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review 2018-09-16 18:26
Bowing down to a queen of urban fantasy
Night and Silence - Seanan McGuire

I requested to review this because, d’uh, it’s Seanan McGuire and I have a lot invested in this series, even if it had been making me cranky.  So I didn’t even read the blurb before I dove in. Imagine how much crankier I got when I saw that once again Gillian was being kidnapped. Eye rolling and foot stomping may have been involved.


Yeah, well, forget all that. Night and Silence firmly put Toby back as one of my favourite urban fantasy heroines and this series cemented in the must-reads. It’s got everything: heart wrenching romance, heart wrenching mother-daughter issues, awesome mythology, excellent adventures, and the exact right amount of twists, turns, and surprises.

It also nicely balances all my favourite characters, especially Toby and Tybalt and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.


If you love urban fantasy and haven’t yet started this series, get going already. As for me, I’m really looking forward to where things go from here. McGuire included a great novella at the end that set up some very interesting possibilities.




Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group – DAW and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. This is my honest review.

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review 2018-09-14 16:43
Lake Silence (The World of the Others #1) by Anne Bishop
Lake Silence - Anne Bishop

Vicky DeVine has just manages to escape a viciously abusive marriage and in the settlement she was granted ownership of the Jumble. A house and a collection of dilapidated cabins on the banks of Lake Silence. A beautiful location for a holiday - but she only owns the cabins. The terra indigene own the land and have set strict rules on how it can be used.


Vicky DeVine, building her new life is learning and adapting quickly to what that means.


But other people have seen her land and all the potential it has - and all the money they can make if they can just get Vicky out of the way… but you ignore the Others at your own peril

This book has a lot of parallels with original The Others series. And I’m torn. Because I do wonder if perhaps there are too many close parallels…?


The protagonist is Vicky Divine. She is a very vulnerable woman who is also inclined to breakdowns. She is threatened by a human force that want to use, abuse and threaten her but she makes connections with the Terra Indigene, the Others, who are willing to protect her. She is acting, in some ways, as a liaison between the Terra Indigene and humanity, her position as landlord of the Jumble, a Terra Indigene settlement/human holiday resort, brings her into close contact with the Others. She’s also being used by the Terra Indigene who want to learn about humanity and what it means to be human. Alongside we have some police desperately trying to stop some foolish humans from provoking the Others into violent retaliation


Which sounds a lot like The Meg… a vulnerable woman who is inclined to breakdowns who was threatened by humans that want to use, abuse and threaten her. She makes connections with the Terra indigene, living in a Terra Indigene settlement,as their liaison with humanity, helping humans coexist with the Others and allowing the Others to learn more about humanity. Along side there were police desperately trying to stop some foolish humans from provoking anti-human genocide (and… kind of failing)


The parallels are… really strong


But is that a problem? I mean, while there are issues, I love The Others series. I really love it. It’s one of my favourite series and Renee and I both looked forward eagerly for the next book of The Meg. This book having many very similar elements to a series I already loved feels like something I SHOULD consider negative but honestly I kind of love it. The Others series is over… it’s gone. But here it is, rising again and the series being very similar feels like a good thing to me.


I love this book. I love the old series. I love Vicky learning about the idiosyncrasies of the Others around her. I love them learning about her. I love the focus on Aggie Crowguard who is so much fun. I love Grimshaw trying to stop something happening that will provoke a lethal response from the Others in the lake and wild country.


There is less focus on the interaction between The Others - Ilya Sanguinati, the main force in the area is far more aware of humanity than Simon Wolfguard was - he’s a lawyer and he even tries to work within human law to fight against those encroaching on Vicky’s land and the wild country. It’s an excellent, exciting and really funny balance between “here is my injunction” and “the fire elemental will turn you to ash.” And it works, it really works. That balance is struck.



It’s also quite unique how it works - along with how The Others worked in that our protagonists’s allies are so powerful that I was reading away gleefully waiting for the bad guys to be killed and eaten. And that isn’t a spoiler, from the very beginning we know that’s an option. This series is never about “will the Terra Indigene win” so much as “how bad will the fallout be”? In some ways it’s why the police in these series are such fascinating characters - upholding the law, while also knowing that all that law will be irrelevant if the Terra Indigene decide they are Done. Dealing with humans who you are literally trying to stop from killing themselves with their own damn foolishness, always aware that another extinction level event could easily happen.


