Books for Breakfast #45

Book Reviews

This time I read steampunk butt kicking girls and bad mafia wannabe hit men stories! Pretty different, as per usual! 
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
&
The Unholy Murder of Ash Wednesday by Dominick D. DiPaolo & Jeff Pinski

This book was The NovelTea Book Club book for September! Due to some delays from Amazon, it came a little late into the month so I started reading it way later than I meant to! To be perfectly honest, I’ve never read a steampunk book before this one! At first it threw me off a bit with the language that characters used, but I quickly got used to it.
I enjoyed the characters, but most of all I enjoyed the world this book was set in. I feel like (even though I’d be terrible at it) I’d love to go to a finishing school and wear fancy dresses all the time with multiple petticoats! I mean, I’ve worn them before under dresses. I think learning all the finer things about etiquette would be awesome, like how how ball room dance and tea making and the like. Though…I’d also love learning the art of espionage as well! I’d probably be better at information gathering than in doing curtsies to be honest. But seriously, wouldn’t that be awesome? I would totally want to attend Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality!
The one thing that I didn’t quite understand about this book was the added supernatural element. I feel like that was a bit cliched and could have been done without. You feel me? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the supernatural! Werewolves and vampires are awesome and all, but I don’t think they have a place in every series, if you get me. It seemed a bit like overkill.
Granted, I still want to read the second book now, just to find out what will happen next! I loved Vieve and Dimity! There were such lovable characters, and ones that were easy to hate too!
This was a book I certainly wouldn’t have picked up on my own if it hadn’t been assigned for the NovelTea Book Club, so I’m glad that it was chosen or else I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to read it!

Okay. So this book is something that is a HUGE hit in Erie, PA right now, aka my home town. It’s a book about a murder, mafia hit man murder, from the 80s. The case was ongoing for years and almost closed a bunch of times. I wanted to read it mainly because, heck, I’m for Erie and I’m interested in the mafia that used to be HUGE in the city. I mean really, the mafia in Erie was pretty big, basically all of Little Italy was a part of it. There was cocaine smuggling, betting rings, stolen car groups, and more…all in this little lake front town! Crazy huh? Not to mention, I recognize a lot of the last names in this book, which is crazy, and I have friends whose parents knew people mentioned in this book! My parents were in Erie during the height of all this crazy stuff and the one hit man mentioned in this book lived in the same neighborhood as my mother!! That’s so unreal!! You never know who your neighbor’s are…seriously.
Anyways, my point about this being that if you read this book and you aren’t from Erie, some of it is going to be lost on you. I know a lot of the locations, the whole layout of the city, I know the banks they are talking about and the streets as well. I mean, I did grow up there and all.
The book itself weighs what feels like 30 lbs and is printed on intense thick and glossy photo-ish paper. This strikes me as odd, but hey, it’s a “big small” town and it was printed there in a short run, so you know, whatever floats your boat I suppose.
This is the kind of story that might be hard to get through and might feel like it drags on unless you known the events, locations, and people. I found it interesting and I liked seeing the pictures of all the gangsters/mafia guys spread throughout the book.
The only thing that bothered me about the book was how repetitive that it seemed. I feel like some people might find it a bit boring, as it is rather long for only dealing with one case. (though it does cover some of the other crimes the people involved committed) I’m not sure the book needed to be nearly 500 pages, but the story was interesting. A case that takes 7 years to solve tends to have a lot of twists and turns in it.

Next on the list is: The Three Weissmanns of Westport & The Graveyard Book

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By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!

  • Your blog is such a huge inspiration for me as to what to read next! I'm constantly adding books to my reading list! I just started the Maze Runner series so I won't be picking up a different book anytime soon, but I still apprechiate your assessments. πŸ˜€
    Elina | missblueeyes.com

  • Thank you! I'm really happy that you enjoy my reviews! πŸ™‚ I love reading! I hope you enjoy the Maze Runner! The movie is coming out soon too…or maybe it's already out! I want to see the movie now that I've read the series!

  • Kay

    I really enjoyed E&E too! It was my first steampunk read, and I loved the world and characters. I do plan on reading the next in the series as this one was just so much fun!

  • Vieve and Dimity were favorites of mine too! The supernatural elements I could've done without in E&E; they're a mainstay of Carriger's other series, and while I appreciated the nods to other characters, not necessary. Being a part of that same world, it makes sense for consistency's sake, but not relevant to this story at all.

  • It was my first steampunk too! I think I'm going to read the rest of the series too, I also feel like I want to give other steampunk books a try too!

  • I totally agree. While I haven't read much else from Carriger, I read some reviews that characters overlap in this series with some of her other books. The supernatural seemed like overkill to me, I would have liked it more without the vampires and werewolves, it didn't seem to have an impact on the plot or anything. Those characters could have easily been humans. Ah, oh well, it was still an enjoyable read.

  • Oh man, I keep hearing about Etiquette & Espionage and I'm hearing tons of great things! It's officially on the TBR now.

  • It's a fun series, or at least the first book was fun! It's YA, it's a little silly at times, but if you don't take it too seriously it's a nice read! πŸ™‚ I put the second one on my TBR list!

  • Ooh… "Etiquette & Espionage" sounds like a great read. I've never read any steampunk novel, too. But after reading your review about "E&E", I think I'll give it a try. Thanks! πŸ˜€

    "The Graveyard Book" you mentioned at the bottom of your post… Is that the one by Neil Gaiman?

  • E&E was my first steampunk book, as well. I agree with you on the supernatural elements. I enjoy the supernatural as much as the next person, but it felt like a weird add-on in E&E.

  • It is the one by Neil Gaiman!

  • It did feel like a weird add on!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that!

  • It is? Have fun reading it. πŸ™‚ It's a good, fast read.