Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop Dec 17th-20th

It's that time again! This week's questions are...

What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?

For me it would have to be characters. If I really enjoy the characters, they could be chasing pink bunny rabbits through space for all I care. As long as I can identify with, or am at least entertained by the characters that is all that matters. Having a good plot does help though.

What did you study in college, or are currently studying, and did it lead to your current 9-5, or are you doing something completely different?

In college I studied Psychology and got my degree. It did lead to my current job working in a treatment center with dual focus of chemical dependency and mental health. I love characters in books that are slightly neurotic and a little crazy!

Have a good weekend!

Pink bunnies in space that gives me an idea....

The Hurog Series by Patricia Briggs

Riding into a war that's heating up on the border, Ward, the new lord of Hurog, is sure he's on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly turn. For he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. The bones could prove to be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Ward is certain his enemies will stop at nothing to possess them.

As the rebellion grows against High King Jakoven, Ward, ruler of Hurog, realizes he must join with the rebels. However, Jakoven can crush his enemies with dragon's blood. The very blood that courses through Ward's veins.

Patricia Briggs has now become one of my favorite Fantasy writers along with already being one of my favorite Paranormal authors. In her Hurog series we get to meet Ward, a doe eyed, slow talking, huge beast of a man that everyone thought was too dim to be of any use. After his father's death Ward learns his father planned to have him sent to the Asylum in the capital city. Ward has other ideas.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Ward was such an easy character to fall in love with. The secondary characters are just as appealing. My favorite being Tisala, daughter of an Oranstonian warrior and every bit as tough. And Oreg, servant to the ruler of Hurog. Fiercely loyal to Ward and handy in certain situations.

This series has everything a good fantasy novel should. Action and adventure, a hero worth cheering for, heartbreak, triumph and a well rounded cast of characters to ride the story with. If you haven't yet, definitely give this series a try.

Visit the author's webpage here.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

I love the Victorian time period. Put a spunky, no nonsense, give me my treacle tart woman in that setting and I am a happy camper.

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire. And then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

I really enjoyed this book. The era is fun, the steampunk elements are interesting, and the main character is instantly likable. Right away you feel for Alexia. In a time where the most marriagable women were fair skinned, light haired and quiet, Alexia is tan with dark hair and has a boisterous personality.

Now that she is firmly on the shelf and is settled into spinterhood Alexia has to take her younger half sisters to party's and gatherings in society. At one such occasion Alexia gets into a little trouble. Enter Lord Maccon (swoon), to clean up the mess, literally. The interaction between Alexia and Lord Maccon is one of the best aspects of the book. They vex one another to no end and can barely stand to be in each others company (smirk). And so the book starts on its rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.

The secondary characters are a real treat in this novel.
Ivy, Alexia's best friend and owner of many unfortunate hats, is prim and proper and would never put a foot out of line. The complete opposite of Alexia.
Professor Lyall is Lord Maccon's second in the pack. He is quiet and spends a good deal of his time reminding Lord Maccon about social etiquette.
And last is Lord Akeldama. He is a vampire and a friend of Alexia (quite scandulous). He is also an extravagant dresser and keeps a harram of young men.

All together these wonderful characters make one of the best reads I have ever had. Thoroughly enjoyable and a must add to the already toppling over To Be Read pile.

Visit the authors webpage at...