ANNOUNCEMENT
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bear with me as I still continue to recover.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

89. Batman: Gotham by Gaslight by Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola

#89

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Title: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
Authors: Brian Augustyn, illustrated by Mike Mignola
Copyright: 1989
Pages: 112
Publisher: DC Comics
Author Website: www.artofmikemignola.com
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4/5 stars
Finished: 10-27-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Graphic novel category)
Awards:

Gotham by Gaslight is a unique retelling of the Batman origin. This book was actually the starting point for DC's later Elseworlds series due to it's popularity. The Elseworlds series took their characters and reset them in time periods or circumstances different from their established histories and told one shot stories around these new ideas. The other interesting bit about this new (old) Batman story is that it can be considered a Steampunk Batman tale, before Steampunk was as popular as it is today.

Gotham by Gaslight follows the basic idea of Bruce Wayne/Batman's origin, with Bruce Wayne's family being murdered in front of him as a young boy and him later in life going out into the world to recreate himself into a force of good against evil as Batman. The difference here, however, is that this all takes place in the 1890s and his first adversary is Jack the Ripper. (This isn't spoiling anything. You learn that Jack the Ripper is in this book on the very first page.)

The real star of this book is the art by Mike Mignola. Fans of his Hellboy series will appreciate is dark and shadowy graphic sense, which ultimately lends itself perfectly to this tale. I think anybody who is a fan of Batman, or of Steampunk and is at least familiar with the Batman mythos, will find this quick read enjoyable.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Author meet update: Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld signing my book!

Author meet update: Scott Westerfeld

Manual of Aeronautics, a color guide to the worldbuilding in Leviathan coming after the release of the third book, Goliath!

Author meet update: Scott Westerfeld

Look! It's Scott Westerfeld!!

Author meet: Scott Westerfeld

At this precise moment, I'm sitting in the Ann Arbor District Library, waiting to meet Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies series and the Leviathan trilogy. I can't promise, but I'll try to post updates as the evening goes on.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

88. Dante's Divine Comedy: A Graphic Adaptation by Seymour Chwast

#88

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Title: Dante's Divine Comedy: A Graphic Adaptation
Author: Seymour Chwast
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781608190843
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Author Website: www.pushpininc.com
Twitter: @bloomsburyUSA
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2/5 stars
Finished: 10-8-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Graphic novel category)

From Amazon:
The "left-handed designer," Seymour Chwast has been putting his unparalleled take — and influence — on the world of illustration and design for the last half century. In his version of Dante's Divine Comedy, Chwast's first graphic novel, Dante and his guide Virgil don fedoras and wander through noir-ish realms of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, finding both the wicked and the wondrous on their way.

Dante Alighieri wrote his epic poem
The Divine Comedy from 1308 to 1321 while in exile from his native Florence. In the work's three parts (Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise), Dante chronicles his travels through the afterlife, cataloging a multitude of sinners and saints—many of them real people to whom Dante tellingly assigned either horrible punishment or indescribable pleasure — and eventually meeting both God and Lucifer face-to-face.

In his adaptation of this skewering satire, Chwast creates a visual fantasia that fascinates on every page: From the multifarious torments of the Inferno to the host of delights in Paradise, his inventive illustrations capture the delirious complexity of this classic of the Western canon.

I'm not even going to waste much time on this review. I didn't really like the book. At all. The only reason I'm giving it 2 stars is that it may open up the possibility to someone to read Dante's actual The Divine Comedy because of the simplistic telling here. It may help someone who feels the story too daunting to understand a little better what's happening. Maybe.

It's the simplicity that detracts me from enjoying this volume. Chwast takes the epic poem and breaks it down into one line synopses and the crudest illustrations possible to retell the story. I see lots of praise for Chwast and his graphic sense, but honestly, I saw nothing in this book that impressed me at all. I thought the illustrations childish and not very easily understood in some cases.

Not recommended, especially if you have ever read the original and enjoyed it. In that case, avoid this at all cost.

And the winner is...

The winner of a signed The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry in my "I Want Followers" contest is Nedraw! Congrats! I'll be sending you a message to get me your mailing address information.

I want to thank everyone for participating in this contest, and don't despair if you didn't win! I'll be putting up some new contests, very soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

87. Quatrain: Flight by Sharon Shinn

#87

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Title: "Flight" from Quatrain
Series: Samaria
Author: Sharon Shinn
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 84
ISBN: 9780441018475
Publisher: Ace Books
Author Website: sharonshinn.net
Twitter: @AceRocBooks
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Finished: 10-16-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Fantasy category)

From Amazon:
Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses books have fascinated readers and critics alike with their irresistible blend of fantasy, romance, and adventure. Now in Quatrain, she weaves compelling stories in four of the worlds that readers love in "Flight", "Blood," "Gold," and "Flame."

