Adventure, Authors I love, Book of the Week, historical, Series I love

Book of the Week: Imprudence

This may be one of the least surprising BotW picks ever, considering that the first book in the Custard Protocol series was a BotW,  as were several of Gail Carriger’s other books (Sumage Solution, Manners and Mutiny and Timeless) and she was one of my discoveries of the year back when this blog was but a child.  In fact, the only question you have may be: What took me so long to read Imprudence, given that it came out in July last year.  Fear not.  There are answers ahead.

The paperback of Imprudence on a shelf next to Prudence

Firstly though, the plot:  Rue and her crew are back in London after the events of Prudence, which have landed her in a whole heap of hot water with the powers that be.  On top of this, her best friend keeps getting engaged to unsuitable military types and there’s something going on at home.  Rue’s vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is not himself, and her mother is being even more difficult than usual.  What is going on?  Finding out will take the Spotted Custard and her crew to Egypt and beyond

Now, part of the reason this has taken so long for me to read is that it was all boxed up with the to-read pile at the back end of last year, but the reason it was still waiting to be read at that point was a line in the blurb: “her werewolf father is crazy”.  Having read Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, I had a fair idea what was going on there, and I was worried about how it was going to resolve itself.  I love and adore Rue’s Paw – Conall Maccon and although he has his stupid moments (to whit, his idiotic behaviour in Blameless) I was a bit worried about what might happen to him.  And I had a few rocky moments early on in the book, which involved near tears and sniffling.  But I got through it and I was ok.  And that’s as much as I can say without it all being a big old spoiler.  And while we’re talking about the Parasol Protectorate, I found myself wishing that I’d re-read Timeless before I read this, because a lot of the action is in Egypt and there’s a lot of references to the events of that book.  It did all come back to me, but I think I would have been cooing with delight sooner if I’d done a reread first.  And so of course now I need to go and do that reread to check if there were any references that I missed in Imprudence.  There are old friends here – and some who are less friendly.

If I have a quibble, it’s that everything is wrapped up very quickly in the end – the main romantic through line and the adventure-quest one.  I could have read another 50 pages of that resolving itself.  But maybe that’s just me.  And if you’re wondering what prompted me to read this now, it’s the fact that the latest novella that Carriger has written is set after this book, and I *really* want to read that and so needed to do things in order. Because I’m like that.  And we all know that I’ll be pre-ordering the next in this series, Competence, just as soon as there’s a paperback preorder link.  Because I’m like that too.

As always in posts like this, I’m going to remind you all that this is the second in this series, but really actually the seventh if you’re counting Parasol Protectorate (which as you may have guessed have a fair bit to do with this) and eleventh if you’re going chronologically and including the spin-off prequel Finishing School YA series.  So don’t start with this one.  If you’re impatience, go and read Prudence first, but really, what you want to do is start with Soulless and work your way through Alexia’s story before you come to Rue.  And then do the Finishing school, because that is so much more fun once you start to work out who everyone is and how it all fits together.  Just my two-penneth.  They’re all available in Kindle and Kobo and Audible* and you should be able to order the paperbacks from any good bookshop.  Like the Big Green Bookshop.

Happy Reading!

And for longtime readers: No, I still haven’t sorted out the size mismatch issue with my Parasol Protectorate books, I still don’t know the best way to shelve them, but at least I haven’t caved in and bought a second copy of Heartless! There’s still time…

*Although NB, the first audiobook pronounces Lord Akeldama’s name wrong.  It’s Ak-el-dama not A-keel-duhma or however she says it.  It’s fixed by book 2 and I can just about cope with it in book one, even if my brain does repeat it pronounced correctly after every time it’s used.

Book of the Week, Fantasy, new releases, reviews

Book of the Week: Day Shift

This week’s BotW is Charlaine Harris’ Day Shift – the second book in the Midnight, Texas series – which I think is going to be a trilogy (or that’s how it looks at the moment anyway).  And yes, I know Midnight Crossroad was Botw 2 months ago.  But this was the best thing I read last week excepting Janet Evanovich, and we’ve already had that discussion…

We pick up where we left off (almost) in Midnight – the same characters that are left at the end of the last book are still in situ, but there’s a strange (even for Midnight) boy who is staying with the Rev and a mysterious company has started renovating the abandoned hotel. This book is faster paced than it’s predecessor and works the better for it. Some of the characters in book one were hard to warm to because they were just *so* mysterious.  Well a lot of that is cleared up in book two – although there’s still a lot of unresolved plot strands at the end of the book.  And of course Day Shift has a mystery-of-the-week too – which is neat and intriguing – and works well alongside the Bigger Picture puzzle as well.

But what I really loved was the crossovers.  Oh the crossovers.  I mentioned in my review of Midnight Crossroad that there were some familiar faces from previous series, but in this one the guest appearances are brilliant.  I can’t say anymore (as per usual) or I’ll spoil it, but I was thrilled to see some more old friends reappear – I’m the sort of reader who doesn’t like to say goodbye to characters* and so crossovers like this, and side characters from previous books reappearing in bigger roles really makes me happy. I’ve got my fingers crossed for more in the last book!

And that’s pretty much all I can say without spoiling the plot and the excitement for you.  I honestly don’t know how well these would work for you if you were coming entirely new to Charlaine Harris’ worlds, but for me, I passed several happy hours reading this.

Day Shift is only in hardback and e-book at the moment, but you can get your copy from all the usual sources – here’s Day Shift at Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones and on Kindle. And if harback prices are too eye-watering for you, then Midnight Crossroad is available in paperback from Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones and Kindle.

* I’m always hoping for a sequel to rom coms to see the happily ever afters, but get really annoyed when sequels turn up where the couple break up and make up to create a plot.  Yes I know.  A book full of happy people wouldn’t be very interesting. What can I say. I’m a difficult audience.

Book of the Week

Book of the Week: Wicked Business

This week’s BotW changed on Sunday afternoon – which is quite last minute for me. As is usual by that stage in the week I had a novel in mind as my favourite of the week – and had even got as far as thinking about what i was going to say (but not as far as drafting it!).  Then I picked up Janet Evanovich’s Wicked Business which I’d borrowed from the library the previous day…

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My hardback library copy

This is the second book in Evanovich’s Lizzy and Diesel series,* following a cupcake baker with special powers and her mysterious and supernaturally gifted partner in crime. I’m clearly missing some of the back story, because I’m pitching up in a well established universe midway through a series which I think is a spin off in its own right. But golly I had a ball reading this and I’m residing the urge to go out and buy a whole load more of Evanovich’s books. I read this in one sitting, curled up under the blanket on the sofa, ignoring the rest of the world! It perfectly fitted my state of mine after doing a nightshift on Saturday night.

They’re not at all the same thing really, but this reminded me of the feeling that I get from reading a good Charlaine Harris novel. But funnier and with less biting! Several people have recommended Janet Evanovich to me at various points and if they’re all as much fun as this, I think her books may be my next obsession. And that is not good news for reducing the to-read pile because a new obsession always ends up with me going on a buying binge…

* I thought it was the first, but the books were listed in reverse order in the front and I didn’t notice, which is stupid of me because Evanovich’s other series has numbers in the titles!