Book Review: The Amazing Adventures of Acacia Carlisle by Cate Morgan

Title: The Amazing Adventures of Acacia Carlisle (Blood & Steam #1)
Author: Cate Morgan
Genre: Steampunk/YA
Date Read: 11/09/2015
Rating: ★★★★


acaciacarlisleThis a quick, fun read and despite its short length (GoodReads tells me it comes in at 96 pages), it packs in a really tight plot. I read it in an airport; it was just perfect for that type of environment and waiting period.

When Acacia Carlisle’s brother goes missing, and then her father’s airship goes down while searching for him, Acacia sets out to track down the man responsible for it all, Baron Lindsey. She enlists the help of Captain Drew McCallan, offering the patronage of the Carlisle shipping line in return for use of his airship and crew. Together, they end up on an adventure neither of them expected.

Acacia and Drew were both really fun characters. I could hear their voices in my head, both very distinct. Acacia has loads of self-confidence and isn’t afraid to use the resources available to her (such as her family’s name and money) to get what she needs. Drew has been a bit more down on his luck, but he is knowledgeable when it comes to airships and navigation, and together, he and Acacia make a good team.

The book’s descriptions were also very vivid, especially the mountaintop airship port where the climax of the story takes place. I could imagine it all. However, I did expect that the world would be a little bit more steampunk-y. Apart from airships being the main mode of long distance transport, I felt we were basically in the a regular Victorian set-up.

That was my only real quibble, though. I’m definitely going to look up the next book when it comes out.

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – October 07, 2015

Wednesday has somehow already rolled around again, and I have to apologise for visiting very few of your blogs last week. First up this week, I’m doing WWW Wednesday, a weekly book meme in which we answer three questions starting with W. This meme is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words and you can join in by leaving a link to your own post on today’s post.

  • What are you currently reading?

I’m still going on The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway. I’m nearly at page 100! Of 531! It’s a very slow read, this one, but I do like it. It’s a lot denser than anything I usually read, though.

No movement on Evensong by Krista Walsh so far this week.

I started Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. It’s a historical adaptation of Rapunzel, and was recommended to me by a colleague. I’m only about 20 pages in so far. It was one of the two picked for me on the Pick for Me community on LiveJournal (a community where you are paired up with a buddy who chooses two books from your TBR for you to read during the month).

I’ve also started listening to the audio of Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. The audio is quite long, though; I’m wondering if it might be quicker to grab a copy of the physical book.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I listened to the audio of Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, which is a bit of an Australian classic. I thought it was interesting, and it definitely had some beautiful descriptions of the Australian landscape, but overall, I wasn’t that fussed. Probably partially because I’m not really the type who enjoys things labelled “classic”.

I also finished to The Crawling Terror, a Doctor Who novel read by Neve McIntosh, who plays Madame Vastra in the show. It may have had the 12th Doctor and Clara, but it felt like a Third Doctor adventure. Giant insects from outer space and top secret Nazi technology. Fun stuff.

And then there was another Doctor Who story, The Day of the Cockroach, which was read by Arthur Darvill, who played Rory. He had Amy and the 11th Doctor’s voices down perfectly. It was awesome. Also, it had nuclear bombs and giant cockroaches. Also awesome. Other cool thing about Doctor Who audios is that they put sound effects and stuff through them as well. When the Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver, you get the sound effect underneath the narration. Ditto the TARDIS. There was a scene in this one where they were all banging on the walls with pots and pans and those sounds were used, too.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I still haven’t started Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and I also picked up The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker up from the library (it’s the second of the two Pick for Me books), so probably one of those.

Lol, this post has already taken up a whole page in the Word document I’m typing it in. Sorry guys. I do go on sometimes.

wednesdaybannerNext up is WIPpet Wednesday, in which writers share exerpts from their WIP that somehow relate to the date. You can join in on this one, too; our linky is over here. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for being an awesome host.

Scrivener is currently downloading updates, so I can’t access my typed up Operation Sugarplum file. In the meantime, I give you ten lines from my notebook for the 10th of the month. It’s handwritten, so it is quite short. Clara has been taken hostage in her own house by the Creelan King and his minions.

“Max will come for me. And he will beat you.” Clara was pleased to note she sounded far more confident than she felt.

“We expect him to come, Clara. That’s the entire point.” The other creatures sniggered. The King continued, “In the meantime, you will do everything I say, to the letter, or I will kill you on the spot and let him come to us with revenge in mind instead. Is that understood?”

For once I have managed to get my Wednesday blog post out of the way well before my evening sport match (soccer tonight, bleergh), so I really feel like I should also go and write my book review for this week before I have to leave. On that note, I will leave you, and see you on your own blogs soon!

~ Emily



#ROW80 Round 4 – Goals post

row80Today signals the beginning of the new round of A Round of Words in 80 Days. The last few weeks I have been writing words, but I have not been feeling them. I’m not excited about what I’m writing. In fact, this has extended to a few facets of my life, recently, but I’m trying taking steps to inspire myself again. The weather is warming up over here now, and I want to try to spend more time outdoors. Especially over the next month or so, because after that, it’ll be too hot.

I currently have three WIPs on the go. The first, Lessons Learned, is the one with the characters of Grace and Frederick, and set in a historic town in country Australia. You can read some excerpts from it here. In its current state, it sits at about 6000 words so far. Then there’s Operation Sugarplum, which is sitting at 5k. The third is Worlds Apart, which I’ve shared from a couple of times, but I’ve probably only written a couple of thousand words on it, as it’s mostly still in the planning stages. And it’s still mostly all handwritten at this point.

My aim for this round of ROW80 is to finish Operation Sugarplum and make significant progress on Lessons Learned. No, I don’t exactly have a definition for “significant” in this context yet. I’m going to work on Operation Sugarplum first, so I’ve got some time to figure it out.

