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review 2019-07-30 18:45
SMOKE & DAGGER: A SPECTRA FILES PREQUEL by Douglas Wynne
Smoke and Dagger: A SPECTRA Files Prequel - Douglas Wynne,Thomas Fitzsimmons

 

THE SPECTRA FILES books have all been a pleasure to read. Now with SMOKE & DAGGER, we get a peek behind the scenes at the beginning of it all. What fun!

 

In New York City, feeling far from her seaside home in Massachusetts, Catherine Littlefield haunts the local museums when she's not studying for her college courses. She especially likes to sit and gaze at a certain meteorite. It gives off some kind of...signal, a kind of...hum, which she can actually feel. She notices an elderly gentleman, often on the bench opposite from where she sits, and she wonders if he feels it too. Soon the two meet, one thing leads to another, and then she's working for the man and off to California to investigate! There are reports of black magic, sex magic, spells and singing-all with the intent of bringing through the Old Gods. Who are the people so devoted to doing this? What and who exactly, are the Old Gods? Lastly, will this group be successful? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I loved the trilogy of SPECTRA FILES books, and thought the author was finished with those tales, until I saw the beautiful cover of this book on Twitter. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but there are a number of lovely illustrations inside, though many of them are of monsters and the Old Gods themselves. Some are renditions of ancient spells and chants from grimoires devoted to the black arts. These illustrations added another level of "cool" to this tale. (I'd love to see this book come out in a signed/limited edition including the drawings.)

 

I've come to expect a level of satisfaction from Douglas Wynne when it comes to his SPECTRA FILES books. They combine Lovecraftian type story telling, (dark, ominous and atmospheric), without the flowery language, racism and other distasteful portions of Lovecraft's actual writing. What I really love about Wynne's work though, is his characters. They are always so devoted to protecting the world from the Old Gods all while being unable to claim the credit for doing so. In this book, however, things are a little different. I wasn't sure about Catherine Littlefield's inner motivations, and it was her adventure that kept my eyes glued to the page. I'd love to read more about her in the future, and more about the Order to which she was initiated. In short, I just want more!

 

You do not need to have read the trilogy in order to appreciate SMOKE & DAGGER, though I recommend you do anyway, because...FUN. This volume can stand alone, tickling your sense of adventure and your curiosity. Combining those things with a brave, admirable heroine, and some Old Gods action, I just cannot see how you wouldn't have a good time!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Available everywhere August 20th; you can pre-order here: SMOKE & DAGGER

 

*Thanks to Douglas Wynne for the beautiful paperback ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

 

**Also, thank you, sir, for the wonderful inscription that made me both blush and smile.**

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review 2017-12-05 22:30
Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan, narrated by Penelope Rawlins
Talulla Rising - Penelope Rawlins,Glen Duncan

 

When I was listening to THE LAST WEREWOLF, I wasn't sure I would continue on with the series. I liked the bloodiness of it, and I enjoyed the world building, but was less than thrilled with the tons of graphic sex going on.

EAT, FUCK, KILL is the werewolf mantra.

(spoiler show)

 

However, there was such a great hook at the end of the narrative AND the library had the audio of this one in stock, and here we are!

 

Right now, I feel the same way as I did when I finished the first book in the series. Here there were many surprises, (maybe too many to be believed, but hey-it's a werewolf book), and a good amount of action. However, I didn't feel that the quality of the writing was quite as good as THE LAST WEREWOLF.

 

Once again, close to the end, there is another surprising tidbit that makes me want to continue on with the series. This time, though, I'm going to read a few books in between, and then see if I still feel like continuing.

 

*I checked this audio out from my local library for FREE. LIBRARIES RULE!*

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review 2017-05-26 18:10
Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman, narrated by Steve West
Between Two Fires - Christopher Buehlman,Steve West

 

Featuring some of the craziest scenes I've ever read, I don't know how this author has escaped my attentions until recently.

 

I checked out this audio from my library, immediately after finishing THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER.  I knew nothing about it, except that it was written by Christopher Buehlman. I'm glad that I went into it that way, because otherwise I might have passed on this story altogether.

 

I feel I should warn people that no religion is free from mockery here, while at the same time, I feel like this is a religious, or at least a spiritual story. Being agnostic, I'm fine with that, but what I enjoyed most were the scenes of extremely imaginative horror-most times coming unexpectedly out of nowhere. I know I will be thinking about those scenes for some time to come.

 

Highly recommended, especially the audio version, narrated by Steve West. He and this book were both amazing!

 

*Thanks to my local public library for being awesome.*

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review 2016-11-14 14:19
Eat the Night by Tim Waggoner
Eat the Night - Tim Waggoner

 Eat the Night really worked for me!

 

At first, this story features 3 plot-lines which, (of course), eventually end up coming together. Joan and Jon discover a hidden door which leads to a basement, something they thought they didn't have in their new home. Kevin works for Maintenance, an extremely important job, the details of which become clear as the story moves on. Debbie's story is the third-a woman subjecting herself to the whims of cult leader/heavy metal star, Maegarr.

 

The world-building regarding Maintenance and the Gyre is definitely something I'm interested in reading more about. This relates to cosmic horror but without any Lovecraftian Old Ones or anything of that sort. For this reason my curiosity about this world is piqued. I want MORE!

 

These three lines came together in a more than satisfactory way. I loved the ending and I believe if the story were any longer, it would have been difficult to maintain the level of tension that hummed throughout. I do have one question though: will there be more stories set in this world? I am hoping the answer is YES.

 

Highly recommended, especially for fans of cosmic horror, (with or without Old Ones)!

 

You can get your copy here: Eat the Night

 

*Thank you to Net Galley and Darkfuse for providing an e-ARC of this story in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2015-08-28 18:05
The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly
The Wolf in Winter - John Connolly

 

This book was awesome and in my opinion, the BEST entry in the series so far. If you love Charlie Parker, you need to read this. If you're not reading the Charlie Parker series, you should be!

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