Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Catching Up

All righty then - it's Friday, the newest (and last) Harry Potter movie is out, and I'm digging my way out of my "to do" list hole.

I did not stand in line to see the latest Potter movie. I think those days are behind me. Most of the time I wait for movies to come out on DVD, because, well, I'm a book person and don't want to spend $20 to see a movie that's just "OK". I am making an exception for Harry Potter and Captain America. I'm just waiting for things to calm down a little before I go see THE MOVIE OF THE SUMMER.

Recent Reads

After the jump there's some books that I've read and really enjoyed...

 Among Thieves (Kin #1) by Douglas Hulick

A fantasy set in the city of Ildrecca, where the law abiding citizens and the criminal Kin exist under the control of the latest reincarnation of the immortal emperor. He's crazy, but so long as the Kin don't step too far out of bounds, they are able to go about business as usual. Drothe is a Nose, it's his job to ferret out information, get a handle on rumors, and make sure his boss doesn't have any unpleasant surprises.

 Lots of action, intrigue, oaths, betrayals, good humor, fun characters. Love, love, love thief characters. Smart, wily, yet they always get in over their heads. I liked the complex relationships in this one too. There's a lot going on here - setting the stage for future books, wars between criminal factions, what it means to be "honorable". I liked getting into the Kin organization, seeing the alliances and cons. Good start to series. It's also edited by Anne Sowards (you know, the editor of the Kate Daniels and Edge series and many other awesome books). Yep - this is good stuff.

Dead on the Delta (Annabelle Lee #1) by Stacey Jay

Good start to the series and I'll get the next book. Annabelle is "prickly" (as another side character says) - she's an alcoholic, nurses her demons, tries to refrain from close relationships, and is in a dead end job (that doesn't have to be, she just doesn't have any ambition). At the same time, she deeply cares for the few friends she does have, and when one is in trouble, she does what she can to try to help.

The unlikeable hero/heroine is a difficult one to pull off. It works here because even though I didn't really like her in the beginning, by the end I was starting to warm up to her, and throughout it all, I was still interested in what was going on.

I really liked the worldbuilding: poisonous mutated fairies, the bayou, the criminal element making drugs from said poisonous fairies, and something else going on with those who are immune to the fairy venom. Throw in a murder, an internal investigation, a complicated love life made more complicated by an ex's arrival, and you have one excellent story.

I've been reading more UF that is set in the South (and not really an "urban" setting). They kinda have the UF feel, but are also their own thing. Gordon (half of the Ilona Andrews writing team), called their Edge series "Rustic Fantasy". I've also heard "Southern Gothic". I don't want to do too much genre policing, but these do have a certain feel that sets them apart. Thoughts?

Skeleton Crew (Underworld Cycle #2) by Cameron Haley

Whew - there was a ton of action in this one. Also lots of time in Between (ghostly limbo/alternate LA). There's zombies, but done differently than the current plague scenario that you usually see. Everything flowed well right from the start - the slang felt natural and not overdone.

Fae, Formorii, sorcerers, the mob, government spooks, demons - there are a lot of characters at play, but I wasn't overwhelmed by having too many new faces to remember.

A little romance (and the ending had me going for a bit), but I thought it was done well. We get to see a bit of Domino's vulnerability, but she still kicks tremendous amounts of ass.
Haley has made lots of changes to his magical LA. It will be very interesting to see where this series goes next.

Year of the Mountain Lion by Maria E. Schneider

Part of Darwin's Evolutions shorts (99 cent eBook). I really liked this one. The creation of myths, a community's fear (and their response), the fight for survival, and a very strong heroine. Jolan was banished from her tribe because of fear and superstition. They expected her to die on her own, but she didn't. They are now failing and need her to save them. I really hope Schneider writes more in this world. I enjoyed this first taste.

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

A very good start to a new paranormal romance series. I loved the world-building in this one, and the characters were fun too. Haven't read many with a dragon as the hero. It was very easy to get into and kept my attention throughout.

I can't say there was a lot of mystery as to what was going to happen (but then I don't expect a whole lot of surprises when I read romance). I had a fun time following along. I was surprised by what Pia ended up being - so kudos there. It makes sense as I look back on it, but I was surprised at the time.

I did love the interactions between Pia and Dragos - quality banter is a must and Harrison delivers. I wish there had been more of a confrontation between the hero and the villain, but it didn't detract too much.

If you do not like very possessive alpha males, you will not like this book. However, if that floats your boat you will be very, very happy.

Nightlife (Cal Leandros #1) by Rob Thurman

Yep - I'm late to the party with this one, but that just means I don't have a long wait between books. If you like UF but haven't tried this one yet, I recommend it.

I liked the brother dynamic, Niko and Cal make for an entertaining read. The brotherly dynamic was believable and is probably my favorite part of the book. Robin Goodfellow - GREAT.

Sure, Cal is really cocky, but he's also freaked out of his gourd and his body is 2 years older than his brain, so I can allow it. There's so much here: really, really bad creatures, some fun twists on fae mythology. Good start to series. I must get the next one.


  1. Hi,
    Your write-up on Among Thieves really makes me want to download this book. Thanks, have a good night.