Clockwork Angel

Title: Clockwork Angel ~ Book 1 of The Infernal Devices
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, steampunk, paranormal, fantasy
Source: I recieved this ARC for free from Simon & Schuster at the SanDiego Comicon.

I have been waiting....and waiting....and watching for this book. I actually squealed and got giddy when the S&S rep handed me a copy! Here's the thing though, I had no idea what I was getting into. I've not read any of Ms. Clare's other novels. I've heard good things about them, but it just hasn't happened yet. I fell in love with the cover of this one the instant it was unveiled. Luckily, the novel inside lived up to its awesome cover.

Quick summary from publisher:
When sixteen-year old orphan Tessa Fell's older brother suddenly vanishes, her search for him leads her into Victorian-era  London's dangerous supernatural underworld, and when she discovers that she herself is a Downworlder, she must learn to trust the demon-killing Shadowhuters if she ever wants to learn to control her powers and find her brother.

What I like:
1. I love the variety of characters.  While the roles are basic, stock, roles - the caregiver, the innocent, the trouble maker, even the bumbling professor - the characters that Clare built to fill these roles are truly one of a kind. They are interesting, some times mysterious, and likable. 

2.  This story seamlessly blends the world of Victorian England with a world where society has sub-levels of paranormal.....and, while brief, steampunk. This is a world where monsters are still monsters and society at large doesn't know/ readily accept. It also isn't a traditional over the top steampunk novel. There are flashes of it, even some characters who are more robot than human, but that is about all. Just enough of both to keep the story interesting and lively.

3. I didn't need to have had read any of the previous series to understand and enjoy this one. I was a bit afraid that this series may somehow tie into the other....but those worries were put aside quickly.

What I dislike:
1. I'm tired of love triangles. I can name a dozen YA books, off the top of my head, that involve the heroine having to decided between to seemingly equal partners. Here is another. I understand that triangles hold a built in conflict maker, but seriously.....isn't there some other form of conflict you can insert besides jealousy?

Overall,  I'm still excited that I was able to read this novel! It gave me everything I was hoping for....and a bit more. I can't wait for the other novels in this series to come out....and I'm quickly adding Ms. Clare's Mortal Instruments series to my TBR list.

These are the fairies of the old tales...

Title: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: YA, fantasy
Source: e-reader, free through Kindle (a while ago)

Don't get me wrong, I love fairy tales of all types, but it is nice to read a story where the fae are what I grew up expecting. They might be pretty and shiny, but they are also michevious, self-serving, and dangerous to the humans who catch their attention.

I also enjoyed the relationship between Aislinn and Seth. She's trying so hard to protect herself and him. He loves her.  I have high hopes for them in the following books.

My only complaint is that Aislinn seems to be willing to break "the rules" (which are clearly laid out and that she repeats often) too easily. The consquences are too easily dealt with. It's a bit disconcerting to have this danger played up throughout the novel and then so readily dismissed.

Overall:  I'm glad I snagged a copy of this. I've already added the rest of the series to my reading list.

Comicon Shwag!

This is my obligatory, almost too late for it to mean much, SanDiego Comicon post. Did you know that many of our favorite publishers have booths at the con? How about the fact that many of them are giving out ARCs and other book related goodies? I didn't. I was completely clueless! In fact, it took much razzing by my husband to get me to even be willing to ask for the freebies. I know it was expected, but it just felt wrong....maybe selfish first. I soon got over the tune of five bags filled with books and goodies!

This is my favorite set of goodies. The Penguin Group were giving out these awesom Vlad Todd bags. There was a different color every day and they encouraged attendees to come by and collect them. I became obsessed with them. Just a wee bit. I think at one point I was scheduling the events I wanted to see around when I could get a bag. Yes, I'm a dork....a happy, book bag lovin' dork.

The colors aren't nearly as shockingly bright in the photo as they are in reality. The yellow and orange are nearly blinding. Purple and blue are my favorites.

Piles o' books! I picked up a few every day....and a whole bunch on Sunday. Mostly they are ARCs.

On left: Procession of the Dead by Darren Shan, Shift by Tim Kring, The Electric Church by Jeff Somers, The Search for Wondla by Tony Diterlizzi, Feed by Mira Grant, Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha, and Lucan by Susan Kearney.

On right: Matched by Ally Condie, Hero by Mike Lupica, Pleasure Model by Christopher Rowley, Clockwork Angel  by Cassandra Clare, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Dark Days and Wicked Nights - Sampler, Frankenstein's Monster by Susan H. O'Keefe, The Prometheus Project by Douglas E. Richards,  and Star Trek (movie novelization) by Alan Dean Foster.

There were a few allusive books. I really wanted Boneshaker, but had misread the schedule and stood in line on the wrong day. There were a couple others I would have loved to get ahold of like, Unicorns vs. Zombies, but they disappeared before I could even get there.  All in all a great load of books!

And some awesome book marks!

I'm still all excited over this bunch of book goodness! I just had to share.
I read books they way other people eat, sleep, or watch movies....voraciously, obsessively, and as often as possible. The reviews, random commentary, and snark in this blog are mine alone. Don't take my the book.
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