The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters, #1)
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

The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters, #1) Details

TitleThe Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters, #1)
Author
Formatebook
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 18th, 2017
PublisherGAIL CARRIGER LLC
Number of pages313 pages
Rating
GenreRomance, M M Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifters, Magic, Werewolves, Glbt, Contemporary

The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters, #1) Review

  • Line
    July 18, 2017
    I am *THIS* fucking close to giving this book a 5-star rating!!! Like *THIS* close, BUT there were some issues with the worldbuilding, that still has me scratching my head, and that makes me leave it at 4 stars for now, but seriously I'm gonna say it:This is almost Klune-like-humour (in TLSH), ALMOST. And that, for me, is a HUGE plus (not Tronald Dump 'juge' but monumentous huge!)We have sass and snark galore, as well as inappropriate magical creatures (Kitsune), without it being a copy of the a I am *THIS* fucking close to giving this book a 5-star rating!!! Like *THIS* close, BUT there were some issues with the worldbuilding, that still has me scratching my head, and that makes me leave it at 4 stars for now, but seriously I'm gonna say it:This is almost Klune-like-humour (in TLSH), ALMOST. And that, for me, is a HUGE plus (not Tronald Dump 'juge' but monumentous huge!)We have sass and snark galore, as well as inappropriate magical creatures (Kitsune), without it being a copy of the aforementioned book.This book was thoughtful as well as brilliantly written (there were a few spelling errors e.g. then/than, but not enough to annoy me.) I LOVED Bryan (just not his nickname Biff) and I have SOOOOO many quotes that I wanna splash all over this review, but I'll rein it in:"... So, I looked after him when we were kids. ’Cause he’s not a big guy. He’s tall and lean, like you. Pretty like you. Gay like you. I figured that’s why I was born so big, to compensate. Maybe why I’m gay too, so I’d understand.”“You think your whole existence is built to balance your brother?”“That’s what Beta means.”Bryan was goddamn WONDERFUL, and Carriger stayed true to the character throughout, making his silent ways WORK. #MANCRUSHALERTMax was a wee bit harder to love, but not by much. He definitely had the angst DOWN pat, but with his childhood it is no wonder. ALSO his snark and banter was ON POINT for me (again see inappropriate Klune humour.) He was definitely the reluctant hero, but the story was well 'plotted-out', so the angst part never bothered me.'Max was bad at most things. He was bad at being the son his father wanted. He was bad at being the mage his family needed. He was bad at being gay: too self-conscious to be promiscuous, too much self-doubt to offer himself on the altar of love. ... He was bad at so many things, but what he sucked at the most, apparently, was being happy.'The worldbuilding was the 'problem' for me. Not that it was lacking or that it was a 'typical' story, because it was not. But I admit that I googled more than one word for their meaning and I'm still not quite clear on what quintessence, Plugs, Pinchers, Siphons, Sluices and sumages MEAN as well as their differences in terms of how they 'work'. Also the Super Saturation has me a wee bit confused, since I sort of thought "the Sphere" was like the sun, but then people were flying around IN the Sphere and yeah... *Edit see comments for my rambling ideas of what the Sphere could be, if interested.I don't know if it has any meaning for the story, but it still feels like an important part as well as (view spoiler)[the background/development of Magistars and what they can do/what they mean/come to mean for that world. (hide spoiler)]BUT if you as a reader consider not reading this because of my ignorance, I seriously urge you to reconsider for:the humourthe LOVEthe SMEXthe familythe friendsIf in doubt: read the sample, that's what made me get on my computer, like a whirlwind, buying this and Marine Biology; devouring both in a day.When the next one is announced, I will push the pre-order button so hard and so fast that even Max can't come up with a timely, snarky come-back!
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  • Heather the Queen of (Smut)Books
    July 22, 2017
    This was absolutely snarktastic! I'll admit to being a bit confused through part of it but I didn't give a shit, I was entertained. The banter was awesome. Highly recommended to my fellow banter whores!
  • ☙ percy ❧
    June 7, 2017
    I AM HONEST TO GOD SCREAMING HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BEFORE WHAT THE FUCK-A-DOODLE-DOO?!?!?!
  • Jenni Lea
    June 18, 2017
    So much better than I ever hoped it could be!Review to come.
  • Sarah
    July 22, 2017
    Set in San Francisco, this is a carry on from the novella Marine Biology which was written in 2010. When I read this first book, I was totally smitten. I loved the Parasol Protectorate series from this author and her clever banter between characters and smart female leads. Marine Biology was just as good, but there’s been no continuation of the series for these characters until now.This new novel picks up pretty seamlessly from Marine Biology. And while it is not completely necessary to read thi Set in San Francisco, this is a carry on from the novella Marine Biology which was written in 2010. When I read this first book, I was totally smitten. I loved the Parasol Protectorate series from this author and her clever banter between characters and smart female leads. Marine Biology was just as good, but there’s been no continuation of the series for these characters until now.This new novel picks up pretty seamlessly from Marine Biology. And while it is not completely necessary to read this first book, it does give a little context. Max and Biff, yes Biff, have the most fantastic chemistry, although their romance is a little rocky. The world building is brilliant and detailed as was the magic system and cast of other supernatural beings. Alongside the romance is a bit of a Scooby mystery that involves Max’s dead father, but central is the romance and the new werewolf pack. I enjoyed this so much, so much so I am ordering in paperback. And, I cannot wait for more. An excellent start to this urban fantasy series.
