When I originally bought the book (on its drop-date in 2013) I couldn't get past the opening scenes feeling like a Mercedes Lackey novel seasoned withWhen I originally bought the book (on its drop-date in 2013) I couldn't get past the opening scenes feeling like a Mercedes Lackey novel seasoned with Jane Eyre. So I put it down for fourteen months, then tried again. And this time, it was good! The main characters - Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen - are both young and determined, with a good set of talents and perspectives between them. Ranged against this pair are the emperor and his army, which are attacking the small country of mages and werewolves.
The opening of the book is a rout of the werewolves by the Imperial Army, followed by the theft of five mages across the battle lines. Then there is the long chase and infiltration, then more plotting, etc. The story follows three different groups of people - the small army band, the mages, and Mirian/Thomas - as they head for a final confrontation.
What saves this story from being typical and trope-erific is the strength of the character development. Huff establishes circumstances which allow for the continual layering of characterization, and lets some of the focal people (who are not our heroine or hero) actually grow and change, too. It's been a while since I've read a book where the heroine is so sure of herself, the hero is willing to both give and take, and they both admit to weaknesses and failings without a lot of useless flailing or death-defying wounds. Also, the romance is pleasantly understated. (Here's a link to a longer, more complete review -from someone else - that gives a really good synopsis of the three layered plot lines: ref)
Of note is the balance of strong male and female characters and leading roles. We have five women working together, various pairings of men (both professional and romantic), and then a male/female duo. This is not nouveau-Disney, where all men are either irrelevant, shallow, or The Enemy. It's also not classic Disney, where the heroine is fine until it matters, at which point she collapses, begs for help, or disappears from the plot.
Tanya Huff is a very experienced author who knows how to put together a solid story. She also has fun and useful turns of phrase that I find both hilarious and touching by turns. I recommend most of her work for the snappy dialog, tight descriptions, and sympathetic characterizations. (If sci fi is more your thing, Valor's Choice was a lot of fun. The bar fight wasn't epic, it was hilarious.) The Silvered probably won't rise to the top three, but I can certainly say I'm keeping it for a re-read someday.
I picked this book up because it's from Tanya Huff. I've enjoyed her since the The Fire's Stone, and a new book/standalone sounded fabulous. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys straight-line-plot fantasy, strong characters, and a dash of steampunk flavoring to their magic. ...more
I either need more plot to my porn or more porn to my plot. The ratio was just off somehow.
That said, it was a pretty good book. I have read more abouI either need more plot to my porn or more porn to my plot. The ratio was just off somehow.
That said, it was a pretty good book. I have read more about various were-people and shapechangers than psychics, so that was the aspect of the story that I found the most fascinating. Singh has created a world of emotionally-controlled, brilliant, talented people with a high rate of insanity (psychopathic tendencies), and then contrasted them to the stereotypical hot-blooded, volatile were-people. Regular old humans are not even introduced with names in this book.
The plot was the typical killer-on-the-loose; race war will happen if the killer isn't found/stopped. There was some amount of spy, counterspy, fall for the Other, etc.
I picked it up because I'd read two short stories in this universe from anthologies. I recommend it as light reading to people who enjoy modern urban fantasy with lots of hot "I've never done that" pages. ...more
Rothfuss is an author of lyrical prose and juxtaposed concepts. He likes to describe things in threes, be they adjectives or verbs. He has a way of glRothfuss is an author of lyrical prose and juxtaposed concepts. He likes to describe things in threes, be they adjectives or verbs. He has a way of glancing sideways at emotions that can cause the meaning to circle back and smack the reader in the back of the head a few paragraphs later. And his characters are almost always more and different than they seem.
This book is a love it or hate it kind of a story. It has things with names and days with attitudes. It has a main character who is broken and very self-aware, who lives in the broken place with broken things. And there are things that are not broken, but simply misplaced.
I enjoyed this story for what it was: a window into a world only hinted in the main story. I didn't find the story all that deep or meaningful, but I found it comforting. Pages 144-145 rang like a bell. And the implications at the end were... savory on my mental tongue. And I really enjoyed the author's afterward.