I think it was stronger in this book because we had far less of the confusion between Vicky and the terra Indigene, far less of them learning about humanity and Vicky learning about them than we had with Meg and Simon Wolfguard


I also like that the book acknowledges the previous events of the first series - how the culture of the Terra Indigene has changed from generally ignoring humanity to paying way more attention. And there suddenly being a lot more demand for Terra Indigene to understand humanity more. And there being radically changing culture in human settlements as so many people died or moved. Even the core - that humans who were used to ignoring the rules, rules the Terra Indigene probably didn’t care all that much about before and are now SHARPLY paying attention.


Another excellent commonality this book had with The Others series was how the protagonist is vulnerable and weak but not derided for that. Vicky is a woman who has left an extremely abusive relationship - emotionally abusive not physical. She has no self esteem, she hates herself, she’s very very nervous and she suffers from severe anxiety attacks. She can easily be broken or manipulated by angry, violent, shouting men and is easily intimidated. She also doesn’t feel like the most intelligent of women, being quite naive and even quite slow at times. But that isn’t used to present her as useless: she is capable of doing her job, she has friends who respect her and the fact she can’t handle conflict isn’t used to belittle her. I also like how her reaction to abuse is also mirrored in Julian Farrow, ex-cop, who has his own stress and anxiety from their terrible experiences. Grimshaw, Julian, Ilya Sanguinati and even good friend Ineke (who is awesome in her own right) are all protective of her without it feeling belittling. Ilya is actually concerned that his protection may be seen as disrespectful or implying she’s helpless.


I do think the antagonists in this book are… a little cartoonish. I can see why - when your “good guys” are monsters who are literally going to eat people over a property deal you have to make those property developers pretty damn terrible to stop the readers thinking “ok… is breaking planning laws really worthy of a terrible death?”. And I think the book does kind of gloss over things like the death of employees or police who are not directly responsible for the whole badness but are still brutally murdered. I think that them being terrible and murdered is more SATISFYING to read on an emotional level, but that the book could be more thoughtful - and darker - if we’d looked at these deaths more closely or saw the terra indigene hunt people that maybe we wouldn’t see as deserving of it. Like the teens who tresspass on the lake to swim and manage to escape with, at most, minor injury. It’s played off as a joke but that stops us examining “hey, some kids nearly got eaten for swimming…” element. The terra indigene are this big, terrifying threat but they’ve never FELT threatening to me because you have to be TERRIBAD AWFUL for them to murder you. The fact that the dead all so richly Had It Coming removed the horror from it


We do have several poc in the small town of Sproinging though there is little examination of this are we’re far more focused on human vs vampire/evil fish monster/avatar of the concept of fire. Still, only a very bit part music teacher sticks in my mind. We have no LGBTQ people (someone is running to the comments to mention the euphemistically referred to Simple Life men. Don’t).




Read More



Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/09/lake-silence-world-of-others-1-by-anne.html
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review 2018-09-09 19:53
Thoughts: Lake Silence
Lake Silence - Anne Bishop

Lake Silence

by Anne Bishop
Book 5 of The Others



Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–-vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly.  And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget...

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled.  Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world.  And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life.  But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–-one of the shapeshifting Others–-discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead.  The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim.  As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous-–and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive.

Lake Silence starts a new story arc in the world of The Others, and while as enjoyable and as endearing as the preceding five book story arc about Meg Corbin and her life as a mail sorter in the Lakeside community... it also doesn't escape my attention that this book regurgitates a lot of the same conflicts and plot points that took place in the five previous books of this series.  The story itself picks up after the global events of the Meg Corbin story arc, wherein a group of rebellious humans have decided that they can pull a fast one over on the Others without fear of retaliation, all along forgetting who the predators at the top of this food chain happen to be.

Lake Silence details a different story with a different set of characters, but the concept is exactly the same.  One girl becomes special to a group of Others in the village of Sproing, and they all band together to protect her when she becomes the target of more villainous, yet also ignorantly stupid humans who plan on breaking rules and pissing off Elders.  While it felt like a whole lot of plot happened in this book, the truth is, one simple plot point just got dragged out as a build-up to the newest global conflict that will probably take place in the following books after this one.

It's the exact same set-up as Written in Red had, but with a different set of characters.

What amuses me is that, no matter that I've already read this story, and seen those trees, and witnessed that gruesome killing... I'm still curiously drawn to this book, and very much enjoyed it.  Even though I had to put the book on hold about three months due to real life stuff and a massive reading slump of epic proportions, once I was able to check the book out from the library again and continued, I couldn't put it back down.

And the truth is, if I hadn't already read this story in the first five Others books, I think I would have absolutely given this a perfect 5-Star Rating.  To be honest, Lake Silence had more going for it than just the banal, everyday happenings of a mail sorter who just happens to show up and become special to a group of Others... JUST BECAUSE she is able to sort mail properly.