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  • Claire
    July 22, 2017
    4.5 stars rounded up.Pff ... is this author skilled with the way to express complex things with beautiful words ? ... Oh yes !Is she good with wit and characters' banter ? ... definitely .Can she create a world that is both ours and different ?... spot on Can she get messages across while telling you about some weird magic beings ? ... certainlyI WANT THE NEXT BOOK IN THIS SERIES ... LIKE RIGHT NOW.
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  • Ele
    May 29, 2017
    I don't read parnormal...This blurb tho...
  • Sarah
    July 29, 2017
    I usually love Gail Carriger's books so I really expected to enjoy this one but unfortunately it just isn't working for me. I hate to leave negative reviews but I had to force myself to get to 60% and I've been putting off reading any further for weeks now so there's no way I'm ever going to finish it.The banter between the two main characters felt so over the top and where I'm sure it was meant to make me laugh it mainly had me rolling my eyes. There is a major case of Insta-love and the story I usually love Gail Carriger's books so I really expected to enjoy this one but unfortunately it just isn't working for me. I hate to leave negative reviews but I had to force myself to get to 60% and I've been putting off reading any further for weeks now so there's no way I'm ever going to finish it.The banter between the two main characters felt so over the top and where I'm sure it was meant to make me laugh it mainly had me rolling my eyes. There is a major case of Insta-love and the story so far has been pretty much one long sex scene after another. I love my smut books but this one has just been too much for me to take and when you find yourself skimming sex scenes trying (but failing) to find a plot it's time to walk away.I don't really feel invested in either of the main characters and I'm just not interested enough in what is happening to force myself to read the rest. I can see from the reviews that most people are loving this book so I'm sure it's just a case of it not being a good fit but this is my honest opinion.
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  • Matthew Galloway
    July 10, 2017
    This was an incredibly enjoyable read. It is certainly more on the romance side than the paranormal, so the plot is really mostly focused on the character development, romance, and steamy scenes, rather than action or mystery or anything like that. There is a list subplot and plenty of foreshadowing, but I wouldn't be surprised if that part of the world slowly emerges over several novels as the rest of the Pack attaches up. I guess we'll see! I sure hope we do get more in this series!So, I've re This was an incredibly enjoyable read. It is certainly more on the romance side than the paranormal, so the plot is really mostly focused on the character development, romance, and steamy scenes, rather than action or mystery or anything like that. There is a list subplot and plenty of foreshadowing, but I wouldn't be surprised if that part of the world slowly emerges over several novels as the rest of the Pack attaches up. I guess we'll see! I sure hope we do get more in this series!So, I've read more romances lately because of this project I'm working on. Prior to the project I had disliked the few I'd read. I just didn't get it. There are still plenty that don't work for me, but I've learned that some have top notch writing (such as this one) and excellent character development (such as this one). This is definitely one I will recommend to others. It's a 4.5 star, really. The only thing that brings it down for me is that I never truly got a sense of what all the different mage types did. I saw that there is a prior story, so maybe it's explained better there. But as a book one (as it says on the cover), I'd have liked more explanation or even just a glossary.That said, if you want to read a sweet, but if emotionally-jagged romance whose characters feel real (more real than of non-supernatural romance protagonists that I've read), this is a great bet for you.Oh! Also, I loved the hints that this ties into Carriger's earlier series!
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  • Elsa Bravante
    July 30, 2017
    Historia de amor en el marco de un mundo lleno de distintos tipos de shifters, magos y humanos. Cuando empecé la lectura esperaba encontrarme con una historia intensa y compleja, pero la realidad es que tiene un tono ligero y bastante humor. Me han gustado los personajes principales, y los secundarios, pero no me ha enamorado lo que cuentan. Lo he encontrado a tramos muy simple, y a tramos muy complicado, pero lo más molesto de todo es que hay muchísima información del mundo en el que viven que Historia de amor en el marco de un mundo lleno de distintos tipos de shifters, magos y humanos. Cuando empecé la lectura esperaba encontrarme con una historia intensa y compleja, pero la realidad es que tiene un tono ligero y bastante humor. Me han gustado los personajes principales, y los secundarios, pero no me ha enamorado lo que cuentan. Lo he encontrado a tramos muy simple, y a tramos muy complicado, pero lo más molesto de todo es que hay muchísima información del mundo en el que viven que se da por entendido que el lector conoce, no sé si es el mismo mundo en que se desarrollan otras series de la autora. El pasarte casi el libro entero sin estar seguro de lo que lees y pensando que te falta información no favorece mucho la experiencia.Está bien, pero nada más.
