Cindy Spencer Pape is a steampunk story. I finished it in record time: about two weeks. The plot wasn't always easy to follow, but I skewered my way through. I used bamboo skewers soaked carefully in water beforehand so they wouldn't burn when I was "grilling" this book -- get it?
The characters in this stormy book were named Connor MacKay, Belinda Danvers, and Wink McCullough. The first protagonist was a very cold character with black and silver fur. A tabby, probably. Sounds gorgeous! His relationship with the second protagonist reminded me of the movie MRS. DOUBTFIRE because of their grief-stricken feelings for each other and the way they danced anytime they were faced with danger. And THAT reminds me of this other story I read where the characters had a dance off with vampires at the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix. So, you know, literary references FTW!
The third character, on the other hand, was a real donkey. Should that character have been subjected to cholera, I would have been shockingly in suspense. Because, you know, cholera! Will Wink live? Will Wink die? Will there be a steampunk automaton invention to cure cholera in time? And why are Connor and Belinda just dancing around when Wink has cholera anyway? The dance of joy scares off vampires, not germs.
But where was I?
There was never a moment in this book where I felt depressed, except when I thought about Wink getting cholera. The crazy plot was full of surprises. I madly continued to turn pages. The conflict was very resolved. I mean, there were zero questions at the end. Very very resolved. When I reached that very resolved ending, I wanted to flee (not FLEA, because I never want that, just flee, to the other room, for no reason whatsoever) and drink gaudy Scotch whiskey. It's the best kind, didn't you know? The reserved, boring, amber stuff ain't got nothing on gaudy Scotch. The writing style of the book was worth mentioning, too, since it was soon snobbish. I didn't expect that at all, but cats like snobbishness, so that worked for me. I counted 5 typos to boot.
My summation: CARD AND CARAVANS receives a grade of 13 on a scale of one to 42. And if that doesn't sound possible, it's just because you haven't yet read this sooty book. A lot of things are sooty in steampunk books, I've found. I wanted to give this book a loud revolver, made of brass with lots of gears and attached to some dude's arm where his arm used to be, with a side of ruby marzipan.
Also, for the record I would like to wickedly state that cats are the craziest animals on earth and dogs are made of rotting entrails.
Bad Libs Meankitty & the Typing Human
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com