The Grimrose Path by Rob Thurman
I picked up this book expecting a continuation of Trick of the Light- and all the sarcasm and mayhem contained therein. I was not let down.
About halfway through I actually had to set the book down and applaud quietly. Well played, Trixa. Well played. That…was a plot twist to end all plot twists, and I should have seen it coming. But I didn’t, and therein lies the beauty.
Mayhem, casual violence, shenanigans, Gods and angels and devils and everything in between- Grimrose Path takes the promise of Trick of the Light and turns it up a notch. Whereas I had originally described the relationship between Griffin and Zeke as a clone of that of Nik and Cal from Thurman’s other series, that comparison proves superficial as I was hauled through Grimrose. My only problem with the series, laid to rest. What more could a reader ask for?
Maybe a fantastic incarnation of Loki? check.
An incarnation of Thor too delightfully wrong to ignore? taken care of.
An urban fantasy heroine that does not jump in bed with every sexxy were-thing or vampire in town? Trixa’s on it.
The politics of Heaven and Hell get even more complicated in this one, and our Trixa is right in the middle of it. As always.
This one does not let you down. It builds and builds and the payoff at the end is magnificent.
Blameless by Gail Carriger
Blameless will forever go down in infamy as the book that made me run to the store to buy some pesto.
Gail Carriger continues to amuse with cunningly crafted and original turns of phrase (my favorite from this one may be “pickled beyond the gherkin” to describe someone who was well and truly drunk). Much of my time reading was spent being thankful I was not on a plane, as my rather exuberant guffaws would most likely have troubled anyone sitting beside me.
Blameless finds Alexia dealing with being turned out of her husbands house (poorly), Lord Maccon dealing with having turned his wife out (poorly) and Professor Lyall and Foote dealing with their respective charges (very well, with a side of put upon resignation).
There are vampire plots, rove swarms, dashing werewolf heroics, and murderous ladybugs.
And pesto. Who knew Italy used pesto as vampire and werewolf deterrent. I thought it was innocently delicious.
For those following the series, this is another strong addition. Read on, my friends. Read on.
For everyone else, go grab a copy of Soulless, book one, and clear a good chunk of time. The books are more addictive than most controlled substances and you will not want to put it down once you have started it.
“Major Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings slouched reluctantly over to brace his pack leader from the other side, Together the Beta and the Gamma steered their Alpha down the hall to the central staircase, up several floors, over, and up the final steps to the earl’s tower sleeping chamber. They managed this with only three casualties: Lord Maccon’s dignity (which hadn’t very far to fall at that point), Major Channing’s elbow (which met a mahogany finial), and an innocent Etruscan vase (which died so that Lord Maccon could lurch with sufficient exaggeration).” Blameless, by Gail Carriger, page 29.
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
I was trying to figure out a way to explain just what it was about this book that made it so glorious. Then I found it, hidden away at the bottom of page 372. “With wonder and a growing absence of fear she realized, I am more than I was an hour ago.”
That sensation really does sum it up. “I am more than I was an hour ago.” It is a feeling that is woven through every page, colors every event. It takes something so tragic, a story about a child taken from her family and sent to live in the leper colony on Moloka’i and all the death and pain that can and does result, and transforms it. This is a story about growing and evolving, about living.
The writing is beautiful. The first few times the marks of leprosy were described in an almost nonchalant fashion, the horror and vague nausea they inspired, quickly faded. This was the background, the catalyst but not the story.
Apart from a story of the experience of lepers at that time, the late 1800’s moving forward, it is also the story of a culture in upheaval. It is the transition of Hawaii into a United States possession and the movement from traditional religion to Christianity. Absolutely fascinating was reading about the events of Peal Harbor from the point of view of a colony of quarantined lepers. The first time they saw a moving picture. How excited they were to get electricity.
Leprosy sets the scene, but does not color the story. It is always there, as Rachel grows to an adult away from her family, gaining new family on Moloka’i, but it is more about the people than the disease.
A beautiful book. I think everyone should give it a read. I am more than I was before reading.