So, this past weekend I found I had some time to kill in a Borders in Chicago, so I decided to pick up Quatrain by Sharon Shinn and read the Samaria novella. Quatrain consists of four novellas, each taking place in one of Shinn's worlds. I am a hug fan of the Samaria series, so was anxious to read this particular tale, but I didn't want to have to purchase the whole book for this one story (honestly, I haven't read any other of Shinn's series, so the other stories in this particular volume didn't really interest me), so I grabbed it off the shelf and bought a coffee and found a comfy corner to settle myself into for an hour or two of reading.

The story in "Flight" deals directly with one of the previous Samaria books, but unfortunately it has been too long since I read any of the series for me to remember which book this story tied directly to. Needless to say, I still enjoyed the story as it thoroughly transported me back to the world of Samaria, a world populated by mortals and angels, overseen by the Jovah-appointed Archangel; a world filled with music and emotion.

Spoilerific Pause

This story deals with Salome who is trying to protect her niece from the Archangel Raphael, who has had a dark past with Salome. This is a quick tale, and one that allows the characters to have a nice resolution to the immediate story; Salome discovers that the unrequited love she has longed for most of her life actually returns her feelings, Raphael's excesses as Archangel may be exposed, and Salome's niece comes to her senses.

I don't know that this is a necessary read in the world of Samaria, but if you are looking for a nice return to Samaria, like me, because it's been too long of a break, this is a nice taste of that world.

Library Journal: First Novels: Fall Firsts

Looking for a new, fresh author to try sinking your literary teeth into this fall? Check out this extensive list of debut authors presented by Library Journal.

First Novels: Fall Firsts

Top-Selling Titles in Chicagoland Last Week

Top-Selling Titles in Chicagoland Last Week

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

86. Necroscope by Brian Lumley

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#86

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Title: Necroscope
Series: Necroscope, Book 1
Author: Brian Lumley
Copyright: 1986
Pages: 505
ISBN: 9780812521375
Publisher: Tor
Author Website: www.brianlumley.com
Twitter: @torbooks
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rating: 5/5 stars
Finished: 10-17-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Fiction category), Creepy Reading 10

From Amazon:
Dead men tell no tales.

Except to Harry Keogh, Necroscope. And what they tell him is horrifying.

In the Balkan mountains of Rumania, a terrible evil is growing. Long buried in hallowed ground, bound by earth and silver, the master vampire schemes and plots. Trapped in unlife, neither dead nor living, Thibor Ferenczy hungers for freedom and revenge.

The vampire's human tool is Boris Dragosani, part of a super-secret Soviet spy agency. Dragosani is an avid pupil, eager to plumb the depthless evil of the vampire's mind. Ferenczy teaches Dragosani the awful skills of the necromancer, gives him the ability to rip secrets from the mind and bodies of the dead.

Dragosani works not for Ferenczy's freedom but world domination. He will rule the world with knowledge raped from the dead.

His only opponent: Harry Koegh, champion of the dead and the living.

To protect Harry, the dead will do anything--even rise from their graves!

This is a re-re-read for me. I've read Necroscope a couple of times over now, and I always find it an immensely entertaining book. Lumley's details in the book are so fine, it's hard not to find yourself entirely immersed in the story. It's hard to imagine how much Lumley packs into this book: cold war confrontations between England and Russia; ESPionage involving psychics of varying levels; vampires; time travel; teleportation; zombies (of a sort); political intrigue; family secrets. Of course, you have to like horror novels as well, because Necroscope definitely is not for the faint-of-heart reader.

The plot of the book is your basic good vs evil, which eventually comes to a head with the confrontation between Harry Keogh, Necroscope, and Boris Dragosani, Necromancer. The differences between these two characters really creates the tension in the book. We follow the concurrent running stories of Harry Keogh growing up and Boris Dragosani as a young man, as they both come into their own with their powers. Dragosani, the necromancer, steals secrets from the dead by defiling their bodies in the most gruesome manner, while Harry Keogh, the necroscope, simply speaks to the dead, and befriends them. In Lumley's world, the dead simply carry on as a mind/conscious after death. The genius' of the world continue thinking their amazing thoughts, creating and composing and building, all in their mind but entirely alone. That is, until Harry comes along and discovers his ability to actually speak to the dead, and they are eternally grateful for this fact. So grateful, in fact, that they won't necessarily lay still in their graves when Harry's life is in danger.

