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Search tags: fae-fairies
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review 2017-05-15 17:32
The Sweet Scent of Blood / Suzanne McLeod
The Sweet Scent of Blood - Suzanne McLeod

'My name is Genny Taylor. I work for Spellcrackers.com. It’s a great job, pays the rent, lets me do the thing I’m good at – finding magic and cracking it – and the bonus is it’s run by witches, which stops the vamps from taking a bite out of me.

Not that vampires are the big bad any more, not since they launched a slick PR campaign – ­ oh, and they brought the goblins on board. Now the vamps are sought-after celebrities, and Getting Fanged and taking the Gift are the new height of all things cool.

But only if you’re human.  And I’m not.  I’m Sidhe fae.  And I know firsthand just how deadly a vampire can be.’

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers – and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities . . . and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals.

 

I am a fan of all things Fae, so I was predisposed to enjoy this book. The main character, Genny, is Sidhe fae and she reminded me a little bit (but only a little bit) of October Daye (written by Seanan McGuire). McGuire’s fae world doesn’t include vampires, witches, or goblins, so McLeod has taken things in a very different direction.

As in so much urban fantasy, the vampires have ‘come out’ of the coffin and have become wildly popular, but regular humanity doesn’t know everything that the other supernatural creatures know. Genny has an interesting history with vampires, which will no doubt shape upcoming books.

As is traditional in this genre, there is a bit of a love triangle, between Genny, the handsome Satyr who she works with, and an alluring vampire. It doesn’t overwhelm the plot, thankfully, but will probably provide some tension for at least one more book.

I chose to start this series as I’ve heard through the rumour-mill that characters from another favourite series (Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London) make an appearance in this one at some point.

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review 2017-04-26 15:44
Paranormalcy / Kiersten White
Paranormalcy - Kiersten White

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

 

Young adult novels can be hit-or-miss for me. This one is kind of in the middle, because I quite enjoyed the story while being disappointed by the writing.

There are so many good elements—Evie herself has great potential, as a teenage agent for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But she’s a teen, so she has teen concerns like forging an identity for herself, getting motivated to do school work, wondering if she’ll ever meet a boy, and trying to figure out what “normal” life is.

Evie’s best friend is a mermaid who runs the command centre at IPCA and they communicate through a translator of some kind. When Lisha, the mermaid, gets riled, her curses are translated by the machine as “bleep.” Resulting in Evie using “bleep” a lot in her everyday conversation. A neat way around the swearing dilemma in YA fiction.

The ability to see through glamours is Evie’s special talent and she actually “sees” and apprehends the young man who becomes her boyfriend during the course of the novel. Once again, fitting with the YA format, this relationship is very chaste and they get no further than hand-holding and kissing.

My major complaint is the lack of emotional depth to Evie. When people important to her IPCA life are killed, she seems to barely register these deaths, but instead concentrates on prom dresses and whether her boyfriend actually likes her. Although faeries are set up as the bad guys, they lack any real grit as villains.

For my money, if you like Paranormalcy, you should definitely try Lisa Shearin’s SPI Files, starting with The Grendel Affair. I found it funnier, more suspenseful, and definitely better written.

 

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review 2017-04-13 22:45
A Court of Mist and Fury / Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses Book 2) - Sarah J. Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world torn apart.

 

This is an enormous book. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to conquer it, however.

The things I liked?
- Getting to see more of various fairy courts (Night and Summer, for instance).
- Seeing Tamlin’s “perfect” plans being derailed by Rhys, the charming bad boy.
- Feyre escaping the controlling relationship that she found herself in.
- Watching Feyre explore her new abilities.
- Seeing the set-up for an extreme Fae-Human war.

The things I wasn’t crazy about:
- This book could have been one third the size without all the angst about what Feyre feels, what she should do, was she being fair, all that crap that unnecessarily complicates relationships.
- It reinforces the “women like bad boys” sterotypes that plague us. Despite the fact that Rhys turns out to be a nicer guy that Tamlin in every way that is important.
- Yet another book which tells women that a relationship is the most important achievement in our lives, rather than our talents and accomplishments.

Basically, Feyre has gone from being a fragile human, needing protection, to a strong Fae woman who needs a supportive partner. Tamlin was her entrée into the Fairy realm, but once she returns with him to the Spring Court, he goes all controlling on her—restricting her contact with others, restricting her movements, and acting like an abusive spouse. I’m all for getting away from abusive partners.

The whole romance-y genre drives me crazy, because I enjoy the books, but the subtext messages in them drive me up the wall!

I wonder if Maas’ plan is to write a book set in each of the Fairy Courts? Despite my complaints, there is no doubt that I will be reading on, to see how things turn out.

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review 2017-04-13 22:41
Dead Heat / Patricia Briggs
Dead Heat - Patricia Briggs

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal--or at least it starts out that way...
Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

 

Dead Heat pulls the Alpha & Omega series more towards the mystery genre. However, there is never any question that it is definitely urban fantasy. The villain of the piece is, after all, a Fae, the theory being that the majority of the Fae have barricaded themselves on their reservations and are strategically releasing their worst offenders to plague the human world. This is one the creepiest Fae that Briggs has introduced us to.

For those of us who love horses, this is the book for us. There is a good dose of horse shows and riding. But it is also a novel that deals with aging, loss, and free will. Charles must say good-bye to one of his few friends, as this man has steadfastly refused to become a werewolf.

Still loving that there’s no romantic angst in this series—it’s lovely to see a married couple acting like adults.

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review 2017-03-27 22:41
The Uncertain Places / Lisa Goldstein
The Uncertain Places - Lisa Goldstein

The intersection of our “real” world with the Land of Fairy seems to be a popular subject of fiction in recent years. I have become a fan of such books and found this one quite good. Set in the 1970s, it follows two young men who have become romantically involved with two sisters. The girls’ family seems to have something strange going on, and Will Taylor is determined to figure out the mystery.

That goal turns out to not be as easy as it seems—can a modern guy believe in supernatural contracts? Will struggles with how much of the situation he is willing to believe and with a sudden talent for seeing things which others can’t.

If you like The Uncertain Places, you might also enjoy reading The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm or John Crowley’s Little, Big. For somewhat similar reads, you might also try Jo Walton’s Among Others and Nancy Baker’s Cold Hillside, both of which are wonderful.

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