For how much I struggled through Quicksilver, I'm surprised at how quick I'm getting through The Confusion. As I mentioned before, perhaps it's easier because I know what I'm getting myself into, and I know what to expect. Or maybe it's just plain a better book? Stephenson can skip all the character, location, and political introductions, and get right to the action. Talk about action! So far Jack and his crew of ex-slave pirates have stolen a ship full of silver pigs, with the hopes of making a profit in Cairo. When they check the holds, they find absolutely zero silver, but nearly a metric ton of gold. Nice. Too bad their investor is expecting the pigs and has no legitimate use for gold. When Jack learns the investor is none other than Duc d'Archacon, he comes up with some specific plans of his own. Meanwhile, Eliza and her baby are trying to avoid intrugue, blackmail and poverty, and failing miserably at all three. Being blackmailed into a marriage with Etienne d'Archacon might not be the worst thing that ever happened, after all, he believes he is the father of Eliza's child, and it will keep them alive and out of the poor house. Provided she can keep Etienne alive, that is.
And major big plus, the book has maps in the front. I loves me a good map.
On a lighter side, we picked up Soulless, by Gail Carriger. It's a lovely, amusing, witty vampire novel with a twist. Carriger implies this is just the beginning of a casual series, and that is just fine by me. Alexia Tarabotti is under no danger of being bitten by a vampire, as she was born without a soul. When supernatural creatures touch her, they lose all their supernatural powers – fangs recess, werewolves are no longer hungry, things like that. I've only read a few chapters, and the gaslight environs and Alexia's obsession with her wardrobe is entertaining. A nice light read, perhaps this will be my gateway drug to Twilight? Was talking with a friend a work who is nuts over the Twilight books. . . sounds like things easy to read while you're babysitting a counter.