eBook Review: Risen


I found book one of the Dark Victorian series, Risen, by Elizabeth Watasin free on my Kindle App.  It looked like my type of reading, which is still important even if the book is free, it was set in the Victorian period, looked a bit steam punky, and had a skull on it. I’ve had moderate success when I pick random free books, so I was still a bit wary. However, this was my most successful, random, free book on Kindle to date.

It is 1880 in a mechanical and supernatural London. Agents of Prince Albert’s Secret Commission, their criminal pasts wiped from their memories, are resurrected to fight the eldritch evils that threaten England. Amidst this turmoil, Jim Dastard and his new partner Artifice must stop a re-animationist raising murderous dead children. As Art and Jim pursue their quarry, Art discovers clues about her past self, and through meeting various intriguing women—a journalist, a medium, a prostitute, and a mysterious woman in black—where her heart lies. Yet the question remains: What sort of criminal was she? A new beginning, a new identity, and new dangers await Art as she fights for the Secret Commission and for her second life. (Synopsis from GoodReads)

The premise for the book was intriguing. Dead people brought to life to make up for past deeds. I liked that there was a story in this book that ended, the dead murderous children mystery is wrapped up, but the mystery of who Art was, is only just beginning. I enjoyed the character Jim Dastard, a talking skull, perhaps due to his  likeness to Bob from Harry Dresden, but mostly because he had some of the best lines.

There were a few things that were a bit odd. A little out of place was the fact that Art is Quaker but adept at fighting and hitting on women. However, it’s possible all of this explained as more about Art’s past is revealed. Also a bit odd was that the author could have set this in any time period she wanted, she’s the creator after all, but has her main character dislike many of the things about the Victorian era, and even goes about modifying clothes so her fighting makes sense. While they do this on Warehouse 13 with H.G. Wells, perhaps the disjointed feeling is that Warehouse 13 is purposefully campy and gets away with sideways turns of characters while this gothic steampunk book takes itself seriously.

These are minor questions that were raised as I read, in the end Risen is a very good book. The writing is excellent, the concepts are intriguing, and the characters have the feel of fully fleshed out individuals even if all the parts of them aren’t revealed in the first book. The author clearly knows where she is going with her story, and a fun story it is! I know the murderous dead kids seems a bit gruesome, but even that is done well, and I’m known to like things a bit dark, so I was not put off by that. If you like steampunk with a twist of darkness, the magic arts, and talking skulls, give this series a chance.

Nodds &Nends: Superheroes, Drunk Pinterest, and Street Art

Check out this cool superhero life expectanies infograph. It cracks me up that a character played by Nicholas Cage has the longest life expectancy. Bwahahahaha. I bet this means that Cage will never die! Also check out these Super Likes where the like symbol has been mash-ed up with Superhero hands. I *likes* it a lot. (Come on, I had to make that pun.) But seriously, check them out super cool. (Thanks for the tip Mom!)

I like to giggle, and I do it a lot. Especially when I find things like this website: Pinterest You Are Drunk.  For example a toilet seat cover. . covered in Barbie shoes, half camis that look like panties, and our sexy Forefathers on yards of material. Yeah. That site gets addictive. I recommend setting a timer and making yourself leave the site!

Speaking of Pinterest, it isn’t always drunk, and I found this wonderful steampunk Batgirl cosplay.  You can visit the cosplayers website “for articles on cosplay construction, tabletop gaming, comics, and more!” Thank you Pinterest for being sober this time around and for showing me things like a steampunk R2D2!  I also want to thank you for all the beautiful street art I find on your website. Particularly the mural of the side of this house where it looks like you can see into the building. Super cool!

I found this fantastical light house illustration for a children’s book on DeviantArt. I want to go to there.

I decided to post a picture of a lighthouse, because I love them. I went to wikimedia.org and pages and pages of glory did I behold, my Chinese element is Water, and just seeing these lighthouses near water made me feel better. This is why I love the internets.

cc Pep.per de Ré, French user : Pep.per  via Wikimedia Commons

cc Pep.per de Ré, French user : Pep.per via Wikimedia Commons

Doctor Who Day: Baby Cosplay, Fancy Dresses, and Daleks

Doctor Who Day

I luvs the baby cosplay, including this TARDIS onesie and this baby TARDIS sitting there looking for all the world like she’d rather be doing anything else. Ah, Pinterest, how I love thee for introducing me to such things.

Mostly to pop up on the internets this week are a bunch of Fahn-cy TARDIS dresses. I love how creative people are. I think it is amazing. One of my favorites is the Steampunk one. The gadgets are really cool and I like that they fit the theme of her dress and the sonic screwdriver. I also really like the highly posh velvet one. All velvet, all TARDIS FTW! I first saw the TARDIS console dress that looks like a jelly fish on The Mary Sue, but then Alisa sent me a link to a tumblr which has more pictures! I really like the collar! Thanks Alisa!

