Review: How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Reviewed by Sara

How to Marry a Werewolf is a novella that takes place after the events of Gail Carriger’s popular Parasol Protectorate series. The novella can technically be read as a standalone although there are some elements that might be a bit lost on a reader new to the world Carriger has meticulously built. However, the story and characters are written with enough depth and explanation that anyone with should be able to lose themselves in this fantastic story.

As the story begins, we meet Bostonian Faith Wigglesworth, who, after causing a scandal, has been banished to the British Isles with one job, she is to find herself a werewolf to marry. In America, the supernaturals are barely tolerated and in many cases viewed as abominations. Faith is being punished by a family that it is immediately clear are horrible. [Read more…]

Review: An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock

Reviewed by Ronelle

Being born with an obvious physical deformity and no magic in a world that fears the former and looks down upon the latter, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs should have been given to the sky at birth. Instead, the quick-thinking and clever maneuvering of the musketeer Jean-Claude spared her life. Underestimated by her family and her kingdom, she is hidden away and nearly forgotten…

…until the day a marriage proposal to the second son of a dying king in an empire on the verge of civil war is laid at her feet.

Isabelle grabs onto the promise inherent in such an unexpected escape from her family, but she soon learns she is not the first. In fact, the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Isabelle and Jean-Claude quickly find themselves ensnared in a web of prophecy, intrigue, betrayal, and madness where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. It’s up to Isabelle to unravel the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception…and the clock is ticking. [Read more…]

Review: Poison and Mercy by EC Elvedeane

Reviewed by Ronelle

It’s 1885 and NOT the London we’d expect to find. Clouds of acidic fog fill the air and body-melting rain could fall at any time, while the Thames is perpetually aflame. Anyone who sets foot outdoors without the proper protective gear is either mad or suicidal. To make matters worse, the world at large is restless: nothing has been seen or heard from within the borders of Germany for several years, the Mediterranean is plagued by the pirate airships of the Corsair Queens, and foreign plots to take control of the British Empire abound.

It will take a particular type of woman to save the day. Or rather, pair of women.

Enter Poison and Mercy d’Avalon, orphans raised by a man with a bent for poisons and a hand in entirely too many pies. These adventuresses dabble in extortion, assassination, and every other vice imaginable (some more steamy and illicit than others). Hired to eliminate a blackmail threat to a Very Important Person, they think it will be a simple—and profitable—task…but it isn’t long before simple becomes complicated. [Read more…]

Review: Gaslight Hades by Grace Draven

Reviewed by Ronelle

As a Bonekeeper, Nathaniel Gordon haunts the borders of two worlds, acting as guardian for the dead and deterrent for grave robbers. Hideous experiments have rendered him barely human and society shrinks in horror from what he has become. The life he once led is over, the woman he once loved beyond his grasp…or so he thinks.

Standing at her father’s graveside, Lenore Kenward knows that from this day forward, her life will never be the same. Grave robbing runs rampant in London, so when the mysterious Guardian of Highgate appears at her side, she doesn’t hesitate to beg his protection of her father’s remains. But there’s something about this stranger…something achingly familiar. [Read more…]

Review: Riveted by Meljean Brook

Reviewed by Jen

Another winner from Meljean Brook. If you haven’t read any of her Iron Seas books, this is a great place to jump in, since it works as a complete standalone. Of course, it shares the world of the books before it, but Brook lays it out simply and effectively enough that you won’t feel lost at all.

Our heroine, Annika, grew up in a secret Iceland village that consisted entirely of women. She never would have left if her sister Kalla had not taken an exile meant for her. She’s been searching for Kalla for the past five years, working aboard an airship to gain access to foreign shores. The plan is to find her sister, then head straight back home. She never dreams she will come across anyone or anything that could make her want anything else. Then she meets David. [Read more…]

Review: Wrecked by Meljean Brook

wreckedReviewed by Jen

If you want to dip your toes into the world of the Iron Seas, but you’re not ready to commit to a full length novel, this might be a good chance to get your feet wet.  You won’t get the depth and full experience of the novels, but it is enough to give you a feel for the setting and tone. This story is a complete standalone and can be read at any point in the series. [Read more…]

Review: Tethered by Meljean Brook

tetheredReviewed by Jen

I have to admit, I always pause before spending three bucks on a novella. Will it be worth it?  Is the publisher just trying to milk my love for an established series with a little puff of nothing set in a world I’m committed to?  And despite my love for Meljean Brook, I wondered the same thing here. Thankfully, I can assure you that “Tethered” was worth every penny and then some. [Read more…]

Review: Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook

heart of steelReviewed by Jen

Book after book, Meljean Brook constantly impresses me.  She is so insanely creative and talented. Her world-building is complex and fascinating.  But even better, she creates characters that are so well drawn, I feel like I know them. I care about them.  And one of the things I love most is that they are all so different from one another. She never takes the easy way out or uses an archetype to scrimp on character development; each character is unique with individual strengths, foils and idiosyncrasies, allowing me to see them as real people with emotions that matter –and make sense. [Read more…]

Review: The Kraken King by Meljean Brook

kraken kingReviewed by Jen

Maybe you aren’t familiar with steampunk. Maybe you don’t love it. Maybe you haven’t read the earlier installments in the Iron Seas series.  Maybe you’ve never even heard of Meljean Brook.  It. Does. Not. Matter.  You need to buy this book now and read it.  You need to get swept up in the adventure. You need to swoon over the romance.  And then you can join the rest of us who can do nothing but gush over just how wonderful this story is. [Read more…]

Review: The Iron Duke

iron dukeReviewed by Jen

This is another series pushed heavily to me by a few of my book friends.  I was a little hesitant to pick it up, because I have been hit and miss with steampunk and I didn’t know whether it would be a good fit.   My main fear was that it would be “too steampunk.” Let’s face it, there are varying degrees… from stories with an airship or wind-up sprinkled in… to others with giant manned-robots, goggle-attire, and elixirs.  In case you’re wondering, on a scale from one to 10, this series is about an 11 on the steampunk scale. But the more I read, the deeper I fell into the world. [Read more…]