Review: Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2) by Rachel Caine

25890355Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Publisher: NAL
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, Books about Books

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BLURB:

In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history…

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control… Continue reading

Review: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Author
Publication Date: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Steam Punk, Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy

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Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all. Continue reading

Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: August 31st 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry
Genres & Themes: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Vampires, Demons, Witches, Conspiracy, Steampunk, Dark, Friendship, Romance

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In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…. Continue reading

Review: Soulless The Manga, Vol. 1 (The Parasol Protectorate Manga)

Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1 by Gail Carriger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: borrowed
Publication Date: March 1st 2012
Publisher: Yen Press
Genres & Themes: YA, Manga, Romance, Steampunk, Vampires, Werewolves, Mystery.

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The life of a spinster in Victorian London isn’t an easy one on the best of days, but such a life becomes infinitely more complicated when said spinster is “soulless” – a preternatural bridging the gap between the natural and supernatural worlds. Miss Alexia Tarabotti has this unique distinction, and when she is assailed at a formal gathering by a rove vampire, an encounter that results in the death of the half-starved creature, her circumstances become exponentially more complicated indeed! Now caught up in an intrigue with life or death stakes, Alexia must rely on all her talents to outmatch the forces conspiring against her, but it may be the man who has caught her eye – Lord Conall Maccon – and their budding flirtation that truly drives her to her wit’s end!

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Review: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pacing: fast
POV: 3rd person
Genres & Themes: YA-MG, Steampunk, Friendship.

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Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

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Review: The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: eARC-kindle
Pages: 224
Pacing: slow
POV: 3rd person
Genres & Themes: YA, Angst, Friendship, Steampunk, Mystery (for some.)

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Feisty teenage thief Maeko and her maybe-more-than-friend Chaff have scraped out an existence in Victorian London’s gritty streets, but after a near-disastrous heist leads her to a mysterious clockwork cat and two dead bodies, she’s thrust into a murder mystery that may cost her everything she holds dear.

Her only allies are Chaff, the cat, and Ash, the son of the only murder suspect, who offers her enough money to finally get off the streets if she’ll help him find the real killer.

What starts as a simple search ultimately reveals a conspiracy stretching across the entire city. And as Maeko and Chaff discover feelings for each other neither was prepared to admit, she’s forced to choose whether she’ll stay with him or finally escape the life of a street rat. But with danger closing in around them, the only way any of them will get out of this alive is if all of them work together.

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Review: Of Metal and Wishes (Of Metal and Wishes #1) by Sarah Fine

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: borrowed
Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Pacing: fast
POV: 1st person & female
Genres & Themes: YA, Gothic, Steampunk, Romance, Ghosts, Friendship.

BLURB:

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.

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