In fact, I like Vicki DeVine a lot more than I liked the ultimate Mary Sue who is Meg Corbin.  Vicki is just as strangely special and sometimes a bit flighty.  But she also shows a maturity that Meg did not have, mainly because of the basis of their character creations.  And Vicki has a much more interesting stream of conscience that sometimes borders on the nonsensical, yet also seems to ask the same questions we, as the readers, will sometimes ask when certain events of a book takes place.

But other than that, really, there wasn't much to Lake Silence.  The writing still proves kind of juvenile, even in the face of bloody, gory deaths and, and quite serious conspiratorial conflicts.

Am I going to continue reading these books?  Oh, most absolutely, I am!



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/09/thoughts-lake-silence.html
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review 2018-09-01 20:41
Same Bleak Atmosphere and excellent writing and storytelling
Silence of the Grave - Arnaldur IndriĆ°ason,Bernard Scudder

***Spoilers you have been warned***


I loved Jar City because of the dark bleak mood setting that’s described in Erlandur’s world. This one proves to be just the same. Coupled with a well written mystery that goes back into the past, this one lived up to the previous.


The book goes back and forth in time. It features on the past of a woman and her family and the horrendous abuse she endures. It leads up to the mystery surrounding the body found in the present. It’s good background storytelling and put in the missing pieces gradually as you progress in the book. Then as it goes forward to present day, you have Erlandur and his crew attempting to figure out the mystery but it also focuses on Erlandur’s past, and his attempt at patching things up with Eva Lind as she’s in a coma at the hospital.


Don’t expect twists and turns or any special revelations in this novel. It’s a subtle mystery but so well written that it’s a quick read and you’re so immersed into the book that the pages do fly by. It’s the writing style that makes it so good. The mood and setting is again, dark as usual. It’s more bleak than the previous one due to the subject matter and with what Erlandur experiences.


Admittedly, this isn’t for everyone. The physical, mental, emotional abuse featured in this book is hard to read. You sympathize with the mother and her children and Grimur is just one awful piece of garbage. Erlandur’s ghosts from the past is also revealed in this book and he’s got quite a lot of baggage on his shoulders (not including his ex wife and Eva Lind) but it gives his character more substance and he’s not just a presence in the novel. You also learn more about his colleagues (although I’d like to learn more about Elinborg) as they have their lives as well. I like this aspect of the novel as it shows what they do out of duty and gives them a more realistic human feel to the book.


Not much of a mystery but makes for really good reading, not only do the characters flesh out more but the writing is so well done. Recommended and I’ll be moving onto the next book after this one.

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review 2018-08-25 19:40
Perfect Silence - Helen Sarah Fields

Well, that didn’t take long. You only have to read a few pages of book #4 to get a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. And it’s kinda scary.


When DCI Ava Turner & DI Luc Callanach respond to a call, they aren’t prepared for what they find. But how could they be? A young woman’s body is found on a road but there’s nothing accidental about how she died. And she won’t be the last.


Meanwhile, someone is attacking drug addicts on Edinburgh’s streets. Lost in their own worlds, most are unable to provide the cops with any helpful info but a single clue points Ava’s team in one particular direction & man, does that open a can of worms.


Speaking of the team, the gang’s all back.  DCI Av Turner, DS Lively, DC Salter, DC Max Tripp & of course, DI Luc Callanach. Ladies & gents, I give you your MIT. There’s a lot going on here. A twisted killer (and their eerie calling card), obnoxious rich kids, office politics & the MC’s personal lives (or lack thereof).


Ava has been boss for a while now & grown into the role so she & Luc are in a better place. Budgets, a demanding boss & office politics continue to drive her daft but she may be surprised to find out who has her back. Investigations aside, I really enjoyed the secondary characters in this one. DS Lively is at his cheekiest, we get more acquainted with (boss from Hell) Det. Superintendent Overbeck & newcomer DS Pax Graham is introduced. Now there’s a man who knows how to make an entrance.


Both cases have several twists & lead the team to some dark places. Most of the book has an even pace as we follow the investigations until ramping up for the big finale. My only quibble was Ava’s tendency to speechify. The plight of the homeless &/or drug addicted is centre stage & Ava frequently laments their treatment by society in general. She’s always worn her heart on her sleeve but comes across as a bit naive sometimes given her position & length of time on the job. On the other hand, when that passion is directed at her boss, it makes for an entertaining read.


It’s a solid instalment in this popular series & a couple of dangling threads at the end ensure fans will be waiting for #5.

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