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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Series Book Review: San Andreas Shifters (The Sumage Solution #1 and Marine Biology #.5) by G. L. Carriger + giveaway

The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters #1)
by G.L. Carriger (Writing as), Gail Carriger
July 18, 2017
ebook, 313 pages
by Gail Carriger LLC
Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

NYT bestseller Gail Carriger, writing as G. L. Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

Max fails everything - magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

Delicate Sensibilities?
This story contains M/M sexitimes and horrible puns. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The ­­­­San Andreas Shifter stories contain blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (mouth/tongue/etc.).

This book stands alone, but there is a prequel short story featuring Bryan’s brother, Alec, the Alpha. Want to know why the pack moved? Read Marine Biology.

Marine Biology (San Andreas Shifters 0.5)
by Gail Carriger
October 4th, 2011
43 pages
by Gail Carriger LLC
A short tale of seduction, selkies, and sushi.
Alex is a werewolf with problems – he’s unexpectedly alive, he’s quite definitely gay, and he’s been ordered into a partnership with one very flirty merman.

In this LBGTQ sweet short love story, New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger brings her comedic voice to contemporary fiction and m/m romance. Explicit language warning but little erotic content. (11,000 words ~ 43 pages) First published in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (2010).

Contains confused lovelorn werewolves and very pretty ex-Goth mermen who are exclusively interested in each other. May also contain fish, Irish mafia, and a shocking lack of tea.

You can get this story for free if you sign up for Carriger's newsletter.

I have never read any Gail Carriger...her previous books seemed interesting, but steampunk isn't high on my reading list. BUT she now has a gay romance urban fantasy series, San Andreas Shifters, and you could smell the burning rubber of my shoes as I came to a full stop. Then I read the blurb and this little nugget at the end:
Delicate Sensibilities?This story contains M/M sexitimes and horrible puns. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The ­­­­San Andreas Shifter stories contain blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (mouth/tongue/etc.).
If you aren't a mm romance lover or haven't tried one before...heed this warning! Carriger revels in the down and dirty of werewolf shifter natural tendencies. Of course, I couldn't read it fast enough...take from that what you will ;)

There is a quick and sweet (no sex) short story, Marine Biology, that introduces you to Alex (alpha of SA Shifters) and his OMFG fabulous mate Marvin. I read The Sumage Solution first and then read Marine Biology hoping for a little more info on Alex and Marvin but it doesn't give all that much. No need to read it first. After meeting Martin (a secondary character in The Sumage Solution) I want him to have a book from his POV. Love him!

Okay, The Sumage Solution...I haven't read Carriger's other books so I don't know if TSS represents her writing style or if she used it just for this series. The book is internal and external dialogue heavy. Which made for choppy reading, but not in a bad way...just different from what I'm used to. But this style does well for these very male characters. Carriger does a great job of writing horny supernatural males. This is kind of a subjective generalization, but if you've read lots of paranormal romance then you know what I'm talking about. Yeah, it's a genre stereotype, but that is why it tastes soooo good.

Carriger has created a unique world of magic for her series. But the word magic isn't is called quintessence. Those who wield it are called Surges or mages. I'm not 100% clear on the mage hierarchy and the workings of quintessence or the savage power that the shifters have. In a successful attempt at no info dumps, it was hard to piece together the workings of this world. But Max is at the very bottom of it. Most of the info comes at the very end of the book. Not saying this is bad, just I would like a San Andreas Shifter's world tutorial on Gail's website...hint, hint, wink, wink. I still enjoyed the feck out of this story and world, but I hope there isn't a test.

This is getting kind of long...but it was such a reading experience! I'll just say a little about Max and Bryan. Max is about as fractured of a character as they come, figuratively and literally. And he deals with it through sarcasm and surliness. So, of course, I love him. Bryan is the beta of his homeless rag tag pack. This means he balances and brings calm to those around him. Which is in complete in contrast to his physical appearance. Betas are kind of like empaths, they know what you need before you do sometimes. When Max and Bryan meet it is instant lust. These opposites attract and it seems fate has brought them together. That's all I can say without spoiling. But I can tell you they have lots of dirty sex...I've never read about so much tongue action (is that too much info <G>).

Anyway...I really enjoyed The Sumage Solution despite some of the issues I mentioned. It is a fun fated-mates story and we've gotten an introduction to the other pack members we will probably see in future books. There are lots of other shifter and supernatural types in this world too. Marvin is a merman.

I can't show some of my favorite quotes because we are a PG-13 site, but here is one from Biff's (Bryan) POV.
Biff went to make the tea before he had to respond to whatever pointed questions Marvin intended to throw at him next.
He brought back three cups of tea without having to be asked. Peppermint for Alex, because he was a putz, seaweed for Marvin, because he was a fish, and pu'erh for himself. Because I'm a real man.
This is my long winded way of saying this book gets 4.25 "licking" sheep


About the Author:
Gail Carriger is the author of over a dozen New York Times Bestsellers, her latest is The Sumage Solution written under the pen name G. L. Carriger. Almost 20 books later and she still gets excited every time she sees her book in a bookstore or library, and she still loves Drinks with Stuff!

my slightly used signed copy of The Sumage Solution
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Enter with that handy dandy rafflecopter I just added because I forgot to... *headdesk* Thanks for letting me know :)