I recommend, if you choose to read this book at all, that you find a time and a space when you are slow and quiet and have the time to hear the words echo in your head. This is not a book to be rushed or sampled. Devote the entire book to one time, or vice versa....more
The Andrews team is back from Magic Breaks with their first book in a new series. Written with the same flair for characterization and dialog as the KThe Andrews team is back from Magic Breaks with their first book in a new series. Written with the same flair for characterization and dialog as the Kate Daniels series, this new series sets up hereditary magic clans as the financial (and possibly political) powers around the world, and the rest of the population as normal support staff. Our heroine is the oldest of the youngest generation running a family-based private investigation business which usually does cases like divorce or insurance fraud. This time, Nevada Baylor is hired to find a powerful rogue mage and return him alive to his family.
Burn for Me is the opening book of a new series that is rightly filed under "paranormal romance." The kissing scenes are full of heat and passion and erotic confusion, just like they should. Unfortunately, it's the context of that passion that is... ok, no holding back: pissing me off.
The heroine, Nevada, defines the "hero" (Mad Rogan) as a psychopath, though I might call him a sociopath. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and entirely without moral compunction. He is built up as a killer, a manipulator, and insane to boot. He has enough power to throw buildings down, and enough control to levitate and shave a chopstick. He uses his money to build his own domestic surveillance and protection operation through absolute loyalty of talented people.
About a third of the way into the book, Rogan kidnaps and tortures Nevada, causing her enough pain and mental anguish that she has a magical Taser implanted in her arms (which screaming hurts, by the way). Sure, it was a mistaken impression on his part that she was working for the enemy, so sorry, thanks for your time. Once that is straightened out, they agree to work together to catch the real bad guy.
The Andrews writing team builds a good conflict between Nevada - morally straight and dedicated to her family - and Rogan. There are a lot of conversations about how Nevada has problems with Rogan's attitude and approach while they work together to save Houston from a rampaging pyrokenetic. Rogan challenges Nevada's point of view on many of those moral stances, and so we learn even more about Nevada's history and civic evolution.
The problem is that Andrews added a sexual attraction to the partnership, and corrupted this conflict of morality and approach with an entirely unnecessary conflict of willpower over sexual desire. They've taken the Kate Daniels fight with Curran Lennart to a whole new level, and cut any playfulness or equality out of it.
Nevada sees Rogan kill, torture, and destroy swaths of Houston. She suffers at his hands to the point of becoming a human Taser and using that power on him. And she still can't keep her hands off of him?
I hate to think that the Andrews team is so disconnected from current social trends and conversations as this, but here it is in print. Nevada - even suffering from the throes of mighty passionate kissing - turns Rogan down. Repeatedly. Once with a Taser. So now, in black and white at the end of the book, Nevada is a prize to be won. And I quote: "... [saving his city] was his first goal. As to his second... He wanted Nevada Baylor. He wanted her more than he had wanted anyone in a long, long time, and he would get her. She just didn't know it yet."
The idea that "getting" a woman is an acceptable personal goal is no longer ok to me. The idea that women are prizes to be won by overwhelming power, manipulation, and shallow efforts of finance is not only out of date, it's offensive. This book is at least a decade too late in its social reflection, and a painful corruption of what could have been another set of strong and conflicting characters.
I published this review on Amazon as soon as I read the book. It immediately got a "this was helpful" vote from a shopper. One vote to the positive is one person who understood me. Whether that person buys the book is irrelevant to me. What is relevant is that the person was educated in his/her choice. My voice was heard. ...more
This is totally outside of my usual fantasy and science fiction. I read it because I heard about it from a friend who usually has good recommendationsThis is totally outside of my usual fantasy and science fiction. I read it because I heard about it from a friend who usually has good recommendations. And it was good! I enjoyed the three layers of time and the constant changing of perspective around the family history. I recommend it as a warm, funny, introspective, and sometimes painful story about a family, a math problem, and a community as quirky as it is international....more
I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend the money on a hardback that was half stories I had already read. I'm glad I did. Among the important stories insid I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend the money on a hardback that was half stories I had already read. I'm glad I did. Among the important stories inside the timeline were: how Samuel and Ariana met and the Silver Borne was created, how David Christiansen reconciled with what was left of his family, and how Ben lost his bitter edge. There were two "out takes" from the novels as well as a sweet story about Asil in modern day. I admit that the Asil story made me a bit misty-eyed.
