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Search tags: Urban-Fantasy
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review 2018-10-15 03:03
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders

This is in a lot of ways a fun, quirky book, but somehow I managed to not realize going in that it’s ultimately about the effects of catastrophic climate change. So I wound up finding it too depressing, for real-world reasons, to really enjoy.

 

The book starts with the two protagonists, Patricia and Laurence, as kids, both outcasts at school who happen to be unusually gifted (Patricia with magic and Laurence with science) and who become friends. Usually I don’t have much to say for child characters, but the third of the book following their childhoods was my favorite part of this one. It’s fun and quirky, vividly over-the-top in a Roald Dahl kind of way that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And the pair as kids are fun and relatable.

 

Then they grow up, and the middle third of the book sags a bit, as the characters meander through a near-future San Francisco without a particular sense of urgency. The characters aren’t especially deep, but they do feel like real, weird people, speaking and thinking like actual millennials; for instance, Laurence worries that he’s not good at active listening, while Patricia is concerned that she’s too self-centered (when she’s not). Then at about the two-thirds mark, we get a chapter straight out of On the Beach, and this became “that horribly depressing book that I have to finish because I’m most of the way there” for the remainder; even when depressing things weren’t actually happening, it was still a climate change book. The ending isn’t a total downer, but only because of

a fantastical solution with no real-world application.

(spoiler show)

 

And yeah, it’s important that people think about this stuff and take it seriously, but I’ve done that for years with no effect; in the end I’m one person with no particular power to effect change, and exposing myself to this kind of material depresses me without doing anyone any good. Real power is in the hands of corporations and the politicians they fund (supported by a public who will believe any message they want to hear that lets them claim moral high ground while requiring nothing of them). And the powers-that-be don’t care much about anything beyond this quarter’s profits. So, too bad we don’t have the level of magic and science that exist in this book to solve our problems for us, I guess?

 

God, this was depressing. I would read something else by this author on a different topic though.

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review 2018-10-13 23:29
Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane
Night Shift - Nalini Singh,Lisa Shearin,Ilona Andrews,Milla Vane

The Secrets of Midnight by Nalini Singh

Such a cute and wonderful story. It's predictable, but so fun to read. 4.5 stars

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews
Fantastic world, great storyline, and awesome characters. I fell in love with Jim and really appreciated that Dali wasn't "a gorgeous kick-ass heroine with amazing rack". Such a nice change. More than 5 stars

Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin
Interesting world. There were too many characters and they weren't as solid as in the first two stories. But Mac's work sounded interesting and for the prequel novella, it was good enough to make me interested in reading the first book of the series. 4 stars

The Beast of Blackmoor by Milla Vane
Big disappointment. The story wasn't urban fantasy or paranormal romance. It was erotica and I didn't like the style or the setting. The characters were okay, but there was too much sex in it and the way these scenes were written was just creepy. 2 stars

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review 2018-10-13 17:40
Review: Pagan- an MPRD Novel by Andrew Chapman

***Disclosure: Andrew's an ex-pat Brit who's been an online friend of mine for several years.***

 

8220055

 

PAGAN: An MPRD novel is the anti-emo of the Vampire/Urban Fantasy genre... and its about damn time! If I gotta hear about one more curly-haired, hemoglobin-challenged, eternally tortured soul who can seduce anything that breathes but somehow still can't find true love while wearing his religion-revealing ballet pants... I just had to get that out.

 

The premise is straight forward: vamps have been playing humans for the past 20+ years with all the Twilight/Interview crap, softening us up for the worldwide sucker punch known as Black Tuesday. Five years later, there's still some disparity as to how to deal with being at the top of the menu instead of the food chain, but not so much that governments aren't swinging back. Enter the Ministry of Paranormal Research & Defense and their best bloke- Jack 'Pagan' Henderson- a former SAS turned fangbuster who also possesses a unique trait that prevents him from being controlled by vampires. The other fearless vampire killers comprise his team- as both comrades in arms and friends for life. Two are a bit of a surprise: Anna, who was turned into a vampire after she'd been a hunter, and Marie- a full-blooded werewolf who also doubles as Jack's sweetie.

 

The antagonists are cruel, nasty, vicious and bloodthirsty- in short, they're vampires! This one adds new flavor to the stale recipe of vampires and werewolves, introducing some intriguing sub-classes into each group. And in this world the lycanthropes are out in the open and siding with humanity, making for a nice twist. And there are a few vamps working for the Ministry itself, setting the stage for current and future intrigues. After our boys and girls finish clearing out a rural area, Pagan is brought to HQ for a Special Ops assignment: a hit on one of the most powerful vampires in England. Though it struck me as a little too easily accomplished, the aftermath of the mission leads to some unexpected developments whose ripples are felt all the way into the finale.

