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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Reviews...

And with this I will be caught up, until tomorrow or the next day. :) Today's reviews include a fantasy with romance (by an author I usually associate with UF), a YA short, and a UF novella. I also got some new books for Christmas, so there's a whole lotta reading goin' on right now.

The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow

Book 1 in a fantasy duology.

This is a fantasy with some romance, but if you are looking for your typical "follow the rules, guaranteed HEA" well, that's not what you'll get here. To be honest, I don't read Saintcrow's books for a guaranteed anything other than I know she is going to throw a ton at her characters, and I will most likely enjoy it (even though the characters probably won't).

Vianne is very different from Dante or Dru, but that doesn't mean she is "weak." She has survived at court from a very young age. She is the trusted confidante of the Princess, and does her best to keep her Lady out of the fire of court intrigues. She is often overlooked, and is happier in the garden among the herbs than indulging in courtly dalliances. She has some power as a hedgewitch (healing, sensing poison or other spells from sorcerers). Then there is an assassination of the royal family and Vianne is entrusted with a royal artifact. Racing through the countryside with Tristan, the Captain of the Guard, and his men,  she learns more about her own family's heritage and her own power.

But of course, I also spent the whole time waiting for the other shoe to drop and it all to come crashing down. The shoe has kind of dropped, but there is more to come in book 2.

The book was fast-paced, held my attention and I want more.
Unfallen by Lilith Saintcrow
A YA short set in Murica, where Christian zealots have taken over the country (think close to the world in Atwood's Handmaid's Tale). The MC is at Holy Camp, where they try to reform troublemakers. And her best friend has just told her he's the Antichrist.

I liked this one. It's dark, but at the same time hopeful, in a "the world's ending but lets go see what we can do in the meantime" kind of way. If you are the kind of person who would be very unhappy in a story where the Antichrist seems the lesser of two evils, you probably won't like this. However, if you know me, you know I like it when authors mess with preconceived notions.

Voodoo Dues by Stephany Simmons

Figg is a bartender at a beautiful pub situated in the worst part of town for a bar. The problem isn't the crime - the problem is there are no customers, and that seems to be the way her boss, Lian, prefers it. Strange people come to see him, then a dead body is found, and all of a sudden Figg finds out that the world she knows and the "real" world are two different things. There are zombies, necromancers, lots of Voodoo, and werewolves. It is a good thing that Figg likes her guns as much as her designer shoes.

The world is pretty interesting and has enough left to be discovered for future books. I did think more than a few times that I wanted more descriptions of the world, especially from Figg, the "outsider." That we could have been shown more of what is happening.

The best part about this book for me has to be the characters. The narrative switches between Figg and her mysterious boss Lian, so we get to see the action from both POVs. The book starts off strong, and each character has a distinctive voice, but by the end of the book, it became harder to distinguish them. I wish that more time had been spent showing their interactions, especially as their relationship heated up. They are still fun characters, though, and I think there is potential there.

Biggest problem for me was just that it was too fast, too many bad guys who aren't really fleshed out, and a confrontation at the end that seemed out of place, but perhaps if the villains had been explored more it would have made sense. And then it was done. I like fast-paced books, but this one felt supersonic. I wanted to slow everything down. 

There is enough interesting stuff that I will get book 2, but I do hope that the story, characters and world feel more grounded.

[I received a copy of this book to review.]

No comments:

Post a Comment