quarta-feira, 17 de março de 2010

Soulless - Gail Carriger


Gail Carriger
Orbit Books

373 pages

In an alternative Victorian age, vampires, werewolves and ghosts have risen out of obscurity and are duely integrated in London's society. Alexia Tarabotti, spinster by way of a too dark complexion and an Italian father, is atacked by a vampire who seems to ignore she is a pretenatural, one of the rare soulless humans who are immune both to vampires and werewolves. Accidently, Alexia kills the vampire and temperamental Lord Maccon of BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry) is forced to intervene.

the dead (or is it re-dead?) vampire wasn't created by any of the local hives and vampires and werewolves unassociated to any hive or pack are disappearing throughout England. The Supernaturals seem to believe Alexia is somehow to blame; after all, pretenaturals have in the past used their immunity to exterminate their kind. Against the will of Lord Maccon, Alexia takes it upon herself to find out what's happening.

Alexia Tarabotti is a fascinating character: independent, inteligent and sarcastic; perfectly comfortable in her role as someone who is slightly aside from society, but also insecure, marked by too many years of having her insuficiencies constantly blisted. Lord Maccon e Lord Akeldama, werewolf and vampire, rough Scotsman and frenchified dandy, are perfect counterpoints, framing Alexia's conflicting facets. Then there's Professor Lyall, Lord Maccon's Beta, serene and competent and probably ruthless. I suspect I'm a bit infatuated with Professor Lyall, which is rather disconcerting.

Soulless is one of those books you end up reading in one go because you simply must find out what happens next. The writting is light and witty, but by no means inconsequential or vacuous. the characters are rich and well-structured and the details, especially where it comes to the steaampunk aspects of the story, are visually stimulating. I can't say the resolution of the mistery came as a complete surprise, but the book is more comedy of manners than crime novel. There was only one thing I didn't like: No one explained the octopi.

terça-feira, 16 de março de 2010

Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire


Rosemary and Rue
Seanan McGuire

Urban Fantasy
358 pages

October Daye had enough problems as it was: not only is she a changeling (her mother is a Daoine Sidhe), which makes her a second-class citizen in the Faerie world and forces her to all sort of concealments in the human world, but her ex-husband and her daughter refuse any kind of contact with her (that will happen when you can't explain to your loved one taht you were missing for 14 years because someone turned you into a koi). When her friend Eve is murdered and curses her to find her killers under penance of death, Toby is forced to put on her investigator's shoes and to reenter a world she had sworn off when her enchantment had been broken. She will come upon such an elaborate web of intrigue, secret agendas and lies that the only people she seems able to trust are old oponents.

I loved this book. I was a little hesitant at first. From the blurbs I read, I knew the book must be a mixture of fantasy and hard-boiled, two genres I enjoy a lot but that seemed to have the potential to make a big mess when put together. I couldn't be more wrong. The narrative is consistent and concise, the characters are well-rounded and believable and the story is intriguing.

I was especially fascinated by the excellent job the author did of building a realistic main character. Let's face it, the woman's name is October Daye, she's half-fairy, she has a certain air of Legolas about her and she behaves like Humphrey Bogart minus the Y chromosome; it's a cocktail that you'd expect to turn out strange at least, or most likely awful. But McGuire shows such skill in handling her ingredients that the result is someone so believable you wouldn't be surprised to find her on the street.

That said, the next two books in the series are already on my shopping list.

Messiah - Boris Sterling


Messias (Messiah)
Boris Starling

637 pages

It's the summer of 1998 and superintendent Red Metcalfe has a lot to deal with. Not only is he hunting a serial killer who appears to select his victims randomly, he still has to cope with his failing marriage and his own hauting past.

The narrative is constructed in three lines: the investigation, the events surrounding Metcalfe's brother arrest and the serial-killers musings. These are woven quite skillfully, maintaining a good level of suspense throughout the book, until they come together in a rather gruesome but satisfying finale.

I mostly enjoyed the book, it was an entertaining read and I appreciated the author's handling of the multiple narratives. Nevertheless, the suspense of it was a bit spoiled for me because I figured out who the killer was half-way through it. Unfortunately, this wasn't due to my superb reasoning but to a lack of judgement on the author's part. If you spend most of the book paying attention to no one but the investigator and suddenly take a great interest in the actions and thoughts of a secondary character, you've pretty much spelled it out for the reader.

sexta-feira, 12 de março de 2010

The faces of Khaila's world

There were too many problems with Coração de Lobo. I decided to take a break to gain some perspective on it.

I've been revising the outline to try and work out the kinks and I've also been thinking of actors I can see playing my characters to get a stronger notion of them. I'm done "casting" most of the major characters, and am really pleased with the results. Apparently, so are the characters, because the ones that are in Coração de Lobo are talking to me again.




I'm especially pleased with Ightryn and Ember. And Skarsgard ended up being an unexpectadly good match for Lorean.

segunda-feira, 1 de março de 2010


I want to send Coração de Lobo to the publisher by the end of this month, which means the blog will be neglected for a while. It'll be a hard-work month.