Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Two novellas

Two of the last stories I've read were novellas. Since both are on the small size in terms of page count, I've decided to write only a small summary on them.

How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger is apparently a stand alone novella in the werewolf universe created by the author but I think it would only make true sense for those who have read other books in the main series (Parasol Protectorate). It also addresses situations which, although understandably for this specific story, are so much more interesting if w know something about the characters' backgrounds.
This is the story of major Channing, a recurrent secondary character we've sen in most of the books in the main series and he finally has his HEA. We only knew he had a past he wanted to forget, that being a werewolf is both a blessing and a curse for him but he is now content to have an alpha his wolf is happy with. In comes Faith, an American whose family wants to get rid of after an indiscretion and traveling to England and marry a werewolf is the "fate" the family deemed proper for Faith's "crime". However, Faith does find a much better life here than she could have anticipated...
I liked this novella, it reminded me of why I have liked the author's work so much...both protagonists are actually vulnerable people who find common ground and in little things we learn a lot of them, which so many authors can't do. There's a lot of shenanigans which can sound a bit too complicated to situate within the overall plot but I like the writing style, so this worked out for me. I think the path to happiness wasn't too easy for them, but when the story ended, I liked knowing they can be happy together, that they dealt with the things of their past which were roadblocks to become happier people and I also liked seeing beloved characters again. Again, I liked this one a lot but maybe for some new readers, some details may sound confusing.
Grade: 8/10

Out of the Ashes by Hailey Turner is a novella part of the Metahuman Files series, featuring a futuristic reality where some humans became something more after the exposure to a chemical weapon. In this novella we follow the events of book #4, where the protagonists faced torture. Now, after some months, and when both are about to be cleared for new missions, they still deal with the PTSD, especially Sean, who feels guilty he might have been the reason why Alexei was tortured. 
Although this affects their life together, they are in love and they want the best for one another so despite the conflict, they still defend and help one another. This is particularly important int heir next mission, which they share, but someone from the past will force them to trust one another despite the personal feelings.
I really think this should not be read as a standalone, there too much information compacted which might not feel easy to grasp, and it's always more rewarding if one has prior knowledge from other books. Sean and Alexei are still my favorite couple, their dynamics as a couple seem to me mire balanced than that of Jamie and Kyle, for instance, and although it feels too long is spend on thinking about their issues and the solving of them is too quick comparing, I still felt glad they talked and found a way to truly communicate and reinforce their relationship. I'm very eager to see them more in future installments.
Grade: 8/10

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