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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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review 2017-06-12 21:44
The Cold Kiss of Death / Suzanne McLeod
The Cold Kiss of Death - Suzanne McLeod

‘The ghost grasped her shift and ripped it open. The three interlacing crescents carved red-raw and bleeding into her thin chest didn’t look any better than the last dozen times I’d seen them. The wounds weren’t lethal – they weren’t even recent; she’d been dead for at least a hundred and fifty years – but my gut still twisted with anger that someone would do that to a child.’

Being haunted by a ghost is the least of Genny’s problems: she’s also trying to deal with the witch neighbour who wants her evicted. Finn, her sort-of-Ex – and now her new boss – can’t quite decide whether he wants their relationship to be business or pleasure. And then there’s the queue of vamps inviting her to paint the town red; how long before they stop taking no for an answer?

Just when it seems things can’t get any worse a human friend is murdered using sidhe magic. Determined to hunt down the killer and needing help, she turns to one of London’s most capricious wylde fae and the seductive vampire Malik al-Khan.

But all too soon she realises she doesn’t know who she can trust – and now Genny’s the one being hunted, not just by the police, but by some of London’s most powerful and dangerous supernaturals.

 

I’m enjoying this urban fantasy set in London, and McLeod’s mix of fae-vampires-witches. I’ll be very interested to see how this series intersects with Ben Aaronovitch’s magical London when the time comes. I’m guessing that it’ll be their river goddesses/river fae that interact and it should be most entertaining. Or perhaps via the ghosts. I’m intrigued and must continue both series!

Genny ends up fleeing everyone in this book—the ghosts, the vampires, other Fae, the police, the witches—a pretty standard set up in urban fiction. Every heroine seems to do it in one book or another, particularly before she gets settled in with a romantic partner. We live in suspicious times and being wary of everyone has become a fairly believable set-up. Getting away from everyone is next to impossible and it builds a certain amount of tension into the plot by default.

This installment cleared up some things and muddied others as a good series book should do. Genny has been given a year and a day to make some decisions about her life, so she has a bit of breathing room. Or so she thinks, for it seems to me that breathing room doesn’t make for compelling narrative. If I were her, I wouldn’t dilly-dally, I would get investigating immediately. And all of the Fae who are angling for her could be in for a surprise if she chooses the enticing Malik al Khan, her vampiric shadow instead of them!

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