Review: The Angel of the Crows

The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

Genre: Fantasy
Maturity Level: 4- (non-graphic disembowelment)
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings under a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.

Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.


I loved this book! Sherlock fan-fiction set in a London with every supernatural creature you’ve ever thought of (and some you haven’t) and a vaugly steampunk vibe, plus Jack the Ripper. What’s not to love?

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Cross-Genre Books

Crossovers are like, my favorite thing EVER.

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Books, movie, TV, doesn’t matter. I especially like when characters from one story end up in another. Van Helsing, for example, has to be one of my all-time favorite monster movies. And if the Supernatural people gave Angel a cameo I would just flip my chips. (Okay, that’s not a thing. I made it up. Get over it.)

In the last year I’ve discovered that this love extends to cross-genre books. I really enjoy when a book can’t be just put squarely a box. If I’m going to have trouble figuring out where I’m going to put it in my bookshelf, I’m probably going to be grinning the whole time I’m reading. Continue reading “Cross-Genre Books”

Review: The Greyfriar

8140709The Greyfriar by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

Series: Vampire Empire
Genres: Steampunk, Fantasy, Fiction
Maturity Level: 4
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming. Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. When she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan, her only protector is the Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans.


Note: This review was originally posted in 2013 on my personal blog, Opinionated and Unabashed, and can be viewed here. I solemnly swear that it was my blog and I am not ripping off anyone else.

Ever since the immense popularity of the Twilight Saga I have had a difficult time finding a Vampire novel that isn’t about romance. I have a particular fear of Vampires. My freshman year of college I read Dracula, and it scared me so badly that I had to stop reading at night. I was having terrible nightmares about bats at my window and terrifying fogs, not to mention the monster himself. So I have never particularly appreciated the notion that vampires might be good, or lovable. I prefer for them to be, well, frightening.

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Review: The Difference Engine

337116The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling

Genres: Steampunk, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Fiction
Maturity Level: 2
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Rating: ⋆⋆


1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines. Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time. And three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with history – and the future: Sybil Gerard – dishonored woman and daughter of a Luddite agitator; Edward “Leviathan” Mallory – explorer and paleontologist; Laurence Oliphant – diplomat and spy. Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for…


I didn’t understand this book at all, which is unusual for me. I’m not sure if that’s because it was somehow over my head, or if just wasn’t that great of the book. Aside from that, the characters weren’t especially interesting, it wasn’t very exciting (maybe even *gasp* dull), there was very little fascinating Steam Punk technologies, and the dialogue frequently reminded me of the Roaring Twenties rather than Victorian England. However, I did enjoy the element of alternate history the Difference Engine brought by keeping the same major political players, but putting them in a completely different world. Overall I was disappointed, and this definitely isn’t a book I would read again.

Steampunk: Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

I’ve posted two steampunk reviews in the past couple weeks, and both times in the “genre” section I’ve had to put Sci-Fi/Fantasy, which REALLY grates my cheese. Science Fiction and Fantasy are NOT the same thing (except when, occasionally, they are…) and even though the get lumped together at bookstores and libraries, it’s usually pretty easy to spot the difference.

But not with Steampunk.

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Review: Boneshaker

1137215Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Series: The Clockwork Century
Genres: Steampunk, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 3+
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.

But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.

His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.


Boneshaker is probably the best reviewed and most popular Steampunk Novel out right now, so possibly my expectations were a little too high. Truthfully, I was slightly disappointed. While it was a lot of fun, very interesting, and extremely well-written, it wasn’t quite as suspenseful as I was anticipating. While I loved Briar and reading from her point-of-view, Zeke annoyed me and I did not look forward to reading his perspective. The friends Briar made along the way were appropriately crazy and eclectic, but the main antagonist, Minnericht, was not particularly frightening.

I really enjoyed reading this book, but I probably wouldn’t read it again. Still searching for that just-can’t-put-it-down Steam-punk Novel.

Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass

24876258Series: The Cinder Spires
Genres: Steampunk (allegedly), Fantasy, Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
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Rating: ⋆⋆


Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…


This was far and away the most poorly written Steampunk novel I’ve read to date (if you can even really call it Steampunk…), but at least it was moderately entertaining.

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