Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review - Gail Carriger's Marine Biology

Marine Biology by Gail Carriger
Published by: Wilberforsian Ink
Publication Date: October 4th, 2011
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★★★
To Buy
Alec is not your typical werewolf. Firstly, he never expected to survive the transformation. Secondly, he'd rather bring sushi to the pack meetings instead of raw meet. Thirdly, he's more the geeky sciencey type, what with being a marine biologist. And finally, he's gay, but very much in the closet because he doesn't know how the rest of the pack would take this revelation. He is convinced that the rest of the pack don't like him and is therefore very hesitant when Jack, his father's resident drag queen spectre calls him saying there's going to be a pack meeting that night. When he arrives Alec is shocked to find that he is needed by the pack. The biker, bandanna wearing, red meat eating, fight loving pack needs the help of a marine biologist... or at least someone who loves the ocean, because there is a Selkie problem. Two merepeople, Giselle and her brother Marvin, have requested the packs help because some Selkies embezzled millions of dollars for reef preservation from them and have apparently ended up in Alec's neck of the woods.

It doesn't hurt matters that Marvin is gorgeous and knew Alec in high school... in fact, Marvin had a bit of a crush on Alec, so he's not about to sit quietly back and let this opportunity pass him by. As they flirt through town looking for where the money has gone, it becomes clear that Alec has a lot of secrets to face up to. Being gay and open about his sexuality is just one of the many secrets this powerful werewolf is hiding. Can the pack accept the changes to come if Alec embraces his life?

Carriger once again shows her ability to create convincing and cute interspecies romance, not to mention adorable and sweet gay couples. Alec and Marvin are just perfect for each other and it's so sweet how Marvin is able to draw Alec out of his shell and help him accept who he is. With the pack, Carriger also shows that perhaps, those people who we assume to be prejudiced aren't given the chance to show how willing they are to embrace people who are different than themselves. If you assume the worst of people, they might lose the chance to surprise you. Also, the funniest line in the whole story is a gay subculture joke beyond bears called "werebears." Couldn't stop laughing. "And I am so not into werebears."

What I found wonderful in this story is that with some of the clues dropped early in Alec's journey and the final denouement show that this is truly in the same would as Carriger's Parasol Protectorate Series. I won't spoil it, but watch for the clue, it's there if you look for it! Only a few things niggled me a little in the story, mainly, once the romance aspect was resolved, the crime aspect wasn't... sure they found who took the money, but not what happened to all of it. Also, what's up with supernaturals and yoga all of a sudden? I know this was written before A Discovery of Witches, which focuses A LOT on supernatural yoga, and here it is more a throw away line, but still, this new preoccupation of supernaturals and yoga I find odd. Maybe it's just because the thought of a wolf doing a dog pose is funny... perhaps...


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