It’s what?
Posted by Lynn at 2:25 am in Audio Books, Novels, SciFi/Fantasy

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger is an alternate Victorian History, where vampires run the politics, werewolves run the military with a little Steampunk thrown in.  I really like Miss Alexia Tarabotti, the protagonist of this fun read.  She’s spunky, witty, very resourceful, oh–and soulless.  However that doesn’t make her a bad person just different.  To make up for this deficiency, she has read many books to develop her ethics.  She also has her father’s journals, where she has learned a great deal about being soulless (as he was too) and a variety of other topics, (which shouldn’t be discussed in polite company).  Miss Tarabotti is also known as The Cursebreaker because when she  touches a supernatural creature, like a vampire or werewolf they become human again.  Her family and friends are unaware of her supernatural proclivities.  To them she is an intractable unattractive spinster.  Her dearest friend, Miss Ivy Hisselpenny, has no sense of style, constantly wears the most outrageous hats and she has the poor taste to fall for a–thespian!  The horror!  Miss Tarabotti and the resident hunky werewolf Lord Conall Maccon, the Earl of Woolsey are constantly bickering so we can absolutely expect them to fall in love, if they haven’t already.  (Do you see shades of Pride and Prejudice here?)  I cannot overlook Lord Akeldama, he is an ancient vampire who looks like a young dandy and (gasp) he fancies men.

Ms Carriger does a nice job of explaining the supernatural terminology and the hierarchical structures within the werewolves and vampires.  I appreciated not having to search for a glossary.

Out of curiosity, after having read the book, I decided to listen to the audio book.  Emily Gray is the reader and she is fantastic.  Her interpretations and deftness in creating the characters and setting the pace are wonderful.  Honestly–don’t read the book, listen to it and if you have read the book, you will get even more out of listening to it.

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I bought a Kindle.  After much contemplation and several trips to Target and Best Buy and reading way too many reviews I finally bought the Kindle 3 WiFi version.  So what sold me on it and not a Nook or a Kobo or a Sony?  Well it came down to a few basic features.  I like the size, it’s light and comfortable in my hands.  I like the fonts I can choose from. Also, I like the no glare screen.  I like the ease of getting books, since I love to shop on Amazon anyway. But for me the thing that tipped the scale were the buttons.  I really hate touchscreens.  Even though I have these skinny little fingers I always manage to fat finger any entries on a touch screen.

I have a touchscreen on my phone.  I hate it.  I’m always putting in the wrong characters, the wrong numbers, dialing the wrong people.  God forbid I have to enter someone into my contacts list!  Since everyone is always trying to improve products, and I’ve had perfectly good products ruined because someone decided it might sell better if it was exactly like its competitor, I decided to buy the Kindle now before some fool decides to make it a “touchscream”, too.  One thing that disappoints me: currently I cannot take books out of the library.  I understand that Amazon is working with Overdrive so hopefully in a few months that disappointment will be fixed.

So now I’m ready for all those big 500-1000 page fantasy novels! Bring on Game of Thrones!  Bring on Outlander!  Ohhh–I can download any Jane Austen novel for free? Gotta run!

 

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116 Rejection Letters?
Posted by Lynn at 11:23 pm in Novels, Uncategorized

Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford.  So Jane Austen is a vampire and she’s been submitting her unpublished manuscript for last 200 years and had collected 116 rejection letters before someone decided to publish it.  She complains about not getting royalties on her novels nor money from all the novelty items.  (Can you imagine seeing a collectible finger puppet version of yourself on the shelf?)

I liked how Ford created a world where the vampires could simply fit in almost completely unnoticed.  They can go out in the sunlight, they can eat food or drink wine, they can sleep in regular beds. And death wasn’t limited to a stake in the heart.

I liked Lucy in her role as substitute sister.  She took Jane’s news very well, (perhaps too well) but she was needed to lighten up Jane and give her some perspective.

Byron as a vampire.  Eternally handsome, writing poetry and romance novels?  I saw that coming along with that crazy Violet Grey.  Although the life sized mannequins in the kitchen did give me pause.

I wasn’t initially reading the excerpts from Constance at the beginning of each chapter. When I did, I realized they were a foreshadowing device that  I sometimes found clever and sometimes trite.

It was a quick fun summer read.  I liked how it poked fun at vampire stories, Byron and Jane.

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Vampires, werewolves and panthers, oh my!
Posted by Lynn at 7:46 pm in Audio Books, Novels

Wow, Johanna Parker was fantastic reading the Sookie Stackhouse (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) series by Charlaine Harris. I put more miles on my car the past couple months than I have in almost a year just so I could listen to her read. Now that I’m done listening to the series, I feel like my best friend has moved away.   If you’re not familiar with The Southern Vampire stories I’ll give you a brief overview.

Sookie is a waitress in Bon Temps, La. and she can read minds.  Although I think “hear” would be a better description.  Her brother Jason is a were-panther.  She’s been involved with several supernatural creatures, a vampire, a weretiger and then there is her witch roommate and Bob the cat who wasn’t a cat before and well let’s just say now he’s a cat.  But Sookie’s perky attitute, keen observations and the clever remarks (that frequently have me thinking that’s something I would say) help her survive everything that shows up at her door.

Ms. Harris has created a character that I would have liked to be my friend–a friend I would  have warned about getting so involved with the supernatural.  Slowly the problems and dangers build up as Sookie life becomes more entwined and by the last book I wanted to take my friend away and help her recover from the emotional and physical beating she had been experiencing.  I would be interest to see what Ms Harris has planned for Sookie because Sookie has changed so much and has to change to survive .   There is no going back only coping and adapting however I see a very dark future for her.

Below are links to a couple of the audiobooks. To find all of them on Amazon you will need to search on both Sookie Stackhouse and Parker.
Dead as a Doornail: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #5

All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse)All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse)

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