The detectives: **Danny Hendrickson - from Laura Anne Gilman’s Cosa Nostradamus series. **Cassiel - from Rachel Caine’s Outcast Season series. **Kate CThe detectives: **Danny Hendrickson - from Laura Anne Gilman’s Cosa Nostradamus series. **Cassiel - from Rachel Caine’s Outcast Season series. **Kate Connor - from Julie Kenner’s Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series. **John Taylor - from Simon R. Green’s Nightside series. ? Jessi Hardin - from Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series - who's this? Jill Kismet - from Lilith Saintcrow’s Jill Kismet series. Quincey Morris - from Justin Gustainis’ Morris/Chastain Investigations series. Marla Mason - from T. A. Pratt’s Marla Mason series. Tony Foster - from Tanya Huff’s Smoke and Shadows series. Dawn Madison - from Chris Marie Green’s Vampire Babylon series. Pete Caldecott - from Caitlin Kittredge’s Black London series. Tony Giodone - from C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp’s Tales of the Sazi series. Jezebel - from Jackie Kessler’s Hell on Earth series. Piers Knight - from C. J. Henderson’s Brooklyn Knight series. ...more
I had a really mixed reaction to this one. There were a lot of things that bugged me while I was reading it. A bunch. And there were a lot of things tI had a really mixed reaction to this one. There were a lot of things that bugged me while I was reading it. A bunch. And there were a lot of things that I liked. I guess the good news for the author is that I didn't write my review right away and the good stuff stuck with me more than the bad. And the truth is that when I though about the book before looking over my notes what I remembered was that I liked it and that I couldn't remember exactly why I'd been so annoyed by it. So the good stuff stuck with me much more than the bad.
The good: I liked the concept. I loved the way that Charleston was portrayed and used. Lucinda was great as the totally badass root doctor, not to mention college professor. I liked that the vampire wasn't overused, he isn't some hero that sweeps in and solves all of the problems, the humans do very well by themselves. In fact people who are attracted to the novel because of the vampire partner are probably going to be disappointed, he isn't really in it much.
The dog stuff is great. Cassidy pays attention to her little Maltese, Baxter. She actually feeds him and takes him for walks and pays attention to him, he isn't just window dressing that shows up in one or two scenes. And when she used the collar of her dog that passed away, Bo, as protection it was very touching, I really felt it when she clicked the buckle around her wrist. His spirit becomes a protector for her and I think it's something that anyone who's loved a dog will relate to. The author writes all of the interactions with the dogs really well. Though I had to chuckle and think that Cassidy was brave to give her dog the broccoli from her Chinese food, I've always been afraid of the after effects of trying that. Mine get the carrots.
I almost forgot - no romance! It's very refreshing. I bunch of adult people are in this book who have exciting lives that do not revolve around their love lives. Well, Teag does have a satisfying love life, but his life does not revolve around it.
The not so good: Martin jumps right into the story as though we should all be familiar with the characters. She's been writing short stories about them for some time in anthologies, and now she's also selling them as well, you can get a new one every other month apparently. But for me and for a lot of readers this was our introduction to these characters and their abilities, and the way she handled things made it feel like we were missing something. It wasn't a good feeling. I wasn't too sure about Teag's magic too, it's confusing. Or maybe just too convenient. Just because you tell me something over and over again doesn't make it make sense. (See below.)
The bad: It was very often repetitive. She told me about Teag's power over and over again. I got it, he's super-hacker because of the data "weaving." I didn't understand it, but I remembered it. Oh, and he looks like a skateboarder. No one will miss that, trust me. It's mentioned almost a drinking game number of times. And she mentioned the tips of Sorren's long eye teeth twice in the space of two pages, that wasn't too hokey. There must be other ways to describe a vampire's fangs that make him seem clever and intriguing and somewhat dangerous. Cassidy complains that Sorren is going to scramble the dog's brain by glamouring him every time he comes over, even after he's explained that it's harmless and that he'd never do anything to hurt the little guy because he knows how much she loves him. So having the conversation again is just dumb. Martin is not a new author, and these don't feel like new author errors, they feel like editor errors. And then I started picking up plain old editing errors, the wrong word left in a sentence, stuff like that. (The dog just about wagged his tail "for" to see her instead of "off.") Which I don't get because again, she's not a new author, she should be better served by her editors at Solaris or her beta readers or anyone who had eyes on this before it went to print. She's a big name, and this book seems like a big deal for Solaris, they're certainly hyping it a lot. They should have put more effort into making it shine in the first place, show all of those people who want to do without a publishing house what their money gets them. She said at the end that her hubby is her primary beta reader and first editor, with an eye for finding typographic and continuity errors! Oy! Maybe changes were made after that? But not so great with repeating phrases, Larry. He probably had the same problem she did, he read it too many times as it was being written and the phrases all sounded too familiar to stand out. But was he the only beta reader? Didn't Sorren's stupid long eye teeth bother anyone else? All of these terrible editing issues are not encouraging me to pay for her short stories set in this world, not in the slightest. If I can get them from anthologies, fine, or get the library to buy them. But I'm not paying for stories that might be a mess.
And there were just a lot of little things that bugged me. They stopped at a site where the cops were investigating a new dead body and not only were they somehow able to see everything (no blockade, no cops keeping people away?) but Teag just bent down and picked something up and took it away with them and no one noticed or cared. Who cares if they disturb the crime scene? No biggie. Or one day Cassidy made a big point if saying that it took her an extra half an hour and a whole bottle of concealer to cover up the evidence of the fight the night before, then she says that she was so tired that day that she had to splash water on her face several times. Again, didn't anyone read this before it went to print? I'm pretty sure she didn't have a half and hour or a whole bottle of concealer to fix the make-up on her face, hands and probably neck (her whole body was bruised) each time she splashed her face, especially since they were so slammed with customers that day. Maybe it was waterproof concealer. Maybe she has some super-duper Hollywood strength waterproof concealer and I'm judging too harshly. But if I'd had to work that hard to cover my bruises and it was that important that no one see that I was hurt, I'd find another way to stay awake.
And what were the chances that the guy they found who stored his stuff in the facility they were investigating just happened to be an ex-black ops guy from a team that dealt with supernatural stuff? From the way he made it sound there wheren't much more that a handful of those people in the country. But there he was, a guy who knew all about vampires and demons and knew how fight and could lead them into the complex where the demon had his lair. Pretty darn convenient. There were too many coincidences like this in the book, too many easy outs, especially for an author of this stature. There were just a lot of annoyances. I expect well known authors to come up with cool ideas that make me feel impressed with their ingenuity, not to make me feel like they're phoning it in.
