On my bookshelf – Adult Victorian Fantasy

Hello gentle reader,

I’ve recently read a couple of Adult books, all set in Victorian London and with some fantasy elements…

Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack

Title: The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton & Swinburne #1)

Author: Mark Hodder

Genre: Steampunk/Alternate History

Blurb:

London, 1861.

Sir Richard Francis Burton—explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman; his reputation tarnished; his career in tatters; his former partner missing and probably dead.

Algernon Charles Swinburne—unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade; for whom pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin!

They stand at a crossroads in their lives and are caught in the epicenter of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labor; Libertines oppose repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity; while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behavior to the limits with magic, drugs, and anarchy. The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London’s East End.

Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age, and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn’t exist at all!

What I thought:

I enjoyed this book, although it became clear quite quickly this was an introductory book to a series. It has its own plot, but many aspects of the world and a lot of characters are just introduced to us and not fully developed. I’ll probably pick up at least Book 2 to see where this goes.

Mayhem

Title: Mayhem (Mayhem #1)

Author: Sarah Pinborough

Genre: Historical mystery with supernatural elements

Blurb:

A new killer is stalking the streets of London’s East End. Though newspapers have dubbed him ‘the Torso Killer’, this murderer’s work is overshadowed by the hysteria surrounding Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel crimes.

The victims are women too, but their dismembered bodies, wrapped in rags and tied up with string, are pulled out of the Thames – and the heads are missing. The murderer likes to keep them.

Mayhem is a masterwork of narrative suspense: a supernatural thriller set in a shadowy, gaslit London, where monsters stalk the cobbled streets and hide in plain sight.

What I thought:

I really liked this book. I loved that it focused on a (real) series of murders that happened at the same time as the Jack The Ripper murders. I also really enjoyed the supernatural twist. The second book in this duology will come out in April and I’ll definitely check it out.

Elijah's Mermaid

Title: Elijah’s Mermaid

Author: Essie Fox

Genre: Historical/Gothic with fantasy elements

Blurb:

Since she was found as a baby, floating in the Thames one foggy night, the web-toed Pearl has been brought up in a brothel known as the House of Mermaids. Cosseted and pampered there, it is only when her fourteenth birthday approaches that Pearl realises she is to be sold to the highest bidder.
Meanwhile, the orphaned twins, Lily and Elijah, have shared an idyllic childhood, raised in a secluded country house with their grandfather, Augustus Lamb. But when Lily and Elijah go on a visit London, a chance meeting with the ethereal Pearl will have repercussions for all of them, binding their fates together in a dark and dangerous way…

In this bewitching, sensual novel, Essie Fox has written another tale of obsessive love and betrayal, moving from the respectable worlds of Victorian art and literature, and into the shadowy demi-monde of brothels, asylums and freak show tents – a world in which nothing and no-one is quite what they seem to be.

What I thought:

This book wasn’t what I expected. It’s slow-paced, and written in the style of a 19th Century novel. The two main characters are very passive, which I don’t really like, especially when they are female characters. And all in all, it was quite predictable. Maybe it just wasn’t for me.

What have you been reading lately? Any Victorian book you’d recommend?

Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Waiting On Wednesday – 29

Hello gentle reader,

this week I’m waiting on Strange And Ever After (Something Strange And Deadly # 3) by Susan Dennard (expected publication: 22d July 2014 by HarperTeen). It’s a YA Historical Fantasy and the last book in a trilogy. I have loved the first two books in this series (Something Strange and Deadly -set in Philadelphia – and A Darkness Strange and Lovely – set in Paris) and I can’t wait to find out how it all ends – in Egypt!

Strange Ever After

From Goodreads:

In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late. Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

You can read my interview with Susan Dennard here.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

What are you waiting on this week? Is Strange and Ever After on your TBR list? Have you read Something Strange and Deadly?

Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week – 22

Hello gentle reader,

this week I’m reading Masque of the Red Death, and its sequel Dance of the Red Death, by Bethany Griffin (Published in April 2012 and June 2013 by Greenwillow Book). I won both those books in a giveaway hosted by Hannah at Once Upon A Time

These books were inspired by a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1842 and entitled “The Masque of the Red Death”. In this retelling, the story takes place in steampunk/post-apocalyptic world. It has a very gothic atmosphere, an interesting heroine and a compelling plot. I’m loving it!

Masque of the Red Death

From Goodreads:

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Have you read Masque of the Red Death? What did you think? And what are you reading this week? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Sunday Giveaway – Soulless by Gail Carriger (closed)

Sunday Giveaway

Hello gentle reader,

this summer I give ONE BOOK per week, every Sunday.

