MINI-REVIEWS: The Boneshaker, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Murder at the Vicarage

Trying to play catch-up with my October reads! I hope I can do it. Otherwise I think I may get really, really behind with November, and then I’m not sure what I’ll do. Basically I think y’all should expect lots of mini-reviews this month, which I hope is okay.

Click on a book’s cover to go to its Amazon page.

Cover of The Boneshaker by Kate Milford 127. The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
Publication: Sandpiper; Reprint edition (May 23, 2011), Paperback, 384pp / ISBN 0547550049
Genre: MG Fantasy (could feasibly be YA)

Read: October 22, 2011
Source: Contest


Eek, this was so much scarier than I thought it’d be! I can’t actually remember what I thought The Boneshaker would be about, but based on the cover I think I was thinking it’d be a light-hearted sci-fi/fantasy sort of thing, with wacky characters and lots of derring-do. Instead, it’s a Southern gothic horror story with the Devil, some demons, and some very not-nice people. There’s derring-do, but it’s sure isn’t light-hearted.

One of my favorite things about The Boneshaker is how one of the secondary characters, presented at first as a prissy, unfriendly know-it-all actually helps the protagonist in ways that don’t have anything to do with pluck and have more to do with courage and friendship. Even prisses can be decent friends, don’tcha know!


Seriously recommended, even if you don’t particularly like horror.

Cover of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making 128. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Publication: Feiwel & Friends (May 10, 2011), Hardcover, 256pp / ISBN 0312649614
Genre: MG fantasy

Read: October 22, 2011
Source: Contest


This reminds me of a Neil Gaiman book (with elements of a Lemony Snicket story), only without the sort of problems that usually crop up in his books (especially re:characters). It’s got that same sort of whimsical, nearly-terrifying quality to it, and the writing is plush and flowing and so on. I did find the beginning a bit tough, but as I got into the rhythm of the book I started to enjoy is more and more. By the end I was in love!

I do wish the secondary characters had been a bit more fleshed out than they were, but overall I think it’s a fantastic book and one of the best ones I’ve read this year.


The title is impossible, but the story is absolutely devine!

130. Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Publication: HarperCollins e-books; Masterpiece ed edition (March 17, 2009), ebook, 380pp / ISBN 0062073605
Genre: Mystery

Read: October 22- , 2011
Source: Freebie


I haven’t read many Miss Marple books, mainly because the ones I HAVE read have been annoying (and not only because nosy old ladies terrify me). I spent a lot of the time reading this one hoping that AC wouldn’t do something that’d ruin the whole story, and…yay! She didn’t do it. In fact, Murder at the Vicarage turned out to be a really good mystery. Miss Marple is there and she does butt into things a lot, and the way she comes up with the solution is almost deus ex machina, but luckily the narrator is the vicar and he’s not nearly as annoying as Miss Marple it.

One of my favorite things about Agatha Christie is her female characters. They’re almost always interesting, and though they do tend to be stereotypes I find them really enjoyable. This book’s got a lot of great female characters, even leaving out Miss Marple herself, and even the tertiary ones have more depth to them than some male protagonists have in other Golden Age mysteries. Yay Agatha Christie!


I think it’s actually one of my favorite AC books, now.

10 thoughts on “MINI-REVIEWS: The Boneshaker, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Murder at the Vicarage”

  1. Use as many mini-reviews as you need to! They’re good when you don’t have much time to write or if you don’t have much to say about a book. You did great. Are you trying to review every book you read?

    1. That’s my goal, yeah. Unless I have absolutely NOTHING to say about a book (rare), I like to do at least a mini-review for every book I read. Makes it tough to keep up sometimes, though!

  2. Hahahaha, I’m not a big Miss Marple fan either. I like Hercule Poirot better, for he is more amusing to me with his mustaches and everything. Miss Marple is fine but I actively enjoy Poirot. He has a crazy mustache.

    1. Poirot’s probably my favorite, for all that he’s fussy and weird. I just really don’t like nosy old ladies– although they’re fun (sometimes) to read about in books! I haven’t actually read that many Marple books, though, so maybe I’ll like her more if I read more of her books.

  3. I just watched the PBS Miss Marple version of Murder at the Vicarage andddd I must say it was kind of awesome. The best thing about the TV versions of Christie’s novels is that they always take out the racist jerkiness and general ughhh factor that Christie tends to have in her otherwise enjoyable novels. I highly recommend checking out the episode!

    1. I have NEVER seen a Miss Marple TV episode, but I think Benedict Cumberbatch was in one of them so I really want to, y’know…watch them. Eventually.

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