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review 2019-09-14 00:09
Death by Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold - My Thoughts
Death by Silver (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey #1) - Amy Griswold,Melissa Scott

I had been wanting to read this for a very long time and I'm happy to say that it did not disappoint!  It's a murder mystery set in an alternate steampunk magic London, seasoned with enough magic to make things very interesting.  Frankly, I loved the world-building.   

The two main characters, Ned Mathey and Julian Lynes have known each other since they were boys at school.  Their 'romance' is the secondary plot that twines a bit with the main mystery plot seeing as it's the father of one of their schoolboy 'enemies' who is the first murder victim.  I liked Ned and Julian a lot and I also liked the secondary characters that surround them, especially Ned's assistant, Miss Frost.  She is a surprising lady, that's for sure!  So, as I said, I liked them and was quite willing to follow them about as they solved the mystery and put some of their own ghosts of the past to rest.

I have the second book in my TBR and I will be reading it sooner than later and I hope that Melissa and Amy write more in this universe!

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review 2019-04-08 05:01
Lost Things by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham - My Thoughts
Lost Things - Jo Graham,Melissa Scott

I thought this was a cool read.  Set in the early 1930s, a period that I'm quite fond of, it's the tale of a small aviation company run by veterans of the Great War and how they get involved in a dangerous, thrilling occult adventure with its roots back in ancient times. 

We have the three aviators, Lewis, Alma and Mitch, and the Jerry, the archaeologist.  The First World War, the Great War, left its scars on everyone that fought and these four are no different.  There are the obvious wounds, such as Jerry's missing lower leg, Mitch's abdominal scars, and there are also the mental and emotional wounds that all four suffer from.  I liked all of them and I thought the authors did a good job of introducing and portraying them.  It's the first in a series of books, so I expect to be learning more about them - especially my favourite, Mitch.  I think he was the least fleshed out, but maybe that's because he doesn't seem, right now, to be as complicated as the other three? 

So, the adventure includes an ancient evil from the time of the Emperors Claudius and Nero and possibly even before. We have a demon run amok and our quartet are on the chase.  The only real problem I had with the whole thing was the time we spent reading about the intricacies of the aircraft involved.  I didn't feel I needed to know things in such detail, either about the Terrier plane or the dirigible. The one part where I felt it worked was the big chase scene.

Now, I have to say, the book reminded me of a favourite book of one of my favourite authors - Katherine Kurtz and her Lammas Night. It also reminded me of her Templar series of books, but mostly Lammas Night.  I wonder if the authors were inspired by her? 

Anyway, I enjoyed my read and as it's the first volume of an omnibus, I have the next 2 books in the series to look forward to!  If I was one to binge read, I'd be reading them right away, but I like to space my series out for the most part. 

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review 2018-10-08 04:10
Point of Sighs by Melissa Scott - My Thoughts
Point of Sighs - Melissa Scott

I love this series and I love the two main characters, Philip Eslingen and Nico Rathe.  I love that in this book they're getting a little more settled into their relationship.  And they've not forgotten Sunflower, the dog!  I love that Nico is a born pointsman (policeman), smart, logical, observant and so upright sometimes that it hurts!  And I love that Philip, one of the leaders of the new City Guard (a type of militia unit), is more of a running on instinct fellow, more liable to jump to the right conclusions and just sly enough to get by.  And I love that the author doesn't forget to remind us of his soldiering/cavalry roots.

The mystery this time around focusses on the water.  The weather, the river, the tunnels beneath the city. Philip is quite unlucky with water, his stars being very bad for it.  There are abductions, murders, thugs and bribery.  There are river monsters and a river spirit who is absolutely evil.  And there are some pointespeople at the Point of Sighs office that we start to get to know, mostly don't trust at the beginning but then see Rathe be Rathe and grudgingly they begin to be won over.

One thing that bugged me however, and I don't remember it being the case in previous books.  The society of Nico and Philip's world is matriarchal. No problem, I'm good with that.  But in many instances, the narrative would read something like...  oh... he was looking for a place where a woman might hide - it was every woman for herself - which is all well and good, but when the story is being told from a man's POV, it's kind of jarring for me.  Because I find myself wondering if why they're looking for a woman, if they're ONLY looking for a woman, did I miss why it's a woman.  It felt almost obnoxious to my reading ear, but maybe that's because I'm 61 years old with 55 years of reading under my belt and habits are hard to break. 

But I loved this visit to Astreiant and I truly hope there are more, 'cause I'll be there to buy them!

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url 2018-08-08 00:53
$2.99 Sale from Publisher Orbit (SF/F genre imprint of Hachette Book Group)
Jade City - Fonda Lee
Soul of the World - David Mealing
The Court of Broken Knives - Anna Smith Spark
The Fifth Ward: First Watch - Dale Lucas
Strange Practice - Vivian Shaw
The Tethered Mage - Melissa Caruso-Scott
Age of Assassins - R.J. Barker
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review 2017-11-29 00:42
Innovative magic-military system in fantasy!Italy
The Tethered Mage - Melissa Caruso-Scott

Disclaimer: reviewing uncorrected eARC via NetGalley

 

I loved the premise and initial pages - a rich, fantasy world based on Medieval or Enlightenment Italy, rich girl running around in trousers and learning magic-mechanics, and an innovative magic-military system. Unfortunately, I felt like it bogged down a little in the middle, but that may have had more to do with the way I've never been terribly interested in Italian history (thanks Art History classes!), the narrative ended up really focusing in on political maneuvering, and the MC tended to get upstaged by her Falcon counterpart. This was well written, well-crafted, has a gripping cover and some very cool ideas to play with, so I could see other readers enjoying it WAY more than I did if the setting or plot are more to their taste. Crossover between adult-YA fantasy; IMHO it reads more like an adult (minus explicit content), rather than a YA coming-of-age sort of story, which, again, could be a mark in its favour or not, depending on your preference.

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