October 31st, 2014

_Kilts & Kraken_, Cindy Spencer Pape

Looking for A Viking berserker romance set in the Hebrides, steampunk Victoriana style?

Amazon has this subgenre search thing which is a ton of fun. Alas, my efforts to find books that combined the maximum number of subgenres in one, delightfully trashy novel was never very successful (mostly I found a couple of nutters who were clearly abusing the metadata system).

Anyway. That's not what I'm blogging about this time.

My son has been home sick almost the entire week (he went to school long enough on Monday for me to walk down to Great Hill and do the loop and have lunch at Julie's Place and we've been hanging out ever since). My attention span is thus extremely limited. Fortunately, Cindy Spencer Pape's steampunk romance wtf Gaslight Chronicles has been almost as perfect as watching Astaire and Rogers movies used to be when I was a young person feeling under the weather myself. Ah, "Top Hat". Actually, "The Gay Divorcee" was even better, because it has "Night and Day" in it, which is just the best song ever. Where was I?

SPOILERS RUN RUN RUN AGH THE KRAKEN WILL GET YOU. Or possibly Catriona.

_Kilts & Kraken_ offers us a lady physician whose dad is in the Order. He asks her to help his ex-girlfriend (pre-marriage, no hard feelings on either side) who has been trying to help a battered Viking dude who washed up. He turns out to be from a small island in the Hebrides with a Magickal connection to the island and must return there in order to heal. So off they all go to the small island which has been mysteriously under attack by giant squid recently (how Viking dude got so battered and other people injured or dead).

Ex-girlfriend and doctor make friends and enemies on the island and are joined by people from earlier books and others associated with the Order as they attempt to make sense of the Kraken, maybe help out by testing some new weapons Wink has designed and also get a sense of whether this Magickal Viking dude is going to be a problem for the Order (no).

The book is short. There is much less sexual tension, which is probably appropriate, as the two people who are getting together are sort of pragmatic and not ones to pearl clutch or fight a strong physical attraction. Once they get over the, oh, gosh, she can't possibly move out to the Hebrides thing, oh, and the people trying to kill her and incite the kraken and so forth, all is well.

This is not as much of a squeee! inducing book. I think it's a really great example of why it is important for your protagonists to not be entirely sensible. Sensible people make for a very low key story, even when they are surrounded by Teh Crazy because they are ... sensible. But I really _liked_ most of the characters and will continue to return for more.

ETA: For unclear reasons, some posts are attracted spammy comments. I've had anonymous comments screened for a long time, but I'm going to try locking particular posts that are attracting these comments, to see if that reduces the volume. Apologies if you wanted to say something about this; feel free to drop me a line with a link to the post you want to comment on and I will unlock it again.