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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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review 2017-03-21 09:49
Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)
Silence Fallen - Patricia Briggs

Mercy is kidnapped by vampires and is taken to Europe, where she escapes, but has no clothes, no money and no passport and must stay on the run until Adam can find her and neutralise the threat to herself and her pack.


I'll admit I was less enthusiastic about this one that I normally am about the books in this series, because my first thoughts ran along the lines of 'oh, yay.  Woman in peril who must fight to survive and over come obstacles over and over again.'


I could not have been more wrong.  Yes, there are perils and obstacles, but they are more than balanced out by moments of control and action and intelligence.  This book was also far more about political negotiations and intelligence analysis, if you'll excuse the out-of-place term here, and I loved that.  This felt like a far more intelligent novel that the previous books.


And for the first time in I can't even remember how long, I was totally blown away by the twist.  Never. saw. that. coming.  I actually exclaimed 'holy sh*t!' out loud.  Well played, Briggs.  Absolutely brilliant.


There wasn't anything I didn't thoroughly enjoy in this book; I had no complaints at all.

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review 2017-03-10 07:15
The Revenant of Thraxton Hall
The Revenant of Thraxton Hall - Vaughn Entwistle

I'm going to use one of my dad's favourite sayings and call this one fair to middling. 


On the surface it should have been a guaranteed-to-please-me read: I'm intrigued by Wilde, Conan Doyle is one of only a couple of people I'd go back in time to meet, and the it's a ghost story set on the moors.  In spite of all of this, I remained nothing but an indifferent observer from start to finish; I failed to connect with Wilde or Doyle, and the ghosts failed to thrill.  Additionally, the twisty part of the plot was something I saw coming from the start, although how Doyle got there at the end was so twisty and convoluted, I'm still not sure I get how he did it.


He did totally pull one over on me regarding the Count though; did not see that one coming.


This is the first of a series, but I doubt I'll be searching out the second one.  

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review 2017-03-03 05:23
Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires, #12.5)
Phantom Kiss - Chloe Neill

After realising my last read was a DNF, this is what I grabbed from my iBooks app.  I love the Chicagoland vampire series; its books are always fun and the snark factor is high.  It's my love for the characters that got this short novella the third star.  Otherwise, the editing was non-existent; at one point the MC tries to share the important (to the plot) information that their house had no ghosts, but thanks to the editor that wasn't there, actually says that they did.  There was also zero mystery about who the grave robber was; the plot was transparent from go to woe*.


I still enjoyed it though; again, strictly for the characters.  The book coming out in April is the last one; so I'll take all the Ethan, Merit, Catcher and Mallory I can get.  


(* go to woe - Aussie slang of the day, meaning 'beginning to end')

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review 2017-02-05 09:35
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)
Clean Sweep - Ilona Andrews

I'm a huge fan of Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series and had heard nothing but great things about this first book of a new series about a special kind of innkeeper offering sanctuary to all kinds.


The rave reviews are well earned - it is a great story with very intriguing characters.  The Andrews team takes a whole different spin on werewolves and vampires, and I'm in love with the sentient inn named Gertrude.  It's a great plot, fast paced and well written (although with more than a few copy writing errors).  I was very invested in all three main characters.


The only reason I didn't rate it higher (besides the poor copy writing), is purely subjective.  This story is a blending of traditional urban fantasy with its magic and paranormal entities, and science fiction.  My friends know I really don't like science fiction, especially if it's the outer space variety.  it just leaves me flat and disinterested, so whenever this story touched on those parts of its world building I tended to disengage.


Not enough to avoid reading the second book though; they had me at tall, broad and blond (the vampire), and really, I am besotted with that house.

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