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!!
At this point, it is no surprise to anyone that I am a fantasy fan, specifically urban fantasy. I like magic, monsters, adventures, etc. I also like revisiting characters and worlds, which means I'm definitely a series guy. I like a good standalone, mind you, but they are rarely as immersive as a long-running series.These are a few of my faves, and why. I am excluding the ones I discovered last year, as I've already discussed them elsewhere.
First Book: Storm Front (2000), ongoing
One of my all-time favorites, this series follows Harry Dresden, a professional wizard based in Chicago. It starts out as basically a PI series with magic, but dives much deeper into the lore starting with book 3, Grave Peril. Fast, funny, and exciting, this is the big daddy of modern UF, hitting #1 on the NY Times list a few times. There are 15 books in the series thus far, plus various shorts, novellas, and comics.
First book: Something From The Nightside (2003), completed
This series takes place in the titular Nightside and follows John Taylor, PI, ne'er-do-well
and prophesied heir to the Nightside, as he solves crimes, learns about his birthright, and challenges the Powers That Be. The writing can be a bit repetitive, and there are a couple lesser books among the twelve (thirteen including a collection, which is fun but inessential), but some of the characters are just flat awesome, especially Walker and "Shotgun" Suzie Shooter. Can get a bit gruesome, but the humor is always spot on.
First book: The Gates (2009), completed.
A very funny combination of demonology and theoretical physics, intended for YA readers. A great trilogy about a young boy whose town is frequently treatened with demonic takeover. I'm not usually a YA guy, but this just flat rocks.
First book: The Rook (2012), ongoing.
Another fun UF series, this one told, thus far, from exclusively female perspectives. There are many people in the world born with strange abilities and, in the UK, it is up to the Checquy to handle them. Very funny, often gory, and occasionally thought-provoking. As the second book, Stiletto, mostly abandons the lead from the first book in favor of two new characters, it will be interesting to see what happens in book 3.
First book: Color of Magic (1983), completed.
Confession time: I've only read six or so of these books and feel no pressig need to complete the series. I will read more of them, and happily, but am in npo rush, nor do I feel any need to read them in any particular order. There are about forty books in various subseries, plus various addenda, and, while there is continuity, flitting around has worked fine for me thus far.
First book: The Name of The Wind (2007), ongoing.
An epic fantasy in the traditional vein, with great characters, beautiful writing, and interesting magic systems. This series follows Kvothe first as a student, then on various adventures. Stories within stories, an unreliable narrator, a school story, this is as interesting structurally as narratively. Am desperately anxious for book three.
First book: On a Pale Horse (1983), completed.
Both the worst-written and most structurally ambitious of all these series. this deals with mere mortals who, in various ways, become incarnations of various concepts, such as Death, Time, War, etc. Originally intended as a quintet, then extended to eight books. I never bothered with the last three books because the first five tell a complete story. Said story is not told sequentially, as the books take place at around the same times. Instead, we get the same occurrences from different perspectives, slowly deepening context, and a growing sense of the underlying conflict. The writing isn't particularly strong, but the ambition is laudable.