Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: "Soulless" by Gail Carriger

As I mentioned earlier, when I'm gonna write a review there won't be any doubt, that it's a review :) But first, a few words... I will try my best to be precise, but to not spoil anything :) I won't use any system of stars or "thumbs up" or anything like that :) Why? Because in my opinion there is a difference between a 5 star romance and a 5 star fantasy book, or a 5 star paranormal thriller :) you can't use a system to compare different kinds of books :) so I'm gonna give you the basic informations, and my honest opinion and impression of the book :)

So... for my first review I've chosen this book, but solely because I've just finished it and it's still fresh in my mind :)


Author: Gail Carriger
Title: "Soulless"
Book 1 in series: Parasol protectorate
Main character: Alexia Tarabotti

This book is a delectable combination between a Victorian era and all it's social rules, balls and beautiful gowns, a paranormal kind of a book, with the werevolwes, vampires and ghosts, with a twist of romance steampunk :) Alexia Tarabotti is the main character in all of the books. She is a preternatural, a being without soul, which comes with an interesting kind of ability :) The book starts with a ball, on which our heroine accidently kills a vampire in a library :) That leads to the appearance of lord Maccon, who is brought to investigate the whole incident and who just happens to be a werewolf alpha :) as it turns out, this one rouge vampire attack is just the tip of an iceberg, when the investigation uncovers more and more mysterious events. But don't worry, you get more answers than questions at the end of the book (I, personally, hate it when the situation is reversed, when you get one piece of information and 50 new questions and you are more confused than satisfied at the end).

I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining, funny and written in such a way, that when I just opened it to read a chapter or two, before I knew it, I was already on chapter 5 :) The chemistry between Alexia and lord Maccon is not pushy, and I, as a reader, enjoyed their confrontations and arguments :)

But I think the main advantage of this book is the heroine. Alexia is smart (in a house full of idiots), witty, funny and sarcastic. She is not classically beautiful, at least not in the eyes of the english society, because she's half italian :) She is very well educated (because she loves to read) and she's not afraid to show how much she knows (but not in an arogant way). She knows and accepts herself.

But I think that I loved the most, that she's very brave, but not in a stupid kind of way. You know what I mean? Like a character from a horror movie, a girl, who runs around in a flimsy pajama, hides in the attic instead of running outside to get help, and when she hears something in a dark room, she asks "Is anybody out there?" Like the murderer is gonna answer her "Yeah, it's me, the killer. I'm in the kitchen. You want a sandwich?" :) No, Alexia is brave in a very smart way. She knows what she's capable of, and she doesn't place herself in unnecessary danger. But when something is happening, she tries to stay cool and use all of her skills and knowledge to get herself out of that situation.

So if you like witty women with brains and not just a pretty face, I absolutely recommend you this book :)



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mesmerizing words

Did you ever came across a book that grabbed you from the first page and didn't let go...? A book that you just couldn't put down...? A book that spoke to you in a way that surprised you...? Of course not literally spoke to you, that would be weird... :) unless we are talking about books for kids, that when you open them, there's like a song or something like that... ;) But back to my original point... :) Some time ago I came across that kind of a book. It was "Shatter me" by Tahereh Mafi.

I was... actually shocked, in the way that that book spoke to me... I felt, like I was reading my own thoughts... The writing style of the author is different from everything that I've ever read, and that is saying something, cause I've read hundreds (if not thousands already ;D) books. And I have to admit, that not everybody will like it... but I was mesmerized... enchanted, really... from the very first page and sentence, to the very last one in the conclusion to this amazing trilogy.

The idea of crossing words was brilliant. It felt like I, as a reader, was given the privilege to see the most inner thoughts of Juliette, the main character of the story... I know what you might think, that we, as readers, are always given the privilege to know what goes on in the minds of the characters... but not in that kind of a way... I felt like I could see even the thoughts that she didn't wanna think... I could feel her inner conflict between what she felt and thought, and what she actually said out loud, or even just in her mind to herself... It was amazing to read, because I know that feeling... and to have a character that I could relate to in that way, was... surprising... I was surprised how much I bonded with her and her story... But it was a wonderful kind of a surprise... like come-to-the-bookstore-and-get-a-free-set-of-books kind of wonderful :)

I read that some people complain about the ending... that it ended too soon, and that they don't know what is gonna happen next (I'm trying not to write too much, and not to spoil anything) with the characters. But I think that it ended perfectly... to me, the story was always about Juliette and her path, her change, her decisions... and when you look at it that way, then the trilogy ended in the perfect moment :)

