As you may have noticed, I’m back to posting every other week. Because Life. And Busyness. And Sleep-Deprivation.
But I’m here not, and it’s time for some more mini-reviews!
The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
My Very Informative Summary: In a world of Clanker machinery and Darwinist fabricated creatures, war is breaking out. Alek, an Austrian Clanker prince, is on the run after the assassination of his parents. Deryn, a Scottish Darwinist, is disguising herself as a boy in order to serve on a fabricated airship. Thrown together by circumstance, they’ll travel the earth and the skies, trying to bring this war to an end, and hopefully avoid getting blown up.
I Am Here For:
- Alternate history! I love the idea of taking historical events and putting a new spin on them. (Oh, did I mention, it’s World War 1? I guess I should have mentioned that.)
- Remember how WWI started after this Austrian duke guy and his wife were killed? Well, Alek is their (fictional) son. Which I geeked out about a little.
- World-building! I think I mentioned in my last mini-reviews post that I’ve started paying attention to world-building EVERYWHERE and it’s TRUE. Clanker and Darwinist technology? Similarities and differences between their history and ours? Yes, please.
- ILLUSTRATIONS. Intricate, gorgeous pencil drawings. I like them very much.
- Alek thinking/saying, “It’s all MY FAULT”. It really isn’t, son. Just sit down.
Not So Here For:
- …I didn’t really care all that much for the characters. I didn’t dislike them. They were just…okay.
- Overall, I never got very emotionally invested. I was mainly just here for the alternate history aspect/world-building. Which is fine, but I wouldn’t want to read books like this all the time.
The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein
My Very Informative Summary: It’s 1940, and there’s a war on, you know. While caring for an 82-year-old woman with strong opinions and a lovely singing voice, Louisa discovers an Enigma machine (bet you never saw THAT coming) that just might help them make some headway in this war. Also, this is Elizabeth Wein, so you will learn the names of different kinds of aircraft.
This is a prequel to Code Name Verity. Is it as good aforementioned book? I say nay. But I found it superior to Rose Under Fire [and The Pearl Thief, but I never actually finished that one, so shhhhh].
I Am Here For:
- JAMIE. JAMIE BEAUFORT-STUART IS THE MOST WHOLESOME HUMAN.
- Seriously. Jamie is a dear.
- I love him dearly.
- HOW IS HE SO GREAT.
- …..ok, so there was actually more to this book than just Jamie. I liked Louisa and Ellen (the two other narrators) as well. (But not as much as Jamie)
- Oh, and Jane!
- Elizabeth Wein is an absolute queen of research, and I am simultaneously intimidated and inspired. She’s just like, “Ah, yes, this is how the stoves worked in London tenements. Put a shilling in the gas meter and–” ???!! I have so much respect.
- All the planes zooming around in the skyyyyy
- The pub with the coins was such an excellent setting (And it is/was a real place! Or at least based on a real place, can’t remember)
- (Yes, I read the big long author note at the end about what was real and what wasn’t. I never used to read those sorts of things, but suddenly I’m like, “This is FASCINATING.”)
- Also…there were Feelings.
- “We’re all aces now!” *sCrEAmiNG*
- But Jaime though. I’m 90% just here for Jamie.
Not So Here For:
- There were bits that were…on the preachy side. Just tell the story, mate.
- Switching first person POV. It’s fine if you do it in big chunks, because then I have a chance to get my bearings (*cough cough The Sherwood Ring*). But every chapter? Or switching in the MIDDLE of a chapter?? MULTIPLE TIMES in ONE CHAPTER??? And you expect me to know who I am and what I’m doing? You have too much faith in me.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
My Very Informative Summary: If you’re looking for a miracle, Bicho Raro is a good place to start. The saints of the Soria family have been performing miracles for generations, helping the pilgrims who flock to them from near and far. Aside from miracles, you will also find cousins, paper flowers, scary dogs, and a renegade radio show.
(You will also find that I am VERY TIRED and do not know how to summary right now)
I Am Here For:
- COUSINS. I came here for the cousins, at the recommendation of SarahSeele. I was not disappointed.
- Really now. What wonderful cousins.
- Beatriz being “the girl without feelings”
- Daniel being the sweetest
- Joaquin wanting to be a radio host and also have great hair
- Pete being so incredibly wholesome
- I could just keep listing characters, but suffice it to say I loved basically all of the characters. There were so many and they were just lovely.
- The whole Soria family. They care about each other so much and it’s beautiful.
- The writing! For some reason, I wasn’t expecting to like the writing, but I loved the quirky, fairy-tale-esque, magical realism style with repeated phrases, random backstory details, and sentient deserts–mmmhhh, yes.
- I mean really now. Look at this writing:
It may seem like madness for a young woman to chase a runaway horse, as a galloping horse travels at twenty-five miles an hour and a galloping woman travels at only fifteen. But runaway horses rarely have a purpose, and young women chasing them often do. When combined with the asset of a young man in a station wagon, the question of catching the horse becomes a matter of when, not if.
- I don’t know what to call this style of writing, but it’s my jam.
Not So Here For:
- As I mentioned, there were so many characters that I loved. Which was great. Except that, when you have six billion characters, you can’t go as deep into all of them. All things considered, this book did a great job of making me care about so many characters at once, but I would have liked even more about them.
- I’m honestly still a little confused about the conclusion they come to at the end about the danger and such. (But then, it has been a few weeks since I read it, and I am currently sleep-deprived. I honestly can’t remember if I was confused when I first finished it, or if I just forgot why it made sense XD)
That’s it for the reviews today! Before I go I just wanted to share one last thing.
I’m currently working my way through Shadow and Bone on Netflix. (No, I’m not recommending it. I spend about 53% of the time just shouting “GARBAGE” at the screen.) The other day my Sponge sister (who has not read Six of Crows, but knows a bit about the characters from what I’ve told her) watched about 10 minutes of an episode with me.
After the episode:
Her: “So who was that one guy it was showing? They guy who looks like Mr. Guppy?”
Her: “Oh, THAT’S Kaz?”
Why is this so funny to me.
Kaz is Mr. Guppy.
I’ll just leave you with that.
What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these? Have you read any alternate history? Do you have wholesome cousin book recommendations? How sleep-deprived are you? Do you feel contractually obligated to watch movie/tv adaptions of books you’ve read? (I said this the other day and my little sister laughed at me.) Do you know who Mr. Guppy is? Do tell!