Wednesday, July 20, 2016

62:120 Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

The third book in the Finishing School series.  Sophronia will do just about anything to help a friend so when Sidheag says that she must return to her Pack in Scotland, Sophronia is not one to turn her back even when it means hijacking a seemingly empty train that happens to be heading in the right direction with the help of her best friend Dimtry, her favorite sootie Soap, and Lord Felix Mersey who refuses to be left behind.  However, what they find as they explore the train is none other than Miss Monique Pelouse, Sophronia's nemesis, and a vampire drone guarding a mechanical invention that has some of the prototypes in it.  When they spot a dirigible following them,they realize they've somehow stumbled upon something much bigger than they were prepared for but thankfully they are well trained in improvisation.

Really, these have been delightfully light and fun summer reading books. There is character growth which is a big thing for me and the plots are engaging just enough to make sure I'm not bored but not overtaxing my brain either.

Page count: 298p/16,981p/266,941p

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

61:120 The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint

Lillian lives with her aunt on a farm near a magical wood called the Tanglewood Forest.  She believes in fairies and the kind even if she has never seen any evidence of them.  She gives biscuits to the spirit of the tree and leaves extra milk out for the cats.  Then one day as she is wondering through the woods, she is bitten by a snake and the cats come to help her but all they can do is turn her into a kitten which saves her life but changes everything she knew about herself.  Now she is on a quest to become a girl again without either altering the events for a worse outcome or dying as soon as she transforms back.

This is a truly delightful fantasy tale of a little girl growing up and learning so much more about the world than she ever could have imagined.  I bought this book for my then 9yr old and he absolutely loved it and really enjoyed the follow-up as well.

Page count: 320p/16,683p ytd/266,643p lifetime

Monday, July 11, 2016

60:120 Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

The 2nd book in the Finishing School series.  After the winter holidays where Sophronia managed to secure the prototype and have a cheese pie thrown at her, she thought school would get back to what passes for normal there.  However, there is now a trip to London and with all of Sophronia's sneaking about the school she has learned that there is much more to the trip than they have been told and dangerous conspiracies lurk everywhere, even when your dance card is full.  What makes it even harder on a young intelligencer is when you score top-marks and your classmates are set against you either through jealousy or teacher's machinations and you can't be sure where your friends loyalties lie just when you need them most.

A lovely installment, great for a summer read when my brain is mush and I just want something light and fun without much in the way of complicated plots but enough character growth that it's not completely boring.

Page Count: 310p/16,363p ytd/266,323p lifetime

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

59:120 Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Ms. Sophrnia Temminick is a 14 year old trial to her mother.  She would rather climb and dismantle things than sit quietly and wait around as befits a girl so when she is invited to come to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School for Young Ladies of Quality, her mother is happy to send Sophronia there with the hopes of getting a young lady back in a few years.  What her mother does not know, nor does Sophronia until she arrives, is that this Finishing School teaches not just how to be a proper lady but how to be one while poisoning, stabbing, and spying.  Now there is a missing prototype and even though Sophronia is only a first-year, she is in the right place at the right time to keep it out of thoroughly unfashionable hands.

Set in the world of the Parasol Protectorate, it was nice to be back on familiar ground.  As this was YA, it was written a bit more simplistic and the plot was not terribly engaging but it was a perfect summer read.  Light and silly so I didn't have to think hard but just let it take me where it was going.  Sophronia took a bit to really get interesting but in the end, she did get there.  Soap was a great offset to her and really, who can't love Bumbersnoot?!

Page count: 307p/16,053p ytd/266,013p lifetime