We had a college graduation to go to this past weekend. Since it was out of state and our son had never been to D.C we decided to take a few extra days and see the sights.
We spent Friday going around to all the different Memorials. There are plenty to see and we all had our favorites. My son's was the MLK memorial, DH's was the FDR, and mine was the WWII (for today, it tends to change).
Saturday was graduation day.
Sunday we went to Arlington Cemetery and then spent the rest of the day at 2 of the Smithsonian Museums.
After a long day driving home and then yesterday catching up on all the house work (still have lots to do) I am hoping to get back to blogging at some point this week, just in time for another holiday weekend. Have a Safe and Fun Memorial Day!
(we also got a new kitten before we left, meet Sharky)
Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.
For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.
Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton
My Thoughts: This was one of those books that had everything you would expect but it was overdone. Instead of just one or two bad things happening to Ada and her family, every plot device for a historical romance comes into play.
We have the evil stepmother and stepsister (only one), the drunk nephew that squandered the family money, falling in love below station, the maid with a daughter the same age as the sisters, etc. Surprisingly even with all this there was a part of me that couldn't look away. I had to keep reading to find out how much more could be heaped on (and there was more).
I actually liked Ada and her sister Georgiana. I also liked Rose. Everyone else I could have done without.I dislike insta-love and that is what this whole book revolves around. There is nothing that makes you believe there is anything real between Ada and Ravi. Even Lord Fintain seemed better suited to Ada and her dreams than Ravi did.
Overall, this book had a little too much going on but still made me want to read until the end. While there were more bad than good people in this story, the ones I liked were worth the read. I don't know if I'll continue the series even with the sorta cliffhanger ending.
by Tiffany Trent published by Simon & Schuster genre: YA, Fantasy, Steampunk
Summary (Goodreads): In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.
Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.
As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.
My Thoughts: Tiffany Trent did a wonderful job on the world building for this story/series. It's an alternate steampunk London that has completely bought into science all the way and forgotten the magic that brought them to New London. In the process of furthering their science they have been killing off all the magical creatures that called the land home before they showed up, this in turn is killing the land with something called The Waste. This was probably my favorite story line of the book.
Characters, this is were it fell short for me. Vespa was a great fully fleshed out character. All she wanted was to follow in her father's footsteps and become a Pedant and study the Unnaturals. Everyone else has other plans for her. Whether it is to become a lady and marry well or prove her true heritage and use her to further their own schemes she has to learn to deal with all these things while trying to stay who she thinks she truly is.
Unfortunately, Vespa was the only full character. Syrus is a lead and we get many chapters from him but we really don't ever get anything that makes you want to know more or care fully when something bad happens to him. With everything that happens to him during this story and the fact that he is the only one that can speak to the Unnaturals and read the old texts it was a real missed opportunity. He only seemed to show up to further another's story rather than following his own.
There is a slight romance in this story but at this point it doesn't really interest me. It has potential down the road but it was hard to buy into Vespa suddenly being dependent on Hal when the author spent so much time making her a forward thinking female that wanted to break boundaries.
Overall, based on the great world building and Vespa I am looking forward to the next book in this series. It'll be interesting to see if Ms Trent does anything further with Syrus and his new (unwanted) abilities. I'm also interested in finding out more about this new Empress and her story.