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  • The Lit Bitch
    July 20, 2017
    I have been a fan of Gail Carriger for YEARS. Her series The Parasol Protectorate has been one of my favorites since reading it for the first time like six years ago. I’ve read some of her short stories as well which have a distinguishable cheek. I love just about everything she puts out.I haven’t read a lot of LGBTQ books, in fact I think the only one I have read was also by Carriger. It’s not really a genre that I readily pick up to read, but Carriger has such fantastic writing skills that I a I have been a fan of Gail Carriger for YEARS. Her series The Parasol Protectorate has been one of my favorites since reading it for the first time like six years ago. I’ve read some of her short stories as well which have a distinguishable cheek. I love just about everything she puts out.I haven’t read a lot of LGBTQ books, in fact I think the only one I have read was also by Carriger. It’s not really a genre that I readily pick up to read, but Carriger has such fantastic writing skills that I am always eager to read her latest book or story! Not to mention her mainstream novels like The Parasol Protectorate series, feature many LGBTQ characters so it’s a theme that I have come to anticipate in her writing.When this one came up for review, I was eager to read it because it’s set in the same world as her other books so much of the world is familiar so it sounded like a good read even if I am not into M/M romance novels (or werewolves for that matter).Carriger has such a knack for creating solid paranormal romance novels with steampunk elements. Personally, I prefer vampires over werewolves or shifters when it comes to paranormal romance or just paranormal reading, but this book made me really enjoy werewolves and shifters. I still prefer vampires but this wasn’t bad for my first foray into werewolf/shifter lit. I loved the setting and how the supernatural characters evolved and how they worked within the novel itself.But what I think I liked most about this (surprisingly so) was the relationship dynamics between Bryan and Max. I love when characters are complete opposites. I wasn’t sure how or even if their relationship was going to work but somehow it did. For me, a couple with chemistry (whether same sex or opposite) is what a romance novel is all about. When you have an exciting combination of drastically different characters coming together in a relationship, and this layer for sexual tension, it’s hard to deny a certain level of intrigue.The characters themselves were funny and quirky but that added a lot for me. I also thought the characters were relateable even if you aren’t an LGBTQ individual, as I said before good characters and romance to me is all the same, it’s undeniable that the characters in this book had a dynamic and loving relationship and why should that be any different because it’s an M/M book? The characters made m laugh, I felt invested in them and the story had Carriger’s hallmark quirkyness which I loved.The only thing I would note though was I always expect Carriger’s books to be in the Victorian era and this one was more modern…..same world, different time period. I think I would have to say, I prefer the Victorian era setting rather than the more modern setting that this book takes on. But that said, it was a minor detail and well worth the read if you enjoy well written, quirky romances.See my full review here
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  • Marion
    July 23, 2017
    4.5 Stars!
  • Jordan
    July 16, 2017
    To start off for anyone who is wondering whether to read The Sumage Solution. It is different from the Parasol Protectorate. Our dear Miss Gail has done a wonderful job of indicating that with the cover and the barely-altered pen name, but I'm going to say it again. It is different. If your favorites are the Finishing School books and you don't like sex scenes, then this bundle of delight is probably not for you.That said, The Sumage Solution is touching and hilarious. While I personally prefer To start off for anyone who is wondering whether to read The Sumage Solution. It is different from the Parasol Protectorate. Our dear Miss Gail has done a wonderful job of indicating that with the cover and the barely-altered pen name, but I'm going to say it again. It is different. If your favorites are the Finishing School books and you don't like sex scenes, then this bundle of delight is probably not for you.That said, The Sumage Solution is touching and hilarious. While I personally prefer historical to contemporary, the distinctive and witty voice that swans through every Gail Carriger book is present here in spades, despite the era change. My four stars here is relative, because I would rank this book higher compared to other romance, but lower compared to my all-time favorite, Heartless. Does that make sense?I love the pack dynamics we get to see, more examined than in the London pack. Bryan is my favorite little (well, not so little) thing, and I liked the overall tone of acceptance in the book. Also getting to ruminate on any possible links to the Parasolverse never hurts a story, in my opinion. All in all, this was funny and entertaining, and while romance isn't really my genre, I'd definitely read another San Andreas Shifters novel. Who am I kidding? I'd read anything Carriger writes. Oh and by the way, I'd recommend reading Marine Biology first. It gives a nice insight into Alec.
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  • Theresa
    July 18, 2017
    3.49 stars. If the sex was not grayed out, this would have been 5 stars. Fairly new MM author and brand new author for me. My reading area is MM romance so my review comes from that point of reference. The overall writing was intelligent, witty, sophisticated, and utterly charming. Sadly, the erotic portions were very disappointing. When the sexual acts became more physical, the writing became less descriptive. The cast of characters was hilarious, wacky, and lovable. The world building was fant 3.49 stars. If the sex was not grayed out, this would have been 5 stars. Fairly new MM author and brand new author for me. My reading area is MM romance so my review comes from that point of reference. The overall writing was intelligent, witty, sophisticated, and utterly charming. Sadly, the erotic portions were very disappointing. When the sexual acts became more physical, the writing became less descriptive. The cast of characters was hilarious, wacky, and lovable. The world building was fantastic and fun. It was nicely interwoven within the story. Max and Biff complimented each other wonderfully. Their characters were well developed and experienced huge growth. Their relationship development was great and so very sweet.Max and Biff flirted and bantered outrageously with each other. Unfortunately, their sexual chemistry did not continue into the sex scenes. It was a huge let down. The sex scenes were dull and very low intensity. They were also repetitive across the storyline and then became boring. The quality, and not the quantity, of sex scenes was the problem.The female characters were portrayed very nicely. There were both middle age and older shifter women. They were all strong empathetic characters and played nice roles in mentoring Max and Biff. Alec, Biff's brother, was an anchor in the storyline and was pivotal to Max's character development. He was a refreshing different take on a wolf shifter pack alpha.