So, when I read my notes again I did get super annoyed all over again because there weren't any excuse for the bad stuff. There was lazy writing with the use of too many coincidences, and there were way more editing problems to just pass off on production problems. But... when I just thought about the book before reading my notes my general impression was favorable. I remembered that I had big issues with it, but I also remembered that I liked the premise and characters and was hoping that she could do bette with it next time. So she gets one more chance when it comes to the novels. ...more
There was a bit of a preponderance of high fantasy compared to the other books that I've read that these two have edited, and less of a mix overall ofThere was a bit of a preponderance of high fantasy compared to the other books that I've read that these two have edited, and less of a mix overall of genres. But maybe fantasy just sounded fun to some of the authors when they thought about writing about rogues, it isn't as though the editors told them what to write. There were a lot of stories from author's existing worlds, many more than usual in anthologies and in the previous anthologies that I've read by these two editors. Which is great for their fans. And sometimes good for new readers. But sometimes not so great, like the authors were trying to shoehorn their favorite characters into the idea of being rogues even though they really were good guys and gals and not roguish at all.
A note on bios - listing every book the author ever wrote isn't helpful. List genres they fall in and the first book in a series. Tell me if the author has done something else different than those novels that I should check out, something particularly representative of her work. And please tell me of the story I'm about to read is related to those novels or other short stories I should look for. Definitely intrigue me so that I can't wait to turn to page and read the story and add more of these books and stories to my to-read pile. But listing all of the books is a huge waste of paper. Intros should be anything but dull!
Joe Abercrombie - Tough Times All Over - A very cute story chock full of rogues in a thieving round robin that should keep you chuckling. It was the perfect opener for the book. I'm not familiar with the his First Law books, but this appears to be set in that world, I can't tell if any of the characters cross over. High fantasy.
Gillian Flynn - What Do You Do? - A twisty psychological story, slightly spooky at points, it definitely held my attention. It was also a good take on rogues from a couple of angles, very good use of the theme. I haven't read any of her novels but I think I can see what some of the fuss is about if she pulls these same kind of keeping the tension high and switchero tricks, making you have to go back and look at everything you read and see from a fresh perspective what you may, or may not, have missed the first time. Thriller?
Matthew Hughes - The Inn of the Seven Blessings - Another high fantasy. Raffalon and the story crossed the line from amusing rogue to not fun anymore when he was willing to rape the woman, and the only reason he didn't ask the other guy to help him do it was that he didn't want to cooperate with him more than he did want to rape her. Not funny in the least. I sure as heck didn't buy into the happy ending after that and I don't want to read any of his books anymore. I deleted his book that had been my to-read list for a while.
Joe R. Lansdale - Bent Twig - I was excited to finally read my first Hap and Leonard story, I've had Savage Season on my iPod for way too long. But I didn't get any sense of Hap's voice in this. Maybe it's because Leonard is gone for so much of it. Or maybe it's because he's thinking to himself instead of talking to other people a lot. But I didn't get much of a feel for him being any different than any other guy, he "sounded" the same to me as the guy in the story before this, and that guy was in an entirely different world running around in a forest, not in Texas. And it's super weird because the other book I just happened to be reading at the same time as this just happened to end up at a Joe Lansdale story too. It was Games Creatures Play. I'm not sure I loved that story for different reasons, but the kid who's the narrator has his own voice, as does the whole setting and situation, much more than the one in this book. I know Lansdale is a master. I've read a few very good stories of his before, I'm not doubting it. It was just odd that Hap was so bland here. I did listen to the first few minutes of Savage Season and it sounds terrific with Phil Gigante's voices for Hap and Leonard so I'm still looking forward to it. Anyway, this story wasn't exactly a mystery, but it was an investigation, whatever genre you want to classify it as. Violent PI story.
Michael Swanwick - Tawny Petticoats- Apparently the author has written several other short stories and a book about Darger and Surplus before. It's alternate history/urban fantasy. Fine, kind of cute, not so unique.
David W. Ball - Provenance - I didn't like the beginning of the story. I can't remember what it's called when stories use real history in them, like Dan Brown or Sarum, maybe just historical novel or something. But you have to work the history or the facts into a story, not just lecture. If I wanted to read pages of encyclopedia entry or an art history book then I'd be doing that, not reading a book of short stories. Then it did turn into a story but it was still weird. It's still plenty dry but isn't even interestingly peppered with real history. And he totally wasted my time and battery life checking to see if any of it was true. Then the one thing that was real is that there was a real artist named Otto Walter Beck born in the late 1800's in Ohio. Naming one of his Nazi characters after a real person in a historical fiction story does not seem right. Maybe he was trying to make it alternate history? Making Becks never having moved to America or something. If that was my family I'd be pissed
Carrie Vaughn - Roaring Twenties - The atmosphere was fun. As usual, her stories kind of leave meh at the end. It was urban fantasy set in the 1920s.
Scott Lynch - A Year and a Day In Old Theradane - Another high fantasy, this was very entertaining, just terrific. The cast was all strong females, except the automaton. I hope he writes more about this gang.
Bradley Denton - Bad Brass - I'm not sure a guy who hopes a chihuahua ends up as stir fry, and seems to mean it, is a rogue, which implies likability. But I do like the idea of the substitute teacher being so invisible that he can hear everything the kids say in the halls or see their texts over their shoulders when they aren't supposed to be texting in class. It's was kind of a thriller, with some cross/double-cross kind of action going on. I liked it better than I thought I would at the opening with the bad dog joke. But it was long and I literally couldn't keep my eyes open by the end so I missed some nuances.
Cherie Priest - Heavy Metal - I liked the story, but other than being told that he was a very bad man in the intro, he sure as heck seemed like a very good man in every way. That Ammaw Pete was pretty roguish though. Urban fantasy.