 

There's a wealth of detail- maybe a little too much- about guns and ammo; someone else joking referred to it as 'gun porn'. Ordnance fetishes aside, it's a fun read with lots of depth and humor. Jack's a likable enough guy but I kinda found myself more interested in the other team members as things progressed. Being former military I appreciated the jabs and snaps aimed at the upper ranks and bureaucratic types, as well as the crude and crass tension-breakers just before a fight.

 

PAGAN is a worthy first effort, nicely crafted with a few dull spots; the ending was too neat and pat, and there were parts of it I'd already seen coming. But I'm expecting the spit shine in the sequel.

 

3.5/5 stars

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review 2018-10-12 20:35
“Our memories make us... even the darkest of them all.”
Archangel's Consort - Nalini Singh

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~SERIES BLURB~

Guild Hunters Series

Nalini Singh

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Angels rule over humans and vampires, but the most powerful of them all are the archangels. Beautiful. Deadly. Sometimes cruel. Always unpredictable. There are several different groups represented – the archangels, the angels, the vampires, and the Guild Hunters.

 

 

 

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~MY QUICKIE (Non-Spoiler) REVIEW~

Archangel's Consort

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I keep finding reasons (reading challenges) to continue reading this series…even though I'm on the fence about whether I like it or not, and want to continue it.  I'm not saying it's bad…it’s actually well written, with steamy sex scenes and a decent paranormal storyline, but for me personally, I'm just not that into it.  I wonder if my apathetic feelings towards this series as a whole are because of the narration…she (Justine Eyre) seems to imbue this particular series with this sexy, breathy voice that I'm not sure I like.  I have listened to samples of others books she has narrated and she doesn't always sound like that, she actually has a wide range of voice inflections.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.7/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.8/5

Originality~ 3/5

Ending~ 3.5/5 Cliffhanger~ not really...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ This cover is cool…but the actual cover for Audio Version is kind of ugly.

Narration~ 3.5 for Justine Eyre

Series~ Guild Hunter #3

Setting~ Mostly New York

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

I used this for Diverse Voices Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-10-10 22:39
The Brightest Fell / Seanan McGuire
The Brightest Fell - Seanan McGuire

Things are slow, and October "Toby" Daye couldn't be happier about that. The elf-shot cure has been approved, Arden Windermere is settling into her position as Queen in the Mists, and Toby doesn't have anything demanding her attention except for wedding planning and spending time with her family.

Maybe she should have realized that it was too good to last.

When Toby's mother, Amandine, appears on her doorstep with a demand for help, refusing her seems like the right thing to do...until Amandine starts taking hostages, and everything changes. Now Toby doesn't have a choice about whether or not she does as her mother asks. Not with Jazz and Tybalt's lives hanging in the balance. But who could possibly help her find a pureblood she's never met, one who's been missing for over a hundred years?

 

 

Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.

Here I am, eleven books into the October Daye series, still enjoying it immensely. This is one of the books which is tough on Toby—she learns that hard, hard lesson that we sometimes have to learn. Your family doesn’t always have your best interests at heart. Sometimes you have to lean on your friends, lean on them hard, and trust your own instincts and abilities.

People can surprise you—Simon Torquill certainly plays that role in this book. Simon was put to sleep for a century in the last book and Toby is forced to bargain to have him awoken before the elf-shot has worn off. He’s not her choice of confederate, but her mother Amandine has left her no choices. McGuire makes a pretty good case for not judging our competition until we have spent some time with them.

It seems that everyone gets hurt in some way in this installment—May & Jazz are ripped apart, Tybalt is imprisoned, Raj has to assume the responsibility of the Kingdom of Dreaming Cats, Sylvester must allow something that will enrage his wife, Simon must save his daughter, The Luidaeg must put up with a constant parade of intense fae folk through her formerly isolated home. Toby gets pulled back towards humanity and must find a hope chest to return herself to her new Fae normal.

These books which contain the difficult choices and make Toby work with people she would normally avoid often end up being the most powerful in the series and this book is no exception. At the end, there is no question that she still has far to go, but we pause to let everyone rest & regroup. I’m next in line at the library for book number 12, Night and Silence, but it will probably be a couple of weeks, giving me time to rest and consider too.

 

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