palmedfire: (Read in 2011)
Well, I'm not reading as fast as some of the other people on my flist who are doing this, but I'm trying not to worry about that. Just going to keep plugging away at this.

I picked up Soulless right before Christmas, on recommendation from [personal profile] zehavit_lamasu and to bump my Amazon order up enough for free shipping. Only just got around to reading it, but that sort of thing happens a lot in my house. Too many books, such a trial ;)

So, about the book: Soulless is a roughly Victorian-era, steampunk AU sort of book, set in a London where vampires and werewolves not only do exist, but are part and parcel of society. There's some very interesting things set up about the supernatural society - the idea that one needs an excess of soul to be turned into either vampire or werewolf (if you don't have sufficient soul, the change kills you), and the idea that while werewolves have packs, vampires have hives, which isn't something I've seen before. Then again, I'll admit to not having read a ton of vampire lit.

Anyway, our main character is a wonderfully strong-willed woman named Alexia Tarabotti. Alexia is far too bright and blunt for her social status and time period, and also has no soul. This gives her the ability to neutralize supernatural powers, which is either incredibly handy, or rather inconvenient depending. Often both at once.

I truly loved this book, Gail Carriger manages to be incredibly witty and amusing all through the story, even when the situation is getting bad. Alexia is a compelling character, so perfectly in-voice for the time period, but yet so a women who would have done much better born later in history.

I am looking forward to picking up the rest of the series (Changeless, Blameless and Heartless) at some point.
palmedfire: (Read in 2011)
So like [personal profile] everchangingmuse I've decided to keep track of all the books I read this year. And since I just got my NOOK eReader, I've also decided to keep track of which ones I read on the Nook versus paper books I read.

So, book 1 for 2011 - The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold. The first book of the Vorkosigan Saga, which is one of those sci-fi series I've heard a ton about but never read. And it's very popular for Yuletide. So when I found out the Baen Publishing has released one of the books for free digital download I thought 'hey, why not'?

I'm glad I did. The Warrior's Apprentice introduces us to Miles Vorkosigan, who is a member of the Vorkosigan family who are essentially nobility on his home planet of Barrayar. He wants to go into the military like all his male relatives, but fails the physical fitness test rather spectacularly. Which then cascades into a series of fascinating events, piling one on top of one another, taking him far from home and then back again.

It was quite a fun read, with lots of twists and turns to the story I was not expecting, but made perfect logical sense. Miles was a great character, always just flying by the seat of his pants and yet still somehow managing to make everything work. I don't want to spoil anything, so a lot of what I liked I can't really mention. But I'm definitly going to be hunting down more of these!

In terms of reading it on my NOOK, I have to say, I love how easy it is to just pick it up and read a page or two, and to be able to pick it up and put it down without worrying that I'll lose my place.

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