Daniel Abraham - The Meaning of Love - Amusing. It was interesting that when I read it the first time I thought that the main character was a male. It wasn't until I read other peoples' reviews that I realized that it might be a woman. On reading it again, it wasn't really clear, it could go either way really. I just didn't think a woman would be living along with a prince,
Paul Cornell - A Better Way To Die - I had been looking forward to this because it's the fourth of Cornell's Jonathan Hamilton story, all of which have been award nominated. Is Hamilton a rogue? Sometimes more than others. He definitely did not seem to be one here with his obey the military machine mentality and crisis of faith. I do like to some degree how every Hamilton story has been so different but it also makes it hard to relate to him. I liked the alternate worlds idea. But after four stories I still don't understand what Cornell is talking about with the Balance concept in these stories, it's just confusing. And if I don't get it then people who have only read this story really won't know. And this story didn't work. I didn't get it. I wouldn't have started to if I hadn't read the other stories. And don't get why Hamilton would let her get way with it, he's totally capable of lying but all about duty. And he seemed so dull here, not roguish at all. Alternate history/sci-fi
Steven Saylor - Ill Seen In Tyre - The intro says he does historical mystery, but this was just historical fiction. Pretty cute, I think much better than the one in Down These Strange Streets, which I didn't like because it was too full of lectures. It was pretty heavy handed on the rogue thing though, it would have been better to write a story where I didn't need him to explain who the rogues were or mention the word rogue so many times.
Garth Nix - A Cargo of Ivories - Nix has been forever on my to-read list because of his collaborations with Sean Williams, who's a real favorite of mine. I did find it a bit too convenient that the other two things that could banish a godlet that's gotten that powerful are incredibly difficult to come by, but they just happen to have an albino moklek right there, what a coincidence. But it was a pretty good story.
Walter Jon Williams - Diamonds From Tequila - A good reminder that This Is Not a Game has been on my to-read list for a long time. Though it looks like the first two books in the series are a lot more serious than the third, or at least that the third has a sense of whimsy that the others don't. I could be wrong about all of that though. But I'm intrigued about what this story had to say about Dagmar, who appears to be not the ingenue but the supervillain, at least by the time of this story. It could be interesting to see how that happened.
It was mystery and an investigation, with some sci-fi element, 3D printers exist just not that sophisticated yet. It was a very good story, it didn't matter that I hadn't read any of the books, I didn't feel frustrated about what I didn't know, just a bit intrigued to know more if I felt like it some day. But the story was very complete, it felt very finished, it didn't feel short story like somehow, whatever the heck that mean. The character just felt very real. They all did. 3D! But I haven't read Daryl Gregory's Afterparty yet but they do have the same idea about 3D printers making meds available, if different executions. But that's sci-fi for you, extrapolating where the technology can take things and thinking up a story of what could happen with it. I did wonder how did an actor found out that the biggest crime lord in Mexico has a profit of $6 billion a year on income of about $20 billion and employs about 150,000 people. Is that kind of thing public knowledge? It kinda ended with a whimper but it was good.
Phyllis Eisenstein - The Caravan To Nowhere - She wrote stories about this character, Alaric, in the magazines a long time ago and later turned them into two novels. This is the first new story about him in decades. It was fine but he wasn't much of a rogue, a pretty good guy all around. It was another author who was more enchanted with the idea of writing about her beloved character than the theme.
Lisa Tuttle - The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives - It's a blatant Sherlock Holmes knock-off, and by blatant I mean that it makes no bones about it and mentions Holmes several times, with the client even saying that she'd hoped to hire Holmes at first. I do wish that the female detective had done more detecting or had a more active role somehow. I guess having a reputation as a feminist author set up an expectation that wasn't really met. And the ghost stuff was kind of cheesy. And who was the rogue? The Not-Sherlock? He's cute but I didn't see him be bad except for when they broke into the house. And the woman detective says something on one paragraph near the end about having spent time over the last few years at séances. It sounds like the author was referring to other stories to establish their roguishness. It really wasn't clear here, they definitely came off as heroes. The story was OK. And a good balance for the book, which didn't have much by way of mysteries.
Neil Gaiman - How the Marquis Got His Clothes Back - A Neverwhere story. It was kind of fun, certainly richly imagined. But again the character, The Marquis de Carabas, didn't feel much like a rogue. He actually felt kind of whiny. Don't come after me with pitchforks, fans! I'm a big Gaiman fan, too. And if you're a diehard Neverwhere fan, I'm sorry. The brother, Peregrine, was roguish. I don't know if they were in the book, I forgot that I started it but never got very far into it when the dog ate it many years ago. I put it back on the high-priority to-read list even though the story was only OK.
Connie Willis - Now Showing - A near future science fiction story that was really fun. It was packed full of movie references that were very enjoyable, from Audrey Hepburn movies to Despicable Me. I'm sure some people will think it was overkill but I liked it. She really thought about how movie complexes could continue to get people to go and spend money in the near future when streaming video on our huge TVs is becoming so fast and easy. And she then took it even a step further and though about how those movie complexes and movie producers would take further advantage of their new business model, legal or not. It was a very good story, clever, stylish, romantic and smart.
Patrick Rothfuss - The Lightening Tree - I don't know from Kingkiller Chronicles or Bast, but it was fun. I guess the innkeeper is the guy in the books? Bast is his apprentice?
George R.R. Martin - The Rogue Prince, or, A King's Brother - This was even worse than the one in Dangerous Women. I was at least able to read some of that one. It's just beyond me what he's doing with these stories, since he's obviously able to write really terrific, gripping tales. I didn't read more than a few pages. I tried. I really did. I tried flipping through to see what happened as it went along, to see if it picked up a plot that I could grab on to. It made my junior high school history books seem interesting. And it will probably be nominated for a Hugo Award next year too because you people just love George. I love him too, but not like this, that's for sure....more
I thought it was funny that the few reviews I glanced at seem to be all about the Martin/Westeros story. Which for big fans I do get, especially becauI thought it was funny that the few reviews I glanced at seem to be all about the Martin/Westeros story. Which for big fans I do get, especially because the guy can't do anything small, it's an 82 page story in small print in a hardback book, so it really does deserve the term novella, as the advertising claimed. Sometimes I see novellas that seem pretty short story sized to me, though I'm sure there's a technical word count definition somewhere I'm not aware of. But anyway, although I am a Westeros fan, the stories I was most looking forward to were from Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson, and Diana Rowland. I was quite interested in a few others and looking forward to trying the authors I didn't know or didn't know well, it seemed like a good mix for once for my desire to read a few familiar authors I'd be sure to love and get introduced to a few new authors that I might like to add to my to-read lists. The anthology system at it's best. Unfortunately, the mix of stories didn't work out so well. The mixed genre anthology was a good idea, but the editors need to be really careful to balance the mix. This was way too heavy on the historical fiction for me. Way. Maybe the editors thought that epic fantasy fans would just go for epic history as a matter of course, but it doesn't necessarily translate. And it seemed to have much more history instead of fantasy.
