Thursday, 7 February 2013
Thanks to the wonderful folks over at Steampunk Magazine, I've been reviewing some awesome books - which is one of the reasons I've not been doing many reviews on here recently! But I'm trying to get back into the habit and build up my base again (starting with a review of Julianna Baggot's Fuse).
This post is just a plug for the reviews I've done for Steampunk Magazine, the links for which I've included below:
A Drop of the Venom (You can see the promo postcard and model ship above! Isn't it beautiful?)
The Art of Steampunk
That Darn Squid God!
I also currently have review assignments for a Steampunk RPG, Hive, Queen and Country, and another novel called Gearteeth by Timothy Black.
"Pressia and Bradwell scramble up the rubble. Mixed in with it are pieces of multicoloured stained glass. Even dusted with ash, the colours are still vivid. Pressia picks up a shard. It's sharp-edged but its surface is smooth. It was once part of something beautiful, she's sure, something to inspire people."
- Julianna Baggott, Fuse
This picture contains my well-loved copies of the first and second novels of Julianna Baggott's post-apocalyptic YA trilogy, Pure and Fuse. They look well-loved because I have been carrying either one around with me everywhere since I received Fuse to review a couple of months ago; this trilogy is simply addictive. It's disturbing, the language and descriptions are visceral, it's everything you expect from dystopian literature; with some added extras. Watching the characters grow and develop makes the journey intense, often uncomfortable, and I can't say I haven't shed a few tears or experienced shocking, heart-stopping moments. It's essentially a book about loss, and dreading loss, and this is something you empathise with - you can't help dreading losing these characters, and the threat is always there.
However, as I've tried to explain when I've recommended the book to others, it's not simply a dark book with no hope. You watch the characters strive for the good of humanity, you see the beauty in the little things. The quote above is one of my favourites, and it demonstrates one of the fundamental ideas within the novel: beauty is everywhere, you just have to look for it. Despite the disturbing gloom-ridden passages, the novel is full of hope. Set inside the dystopian fiction is the romantic subplot, emphasising the hope in the novel. The relationship is beautiful, and even heart-rending in places.
Whilst I was still reading Fuse, I asked Julianna Baggott if there was any way of getting hold of her novel before it's released in 2014 (such a long wait) to which she responded:
"There is no chance unless you break into my house, and I prefer you not do that. Plus, it's hard to get decent employment with a criminal record so... "
It's a fair point - but still disappointing! I honestly can't wait to get my hands on Burn. But, in the meantime, Pure is already available and Fuse is due to be released on the 14th February! I highly recommend you grab a copy of the former in preparation.