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  • Chris, the Dalek King
    July 18, 2017
    Max has been, and always would have been, a disappointment to his family–his father, in particular. Being gay was one thing, but being gay and turning out to be failure at all things magic, well that was clearly so far over the line that he probably should be drowning in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. But Max can’t change the latter, and has desire to change the former, so he’s learned to accept that he will never live up to his father’s demanding–and at times, painful–expectations. Which Max has been, and always would have been, a disappointment to his family–his father, in particular. Being gay was one thing, but being gay and turning out to be failure at all things magic, well that was clearly so far over the line that he probably should be drowning in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. But Max can’t change the latter, and has desire to change the former, so he’s learned to accept that he will never live up to his father’s demanding–and at times, painful–expectations. Which really should be easier to do since the man has been dead for over a decade. Instead Max tries to bury himself in a menial job at DURPS (a kind of DMV for supernatural creatures), and try to rid himself of the voice in his head that sounds an awful lot like his (non-)dearly departed father.Bryan, beta to his brother’s Alpha, has moved with their small pack from the East Coast to avoid their old pack and their rather old-fashioned views on homosexuality and self-determination (i.e. beating the “gay” away). But in order to settle in the area they need to be registered, so Bryan offers (is forced) to spend the day waiting in line and dying of boredom. For the the sake of the pack. He’s a giver like that. Really…that is kind what the whole beta thing is all about. That doesn’t make death-by-bureaucracy any more pleasant. Though after catching an eye-full of Max–the man assigned to review the pack’s case–he is a bit less put-upon, and a whole lot more smitten.But no one knows that Bryan is gay…and everyone knows that Max has enough daddy-issues to fill a house. Which doesn’t sound all that insurmountable. Especially when Bryan wears a shirt so tight Max wants to lick it off him.I am a huge fan of this author’s other works. Some worked for me better than others, but I have always found them to be well written with a unique voice and an astounding ability to draw me into the story with only a few pages. I was ridiculously excited when I heard this book was going to exist. Typically this author writes m/f stories but I have always felt, from some sup-plots and characters in those stories, that she would be more than capable of pulling off the switch over into gay romance genre. Characters come alive under her pen (or, more likely, keyboard), and you can really tell here that she wasn’t just recreating stereotypes, slapping a cover on it, and calling it finished. I have always felt she has treated her LGBT characters with respect and intention in her other works, and it is all the more obvious here.I especially loved this part of the conversation between Bryan (aka Biff) and Manifest Destiny–a secondary character, who doesn’t actually feature heavily in this book, but who ended up being one of my favorites. “Do you prefer to be thought of as female or male?”“It has to be one or the other?”Biff shrugged.“The young ones have all sorts of pronouns these days. Nonbinary and flexible. One of those might work.”Biff narrowed his eyes. “But you seem female. You smell female.”Mana smiled, a full genuine smile. “Yes. Only with a cock. She is fine.”“Okay.” If Mana didn’t mind, he’d stick with what his brain and nose told him.Quiet descended and they puttered about the kitchen together in companionable silence. Mana seemed to be dampening her nature somehow, not so abrasive and commanding. Or perhaps that was coming from him, part of this numbness. Either way, Biff didn’t feel the need to get out of her way, avoid her direct notice. It gave him the ability to pry.“Would you change, if you could?” Biff asked, curiosity breaking his lethargy.“There is no answer to that. I self-heal, just like you. So, there is only acceptance and the courage in it. I suppose I should be transgender, under modern parlance. But I like drag queen. It suits me. I like the fabric roughness of drag, and the royalty of queen. It’s a nice change to have the luxury of choosing one’s own semantics, if not one’s own situation.” There is just something about that last sentence that really spoke to me. This character could have so easily been just a comedic side-character. Heaven knows I’ve read dozen of books where the Drag Queen is just that. But here…let’s just say I don’t often find characters like this written with such intention and understanding. And Mana wasn’t even in the book that often. The author could have so easily gone the easy route here, but that she didn’t means all the more to me.And if that is how the author treats her secondary characters, you can be damn sure that her protagonists are wonderfully written. They have layers and flaws–some not so obvious on first or second inspection–and grow throughout the book in the way all good characters should. Max is snarky–but also is afraid to put himself out there in fear of rejection–and Bryan is strong–but that comes from carrying the weight of his need to care for those he loves. Reading this book was never a chore because each new chapter brought to light a new facet of their personalities. The give and take, the rise and fall, of their relationship was understandable and sympathetic. Though I will admit to wanting to shake Max a bit at the end there. Yet I never once thought either of them acted out of character–just maybe acting on the less stellar parts of that character.If there is one flaw in this book, it is the world building. Sorta. See, I really love the world in this story. Especially as you get to know it more as the story progresses. It is interesting and sucked me in with each new revelation. However…this book comes at you fast and hard with terms and designations of the various beings and magic (referred to as quintessence in this world) users. If you are not paying close attention it can be a bit easy to get lost from time to time. It gets easier as the story progresses and the bones of the world become more obvious, but there were times when I was having to pause reading and try to remember just what a certain character or designation could do. It occasionally made the story a bit start-and-stop. I will say though that I believe this is one of those books that is far better on the second read, than on the first, because I came out the of the end of the book having a firmer grasp on this world. I’m curious to go back and see what I might have missed on this first read-through.This story ended up being a real pleasure to read. There were a few things I think could have been tightened up a little, but to be honest? when all the cards are all down, I had fun reading it and that is enough for me. I am now truly curious to see where this series goes. There were some really great twists that happen at the end of this book, and be it another story from this couple’s povs, or maybe from other pack members, I have a feeling this is going to be a series you won’t want to miss.4.5 starsThis book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
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  • Karen Wellsbury
    July 30, 2017
    An interesting and well developed take on shifters and paranormal beings overall.The love story between Max and Bryan was lovely, the way that their insecurities and issues were sometimes discussed and sometimes used as barriers felt real. At times the snarky banter felt a little off, but mainly it was funny and added to the book.Max's issues with his dad, and his magical development was also interesting, although not as strong for me as the romance.I usually welcome it when the author builds a An interesting and well developed take on shifters and paranormal beings overall.The love story between Max and Bryan was lovely, the way that their insecurities and issues were sometimes discussed and sometimes used as barriers felt real. At times the snarky banter felt a little off, but mainly it was funny and added to the book.Max's issues with his dad, and his magical development was also interesting, although not as strong for me as the romance.I usually welcome it when the author builds a world without a great deal of explanation, but I did feel that a bit more background at times would have been beneficial here, that being said I will read more of the series !
