The nice thing about Grisham is you know exactly what you are getting into when you pick up any of his books- and sometimes that's exactly what the mo...more The nice thing about Grisham is you know exactly what you are getting into when you pick up any of his books- and sometimes that's exactly what the mood calls for. (less)
A surprising downer, the second book in the series has a horrible scene where the main character is sexually assaulted, plus we get to see all the fou...more A surprising downer, the second book in the series has a horrible scene where the main character is sexually assaulted, plus we get to see all the foundations being laid in '32 for the fascist and communist bloodshed coming up in the 40's. Ugh - NOT what I look for in a book marketed as a "cozy."
If Bowen wants a reoccurring antagonist for her heroine - less Adolph Hitler and more Wallis Simpson please.(less)
So… its time travel, which means things get loopy.
Captain Marvel has all these powers she’s ambivalent about, but puts off angsting long enough to go...more So… its time travel, which means things get loopy.
Captain Marvel has all these powers she’s ambivalent about, but puts off angsting long enough to go for a joy ride in a plane that belonged to a recently deceased trail blazer fighter pilot, Helen Cobb, who inspired her to fly planes.
So, naturally, she gets sucked into some sort of time hole and meets up with Helen Cobb and they end up both fighting against each other and working together.
(view spoiler)[ I was very disappointed Helen lost that last fight/race – I was cheering for her to get the superpowers. She at least would whine about them! (hide spoiler)]
I was a little confused by the time line – but that’s a given for time travel stories. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A collection fantasy stories ranging from the lighthearted to the deeply disturbing.
Curses / Jim Butcher I loved it up until the point I felt he was ma...more A collection fantasy stories ranging from the lighthearted to the deeply disturbing.
Curses / Jim Butcher I loved it up until the point I felt he was making putting down the Red Sox by stating baseball curses shouldn’t be broken.
How the Pooka Came to New York City / Delia Sherman Loved it! A lively mix of Old World fairy tales and New World opportunities.
On the Slide / Richard Bowes The story ignores its own point that you can’t run away from your problems.
The Duke of Riverside / Ellen Kushner I wasn’t sure why this was here since the setting was so very much ‘Fantasy’ rather than ‘Urban Fantasy.’
Oblivion by Calvin Klein / Christopher Fowler Spends more time with real decay than magic, but impossible to look away from the train wreck of the main character.
Fairy Gifts / Patricia Briggs I would have liked a little more about the main character, but I liked the story style and the build up to the second rescue.
Picking up the pieces / Pat Cadigan Needed more magic and then woud have been a great historical fiction fantasy piece – who doesn’t love the idea of the “real” story behind historic events?
Underbridge / Peter S. Beagle Urgh! That got… messy.
Priced to Sell / Naomi Novik Absolute best of the anthology! NYC Real Estate + Fantasy = awesome!
The bricks of Gelecek / Matthew Kressel A variation on the ‘look upon my works ye mighty and despair’ theme. Plenty of despair and how!
Weston Walks / Kit Reed Poor little rich boy meets up with an element of magic and is ready to rejet it, despite needing o get out of his own head.
The Projected Girl / Lavie Tidhar Magical realism meets Israel – hope you weren’t looking for a happy ending.
The Way Station / Nathan Ballingrud A lot more urban and realism than magic and fantasy in this story – still heartbreaking, though, as a man struggles to overcome the grief caused by his alcoholism and Hurricane Katrina.
Guns for the Dead / Melissa Marr Felt incomplete – could have used another few drafts.
And Go Like This / John Crowley This was just weird for weirdness sakes.
Noble Rot / Holly Black A classic Holly Black story – stops just shy of horror while still really getting into the underbelly of urban fantasy.
Daddy Long Legs of the Evening / Jeffrey Ford Reminded me a lot of The Venture Brother’s character ‘the Brown Widow,’ except a lot more gross.
The Skinny Girl / Lucius Shepard Modern day Mexico acts as quite the plausible setting for a mythical creature to possibly be reincarnated into.
The Colliers' Venus / Caitlin R Kiernan A little much Victorian stuffiness to really get into it.
King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree / Elizabeth Bear Vegas as the setting for Urban Fantasy is just perfect seeing as how fantastical the real city already is! (less)
It’s kind of, sort of, like Jeeves and Wooster except there’s no Jeeves, and Wooster is a girl and she’s broke and she occasionally fights crime.
