Thursday, October 30, 2014

I LOVE STEAMPUNK! (apparently...)

I can't believe I didn't realize this many wasted hours. HA! That's silly...reading any book is never a waste.

Anyhoo, this first one showed up on a Goodreads list I believe, and it looked interesting enough for me to add it to my library holds list. I think it's young adult (based on the ages of the main characters), but it was actually quite rich and interesting. Essentially it is a re-telling of WWI with steampunk elements. The Germans have developed advanced Mech & Tech and the British and Allied Forces have manipulated Darwin's knowledge of DNA and created bio-engineered beasts.

The young son of the assassinated Duke is in hiding from his enemies, and falls in with a young man working on a dirigible, that is actually a helium filled whale. But this young man is actually a young lady. Girls aren't allowed to join up so she's got a bit of a secret identity. The two groups are forced together to outrun their common enemies and get some secret bio-tech to a potential ally.

For a YA novel, it's actually not super lame. And I'm really enjoying the alternate reality that it presents.

I've got the next book in the series ready to go, and I'm excited to see what happens!

Next we have Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. I really enjoyed this book, as indirectly recommended to me (via Instagram) by a feminist who likes books. About feminism. This one has the added benefit of being about feminism from a POC perspective. I never really got used to the dialect (it drove me a little batty actually), but Zora's prose in amongst the talking was so poetic and so beautiful.

It is truly a masterpiece. The lead Janie is a woman who has always been told what to expect out of life and what she should want for a husband (and a family), as a coloured woman of her time, but she wants more. And she keeps trying to find it, listening to and following her heart.

And she carves her own path, and she finds her way, and it ultimately ends in tragedy, but she keeps on keeping on. It was very inspiring to read such a tale about a lady who keeps trying to find what she wants, and find herself. I'm not doing a good job of explaining's a book for the heart, that's for sure. But not sappy and mushy. I really enjoyed it.

And last but not least, Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. Once again, Neil wins the list, just as I knew he would. This book made me uncomfortable, and it's kind of hard to explain why. You know when you're watching a show or movie and somebody does something "embarrassing" or not-well-thought-out, and you are embarrassed for them? That. That feeling.

Say your father is a god and you don't know it. And you have a brother, and you didn't know that either. And then your father dies, and your brother comes into your life and he's driving you crazy and stealing your fiance - and she doesn't even realize it - and your boss is a thieving bastard and you just want things to be the way they were so you ask the Bird Goddess to "take care of things" for you, and things get even messier. All that and more...this book is amazing! If you liked American Gods, you will like this book (and vice versa!)

I'm falling behind on my list! There were three books that I started in September and never finished. Not because they weren't great...because they were! They were just really long and I renewed them to their max. Silly library rules ;-)

On deck (aka "my bed") for the next month:
Soulless by Gail Carriger (steampunk + vampires & werewolves...)
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
And a couple more titles from Neil Gaiman...because of course.

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