Today I’m giving away SOULLESS (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger, a Historical Fantasy/Steampunk novel published in 2009 by Orbit.

Soulless

From Goodreads:

First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Giveaway information:

The giveaway is open until Wednesday 10th July 2013 at 9am (BST time).

To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email. If you follow my blog by email or WordPress , if you are a Twitter follower, if you like my page on Facebook, if you follow me on Pinterest or Tumblr, or if you tweet about the giveaway, this will grant you an extra entry. Mention it below.

Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.

This giveaway is open Internationally, as long as the Book Depository ships to your country.

The winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

I hold the right to end the giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.

I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.

Privacy information: no information given for this giveaway will be used for other purpose than this giveaway. All information provided (names, emails and mail addresses) will be deleted after the giveaway.

Good luck and feel free to leave me a comment below!

Sunday Giveaway – A Dawn Most Wicked (closed)

Sunday Giveaway

Hello gentle reader,

this summer I give away ONE KINDLE E-BOOK every Sunday.

Today I’m giving away A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange And Deadly 0.5) by Susan Dennard. It’s the companion novella to her SSAD trilogy and it tells the story of Eleanor’s suitor Daniel. I read it this week and it’s awesome! You can even read it if you haven’t read Something Strange And Deadly, because the story is set before the events of Book 1.

Dennard - A Dawn Most WickedFrom Goodreads:

Daniel Sheridan is an engineer’s apprentice on a haunted Mississippi steamer known as the Sadie Queen. His best friend–the apprentice pilot, Cassidy Cochran–also happens to be the girl he’s pining for…and the captain’s daughter. But when it looks like the Sadie Queen might get taken off the river, Daniel and Cassidy have to do whatever they can to stop the ghosts that plague the ship.
Fortunately, there happens to be a Creole gentleman on board by the name of Joseph Boyer-–and he just might be able to help them…

Giveaway information:

The giveaway is open until Wednesday 19th June 2013 at 9am (BST time).

To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email. If you follow my blog by email or WordPress , if you are a Twitter follower , if you like my page on Facebook or if you tweet about the giveaway, this will grant you an extra entry. Mention it below.

Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.

This giveaway is open Internationally.

The winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

I am only giving away one Kindle e-book per giveaway. No other format, sorry!

I hold the right to end the giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.

I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.

Privacy information: no information given for this giveaway will be used for other purpose than this giveaway. All information provided (names, emails and mail addresses) will be deleted after the giveaway.

Good luck and feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week – 18

Hello gentle reader,

Did you know Thursday 7th March 2013 is World Book Day? This is a celebration of reading. Vouchers and free books will be given out to young readers, libraries and schools will hold events, and most importantly, the love of reading will be passed on to children and teens everywhere.

So today I’d like to share with you a couple of books that are coming out this week or the next. They are definitely books I’ll be reading on World Book Day. What will you be reading on Thursday?

Legacy of the Clockwork Key

Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey (out today!)

YA Historical Fantasy

A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.

poison

Poison by Bridget Zinn (out 12th March 2013)

YA High Fantasy

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it.

Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare (out 19th March 2013)

YA Historical Fantasy – Steampunk

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it? The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose. Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

What will you be reading for World Book Day? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Follower Love Giveaway Hop (aka 300 Followers Giveaway) ! CLOSED

follower love

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED – THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED

The winner will be contacted by email

Welcome gentle reader!

My blog has reached 300 followers and to thank you all I am taking part in the Follower Love Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & The Reader’s Antidote.

The giveaway runs from today until Monday 11th February 2013. Since this giveaway is to thank my followers, you have to follow my blog via email or WordPress to enter. If you do, it is a chance for you to win a paperback copy of Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare.

Clockwork Princess

Warning: This book will be released on 19th March 2013, which means the winner of my giveaway will have to wait a few weeks to receive it in the mail. I have never given away a not-yet-released book before, but I wanted to do something special for this giveaway, and winning an exciting and much anticipated new release sounds special enough, doesn’t it?

The giveaway is, as always, international.

Giveaway information:

The giveaway is open until Monday 11th February 2013 at midnight (BST time).

To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email, and let me know if you follow via email or WordPress. You HAVE TO follow my blog by email or WordPress to enter.

Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.

This giveaway is open Internationally.

The winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

I am not responsible for items lost in the mail.

I hold the right to end the giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.

I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.

Privacy information: no information given for this giveaway will be used for other purpose than this giveaway. All information provided (names, emails and mail addresses) will be deleted after the giveaway.

Good luck and feel free to leave me a comment below…

This is a blog hop! Visit the other giveaways here.