The w...more It’s kind of, sort of, like Jeeves and Wooster except there’s no Jeeves, and Wooster is a girl and she’s broke and she occasionally fights crime.
The worst part is the book reads with a slight anachronistic tone to it – yes, it’s hard to write in an older style, but that would have been easily solved if Bowen had just made the book in the memoir style and made Georgie a cackling old woman, delightfully writing down her life at some point in the early 21st century rather than narrating allegedly at some point in the early 1930’s.
Other than that it’s a delightful romp in the World between the Wars, that Twilight of Empire with all those Doomed Bright Young Things running around having ridiculous G-rated “scandals”.
All of the historical characters are SPOT ON (hello, your highness) and all of the fictional ones are, no other words – “such fun.”
Like, weird with weird sauce baked with weird spice.
I appreciate the amount of female characters and full credit to Vinge...more You guys, this book is weird.
Like, weird with weird sauce baked with weird spice.
I appreciate the amount of female characters and full credit to Vinge for predicting Cloud technology by 30 years but wow this was a difficult book to slog through.
Vinge creates what should have been a wonderfully detailed universe for her characters to play in, but she can’t be bothered to explain anything, and when she has plot holes she just throws in some tech or custom at the last minute out of nowhere.
She takes the plot of Anderson’s The Snow Queen and expands it by hundreds of pages with angst and genetic engineering and pretty dresses and this, like, giant version of Wikipedia that only special people can access by going into a trance or whatever.
There was the beginnings of a good plot with the queen scheming to stay in power, like, 4EVR, but it all falls apart pretty quick and everyone just wanders around for 300 pages until they meet up again at the end for an ending where everything works out a little too perfectly for the protagonists.
Its weird - everything goes wrong for the two main characters, and yet somehow at the same time everything goes too easily for them.
The book starts at the end of Arabian Nights with the sultan announcing to the Vizier that he has decided not to kill Shaharazad after all, much to he...more The book starts at the end of Arabian Nights with the sultan announcing to the Vizier that he has decided not to kill Shaharazad after all, much to her father’s relief.
Then, the tales she has just finished telling play out in the city in a magical realism style that left me feeling something had been lost in translation. Was this a commentary on 20th century events? Some deep philosophical pondering on human nature? I couldn’t tell.
Meanwhile, Shaharazad worries her husband’s reprieve will turn out in the end to be temporary. After all, how can you EVER trust someone with so much blood on his hands? Every now and then the book starts to get into Shaharazad’s backstory, or get into what post-tales life is like, but stops to get into yet another tale where yet another character is beheaded.
If the book had been all about Shaharazad it would have been a good addition to the retellings of 1001 Nights – as it is, I didn’t really care about any of the characters and at the end was convinced I had missed something. The text may have been translated, but I think the subtext was left behind in the original edition. (less)
There is a lot of jumping back and forth between the different storylines, moving the plot forward but also a...more Only complaint about Volume 3? Too short!
There is a lot of jumping back and forth between the different storylines, moving the plot forward but also a) expanding the story’s universe quite a bit and b) setting things up for the time skip at the end of Vol 3.
We follow how everyone’s doing from the end of Volume 3 as well as adding in a few new characters, including two fabulous (and I mean that in EVERY sense of the word) slimly tabloid reporters. They are onto the story of Alana’s “defection” after a Red Shirt decides to spill his guts, determined to get someone to listen to what happened to him. Awesome!
There are a LOT of references to our own world that – despite being dressed up with aliens and magic and space ships and robots – are obvious and rather cringe inducing as Vaughan makes some sharp points about war’s corrosive effects on life, limb, and civil liberties.
As much as the overall story arcs and big picture stuff is amazing, what really impresses me in this series are the little background touches – a purple ribbon tied around a tree, a “royal baby bump” on a TV screen, etc.
Vaughan continues to push the sex and blood (and the just plain weird) envelope. After all, he stated in an interview he wants this series to be TOO sexual TOO violent and TOO special effect heavy to ever work as a TV show – which, given shows these days like Game of Thrones, True Blood, Spartacus, American Horror Story, Walking Dead, Penny Dreadful, etc – means he’s going to have to keep pushing that envelope. (less)