Saturday, July 12, 2008

Roundabout Review

I've just finished A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray and I'm itchin' to jot off to the library to pick up the next book in the trilogy right this very minute. Years ago I was a Regency devotee. Then my reading preference shifted towards chick-lit, and lately I've begun to notice a preference for Victorian-set novels. From Tasha Alexander to Deanna Raybourn, now to Libba Bray and even R.L.LaFevers, I adore them all. But they're all dark and mysterious--something is always lurking. Who's writing the lighthearted Victorian novels? (Feel free to actually tell me if you know). I might be tempted, but I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't be bouncing around the genres so much: Regency historical -> magical chick-lit -> humorous Victorian?? Probably not in my best interest.

And while I love a good Gothic (Mary Stewart, is, after all, my hero), I don't think I could write one. I couldn't be that mean to my characters--I think I'd try to smooth things over and shelter them from all the bad decisions. But getting back to AGATB and Libba Bray, I think she did it beautifully. Her writing style is lush and inventive, and her imagery is spectacular. Somehow she managed to make a bitchy little debutante someone we could respect and cheer for and admire. And I can't wait to see what sort of tortuous ordeals she's dreamt up for the next installment in the Gemma Doyle trilogy.

2 comments:

Stephanie J said...

The first book was great but with my bad memory I can't recall what it was about at all! I need to go back and re-read Libba's books! :)

Very strange how similar our reading habits are... I too started with Regency, went on to chick lit, and I've been into Victorian lately!

Liza said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I usually read contemporary or paranormal romances, but I did start with the historical ones years ago.