Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Whitney Award Finalist

Here is a review from one of this year's Whitney Award finalists. Read my review to see exactly why I think this is an excellent nomination. Here is the site for the other nominees.

Followed by Frost by Charlie Holmberg

I absolutely adored the Paper Magician series and now dream of becoming a Folder. When I saw the author had a new novel on Netgalley, I was intrigued. New works can be a little leery for me when the author has only one work or one series. They are unproven. I'm not sure if they really have that writer's spark, where I just want to pick up everything they write. The plot summary didn't instantly capture my attention either. A cursed girl with only Death for company. Man, is that missing some of the highlights.

However, I did not want to miss out on the chance to read a book, plus it had been recommended to me by a fellow author I enjoy; so I went out on the limb and got a copy. What I was not expecting was a stand-alone novel by the same author of The Paper Magician to have an even bigger impact. This writer has the spark.

Followed by Frost is a-complete-lack-of-adjectives-awesome-enough-to-describe-it. The story is compelling. The writing is cohesive, beautiful, and poetic. I absolutely loved this book. The characters are honest and good. There are morals. There is honor.

I really just can't say enough good things about this book. The whole package well exceeds 5 stars. And this is why I love Netgalley. And this is why reviews and publicity are so necessary for the publishing world. I would not have picked this book up at the store. Don't get me wrong; the cover is beautiful so I would have literally picked it up, but the back would not have compelled me to take it home. How many books have you missed out because of this?

DO NOT MISS OUT ON THIS ONE. Go to the store. Pick it up. Dog-ear it. Love it. Read it to your kids in insert-appropriate-number-here years.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ga-ga-ga-gas-Lit City

Welcome to February everyone. Hope you have all unburied from the snowmagedpocalypse readers in the Northeast. Just in time for some new powder to flurry down and send you back indoors to read my reviews on what to read to get you through the winter doldrums. Today we certainly have just that.

The Custodian of Marvels by Rod Duncan

And my world has been righted! We are back with Elizabeth Barnabus as she was in The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter. I'm all tingly. Not that Unseemly Science was a complete let down; I just really feel that the magic (or circus dust?) wasn't there from the first novel. Apparently that is because it all built up and got swept to this novel. 

We have the original troupe together for some Ocean's Eleven shenanigans as they attempt to rob the International Patent Office (gasp for dramatic effect). The humor and wit have returned to the original level because everyone knows all about best laid plans. While I like Julia, her relegation back to a secondary character gave the bullet catcher magic back to the story and allowed for some new characters to try out there fit in the Gas-Lit Empire.

All of the escapades had good pacing and purpose balanced perfectly with that witty dialogue. They were fun and had me struggling to find places to put the book down and get back to real life. There was plenty of character back story without being too burdensome (although I prefer some things be left to the imagination in books, it seems to be a trend to tell the audience everything these days. *sigh*).

And that ending. I mean, come on, that ending.

Easily give this one 5 stars. It would certainly seem that we are not done with the Gas-Lit Empire just yet, either. That suits me just fine. Until we meet again, Elizabeth, I have many books to catch up from fall.