I was also disappointed in many of the author's ideas what their dangerous women were. I thought this was going to be about strong, cool women and very often it wasn't. Some of the stories weren't really about women at all, just about men who were influenced somehow by women. Some of the stories were just more subtle in their definition of dangerous. I get that the authors were trying to stretch the definition and keep it interesting, but it meant that they were so busy dancing around the obvious idea that only a few actually did the obvious idea, which is a fun idea.
I did like having the author intros at beginning of chapters. But it should have said if the story was part of one of the author's series or not, so we know if we like it that we should get the other books. The point of anthologies is to sell more books. Don't make it hard on me. They listed every book and story the author every wrote but didn't tell me which stories were part of an author's established worlds, it was annoying. And sometimes confusing. It was in the first story...
Abercrombie - I didn't get at all that this was part of one of his series until I saw someone else's review. I found the setting very confusing, I couldn't tell if if was our Old West or another world, the references to the Union sword or the her savage Ghost heritage were just confusing. But it was well told and fast-paced. Fantasy.
Abbott - Good story, seems obvious but isn't entirely and is well done either way. Mystery/Crime, very dark.
Holland - I'm really not into "historical novels" these days. I used to love books like Désirée (about the woman Napoleon was engaged to before Josephine, she became Queen of Sweden) and Katherine (Swynford, who became a matriarch of the Tudor dynasty), they're among my childhood favorites. But they haven't been my cup of tea for a while. Plus it's such a pretentious name. Every historical romance is a historical novel. So is every Western. My mood has just been firmly in the present or future unless it's a good streampunk. This story was almost pretty good. It was a decent history lesson, and not hard to get through. It had the same dramatized feeling as those '60s novels, just soap operas set down among the few facts we actually know, not too different from actual operas. But that was the problem with this, too few facts, too much supposition. And the end stunk. "She waited to disappear. But she didn't." Huh? Dumb. The whole thing was too cheesy, too '60s really.
Snodgrass - A very good story. It presented a complete world and social dynamic in a short period of time to support an interesting story. I've liked all of her stories that I've read in different anthologies. I'll get to those books someday! They keep getting bumped higher on the to-read list. Sci-fi.
Butcher - This was definitely what I'd call a novella, at around 70 pages. Butcher is one of a handful of authors that I know of who always writes good short stories. This was about what apprentice magician Molly was up to while her boss Harry was, um, unavailable. (It also has a big spoiler for fans who haven't read books 12 and 13 yet, if you're working your way through the series you may want to wait until after 12 to read it.) It took me a while to figure out that it also explains why she had some sort of deal in place with dark elves when we saw her new apartment in the last book. Was that the last book? Or 13? I have a terrible memory. Anyway, it was a really good story, he always captures the humor, heart and excitement that make a story sing and balances the elements really well whether the story 20 pages or 400. And he writes stories that always seem to me that would be totally fine as stand alone stories for readers who are unfamiliar with the series, though it's hard for me to judge that. Urban fantasy.
Vaughn - I've found her work outside of the Kitty Norville series to be very hit or miss (and Kitty has been very downhill lately) but this was better than some. A bit dull but the history was interesting. More historical fiction, though the main characters weren't historical figures this time.
Lansdale - A fun story with a dose of heart and a dash of wickedness. It wasn't really about the woman, but I guess she was the motivation. He's been on my to-read list forever and this really reminds me to bump him up (which is the point of anthologies, to sell more books). I'm not sure how to classify it, maybe just plain old fun fiction? I really like Andreas's review and he called it weird fiction. It wasn't really supernatural at all, or horror, I don't know how to categorize it.
Lindholm - I'm not a Robin Hobb fan, for some reason that I can't remember I just didn't love the Assassin's books. And Sarah was only 67, she and Linda were hardly old women, it seemed really odd. If they'd been a decade older it would have been easier to get behind. Hobb is 62, is this what her friends are going through? Because my dad is 73 and his friends aren't. Way too much cancer, heart disease, cancer, cancer, but memory issues in their mid-60s are still pretty rare and and their kids aren't trying to kick them out of their homes. As far as I know. Maybe I'm totally wrong. Though I do understand the sandwich generation issue that Sarah's son was dealing with, my dad had those issues and my friends are seeing it now too. But it did have a lot to say about what single, older women go through, I don't want to disparage that. I'm facing some of those issues now, two decades earlier, without losing my memory, but with failing health. On the other hand, she didn't look for the dog? Unforgivable. And I wasn't so sure the women in this story fit the term dangerous. So I guess my review is pretty mixed, huh? That's how I ended up feeling about it, very mixed. It was a dark, kind of urban fantasy story, not paranormal. Is this weird fiction? Heck if I know.
Block - I know I've read a few of his Bernie Rhodenbarr and Matt Scudder books a long time ago and liked them, but this was barely OK. It didn't suit the rest of the book, it was very explicit and violent. I guess it was crime fiction.
Sanderson - A very good story. It's 50 pages, so it's probably novella length as well. It was impossible not to like this fierce single mom fighting to take care of her daughter and adopted daughter and remain independent in a very challenging land. Fantasy.
Penman - More historical fiction. Maybe the editors think that because there's so much politics in A Game of Thrones that fans will go for this, and I like the idea of cross-genre anthologies, but it's a little much with the history lessons. And when the author had to try to justify with a note in the end whether the woman was dangerous or not because she knows the readers are all thinking that the answer is probably not, it means to me that the story just wasn't right for this anthology, even if it would have been a decent story for another collection.
Grossman - An OK story, but the girl didn't seem dangerous. The ghost was pretty dangerous, but I'm not sure she could be classified as a woman. And the hints about the girl's past were as much annoyingly as intriguing, I want a story that makes me want to read more of the author's books, but I also want it to feel complete. I don't like to be left hanging. Tricky. I was hoping to get excited to finally start the books in this series. It helped by introducing me to the world, but only a little. Urban fantasy.
Kress - Dystopian/Sci-fi. Good story.
Rowland - Dark. She always knows the South and the police mentality perfectly, though seeing the police from the dark side was a bit creepy. It was an odd crime drama, not really sci-fi, only a few years in the future, post-apocalyptic I guess, though the apocalypse seemed primarily localized.
