I bought the whole series as audiobooks a while back, and I didn't have a chance to read the summary about this one when I finished book two and went...moreI bought the whole series as audiobooks a while back, and I didn't have a chance to read the summary about this one when I finished book two and went right into this one. So it was a surprise that it was about Earl and not about Owen and Julie again, but it turned out to be a good surprise, a good change of pace. Although with some series the "travel book," the one that takes place out of town without any of the familiar supporting characters that you've grown to love can be a disappointment, this book quickly developed a strong supporting cast of it's own, both good and bad guys. And quite a few who seemed like one who turned out to be the other, or who were just plain old screwed-up, or just got screwed. You know how it goes when a member of MHI turns up, violence ensues. Although if you don't know, if you haven't read the first two books, this would probably be an OK place to jump in. You might not quite get the significance of who Earl is or what MHI is in reference to the bigger picture, but it won't hang you up from enjoying anything in this story. And then knowing what you find out here would just make a lot of things seem even more significant if you do go back and read the first two books. A big disclaimer for this book and for the series, if you don't want to read a story with a ton of blood and violence then this isn't one for you. It's urban fantasy, not some "crazy" violent stuff, but saving a town from werewolves and magical whatnot can get pretty messy. (less)
Audiobooks recommended by Paul Weimer from SF Signal. Remember to read the short stories available on the author's website (http://www.splitworlds.com...moreAudiobooks recommended by Paul Weimer from SF Signal. Remember to read the short stories available on the author's website (http://www.splitworlds.com/stories/) first, available as both print and audio files. She released one a week for a year before the release of the first novel, ambitious! (less)
I'm a big Harper fan, but this book really missed the mark for me. I'm really surprised because I just read A Witches Handbook of Kisses and Curses an...moreI'm a big Harper fan, but this book really missed the mark for me. I'm really surprised because I just read A Witches Handbook of Kisses and Curses and really enjoyed it, even more than I expected to. But this one just bugged me from beginning to end. The set up is fundamentally flawed. Anna/Tina never questioned in the beginning if the guy she was rescuing was a good guy or a bad guy or why the other guy was so afraid of him. Just because he was the victim of a shooting didn't mean that he was a victim. He could have been a violent criminal and she put herself alone and vulnerable in a hotel room with him. A woman with her kind of fear wouldn't have put herself in that position, she'd have called an ambulance and moved on. Just because she's a doctor doesn't mean she has to be too stupid to live.
And how was I supposed to like this guy who does jobs like finding guys for loan sharks? Saying that that guy Jerry, "wasn't a terribly nice person, with a history of petty and not-so-petty larceny, grand theft auto, and assault," doesn't make what Caleb's "clients" would do to him any better. And Jerry calling Anna (at that time) the "unforgivable c-word" didn't make it more justifiable either, though the book seemed to be trying to make it seem that way, like because he was such a jerk it was OK that they were turning him in. Caleb said the guy was probably going to get his knee caps broken, but she should be OK with it because he'll walk, well limp, away from it. And when she got upset about it he asked her why she was taking it so personally and told her to get the hell over it. Seriously? Who wouldn't find the situation terrible? Her personal worries about bounty hunters aside, it's horrible, the whole set-up for the story is disgusting. Caleb was working for the Russian mob and he thought that's OK? I'm supposed to think he's cool? Harper really missed the mark here.
I kept reading to see if it got better, if Caleb was really an undercover cop or had some moral compass that was hidden up until that point. Harper had never failed me before, I just didn't get what was going on. But the next guy they were tracking down was the twin of a guy who needed a kidney transplant who wouldn't help his brother. He was going to get knocked out, flown to Portland, and wake up without his kidney. Anna said it's not OK to use another human being for spare parts because it's "ghoulish". But she went along with it even though she thought it was pretty messed-up. Seriously? She's a doctor! How did she not call the police on those people immediately? Fine, she's terrified for her own life, so call the cops and run for her life! Organ trafficking is a huge crime, not a little thing that a doctor would just shrug at, a little plot point in a romance novel. Who are these characters and why should I like anything about them?
