This review originally appeared on seriestracker.wordpress.com Thanks netgalley for letting me read it.
A book, a blurb and a victim. The book: Don't reThis review originally appeared on seriestracker.wordpress.com Thanks netgalley for letting me read it.
A book, a blurb and a victim. The book: Don't really need to tell you, if you are reading this. The blurb: See the first comment. The victim: Me.
BUT… it’s ok. Because while I was suckered by the blurb and requested the book because of it, while it was so very different than what I expected, it is ok. Because I really enjoyed it! I won’t bother with a synopsis, because, well, the blurb. But, I will say that I expected some paranormal romance it was more like Tom Clancy or Brad Meltzer meets, well anyone that I read that is paranormal but working the Devil/fallen angel angle (like Larissa Ione’s Demonica), but minus any of the sex.
What I mean is that this is a plot driven story, with a number of threads of the plot all scattered, but coming together. It is fairly easy to find the common thread of an object from the pawn shop for most of the folks involved, there are places where the link is tenuous at first. And there are a lot of plot threads to keep track of to get to the whole story.
I am pleased that this seems to be the start of a series, since when I realized I was at the end of the book I was disappointed that it ended and it felt like there was still so much story left to tell, with respect to a number of the individual threads, and with respect to the entire tapestry as well. I don’t know how many installments are planned, but I think it will be wonderful to read more of this world.
The world building was decent, decent enough to make sure I wasn’t more confused than I think the author intended (for which side is Nathaniel really on?). And the character development was enough, especially with the player’s in the Devil’s game, that I felt like I really wanted to know where the story was going to take them. There was action, and some romance (although not as much as I expected from the blurb) and definitely paranormal workings. The idea of a pawn shop selling talismans that have actual powers is a pretty cool idea too, that leaves room for so many things.
So, the real issue is that I expected more JR Ward – Black Dagger Brotherhood, Larissa Ione – Demonica, you name the author – sexy paranormal book title here! But got some woo’ing of Lucinda by a super religious guy who wouldn’t mess around (no judgment, that’s ok with me, just not what I expected) with her casually. And a pervert who pretended to be someone else to try to get into Lucinda’s pants, plus a succubus who implied she was getting action, but there was no page time for any of it. Again, that’s ok – I read plenty like that, but with the emphasis on Lucinda’s love for a man her father can’t control, that isn’t where my brain was expecting to go.
So, kudos on the story – I thought it was a unique and fresh take on this aspect of paranormal, maybe I’ve now even been introduced to a new little sub-genre that I wasn’t aware of. I look forward to reading more. I would just like to have my expectations properly set by the book blurb with the next installment. Sometimes the blurbs set things up for disappointment, here it didn’t, but improper blurb writing runs the risk of leaving unhappy victims behind. And this was a good enough book, I would hate to see it fall prey to that....more
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg was an unexpected delight! Once I started reading, I could hardly put it down. It was like eating theMagic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg was an unexpected delight! Once I started reading, I could hardly put it down. It was like eating the perfect piece of chocolate cake, eager for the next bite and disappointed when you look down and the plate is clean with no more to eat.
This is the story of a young lady without a memory beyond the last few years, who manages to bake sweet treats which are, somehow, magically infused with different emotions or things like luck. One day, her village is attacked by some marauders and while she survives, she is kidnapped and sold into slavery. A mysterious man, not completely right in the head buys her and forces her to use her magic to make them money for different customers. But there is a mysterious being who visits her - he is like a ghost or a spirit - and he wants her to get her memory back.
The creativity, both in the acts of the characters, and in the author's plot and execution, is on full display. While there was very little that was truly happy about this story, it was original and well crafted. I found it nearly impossible to put down. There was such a lovely mix of a few fairy tales (in their own way) and the new story here. From the allusions to the story of Hansel and Gretel, to Alice in Wonderland, there was whimsy in the misery. It was such an interesting juxtaposition, even knowing that whimsy was rooted in misery and had what were really in some cases evil purposes. Seeing the power of naming something is typically reserved for books dealing with Fairies, but here it had entirely different, even though ultimately sad, purposes. It was also a great surprise to see the direction the story ended up taking.
I particularly enjoyed reading the scenes where Maire is baking. Seeing her work, and then learning how her magic worked, was so interesting and unique. Like the range of treats she baked, I was filled with a range of emotions while reading the story, with all its twists and turns. Sadness, fear, hope, love, all seem to have their moment for Maire and the reader. The only ingredient missing? A way for me to see that a sequel would be possible that wouldn't distort the original story too much. Either way, I now need to see what else there is to read by this author. Hopefully, her other stuff is just as delicious!...more