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review 2017-03-24 15:27
Hot Lead, Cold Iron / Ari Marmell
Hot Lead, Cold Iron: A Mick Oberon Job Book 1 by Marmell, Ari (2014) Paperback - Ari Marmell

Chicago, 1932. Mick Oberon may look like just another private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he's got pointy ears and he's packing a wand. 

Oberon's used to solving supernatural crimes, but the latest one's extra weird. A mobster's daughter was kidnapped sixteen years ago, replaced with a changeling, and Mick's been hired to find the real child. The trail's gone cold, but what there is leads Sideways, to the world of the Fae, where the Seelie Court rules. And Mick's not really welcome in the Seelie Court any more. He'll have to wade through Fae politics and mob power struggles to find the kidnapper – and of course it's the last person he expected.

 

Hard-boiled detective + the Fae = an interesting first book.

When I ran across this title in my public library’s catalog, I was intrigued. Those of you who read my reviews regularly will know that I am a sucker for books that feature Fae characters. I love them! Plus, I am an enormous fan of Raymond Chandler, so this combo was irresistible.

I enjoyed Marmell’s take on the Fae. Mick Oberon (yes, he’s related to THAT Oberon) has a penchant for milk, cream when he’s needs something a bit stronger. He doesn’t always ask for money to pay for his jobs—but he has an instinct for asking for something which later helps with a new problem. He’s also extremely reluctant to head back Underhill for any reason.

Marmell is obviously fully conversant with the whole hard-boiled genre. Mick is tough-talking, hard-(milk)-drinking, and wise-cracking. He gets beat on and thumps others in return. All the correct boxes are ticked. It would be unfair to compare his writing to Chandler—very few can live up to those standards. If I have a niggling annoyance, it’s that I felt the Chicago gangland vocabulary was laid on awfully thick (with a trowel, really).

Still, it’s a fun fantasy world and I will definitely continue on with the series. Not, however, a series that I will want to own.

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text 2017-03-24 12:30
Reading progress update: I've read 15 out of 591 pages.
Hôtel Olympia - Elisabeth Vonarburg

« Toomi s'est laissé glisser dans le sofa, où les deux chatons se sont approprié ses cuisses pour s'endormir aussitôt, ventre offert et pattes en désordre. »

This image amuses me, with the two kittens sprawled on their backs with their legs every which way (kinda like my cat does).

 

"ventre offert et pattes en désordre" = "belly offered and legs in disorder", more or less.

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review 2017-03-24 11:36
This author has skills! Urban fantasy lovers might want to check it out
Warlock in Training - T.J. Nichols
  4.5 HEARTS--I knew this author's first novel would be great. It was magical.



This isn't my first T.J. Nichols; all previous works were urban fantasy/ paranormal short stories: The Vampire's Dinner and A Wolf's Resistance . Both works had great world building and paranormal ideas. The same can be said for Warlock in Training. But what I wanted to see is what the author could do with something novel length.

Not disappointed.

Earth has changed, new countries have formed and magic is known. Well I should say warlocks and wizards are real on Earth, or Humanside. The Earth is continuing to change, forget global warming, it's approaching an ice age. Most of the population doesn't know what the cause is for it. Warlocks are believed to be the saviors to stop it, But what they don't want people to know is they're the culprits. Magic exists in Humanside and Demonside, a second world where demons and other paranormal beings live. Demonside is experiencing extreme global warming, the world turning into a desert, water is scarce. Do these changes share something in common?

Wizards practice magic without using demons. Warlocks on the other hand drain demons for their magic to be more power, have stronger magic. Wizards are looked down on in the magical society. Warlocks are the upper echelon, the 1% if you will.

Nineteen year old ginger Angus Donohue doesn't want to be a warlock, despite his prestigious warlock family history. His father is forced him to attend warlock college and threatened him not embarrass the family name or him. Angus doesn't even want to summon a demon during a requisite class and tries to fail.

And that's where the magic begins.

Enter demon Saka (I am 1000% for him). He chooses Angus despite Angus trying to fail and takes him to Demonside across the void (the bridge between the two worlds). Points to the story being dual POV. Both worlds are too interesting not to immerse yourself in.

The cover is so fitting! Because I think Angus has the potential to be the bridge.

Saka is a demon mage and is trying to help his world. He's smart, calm and wicked with a knife. He shows Angus there is more to life and magic. I couldn't help but imagine Saka something like Hellboy (black horns instead, no hair, the similar skin tone)



I always try to find a Hellboy in demons I read about. LOL

Saka teaches different types of magic: soul, blood and sex. Saka's really great at the last two.

A lot of urban fantasy, tends to have an alpha type as the lead. Not the case in Warlock in Training. Angus is nineteen and reads nineteen - unsure of himself, still learning his place in the world, exploring relationships with potential partners. But he's not the typical teenager. Demonside helps open his eyes.

There is a battle between two magical worlds that felt similar to what the political and global feel is right now. The 1% is ruining both worlds, damn the results as long as they're in power. It's magical politics. People are dying for a cause that does not benefit the greater good. The ones in charge lie to the masses and attacks any form of resistance.