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  • Marielle Authier
    July 27, 2017
    **** **** ½
  • Nicole Field
    June 18, 2017
    A seriously promising start to a new series by G. L. Carriger. It's no real secret that this is the pen name of Gail Carriger and the only reason I can think that she's taken on a pseudonym here is because this is m/m erotica with a thread of plot that just happens to tie in with the modern day world that comes after the Victorian steampunk writing she's done before. As a fan of the Parasol Protectorate series, I was incredibly pleased to see the reference to 'excess souls' which, in this modern A seriously promising start to a new series by G. L. Carriger. It's no real secret that this is the pen name of Gail Carriger and the only reason I can think that she's taken on a pseudonym here is because this is m/m erotica with a thread of plot that just happens to tie in with the modern day world that comes after the Victorian steampunk writing she's done before. As a fan of the Parasol Protectorate series, I was incredibly pleased to see the reference to 'excess souls' which, in this modern day world, has led to humans (or sumages) who can do magic. As a reader of m/m fiction, I was quite interested in the paranormal fiction world that Biff and Max introduced me to. Max, of course, is the aforementioned sumage and Biff is perhaps the more accessible werewolf.I'm always a huge fan of stories that have wildly different characters interacting with each other, and this certainly is that. Biff is basically monosyllabic, apart from when Max presses him to talk, and Max is about as bad on dealing with emotion given his difficult history with his father and family. Added to that, there is the werewolf pack that Biff comes from. Although most of them didn't have hugely differentiating personalities, I'm sure that's something that will get explored further in future books of this series. However I did love Biff's younger brother, and Alpha, Alec in this. I'm definitely tempted to try to track down a copy of Marine Biology and read it ASAP.
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  • Joyfully Jay
    July 18, 2017
    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 starsThe Sumage Solution is the first book in G.L. Carriger’s new San Andreas Shifters series and it is off to a great start. This is a really fun story with a lot of humor and great banter and just an overall fun tone. But at the same time, Carriger really develops Bryan and Max’s characters and gives them nice depth and makes them quite interesting.First off, Bryan (aka Biff to his pack) is pretty much the perfect book fantasy boyfriend. He is hot and burly and rides A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 starsThe Sumage Solution is the first book in G.L. Carriger’s new San Andreas Shifters series and it is off to a great start. This is a really fun story with a lot of humor and great banter and just an overall fun tone. But at the same time, Carriger really develops Bryan and Max’s characters and gives them nice depth and makes them quite interesting.First off, Bryan (aka Biff to his pack) is pretty much the perfect book fantasy boyfriend. He is hot and burly and rides a motorcycle, but is also shy and tender. As a beta, his role is to take care of the pack, and so he treats Max so carefully and with such sweetness. Bryan is strong and tough and protective, but at the same time, he is not a posturing jerk ordering people around. Bryan is a bit possessive over Max, but also gives Max the space and independence he needs. He is just coming out and is sweetly shy, but also determined to be the best boyfriend and partner he can be and to always provide for Max’s needs. Seriously, the guy is basically perfect (plus, oh so doting in bed) and such a great foil for the more prickly Max. Because Max has had it kind of rough. As a sumage, he is basically a lesser mage, which is not something his super powerful father took to kindly. We don’t get a lot of detail on exactly what his upbringing was like, but it is clear there was a lot of pain and punishment of both the physical and emotional kind. So Max has up some major walls and it takes someone gentle and sweet like Bryan to break through them.There is some interesting world building here, particularly on the wolf side. The most unusual for me was the role of the beta. In most shifter stories, the beta is kind of the right hand of the alpha in terms of leadership, fighting, etc. But here, the beta role is the caretaker and Bryan’s calm strength and need to look after everyone is what helps to hold the pack of somewhat wild biker dudes together. They are also an interesting pack in that they are led by a gay alpha, and have several gay members. These guys are a lot of fun and we get to know some of the other members here so I am really looking forward to future books in the series to see their stories.Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.
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  • Lulu
    July 25, 2017
    Story: 9First MC: 9Second MC: 9Secondary characters: 8Mystery: 5Sexual tension: 6Humor: 7Hotness: 7Product placement: 1Ridiculousness: 1Annoying: 2Audio: 10 (10h)To re-read: 7"I've my own crotch rocker, but I didn't hook her to the trickle charger, so I'll have to bitch"“Here I cum to save the day? Mighty jizz is on its way?With the power of fizzy dick!?"Loved the book, funny and light. A magical world (though the world isn't used). Creatures of all sorts, and sex shifters. Max is basically a mo Story: 9First MC: 9Second MC: 9Secondary characters: 8Mystery: 5Sexual tension: 6Humor: 7Hotness: 7Product placement: 1Ridiculousness: 1Annoying: 2Audio: 10 (10h)To re-read: 7"I've my own crotch rocker, but I didn't hook her to the trickle charger, so I'll have to bitch"“Here I cum to save the day? Mighty jizz is on its way?With the power of fizzy dick!?"Loved the book, funny and light. A magical world (though the world isn't used). Creatures of all sorts, and sex shifters. Max is basically a mouthy sassy loser with daddy issues. Bryan is a closeted shifter. Some mystery in the last part of the book. But mostly about their relationship. Its sexy and awkward and sweet at times. The pack is a bunch of smart-ass colorful assholes. Fizzy jizz, spicy jizz, obsession with body hair, stained couches, drag queen, enchanted houses, lovely mermen, and lots of snark.
