Readers met the irrepressible Karen Memory in Elizabeth Bears 2015 novel Karen Memory, and fell in love with her steampunk Victorian Pacific Northwest city, and her down-to-earth story-telling voice.Now Karen is back with Stone Mad, a new story about spiritualists, magicians, con-men, and an angry lost tommy-knockera magical creature who generally lives in the deep gold mines of Alaska, but has been kidnapped and brought to Rapid City.Karen and Priya are out for a night on the town, celebrating the purchase of their own little ranch and Karens retirement from the Hotel Ma Cherie, when they meet the Arcadia Sisters, spiritualists who unexpectedly stir up the tommy-knocker in the basement. The ensuing show could bring down the house, if Karen didnt rush in to rescue everyone she can....
|Title||:||Stone Mad (Karen Memory #2)|
|Number of Pages||:||192 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Stone » Stone Mad (Karen Memory #2)|
Stone Mad (Karen Memory #2) Reviews
I love that this keeps up on Karen's relationship with Priya, and that it continues the trend from the original book of having other interesting female characters around them. I especially liked that one of them is an older widow - she was a very fun and unexpected character.
Otherwise... ehhhh. The pacing felt a little uneven, the beginning felt like it had too much throat-clearing, and I never wound up much caring about any of the supposed peril.
Honestly I was so disappointed in this Karen Memory novella. It’s mostly about Karen and Prius’s first big fight with an illusionist’s wife and mediums thrown in. The book had an unfinished feel to it - what and who were the sisters, what was the mystery at the hotel, and what the heck was the deal with the mudslide?
I’d read another in the series and pray it’s better than this
A fun steampunk adventure that also happens to contain advice on how to have a healthy, long-term romantic relationship. Yet more great stuff from Bear. I can't wait for the next Karen story, she's a wonderful voice.
Checking in on Karen and Priya shortly after the events of Karen Memory for a very short novel (only slightly over novella length) follow-up.
Karen and Priya are out for a night on the town, a sort of honeymoon, when they encounter spiritualists and an illusionist as well as a haunted hotel, all of which put pressure on their early relationship.
I actually think this length works well for steampunk novels. It's just long enough to appreciate the aesthetic and the action without dwelling on how sil ...more
Bear does it again. This novella length work, a followup to Karen Memory, picks up where the action stopped in the novel.
Bear writes such exquisite and hard-hitting prose, I enjoy just following along the story, without much else to think about. The characterization in this work is some of the best I've read in a very long time.
She introduces new elements, new backstory and new details to her unique setting and we - as readers - get to enjoy the fruits of that labor. Dialogue was especially imp ...more
Still love the voice, but this is more a great short story s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out by lots of discursive passages and lectures on what makes a solid marriage.
“Hypatia wisely had a little derringer in her décolletage, a bosom gun for a bosom that matched up with the rest of her, which was to say that she had a figure of consequence.”
"She was warm and I was cold, and she didn’t pull away. I was trying to decide if I should wake her up to tell her I nearly died again—twice in two nights ...more
I'm rounding up about half a star.
I enjoyed Karen Memory, but didn't remember much about it by the time I read this short novel. I was relieved to find that Bear deftly provides reminders without letting them slow the pace of the story. Karen and Priya are an intriguing not-quite-odd-couple, and this story is as much about the growing pains of a relationship as about illusionists, spiritualists, and tommy-knockers.
(Note that this is a novella at just over 40,000 words)
Short version: if you liked Karen Memory, pick this up as well.
It picks up not long after the novel finished, with Karen and Priya having settled down together and enjoying a celebratory night out at the fanciest hotel in town. Inevitably this won’t go smoothly, and we quickly get mysterious – and then violent – manifestations apparently centering around a couple of spiritualists and a stage illusionist. In the middle of this Karen and Priya ...more