Gabaldon - More historical fiction, romance this time and pure fiction except the historical setting. It's a prequel to her Outlander series about a character named Jamie Fraser. I've only read the first book, so I'm not a fan. It was another novella, which kinda sucked for me, but is probably great for fans of the series. It was 25 pages before a woman even showed up. It should have been good, I like stories about Scots, Jews, heists. But it was way too long, way too slow, way too much about men and just really boring. It was the only story in the book that I didn't want to finish. I almost stopped half way through but it seemed like it was picking up. I was wrong, I should have skipped it. It was a really disappointing story from an author I've heard so much about.
Kenyon - A decent ghost story. Not as fun as I expected from another author that I've heard so much about. It didn't make me want to pick up her books. But it was fine.
Stirling - A bit too preachy and it was hard to buy into the premise that that many people would be convinced to follow that religion and society after eighteen months. Just telling me that they did bit because it worked doesn't convince me that this country full of Christians, atheists and agnostics would even be able to remember all of those new words, much less want to in a crisis. A small "Clan" maybe, but that many that quickly was hard to believe. But what do I know about what the world will be like after the collapse? But the point was good, putting up with bullies shouldn't be the answer. Waiting until a person is actually raped or killed really shouldn't be the answer. I just read a really important article about this issue and why women aren't welcome on the Internet, it's very disturbing and relevant to this story, you should check it out. What's being done to transgender and gay kids every day, the way they're pushed and pushed until they are in fear for their lives, but if they respond they're the criminals, that's criminal. We just have to find a way to protect people before they're actually raped or assaulted when there's evidence that they're in danger. Anyway, the story is alternate history, I guess. Or maybe sci-fi only a few years into the future.
Sykes - I wasn't smart enough to understand it. It was probably a really cool story. But I really didn't get it. Traditional fantasy, I think.
Spector - The end was weak but the rest of it was good, fun and it had heart. It definitely made me want to read the Wild Cards books. And it was about what I thought the book was going to be about, strong, smart, dangerous women. Urban fantasy.
Martin - I think it would be incredibly tedious for non-fans. If I wasn't familiar with some of the names I'd have hated it. As it was my eyes glazed over a lot and skimmed past a lot. Talk, talk, talk, list, list, list, almost no action. And actually, using so many of the same first names that are used in the main series, while is made sense that they're family names and would have been handed down, it also made it even more confusing to remember who was who. No one felt unique, especially when several people in the generation in this story had the same name too. Realistic, sure, that's what happens in families, especially royal families, but confusing. And I wasn't particularly convinced on who the dangerous woman was. Yeah, there was more than one. But the story wasn't about the main "queen". It was about war and all of the players were equally culpable. She wasn't more dangerous or driving the story. She certainly wasn't more of a driver of the story than her brother who she was fighting against. Martin edited the book, but his story wasn't really about a dangerous woman. And the whole story had a very distant feeling, like reading a history book, which makes some sense since it is a historical tale compared to "present day" in this world, but there was no way to connect with any if the characters or care about them. Without more action and also without personal connections it was just too dry. Fantasy. ...more
Very good. Though it could be called Fear of Falling or something similar, our terrific leading character, Tara, has very bad luck with that, and theVery good. Though it could be called Fear of Falling or something similar, our terrific leading character, Tara, has very bad luck with that, and the others have a few spills as well. I think I noticed six falls just for Tara and it wasn't as if I was trying to keep track of them. It was just hard not to notice after the opening and then the very dramatic fall when they got to the city. Anyway, I liked pretty much everything about the book. It was original and engaging and I enjoyed the modern feeling investigation aspect combined with the somewhat more traditional fantasy world. It's a good crossover book for urban fantasy fans and epic fantasy fans as it has many elements of both. I'd be happy to read more about these characters but since the author isn't going in that direction, I'm looking forward to reading more about the rest of the world instead in the next two books. It will be interesting to approach things from different perspectives. And I think I read in an interview with the author that the time frames might be different too, maybe book three takes place before this one or something (don't quote my maybe). The reviews have been great, what little I've let myself see to avoid spoilers, and everyone was right about this one so I'm sure I'll enjoy the other books be too once I get to know the new characters and situations. ...more
I forgot that the last one was so bad that I didn't even want to finish it. I had a vague memory that it had been better than the last few books, butI forgot that the last one was so bad that I didn't even want to finish it. I had a vague memory that it had been better than the last few books, but it turns out that that was eighteen. This was really just awful.
For one thing, the relationship thing isn't cute in any way anymore. She's in a serious relationship with Joe, they're practically engaged. They're having sex. And she's still having hot and heavy make-out sessions with Ranger. I get a woman being attracted to two guys at a time. And having cold feet about settling down. But at what point does a woman become a total bitch for leading a man on when she's still into another guy? It isn't cute or funny anymore, Stephanie is becoming completely unlikable. She had sex with and spends the night with Morelli, got rescued by Ranger, Morelli rushed home to tell her how scary it was to hear about the woman he loves almost dying again, then she was back snogging Ranger again a few minutes later. And I was yelling, "Slut!" She doesn't show any remorse. Or signs of ever changing. There isn't any excitement or anticipation about if she'll get together with Ranger, she did that, and we know he's no good for her long term, so it's enough already. She knows that too. And if she won't settle down with Joe then end it. But mostly the scenes are all just repeats of things that we've seen so many times before that there's no anticipation of excitement to any of it. It's boring. Cut and paste, been there, done that. None of it is any fun anymore. As she's turned into an unlikable character because of it.
And what about all of the gun violence? It was bad enough when Lula was shooting off her gun and never getting caught once per book. But now by page ninety several people had shot weapons and no one cared at all. Including a little old lady in a senior center. No one cared. And of course several bullets into Stephanie's car, but who'd care about that. By the end of the book I lost track of the number of gunshots that were never reported to the police, even when people were wounded. Is this still funny in this country? Seriously? It's like Evanovich is some vaudeville performer with a formula, she figures if it was funny once, it'll be funny if she repeats it dozens of times. But vaudeville is dead. And the same joke dozens of times later isn't funny. Get some new material. Be at least a tiny bit aware that gun violence isn't a joke in this country. This is really her best material?
And the giraffe was just stupid. We're supposed to believe that someone posted a video of the guy running over someone without fear of reprisal, but no one posted a video of a giraffe running around a downtown neighborhood for days on end? It wouldn't last long enough for the word to get out before dozens of videos were posted, it's just idiotic.
