Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: The Sumage Solution by G.L. Carriger

The Sumage Solution by G.L. Carriger
The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters #1)
By G.L. Carriger
Gail Carriger
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Publication Date: July 18, 2017

To Sum It Up: Max Barker is a sumage, only able to absorb then redirect the quintessence that other mages use to cast spells. He’s also stuck in a bureaucratic job that’s going nowhere until Bryan “Biff” Frederiksen arrives at the DURPS office. Biff is the Beta werewolf to his younger brother Alec’s Alpha, and he’s been tasked with getting the newly relocated pack officially registered. Max and Biff form an instant connection, but the past that Max tries so hard to bury beneath copious amounts of sarcasm may stand between them.

Review: Gail Carriger is a must-read author for me, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read The Sumage Solution. Writing as G.L. Carriger, the novel is a bit of a departure from the Victorian steampunk world of Carriger’s adult Parasol Protectorate and YA Finishing School series. The Sumage Solution is set in modern day San Francisco and is one smoking, scorching, smoldering paranormal romance. This might be the closest my Kindle Fire has ever come to, well, catching fire.

The Sumage Solution features a variety of paranormal beings, some of which, like kelpies, kitsune, and mermen, I haven’t read about as much as one of the book’s main supernatural species, werewolves. What I love about Carriger’s take on the paranormal is that you never feel like you’re reading yet another book about werewolves, vampires, ghosts, etc.; her characters are always unique and often endearingly quirky, and they completely draw you into their story and their world.

Anyone who loves snarktastic characters, which I do, will love Max, the titular sumage and one of the novel’s two protagonists. Not only is Max a smartass, but he also doesn’t know when to shut up, and the resulting sass is hilarious. Beneath all of the razor-sharp sarcasm, though, Max tries to distance himself as much as possible from a horrible childhood growing up with a cruel father in whose eyes Max was nothing but a failure. Lacking a steady, supportive presence for most of his life, Max starts to panic when instant chemistry with werewolf Bryan (nickname: Biff) begins turning into something more serious.

Biff is the Beta of a pack new to the San Francisco Bay Area, and his Beta instincts to calm and protect are exactly what Max needs. Biff is also a man/werewolf of few words, which works out perfectly for the relationship because Max is always running his mouth. While the romance definitely has some absolutely torrid moments, it’s also sweet; you’ll root for these two to be together and to overcome anything that drives them apart.

I really liked getting to know the pack a bit and the sense of brotherhood between them. The bond is especially strong between Biff and his actual brother Alec, the pack’s Alpha. Biff has always looked out for his younger brother, and it’s touching to see Alec do the same for Biff here. (For a bit more about Alec, you can check out Carriger’s short story Marine Biology.)

Overall, this was a sizzling start to the San Andreas Shifters series. Gail Carriger has created another cast of highly entertaining characters, and I look forward to more of their stories.

All in All: Gail Carriger continues to make the supernatural feel fresh with her new paranormal romance. And yes, there is tea involved!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (173)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Which Character Would Be Your Study Partner?

Hermione. Without a doubt. We are both extremely driven when it comes to academics and don't settle for anything less than an A, lol. And yes, like her, I'd be more worried about getting expelled for being caught wandering Hogwarts after hours than being a late night snack for a certain three-headed dog. XD

Monday, July 10, 2017

Harry Potter Month: 20 Years of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Month is hosted by Faith at Geeky Zoo Girl and Micheline at Lunar Rainbows Reviews. This awesome event runs all through July, and you can find more information about it here.

Wait—what?! It's already been twenty years since the release of the first Harry Potter book?! I guess that means I really am 40 because I was 20 back in 1997. XD

Ah, the summer of 1997. I was about to start my junior year of college at New York University and read textbooks on lovely subjects such as algorithms and the Assembly computer programming language. (In all seriousness, I did enjoy studying computer science—except for algorithms. I was completely lost in that class.) Being buried in schoolwork at the time, a boy wizard named Harry Potter was nowhere on my radar.

It would take another four years for me to finally take serious notice of this Harry Potter character, when a friend persuaded me to go see the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with her. After being completely, totally, and utterly mesmerized by the film, at last I understood why Harry Potter had become so beloved and such a worldwide phenomenon.

Although I've officially been a Potterhead for about sixteen years, it's still hard to believe that much time has flown by. One of the most eye-opening realizations for me is that my cousins were in elementary school back when they started reading the books, and now one is a newly minted college graduate, one is a college senior, and one is a college freshman. Now I feel really old, LOL.

HP has given me some very happy memories over the past sixteen years; no worries—I'm not about to bore you more than one of Professor Binns's lectures by listing all of them. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Reading the books for the first time
  • Attending a midnight showing of Half-Blood Prince
  • Playing the Lego HP games
  • Connecting with other fans through Harry Potter Moment of the Week and Harry Potter Month. ♥
  • Attempting to binge watch the movies with my cousins but never making it more than halfway through Prisoner of Azkaban. At least we ate lots of yummy snacks (and sometimes even full meals, hahaha!) during our attempts and had some awesome family time together.

What are some of your favorite HP-related memories?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (172)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Would You Rather Face a Dragon or the Acromantula?

It's not even a contest—I'll take on the dragon EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Yes, I'd rather be barbecued or worse than face a disgusting, creepy, hairy, giant-ass spider. I'm cringing just thinking about Aragog. And then he had a whole family! *shudders* I love Hagrid, but not even he would be able to convince me that acromantulas are just seriously misunderstood creatures. XD

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Loot (29)

Welcome to a special book hoarding edition of Book Loot, LOL. No, not really—I had a couple of pre-orders and just waited until they all came in to put a post together.

I've already read A Court of Wings and Ruin, and it was fantastic. I bought The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue after reading the first five chapters through Epic Reads' emails and becoming hooked, while the Hamilton-esque cover of Alex & Eliza totally reeled me in. There are also two MUST-HAVE sequels in the stack: Lord of Shadows and Our Dark Duet.

The Hodor mug in the photo a little further below was a birthday gift from my bosses, who know what a huge GoT fangirl I am, LOL. The Season 7 premiere is almost here—and someone needs to get an HBO subscription ASAP. XD It's been on my to-do list; the premiere date seemed so far away for so long, but the wait is just about over!

For Review:

The Sumage Solution by G.L. Carriger
The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol
Much thanks to Gail Carriger and Chicken House/Scholastic!


Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, & Robin Wasserman
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
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