I'm a bit late catching up on some of the more popular urban fantasy books of today. After taking a break from the paranormal genre, I'm slowly d...more2 1/2
I'm a bit late catching up on some of the more popular urban fantasy books of today. After taking a break from the paranormal genre, I'm slowly dipping my feet in a little at a time.
Heart of Stone is apart of my book discussion group and I've been meaning to check it out. I thought this was as good a time as any to dive into this series and check out Harlequin's Luna line as well.
This first entry of the Negotiator series focuses on hardcore lawyer Margrit Knight. During a night jog in Central Park, she sees a dead woman in the arms of a mysterious man with blood on his hands. The man, Alban, follows Margrit, proclaiming his innocence and asking for her help to clear his name. The kicker is he's a gargoyle, apart of the hidden Old Races.
I have to say it took me a while to get into this book. The first half dealt with the minute everyday chit chat (I remember a wall of dialogue many a times throughout the book) and Margrit asserting her alpha status to anyone who got in her way during her case. She shares continuous fights with her on and off cop boyfriend, Tony. After one particular fight where Tony tries to calm things between them, he grabs her and kisses her. Instead of calming, Margrit clocks him right in the jaw and tells him things aren't like in the movies. It would have been cool but with how cold Margrit has been up to this point, it isn't quite as smooth.
I wanted to like Margrit, but I found myself likening her with book Vicki in the Blood series by Tanya Huff. She was so alpha, hardcore chick that it was the only thing that made her as a character. There wasn't any vulnerability or much of a character arc so we can see different sides of her. It's one of the things I have a problem with in many urban fantasy books today. The heroine is so hardcore that nothing fazes her and she can take on anything. I like a character that's multifaceted with flaws, most likely a possibly character arc in which she grows. In this instance it's like the character's personality IS their flaw. With Vicki, there was the offset of Henry as a love interest and foil, Alban falls a bit short for leading man material although his description is very well done.
Once we got through the long and dry setup, Heart of Stone really started to get interesting as we learn more about the gargoyles, selkies, dragons and their world. It's a nice break from the normal paranormal creatures although Alban likens his species to vampires as they relate to the sunlight.
Not much knew in the urban fantasy vein although I like the fact that Margrit is a woman of color and there are some interesting interactions with her boss and mother that gave a nice background to her character and culture other than the face value.
All in all I'm not sure I'll be continuing with the series. There's a potential love triangle and some interesting creatures in this world but in the end it doesn't really add much as far characterization and story. (less)
Excellent reading of the classic novel. Susan Adams reads for Mina and Lucy's diary while Alexander Spencer does Harker, Van Helsing and the other mal...moreExcellent reading of the classic novel. Susan Adams reads for Mina and Lucy's diary while Alexander Spencer does Harker, Van Helsing and the other male narrators. Both are wonderful and emote the feelings so well that it feels like there are multiple actors in one production. I loved the readings of the wolf section with the emphasis on the cockney accents and the Scottish Captain near the end.(less)