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review 2017-06-06 02:35
Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley - My Thoughts
Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley

Sad to say that I didn't enjoy Book 2 as much as I enjoyed Book 1, The Rook.  I can put it down to too much infodumping and backstory and not enough story set in current times with the current action.  As well as there not being enough of Myfanwy Thomas, the lead character from Book 1.

The main focus of this book is really twofold, two main characters.  First we have Pawn Felicity Clements, the Checquy soldier/bodyguard who is set to 'babysit' the Grafter girl, Odette Leliefeld.  One of the best things about the story is the relationship between the two young women.  I wanted more of that.  Originally they dislike (hate?) each other, filled with distrust and suspicion but gradually, over time and adventures, that changes and they become friends, even close friends.  I actually liked both of them quite a bit but felt that I would much rather be in 'their' story than reading back over their pasts - mostly Odette's.

Myfanwy is around, she's the boss and she's the one trying to broker the deal between The Checquy and the Grafters to join forces and fight the big, horror bad guys.  She sees things very pragmatically and clearly and knows what has to be done.  I liked how both young women seemed to look to her as a type of role model even though she's really only about 5 or so years older than they are.

The plot was windy and twisty and involved a splinter group of the Grafters and even some monsters popping up from God knows where.  I would have preferred more thought be given to this part of the book than the set up and world-building (really infodump backstory filler author masturbation, if you ask me) and that would have made it hang together better and kept me turning the pages far past the time I should have been asleep.

So... good book, good read, but not as good as I was hoping or expecting.

Oh, I have to say, the artist who did the cover art, one Lindsey Andrews did a STELLAR job!  In my ereader this cover looks as if there's a big crack in my screen!  I kept doing double takes when I'd catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye.  Big kudos!!

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review 2017-05-26 02:48
River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey - My Thoughts
River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey

I first heard about River of Teeth through one of the reading blogs I follow and I bought the novella for the simple reason that the blurb got me.  Especially this part:

Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.


Feral hippos and hippo wranglers??  What?  Talk about an original idea!  I was sold.  I pre-ordered the book right away - a couple of months ago - and I hardly ever pre-order books.

 
It was not a wrong decision - I loved it!  The characters were original and interesting and bound together in interesting ways.  They kept me wanting to read page after page, fascinated and dying to see what they were going to get up to.  And the hippos... the HIPPOS!  I loved all of them. 
 
The world-building in this tale is intriguing even if it's a bit ... out of whack as per the author's note at the beginning of the book.  Who cares... IT WORKS!  And the story itself is a rollicking, fun, banter-filled adventure.  
 
And back to the characters.  They are a really diverse bunch.  Race, colour, creed, sexuality... hell, it's all diverse and not made a big deal of really which works just fine for me.  I like when the diversity is just a given in a story and not a plot point.  My only real problem was ... well, mechanical?  There is a character who is ... gender non-conforming?  I think that's the label.  Anyway, the character uses the 'they' pronoun.  Which is totally fine, but I've discovered that at the age of 60 and having 55 years of reading under my belt, when I read the words 'they' or 'them' or 'their' ... my brain looks for/understands multiple people and a couple if times I had to go back and see if the character was alone or had someone tagged along in the scene.  I suppose with more of these types of characters my brain will get used to it, but it was something that impacted me as I read. BTW, I adored the character in question!  :)  
 
My only real complaint is that it was too damned short!  I wanted a novel, not a novella.  Yes, it ended with a cliffhanger of sorts, but not one that made me want to send the ereader for a sail across the room.  Still, the characters were so good, the alternate reality so interesting that I wanted a lot more of it.  :)
 
Oh, and look at that lovely cover!  
 