As if Dragosani isn't dangerous enough, he also discovers (or is discovered by) Thibor Ferenczy, an ancient vampire, or wamphyr. In Lumley's world, the vampires are actually parasitic creatures who bond with humans and can reproduce once in their lifetime. Ferenczy teaches Dragosani the necromancer technique and eventually bestows on him the "gift" of becoming a wamphyri.

In all honesty, the book is a little slow to start off. There is so much back story to all the characters involved, that Lumley has to explain quite a bit before the story really begins to pick up, but once that happens, hold on! It's a roller coaster ride of a book, right up to the very last page. Lumley has created some very memorable characters in his cast, and his use of time travel and teleportation are extremely clever. I can't give details as that will be too spoilerific, but he does handle the time travel very well (after the fact, it has left me in mind of Tim Powers' use of time travel in The Anubis Gates). If you are a fan of action packed stories, and don't mind a little blood and gore on the way, Necroscope would definitely be for you. However, if you're a little bit on the squeamish side, I'd highly recommend avoiding Necroscope at all costs!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Author Meet: Michael Sims, editor of Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories

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This week's lack in a Fragment Friday is brought to you by an Author Meet. Last night, I had the opportunity to meet Michael Sims, editor of Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories. What makes this anthology of vampire stories stand out from all the other vampire anthologies out there, you ask? Well, Michael Sims takes an interesting approach to the vampire as a whole, and actually presents a natural history of the vampire, presenting historical documents about suspected cases vampirism and accounts of how certain cultural influences also inspired certain elements of the vampire tale alongside the literary stories that he chose as what he saw as the best examples of the vampire in literature.

Now you're thinking that really doesn't sound all that interesting, aren't you? Well, you'd be wrong. Michael Sims is not only very intelligent, he is also extremely funny. The discussion ended up running almost 2 hours long, and a good time was had by all! If you ever discover that Michael Sims is coming around your area to discuss one of his books, I'd highly recommend going to see him.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 National Book Award Finalists Announced

The 2010 National Book Award finalists have been announced on the National Book Foundation website.

As usual, I'm embarrassed to reveal that I have not read a single book on this award list. I usually feel like an accomplished reader, and then I see a list like this, and think, "Huh. I really need to read more!" Perhaps one of these years, I'll sit down and try to read some the previous winners.

For more information on the National Book Award, visit the National Book Foundation website.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Publication Day! The Scorch Trials by James Dashner released today

Happy publication to James Dashner! The second book in his Maze Runner trilogy, The Scorch Trials, is released today. Congrats, James!

Monday, October 11, 2010

For What It's Worth: Halloween Charity Book Auction Dates and Authors!

For What It's Worth: Halloween Charity Book Auction Dates and Authors!: "The auctions will begin Monday October 11th with each auction lasting 3 days. I'll announce the winning bid the next day and start the next auction right away."

Stop by for a chance at some great books with proceeds going to some great causes!


I'm not hosting this auction, just supplying the information provided from the blog. If you have any questions, please contact the blog, For What It's Worth.

85. Troll's-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

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#85

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Title: Troll's-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales
Editors: Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780142416730
Publisher: Firebird Books
Author Website: ellen-datlow.livejournal.com
Author Website: www.terriwindling.com
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Finished: 10-10-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Fantasy category), Creepy Reading 10

From Amazon:
Everyone thinks they know the real story behind the villains in fairy tales—but the villains themselves beg to differ. In Troll’s-Eye View, you’ll hear from the Giant’s wife (“Jack and the Beanstalk”), Rumpelstiltskin, the oldest of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and many more. A stellar lineup of authors, including Garth Nix, Jane Yolen, and Nancy Farmer, makes sure that these old stories do new tricks!

A collection of familiar fairy tales with an unusual twist: these stories are told from the point of view of the villains! As with any collection of short stories and poems, some are better than others, some stand out, some are less than stellar, but overall, it is a solid collection. The stories consist of:
  • "Wizard's Apprentice" by Delia Sherman
  • "An Unwelcome Guest" by Garth Nix
  • "Faery Tales" by Wendy Froud
  • "Rags and Riches" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  • "Up the Down Beanstalk: A W Remembers" by Peter S. Beagle
  • "The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces" by Ellen Kushner
  • "Puss in Boots, the Sequel" by Joseph Stanton
  • "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" by Holly Black
  • "Troll" by Jane Yolen
  • "Castle Othello" by Nancy Farmer
  • "`Skin" by Michael Cadnum
  • "A Delicate Architecture" by Catherynne M. Valente
  • "Molly" by Midori Snyder
  • "Observing the Formalities" by Neil Gaiman
  • "The Cinderella Game" by Kelly Link 
I could go into specifics with each story, but I think I'll pass on that. These are written by some of the finest fantasy authors around today, and even though I may not have enjoyed some of these tales as much as others in the collection, they are all still well written and worth reading. I will say, though, that my favorite was "A Delicate Architecture" by Catherynne M. Valente. This story, telling the history of the witch from Hansel & Gretel was so thought provoking and carried such a sense of melancholy that I couldn't help but understand why the witch became the way she is. It's a hauntingly beautiful story.

