her connections. She follows his orders. He takes her advice.

And somebody, somewhere, is going to rue the day he crossed either one of them.


My Rating

Find a Cheaper Copy: you know, it's a rare thing when I buy a Subterranean edition of something and honestly think it's worth the cash, let alone a must have. Part of it's because I'm always getting the expensive version of whatever the book may be instead of the more standardly-priced hardcover, so there's your bias. That said, fans of Priest's Clockwork Century books should enjoy this, especially if said fans enjoyed Hainey's character from Boneshaker. Also, an attachment to airships is probably a plus. What delighted me instead was the introduction of Maria Belle Boyd, a former Confederate spy now working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Oh, I quite hope she makes another appearance in this series, because she's a character I'd like to follow. The book entertaining in how it combines characters and events from previous Clockwork Century stories, but those stories are, by no means, necessary to enjoy this book (though it might help a wee bit). A good read, but I feel you're probably going to want to find this cheaper than the list price of $25.00, unless you're a tool like me and love Priest's work so much on the whole that you have to pay extra for the limited-signed-with-a-free-chapbook edition. And in that case, well, there's a support group for that, right? :)

Review style: not much I want to discuss here, other than to ramble a bit on how history plays a role in Priest's fiction despite the fact she's writing alternate history and therefore not bound to the strict trappings of history itself. Spoilers? Nah… not much to spoil here. To read the full review at my LJ, just click the link below. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)

REVIEW: Cherie Priest's CLEMENTINE

Happy Reading!

ALSO!!!

Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

August: Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
September: So Long Been Dreaming edited by Nalo Hopkinson
October: Feed by Mira Grant