I don't recommend this book to people who haven't read ALL of the Mercy Thompson books and at least the first Alpha and Omega book. If you're up to date and want more in bite-sized pieces, then definitely pick this one up....more
Clarise, eldest princess of Swansgaard, decides to go adventuring to discover her fortune. She disguises herself as a gentleman of fortune and ends upClarise, eldest princess of Swansgaard, decides to go adventuring to discover her fortune. She disguises herself as a gentleman of fortune and ends up on the Asesino. This ship of dubious captaincy - but with a stellar and naive young navigator - is headed for the new world, supposedly. But the slovenly captain and his heavy-fisted first mate drive the crew to mutiny, ending up with the young navigator voted in as pirate captain. Then they discover that the ship was never meant to make land in the new world.
This is a Lackey book built from the lighthearted side of her craft.Though, with that description, I have to be willing to accept about one hundred nameless deaths and about a dozen named ones. I regretted the killing off of a few of the characters, but thankfully Lackey didn't dwell on their deaths or their loss to the rest of the crew.
This book has a typical Lackey smattering of good banter, fast fighting, quick and entertaining characterizations. It is a story that hangs as much on the characters as on any plot-craft. There was one plot twist at the end that I really didn't see coming until two pages before, which was fun in a book that almost rode on rails.
I picked up this book for airplane reading. I recommend it to someone looking for beach-bag books if your taste runs to swashbuckling fantasy of predictable lines. It was cute, fast, and obvious.
Note that, while it is labeled for the giveawaybox, I may very well pick up the next one. I like candy too....more
If you don't remember Cast in Ruin and also Cast in Sorrow, go back and read those two or you will be completely lost this time around. In complete co If you don't remember Cast in Ruin and also Cast in Sorrow, go back and read those two or you will be completely lost this time around. In complete contrast to the slog that was Cast in Silence, this story doesn't wait for you to catch up.
Kaylin is back from the West March and still needs a new apartment, so she tries to go apartment hunting. Her roommate doesn't make such an endeavor an easy or even possible task. Then Evanton offers a possible address, and Kaylin gets to use all of what she has learned from Tara and the Hallionne to explain to yet another sentient building what home really means in mortal minds. In the meantime, one of Teela's childhood friends wakes both Castle Nightshade and the ancestors who live in it, pisses off the water elemental, and causes a pack of Ferals to roam directly into the city.
This story ranks about in the middle of the best/worst rankings. It had more of Kaylin's deliberate refusal of power, and more of her "you don't understand mortals" lectures. It also had more of my favorite secondary characters (though never enough).
I bought the book to redeem the last two. I recommend it only to people following the whole series....more
It was good. It had the humor, action, pathos, angst, and swirl that I expect from this series. The escalation of violence was ok, but the named-bodyIt was good. It had the humor, action, pathos, angst, and swirl that I expect from this series. The escalation of violence was ok, but the named-body count got a little high for less reason than I think was justified....more
A stereotypically rebellious modern vampire (who is avoiding nightmares about a trope-humoring-horrible fight with the usual bad guys) runs a stereotyA stereotypically rebellious modern vampire (who is avoiding nightmares about a trope-humoring-horrible fight with the usual bad guys) runs a stereotypically outré bookstore in a college town with her trope-requisite loyal-and-mouthy human sidekick. Their quiet life is interrupted when a set of bad guys chases a spunky loner girl into the house of a formerly active, all-knowing professor...
Yeah. It was a book of grafted characters and tropes, all of which I've read before. In the end, this book spent so much time establishing far to many characters' backstoies and motivations that the plot got squashed flat and kicked aside. The most interesting characters were the succubi, but they weren't given enough screen time.
Roy is a reasonable author, and has some talent for dialog. So if I hadn't already read so many books with the same setup, I would probably have enjoyed this book more. I wish she had picked a slightly less generic plot through which to channel her talent. If I see another book with her name on it, I will probably try it out just to see if she gets tighter and stronger in her storytelling.
I got this in a box of beach bag books. I really can't recommend it on its own, but only as a gateway to a new series...more
This is Little Red Riding Hood all grown up, hunting werewolves and vampires across middle Europe. It was predictable and formulaic in the series requThis is Little Red Riding Hood all grown up, hunting werewolves and vampires across middle Europe. It was predictable and formulaic in the series requirements. The male characters were actually more fun than I expected.
Not the best, by far not the worst. Just brain candy....more