Recommended.

Friday, October 8, 2010

84. Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge

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#84

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Title: Dark Harvest
Author: Norman Partridge
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 169
ISBN: 9780765319111
Publisher: Tor Books
Author Website: www.normanpartridge.com
Twitter: @torbooks
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Finished: 10-6-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Fiction category), Creepy Reading 10
Awards: Bram Stoker Award 2006

From Amazon:
Halloween, 1963. They call him the October Boy, or Ol’ Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack. Whatever the name, everybody in this small Midwestern town knows who he is. How he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare. Both the hunter and the hunted, the October Boy is the prize in an annual rite of life and death.

Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. He’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once. But before the night is over, Pete will look into the saw-toothed face of horror--and discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy . . .

Winner of the Stoker Award and named one of the 100 Best Novels of 2006 by
Publishers Weekly, Dark Harvest is a powerhouse thrill-ride with all the resonance of Shirley Jackson’s "The Lottery."

I had no idea who Norman Partridge was when I picked up Dark Harvest. It was the cover that caught my eye (as so happens with books!). That image of a Jack o' Lantern-headed scarecrow, eyes and mouth glowing with an inner fire, making his way through a cornfield completely caught my imagination and I had to know what this story was about.

Reading Norman Partridge's Dark Harvest was a pleasant surprise. Well, not a pleasant surprise, since a story about a living scarecrow who is trying to make his way to the small town church before midnight on Halloween, while all the boys in the town, who have been locked up for five days with no food, are set loose to try and kill him... well, that story really can't be all that pleasant, now can it? However, what surprised me so much was how strongly I was pulled into this story.

Every Halloween in this small town in the middle of nowhere, the October Boy is raised from the cornfields and makes his way towards town. For the previous five days, all the boys from sixteen to nineteen have been locked up, with no food, awaiting their release out into the Run, hunting the October Boy before he can make his way to the church. Whoever kills the October Boy gets a free ride out of town, and his family are showered with gifts, a new house, no bills, for that entire following year, until the next Halloween comes around and the cycle starts all over again. Part of why I loved this book is that there is no explanation as to why things are this way in this unnamed town. Why is the October Boy raised every year? Why can't the residents leave, or why are they not allowed to leave town? What will happen if the October Boy actually reaches the church? What are the consequences of this? None of these questions are truly answered, simply hinted at, yet you don't doubt the importance of any of the actions of the townsfolk, or the October Boy. You simply accept that this is the way things are, and this is how the story has to unfold, and you carry on with the story. And not having to answer these questions is, at least to me, what makes Partridge such an impressive, new-to-me author.

The characters are sympathetic; they could be anyone that you know in any small town. The small town could be like any other small town in America. Yet, there is something evil and unsettling just under the surface, something that these people have come to understand and respect in their own way. You as the reader accept these things too, however unpleasant that they may be, and will keep reading to find out more. As the secrets of this small town start to unravel, you will feel even more sympathy for them, and yet find revulsion at the same time. And you'll still want more. This is a quick read, but one that will leave you wishing there were more to the story, wanting to know what happens next, what the ultimate fate of the October Boy and this small town will be.

I will definitely be on the look out for more by Norman Partridge. Recommended.

Courtney Allison Moulton Halloween Giveaway: No Tricks, Just Treats!

Hop on over to Courtney Allison Moulton's blog for a chance to win signed books in her Halloween Contest!

Fragment Friday... or lack thereof

So, you may be noticing a lack of a Fragment Friday posting from me this morning. That's because I didn't do one. Because I'm a slacker. However, I'm going to endeavor to prepare one tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. A Fragment Friday on a Saturday. It'll be like Saturday morning cartoons, only better!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

83. Ghosts Caught on Film 2: Photographs of the Unexplained by Jim Eaton

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#83

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Title: Ghosts Caught on Film 2: Photographs of the Unexplained
Author: Jim Eaton
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 159
ISBN: 9780715332023
Publisher: David & Charles
Author Website: www.ghoststudy.com
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4/5 stars
Finished: 10-3-10
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge (Non-fiction category), Creepy Reading 10

From Amazon:
From shadowy figures, strange mists and apparitions to angels and demons, Ghost Photos is a compendium of extraordinary phenomena caught on film. The author has spent over 10 years studying thousands of photographs and here he presents a collection of the most intriguing in seven enigmatic chapters. This book includes a gallery of explainable photographic effects that are commonly mistaken for pictures of ghosts.

