Great and Terrible Beauty

Great and Terrible Beauty

My recent favorite thing to do on the internet has been reading Libba Bray’s blog.  I’ve been meaning to read her books forever, but they’re ALWAYS checked out.  So I haven’t gotten around to it.  But since reading her live journal, I’ve fallen in love with her.  We’re talking full on girl crush.  I want to be her best friend.

So, since I can’t seem to get a hold of her books from the library, I went to Border’s yesterday (I know, I should be shopping independant, but I was in Schaumburg), searched all over the place, and finally found my very own copy of A Great and Terrible Beauty to take home and devour.  Of course, with my crazy-ass schedule, devouring is rarely in the cards for me, but at the very least I started nibbling on it last night and can I just say how much I’m enjoying it so far?  It’s nice that in a world where newspaper columnists can claim that “Three decades of adults pretending that gender doesn’t matter haven’t created a generation of feminists who don’t need men; they have instead created a horde of girls who adore the traditional male and female roles and relationships in the “Twilight” saga,” an author like Libba Bray can still create a well-written, interesting, and thoroughly unique fantasy novel that shows how brave girls can be.

Let me just outline what I like so far:

1) Picture of pretty Victorian underthings on the cover.

2) The detail of the setting.  Research rocks!

3) Gemma.  So far, she’s a super-great character, with the right amount of petulance and guilt.  If it weren’t for the visions and the whole “19th century” thing, she could be me when I was a teenager.

4) Spence.  What a great setting for this kind of a story.  Also, refer to number 2.

5) Overall writing style: nothing clunky about it.  This is a first novel?!

So, as the plot develops, I expect to get fully wrapped up.  Which is great, because I’ve been needing a good fantasy series lately.  I’ve tried Kushiel’s Avatar and loved the description (and the Skaldi) but spent most of the book blushing fiercely!   PLus, I need a little humor in my fantasy.  So far, this is totally doing it for me!