More mini-reviews! I hope you enjoy reading these, because right now I am really enjoying writing them. (This format won’t last forever since I’m already planning a change for 2020, but for now I’m having fun with it.) These won’t be brand-new reads by the time this gets posted, but the last of them was too perfect for a close-to-Halloween post, so I’m delaying it.
The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2) by Ashley Poston
This is an enjoyable retelling of The Prince and the Pauper where we get to revisit the world of Geekerella. This time, though, we spend the entire book at the convention, and the fairy tale takes a back-seat to Twitter trolls and paparazzi. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a fairy tale retelling. And there is still a happy, playful rom-com feel to the whole book. But where the Cinderella fairy tale gives an author a lot to work with for a retelling, The Prince and the Pauper is really a super basic premise of two look-a-likes switching places. The looser original story gives Poston a lot more room to explore her own story, and it shows. (I like both the books currently released in this series about equally, but for very different reasons.)
I think I would really like Jessica Stone if I got to know her in person. And that’s something I never thought would be the case based on the way she came across in the first book. Also, can I just say that I love the different interactions with the two original stars from Starfield? I love their characters, and would love to see a prequel about them someday.
A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye #9) by Seanan McGuire
I feel like any full review of this book would be too full of spoilers, so I’m just going to do a very mini-review. (That is one problem with such a long series. Lots of spoilers.)
My favorite things from this book included: the Cu Shidhe, Walther, and getting to see another Court. (Actually, two other Courts.) I love seeing the way the fae interact with each other in the Mists, but even more than that I loved comparing it with Silences. And, based on the way things ended in this book, I’m hoping that we get to see more interactions between the two Courts. Also, I would love to go back to see more of the Court of Whispering Cats. I’m hopeful that we’ll get to see more of the Cu Sidhe and Walther in future books, too, because I really loved the way they developed in this one.
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark
I read this novella a short while ago, but given the “haunting” in the title I almost wish I’d waited until now (aka closer to Halloween) to read it. It was a ton of fun! My biggest complaint is that the story is short, and so I was left wanting more. That’s not really bad though, is it? I’d rather be left wanting more than to be done with the story and characters and only be half-way through a 500+ page monster.
Anyway. This story was fun. It’s set in an alternate history Cairo, semi-steampunk (with magic) universe, populated with a blend of humans and djinn. The haunting may not be a traditional one, but it was a lot of fun to read about how the two government investigators handled it. The setting and cultural references were a nice change from the usual US/UK ones I read, and while there were subtleties I’m sure I missed nothing hindered my enjoyment of the story. I really want to read more in this world, and I am looking forward to the promised full-length novel set in this semi-steampunk alternate Cairo.
Have you read any of these books? Do you plan to?