Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Prudence by Gail Carriger

"Rue retired to her room to stare up at the ceiling and, in order to not dwell on a certain flirtatious French engineer, tried to think about who might have a grudge against Indian vampires".

I have a confession to make. I’ve been dragging the chain dear readers. The fault is entirely mine and attributable to a rather delightful social life of late. I also did not wish this little steampunk sojourn to end. Escaping into the young-adult fiction, steampunk, alternate universe that the always entertaining Gail Carriger creates is, as always, a joy. Goodness that is a lot of commas – apologies – I’ll return to dashes.

If you too like dirigibles, vampires, werewolves and afternoon tea, well then dear reader Prudence is definitely the girl for you. An offshoot of the Parasol Protectorate series, this new Custard Protocol series has started much like a tasty cream puff that beckons you to take an extra bite. Ignore the scales and dig in.

The titular Prudence is in fact, Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama. Daughter of that parasol wielding, soul stealing minx that I have been missing since the series ended. Jumping back into that same world through a new, younger model is a treat, albeit a little less hot under the collar. Those of you familiar with the earlier series will be delightfully re-united with some key players. I imagine that anyone coming directly to this series without a quick venture to the earlier tomes, might be left a little in the dark. Alexia’s adventures are such a great read that you won’t be disappointed in any case.

Some might wonder at my delight in these adventures with their corsets and parasols, those people clearly have not yet taken a peek inside the covers yet. Certainly the loud covers make me a little self-conscious on public transport, but I’m reminded how much I enjoy their contents and continue on unabated.
Our latest heroine, is a delight and apt to sprout some unintentionally hilarious double-entendres. I think Ms Carriger might be winking as she writes. Also I am now counting down til November’s release of the final in the Finishing School Protectorate series.

5 out of 5 perfect cups of tea warm the heart

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Jason by Laurell K Hamilton

"Was my en­cour­ag­ing them to find other lovers a way of get­ting them out of my bed, if not my life?"

This 23rd outing of the Anita Blake vampire series is a little novella that is light on plot and heavy on the hot and heavy. All pretence of a supernatural plot has kind of gone by the way side as Anita grapples with whether she might enjoy sex with women as well as her menage of supernatural were-men.
She receives a little instruction on technique and gives some in return. Yes, there is a lot of giving and receiving - you get my drift.
More of a one handed read than even the usual Anita stories. I missed Jean Claude and the story lines that usually accompany the copious copulation. Even after 23 outings Anita is still having the odd annoying moral dilemma, which quickly dissipates when the lights (or anyone) go down.

2 out of 5 were-panther/tiger/lions are a little rough.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Techbitch by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza-

“I personally don’t think you should ever see your co-workers in their knickers”

 I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy from the Publishers through the netgalley program and was glad I did. This delectable little novel is as addictive as peanut butter M&Ms and I devoured it with relish.

If you're off on holiday this would be the perfect accoutrement to grace the insides of your carry on luggage. The digital age has had a devastating impact on the world of publishing and nowhere is that more evident than at the fictional magazine Glossy.  Editor in Chief is back from time off battling cancer and discovers her battles are far from over, with a re brand that could cost her sanity.

Will the luxuriously dressed Luddite triumph? Will the plotting millennial with a penchant for selfies and bandage dresses come to the fore? Quick, grab yourself a copy and find out.

This is Devil wears Prada  for grown ups, combined with a dash of All about Eve  for one bumpy but entertaining ride.

5 out of 5 millennial assistants require more assistance than you bargain for.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

"Who knew it would take the Eurovision Song Contest to make me level, to balance the week I had endured, to allow me to revivify my spirit and feel I could take on whatever demons were soon destined to cross my path?"

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this beautiful book for Christmas from the lovely Nicki - great pick Nicki!! Alan Cumming is always a mesmerising presence on screen and he apparently also dazzles on the page. This is such a rich and painfully personal story, yet told with honesty and flair. How could I not love a book where Eurovision heals all ills?

It is part mystery, part coming of age and all heart. Most of all it demonstrates that families can be the source of both heartache and joy.

I devoured this book in an hour and loved it so much I could easily revisit it again. I also just want to hug Alan and his brother and his mum.

The competing stories of Alan's youth and his historical research into his grandfather's death in Malaysia mix effortlessly in a compelling and interesting way that certainly makes this an easy read.

5 out of 5 because you can't choose your relatives.


“This is the reason I have come all the way to Switzerland. It appears that I have arrived too late”

Having rather enjoyed The House of Silk, I was eager to embark on its sequel. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, I was unable to see the author’s session at the Sydney Writer’s Festival. I did manage to buy a copy at the table outside and what follows is the result.

I love Sherlock Holmes and am unapologetic about it. I even occasionally sport a somewhat Sherlockian cape, though I have yet to acquire a deerstalker and I’m not a fan of pipes. So I was eagerly awaiting his appearance, and I waited, and waited and waited and....
I knew something would happen either with Holmes or the titular Moriarty, it just took a heck of a long time to happen.

The last quarter of the book is great, I just wish I got there sooner. Life has also got in the way, so perhaps I can't blame the author. If you enjoy a murder mystery, check this one out. That being said, sometimes sequels just don't live up to their original.

3 out of 5 evil genius murderers take their time.