Compass Rose

– by Anna Burke

After a captivating read of Anna Burke‘s latest novel, “Thorn,” obviously I HAD to read her debut work, “Compass Rose.” The critics were right. By gosh, what a fantastic, thrilling, captivating ride indeed! This swashbuckling action-adventure where I got to read about pirates, mercs, and the military all converging in the high seas (not to mention monsters!), marking their territories and warring for more was exceptionally depicted with persistently vivid visualisations of each and every situation, environment, surroundings, all described with such realism that I was transported to every scene that Burke created, like I was there meself, observing every action and sequence….virtually!

Burke’s “Compass Rose,” at times, was reminiscent of Jules Verne’s classic sea voyage adventure literature, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea,” and at times reminded me of “The Pirates of the Carribean,” for me. Except, Burke’s voyage was infinitely better for me, imho, because of many factors, namely, all the badarse, kick-arse leading characters were WOMEN! Bloody hell YES! Having expressed just how much I loved Burke’s literary, lyrical writing style in “Thorn,” Burke continued to impress me to no end with her brilliant knack for creating a glorious sense of music in her richly descriptive, heart-tugging words in every scenario and dialogue/monologue that somehow transformed into lyrical notes in me head as I read on!

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Demon In The Machine

– by Lise MacTague

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Thanks to Karin Kallmaker‘s enthusiastic plug (plus that very fetching, very cool gothic cover & excerpt revealing a ninja nerd at play!) that pushed me curiosity all the way to reading this book, my first ever by Lise MacTague is in the bag! And was I glad I read this because….WOW! Never read anything like it before! Whilst I’ve always been a big fan of the steampunk genre, my enjoyment of it was limited to films only as I never felt any inclination to read it. Until now.

Demon in a Machine,” imho, is one hell of a rousing, rip-roaring, swashbuckling Victorian-era steampunk perfection filled with heart-pounding, action-packed scenarios, and a whirlwind of an adventure! The BEST thing about this is that it’s led by TWO phenomenal female characters. One, a half-demon hiding in plain sight, and the other, a gobsmackingly gifted, creative genius (with “catlike” AND ninja moves to boot!) hiding behind her airhead socialite public persona. I instantly dubbed her a “ninja nerd” because she is, really. And curiously, me mind kept screaming, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!” as I read on. Well, it fits, particularly the steampunk feel, the outfits, the supernatural powers, the industrial-like design. I then retrained me mind to say “The League of Extraordinary GentleWOMEN!!” Yup. Briar and Isabella were a couple of gentlewomen. They were extraordinary. They fought like heroes. They were heroes. Superheroes. In my book.

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