Curio – A Review

_225_350_Book.1802.coverCurio by Evangeline Denmark is a new steampunk-esque, alternate universe, young adult novel set in a time period of late 1800s in Colorado in the wonderfully named Mercury City.  A city of miners, rules, regulations, members of the opposite sex who are unable to touch each other if unmarried, curfews, and Chemists. The people are ruled by the Chemists who control them with a potion that is their only way to have nutrition, instead of food, yet there is Grey. Grey, a young woman, has a secret. She is able to eat solid foods unlike others.

When Grey’s friend, Whit is taken away for improper behavior towards Grey, and the Chemists come after Grey, her grandfather sends her to the hidden world in his shop….Into the Curio.  A place where porcelain and clockwork people exist. Running off of water, steam and magic.  It’s a place she will have to learn to navigate to save her friends and family.

I was so excited to read this book, but as it has taken me nine months to post a review, that should say something as to how well I liked the book…. Unfortunately I have struggled trying to read this book and figure out what is going on half the time. The first part about Mercury City and all the things going on pulled me in, and I was excited about this young woman in a red coat that can’t be touched even by her young male friend. I happen to love steampunk, specifically things a la Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger, but this style of steampunk left me with a blah taste in my mouth. Creative at points, but losing me quickly to the slow-ish story-line, I have just struggled to like this book. I especially don’t like the porcelain sentient beings being called Porcies. It reminds me of pigs (called porcine) and it annoys the heck out of me. That’s my own personal thing, nothing against the author.

Also, unfortunately, as I write this review, I am in the DNF (did not finish) category with this book. I have plans to finish it at some point, in which I might change my opinion, but if I can’t even get through the first 22% of the book( Kindle for PC) without being bored out of my mind, then I don’t have a lot of high hopes for it to get any better.  Due to the inability for the author to really keep me interested, I’m only going to give this a 2 out of 5 star rating.  I really hate doing that, but this book is just not to my taste. I’d say the biggest issue is just not having a clue what is going on.  There isn’t enough detail to really explain anything and I’m left wondering about a lot of things.

This book was provided to me for my honest opinion by BookLookBloggers. I was in no compensated for my opinion.

Kate

Emilie Loring – Day No. 18

I have mentioned extensively about one of my favorite, if not total favorite, authors; Emilie Loring. I’m sure half of you don’t have a clue who she is, but I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about this wonderful author. So bear with me.

I was first introduced to Emilie Loring when I was 16 and moving my way up in the library books from young adult to adult. My mother was hunting through the large library and came back with two of her books and I was hooked. My first Emilie Loring book I fell in love with, and to this day is till my favorite, is Here Comes the Sun. That is the cover from the one I remember, which is kind of funny because the girl is a blonde. It took me forever to re-imagine her as a blonde.

The books are wholesome, which is pretty much the formulaic way of Emile Loring. Her books are so clean I would let a 14 year old read them with no issue at all.  They are romance books, but they have mystery and portray family life, love of country, love of the military, and the true honest love of two people.  They are romance the way romance should be written, which is why I still return to them over and over. Sure, the more modern romances are fun, but they are filled with a fair amount of sex… Which again, can be fun, but sometimes you just want the story. And these books, while somewhat predictable, are just a lovely story.

So, the books are inspiring, but the woman herself is inspiring. Emile Loring didn’t start writing until she was 50, in 1914, and continued till her death in 1951. So she wasn’t rushing to write and publish at a young age. I think that’s great. Here I am, trying to  publish, having some writers say, “Oh you gotta publish now,”  while others, like Susan Wooldridge, have told me, “slow down and just focus on your blog. Publishing will come later.”  Emilie Loring’s life fits with the latter.  Which is helpful.

Sometimes I really feel like I need to just get something published, but there are writers out there that haven’t published till their later years. If it takes me till I’m fifty to publish, well I guess it takes me till. I’m fifty.  (oh please no!!!)

Also, Emilie Loring is inspirational to me because of the style she describes things. She describes landscapes and flowers and clothing in a manner that is unique. With lots of fragments that make up a paragraph in an amazing style. And the woman loved her flowers, and gorgeous flowers too. She’s always talking about flower borders.

The men are dashing, the girls are sweet, the villains vill quite well.  All making for a very good story.  I highly suggest Emilie Loring books to young women growing up.  They are sweet and inspirational without having to be a Christian book.  And yeah, I might go on and on about Emilie Loring, but it’s because she is the inspiration for why I started writing. I would not have written my first very bad start to a romance when I was 16 had it not been for her.