Plus, let's not forget about the beautiful covers of the series :) I know that we do not judge book by it's cover, and I'm not :) I just like to show you an example of perfect mix between the contents of the books, and their covers :)

I know, that I didn't really write too much (or anything at all ;D) about what the books are about, but today I wanted to share with you just a feeling, that I hope everyone who loves books will feel one day... that magical feeling of finding a book, that will stay with you for a very long time... :)

When I will write an actual review, you will know :) It will be clearly stated and there will be a lot more details... :)



Monday, January 12, 2015

Continuity of the story

Wind is howling outside my window, and I'm sitting at my desk, hot tea with honey in my favourite, ridiculously enormous cup is right next to me, and I'm wondering what to write about in my first real blog post... there are a lot of thoughts running inside my mind, because there are so many things that I would like to put into words and share with you... but I've finally decided, that they are all equally important (at least to me ;D), so instead of thinking about in endlessly, I've chosen one at random... and next time I'll choose another one, and so on... :)

So this time I've decided to write about continuity of the story. If you write a series of books, it's very important... :) It doesn't matter if the series is 3 books long, or 10, or 35... you have to know where are you going with all of it... ;) I've read hundreds (if not thousands already ;D) books, and most of them were book series. And sometimes I was really disappointed. Do you know that feeling? Take for example a trilogy. When you read the first book in the series... and it's new, and exciting... and the whole premise and idea is so fresh... and before you know it, you are up till 2 in the morning, because you can't put it down, cause you absolutely have to know how it ends... :) because I know that feeling very well ;) And then comes the second book, and it's still pretty good... you think, that maybe it's not as exciting as the first one, because gone is the surprise of reading about a whole new world... and maybe it's just that... and you still finish it, because you're curious about what's gonna happen to characters that you already love... and you still have faith in the author, that he/she knows what he/she is doing... but unfortunately, then comes the last book... and you start to read... and with every passing page you start to worry a little bit more... where is this going...? Surely there's gonna be an explanation.... But then, as you turn over the last page, you are left with one, huge... "Huh?!? That's it?!?"Because in some cases, it looks like the author had this amazing idea... for a world, for a character... but the idea was just that... an idea... an amazing idea that lasted just for a book... an amazing idea with no ending... and when that happens I feel like I was robbed of my time... that's why sometimes I'm waiting for all the books in a series (I'm talking mostly about trilogies) to be published, and see what are the opinions of fellow readers are gonna be... Because I'm afraid of another disappointment...

But now to much more positive perspective... :) There are authors, that are amazing in how they create a world and characters in it. In this post I'm gonna give you one, fantastic example... Nalini Singh :) I encourage you to visit her official website, if you don't know her already :) In my opinion she is the best example on how to write series of books... Let's talk about her Psy/changeling series. It's now 13 books long (with a 14 coming in june) + short stories. The upcoming one ends a large story arch that was present in every one of the books. And even though each book concentrates on another couple, all of them goes beautifully with each other... You can easily see, that she knew from the beginning how the whole arch is gonna end... maybe not every little detail, because characters have a tendency do to as they please, and author has to just adapt to them ;) but you can see it very clearly... every character is in those books for a reason... every action has consequences, even if you don't see them at first... the whole masterpiece is best seen if you are re-reading them... because then you see this hidden (or sometimes not so hidden ;D) gems... and you are like "Oh, now I get it... now I see..." Everything that happens in those books, makes sense... and as a reader, I appreciate it very much... because disappointment is something that I never feel, when reading one of her books... maybe a little, when it ends... because it's always too short and I always want more ;)

Today I didn't write a lot more about Nalini Singh, because I wanted to share with you just my opinion about creating a story... but I will definitely mention her and her books a lot more often, and in a lot more details :)



Sunday, January 11, 2015

First words...

To be honest, I'm totally new to this whole blog-posting stuff :) Not only that, but english is not my first language, so even despite my best efforts, there are definitely gonna be some mistakes. That's why I'm asking You, dear reader (because I'm sincerely hoping there will be someone who will read it ;D) to be patient and understanding :) I promise I will try my best :)

As you can see in the title, I'm gonna write about everything... books that I've enjoyed, songs that haunts me, movies that made my cry or laugh, things that happened to me, my friends, or just stuff that I totally made up :)

But mostly I'm gonna write about books... because they are my biggest love and passion... I can't tell you how many times I've spent wayyyy too much money in a bookstore... because really, if you buy the first one in the series that you like, the only logical step is to buy all the rest of them, right? It's like a rule :) You just have to do it ;)

So feel free to post a comment with your opinions or questions or recommendations about other book blogs, and if you enjoy what you read, please, spread the word :) I would love to know, that someone actually read something here :)