Book Review: The Girl In The Steel Corset (Good)

I have to start by saying I LOVE STEAMPUNK! I love the idea of a parallel universe in which there are gears and cogs and shiny metal in clothes and fashion that is funky. I love it so much that Wild Wild West is a movie I will watch over and over again no matter how many good movies there are up against it. Now, I don’t actually watch it over and over because I have a husband who would like to watch only good movies and I don’t really watch movies alone. But I do read alone, so I found this series that is Steampunk and has amazing beautiful covers.

    The Girl in the Steel Corset is the first in the series, but I do not think I will be reading the rest of the series. However, do not let that dissuade you. The book was fully in the Steampunk world. There were contraptions and gears and it was marvelous. However, I realized that liking to pin Steampunk fashion on Pinterest is not the same as knowing all the lingo, and I missed the prerequisite course to know all of that. It was easy enough to catch on, and I think the Teens and Young Adults that it is targeted for would like to enter into the world building alongside the book and to see what sorts of contraptions there are in other books that are mentioned. The characters were in their early twenties, but it seemed like it could have just as easily been a high school book.

I would definitely recommend this book to teens and young adults. With all the sex and erotica being thrown into the mix alongside paranormal romances and whatever other parent cringing subject matter that is out there, this was a great wholesome book. There was romance and kissing, but no quivering members. It was a book I could quite happily let my kids read almost as soon as they could read at that level. And I think that the characters have a chance for depth in the following books that could make them very interesting reads. For instance, the engineering done by both men and women showed intelligence alongside the fun of their personalities. So, while it was not for me in the end, I could see the many merits and would suggest it to anyone else interested in the world of Steampunk and Electronics.

The facts about the book.

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset (The Steampunk Chronicles Book 1)

Author: Kady Cross

Place: London, 1897

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: 2011

# Pages: 480

Special Features: Beautiful Covers, Steampunk, Intelligent Girls

Price: I checked it out at the library, but right now on Amazon the price is $0.01

ISBN: 978-0373210701

Book Review: The Rook (Excellent)

This book took me by surprise. I fell in love with it, and was disappointed to realize that the next book is still on its way toward publication. However, do not be dismayed, it was a great read on its own. I am not even sure how I came about reading this book. I had it on a list of “To Read” at the library, and I reserved it, a week of reading, and it was wonderful.

    The Rook is a fiction novel written by an Australian author, Daniel O’Malley.

Several aspects drew me into this book, which will help you determine if this is a book for you. I have recently discovered I am an Anglophile, I love English books. This book travels the UK in an interesting and fun adventure.

    Another aspect I am always drawn to is Mystery. The inside cover of this book hooked me immediately.

    “”The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.”

    Finally, Secret Service. I did not actually read the tagline at the top of the book for awhile into the book, but the title, as you can see in the picture above reads: On Her Majesty’s Supernatural Secret Service: The Rook. I have been into the Mi6 intrigue in recent movies, and am finding myself drawn increasingly to books with this aspect.

The supernatural bit wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was well done. With a world of “Teen Paranormal Romance” and such garbage, it can be hard to find a good book with a fantasy element. This book was excellent in that regard. I was never taken out of the book by the weird, supernatural, or vampires. The language, characters, and action kept me fully engaged and did not require crass techniques to keep the reader stimulated.

    Because I am into English Mysteries involving the Secret Service, this was a wonderful find for me. If I was only into one of these, however, it would have been just as enjoyable. I thought that it was a book a great many people of different reading styles could enjoy.

It was also wonderful to read an adult book without extreme violence or lust being thrown in my face. I often read from Teen and Young Adult because I am wary of the content of adult fiction, but this one was very appropriate, and I would recommend it to 7th grade and older as the perfect alternative to Twilight, and as higher reading level than Harry Potter. As a young student my siblings and I had a great deal of difficulty in finding books to challenge and entertain us because we were excellent readers. This is one of those books for students who have already read “everything” as well as for the parents and adults who want a good, solid, fun read.

I don’t want to give anything away about the plot because I highly recommend that you go get this book from your library and read it yourself. Have fun! I sure did.

The facts about the book.

The Rook

Author: Daniel O’Malley

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Publisher: Back Bay Books

Date: October 16, 2012

# Pages: 512

Price: Library: FREE

Kindle: $4

Paperback: $13

ISBN: 978-0316098809

Book Review: Here There Be Dragons: Excellent

Here There Be Dragons

Jane Yolen

This anthology of Jane Yolen’s many works on dragons was a wonderful, magical read. The book traveled through many mythologies of dragons in poetry and prose. It was fun and has many of those transcendent moments where the story was not merely a fantasy about a magical creature but contained some of the stuff we hope we are all made of. Heroes and damsels, as well as a few stories that make the reader reflect on why we need dragons to be a fantasy instead of a reality.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy. I would also recommend this to anyone who is staunchly against fantasy. It is a great book of poetry for those who love verse, and the short stories are great for struggling readers, whether due to a lack of ability or desire. A great book for the whole family, at least for my Middle Earth believing family.

Book Review: Bigger Than A Bread Box: Great

Bigger Than A Bread Box

Laurel Snyder

An emotional book of a girl dealing with her parents’ separation. She finds a magical bread box and begins a moral adventure of discovering more about herself, her mom, and people in general. The author was not writing an autobiographical account, but had obviously put quite a bit of thought into the emotions, mental processing, and psychology of the events in the story. In the acknowledgements she acknowledges this fact and admits that she did quite a bit of “dripping” on her keyboard as the typed. The writing style sounded like a real person telling a story. It was told from the perspective of a 12-year-old, and often sounded like she was writing about it after the fact. The writing style mirrored a way of sharing that I hope to put into my own writing about my self or any story about people I ever work on. It was honest and therefore true even though it was not based on true accounts. The Bruce Springsteen references were spot on as well. Definitely an author I would read again.

I would recommend this book to any young child in double digits. I think that the book had a lot of lessons in humanity that are worth the read for any child whether they are struggling with some of the trials of family or not.