The second book in the duology just went up for preorder today.  It's called Taste of Marrow.  And yes, I have pre-ordered it.
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review 2017-03-06 14:51
BLOG TOUR & REVIEW - Incident of Magic (Everlight #2) by Kris Michaels and Patricia A. Knight
Incident of Magic - Patricia A. Knight,Kris Michaels
Incident of Magic is the second book in the Everlight series. In this one, we start with Locke and Silk, a detective from Everlight, and a monk from Elysium, who are not getting on, to say the least. These two are coming at the same problem from opposite ends of the spectrum, and not communicating with each other. Hacinka and Kavaliro are sure they will work together, and put them in a situation where they HAVE to succeed or die. Locke does get injured, because he doesn't trust Silk, and it is during his recovery that they actually start talking to each other. The groundwork is laid, and these two become the latest hot couple. 
 
This book is as excellently written as the first book, full of sarcasm and humour. It was with great pleasure that I saw Hiro and Sable playing a part in this story too. Silk and Locke's relationship is different to theirs, and that makes it all the better! It's not just a carbon copy of Hiro and Sable, which so too happens, but instead is individual to these characters. 
 
Now, I can be an emotional wreck when I'm reading, but this book, jeez, this book made me cry when something happened to a character that up until then you hadn't actually heard much about! Yes, the reactions of one of the main characters had a bearing on that, but still... absolutely amazing. 
 
With no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow, this is a stunner of a book, and highly recommended by me. Can't wait to continue with this series.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2017/03/blog-tour-review-incident-of-magic.html
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review 2017-03-06 14:45
An Evidence of Magic (Everlight #1) by Kris Michaels & Patricia A. Knight
An Evidence of Magic - Patricia A. Knight,Kris Michaels
An Evidence of Magic starts off pretty gruesome! Someone is being murdered, you don't know who, but you do know they are looking for something. You realise pretty quickly that this story will have an inter-dimensional aspect to it, but that only adds to the enjoyment. Hiro is our Detective, hard-bitten, with a string of arrests behind him. However, he hasn't seen anything like this before. Knowing that the Mafia have a ruling hand in his department, he takes some evidence with him as he is determined to find whoever is doing this. After mistaking Sable for a suspect, Hiro is convinced by Sable that he is from another dimension. Quite simply, Sable takes him to Elysium so that Hiro can see with his own eyes. That works! Once these two get together, the story really starts going.
 
I loved the interplay between these two. Hiro is just hard-bitten enough to be 'gravelly', whilst Sable is his smooth opposite. Don't mistake smoothness for lack of power though! Sable packs a powerful punch. Hiro is grumpy, Sable is conciliatory. It would seem like these two are perfect opposites, and as such, they fit together seamlessly. The sex scenes with them are off the charts HOT, and yet they don't detract from the main story, which will keep you guessing until the end. 
 
Extremely well written, with a fast and smooth pace, there is humour and wit to spare, whilst still being gruesome in places, and full of action. As the first book in a new series, this was an excellent start, and I can't wait to read more. Definitely recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2017/03/blog-tour-review-incident-of-magic.html
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review 2017-01-20 19:07
The Incrementalists by Steven Brust & Skylar White - My Thoughts
The Incrementalists - Skyler White,Steven Brust

The Incrementalists - Book 1

What the HELL did I just read?

The premise sounded really cool - as writer John Scalzi said "Secret societies, immortality, murder mysteries and Las Vegas all in one book? Shut up and take my money." But the execution... oh, the execution...

The story is told from the first person POV of two characters, Phil and Renée 'Ren', and they alternate, one character taking up the tale in just about the next line from the other. And that's okay, I'm fine with multiple points of view in either 3rd or 1st person.

But what they did for the most part was prattle on about their 'mind powers', their histories, their concerns, their lies, their questionable emotions... dear God, it was like a huge circle jerk!

I honestly don't really know what's going on - it's all rather vague and confused in my brain and I don't think I'm an especially dense person. This book left me feeling rather dumb. What was the point? I have to say, I was left with a lack of desire to run out and get book 2, that's for sure.

Usually I enjoy Steven Brust - his Phoenix Guard books are among my favourites - but this one? Just felt like he and his friend were postulating their philosophical and political thoughts disguised as dialogue - inner and outer - of their characters. And it was confusing and quite often boring.

So, sadly, this book was a disappointment.

 

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