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review 2019-02-18 18:54
The Mouth of the Dark
The Mouth of the Dark - Tim Waggoner

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I enjoyed the story of this father in search of his missing daughter, when everyone else is brushing this off as ‘she’s an adult, she must’ve gone with a boyfriend, she’ll surface again later’. In itself, it’s a sad illustration of how people can sometimes be very callous and not pay attention to others, including Jayce himself, who acknowledged that he hadn’t been very close to Emory and wants to find her in part because he’s feeling guilty about neglecting her.

The world of Shadow was also fascinating, in a (gruesome) way: a catalogue of all that can go twisted in people, but given a sort of physical shape. This made for a weird read, with gory and sexual depictions at times, the latter diving at times into the very disturbing—for instance, when Jayce finds a sex toy in Emory’s bedroom, or that specific flashback when he goes home and finds her in the basement: the whole sexual angle intruding in a father/child relationship cranked up the creepy factor fairly high here, and I can’t say I’m comfortable with that. This ties well into the horror part, though, but let’s just say one has better steel themselves against it. For me, it was disturbing (= sex conflated with parent/child) rather than horrific (= it didn’t scare me).

From a storytelling point of view, I had trouble with the timeline: the whole plot unfolds over less than two days (if you except the flashbacks), and I felt that this was too short for Jayce to go from ‘don’t know jack to Shadow’ to ‘oh one more disturbing thing… m’kay, let’s go on’. I also guessed pretty early what the big twist would be, so I wasn’t surprised at all when that was confirmed.

All in all, what I enjoyed most here was the world of Shadow itself, in all its bizarre glory.

Conclusion: 3 stars

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review 2019-02-18 00:06
Peter's Adventure Continues
Lies Sleeping - Ben Aaronovitch

So this was okay, I just thought that parts of the book didn't land. Lesley has always seemed jealous and angry to me and I am honestly sick of the whole thing with her and The Faceless Man. Parts of the book dragged though to me. When Peter is captured (I swear this happened in another book) you just want the story to get moving because you are tired of him being shown as being a moron when it comes to Lesley. Maybe I am too murderous because I would have dusted her by now.

 

"Lies Sleeping" is the 7th book in the Rivers of London series. We have Peter growing stronger by the day and happily in love with Bev (one of the rivers). This seems to be the book that is going to be the ultimate showdown between Peter, Nightingale, and the Faceless Man based on the beginning part of the book which shows us an excerpt that is part of an operation. 

I do love Peter, but boy oh boy he needs to start being developed a bit more and not just rushing headlong into stupid things. Most of this book felt like he was talking at people more than being on the defensive since he gets captured and keeps thinking that he can turn Lesley from the dark side or whatever trip she is on.


Not enough Nightingale for me (per usual) in the longer novels. I enjoyed the bits we got with him in "The Furthest Station". I really wish we could finally get more of his backstory, or have him give Lesley a smackdown. 

 

Chorley seems very stupid in this one. I seriously laughed at one point when he fell for Peter's throaway comment and got punched. He doesn't seem like a big bad and one wonders why Lesley is dumb enough to follow this guy.

 

Lesley is and continues to be the worst. 

 

The writing dragged in places. I love that Aaronovitch includes history, science, etc. when we have Peter recounting his story, but at times it takes you out of things. I also think the flow was not that good from beginning to end. I found myself bored at times while reading this and didn't find things exciting again until Peter confronts Chorley and Lesley. 

 

The book ends on a different note than I was expecting. I don't know how I feel about it though because it seems as if Peter is at a crossroads personally and professionally. 

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review 2019-02-17 23:29
The Myth Manifestation / Lisa Shearin
The Myth Manifestation - Lisa Shearin

New York is one of the most popular convention destinations in the world—for humans and supernaturals. Every hundred years, rulers of thhe world’s supernatural races come together to negotiate and renew a peace treaty. Meeting in the same hotel are the governors of our world’s goblin and elf colonies. SPI is saddled with the security nightmare of keeping the living delegates alive and the undead delegates from becoming permanently deceased. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI. Our security nightmare becomes real when monsters from the delegates’ mythologies begin mysteriously appearing in the flesh to hunt delegates from every side of the debate. And when the hotel gets sucked into another dimension, there’s no escape.

We discover that we’re all pieces in an elaborate and deadly game. A game about to spill out into the real world. Failing to escape is game over and not an option. We have to save the world—but first, we have to save ourselves.

