Timeless – Gail Carriger

This is a fun end to the Parasol Protectorate books.      In the last book, Alexia had had a baby with her werewolf husband, meaning that young Prudence is a metanatural- able to take on the characteristics of a supernatural creature with just a touch.     Which is all sorts of fun with a barely verbal toddler who doesn’t quite get why she can’t touch people whenever she wants to (including Daddy), lest there’s suddenly a baby vampire or werewolf cub running around.

The main part of this book takes place going to, and in Egypt, after the oldest vampire, Queen Matakara, summons them to show her Prudence.     And since Prudence is the adopted daughter of another vampire (Lord Akeldama), for purely political reasons (and also lots of fun), Alexia and her husband set off immediately, travelling under the cover of Alexia’s friend Ivy’s theater troop.

So pretty much, this books is as madcap as the ones that came before – perfect light reading.     I am pleased to see that Prudence has her own series (once she turns 18 and Lord Akeldama gifts her with her own dirigible), so I’ll be looking forward to tracking those down once they’re in paperback.


Garden Notes

We’re finally set to have some sort of wintery precipitation tomorrow, and it’s gotten a little colder.     Seemed as good a reason as any to finally put the garden away.    So, this morning, things went from the above… to the below.     Feels like a crazy end of an era.

Things were a little frozen this morning, but I get the feeling they would have been ok if I’d left them alone in the sun.


But anyway, here’s the last harvest of the 2015 season.

Midnight in Austenland – Shannon Hale

The idea behind the original Austenland book was that Austenland is basically a Regency theme park – set in an English country home – where rich women can pay to be romanced for a couple of weeks as if they were in a Jane Austen novel.     The main character in the original book is a bit of a fish out of water – her aunt paid for her to go, and she therefore has a slightly different experience than most of the women at Austenland because of different expectations.

In this new book, the new main character, Charlotte, is a self-made woman, trying to figure things out again after her husband has run off with another woman.     She’s got kids, and is along for the ride more for the Austen-vibe, though figuring that a little light flirting can’t hurt.

There are two other women there with her  – one who’s apparently been staying on for months, and the other one turns out to a be one of her 16-year-old daughter’s favorite singers, who has come to Austenland to recover from “consumption”.     This time around- there’s mystery afoot –one of the men has come up with a ghostly mystery concerning a maid who may or may not have killed all the nuns at a nearby abandoned nunnery.     The woman are amusing themselves running all over looking for clues, until Charlotte thinks she may have run into a dead body in a hidden room.  The problem is, the body is gone when she can go look again, and she’s just not sure if she’s worked herself into a paranoid frenzy, a la Catherine Norland in Northanger Abbey.

I think I liked this book better than the first – it’s still a light and fluffy story, but it’s a more mature light and fluffy story.     I cared a lot more about what Charlotte was going through.     I’m glad the author revisited this world.     It’s the type of story that could easily go to the side of gimmicky, but this second go around doesn’t do that.

2015 Books Started and Not Finished

Only one of these this year:

The Golden Key – Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson and Kate Elliot

I can’t even put my finger on why I didn’t like this book.     Too much fake Italian, I think.     The set up (documenting masterworks done by a family that apparently has the ability to effect people with its paintings), was good, but once it got to the real story, it went very meh very fast.


Knitting Notes

Pattern: Cabled Dad Hat by Alexis Winslow
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes del Campo in the Wellies Heather colorway, and just a touch of the Blue Moon Gaea in Corby
Needles: Size 6 and 7 circs, and size 7 DPNs

I managed to finish the three hat trifecta on Christmas Eve!   Both BILs and my FIL received hats!    I’m so proud 😉

Pattern’s not bad, a little on the easier side of what I like to do.    Things aren’t really cabled, exactly, it’s more about knitting into multiple stitches at once, and dropping them from the needles together.

The yarn was fine – but I think I might be biased because I liked the yarn I used before this so much.     This one ended up feeling not so special in comparison.    It’s not bad, just not memorable.

Elemental Magic – ed. Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Magic books are fairy tale retellings set in the late 19th and early 20th century – the magic in these stories centers on the elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth.      This is the first book that opened up that concept to other authors – and I really enjoyed it.

In the intro, Lackey noted that while she wanted to keep her stories in the time period she’d already chosen, she had no problem with others exploring different time periods, as long as the limit was 1919.      So this anthology features stories with Ancient Roman and Greek themes, a story in Hawaii before it was discovered by Europe, and some in America.      There are also several (including one by Lackey) set in the familiar world of the previous books.

The quality on this was good- I recognized most of the authors, and those I didn’t recognize were previously published.    That’s usually my one quibble with this kind of “fan” anthology – there’s usually at least one story that’s a complete stinker.       That was not the case here.    (And really, I’m not sure you could call this a fan anthology, which surely helps.)