Not a Burger Stand in Burbank, CA has a sign outside their establishment which lets customers know that if they order like a particular popular character they will get 10% off their meal. Recently imitating a Dalek would get you that discount. I like that the chalk board not only says what the discount is, but has a lovely illustration of the character (Dalek in this case) too.

Not a Burger Stand

Buzz Lightyear Mash-ups and Cosplay

Stormtrooper Buzz Lightyear. Coolest thing ever. What a great concept and execution. [via]

Here’s another Star Wars mash-up, this time Boba Fett and Buzz Lightyear. You can get it on a t-shirt. how cool is that?

Buzz Lightyear dressed up as Iron Man. OMG, I love this. 😀

It is always exciting when cosplayer’s take a character to the next level, like this Mrs. Nesbitt version of Buzz Lightyear.

Or like this guy or make a steampunk version of Buzz.

Doctor Who Delights

An illustration of River Song as a timehead. It really makes more sense if you just click on over.

My notes for this read: doctor who tattoo on a hot lady. I’m not going to lie, I was right the first time around.  This is one hot lady with some awesome Doctor Who tattoos. Check it out.

DeviantArtist key-o has some great nerdy and geeky art up on his page. Including steampunk werewolves and this Tennant illustration.

The Doctor by key-0.deviantart.com

And Stephanie sent me a link to this amazing Doctor Who Book Light Pen that will leaving you wanting a TARDIS floating above your reading material. I sent this out to twitter right away, because I couldn’t hold its wonderfulness back from the world.

Salt and pepper shakers in the form of a TARDIS and Dalek. What could be cooler than that I ask yah? Order them here. [via The Mary Sue]

PabutteGo, another DeviantArtist, has painted an amazing portrait of the 11th Doctor. Gorgeous.

Doctor Who Christmas special trailer:

Steampunk Station

You are now entering Steampunk Station, the stop where everything is steampunk, widgets, and gears. Please take notice that I found some really cool stuff. Next stop, Freedom Weekend, where you can enjoy many hours of “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” or check out the “I’m going to lie on my couch all weekend watching reruns of Xena” amenities. Please keep your personal items off the seats so that other passengers can sit their butts down.

Steampunk Widgets (i.e. sculptures) from Brotron: The Art of Greg Brotherton. The amazing movement inherent in these sculptures makes them stand out as incredible art.

Upcycled newspaper art with clockwork kitty. You can buy a copy of the print for 8 dollars on Etsy.

Tired of cats? Check out this clockwork hooty owl necklace. It is super cool and super gadget-y.

Also check out this octopus Tie clip  and these cuff links are available for the mens. So don’t come crying to me that I forgot y’all. Plus, your tears my mess up my gears and that is unacceptable. I never claimed to be the world’s best internet girlfriend (you know, like a work wife, but on the internet, and it’s more casual), but I’m trying. So, no crying. 

These dictionary necklaces which are way cool, and if you want me to level up to a more committed Internet Wife, you may want to send me some baubbles like the one below. 😉 [via]

The Macabre And the Beautifully Grotesque

Thanks to Dragobug, I recently discovered a wonderful Facebook page on The Macabre and the Beautifully Grotesque. This Facebook group pulls together wonderful pictures and spreads them out unto the world. They link back to or identify the artist of these beautiful works, which I really appreciate. Their Ray Caesar album is quite fantastic. I’m a little in love. The Healing Light, The Angel of Innocent Things, and Night Call are my favorite pieces which shows that Ray Caesar’s  current work is a little less centered on children, but still darkly whimsical in nature.

Ray Caesar’s art was influenced by his job at a children’s hospital. He writes:

 I believe that you must have both sunlight and moonlight to see the truth.


Steam Powered Giraffe

Yesterday my best friend popped up on my gmail screen with a little tidbit of awesomeness for me. She’s cool like that. Which is why we have been friends for more than half our lives, after we got over our initial jealousies.

See, we met at a tea party for American Girl dolls at our local library (I have been a nerd for a very long time). I was jealous she had the doll Felicity (whom I desperately wanted) and she was jealous I was dressed like Felicity for the tea party. This I never understood, my sister convinced me to do it and I think I was the only one dressed up. I was kind of embarrassed about it, to be frank.

Anyway, that wasn’t my point when I began this posting, it was. . . . oh right! The Tidbit of Awesomeness. Recently introduced to a  vaudeville steampunk robotic act, she sent me a link to a single available on Youtube. It is awesome, and it is below.

Steam Powered Giraffe is a show, unlike anything I’ve seen before. The Robots, The Jon, The Spine, and Rabbit all started out in pantomime school (how awesomely nerdy is that!) where they formed a band, but not just any band. This band combines comedy sketches, steampunk costumes and make-up (::squee::), robotic movement, and songs to create a little bit of wonderfulness. Located on the west coast, this band mostly performs in shows in California, but they are coming to Michigan in May for all of us Midwesterners. Singing in three part (sometimes four part) harmony, this band brings you such loveliness as “Honey Bee.” Listen and be amazed.

Baby Zombie Books

Check out these awesome felt books for babies. They are awesome! Thanks to Stephanie at Read in a Single Sitting.