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!