Book Review: Imprudence

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I’ve been waiting so long on this book! I had so many expectations. As I’ve stated before – I love the world Carriger has created. I’ve read every single book (not all the short stories yet, I’m working on those!) and enjoyed them all. I love the characters. I love hunting for references to the various storylines in the different series. When I sit down with a Gail Carriger book, it’s like sitting down with an old friend and hearing what they’ve been up to.

That said, I need to get something off my chest: I will never love Rue as much as I love her mother, Alexia.

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She’s charming and winsome in her own way but Alexia has my heart. The entire time I was reading this book and the first in this series, I was missing Alexia and the Alexia/Conall vibe. I have tried to get as much behind Rue as I did Alexia and…she’s definitely her mother’s daughter, but she’s not her mother. Which is a good thing! But I just wanted more Alexia. I need to re-read the original Parasol Protectorate series in its entirety. I’ve read Soulless I think 3 times but definitely time to go through all 5 again. Anyway, on to the actual review!

Imprudence picks up almost exactly where Prudence left off (WARNING: spoilers for the FIRST book). The queen is, as expected, rather displeased with Rue’s handling of the weremonkey situation, but that quickly takes a back seat to Rue’s family troubles. Perhaps it’s awful of me, but I was so glad that Alexia and Lord Maccon were more in the forefront of this one! We see them through Rue’s eyes, which was rather entertaining, but they are there for a good portion of the book. The family is struggling to deal with Lord Maccon’s oncoming Alpha madness. He’s slowly losing his grip on reality and becoming entirely werewolf. It was so sad. By the end of Chapter 5 I was bawling while reading in bed. My husband was very concerned. Thankfully they didn’t just sit around moping about it – this is Alexia’s husband, after all! They were very quickly off to do something about it, and rampages and capers ensued.

Well, Lord save anyone if a vampire tried to steal a werewolf’s prey, even if only to kill that prey himself. Especially then.

I love how Rue and Alexia share the tendency to go off on their own and drag everyone else along in their wake. Also have to love that Rue seems to be the only one capable of dragging Alexia herself around – Alexia is much more concerned about appearances than I remember her being, perhaps a by product of all her time serving the Queen. Rue…Rue gives almost no fucks. Especially where her relationship with Quesnel is concerned.

โ€œLike to go somewhere more private and be scandalous some more?โ€

Ah, yes, Quesnel, the little Frenchman we all fell in love with when he was just Madame Lefoux’s charge and constantly running amok. Quesnel, as we saw in Prudence, has grown up to be a innovative inventor in his own right. He’s also quite the ladies’ man…but somehow Prudence has managed to twist him right around her little finger. Despite her repeated insistence that their relationship is only for “lessons” and her own experience…
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Ok. This is the big reason this book didn’t get 5 stars for me. I can’t get behind Rue and Quesnel. I wanted to. I really did. But I just…can’t. Quesnel is too much of a pretty boy for me…I am Team Big-hairy-dominate-but-gentle-werewolf (aka Lord Maccon) all the way and I guess I was hoping the same for Rue. Of course she’s entitled to her own taste! But it just…it seems forced. I didn’t feel it, and I’d like to think I can usually feel a character’s emotional involvement even if the parties involved aren’t to my own preferences.
Like Tasherit and Prim. I feel their attraction. I feel Prim’s confusion and anxiety and flutterings. And I’m very eager to find out what happens to them in the next book!
Gail wrote in one of her newsletters/posts that she was trying to wrap a lot of things up in this book, since there will not be a 3rd Custard Protocol book until at least 2018. I think she did that very well while still leaving several storylines open for exploration. Like Tasherit and Prim. Like the Woolsey Pack ย – oh, I almost forgot.
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OMG, my beloved Woolsey Pack. I can’t believe what happened. That was also a large part of the tears.WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO WOOLSEY??? This was a huge turning point in the first third of the book and then…crickets. AAAAAHHHH. I think we were supposed to kind of forget but I can’t. Buffy. Lyall. Channing. And of course the Kingair Pack too, even though God knows they’re still off brawling in some distant land like good Scottish boys – capably led by their fierce female Alpha (who, thank GOD, will be having her very own novella some time in the near future). I really hope we have more werewolves in the next book too.
Anyway, overall, 4/5 stars. And I will be eagerly awaiting whatever comes from Gail Carriger’s pen next. ๐Ÿ™‚
Book Review - Imprudence
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Book Review: The Vanishing Throne

The long-awaited (er…better not say that too loud, lest George R.R. Martin’s fans take offense) sequel to Elizabeth May’s The Falconer arrived a couple of weeks ago and I’m excited to post this review! I re-read and reviewed The Falconer last week in preparation, as I have a horrible memory and all I could remember of the first book was poisonous thistles, Derrick, and an awful cliffhanger. Haha.

