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review 2018-01-09 02:49
Have you ever wondered what would happen if an angel, a demon and a witch became friends...
Familiar Angel - Christopher Lane

It's been a hundred and forty years since Harry, Edward and Francis found themselves in the wrong place at what turned out to be the right time for them.


Life in a brothel was neither safe nor good for the three boys and Harry and Edward were determined to keep Francis safe from the darker side of brothel life. When things became too dangerous Harry and Edward knew that the only way to keep Francis safe was to flee. Trapped in a grove and hiding among some bushes the boys are witness to a meeting of supernatural beings...an angel, a witch and a demon and his protege. As events unfold what the boys come to think might be their undoing turns out to be their salvation and they are swept away to begin a life that none of them had ever dared to hope they would be a part of.


This was also the first time that Harry would meet the angel, Suriel. Over the next 140 years as the boys learn magic and what it's like to truly have a family and they come to find what they believe to be their purpose in the world...to save those who have been enslaved. 


Throughout the intervening years Suriel remains a part of their lives and slowly he and Harry develop their own special bond and for the most part 'Familiar Angel' is their story, but it's also a lot more than that because there's so much more to this story than just a love story between Suriel and Harry. There's a lot of background in this story for all of the characters  this story covers the beginnings as a family for Harry, Edward, Francis, Emma (the witch), Leonard (the demon & Emma's lover) and  Bel (Emma & Leonard's son). As well we are given Suriel's background and a glimpse of Mullins (Leonard's protege).


My only real reservation with this one was that I truly would have liked more and not just because I was enjoying the story and...well, I am greedy that way...no this time I actually have a valid reason and it's because was well as being Harry and Suriel's story 'Familiar Angel' is also giving the background for this story and laying the groundwork for future stories and this is a story that feels like it's big and it just needs a little more than some other stories might need. I'm not talking about hundreds of pages here I just feel like a little more background and groundwork for future stories would have been nice and I acknowledge it could be that I'll get it in future stories and maybe, I'm just being a bit impatient since I have to admit that while I wanted more I also wasn't left feeling like I was missing anything...so maybe, I was just being greedy but you know angels, witches, demons...can you blame me?


'Familiar Angel' delivers a story that while based on a concept that we're all familiar with (no pun intended) that of a witches and their familiars, it delivers the relationship from a fresh perspective and in a new way. 


I loved the sense of family that grounds this story and while Suriel and Harry are the MCs in this story there's also a stronger sense of an ensemble cast contained within. While the story jumps back and forth between the past and the present it's well done and I didn't have a problem with following events and where they belonged on the timeline and as always Ms Lane has created not just one or two characters who caught my attention and left me wanting more along with the characters mentioned there was a trio that we got a glimpse of Tucker, Josh and Angel and would I love to know their story...oh, hell yeah! these guys totally piqued my curiosity and would I love a book about them...even a long story...well of course...please and thank  you.


I was enchanted with this one and have my fingers crossed that the wait for Edward and Francis's stories aren't too far away.



An ARC of 'Familiar Angel' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-23 00:00
A Little Familiar
A Little Familiar - R. Cooper A Little Familiar - R. Cooper It was ok. The plot seemed promising but the execution wasn't that great. The whole story was predictable, there wasn't a real conflict and some how the same sentences were repeated and paraphrased over and over again to the point of becoming annoying. Considering that nothing really happened in this story, 20 to 30 pages would have been more than enough to cover the whole thing.
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review 2017-02-22 00:00
The Familiar, Volume 4: Hades
The Familiar, Volume 4: Hades - Mark Z. Danielewski Yes, it's still really good. It's getting better, even, but there's still some indulgent content and formatting that kept me from fully immersing myself in the novel. Danielewski is keeping his mammoth story tightly reined in, and we're getting more and more references back to previous installments complete with volume and page numbers.

Hades finds Xanther back at school with a viral clip hanging over her head. She's still unable to find a satisfying name for the little one and a solution to the pain she feels when they're apart. Despite this, and more normal terrors, Xanther is finding strength in herself and her friends to face these problems. Astair and Anwar make a crucial decision and Xanther's sisters begin to be effected by the powers at work with Xanther.

Shnork finally gives us something to go on, while Jingjing and Tian Li arrive in LA and put all of our characters in the same hemisphere. Unexpected developments occur with Luther and Ozgur, Cas and Bobby's flight takes on broader implications as they encounter unexpected allies, and Isandoro....can't simplify it much. His perspective seems to give way entirely to the Mayor and Teyo.

We swing from cliffhanger to cliffhanger, character's continue to unwittingly cross paths and yet somehow were' all set up for a big conclusion next volume when the first season comes to an end.

The Familiar, Volume 3: Honeysuckle & Pain

The Familiar, Volume 5: Redwood
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review 2017-01-08 22:58
By Familiar Means (A Witch's Cat Mystery, #2)
By Familiar Means - Delia James

Not bad, not great.  Nothing new, but pleasantly written with genuinely nice characters.  Annabelle's grandmother is in town and she gets involved in the 'mystery' of course.  She sometimes skirts the bleeding edge of what's fast becoming a 'grandma' trope in cozies: an 80 year old with the body of a 60 year old and the maturity of a 20 year old.  There's a love triangle brewing too - not once has it been articulated, but you just know it's there, lurking.


Annabelle takes on a mural commission and while touring the new premises, finds a secret tunnel with a dead body.  Because it's not really a secret tunnel unless there's a dead body.


The mystery plotting was...ok.  I'm not sure anymore if whodunits are just being poorly plotted and written, or if the new trend is to make it obvious who the bad guys are, but keep the reader guessing as to which bad guy actually did the deed.  If this were real life the culprits would have been labelled inept before page 50.  Even in print, the false leads were weak beyond belief and the arrest made no sense.


But even so, this wasn't an unenjoyable read.  It was light and relaxing; I just won't go crazy for the next one.

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review 2016-10-23 00:00
The Familiar, Volume 2: Into the Forest
The Familiar, Volume 2: Into the Forest - Mark Z. Danielewski With cautious optimism I bought Into the Forest. A lot of pins had been set up in the previous volume with nine view point narratives, hints dropped, and literary mechanics, the narcons, literally introduced to readers. I couldn't be sure what was going on on every page, but it was compelling reading.

I felt like I had to give the story more room before I could begin to assess it, and now we're 800+ more pages into the story. I still have to reserve most judgement deeper than a star-rating and that The Familiar got better. Xanther's beginning to become aware of something changing do her little friend, the kitten, he's hungry for something but she doesn't want to accept know what it desires. The other characters begin to be aware of each other in unexpected ways, sounds or images they can't place. I don't love most of Danielewski's font or formatting choices (Ozgur's everything right on top of the list), but the story keeps coming out ahead of its concept, proving there's more to it than a gimmick. The characters are rounding out and the language of the different viewpoints is easier to fall into rather than keeping the reader out. The best set-piece comes right at the end, so I won't spoil it, but it was impressive.

Don't ask me what this is all about, but consider me hooked.

The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May

The Familiar, Volume 3: Honeysuckle & Pain
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