And how can people who paid more than $20 for the book not feel totally ripped off when they compare the double spaced text of the main book with the normal text of the sample at the back of the book? It's another novella being sold for hardback prices.
A lot of romance authors fall into writing books according to a successful formula. But their books at least feature a different couple each time and vary the facts and settings a bit. Evanovich can't do that so she just keeps adding more gunshots and destroying more cars. (A fire truck ran over Stephanie's loaner for Ranger while it was in a parking lot. Ha ha. Because firemen are such bad drivers, and usually go into lots instead of parking on the street where the hydrants are.) if she had just had Stephanie dump one or both guys a long time ago and let her meet new people, these books wouldn't be so awful now. I get that she doesn't want her to be settled down and a married housewife any more than Stephanie wants that. But Evanovich is an author, she should have some creativity and write herself out of this disgusting mess instead of spiraling down into this really embarrassing mess that she's created. If it was just the stupid relationship thing then it would be bad enough, it's pandering to fans who love a love triangle and caring more about making money than writing something decent. Fine, publishing is about making money. It's better if you can do both than just one, but whatever. But she should be embarrassed to write something that makes such a joke out of gun violence in 2013. I used to love these books. I loved Lula and Grandma Mazur and the banter and the fun of it all. But this is just appalling on every level. ...more
3.5 stars. I went in prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt because I'd read a bit of the author's short fiction and knew he was both very creat3.5 stars. I went in prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt because I'd read a bit of the author's short fiction and knew he was both very creative and also capable of writing things that could be very touching. And I'd read some really stellar reviews of his books, this one included. Which was good that I was prepared to give it some time because it started off really weird. Alice in Wonderland weird, with all kinds of historical and literary references and talking lizards ruling England and travel to Mars and what sounded like a lot of anachronisms and just really odd and confusing stuff. Intriguing but odd, so that it was hard to tell what time period it was, maybe what planet it was, just what was going on at all. The main character's father was a Vespuccian sailor, his skin is copper red (which sounded inhuman red to me at the time), the Queen is lizard, his friends are Gilgamesh and Tom Thumb, Moriarty is the Prime Minister, there are whales in the harbor, it felt quite unreal. I thought it could be a video game or a Tad Williams/Otherland kind of thing maybe for a while. But it didn't take long to settle down into a story that did make sense, though the literary and historical mash-up just kept on coming. If you like trying to spot famous references then you'll have fun with this one. I'm sure I missed many, Victorian lit and history isn't my strongest area but I got quite a lot of them. The adventure was fun and interesting, not one I'd say everyone has to rush out and read just on the merits of how thrilling the young man's journey is on it's own, but combined with the charm of the rest of the concept it was a clever and enjoyable book all around. The central idea of the Bookman is one that I won't forget, that mysterious character acting from the shadows. Good guy or bad, you be the judge. So if you can handle a story with Karl Marx, Jules Verne, and Byron (sort of), running around with the Holmes brothers and Irene Adler without any explanation of how that's possible then this could be a good story for you to try....more
I think after reading a couple of reviews saying that it was slow to start, or confusing in the beginning, I was over-prepared to give it time, so I wI think after reading a couple of reviews saying that it was slow to start, or confusing in the beginning, I was over-prepared to give it time, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it pretty intriguing from the beginning. Though I might have been a bit frustrated at the slow roll-out of information at times if I hadn't been warned. But I did kind of like the realistic investigation pace, cops almost always take a long time to do things in real life, it's only on TV and on movies that they break big cases in a few days. And there were enough interesting elements early on that kept me happily intrigued. I liked the characters right away, definitely the main Mead staple that carries through all of her series (except the men in her Dark Swan series, they were questionable and major fail). I was curious about the post-apocalyptic world and how it got that way, and what the details of it's structure would turn out to be as they were slowly being revealed. I actually liked the slow reveal vs. major infodumps, even if it was frustrating to want to know more, it also kept me turning the pages to figure things out; infodumps are so boring. And I was really interested to see how Justin's invisible raven companions with the pretty spoilery H and M beginning names in a book about the gods fit into everything. I just liked the way everything slowly unraveled. Why was Justin exiled? Why did Mae join the military? Who is she looking for? Why was Kavi so slow? Each reveal wasn't mind-shattering in and of itself, but it all wove together and kept creating something bigger and more solid and interesting to see and follow and watch and understand.
I saw some complaints about the lack of explanation, even by the end of the book, of a complete history and description of how the government operates. A lot of post-apocalyptic books are vague about the history that got them to this point and the specifics of the current government. Some make it work, others just fail. Think about The Hunger Games, for example, that series is vague, vague, vague, but it works fine. Or I just read Lauren DeStafano's first book, it's world building is certainly a huge weak point, and what she does spell out isn't rooted in reality at all. It is more common in young adult books than in adult series but it isn't that surprising to me that every detail isn't spelled out here. It wasn't relevant to the story at this point. I expect we'll find out more as the series goes on, just like we continued to get more information spooled out slowly about the characters and their individual histories throughout this book. It's a common technique, further layers about the world building are revealed as each book is released as it relates to each novel, delving deeper and deeper into the world. Actually, Hunger Games is a good example of that, each book revealed deeper layers to the story and the world building. I could be wrong, but since the end of the book indicates that the politics of the world are pretty important to who the pieces on the board are going to be, I think that we're going to see more about the big picture in the next book.
The only thing that wasn't explained that really annoyed me was Mae's implant, because it was relevant to this story. What the heck was it, what did it control, or let her do, or limit, or whatever? The extreme vagueness of the implant and what the Praetorians actually were was very annoying.
(view spoiler)[My other big complaint was how dumb Justin was about the ravens and their boss. Really, it took until the very end to think to look up who the guy who saved him might be? He had two huge clues in his head every minute of every day for the last four years. The guy who questions everything wasn't driven mad by curiosity? How many supernatural figures were associated with two ravens, that would have been a place to start. The H and M would have cinched it for him. Making him need to figure out the name as a major reveal at the end of the book was pretty lame. I get that these things weren't commonly known in his time anymore, but he was familiar with a lot of the major pantheons from doing his job, and he obviously had access to resources to look it up. It made a man who is supposed to be the smartest guy around look really dumb. (hide spoiler)]
I did think that the central plot of the book, the murder mystery, limited the story a bit. It was more a tool to showcase the character development and world building, and the central idea that the author was trying to slowly reveal, than a great story in and of itself. The secondary characters were a bit weak too, they just sort of wander in and out and reveal things about the main characters when it's convenient for the author, more than being significant themselves.
