Trying a couple of new things this month in my recaps. First, typing them up as I finish rather than trying to do it all at the end of the month. Which also means doing this in 2-3 parts because I have more to say when it’s fresh in my mind. Also including content tags and linking to Goodreads for anyone who’s interested in checking them out to add to their own to-read lists.
Changeless by Gail Carriger
Featuring: steampunk setting, werewolves, vampires (kind of, in the background), spies, lesbians, fantasy tech, romance
So far I’m sticking with my “one Carriger book a month” plan, though I made a mistake this time by reading another book that’s a little too similar. (More on that later.) I might have to spread them out a bit in the future, if I wind up being drawn to another steampunk or Victorian-era story.
This is the second book in her Parasol Protectorate series, and I do recommend reading them in order. The first spends more time introducing you to characters you’re expected to know here, so there isn’t as much space dedicated to describing them and traits already established in Soulless. Now we get to see the main character from that, Alexia, chasing down her husband and trying to figure out why vampires and werewolves have suddenly been struck with a human-again curse.
Less repeated character description leaves room for more werewolves! I love the way Carriger writes werewolves and I like that we got to see more detail here regarding pack dynamics and the “rules” of the supernatural elements in general. I’m also a big fan of new character Genevieve Lefoux and look forward to seeing more of her.
I am not a fan of Conall, Alexia’s husband. He’s very handsy and barrels right through boundaries. It’s…ok, not explicitly non-con or even dub-con, because Alexia’s always into it, but that’s a problem too, you know? Like this book takes the “your mouth was saying no but your eyes/body were saying yes” crap and treats it like it’s true. It’s a fantasy novel, I’m currently reading a BDSM-centric book myself (more on that later, too) so I get people reading and writing their kinks and can appreciate that this is probably exactly what someone else wants to read, I’m just saying it’s uncomfortable for me personally and when he’s on the page I’m always just hoping he’ll run off again soon. Ugh.
Hopes for future books: Less Conall, more focus on the awesome queer background characters that really need to become foreground characters. I suspect I’m out of luck on the first part, but crossing my fingers for the second.
Kim Reaper Vol 1: Grim Beginnings by Sarah Graley
Featuring: death, lesbians, cuteness, romance, adventures, comedy, zombies, ghosts, possession
This was a “meh, seems cute” last minute addition the last time I went to the comic store and had loyalty point money to spend. Not wasted! I’m not sure it’s one that will stick with me enough to seek out more, but it was a fun, quick read. Very cute, very sweet.
It’s about an art student with a crush on her cute goth classmate. She works up the courage to ask her out for drinks…and approaches just in time to see her disappear into a mysterious magic portal. Gasp! Turns out the classmate (Kim) works as a grim reaper part time. Just animal souls, though, she’s a beginner.
I have some serious respect for the characters in this comic drawing (or attempting to draw) some healthy boundaries. Kim telling Becka that staring at her all the time is creepy, Becka telling Kim that she can’t deal with the danger of being around a reaper and is interested, but only if she stops. It’s good. Slightly less good is how quick it goes from “stop staring, it’s creepy” to “let me impress you with a magic date to an abandoned theme park and a haunted ship.” I would like more time to see a relationship develop. But comics are short, things get rushed, and college was awhile ago for me so hey, relationships probably did move that fast at the time. My now-husband and I went on one date and then suddenly we were together 24/7, so. I guess I really can’t complain about fictional college students rushing into relationships.
Hm. This is probably long enough for now, and I’m not likely to finish any others until next week at least. So I guess I’ll post this one now, part 2 and possibly 3 soon.
My reading challenge is going pretty well so far this year. I’ve already got my books for next month planned, except maybe not. Because some co-workers are talking about starting a book club and I told them I was interested. So if I can’t fit everything in I might have to put some of my other stuff on hold. And then I liked the book club idea a lot and took it to Mastodon, so soon I’ll likely be putting some stuff together to facilitate one or more there.
SO. MUCH. READING! I’m very excited.
What are you all reading?