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review 2018-03-17 06:36
I feel like a book about mass poisonings, satanism and an inquisition should have been more exciting.
City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris - Holly Tucker

Maybe it just lacked focus? Maybe it was taking on a topic that in the end was too broad and too murky?

 

The basic storyline follows the investigations of a police chief into an escalating and expanding series of poisonings, plots, satanism, and possible human sacrifice (the last never completely confirmed). I think the problem comes from how unconnected a lot of the suspects were, and how the implications to high politics were always vague at best.

 

Thus we end up spending chapters on one noble woman methodically assassinating the majority of her family, whose plot is only to prime the later panic, but doesn't really have much else to do with the book. We also spend chapters and chapters on everyone Louis XIV was sleeping with, which was a lot of people, man, only two of whom were actually relevant to the whole poisoning/satanism issue.

 

I'm all for setting up background, but it seemed to be a lot of background to actual investigation ratio going on in this book. Which might of been a good thing, because the investigation involved very little gumshoe shenanigans and a heck of a lot of torturing the fuck out of people. Which was graphically described. So.

 

The writing itself was fairly good; a lot of the slice of life period detail was interesting, and I always like Kate Reading's narration. I dunno, Vive la révolution, I guess.

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review 2015-05-21 00:00
Magic in a Certain Slant of Light
Magic in a Certain Slant of Light - Deborah Coates Simple evocative language with just a hint of magic. This is Coates at her best. And this is a complete short story, not just an introduction to a longer novel. I would like to see more from these characters, but the story is complete.
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review 2014-07-20 05:13
Review: Destruction by Sharon Bayliss
Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Curiosity Quills!

 

This will probably be a short review because the book just wasn’t that good. My first annoyance with it was actually the blurb. It gives away so many big plot points. I mean, who writes these things? It tells me the entire arc of the story almost, guess I didn’t need to read the book after all.

 

I was highly annoyed with the magic in this book too. I hate it when books don’t give magic any consequences, it’s jut there to fix all your problems. The book claims that doing magic can make you deranged and evil, but the main characters seem to have no problem whipping out complex magic when it suits them…and seem to suffer no ill effects or other consequences. For example, fiddling around in someone’s brain? Well it was for their own good, so no consequences. The only possible consequence is that the person doing the meddling now had to remember all those bad memories they were erasing, oh the horror! End snark.

 

David was a fairly likeable character until he started excusing a rape (he’s a dark wizard, can’t help it) and then perving on a 17 year old (but she’s a fertility witch, he couldn’t help it!). Notice a pattern here? It is always the magic’s fault, not the character’s.

 

In the end, I didn’t care for this book. It was a fairly good idea but not executed very well. The characters were marginal but not unlikeable. The magic was poorly executed and seemed completely secondary to the story. I won’t be continuing with this series.

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review 2009-06-07 00:00
A Little Light Magic - Joy Nash This is a really cute and sweet romance between a new age woman (who wants a baby in the worst way) and a down to earth construction worker (who has an 18th year old daughter and doesn't want more children or to be married again). Tori has no family and Nick has a large Italian family. Many ups and downs between these two, both resisting the pull of love while fighting to be together. This is NOT a bodice ripper (as they say) but a sweet ride to a happily ever after.

It reminded me of Maureen Child's writing. Specifically the Marconi Sisters trilogy which were wonderfully romantic. And Then Came You Sam's Story.
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