Well, I didn't get a lot of a chance to read this month as I was working on finishing up the first novel in my Michael Crandon series (which is now a complete first draft!!) and also doing research into a new WIP I have going as well as gathering the things I need for writing my Nanowrimo story. And most of the books I read this month were re-reads, so I didn't write a lot of reviews, BUT two awesome new releases came out this month that I have been waiting for and were definitely the best new books I read this month, so I'll share my reviews with you here:
The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...
The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron's blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty.
When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.
But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust--if anyone--to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.
Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure
Thoughts on the Overall Book: Like the first book, this was an intriguing, fast paced story set in the early Victorian period and now that I knew what to expect from the author, I was a little worried this one wouldn't be as good as the first, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it really was, if not different.
Cover--Yea or Nay: Yes I do like it. I don't even really mind that you can see her face. I love the color of the picture just like I did the first one, and it looks more like a thriller (which it is) than the first one which was more of a mystery.
Characters: I liked Katherine even more in this book than I did in the first one. She has grown in a very capable and smart young woman. There was never a moment I became exasperated with her, because she never did anything stupid, and when she did overstep the mark a little, I honestly couldn't blame her. I was thrilled with the fact that she never really trusted anyone, she never actually told anyone anything and that made me like her all the more. Female characters can sometime be way too trusting and it makes them look weak and silly, but Katherine kept the sensibility that I liked in her from the first one, with a bit of added steel. She's a real no-nonsense kind of girl. I liked the addition in this book of Mrs. Hardcastle and the other busy body ladies and the parts they play in the story, which I will not mention for fear of spoiling. And Mrs DuPont, her Paris housekeeper was one of those snobby servants that are so annoying, but you can't help but like them too. I'm still not really sure how I felt about Henri Marchand. I usually am rather fond of the flirty characters like him as long as I know they mean no harm, but he is definitely not my favorite of those kinds of characters. There was just something missing to make him lovable, and while I didn't dislike him, he wasn't a favorite character. I think I rather shared Katharine's feelings for him. Since she came to Paris looking for Lane, he's obviously not in the book much, which made me a little sad since he was one of my favorite characters from the first book, but I continue to really like him. (view spoiler)
The Romance: There is a potential for there to be a love triangle between Katherine Lane and Henri, but thankfully (apart from a few teasing) this never happens, so don't worry. In fact, Katherine doesn't, in my opinion, have any feelings for Henri at all. She is far too busy to be chasing after all the young men, after all.
Writing Style: As with the first one, the writing style is very well done to the period, and is descriptive and flows well. There were a couple parts I had a little trouble picturing things, but I did eventually figure everything out that I needed to. I like Katherine's narration, which is good, because I hate being trapped in the head of an annoying female character, but as I said before Katherine is very sensible and I enjoy her narration.
Accuracy/ Believability: The author did a lot of research for this book, and it shows. I enjoy reading about books with awesome inventions that are actually accurate, and I learned some things reading this that I hadn't known before. I know only a little about the Crimean War, so leaning a little more of the backstory and what could have been going on behind the scenes during it was very intriguing and made for a really awesome espionage thriller. (which I always love). I didn't have any complaints on accuracy, and the Author's Note goes into the details of the historical aspect. I think she did a very good job portraying Napoleon III as well, I know how hard it can be to pull of major historical figures in fiction, especially if they only have token appearances, but I think she did very well with him.
Problems/What bothered me: No problems.
Conclusion: 5 stars. Just as good as the first book, maybe even a little more fast paced. The ending was very satisfying, and I am glad for the fact that I don't think the author will be continuing this particular story. I am excited to see what she comes up with for her next book, however.
Recommended Audience: girl read 15 and up. Readers of the first one definitely, and girls who enjoy a girl read with a smart heroine and more thriller aspects and espionage than romance.
(To read this review with spoilers, go to Goodreads)
Click here to read my friend Mara's review
I hope to have some more normal posts next month, I have a few more ideas, but as I've said, I've been busy with other things so I hope you'll bear with me and my horrible blogging habits. I'll hopefully be sharing some more about Michael Crandon's debut novel A Company of Rogues and if you want to know more about that, visit my previous post. I'll also be getting up some more excerpts of that soon too. At the end of October I am also going to finally reveal the title and theme of my NaNoWriMo novel, and I am VERY excited about that and can't wait to start writing it =) If anyone else is doing Nano this year, let me know, and hopefully we can look each other up in November!