 

I’m still enjoying this series--there’s plenty of action in each book, but somehow the overarching plot line moves along very, very slowly. But this seems to be a Shearin thing, as her Raine Benares series is exactly the same in this regard.

Speaking of the Raine Benares series, this is the volume where the two series come together. One of Raine’s piratical relatives shows up as a diplomat here in Mackenna’s universe and Mac’s goblin love interest, Rake, turns out to be a cousin of Raine’s one-time love interest, Tam.

I’m not entirely sure, but it seems that Shearin has had to publish this book (and later volumes of Raine Benares) as an independent, rather than with a traditional publisher. My public library wouldn’t order this volume, because their policy is to only purchase from traditional publishers, so I had to put out my own cash for this adventure. Not a big deal, since I’ve purchased the entire series, but it makes me a bit sad that people who depend on the library can’t continue on. 

I think I’m safe in saying that if you liked previous volumes of the SPI Files, you will also enjoy this one. If I have any critique, it’s that I didn’t get nearly enough of Mac’s partner, Ian, in this volume. The Mac-Ian show has been entertaining and I’m sorry it got short shrift in this outing. I’m also a little disappointed with Rake, who seems to be going all ooey-gooey good guy. Where is the dark mage that Mackenna fell for in the first books? 

Despite these concerns, I don’t think there’s any doubt that I will put out the money for the next volume!

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review 2019-02-17 14:34
A Nice Peek at Peter & Nightingale
The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

Well this was a nice look into Peter and Nightingale that for once did not involve The Faceless Man or Lesley. There is still something hovering over this book though that makes me think they may be trying to turn or did turn another character to their side and that's getting a bit old to me. We do have Bev appearing in this one, but not center stage. We actually have Peter investigating mostly and worrying about his cousin Abigail who keeps pushing to learn magic. 

 

"The Furthest Station" has Peter investigating when people start calling in about ghosts attacking them while traversing London's underground. Of course many of the people seem to forget what they report minutes/hours later. And though many people would dismiss it, Peter knows that ghosts are weird and starts looking into things with his cousin Abigail and Nightingale. We also have the character of Jaget Kumar in this one who is there to call Peter when anything weird AKA a Folly matter is brought into his purview. There's a side plot about another river god (seriously how many river gods and goddesses are there?) that just tacked onto me which is why I gave this four stars. 

 

Peter seems more centered in this one and self-assured. He knows what he is doing and I love his "voice" in these books. He is always thinking of how to make things better and keep people from harm. Why he is so worried about Abigail becoming involved with magic. I also loved his thoughts about what happens after death. I do wish we had gotten some scenes with his parents. His mother is one of my favorite characters. 

 

Nightingale shows up a lot more in this one which I was happy about. 

 

The overall mystery was very intriguing and I loved the writing in this one. The flow tends to be up and down in these for me. Sometimes the book can be cooking along and others times I feel like I just read something that added nothing to the story. It just feels like Aaronovitch via Peter likes to flood readers with history, science, and pop culture every few sentences and I just want him to tell the story and get on with it. 


I thought the ending was a bit sad (not for Peter) but for the realization behind what caused the ghosts and where do they go after. 

 

One thing I have to say since this was a library book was that this was signed by Ben Aaronovitch! It had the number and let you know what print it was from too. I told myselt not to steal a library book and thought about just getting this series into my permanent collection. 

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review 2019-02-17 04:24
A Well Written Romance With a Para-Twist
Touch of Smoke - Karissa Laurel

An intelligent romance with a paranormal twist and wonderful well developed characters. A romance, with characters that I couldn't help but love. Owen, he's ex military, looking to settle down in a small town after a long tour. He meets a local girl Rikki, a hard working goal orientated woman, with dreams beyond the town. They click, a romance begins but that is only a small part of the story. Nothing was predictable, the plot, the characters, the outcome. 

What a ride ! The story was a slow build, the author laying crumbs along a twisted and unexpected road. Oh the feels, I had them all. I speculated through the whole book and I didn't figure out what the mystery was till it was handed to me. Seriously, I read a lot, it's hard to find fresh and new twists, this one surprised me.  I was sad to see it end, I wanted more of these characters, their story their love. I have read this author's work before and am a fan, she topped her previous work with this one. This is her best work so far. Bravo Ms. Laurel. 

This would make a fabulous movie !

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