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  • Kelly
    July 25, 2017
    It was quite easy to slip into this new(ish) world of Carriger's. I'm not the type to give spoilers in my reviews, and I won't start now, but let me say that Gail certainly has erotica writing chops. She has a deft hand at creating sexual tension and builds it repeatedly throughout the novel. Her characters are funny, compelling, and multi-faceted. Her pacing is brilliant. I was never bored, never incredulous, and so entertained that I stayed up late into the night, just to see how it ended. Blo It was quite easy to slip into this new(ish) world of Carriger's. I'm not the type to give spoilers in my reviews, and I won't start now, but let me say that Gail certainly has erotica writing chops. She has a deft hand at creating sexual tension and builds it repeatedly throughout the novel. Her characters are funny, compelling, and multi-faceted. Her pacing is brilliant. I was never bored, never incredulous, and so entertained that I stayed up late into the night, just to see how it ended. Bloody good show and I look forward to the 2nd installment of the San Andreas Shifters series.
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  • The Novel Approach Reviews
    July 19, 2017
    Contemporary San Francisco has been made over. Not only is the City by the Bay now home to werewolves (and one extra gorgeous merman), thanks to the new pack that’s just moved there from the East Coast, but the Bay area is home to kelpie and kitsune, berserkers and barghests, and mages of various stripes—basically, lots of magical creatures and humans. And, while after years of reading shifter fantasy my fear is always that a storyline and its setting will feel stale and uninspired, Carriger man Contemporary San Francisco has been made over. Not only is the City by the Bay now home to werewolves (and one extra gorgeous merman), thanks to the new pack that’s just moved there from the East Coast, but the Bay area is home to kelpie and kitsune, berserkers and barghests, and mages of various stripes—basically, lots of magical creatures and humans. And, while after years of reading shifter fantasy my fear is always that a storyline and its setting will feel stale and uninspired, Carriger manages to keep things fresh and progressive in not only the contemporary urban landscape but in the diversity, humor and warmth she uses to complement some of the weightier elements of Max and Biff’s story. It was easy to believe that the author’s San Francisco could exists and would be the perfect home to such a mixed bag of paranormals.First off, I loved these guys. Both of them. Max is a sumage—more specifically, a Placer, which is like, if you’re looking at an organizational chart of mages, sumages are the people on the bottom rung of the ladder. A Placer is the dirt the ladder stands on—Placers only wish they were the bottom rung. In other words, Max gets no respect, and he carries his failures with him just as his father intended him to—like psychological scars. His father was horrid, one of those weightier elements I mentioned, and I’ll leave it at that. Horrid. So horrid. Vile and horrid. I’m glad he wasn’t alive even if he still cast such a dark shadow. Okay, leaving it. And Max is a bit of a smartass because of this in that he covers up a lot of the residual hurt from his childhood with sarcasm and snark, but that’s all it is, really, a coverup. And, as it turns out, his past is not the only thing he’s not disclosing.So, Max works for DURPS, the Department of Unnatural Registration and Processing of Shifters (think the DMV for supes—red tape, paperwork, bureaucracy, and long lines), which is kind of awesome for a guy who doesn’t even need the money. And it’s here that he meets Bryan Ignacio Frederiksen the fourth—Biff for short—which is also kind of awesome just because he’s Biff.Biff is such a love. He’s the Beta to his younger Alpha brother Alec (he of the merman mate), and as a Beta wolf, Biff is a giant muscular outside wrapped around a sweet and mushy center of tea drinking Zen. I loved him so much. As a Beta he’s got mojo, the kind that makes him sensitive to moods and others’ needs, compelling him to soothe and calm and comfort—he’s a fixer not a fighter. Biff has also only recently admitted to himself that he’s gay, and while he’s not fearful of being rejected by his pack, he also hasn’t come out to Alec yet. When Max trips Biff’s trigger, something that shouldn’t happen because Max ought to stink, and then Max falls instantly and madly in lust with the beautiful hunk of man/wolf muscle sitting across the desk from him, the sexy times begin in earnest. Biff is the werewolf Max didn’t know he wanted but is absolutely the one he needs. Even if Biff causes Max to realize he’s more than he wants to be.All is not sunshine and roses on their road to romance, not at all. There are a lot of things these two learn about themselves and each other, a must if I’m expected to buy into the soul mate/bonding trope in shifter fantasy—some bad, which causes Max to push Biff away, and causes Biff to hurt (oh, the hurt) because the most excruciatingly awful thing he can imagine, ever, is that he might have hurt Max. Some good things happen too, in that these two men are so perfectly compatible not only in personality but in sense of humor, and, most significant of all, in the revelation of how they reinforce each other supernaturally. In the end, I bought into their pairing full-stop, no questions over whether or not they belonged together or of their happy beginning was believable. They were lock and key; made for each other.If you’re not familiar with Gail Carriger’s work, one of the things you might appreciate is her sense of humor. There’s a good bit of cheek in this novel, some droll, wacky and absurd fun. Some of the character names are gold. Pure gold. Why wouldn’t a man whose surname is Barker fall for a wolf who rides a Howley, amiright? I wish I could point out some of the other fun little details, but they’re things that should be mined by each reader on their own, so I won’t. There are so many other little