Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two-Fer Book Review!

I`ve been slacking in my book reviews. Blame it on a certain series of hockey romance books that my muse is obsessed with writing. I do apologize for not getting these out quicker. So, without further ado or muse blaming, let`s get rolling with a couple short reviews of the last two books I read.

First we`ll start with Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding-

Holy cow and wowzers! This was an amazingly entertaining read! My first steampunk novel that was not also a paranormal romance literally blew me away. The story centers on the airship the Ketty Jay and its crew. The captain, Darian Frey, hasn`t had an easy life, nor has he made good choices along the way. Seems like everyone onboard his ship is running from something. Crake is a deamonist hiding from some terrible dark past that travels with an armored golem. Jez, the new navigator will do anything to keep her secret safe from the crew. Malvery is a surgeon living in disgrace at the bottom of a hip flask.

So when Frey is offered the chance to steal a chest filled with gems from a vulnerable airship, he leaps on the chance. Finally! Here is the chance to be the rich man he has always dreamed of. And besides, it`s an easy job. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty. The heist goes terribly and suddenly Frey finds himself the most wanted man in Varnia. He and his motley crew are being hounded by bounty hunters, Century Knights, and the dreaded queen of the sky, Trinica Dracken, who Frey has a past with. Frey now knows he has been set up, but by who and why? The answer might just be found in the hidden pirate stronghold known as Retribution Falls. Now all he has to do is get there without being blasted out of the air.

This was a five star read from beginning to end. Fast paced action, swashbuckling adventure, well-written characters with painful pasts, superb world-building, and romance. It has it all and delivers the tale in a fast, exhilarating pace. Grab a copy. I promise you won`t be disappointed.

Now onto the second book-

A few weeks ago on my blog I wrote a post about the first romance I ever read. I vowed to find a copy and reread. Well, here is my copy and I just wrapped up reading Nakoa`s Woman for the second time.

Oh yes, this book has been read and read and then read again. The lovely lady that runs my local Indie bookstore found me a copy, with the same cover as I remembered! Opening the yellowed pages instantly took me back to that first time I read this historical romance back in the early seventies.

We start the book with Nakoa having his vision quest, where he sees a white woman and accepts her as his Nitosan, a vision from Napi that will protect and guide him. Years pass. A brutal attack on her wagon train finds the lovely Maria Frame as the only survivor. Running for her life she is taken captive by the Blackfoot warrior, Nakoa. From the initial moment of her capture, Maria fights not only her growing feelings for her captor, but the scorn from the Blackfoot tribe. The two lovers soon find themselves challenging not only their people, but the Blackfoot and White customs as well. This is a powerful, bittersweet, violent, depressing, uplifting romance.

I will admit that I had slightly different thoughts about the protagonist Maria this second time around. She worked on my nerves in places with her stubborn, ditzy, immature ways. Of course, this change in thinking is based on gathering over forty some years of life experience. Reading a book at thirteen and then reading it again at fifty-two is likely to bring about some changes in how you relate to the characters involved.  Maria reminded me a good deal of Bella Swan, who set my teeth on edge throughout her own series, because of her immaturity. Yes, I know, these are young women both in their late teens, and so this type of behavior is to be expected.

There was a very funny tidbit I read on the internet written by Andy Rooney, where he praised women over forty. One particularly hilarious line that I have passed along to my dear hubby went something like this –

“A woman over the age of forty will never wake you up in the middle of the night to ask what you`re thinking. She doesn`t care what you think.”

Bazinga! I`m at that stage in my life, and admittedly I find it grueling to read young women throwing themselves around, whining and plotting and whimpering when the man they love doesn`t devote himself to them twenty-four seven and three sixty five. But, this is my problem to deal with. The author did a wonderful job of bringing the angst of a young woman`s first love to life. The romance moved me as it did all those years ago. The secondary characters made me laugh and weep. I really enjoyed taking this walk through such a moving physical and spiritual love. Yes, the writing style is dated. That didn`t detract from the experience one bit for me.

As a historical Native American romance, I happily give Nakoa`s Woman four stars. And I plan to gently retire this book to my shelves of never to be traded novels.

Oh, you`d like to see those shelves? Okay, in two weeks I`ll share my keeper books with y`all. Maybe we have a few shared tastes! At the very least you`ll get to know why certain books never leave my hands.


Charlotte Crawley said...

I don't know about the first book Retribution Falls. The cover doesn't look like a book I would read. I'll recommend it to my husband and see what he says. I understand about the shelf of books to never trade in, unfortunately it looks like I have a whole house of them ;)

V.L. Locey said...

Hi Charlotte,

I didn`t think so either, but Retribution Falls really surprised me. Your hubby may enjoy it. It`s quite a swashbuckling tale!