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review 2017-12-02 19:25
Noir Crime with a side of Paranormal Horror
Glass Town - Steven Savile

Disclaimer: eARC review for NetGalley.


This was a hard-to-categorize read - and that's not a bad thing. It's challenging; much of the central mystery and the mechanics of the magic that does crop up isn't explained until very late in the story, so there's high tension, but also a good amount of confusion to start with. I found the initial pages fascinating and almost dizzying; I couldn't really follow what was going on, but there was enough there for me to keep trying.


It's classified as Urban Fantasy, but I'm more familiar with the YA romance variant, and this is not at all like that. It's more like a gritty crime thriller, with underworld crime bosses, a dingy, dreary and dangerous end of London, and horrifically unnatural monsters/demons committing graphic murders. This is adult fiction in multiple senses of the word; explicit, violent, with deliberately transgressive sex and language that intensifies the violence (it's not erotica; sexual scenes are brief and hopefully not titillating). If anything, it feels closer to noir film tradition, with a side of paranormal horror. It also bears some resemblance to the Jonathan Norris & Mr. Strange style of adult fantasy. Magic or paranormal aren't particularly beautiful, alluring or empowering, but they're there, they're real, and they're taking lives.


It's not a genre or style that I would generally choose to read, given just how dark it is, but it's a very well executed book, a fascinating departure from anything I've come across in the past, and a wonderful genre-defying piece of entertainment for fans of grittier media. I'd give it about a 3.5/5 for personal entertainment, 4.5/5 for quality and execution.

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text 2017-11-01 13:35
Festive 16 Task Challenge: Square 1
It Had to Be You - Delynn Royer

For All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos / Calan Gaeaf (square 1), I started It Had to Be You by Delynn Royer. The NOOK version I am reading from is completely black and white.


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review 2017-10-14 18:19
The Bones of Paris (Harris Stuyvesant) - Laurie R. King

Enjoyable 1920s mystery-thriller with a distinctly creepy vibe. Works in a large and colourful cast of American and Parisian artists of note. Complex, twisty plot with more of an edgy note than King's Holmes & Russell mysteries.

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review 2017-10-14 18:17
Touchstone - Sherlock & Holmes under another name ;D
Touchstone - Laurie R. King

Effective period spy thriller. It seems to pick up on elements of her longer Holmes/Russell series, with Watson & Holmes type traits spread among the cast and an emphasis on discussing the woman's role(s) in society at the time.


Enjoyable and unexpected. In the style of classic literature, it has perhaps a bit more description than modern readers will be used to.

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review 2017-07-01 23:28
A light, fun, and dynamic story set in the 1920s, particularly recommended to those with an adventurous and playful spirit.
Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story - Teagan Riordain Geneviene

I was the lucky winner of this book as part of a promotion the author run on her blog, Teagan’s Books and I freely chose to review it.

I have been a follower of the author’s blog for several years, although I was not following her when she wrote this serial. Teagan Geneviene is a fascinating and versatile writer. I have read her novel Atonement, Tennessee (check my review here) that is a magical experience, full of finesse, beauty, and attention to detail, evidently the fruit of a lot of thought, careful planning, research, and revision. On the other hand, she is also able to produce her legendary serials. She starts with an idea, or an image, and asks the readers of her blog to contribute certain elements. These might be things (objects, words, concepts), foods, words related to a certain era… She links each one of the posts to the blog of the contributor, and progressively builds up her story, going wherever the three things (foods, objects, or whatevers) and her imagination take her. Although, as I’ve said before, I wasn’t following the author’s blog when she wrote this serial, I have met the main character, Pip in a later serial and I have followed several others, some with familiar characters and a recent one with different characters, and more in the steampunk style. Unsurprisingly, they have a big following and the authors keeps her followers (and I suspect, herself) guessing where the story is going to go next.

Many of the readers of her blog had asked her to publish the serials in book format and finally, she obliged.

Anybody reading the description of this volume will get a sense of how it came into being. The story has a wonderful sense of time (the jazzy 1920s, brilliant, young, full of flappers, parties, movies, and excitement) and it is told in the first person by Pip, a young woman transplanted from the South to the big city, with a huge imagination and an endless curiosity that gets her involved in all kinds of adventures, including but not limited to: kidnappings, rides in fire trucks, romances, secret coded messages, international intrigues, hidden treasures… Pip also has a wonderful turn of phrase (she never swears, at least not as we understand it, and there is no bad language in the book, although she uses her own expressions that colour her language and readers will come to love) and believes she is a very modern woman, although she is less savvy and cool than she would like to believe.

This is a short novel, quick, fast and full of adventures that will delight readers of all ages and will not offend those worried about bad language, erotica or graphic violence. Although in this format readers do not have access to the wonderful images, fruit of the author’s research, which illustrate her blog posts, it does offer continuity and an easier to follow story that will keep readers on their toes. It has elements of historical fiction, of mystery (although not by design, it could fit into the cozy mystery category), and a few touches of romance (or rather, romantic interest).

Although this work is too short to fully demonstrate the author’s abilities, it does give the readers a taste of her sense of fun and adventure, and it introduces a character that will become a close friend in series to come. As an exercise, I would suggest you try and put yourselves in the author’s shoes and every time you start to read a new chapter, headed by the three things, try and imagine how you would use those three words to continue the tale. I am sure you’ll be even more amazed at the story.

The author is working on turning some of her other serials into books, so if you enjoy this one, there are more delights to come your way. And, do not forget to check Atonement, Tennesse.

Recommended to anybody looking for a light, fun, and dynamic story set in the 1920s, particularly those with an adventurous and playful spirit.

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