Some people complained that it was confusing, dense, complex, etc. and I really didn't find it to be that way. Maybe it's because some of them are used to reading primarily urban fantasy or paranormal romance? I'm not judging, that's most of what I read these days. And one of the reasons I read them is because it's easier, I don't have to absorb new worlds and their histories, languages, cultures, geographies, my brain just isn't always up to it these days. Which is not to say that their brains aren't up to it!!! No comments, please. But just that maybe they didn't enjoy the style. I like urban fantasy because I can open the book and instantly be immersed, so ramp up, no effort, I know what Chicago or Atlanta look like, I get it, easy peasy. And this one definitely took a bit more patience to let the it all absorb, to just see where it was going. It wasn't actually a ton of information, I just had to let it unfold. So granted, it wasn't a huge page turner, it took a bit more attention than some books, but I was constantly engaged and eager to get back to it, and finished it in three days. Compared to George R.R. Martin, this was a walk in the park! Which is not to say that I don't understand some of the complaints. The slow pace of the reveals could be very frustrating, depending both on your personality and on your expectations.
And I definitely think expectations play a big part of what's going into who's reading and reviewing and how they're reading and reviewing this book so far from what I'm seeing. Mead's core audience isn't necessarily the right audience for this book. Or at least them coming in expecting a "Richelle Mead" book isn't necessarily the right mindset for enjoying the book. For the first time I'm seeing why authors who want to try a new genre use a pen name. What would have happened to Seanan McGuire if she'd release Feed under that name instead of as Mira Grant? I'm not saying that the frustrations that people had with the pacing of the book should be solely attributed to their expectation by any means. The author made some choices and took some big risks and has to live with the fall-out. It just seems like a lot of the disappointment I'm seeing in this book is coming from people who expected it to be something different than what it is, not necessarily because it isn't good in and of itself. I guess we'll never know what fresh eyes would have made of it. But without Mead's name who knows if it would have gotten many readers at all. It's always a gamble.
Anyway, it had some issues for sure, but overall I thought it was intriguing and an interesting new direction for Mead. I'm looking forward to seeing where she takes it in book two, I hope she juggle all of the balls she left up in the air and develop it into something special. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This author is extremely consistent. I liked the first book and I liked this book. She's even trying to come up with justifications for Goldy continuiThis author is extremely consistent. I liked the first book and I liked this book. She's even trying to come up with justifications for Goldy continuing to stick her nose into Tom's investigations, which is quite a stretch. The narrator, Barbara Rosenblatt, continues to be very good as well. She has one of those husky voices that just enjoyable to listen to regardless of what she's reading, but she also reads very well....more
This anthology was a bit of an embarrassment of riches in the author department. It featured eight of my favorite authors (out of fourteen) and only oThis anthology was a bit of an embarrassment of riches in the author department. It featured eight of my favorite authors (out of fourteen) and only one that I was familiar with but not a fan of. Which was great in making the book high on my to-read list, but not as successful in helping me find new authors to read, which is one of the concepts behind anthologies like this. They're not only supposed to sell this book, but then to keep selling books as readers discover authors that they now want to read more from their portfolio. But I'm sure that some of the authors that are automatic to-read names to me and who I think of as big names are unfamiliar to other readers. I hope this book introduces them to new audiences; they all had good stories.
It was more carnie than punk overall. Other than one of two with some tattoos, the authors pretty much stuck to the carnival theme. If you have a fear of clowns there might be one or two stories to avoid, as a couple veered into circus territory as well.
Thurman - Clever concept, it was something familiar yet totally original and it also kept me guessing trying to figure it out until it was revealed. It was also very true to the theme.
I also always love her bio and the way that she uses her two paragraphs in every book she's published in to tell people about her rescued dogs and how important she thinks it is to adopt. With humor, the best way to get her point across and have it be remembered.
Dawson - I loved her creepy and seductive carnival and I gathered that it's a regular part of the world that her books are based in, so I get why she was really appropriate to include in this book. It was a good story, but it didn't make me want to read the stories. The end made it seem like the world wasn't real after all, so it didn't open up the world of the novels. To me it closed it off instead, like if it wasn't real then why would I want to read more books about other characters there? And I was already leaning against it, from the reviews I read it just doesn't seem like my cup of tea from the romance angle, I think it's going to really annoy me. But it was a pretty good story and the carnival was cool.
Hearne - Very good story, as usual. "Dogs make everything better." Can't argue with that. Especially Oberon. This is still my favorite urban fantasy series. Iron Druid fans will want to read the story, but it isn't critical to the story arc if you miss it, not like some of the other of his novellas or shorts. But if you aren't a fan yet, why not? Smart, funny, exciting, clever, fast-paced super fun books with the bravest, funniest dog in literature as a side kick. What are you waiting for?
Henry - It was only eh.
Wells - A solid story. I liked that it was different than anything I'd read from her before. And the character motivations were interesting.
Caine - Very good. It's the second time that I remember her writing a story in an anthology that had nothing to do with any of her books and felt totally different and fresh, like I'd have no idea that it was her writing it if it didn't have her name on it. But in a good way. When someone's done several long series, it's nice to see that they have other ideas too and can execute them and be so versatile. And I'm actually not such a fan of her YA series so it was nice to see younger people that I related to from her.
Pang - It was a good story. And it reminded me that her books have been on my tentative to-read list for a long time. Some friends rave about them, but I've been wishy-washy on the heavy romance described in the reviews (just because romance hasn't been my taste lately) and the wishy-washy heroine as well. And the hero from the novels is a very unattractive minor character in this story. The story was good advertising for her writing but not so much for his character, that was a questionable choice of portrayal. We'll see. I do want to read about that little unicorn some day (featured in the novels).
On the other hand, I did check out her Fox & Willow online graphic novel and it's very cute, and fits right into my current reading pattern perfectly. I'll have to try to catch up on that soon. http://sadsausagedogs.com/
On a separate note, I see from Pang's website that she suffers from chronic pain, back pain and maybe fibromyalgia. I wish her all the best in managing this very real specter.
