“Mirror and Goliath” – Singular and Extraordinary but Disorganized

mirrorgoliathMirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee
Angry Robot: June 2nd, 2015 (Gaslamp / Steampunk)*

Beach Vacation

This book is aptly titled. It borrows from the gaslamp fantasy’s Victorian setting, which borrows from the Victorians’ fascination with the dead, ghosts, seances, and Ouija boards. And yet, it is unlike any gaslamp I have read.

It begins with the heroine at the age of six. Mirror is traveling with Goliath around England in search of soothsayers, magicians, mediums, and other people who profess to have connections to the Otherworld. Mirror has a problem that they hope these people can solve. The context for their predicament is not shared until nearly halfway through the book, where it takes on a tinge of horror. (more…)


Darkest London Moves in a New Direction with “Evernight”

19124363Evernight by Kristen Callihan (Darkest London #5)
Forever, August 26, 2014 (Steampunk Romance)

My rating: I’d go there again! (4/5)

I have been anxiously waiting for Kristen Callihan’s newest Darkest London book ever since I finished Shadowdance. This series has gotten better with each subsequent book. With Shadowdance the author took the series in a new direction and continues with it in Evernight and I couldn’t be more pleased. The focus on the SOS (Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals) has opened up so many more avenues for this series, and brings new opportunities for readers to explore this alternative London.

Holly Evernight and Will Thorne were introduced in Shadowdance. Holly is a member of the SOS and Thorne a member of the opposing faction. Both were kidnapped in the previous book and Holly was forced to experiment on Thorne. At the beginning of Evernight Holly and Thorne are both recovering from their ordeal and not very well at that. Holly has secluded herself in her home and Thorne finds himself turning into something else altogether.

Holly and Thorne are thrown together once more when Thorne arrives on Holly’s doorstep with revenge in mind. He barely remembers what happened to him when he was tortured, but he does remember Holly and the part that she played. However, Thorne soon learns that Holly might be the only one to cure him, or at the very least keep his encroaching “disease” at bay. This might pose a problem for Holly since someone other than Thorne is out to get her. Luckily, she now has a built in protector since Thorne literally cannot live without her. This forced partnership soon breeds more than animosity. (more…)

Which (sub)Genre are you reading, anyway?

Here at The Book Adventures, we’re librarians. This means we like categorizing things. Organizing them, and packing them away in neat labeled boxes for easy and swift retrieval later. Today, I’m going to apply that to sub-genres. Because sometimes they can be confusing (or at least I find them so).

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably read at least one steampunk novel in your life. Have you? Raise your hands… ah, yes, I see a few hands. To get back to the point, you probably have a pretty good idea of what makes a steampunk novel a steampunk novel. Right? So you could describe the main characteristics:

  • airships
  • unusual clockwork machines
  • alternate technology that relies on steam, or clockwork, to function
  • Victorian-esque England

(What would your main characteristics list have in it?)

Have you ever heard of “gaslamp” fantasy? If so, have you read a gaslamp novel?

I’m not sure, either. So today, I attempt to clarify the distinctions between steampunk and gaslamp fantasy. By the way, I won’t get into plot development or relationship-building or character development, because those vary from story to story, and the scope of this post is really much smaller than that. The focus here is world-building. In this case, that means the era, culture, dress, technology, transportation, etc.