WARNING: Spoilers for the FIRST book!

The girl whose gift is chaos. Death is her burden. Wherever she goes, it follows. They say she can either save the world or end it.

“I will worship thee.”

Aileana fell through the portal she was supposed to be closing, and everything went to hell in a handbasket from there. And not in the fluffy kittens type of way.

She’s kept captive in a room full of mirrors, where the dark faery lordling Lonnrach drains her blood for his own means as he tries to locate the scattered humans of the world, their civilization already decimated by the faery that broke out of the 2,000 year old prison. It’s creepy. The mirrors, and the confusion as she begins to be unable to tell her own memories from those pulled forth by Lonnrach, are creepy. However she’s soon (relative term here) rescued by none other than her faery crush, Kiaran. But wait. It’s not Kiaran…buuuuut it’s sort of Kiaran.

It’s Kiaran’s bad-ass sister,ย Aithinne, who has bigger balls than any faery male in any realm, hands down. She’s also now my favorite character, both for her heroics and her humanity – yes, I know, how ironic. She has no filter and it’s hysterical. She also is endearingly clueless about 19th century Scotland.

“A dictionary. Is that a type of dessert?”

She spent 2,000 years in an underground prison being tortured by Lonnrach and his cronies, and she simply has no fucks left to give.

As far as I’m concerned, Aileana can just go sit down and leave Aithinne to handle everything. Like, move over. Aileana is just a wanna-be bad ass when she stands next to Aithinne (and she still feels the need to remind us of that, though not nearly so often as in the first book). Ok, so Aileana does have a place and is still good for something but I feel like Aithinne is the real heroine here, for reasons that I can’t fully explain because I’m trying to avoid spoilers. But she says things like,

“I admit to being somewhat unclear on the function of human tears. So we’re sad about this? Should I menace someone?”

I want her to be my new BFF. Anyway, while Aileana isn’t as annoying in this book as the first, I still took an instant like to Aithinne that I didn’t to Aileana…which I guess is ok. The heroine is allowed to grow and change and if she didn’t I would be suspicious and critical. Aileana has left a lot of her bloodthirsty swagger and bravado behind (thank god), and due to the revelations in the story as it goes along, she’s forced to look at some really ugly things and decide if she can live with them and the people involved – mainly her growing relationship with Kiaran – or not.

I was very intrigued by the world building presented in this book. We get SO much more backstory and so many things that just made me screw up my face and question things in the first book, are explained. At times the “dream” sequences feel like an info dump…but it’s a very interesting info dump. I’m not up on my faery lore, so I’m unclear on how much is pulled from Scottish tradition and how much comes from Elizabeth May’s imagination. It really explains a lot about not only the world, but Kiaran in particular.

Speaking of Kiaran, let’s talk about him. Aileana is head over heels for him but confused and scared of him at the same time. My mental image is of this guy:

Technically sexy, I guess, but really more creepy looking. Sorry, random actor I found on Google Images (I also got the feeling I should know who this is, but I don’t. Moving on.)

Sidenote: My perception of the whole Aileana/Kiaran relationship was rather skewed in the first book by what I thought was the fact that faeries in this world cannot feel, that they have no emotion. I’m still not sure if May did this intentionally or if I just assumed too much. BUT. Apparently that is NOT the case. If I had realized or considered that as a possibility, I think I would have felt a lot more liking for the fae in general. As it was I was just convinced Kiaran was a sham and Derrick was a freak.

To continue…a lot of Kiaran’s past is explained in this book. He becomes somewhat more bearable as a result. He also continues on the path of the slight, suspicious crack in his unfeeling faery heart, and there are some really sweet, cute moments between him and Aileana and also with his sister. Is it possible our ancient, bitter Kiaran is actually growing past the emotional maturity of a 10 year old? Well, possibly, but old habits die hard and he’s not used to growing pains.