Ghosts Caught on Film 2 is a collection of photographs and webcam grabs of ghosts and other apparitions that are not easily explained, along with explanations of where the photo came from and some history on who took the photo. Some of the photos in the book I've seen before, some are new to me. While this book probably is not for everyone, as I'm sure not everyone believes in the possibility of the supernatural, these types of books are a true guilty pleasure for me and I really enjoyed this one. The photos are clearly presented and the descriptions are concise without a lot of fluff. If you like books on ghosts, this would be for you.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blameless by Gail Carriger

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Title: Blameless
Series: The Parasol Protectorate, Book 3
Author: Gail Carriger
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 374
ISBN: 9780316074155
Publisher: Orbit Books
Author Website: www.gailcarriger.com
Twitter: @gailcarriger, @orbitbooks
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5/5 stars

From Amazon:
Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.

Gail Carriger, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: La Diva Tarabotti. Lord Akeldama. Pesto. Formaldehyde. Templars. Biffy. Floote. Lord Maccon. "Parassault." Killer ladybugs. Vampires. Werewolves. Seriously, I could just go on and on and on about how I love Gail Carriger. And what do all of these tidbits (and more!) add up to? The latest, delicious volume in the Parasol Protectorate series.

Spoilers Ahead!

Blameless, the latest offering from Gail Carriger in her Parasol Protectorate series, finds our soulless heroine, Alexia Maccon (neƩ Tarabotti) is on the run. After the shocking revelations at the end of Changeless, she has been cast out by her brute of a werewolf husband, Lord Maccon, and has since discovered that for an as yet discovered reason, the vampires have set out to kill her, by any means possible (including killer mechanical ladybugs). Add to that the decision by the Queen to remove her status as muhjah of the Shadow Council, and Alexia is not having the best of times right now. Deciding that she needs some answers to her current condition, delicate as it is, Alexia travels abroad, in search of the Templars and some possible information regarding her, her father and her position as a preternatural.

Meanwhile back in London, there is intrigue and suspense galore as Lord Akeldama swarms from his home after a mysterious possession of his is stolen. How is this tied to the government? How do the werewolves play into all of this? And when will the formaldehyde run out?

And where exactly has Woolsey's Gamma run off to?

Gail Carriger has outdone herself with Blameless. I'll admit that I was a little concerned with the direction that Alexia and Co. were taking at the end of Changeless (I thought the situation seemed to come about a little too early), but I should never have doubted Ms. Carriger's ability, me the lowly reader that I am. She has taken a delicate state of affairs, and has made it into an integral, key plot point that helped move Blameless along with all the clever and witty pacing that I've come to love from her books. Having Alexia not attached to Lord Maccon was a refreshing treat. I think the characters are most interesting when they are apart, and Alexia is at odds with Connall. Of course, this situation won't always be that way, and of course they work well together, but I particularly loved the agitation felt throughout the book. The only other addition that I would have liked to see this time around? More Lord Akeldama. He has continually grown on me and may very well be my favorite character of the cast. He's just so over the top and divine.

The level of intrigue and the mystery behind the preternaturals was handled so well this time around. Ms. Carriger is developing a most engaging mythology and history for her characters, and I can't wait to find out more! There was just enough dangling plot lines left over to completely whet my appetite for more!

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading any of the Parasol Protectorate series, do yourself a favor, quit reading this humble blog and dash off to your nearest bookseller and acquire copies of all three books. Immediately. Posthaste. You won't be sorry. Gail Carriger may be one of the funniest authors that I've come across in awhile, and her books and characters are among the most charming and scintillating that I've read this year. My only regret now is that we've had the pleasure of three books released with the last year, that now we have to wait until the spring of next year to see what happens next!

Highly, highly recommended.

Fragment Friday (2): Blameless by Gail Carriger

Welcome to my latest Fragment Friday, a weekly meme hosted by James from Book Chic Club, where we vlog a small snippet from a current read. My excerpt this week is from Blameless by Gail Carriger. Blameless is available now from Orbit and comes highly recommended!



For those who view via a reader that strips out the video you can click here to see on YouTube or copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arJPV34WT6s

I hope you enjoyed this weeks fragment! Until next week, happy reading!