Yay for a new section on the blog! So sometimes I read things that I for the most part enjoyed, I just have not a lot to say about them. Normally I’d try to write a review anyway but it’d be a struggle because really, there wasn’t much analysis to go into. Sometimes a book is just a book.
Moving forward, whenever I have books such as those I’ll summarize them here. And on top of that, I’ll briefly list books I started but decided to not finish for whatever reason. Let’s get started!
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger is the 2nd book in the Finishing School series. In it, our teenage victorian spy named Sophronia has moved onto her 2nd year of studies and has new challenges to deal with. There’s a floatation device that will allow the steampunk airship school to fly up into a different part of the atmosphere and all the politics entangled with that, the tensions between the vampires is increasing and on top of that, Sophronia has to deal with more internal school drama. Curtsies & Conspiracies feels like more of the same. The plot of this book is very similar to the plot of the previous, even going as far as the climax revolving around nefarious goings on happening in the midst of a coming out ball. Sophronia feels much more mary sue esque in this one. There’s seemingly nothing she can’t accomplish. On top of that, the book starts introducing a love triangle and lord knows I have little patience for that. But in the end, it was still a really fun YA steampunk spy book. I’m still enjoying the characters, the love triangle right now is less misunderstood drama and more a challenge for Sophronia’s espionage skills. Soap is still great. I’ll probably continue this series whenever I’m in the mood for something light and fun.
Temptation Has Green Eyes by Lynne Connolly. So, last year my mother got me to accept the romance genre as a thing I can enjoy. I’ve had many a struggle finding my likes and dislikes but I’m expanding my reading life. I still haven’t gotten over my internal embarrassment whenever I see some of the book covers (this one included) but I’m attempting to look past that. Anyway. Temptation Has Green Eyes is the 2nd book in the series, although I have not read the first. Another thing I’ve discovered as I read romance: series don’t have to be read in order in this genre. The plot of this one is pretty self-contained: Max and Sophia have an arranged marriage, learn to care for each other over the course of 6 months or so. There’s a bit of a political subplot involving Sophia’s parentage and Max’s family feuds but the majority of the book is just about the two of them navigating their marriage and developing feelings for each other. Oh, and having sex. There’s lots of sex, just thought I should mention. However, the lack of intense plot works in the book’s favor. It knows what it wants to do, which is tell the story of two people falling in love and sorting through their differences. It doesn’t get bogged down with empty attempts at world building it doesn’t care about. Also! Max isn’t an alpha male domineering possessive love interest!! He respects her and her right to consent! In a historical novel! It’s a wonderful thing. Sophia also has opinions and interests outside of her wanting to bang Max which I greatly approve of. I’m staring to like the romance genre, if I can find the right sort of romance book.
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. *gag* As evidence by my other two books, I was wanting to read something light and romancey this week. I think the disappointment of The Hollow City got to me because I needed a palette clenser. And oh god, was this book not the right way to go. Halfway through reading Curtsies & Conspiracies, I decided I wanted to read a steampunk romance novel and… ugh. Plus side, this was a book that clearly did want to spend time developing a unique world, and I was enjoying that world but… how exactly do I put this… the main lead was very… rapey. Actually, no, he’s just straight up a rapist. Remember how excited I was not a paragraph early about Max being a human being who respected his partner and made sure to get consent before engaging in anything? Rhys, the main male lead in this book, does the opposite of that. Here is the set up: we are in steampunk London and a body has fallen from the sky. Our main female lead, Mina, who is a captain and detective within the police force, is investigating the murder which happens to have landed on Rhys’ property. And literally as we’re inspecting the body, Rhys is suddenly overtaken with primal urges and tells her that “I will have you in my bed.” He proceeds to say this throughout the remaining 50 or so pages that I read. He even goes so far as to blackmail her by saying the only way he’d help her rescue her kidnapped brother (he’s a duke and has better resources than the stretched thin police force) would be if she has sex with him. Pardon me while I vomit. So yeah, definitely not touching this one with a ten foot pole dipped in bleach.