Kiaran smiles, that beautiful false smile that makes my heart ache. His face is a mask, flawless and immaculate, no hint of passion or emotion. Even statues have more life.ย 

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Kiaran objects to having the feels. Flawed hero, sexy dark knight, wah-wah. I still think Aileana should have stuck with Gavin. Also maybe some certain undesirable events wouldn’t have happened in that case, but since they did here are some of the “awwwww” level quotes.

“You think I can’t bear to look at them [Aileana’s scars], that I believe these mean you’re weak.” Karan’s fingers are at my pulse now, thumb sliding down to my collarbone. “That couldn’t be farther from the truth….I want it to be me, not you.”

“Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“Because I’m still learning,” he says quietly.

“Learning what?”

“How to feel.”

D’awww. Then leave it to Derrick, who is, thankfully, back in true pixie form and lightening the mood at every turn.

Derrick is quiet for the longest time, wings fanning softly. His golden glow is slowly returning. “I see the way he looks at you.”

I swallow, afraid of his answer. “And how is that?”

“Like he wishes he was mortal.”

So, yeah. Their relationship progresses, in a pretty reasonable fashion. Honestly though, I still don’t really feel it. I wanted to. But I don’t. I think a lot of other people will. But I just don’t.

The Seers are idiots. I don’t blame Kiaran and Derrick for just wanting to kill them all. Even Gavin has taken a stupid pill. Le sigh.

Along with all of this, the fae are still trying to take over the world and kill all the humans and at first we’re not sure why other than that they are bloodthirsty bastards…and then there’s this great big revelation that changes everything and – but that would be spoiling.

Then…that ending…WTF?? I mean…..seriously, WTF?!!?

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This was me. For real.

Overall I gave this one 3.5/5 stars, just like the original. But for different reasons. I looooooove Aithinne and for her sake alone I almost said 4 stars. The other issues I have though, in the end said no. The other big issues I had were…well. So the torture bits in the first few chapters? They’re…very tame. I understand a lot of it was a mental mind fuck, but…there’s all these intense feelings on the part of the characters and I felt like the action we were shown didn’t warrant it. Apparently I’m a coldhearted SOB. The world-building feels rushed. Like, we’re told what happened to the human realm in the time Aileana is gone, but we’re never quite shown. Not enough to warrant the way the other humans treat her when she comes back. And again, I was left feeling like this was a middle-grade masquerading as a YA book. It’s so very clean for such a bloody subject matter. Haha, I guess I’m a bloodthirsty, coldhearted, horny bitch? Because while sexual matters are alluded to, there’s only kissing and a vague reference to the removal of clothing. Which apparently isn’t enough for my depraved mind?

I still really enjoyed it and would recommend it, especially to those who are a little uncomfortable with sex or language in their books. I just wished it was a little less one-special-snowflake-to-save-the-world-ish.

Book Review - The Vanishing Throne

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Waiting On Wednesday – Imprudence!

I am so so so sososososo excited for this new release by Gail Carrier!! Imprudence is the second in the Custard Protocol series, which follows the daughter of Alexia from the Parasol Protectorate. Technically, it was released yesterday, but since I’m over here in Korea I am definitely STILL WAITING!! I have my shipping notification though! Review will be forthcoming as soon as I can finish it! Hopefully it will be here about next Monday or so.

Yep. I’m also aware I just used way too many exclamation points, and I don’t care. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Also, until today I was completely unaware that “Gail Carriger” is actually a pen name ofย Tofa Borregaard, who is also an archaeologist. How did I miss that?

Custard Protocol Giveaway!

As you may be aware, Gail Carriger’s new novella, Poison or Protect, is coming out in ebook format on Tuesday (June 21). If you subscribe to her lovely monthly newsletter there was a little bit in there about being entered to win a giveaway if you pre-order. So if you missed it in your Chirrup, go back and look and make sure you pre-order, and then enter the giveaway. A big, beautiful, chock-full of goodies Prudence-themed giveaway. Insert heart-eyes smiley here.

I’m always so excited to read anything new Gail comes out with, I’m almost counting the hours for this one. Of course, I’m also dizzy with anticipation for Imprudence, releasing on July 19. I love the Tarabotti/Maccon family and always go into withdrawal after finishing a book!