Somehow I think it's all supposed to make sense eventually because then when Anna/Tina finds reason to doubt Caleb later then he's already proven that he'll do pretty much anything for money, so why not hurt her too? So him being a shady guy is the reason why she has reason to doubt him. But it's a really crummy premise. Whether or not he really would hurt her, he did do the other crummy stuff, for years, he's no great hero. There's no reason ever given for why it's OK for him to have taken money from the mob to get a guy knee-capped, or any of the other shady jobs he's done other than hey, they make him more money than legitimate work. Good for him. My hero.
The only good part was when Anna/Tina fought back. I don't know if if was entirely realistic, I don't know how many abused women would really react that way, as much as a lot of people hope they would. But this is one woman's story, she doesn't have to be an example of anything. And maybe she would. And it's a lot more empowering to read about a woman standing up for herself than it is about having a man swoop in and rescue her. Except that it's a romance novel so then of course the author kind of ruined it, the bastard got up and the other people had to swoop in. And that was the worst proposal ever. She just woke up, and was on morphine, they'll be lucky if she remembers any of it. It's hardly romantic in any way.
So I kind of liked Tina but I hated Caleb and I hated Tina and Caleb. I can't buy into this woman trusting this man for any reason. Regardless of whether or not he betrayed her, he showed her over and over again that he's willing to do rotten things for money, so why would she have stayed with him in the first place other than being too stupid to live? Oh yeah, he smelled good. If you want to read a better (not perfect, but better) book about an abused woman and a werewolf read Patricia Briggs Alpha and Omega. At least Charles is honorable. I really hate to be so down on an author that I've always really enjoyed but I just don't understand this at all.(less)
It was a really lovely finale of a terrific series. Sage has a magic touch for balancing adventure and humor and a lot if heart as well. It helped tha...moreIt was a really lovely finale of a terrific series. Sage has a magic touch for balancing adventure and humor and a lot if heart as well. It helped that I listened to the audiobooks and the narrators were terrific too, they really helped convey the witty little bits of humor and all of the great characters. Allan Corduner, the narrator of the first book, was absolute perfection, but Gerard Doyle, the narrator of the rest of the series, did a very fine job as well. My only disappointment is that Sage didn't even begin to address the connection between this world and ours. There's an implication that this is our far future with some of the references to architecture and Hotep Ra's Egyptian name or the date that Septimus mentioned, but it's never explained at all. I'd still rather it be completely unconnected to us than be so vague. If Sage wasn't already writing another series in the same world where I hope to get some answers then I'd be even more annoyed. But that's not really a good answer for fans of this series. But it's a pretty small quibble. I thought it was a good book and a end to the series.(less)
Gideon Emery narrating the last few books elevates what could be a fun, campy story into something a bit more, conveying the deep felt emotions Eddie...moreGideon Emery narrating the last few books elevates what could be a fun, campy story into something a bit more, conveying the deep felt emotions Eddie feels for his family despite his as equally felt disappointments, fears, resentments and angers. Emery convey the mix of bantering humor and deadly seriousness that captures most of the book and definitely Eddie and Molly's relationship. And he's just so darn great to listen too. He's the main reason I keep splurging on the audiobooks, and probably the reason I think this series is pretty good instead of pretty silly. I wish the author would stick to a story line a bit more instead of showing off how many crazy creatures he can come up with and feature in every book without bothering to make them a part of the action. But I do enjoy this series more than the Nightside at this, it has more humor and forward momentum and less of the annoying tendency to treat the book like a museum of oddities.(less)
The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it wasn't the first in a series. But I also love that about Martinez, each of his books are so d...moreThe only thing I didn't like about this book was that it wasn't the first in a series. But I also love that about Martinez, each of his books are so different, he's such a creative writer, you never quite know what you're going to get except that it will be clever and entertaining. This book had fantastic style, he really captured the noir mystery detective storytelling style perfectly without being too heavy-handed about it. And Mack is a charming, naive guy in the body of the most dangerous robot in the city. The robot perspective really worked, it could have been hokey, but I thought Martinez handled it brilliantly. He was just so consistent with it, it felt perfectly real throughout. Mack's journey was exciting to read, there's a lot of smashing and crashing. But there's also that touch of sweetness as he tried to figure out what this whole Glich that made him conscious was all about, and why he cared so much about his kidnapped neighbors. Honestly, I just liked everything about the book. It's one of those really fun books that feels fluffy but kind of isn't. It's just well done fun.(less)