Saturday, March 27, 2010

Multi-Genre Lightning Reviews: HISTORICAL


Soulless, by Gail Carriger
Historical Paranormal Comedy, 2009

One of the most hotly anticipated debuts of last year, 'Soulless' made many a reader's top-10 list but Apprentice Writer would have read it on strength of fantabulous cover alone. Turns out, the story was well worth it, despite a couple of stumbles in the pacing and repetition departments and the headscratcher of a supposedly super-educated heroine not knowing the correct plural of 'octopus'. But no matter: the word best used to sum up here is 'Rollicking!', and AW will definitely continue with the story of Miss Tarabotti, paranormal heroine extraordinaire.



Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls
Fictionalized Biography, 2009

Read for book club, the cover would not have made AW pick this title up in the store but it was perfectly reflective of content. The author tells the story of her maternal grandmother's life in a believable, enthralling first-person voice. Born at a challenging time in an unforgiving environment (to a struggling family in west Texas during the Great Depression), she was astonishing in her determination (and extraordinary success!) at rising up to meet any and every challenge in her path. When she wasn't making AW feel like the wussiest princess ever to walk the earth she was truly inspirational.




Secret History of the Pink Carnation, by Lauren Willig
Historical/Contemporary Romantic Suspense, 2005
The first of an extremely popular, light-hearted and botanically-named series, Apprentice Writer spied this gorgeously covered re-release and was inspired to take a look. Alas, though there was a lot she liked, this story suffered from crazy huge anticipation build-up. She kept thinking about how the historical hero didn't seem that competent a spy, how the historical heroine seemed just a little too immature, how the villain kept making very basic mistakes.... Based on what she did like, and in view of the fact that this was the debut effort, AW would take a look at the next in the series but it would need to work hard to make her work her way through what has become a lengthy series (with gorgeous covers, one and all).

What say you, Gentle Reader? Familiar with any of these titles?

4 comments:

Julia Smith said...

Soulless looks good! I'm not familiar with any of them, though, because I'm not a quick reader and I would never get through books fast enough to seek out new releases. I have my hands full reading copies of books for review. The books I read just for myself? Well, I'm still working on the one I started before Christmas. (My reading time is pretty much what I can read on the bus, and I've been sleeping instead.)

I'll mention your blog and your writing genre to Nikki at the next meeting, M. She used to have a blog but gave it up for more writing time. She's writing contemporary romantic comedy, so I know you two would enjoy each other's writing styles.

Rachel said...

I read Walls' memoir which I thought was very good - and I don't usually like memoirs. I've been on the fence about picking up her latest as I haven't talked with anyone who read it but I might just have to give it a try now.

I don't know any of the others. I like that Soulless cover (and do buy for covers, as well:) but I can't seem to get into the paranormals...

玉苓 said...

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.............................................

Wylie Kinson said...

I have Wall's Glass Castles (I think that's the name... too lazy to go check) but haven't read it yet. And I fully intend to read Soulless, just based on that delicious buzz alone. One of these days...