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Go on and check it out!

Kate

 

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest – A Review

_225_350_Book.1586.coverThe Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson is a ‘Medieval Fairy Tale” taking the themes of Robin Hood and the Swan Princess and weaving a story of intrigue, romance, deception, and redemption.  Odette is a young woman bound and determined to help the poor orphans of Thornbeck, sneaking out at night to hunt in the margrave’s forest. She is a poacher.  Jorgen is the margrave’s forester responsible to maintain the woodland animals for the margrave, but now he has to hunt down a poacher who is taking much more than should ever be taken. Not to mention his father, the previous forester, was killed by a poacher.  Jorgen doesn’t know Odette is the poacher he is hunting, but he does know she is one of the most amazing maiden’s in Thornbeck and he longs to be with her despite their differences in station.  For Odette is the niece of a wealthy merchant and Jorgen is just a forester.

Sinister forces are at play, trying to drive these two lovers apart.  There is another who desires to marry Odette; the son of the Burgomeister, Mathis.  But he is not all he appears, nor is Odette’s uncle, Rutger, who says all he wishes is for Odette to be happy.

So is the dilemma of a beautiful maiden, an honest man, and forces trying to tear the two from each other.  What will happen when Jorgen discover’s that Odette is his poacher? Only you who is willing to pick up the book and find out.

 

I was hopeful that this book would be all it was described to be, what with it being a ‘fairy tale’ and mixing Robin Hood and the Swan Princess, as those are fairy tales I love.  Unfortunately, this was about as fairy tale as any historical fiction…. meaning it lacked what I would term a fairy tale.  A remake of two classic stories, but not really magical in any way.  I also found it dragged on for three quarters of the book and I was left wondering what all the point of anything was. Finally, the deception and intrigue made sense three quarters through and I was interested enough to scan through the rest of the story, but I was left fairly bored.   While I enjoyed Ms. Dickerson’s “The Captive Maiden”, a retelling of Cinderella, this one left me dragging my heels to finish it.  I felt that all the proprieties that would be for that time period thrown out the window to the point of it being almost ridiculous, and there was a point at which I thought historical fact was also tossed by the wayside… Mostly in the description of a wound that was septic. While the word is ancient Greek, I’m just a little skeptical about its usage.  That’s actually fairly minor in just the plot of the story not having enough of something to keep me interested.  As a historical novel, and I stress that term, not fairy tale, it’s not bad. I think many people would like the simplicity….. which is not actually a compliment. I thought the character’s thought processes were enough to make me bang my head against the book. And it was written too simply for my taste. I could say this is great as a young adult novel, but definitely not enough meat for an adult story. I just can’t say this one story was really my cup of tea.  Unfortunately I have to give it only 2 out of 5 stars.  Which I hate to do.

 

This book was provided to me free for my honest opinion and review. I have been in no way compensated.

 

Kate

My Take on LGBT in Literature

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Yesterday, blogger Amanda Rudd posted about her LGBT bookshelf, and the lack of that theme in many YA books, along with it being harder to have books published with that orientation as a focus of the books.  I wanted to voice my opinion here, instead of just commenting on her post.  You can read her original post here, My LGBT YA Bookshelf, which also has another link to a couple other things relating.

I think one thing about YA literature, for one is, most young adults are not reading it.  It is a harder age group to publish in because of the lack of reading.  Having worked at a library, I can honestly say that the Young Adult section was one of the least used sections.  Rarely did anyone check out books from there.  That right there in itself, is a reason why publishers would be leery of publishing a book that might not be as popular as others.  As LGBT is not a majority of the population, it isn’t as popular, obviously.  You are taking a risk to publish within the YA books, and an even greater risk with something that may not make a go.

It is becoming more common to see a LGBT theme in adult fiction, but it still isn’t the norm.  Personally, I do not go out of my way to read books that have that theme, as I don’t fully agree with it.  If the lead characters are of that world, then no, I probably won’t read it.  If there are minor characters in a book that are either gay or lesbian, fine, but it wouldn’t be my main attractor.

Now, I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that would like to be able to read books with that theme, but unfortunately, it isn’t as common of a practice yet.  I think it will take time for it to work its way into fiction.  But in my opinion, the reason it isn’t in YA books is because it isn’t the world’s easiest genre/ age group.

Now, this isn’t the most put together post.  I’m sure I could have delved deeper into the subject, but, as it was only meant to be a comment in regards to Amanda Rudd’s blog, I think it’s long enough.

Check out her original post, and see what you think.

Signing off

~Kate