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review 2017-08-03 17:02
The Shifting Price of Prey / Suzanne McLeod
The Shifting Price of Prey - Suzanne McLeod

Sometimes a bit of magical help might cost more than you bargained for ...

London is hosting the Carnival Fantastique, and Genny's job has never been busier or more fulfilling. Only not everyone is so happy. Genny believed she'd cracked the fae's infertility curse ... but the fae are still barren. It's a devastating plight to which the mysterious Emperor may have the solution - if Genny can find him.

She needs help.

She turns to the vampire Malik al-Khan, only to find he's wrestling with his own demons and, when the police request Genny's assistance with a magical kidnap, her own problems multiply too. Is it all unconnected, or can the Emperor help her solve more than the fae's infertility? Soon Genny is hard on his trail, so it seems she'll have a chance to ask ... but will the answer cost more than she's willing to pay?

 

 

***2017 Summer Lovin' Reading List ***

 

Under normal circumstances, I read urban fantasy to take a little holiday from the real world and to simply enjoy a story. But Suzanne McLeod refuses to let me coast, she provides a plot of such complexity that I have to pay attention and her characters are down-right Machiavellian in their manipulations of one another.

In her acknowledgements in this volume, she talks about getting to meet Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series and one of the queens of urban fantasy. I enjoyed the Sookie series, but I think that McLeod is head and shoulders above Harris in every aspect—plot, characters, setting, complexity. One of my other favourite authors, Ben Aaronovitch, also appreciates McLeod’s work and their series are set to intersect somehow in a future volume of Spellcrackers.com.

How in the world am I going to fill my time until The Hidden Rune of Iron? (Very much a rhetorical question, as I have an enormous stack of library books waiting for me in my reading nook).

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review 2017-06-27 15:58
Artemis Fowl / Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius, and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous.

Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them...but then they stop playing by the rules.

 

Artemis Fowl (or should that be Foul?) is an interesting mix of Lex Luthor and Encyclopedia Brown. He’s a boy genius with designs on leprechaun gold and he is willing to kidnap and deceive his way to his goal. But the fairy world is not going to just roll over and submit to Artemis’ demands, especially not Captain Holly Short, who is being held captive in Fowl Manor.

It’s a quick read, well written. If I was part of the intended demographic, I would probably be more impressed, but it’s a bit tame for adult tastes. Very appropriate for the children’s market, however. I would have no hesitation buying it for a school library. There are explosions, near-death-experiences, monsters, and evil plans, but no one loses their life. Colfer gives amusing names to his characters, like a butler named Butler and a centaur named Foaly.

Looking for summer reading for your 10 year old? Consider Artemis Fowl!

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review 2017-06-26 18:12
The Bitter Seed of Magic / Suzanne McLeod
The Bitter Seed of Magic - Suzanne McLeod

On the surface, Genny's life seems ripple-free right now. Finn, her sexy boss and -- well, Genny's not sure what else she wants him to be -- has stopped pushing for a decision on their relationship. The seductive vampire Malik al-Khan has vanished back into the shadows. And the witches have declared her no longer a threat. But unless Genny can find a way to break the fertility curse afflicting London's fae, she knows this is just the lull before the magical storm.

Then a faeling -- a teenage girl -- is fished out of the River Thames, dead and bound with magic, and Genny is called into investigate. As she digs through the clues, her search takes a sinister and dangerous turn, exposing age-old secrets that might be better left buried. Then another faeling disappears, and Genny finds herself in a race against time to save the faeling and stop the curse from claiming its next victim -- herself!

 

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List ***

On the most obvious level, this is just a very good story, chock full of magic, mystery, and action. Faelings are being killed and Genny is trying to figure out the motive and the perpetrator. In the meantime, she must also be aware of the curse put on London’s Fae community, preventing them from reproducing and putting them at risk of “fading.” Prophecy seems to indicate that Genny is the key and all of the Fae communities are lobbying to provide her with a baby-daddy in order to break the spell.

When I read the book with the curse very much in front of mind, I couldn’t help but think of all the women in the world who are forced to bear children, whether they want them or not. The whole issue of who owns women’s bodies—the women themselves or their families or husbands? Does the community get a say?

For me, this was the best book so far in this series, and I look forward to the next!

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review 2017-06-26 18:10
Hunted / Kevin Hearne
Hunted - Luke Daniels,Kevin Hearne

For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt—Artemis and Diana—for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is . . . run like hell.
 
Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok—AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living—and still have a world to live in.

 

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List ***

This installment of the Iron Druid is basically just one very long chase scene, but despite that, Hearne manages to make some progress which I appreciated. Oberon is present, in full force, being a wolf hound with opinions and hilarious comments on many issues. Granuaile is finally a fully-fledged Druid in her own right and is learning to be a powerful warrior woman. Hearne, the Hunter, makes an awesome appearance and the Irish gods and goddesses make more meaningful appearances.
Towards book’s end, there are two wonderful new characters added and their possibilities will keep me reading onwards!

A perfect fluffy summer read!

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review 2017-06-19 21:31
Hallow Point / Ari Marmell
Hallow Point - Ari Marmell

The Spear of Lugh, one of the four Kingly Hallows of Ireland is in Chicago. And everyone, everyone wants it, for it is said that he who carries the spear into battle cannot be defeated. Among those who seek it are an agent of the infamous Wild Hunt; a mobster who knows far more about these things than he should; and of course both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts – the last people PI Mick Oberon would want getting hold of the spear...

 

Hard-boiled Fae detective Mick Oberon has quite the situation on his hands! The Spear of Lugh is somewhere in 1930s Chicago and every Fae faction (and a few in-the-know wise guys) want to get their meat hooks on it!

Mick uses his brain-box a little more in this mystery (when he isn’t getting pounded by some palooka that is), although he still has problems with his thought processes when he’s around a certain dame. Good action, good complications, excellent title! I am particularly fond of Fast Frankie, the leprechaun.

I still find this series a bit heavy on the Chicago gangland lingo—too many flivvers, floggers, bulls, molls, gats and what have you. But if you can overlook that, it is a fun little series.

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