Jacques - Her Regan Summers books sound good but they're only out as ebooks so unfortunately I can't get them from the library. And I liked this story quite a lot. It kept me guessing and it had a sense of darkness and tragedy within the mystery, without being too heavy. It really kept me interested and guessing. Until she lost me right at the end when Thalia, the muse of comedy and poetry, needed to distract a guy for a moment, so she pulled up her shirt because she wasn't wearing anything underneath and flashed him. Women are too often just as guilty of writing things that cheapen women as men are. We don't have to be serious all of the time (God forbid!!) but I just didn't get that at all, it totally didn't fit the tone of the story or the characters, and it just cheapened the whole thing.
Estep - It was a good story. But it didn't make me reevaluate the series. I read the first book and just didn't want to read any more. On top of the drinking games that could be played of repeating phrases (I still remember, "my gray eyes," years later), the real problem was that the woman is a murderer with no regrets, as is still apparent in this story. I just can't root for her. Assassins can be anti-heroes, but it's a fine line that doesn't work for me here.
Meding - Good story! It's subtitled, "A Strays Short Story" Is it the beginning of a series or maybe a world she'll use for stories in anthologies again? Either way, I'm definitely hoping for more. She's one of my favorites, I'll read anything she writes. I'll even pay for it, which I may have to since some dumb publisher decided to stop putting out her Dreg City series, another series that kept getting better and better. If/when she self-pubs that one, I'll buy it. Her MetaWars books are good, too.
Peeler - Good story. Except for another boob flash comment, it's apparently one of the women's favorite investigation technique, ha ha.. It wasn't a muse at least and it fit the tone of the story. But it made me wonder what Dr. Peeler was thinking. But her Jane True series is among my favorites as well. I bought them, which knowing my budget says a lot. Hearne and Peeler, and McCaffrey and Riordan, that's pretty much my auto-buy list. Sadly shorter now.
Kessler - Very good advertising for the series, it was a good story and it totally seemed to represent what the series was about. Some reviews made the books seem sillier than this but the writing in this story was solid with a somewhat light but not too fluffy tone. And it reminded me that some of her other books had been on my to-read list for too long as well. A win for the anthology model, it made me want to read more of her work.
Gay - Ah ha, this is what Rex and Emma were up to while Charlie was in Elysia. I like in-between stories like this, I feel like I'm in on a secret. But then I feel bad for fans who didn't get to read the story. They all need to buy this book or get it from the library, too. They aren't actually missing anything in the main story arc, but they'll want to have the fun of reading the story. The second aspect of the anthology model. Fans of the novels buy this book and new fans who liked this story go buy the novels. This story was a really was a good intro to her work without being necessary to the series because it's about secondary characters. And it was so sweet, seeing how much the former Revenant, Rex, cares about his new sort-of daughter, Emma. And it's definitely a, "ye reap what ye sow," story. That girl is Charlie's kid through and through, doing what she thinks is right no matter how risky or scary it is. This series really grew on me, the first book was pretty good, but it had some issues for me. Then they kept getting better and better after that. I'd definitely recommend it. And not just for the hellhound, he's a pretty minor character. Not like Oberon!
McGuire - As much as I loved the short storynovelette that I just read from her October Daye series (Sea-Salt Tears, look on her website, it was nominated for a Hugo award and it really is terrific) it's fun to read something totally different from her as well. Well, it wasn't exactly fun, it's not a lighthearted story. But it was a very good story, as usual. She's one of the few authors who seems to be consistently able to write both great books and short stories. Jim Butcher consistently writes good short stories, but they are always about the same world as his novel, McGuire seems to have more range. I love her October Daye series, and really like the InCryptid as well. I really want to get to the writing posted on her website as well. And yes, I do know that she also writes as Mira Grant and that everyone loves her many-time nominated books as well, but I'm not so into the post-apocalyptic thing. Maybe I'll get to them eventually. But I love the Toby series, even if the mysteries were really shaky in the first two books, the series has become one of the best around. And I'm looking forward to reading Rat-Catcher, despite the unfortunate name, which is also from the Toby series and about a fan-favorite character (which explains the title), and was also nominated for the Hugo for best novelette. Though the distinction between short story and novelette is really beyond me, they both seem really short to me. Sea-Salt Tears was 24 pages I think. Whatever. Anyway, this story was great, no surprise there. ...more
It was a good book. Jude Watson is definitely one of the, if not the best, authors in the series. She really understands these characters and conveysIt was a good book. Jude Watson is definitely one of the, if not the best, authors in the series. She really understands these characters and conveys them as complex people that I can't help but care about. She gets the balance of adventure and danger with those moments of genuine emotion just right, and even gets a few laughs in there. Like in this book, Dan's regret and Ian's loneliness were really touching. And Atticus thinking better when he brushes his teeth was silly but worked for the little genius. Everything worked, it was exciting and scary and a great start to a new series, if a little bit familiar in formula.
But it just makes me kind of dread having the series get passed off to another writer now, and another one after that... It was a fun idea at the beginning of the first book in the first series, but now I'm really tired of the unevenness of it. I doubt any of the writers want to take it on full-time, the four book a year release schedule is too intense and they all have their own projects, but I wish the publisher would narrow it down to a few of the more successful authors (within the series, not overall, David Baldacci is a very successful author but was a huge disaster as a Vespers series author) to ensure consistency and quality. The kids who are the mainstay buyers for the series don't care about big-name authors (like Baldacci who'd never written for children before! And who was terrible at doing it, did they even see a sample of what he was offering or just hire a name? At least all of the other authors have been YA or children's authors) joining the series at the end of a run so I don't understand the strategy of that anyway, why pay a large fee to someone who can't drive sales? Are adults going to suddenly start reading the series to see what the last book is about? And why, oh why, would you give the final and long-awaited book in a mystery series to an untried author? Why wouldn't you schedule it so that one of your tried and true authors could wrap up the series with a sure-fire success instead of what turned into a huge, huge disappointment for many of the fans. In the future, Dear Publishers, please stick to authors who know how to write for tweens and teens appropriately and with respect. And if possible, narrow the field or stick to authors who know the characters to avoid the whiplash we feel when the tone and quality changes so much every book. I'm reluctant to get on another roller coaster of inconsistency, as much as I like the characters and being able to get a new book four times a year. I'm glad that this one was so good, it was just what I'd hoped it would be. But what's the point of getting sucked into another series that could just get messed up in the end again by the it being put in the hands of the wrong author? So please, Dear Publishers, remember that the last book is as important as the first one. If I do decide to go on this journey with you, please don't disappoint me again....more