Monday, August 30, 2010

Blameless by Gail Carriger

Title: Blameless (Parasol Protectorate Series No.3)
Author: Gail Carriger
Pages: 384
Published: September 1st, 2010 by Orbit
Read: August 29th, 2010
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Synopsis: Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.

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Alexia Maccon's parasol had been designed at prodigious expense, with considerable imagination and much attention to detail. It could emit a dart equipped with a numbing agent, a wooden spike for vampires, a silver spike for werewolves, a magnetic disruption field, and two kinds of toxic mist, and, of course, it possessed a plethora of hidden pockets. It had recently been entirely overhauled and refurbished with new ammunition, which, unfortunately, did little to improve its appearance. It was not a very prepossessing accessory, for all its serviceability, being both outlandish in design and indifferent in shape. It was a drab slate-gray color with cream ruffle trim, and it had a shaft in the new ancient Egyptian style that looked rather like an elongated pineapple.

Despite its many advance attributes, Lady Maccon's most common application of the parasol was through brute force enacted directly upon the cranium of an opponent. It was crude and perhaps undignified modus operandi to be certain, but it had worked so well for her in the past that she was loath to rely too heavily upon any of the newfangled aspects of her parasol's character.
Finally at long last the fabulous 3rd in the Parasol Protectorate series is released. Technically the release date was to be September 1st, but mine came in early. YEAH!! I had been waiting an age for this book due to the rather horrible cliffhanger at the end of Changeless, and all I can say is "phew!" and Carriger you have done it again! Now, I'm going to try and do this review with no spoilers for the other novels, so I think you should be okay to read this if you haven't read the other 2.

I do so love Alexia Tarabotti and her somewhat crazy notions. She, in her soulless state, is one of my all time favorite characters. I most definitely wish it was a possibility to float on over to 1870's London and be a part of that world. It is such a fantastical place of mayhem and gorgeous dresses all surrounded by werewolves, vampires and ghosts.

My husband thinks I'm a bit off my rocker with the whole vampire and werewolf regime, but I don't have much of a defense to it, so maybe he is right.

But still, there is just so much to love. With Professor Lyall and his brilliant schematics for taking care of a rather soused alpha to Lord Akeldama and his most wonderful drones. I do have all sorts of love and affection for Biffy his very favorite. I tell you, that little dandy can do wonderful things with hair. All this brings me to Lord Maccon. Dear Lord Maccon. What on this wild Earth were you thinking?! I mean to think that Alexia could even remotely have done what you think. It's preposterous!!!

Why must you be so gorgeous and lickable?! There were so many times I wanted to just hurt you, and not in a good way. Werewolves!!! What will we do with them?!

Still, this book was a wonderful story of parasols and Templars. Although, there was many a time when I would have liked to kill all the Templars, but still.... Such an excellently woven story with twists and turns at every corner. Carriger really keeps you guessing in regards to many a thing, but then again she is usually pretty good at that.

Now, I must say, that I had waited so long on bended knee for this book and although it was very much what I was waiting for, I still think that there were some things I dreadfully missed. I would have loved to have seen so much more of the lovely Lord Akeldama. He just gives me the warm fuzzies that one. I also would have loved to have seen so much more of Lord Maccon, possibly off of the sauce. Oh, and speaking of sauce, I was cracking up every time they spoke of his choice of inebriation. Fabulous!! But, I did still miss him and his wonderful dialogue with Alexia. I think it's because I'm a sucker for love and romance.

Now, for my favorite characters. Of course, Alexia is always number one in my heart, but you all know that (see review of Soulless HERE and Changeless HERE). I love her wit and commentation and that she see everything through such a different light.

Then we have Madame Lefoux. I love her flirtatious comments to Alexia and her manly garb. She just seems to be a the perfect fit in the books with her outlandish appearance and dimples.

Then we have Floote. We get to see so much more of him in this book and it was such a fun turn of events. I've always had an affection for Floote with his fatherly ways and how he just always seemed to know what trouble was afoot. Butlers always do make good sub-characters it seems.

Lastly, there is Lord Maccon. I just canna help myself. He may be a drunk fool most of the time, but he is such a sexy beast. I don't want to go into too much detail of him for the story sake, but even though he may be wrong, he is still a most gorgeous part of the character cast.

Overall, I thought the book to be a wonderful piece of work and quite enchanting. There were so many wonderful scenes and the characters are always lovely. And, with killer ladybugs, quite a bit of tea, extremely well proportioned white wolves, swarming and Madame Lefoux in a mustache, I just do not know how I will pass the time until Heartless is released.

Series Rating:
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Storyline:
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Story Ending:
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Writing:
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Cover Art:
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Other Books in the Series:
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Favorite Quote:
Wordlessly the Templar signaled and, out of nowhere, a bread bowl full of pasta appeared, and a carrot carved to resemble a spoon was handed over by some unseen companion. The preceptor gave them to Alexia.

Alexia tried not to be pleased by the presence of the ubiquitous green sauce. "Pesto will keep you in my good graces for only so long, you understand?"


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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Today's Answer In the Closet (No.8)

Today's Answer in the Closet is based upon the meme from Khadija over at Black Fingernailed Reviews. I've decided that since I am constantly being asked what my favorite book is or what my favorite song is and I can never actually tell anyone because it's always changing that this meme would be a good idea. I will do it weekly and my answer will depend on how I feel that week. My hopes in doing this will be to let my followers get a glimpse of my off-the-wall self and hopefully finally answer those 2 looming questions always posed to me. :D Here we go!

