I allowed myself to get sucked into this four book collection the other day. Wow. So very well-written. Best “steam-punk world” I’ve experienced. VERY hard to put down. Engaging characters, good plotting, well-detailed descriptive narrative: just a Good Read.
Now, if you saw my normal reading list, you might be surprised that I enjoyed this collection so much. Four short books (the whole collection doesn’t run much over 800pp) that were a really fun read. I immediately bought the next book, A Lady of Resources, and immediately devoured it. Yes, I enjoyed the entire collection and I will purchase the next book as soon as it’s available.
But why, pray, might you be surprised at my glowing commentary? Oh, well, these books are “juvies” (yeh, yeh, they call ’em “YA” books now, but since “juvenile” now extends to the late 20s–or later: most politicians are sociopathic juveniles, for example–and “young adults” are more likely to be 30-somethings anymore, I’ll just stick with “juvie” mmK? ;-)), and the ONLY reason I read juvies is because I enjoy sharing my Wonder Woman’s world. She’s a K-8 librarian and is very close with her readers. I suspect a very large portion of her enjoyment of juvie books is anticipation of interaction with her students about the books she reads WITH them. And I enjoy the well-written and well-edited ones for being able to share them with her. (Besides, they are invariably very, very quick reads and don’t disrupt my other reading hardly at all, so. . . *heh*)
OK, but these books are quite different. Yeh, yeh, I read the Percy Jackson stuff. *yawn* Well-written enough, but really quite pedestrian, boringly predictable. And yes, I read the J.K. Rowling things, despite being bored to tears after getting halfway through the first one. (Maybe I’m a bit picky, but then again maybe not. . . )
These books, though, are real gems. They’re just very, very well-written, with an excellent Victorian period feel melding well with the fictional steampunk universe, characters that are engaging and credible, ripping good stories, just. . . just Good Reads, regardless the genre or target audience. What’s even more surprising is that this very, very well-written prose and these very, very well-told stories are from the hand of a person with an actual B.A. in Literature AND an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction–two things that, in my experience, tend to result in writers producing Suckitudinous Fiction. *heh* My hat’s off to Shelley Adina for developing REAL writing chops despite her academic credentials. 😉