details that went into the setting and storyline of this novel which helped to foster that sense of “other” and contributed to its uniqueness, and I love how the issues between Max and Biff weren’t swept under the soul mate rug but were resolved with the help of friends, family, and one pretty special drag queen.I have Gail Carriger to thank for my deep and abiding love of all things Steampunk. Back in ’09, I ran across a book called Soulless, the first in her Parasol Protectorate series, and that was it. Instant. Infinite. Obsession. The fact she’s decided to crossover into LGBTQ romance with The Sumage Solution not only makes me giddy, but the book is such a fun debut in the San Andreas Shifters series that I’m already anxious to see which wolf will feature as the romantic lead in the next book. My fingers are crossed for Colin; there’s a backstory there that I feel like I need in a big and savior complex sort of way.Reviewed by Lisa for The Novel Approach
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  • Lee (Rally the Readers)
    July 17, 2017
    Also posted on Rally the Readers.*An advance copy was provided by the author for review.Gail Carriger is a must-read author for me, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read The Sumage Solution. Writing as G.L. Carriger, the novel is a bit of a departure from the Victorian steampunk world of Carriger’s adult Parasol Protectorate and YA Finishing School series. The Sumage Solution is set in modern day San Francisco and is one smoking, scorching, smoldering paranormal romance. This might b Also posted on Rally the Readers.*An advance copy was provided by the author for review.Gail Carriger is a must-read author for me, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read The Sumage Solution. Writing as G.L. Carriger, the novel is a bit of a departure from the Victorian steampunk world of Carriger’s adult Parasol Protectorate and YA Finishing School series. The Sumage Solution is set in modern day San Francisco and is one smoking, scorching, smoldering paranormal romance. This might be the closest my Kindle Fire has ever come to, well, catching fire.The Sumage Solution features a variety of paranormal beings, some of which, like kelpies, kitsune, and mermen, I haven’t read about as much as one of the book’s main supernatural species, werewolves. What I love about Carriger’s take on the paranormal is that you never feel like you’re reading yet another book about werewolves, vampires, ghosts, etc.; her characters are always unique and often endearingly quirky, and they completely draw you into their story and their world.Anyone who loves snarktastic characters, which I do, will love Max, the titular sumage and one of the novel’s two protagonists. Not only is Max a smartass, but he also doesn’t know when to shut up, and the resulting sass is hilarious. Beneath all of the razor-sharp sarcasm, though, Max tries to distance himself as much as possible from a horrible childhood growing up with a cruel father in whose eyes Max was nothing but a failure. Lacking a steady, supportive presence for most of his life, Max starts to panic when instant chemistry with werewolf Bryan (nickname: Biff) begins turning into something more serious.Biff is the Beta of a pack new to the San Francisco Bay Area, and his Beta instincts to calm and protect are exactly what Max needs. Biff is also a man/werewolf of few words, which works out perfectly for the relationship because Max is always running his mouth. While the romance definitely has some absolutely torrid moments, it’s also sweet; you’ll root for these two to be together and to overcome anything that drives them apart.I really liked getting to know the pack a bit and the sense of brotherhood between them. The bond is especially strong between Biff and his actual brother Alec, the pack’s Alpha. Biff has always looked out for his younger brother, and it’s touching to see Alec do the same for Biff here. (For a bit more about Alec, you can check out Carriger’s short story Marine Biology .)Overall, this was a sizzling start to the San Andreas Shifters series. Gail Carriger has created another cast of highly entertaining characters, and I look forward to more of their stories.
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  • Kylara Jensen
    July 31, 2017
    I absolutely loved this book. It reminded me of some of my favorite fanfiction reads, in all the best ways possible.If I were leaving a comment on this story as a fanfiction I would say: !!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, this was sooo good. Angst with a happy ending my fav!! All the feelz tho! Love these characters. Please write more!!! But as a serious reviewer--Great world building. And awesome way to fit this universe into the Parasol universe (where mages don't exist and people use airships in the aether. I I absolutely loved this book. It reminded me of some of my favorite fanfiction reads, in all the best ways possible.If I were leaving a comment on this story as a fanfiction I would say: !!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, this was sooo good. Angst with a happy ending my fav!! All the feelz tho! Love these characters. Please write more!!! But as a serious reviewer--Great world building. And awesome way to fit this universe into the Parasol universe (where mages don't exist and people use airships in the aether. In fact it explains (view spoiler)[ wtf the Order of the Brass Octopus is up to all this time (hide spoiler)] and raises more questions like(view spoiler)[ imagine if electricity just suddenly doesn't work anymore and all your means of transportation and communication is cut off and you have to find a new way of doing things. Like how did the world function and also catch up to modern day technology when the aether was compromised?! (hide spoiler)]Either it was handled beautifully.Great characters. Beautiful broken men (my fav). Great relationship. They were respectful and upfront with each other and didn't have annoying pining. But there was still angst as they worked things out!!!Great ending. I definitely want more in the verse.