My Favorite Book This Week Is:
City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments No.3) by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis: Amid the chaos of war, the Shadowhunters must decide to fight with the vampires, werewolves and other Downworlders - or against them. Meanwhile, Jace and Clary have their own decision to make: should they pursue the love they know is forbidden? (From Goodreads.com)






I actually read this series quite some time ago, but it is one of my favorites!! It's really been on my mind this week because the first in The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare will be released this week and I cannot wait!! Yeah, I'm sure I'll miss Jace and Simon, but I do hear that Magnus is most definitely in this series and I do love that guy. Plus, there is so much that a Victorian Steampunk novel can bring that some cannot and that, ladies and gentleman, is what I am looking forward to!

My Favorite Song for This Week Is:
DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love Again by Usher

I absolutely positively love this song. I also think that Usher is crazy hot. Now, I didn't always think that, but as he's gotten older he's def become hotter! Yes, I may have issues...deal with it. :D So, everybody put your hands up and rock your body!!!!!!!


Sexy....*growls*

Whats your favorite book and song of the week?

Jen the Bibliophile


Monday, August 23, 2010

My Weekend Activity

So, this weekend I went and so a movie *gasp* yes, it's shocking for those who know me. I actually went to see The Switch with Jennifer Aniston. I loved it. I mean, it was a romantic comedy and all, but I really do love those. It won't win any awards or anything, but still, it really hit the spot. Plus, I think I cried because of course there was a child involved and I seem to cry at the first sign of father & child bonding moments. Here is the trailer for anyone who hasn't heard of it.



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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters No.2) by Michelle Zink - A Review

Title: Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters No.2)
Author: Michelle Zink
Published: August 1, 2010 by Little Brown Books
Read: August 20, 2010
Rating:30PX30PX30PX30PX30PX
Synopsis:

The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she'll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister's role in the prophecy, and that's not the only thing she wants: There's also Lia's boyfriend James.

Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn't know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing.(from barnsandnoble.com)


So, I've been waiting for this particular book to come out for only about 2 months because that just so happens was when I read the first in the series Prophecy of the Sisters (see HERE for review of PotS). Lucky for me I didn't have to wait the entire year between the 1st and 2nd publishing. However, it's unlucky for me that I now have to wait an entire year for the 3rd book to be released. I absolutely loved this book. I really liked the last one, but I loved this one so much more. It had everything the first book was missing plus a little extra.

I mean, there was sexy men who can tame wild beasts with just their presence, there was sweet fights and betrayal all mixed in with some skimpy clothing involving a little itty bitty lavender robe. And while I am on this thought train, I am curious as to why some of the oh so sexy men from books tend to be named "Dimitri". Don't get me wrong, the name inspires all sorts of lustful feelings within me, but it seems to be used quite often. Nonetheless, I still do love it and it does happen to be the name of the man in this book who I would most like to rip off his clothes.

I think that he was definitely what the first book was missing. I like James okay, but Dimitri is like the pie and the whip cream all topped with delicious strawberries and then possibly several other pies. I don't know, I could possibly go on this food analogy for quite some time. But, that wouldn't be much a review would it?!

So...


I hope you all remember Lia, our main heroine from the last book. She is of course the most important character and the person from whom the story is told. I really did like her in this book because she seemed to have grown into her self. She seemed to be able to face the fact that life is throwing things at her that she will have to deal with rather than pretend its not there. She also seems much stronger and independent, and that my friends, is what woman ought to be. No matter what century they deem to live in *might I add*.

And this book folks, takes place in a not so recent century. However, I think that Zink has done a fabulous job of weaving a story web of suspense, romance and possibly some hot make out scenes. Yes, I know, I'm a bit crazed in that department.... DON'T JUDGE ME! *grins maliciously*

So *rubs hands together* continuing on, this book is an excellent show of what happens when authors write their 2nd book better than their first, and thank heaven for that! The plot is bittersweet and suspenseful and contains the romantic atmosphere that I felt the first lacked. Although looking back, I can see that was definitely on purpose, so bravo Ms. Zink!! The only thing I wished this one would have had was a better build up to some climactic events and that the ending would not have been so abrupt. The book still could have ended at the same place, but with some more dialogue and possibly some more scenes I felt could have filled in some places that were too simple, even for YA.

Overall though, I felt that it was an excellent book and cannot wait for the third installment to be released. Because, with smexy men, hellhounds, crazy ass sisters, spellcasting, betrayals from who knows where and me wanting to throw Dimitri to the floor and do things that cannot be spoken of, I think it may be a very long year!


Overall Rating
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(4.5)
Cover Art Rating
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End of Story Rating
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Character Rating
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Quotes:

I have time to meet his gaze for only a second before a sound on the riverbank gets my attention. It is not the Hounds, but something else. Someone else, just beyond them. A caped figure astride a black horse positioned behind the Hounds, as if they are no more than hunting dogs.

This alone would be mystifying enough. But when the figure pushes back the hood of his cape, I am left with only more questions.
A muffled groan erupts from his throat. I feel the vibration of it on my neck.

"Lia, Lia... This is not how I should be keeping you awake." I hear the anguish in his voice and know that he, too, is stuggling against the tide of desire and the expectations of polite society.

But we are not part of that society at the moment. Here in the forest on our way to Altus, we are on our own.

I twist in his arms until I am kneeling before him, grateful for the ease of movement in my breeches. Taking Dimitri's face in my hands, I look into his bottomless eyes.

"this is not you keeping me awake." I lower my mouth to his, lingering until his lips open under mine before pulling away just enough to speak. "This is us, staying awake together. This is me"--I touch my lips lightly to his--"staying awake with you because I want to."



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