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review 2018-10-22 18:56
Staked / Kevin Hearne
Staked - Kevin Hearne

When a druid has lived for two thousand years like Atticus, he's bound to run afoul of a few vampires. Make that legions of them. Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber. Now the toothy troublemakers—led by power-mad pain-in-the-neck Theophilus—have become a huge problem requiring a solution. It's time to make a stand.

As always, Atticus wouldn't mind a little backup. But his allies have problems of their own. Ornery archdruid Owen Kennedy is having a wee bit of troll trouble: Turns out when you stiff a troll, it's not water under the bridge. Meanwhile, Granuaile is desperate to free herself of the Norse god Loki's mark and elude his powers of divination—a quest that will bring her face-to-face with several Slavic nightmares.

As Atticus globetrots to stop his nemesis Theophilus, the journey leads to Rome. What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City? But poetic justice won't come without a price: In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend.

 

I read this to fill the Dead Lands square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

There’s plenty of vampire action in this installment of the Iron Druid chronicles to qualify it for my Dead Lands entry for Bingo. Plus it was a great choice for a Friday evening after a long week’s work!

I think this is one of the best books in this series—for once, I was perfectly content with the ending, even though at least one of my favourite characters was lost along the way. Granuaile and Archdruid Owen both get their own chapters and concerns. Owen’s troll troubles were highly amusing and his new Druid school was encouraging. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about Granuaile’s campaign against her step-father, beyond finding it quite realistic that it would take up more time and energy that she had anticipated.

Atticus seems to have finally have got things settled down, at least until the opening of the next (and last) book. A good choice on the author’s part, I think, to finish up before the ideas get feeling to repetitive. There’s only so much fleeing & smiting that he can do before he’s fought & fled from everything and everybody.

I think it’s a toss-up between the first book and this one for my favourite Atticus tale.

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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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review 2018-10-01 22:30
Cold Days / Jim Butcher
Cold Days - Jim Butcher

For years, Harry Dresden has been Chicago's only professional wizard, but a bargain made in desperation with the Queen of Air and Darkness has forced him into a new job: professional killer.

Mab, the mother of wicked faeries, has restored the mostly-dead wizard to health, and dispatches him upon his first mission - to bring death to an immortal. Even as he grapples with the impossible task, Dresden learns of a looming danger to Demonreach, the living island hidden upon Lake Michigan, a place whose true purpose and dark potential have the potential to destroy billions and to land Dresden in the deepest trouble he has ever known - even deeper than being dead. How messed up is that?

Beset by his new enemies and hounded by the old, Dresden has only twenty four hours to reconnect with his old allies, prevent a cataclysm and do the impossible - all while the power he bargained to get - but never meant to keep - lays siege to his very soul.

 

I read this book to fill the Supernatural square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

The difficult we do right away—the impossible takes a little longer.

But only a little, because Harry Dresden’s impossible tasks always seem to come with a deadline. Truly, if he doesn’t come through, lots of people will be dead.

Harry is now Mab’s Winter Knight and he’s learning why the last guy to hold the role was the jerk that he was. But like all good urban fantasy heroes, Harry has a whole gang of good folks (with various abilities and powers) who will walk into hell with him and he’s also pretty good at forging alliances across the aisle with some on the opposing side (or do they just think they’re on the opposing side?)

How appropriate to be reading a book called Cold Days when the sky was trying it’s best to snow on us! Cuddling up in a fuzzy blanket and reading the further adventures of Harry Dresden just seemed like the best thing to do!

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text 2018-09-13 18:12
My story on wattpad

This is a story I wrote on Wattpad

 

https://www.wattpad.com/630581832-the-fairy-ring

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review 2018-08-28 21:32
Valiant / Holly Black
Valiant - Holly Black

When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.

But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

 

Holly Black writes really good Faerie tales! Right now, for me, she can do no wrong. When I read the blurb for Valiant I wondered if perhaps I had found one that wouldn’t appeal to me quite so strongly—but I might have known that I would end up enjoying it anyway.

I enjoy Black’s conception of what the Faerie world would be like—I like the darkness, the slipperiness, the duplicity. Once again, we have a very young woman thrown into this world to sink or swim. Our heroine, Val by name, is the subject of the title, as her friends start calling her “Valiant.” This reminded me strongly of the Prince Valiant comic strip that we used to get in a weekly paper. The story was set in Arthurian Britain and the Prince of the title was learning how to be a proper knight and joining the Round Table. I think I clipped the weekly comics from the paper and made a scrapbook of the tale. I have no idea whether Black is at all familiar with the comic strip, but I found strong Arthurian influence in this novel, regardless. It was just a young woman, not a young man, who was earning the title “Valiant.”

If I had one disappointment (and it was only very slight), it was that things wrapped up a little too neatly and happily at the end. I prefer messy, uncertain endings, but that’s just my personal taste. Valiant was a very fast, fun reading experience.

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