Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mini reviews (15)

Mini Reviews.

I find the journey I am taking with this series to be very interesting. I enjoyed the first book well enough, although didn’t fall head over heels for it, the second book strengthened the various characters and their positions, although the love triangle it brewed was frustrating yet humorous and very nicely done (more on that in a moment), but now all that has been outshone by the third and penultimate book. It took things to a whole new level, showed Sophronia... well, I’ll get onto that in about four minutes. Just, it makes it a little difficult to then go and review the second book because it’s all rather clouded.

I feel like there were two main points to the plot arc of this one: make Sophronia a realer character and create a multi faceted, multi person romance for her. And it did both of those things marvelously.
I was rather hesitant at the beginning when all the girls, Sophronia’s best friends, turned on her with fickleness and she had to fend for herself- it frustrated me that this element of bullying, however realistic, had to be bought into such a story (the friends, to be honest, play a very slim role in this edition), and it didn’t feel true to their characters, whatever the motives. I didn’t ever really reconcile with that early half, even when the later one appealed to my senses better.

So, Sophronia starts up a prim romance with an Earl’s son, mostly just teasing and practice on her behalf, and we start to see her confliction about Soap, and although I enjoyed many elements of this love triangle I simply love Sophronia and Soap too much to have been on board. It also felt rather unnecessary. Very well done and useful to get into Sophronia as a person, but Soappp!

Sophronia, for her part truly does fill out her character in this one. She takes a risk and makes a  mistake that leaves her with deep guilt and pain. I realised, at that point, how much she had grown on me. Which is basically to say: endlessly.

I don’t know what to say, months later. I am still truly stunned, speechless (except for “I loveddddd it!”) and blown away by the mastery that is this edition, the penultimate, in a series I have enjoyed from the beginning and, with this, grown to love mightily.

After the events at the end of the second book Sophronia is changed, weighed down. She blames herself and quietly holds herself accountable. The impression of this was intense, striking.

Most of this book takes place, intriguingly, on a train, and I do feel like that is hard to achieve in a way that keeps the plot moving (none of the puns), but it made for some truly fantastic moments, not to mention close quarters for Sophronia & Co. (minus, sadly, Agatha) to fight for victory and be close, and also for the greatly aforementioned love triangle to spark, what with both contenders being on the train. In the single carriage.

It’s terribly hard to describe what the last quarter of the book did to me. It was emotional, riveting, intense and horribly moment to moment. I felt so intensely held by the story, so afraid for and with Sophronia, and I’m sure I held my breath (or at least breathed very shallowly) for a good few pages.

This heat up. Sophronia is a glorious, fierce, imaginative pile of wonder. Soap is so incredibly sweet I could pop. Dimity is better- and more present- than ever, living my fear of blood to the end. Sidheag is chummy and feels the full brunt force of her friends love. It’s terrifying, inventive, terribly high stakes and exciting as anything.



So rather splendid all round.

16 comments:

  1. Yep. I need to read these books at some point. I loved the Soulless series by Carriger so I'm curious to see her YA steampunk. It's always fun to follow growing characters.

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    1. You do! They're so incredibly wonderful. Soulless was so fun, wasn't it? I audioed it, but imagine I'll read the read of the books. x

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  2. Haven't read this series yet, but I do have her Parasol one. Still haven't read those either. Lol.

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    1. You should read Soulless, since you've got it! It's a lot of fun and set in a really lively world. I imagine you'll really enjoy it, Joy, and then you can move onto this series! xx

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  3. I still haven't started this series because I was unsure if it was for me, but it sounds like the books just got better and better with the third being the best and showing the most development. I really should check them out then!

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    1. Definitely. I thought I mightn't like them as much as everyone else, after the first one, but now I appreciate just how brilliant it was. I guess my expectations were very high- it's remarked as being like Harry Potter, which it's not, really, in my opinion, and it sets a high benchmark- and I didn't appreciate it as much. I hpoe you do check them out, Alise! They're really marvellous books. xx

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  4. I've seen this series around but never thought it was really my type of book - but I've slowly started to enjoy historical fiction a lot so who knows, might give this series a go down the track! I'm not too sure how I feel about someone called Soap though :P Wonderful review Romi, so glad to hear you enjoyed this!

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    1. Oh yay! It's kinda historical fiction/steampunk/MG. It's really, really fantastic, despite having so much going on. I guess because it has so much going on! Sope is shortened, though! I can't remember what his full name is, though. Something really, really long. They do all have sort of ridiculous names! xx

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  5. I have heard great things about this series. I have the first and last books. I still have to find the second but these books seem fairly likable. Great post!

    -Jordan

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    1. Aah, us bookworms. We do tend to have oddly numbered books in a series, huh? I really hope you end up reading them. I think you'd probably really enjoy this series. x

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  6. With this series it really does sound like the first book was good but from then on the series only improved... getting better and better along the way. I love the sound of these books and I know I am going to be reading it. I won't mind the love triangle because although it is there it seems like it is handled better than most are!

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    1. Yup, it's a case of "it was good" to "it got better" ending with "IT'S AMAZING". This is just an extraordinarily good series. Oh, yay! I'm glad you're going to give them a chance- they're MG, so hopefully you'll still be able to enjoy them, since that's not your favourite. xx

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  7. Ooh, this series seems to be the rare one where it improves instead of deteriorates. I have to say it doesn't quite sound like my type of thing, but it's great to see some MG love instead of YA in the blogosphere :) I see you're starting Inkheart! I loved that premise as a child.

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    1. Yes, definitely. It doesn't happen much, does it? Ah well, we can't all love everything, right? This has definitely become one of my favourite series, but I respect the fact you don't think it sounds like your kind of read.
      I adore Inkheart, although... I'm not really focusing on it, atm. It's my third read, though, and I look forward to sinking back in when it feels right! I feel a little awkward about having had it a third of the way read for about four months.xx

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  8. Glad to hear you're enjoying this series Romi, I've heard so many fantastic things about the steampunk elements and it sounds like it gets better and better as it goes along!

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    1. It's really imaginative and well told, and yes for getting better as it goes along! It's incredible how wonderful and more enjoyable it became for me as I went along. Here's to book 4! xx

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