I adore Peter Beagle's writing. It always evokes something in me, whether it be joy, or sadness, or nostalgia. A few of the stories in this turned out to be tales I loved to some degree, and it's weird that I read this right after Kabu Kabu, since it became my favorite short story collec.rtion that I'd read to that point, then this one blew it out of the water.
Part is probably just the deftness that comes with long practice and honing of a craft. The stories all flow smoothly, just as long as they need to be, sometimes haunting and beautiful, sometimes joyful, sometimes just really interesting. There's the sweet "Best Worst Monster," the mythological "Shark God's Children," the sometimes hilarious "Oakland Dragon Blues" (which will speak to anyone with a creative spirit), the poignant titular story "Sleight of Hand" and the lovely "The Rabbi's Hobby."
I don't want to say too much about it because really, this is a masterful collection of fantasy stories and if you like those, or if you like Beagle's writing, this is something you should definitely try. Seriously. It's fabulous.
'It had been a couple of years and i was neither dead, nor undead, which i ranked as an achievement.
What a satisfying ending to a great read.
I am ridiculously glad I got to read this book.
Its a great new edition to the Urban Fantasy genre.
Now we all know i love the UF, but it can suffer from arrogant, prideful characters, I'm speaking/writing about the mains here, who can on occasion talk themselves up about how badass and dangerous they can be... one of the best things about this book is that (for the most part) Amber didn't suffer from the 'I am to Awesome disease'. she was clearly a pro at kicking butt and taking names... but she almost never...over emphasized it. She punched, she kicked and they went down, then she was off to do something else. I truly appreciate this, badass characters are so much more .... when they are not always bragging about it. I know weird thing to appreciate but its something I've noticed quite abit. Amber also happened to have an awesome personality, some of her humor was pretty bad, but it made her quirky and fun, which admittedly hid her serious anger issues quite well. Truthfully I can't wait to learn more about her past, because of her anger, you just know its going to be filled with juicy secrets.
really the only problem i had for Amber is my concern for an upcoming love triangle, i hate love triangles, almost nobody does them well. just give up already.
The other characters for the most part were quite good, though some could of used more fleshing out. The whole Jen thing was well done, the chemistry was great, I could tell from early on that there was something between them, at times i even thought my mind was playing tricks on me as Amber clearly see's herself as straight, so the build up for their possible relationship was quite enjoyable to watch.
I must admit I am concerned Amber will turn all slutty-mcgee with her new body change - there have been a few incidents of this nature in other books that i have previously read - and one thing i highly dislike is the excuse 'oh i have this thing now so i can do whatever i want and take zero responsibility because of said thing. NO, if you do something, whether good or bad, you own it, its your shit you fix it or leave it, but its your doing. anyhow ignore my ranting, this series probably wont even go in that direction *fingers crossed* it doesnt.
The world was good, very main stream with secret paranormal's running around and the government attempting to get their greedy mits on them, which im highly looking forward to seeing the outcome of.
hmmm what else... there was a nice touch of shaman/native american lore/magic to mix it up from the usual, which was fun exploring.
for the most part the 'villain' was great, it was pretty much a mystery for a good portion of the book, unfortunately the wrap up was a little anti-climatic for me personally. Good news that was pretty much just a PI case Amber was solving, there's much more going on in the back ground (not enough to get confusing) that i can't wait to get my fingers into.
The editing was rather good, I suck into the story with almost zero issue's which is nice.
So i think that's everything. An easy four star read for me and I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for book two, oh and that prequel that i apparently missed as well - though that didnt have a massive impact on the book as a whole, so nothing to be to concerned about if you havent read it yet either.
all in all Good Stuff. I would highly recommend to Urban Fantasy and paranormal readers.
also i believe i have to do one of these's, will do anyways just in case:
Complimentary Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
like I'm smooth enough with words to lie
Spent quite a few hours yesterday (Valentine's day) reading this book and loving it.
ahhh good times.
side note: Obviously im a bit behind on typing and posting this thought, but i did have it written down were a keep all my book thoughts... im just lazy and therefor didnt post it til now. don't judge i have a busy life, lol.