I also decided I’m not going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Or maybe any year. I logged into the site earlier to look at the forums, and they have added a feature to the profile page called “Lifetime Achievement: Total NaNo Word Count”. Mine is 190,652. That’s nearly 200k words that I have not really done anything with since the months when they were written. I think perhaps Camp NaNo is my thing, if anything, with the option to select what you’re writing and how much. Writing 50k in a month makes too much work down the track. For me, anyway.

So with all that in mind, here are my goals for the round. As usual, I’ve added an exercise goal in as well.

  • Write at least one page in notebook or 100 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.
  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.
  • Spend one evening and one weekend afternoon on uni work. I only have a couple of short exercises still to write, but I need to start the research for the 3000 word paper due November 6.
  • Return comments on this blog and visit the blogs of those who visit me each week.
  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards travelling.
  • Ride bike to work or walk into the city after work at least three times a week.

I think that ought to keep me busy.

If you are unfamiliar with A Round of Words in 80 Days, you can read more about it here. Its tag line is “the writing challenge that knows you have a life” and it is immensely helpful! I’m going to head off because there are a few more things I need to get organised to get back to work tomorrow (we’ve had a long weekend). I’ll catch you all during the round!

~ Emily

#mirthmusicmon – “I kicked your monkey then I used your goat.” – #mondayblogs

Does anyone else ever watch the Bad Lip Reading videos on YouTube? I look them up every now and then, when I need something to amuse me. The Twilight one is still my favourite (“Dude… why would you slap a fish?”), but I discovered this one today, and it was also quite funny. It’s a parody of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know”, which I’ll put in the post after the funny video. Just a warning, though, the parody should probably be considered just a little bit NSFW.

I am actually quite a fan of that film clip, gotta say.

Mirth and Music Monday is a blog hop! You can join in on the fun over at this linky! I’m going to head off now because today also heralds the beginning of the new ROW80 round and I need to get my goals post written. Laters!

~ Emily

#WIPpet and #WWW Wednesday – September 30, 2015

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe it’s the last day of September already? August dragged on by for me, but September has positively flown past. I’m still working on Operation: Sugarplum, slowly but surely. I’m trying to work out exactly how the final battle/confrontation/whatever is going to go down. At the moment, Clara’s causing a distraction, but I’m probably going to have to re-work that as well.

Anyway, for today’s WIPpet Wednesday, I have three sentences for the 30th. Clara has just tried explaining her phone to the Creelan King, who along with his minions, is now occupying her house. He’s from a magical kingdom; they don’t have phones there.

If the Creelan King didn’t understand – and Clara suspected he probably didn’t – he hid it very well. With a thoughtful “hmm”, he tucked it into his own pocket, no doubt thinking of ways he could make use of it later. Clara chose not to mention battery life at this point.

Since typing the above, I have gone and played a game of volleyball, and by the time we finished, dropped a friend home and got home ourselves, it was already 10pm. So now I’m going to do a bit of a rushed WWW Wednesday so I can go to bed. WWW Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sam over at A World of Words, in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. You can drop by Sam’s blog for more posts in this vein.

  • What are you currently reading?

Still Evensong by Krista Walsh and The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway. I am not very much further along in Evensong than I was last week, and I finally made it past page 50 on the Gone Away World today. That one is going to be a slow-burn. I was worried about carrying it around in my work bag what with it being borrowed from a colleague and also being quite large, as books in my work bag tend to get tossed about. But I have taken it to work and left it there for reading on breaks, since I am doing most of my reading at work at the moment.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

I finally finished Blood Charged by Lindsay Buroker. As I said, I left this one aside for a little while and read some other books, and when I went back, my interest had waned. I might pick up the series again (there are another three books), but not right now.

I also read The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil, which I just picked up at the library out of curiosity. I would have read it in one sitting if not for little things like needing to sleep and friends coming over. I related to everything in it. I don’t usually read contemporary YA, but wow, this one was good. I felt like I was part of the main character’s circle of friends. I got choked up more than once.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I have finally converted one of the Doctor Who audio books I have from the library so I can put it on my phone. I also got Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell from the library, but I don’t know if it’s smart to read it right now when I loved Cinnamon Girl so much and it’s still so fresh in my mind and I will not be able to help comparing. So we’ll see about that.

And now it is way past time for me to go to bed!

#teasertuesday – The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (2)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too

goneawaycoverI’m sharing from Nick Harkaway’s The Gone Away World once again. I read this section today at work and it made me grin.

In the normal run of things, I am Gonzo’s plan-confidant. It is to me he brings his worst ideas, and it is my job to squash them and propose, as an alternative to connecting an electric torch directly to the mains power so as to make a lightsabre, some activity less mortally perilous.  – pg 40

Here is the GoodReads page for more info.

Join in over at A Daily Rhythm for more Teaser Tuesdays! I’ll see you tomorrow for WWW and WIPpet Wednesday

#MirthMusicMon – John Williams Is The Man – #mondayblogs

Yesterday on the classical music station that my car radio is always on, and they were  playing a recent concert by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra that was filled with music themes. We came in late, but they were performing some John Williams pieces as the finale, and it was awesome, because John Williams. And then I remembered this medley, which some guys I was at uni with performed at a uni choral competition and won first prize. It’s pretty impressive.

And now please indulge me in my favourite John Williams theme. I haven’t actually ever sat down and watched an Indiana Jones movie, but they do play the theme as you go down the Scenic Railway. It’s funny because you and everyone else are walking around the boardwalks at the bottom and you’re all humming it. It’s quite the earworm.

Our Mirth and Music Monday linky can be found over here. You are more than welcome to join in! I’m heading off now to get ready for work tomorrow. See you later!

~ Emily