But there is a resistance.



And it's growing.

The book ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. There are loose threads that need to be answered. Such as who really is in charge? Why the harvesting of so much power? The suspense is well written.

Before jumping all over this, I feel I should warn potential readers of possible triggers/deal breakers: There are romantic undertones rather than a defined romance. Both main characters have sex with other people (But I feel I should explain demons have different views on 'relationships' - monogamy is not the norm,) There were brief MF moments. (Also, didn't mind. The moments were a blip on the entire scale of things) Cutting is practiced for magical purposes.

How erotic does this get? There is on page sex but don't expect pages of a drawn out sex scene. (Quite happy about that, it can be a chore to read drawn out pages) The relationship between Saka and Angus is still forming, is kinda fluid. There is another character that has a potential of maybe making this a love/lust triangle. It's not romantic. More as a means to an end but there is potential for deeper feelings. Sex on Demonside can be and is used for ritualistic needs. If you are a reader who needs the one and only, I would say to approach with caution. Because the way the sex, relationship and openness is written fits the characters. And they struggle. But it's secondary to the world building, action and suspense.

I want to rate this all the hearts but I have tiny issues, pretty minor. Technically, the story reads well. But I feel some of the chapters ended in odd spots. I like the fact the chapters aren't overly long but some ended with where it could have just combined with half of the next chapter for better impact.

But I see this book as the foundation for more to come. War is approaching. What side are you on? Will the resistance win?

Bonus was that this book stars my favorite paranormal beings: DEMONS!



And a ginger warlock! It was like it was written just for me. ;P

Fans of urban fantasy should definitely check this series out because the world building is tops. The author obvious is an urban fantasy fan and it shows in their work. The first third is mostly building. The other two thirds are fast paced and filled with intrigue. My heart started to crumble in the last 5-8% but the author pulled it through.

I am so there for this series! And I'm definitely a fan of this author after this. It's 3 out of 3 for me!

Recommended.



A copy provided for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-03-24 10:50
Sweet Child of Time
Sweet Child of Time: Episode Seven of The Chronicles of the Harekaiian - Shanna Lauffey

by Shanna Lauffey

 

Wow, I wasn't expecting that!

 

Usually when I read a long series, I start to lose interest around the fourth book. Things get samey and the later books feel like a lot of rehash. Not with this one.

 

Akalya had some different challenges to deal with in this 7th book, yet part of the plot tied in neatly with what has gone before. One interesting new character was introduced, but it's hard to tell if he'll make an appearance in the remaining books. I just never know quite what to expect from the next episode.

 

I got to see some of Akalya's past that I hope will be visited again in future books because it involves a setting that appeals to me a lot and as always, some bits of nostalgia that would appeal even to people who weren't actually there. There wasn't as much about time travel Physics as there sometimes is, but it wasn't entirely missing. Just enough questions about how things work to stimulate the thinking processes.

 

What strikes me about every book in this series is how I feel when I've finished. It's like I've been there myself and experienced these things, and I'm still dealing with the emotions raised from whatever situation happened. This is what makes this my favorite series, apart from just the fact that time travel is cool and the methods explained in this are close enough to plausible to suspend disbelief.

 

I feel like I'm still assimilating this experience, though I finished reading last night. It's going to be far too long before the next book comes out! I can't wait to see where it goes. The reappearance of one character who I thought was done has me speculating about the extent of his significance. I do love it when a book makes me think!

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review 2017-03-23 23:08
Etched in Bone (The Others, #5)
Etched in Bone - Anne Bishop

Every book in this series have been marathon reads for me, and Etched in Bone was no exception.  I picked it up yesterday morning and pretty much did absolutely nothing else until I read the last page about midnight last night (although I did stop, in the name of marital harmony, to shovel some dinner down; luckily, there was a footy game on last night, so the shovelling went largely unnoticed).

 

I have loved every moment of this series; been sucked into this world so thoroughly that interruptions leave me hazy about reality and I have been as attached to these characters as much as, or more, than any others.  Possibly more than real people I know. 

 

But... this one; this final book concerning Meg and Simon, was not as great as the first 4.  Because this book deviated from the rules the author created for The Others.  In any of the other books, Jimmy would have been a stain on the sidewalk before chapter 3.  I get what she was trying to do here, I get what she wanted to explore, but it was not done as gracefully, and the effect felt forced; its execution more heavy handed.  In short, Jimmy got on my nerves; I stopped being horrified and started getting irritated and mumbling 'why isn't this man dead yet???'.

 

Still, I'd recommend this to anyone who likes urban fantasy and/or parables.  Because this whole series is one giant parable about the human race: our capacity for grace, our capacity for vice, and our wholesale destruction of everything in our path as long as we remain unchecked.  As horrifying as The Others are, I can't look around at what's going on today and not sort of wish our Earth had Naimid's teeth and claws to protect her.

 

I'm attached so thoroughly to these characters in the Courtyard, I'm not sure I'll read the next book; which is apparently in the same universe but with a different setting and characters.  I want more Tess!  But I'll definitely be re-reading these.

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