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  • k reads
    July 30, 2017
    This book was all about the sex and if that is your kind of thing, then you may enjoy it more than I did.But me - I wanted some plot. And because there wasn't much of a plot and the romance was of the insta-love lust sort, the book felt endless with very little to show for it.The world building was convoluted and I am not sure how magic works in this world. I don't feel like I knew who the characters were or what the relationships were beyond the superficial. I ended up not caring. I like sex sc This book was all about the sex and if that is your kind of thing, then you may enjoy it more than I did.But me - I wanted some plot. And because there wasn't much of a plot and the romance was of the insta-love lust sort, the book felt endless with very little to show for it.The world building was convoluted and I am not sure how magic works in this world. I don't feel like I knew who the characters were or what the relationships were beyond the superficial. I ended up not caring. I like sex scenes that occur because the plot calls for them and the sex furthers the story or my understanding of the characters.In this book, I felt like the plot existed only to serve the sex scenes.There was so much potential in this book that didn't even come close to being semi - let alone fully - realized.It was a real disappointment.
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  • asdfghl
    July 20, 2017
    So different and so GOOD Ive been following this author since her beginnings and let me tell you: this is not her usual style - but it's AS GOOD as her more historical novels.This book was intense, and raw, and hot as sin, and I need to adopt every single character, even the super powerful one at the end (which, let me tell you, it's a great Transgender representation). BUT THE PLOT TWISTS! You think you have everything neatly figured out and BAM now you don't, because of a) banter b) backstory So different and so GOOD Ive been following this author since her beginnings and let me tell you: this is not her usual style - but it's AS GOOD as her more historical novels.This book was intense, and raw, and hot as sin, and I need to adopt every single character, even the super powerful one at the end (which, let me tell you, it's a great Transgender representation). BUT THE PLOT TWISTS! You think you have everything neatly figured out and BAM now you don't, because of a) banter b) backstory c) a new magic system built on the back of (redacted) (redacted) (read this book to find out), (redacted).So, really, give it a serious try and fall in love with its characters and their virtues and flaws many times over, I sure did.
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  • Kris
    July 18, 2017
    The book is highly readable and instantly engaging. The characters are, at least the main ones, rounded and realistic. Biff/Bryan is a little too gentle, understanding and caring which oddly enough makes him more two-dimensional than his brother Alec, who at least can get angry when the situation warrants it.The book is full of snarky humour, great lines and visuals and, of course, tea.
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  • Libby Scobee
    July 18, 2017
    !!!!!!!!! AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!I've seriously done nothing all day but read this and I regret none of it. Anyone who's a fan of Gail's and a fan of MM romance will enjoy this quirky supernatural romance.
  • Luna
    May 27, 2017
    I loved the characters, they were so funny and relatable that it seemed like they were in the room with me. The plot was really good and was non-traditional. I can't wait until her next book comes out!
  • Veronica of V's Reads
    July 17, 2017
    4.5 Stars!Bryan, called Biff by his packmates, is a wolf shifter whose small pack of gay-spectrum wolves has relocated from the east coast to the San Fran Bay area. Biff is a beta wolf, and in this world it means he’s the patient one, the one who assists the alpha in negotiations and keeps the peace. His younger brother is his alpha and they pretty much fled the homophobia and heartache of their previous pack once his brother came out and took a merman as his mate. So, Biff knows his pack would 4.5 Stars!Bryan, called Biff by his packmates, is a wolf shifter whose small pack of gay-spectrum wolves has relocated from the east coast to the San Fran Bay area. Biff is a beta wolf, and in this world it means he’s the patient one, the one who assists the alpha in negotiations and keeps the peace. His younger brother is his alpha and they pretty much fled the homophobia and heartache of their previous pack once his brother came out and took a merman as his mate. So, Biff knows his pack would accept him if he came out as gay–but he’s still a private kind of guy, and he doesn’t want to have the pack watching/gossiping about his every step.Biff meets Max when he goes to the local DURPS office–imagine an agency like the DMV, only serving paranormals and ten times pettier–to register their pack and help get them permanent housing. Right now, there are seven werewolves and a merman taking refuge in the two bedroom apartment of the traveling drag queen friend of their beloved house ghost. (So, you can see there’s lots of shenanigans happening…) Max is a sumage, kind of the opposite of a mage in that he absorbs the magical resonance of actual magic wielders instead of turning his own tricks (ba-da-bum). It was the final disappointment to Max’s powerful and power-hungry mage father, long dead and little missed in the ensuing ten years. Max works at DURPS as another slam on his dear-old-dad, and makes no effort to tamp-down his gayness, either.Max and Biff have an immediate attraction, and it is this which tips Max into accepting Brian’s number, calls, and request for a date. It seems like everything is going fine, even if Bryan is confused why Max won’t reveal his body to him–at first, and sets off the first bit of conflict. What I loved about the book is Bryan’s steadfastness. Max is used to abuse and scorn, and he can’t believe that Bryan could possibly find him attractive–sumages have distinct body issues and Bryan’s careful love helps Max regain his absent self-confidence. Also, there are some unique and different challenges that present themselves as Bryan and Max begin to build a life together–not least of which is Bryan’s protective Alpha brother. There are mages out for artifacts in Max’s father’s home, and protecting those potential weapons brings forth Max’s true power–shocking everyone.I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, because it’s fantastic and so very different, but I want to mention that it’s got the same fast-paced, witty movement as all the other books I’ve read by the author. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Bryan and Max have some emotional set-backs that they need to work through, but they do that very well, and the book ends with an HEA. There’s some yummy sexytimes, too!
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