This most recent Markhat installment is definitely my favorite (so far). Markhat has always shown ingenuity and brains and compassion, but with this s...moreThis most recent Markhat installment is definitely my favorite (so far). Markhat has always shown ingenuity and brains and compassion, but with this story he went just a little further and opened himself up more. I always found him interesting and wanted to see what would happen with him next; this story made me start to CARE about him, and trust that he will do right for more than just his clients. I hope there are more Markhat stories in my future, and soon!(less)
I don't think this is the BEST Markhat story, but it's well over a solid 4 stars, and definitely essential to any continuity going forward. I recommen...moreI don't think this is the BEST Markhat story, but it's well over a solid 4 stars, and definitely essential to any continuity going forward. I recommend this series to everyone I know who reads, and I wouldn't dream of allowing them to skip this part.(less)
This is a collection of short stories about a wizard named Wistril. His roundabout way of solving problems reminds me very much of Piers Anthony stori...moreThis is a collection of short stories about a wizard named Wistril. His roundabout way of solving problems reminds me very much of Piers Anthony stories in the Xanth vein. Very enjoyable! I hope Mr. Tuttle writes some more, one of these days!
This collection is another solid 4.5 - 4.75. I wish there were 10 stars so there was more give in the ratings.(less)
I feel bad giving these stories 4 stars. They are solid 4.5 material, and it's only because I've started strictly enforcing my own private "5 star" ru...moreI feel bad giving these stories 4 stars. They are solid 4.5 material, and it's only because I've started strictly enforcing my own private "5 star" rule that I don't go ahead and bump them up. I LOVE these stories and this author. The material is fresh and fun, despite being a tad dark. Definitely not the sort of thing you run into every day.(less)
Ok, well, really they're novellas. And SO much fun. A fantastic cross between fantasy and hardboiled dete...moreHow did I forget to review the Markhat books?
Ok, well, really they're novellas. And SO much fun. A fantastic cross between fantasy and hardboiled detective stories. I know a lot of people complain/comment on the lack of worldbuilding. I kind of like it because you get a little more with each installment. For the stories being told, anything more than what's given would be overly obvious exposition. And since the stories are told from Markhat's POV, that just wouldn't fit at ALL.
It's hard to review more specifically without giving away the plot. If you like fantasy stories and/or mysteries told with clever writing from the perspective of a smart-ass hero, this is the place to start (literally - this is the first Markhat story)! Again, this (as with all the Markhat tales) is a novella, and will only take a few hours to read. But you'll be wanting more when you finish!(less)
This book IS dark, but (as someone with a low tolerance for reading about suffering) it's worth it, thanks to the brilliance of the story and the writ...moreThis book IS dark, but (as someone with a low tolerance for reading about suffering) it's worth it, thanks to the brilliance of the story and the writing. I'm so glad it's on Kindle now, and can only hope the publisher(s) listen and put Only Forward and One Of Us out on the Kindle format too. MMS writing sci-fi ("speculative fiction") is one of the most inspired authors I know of. His thrillers as Michael Marshall leave a lot to be desired, but this book and the other two I mentioned (plus his shorts) more than cancel out his lesser works. This will be on my "re-read every few years" list for the rest of my life.(less)
**spoiler alert** I'll confess that this is another "review of a series" posted for one book in the series. When I find a series I enjoy, I tend to de...more**spoiler alert** I'll confess that this is another "review of a series" posted for one book in the series. When I find a series I enjoy, I tend to devour the books one after the other, with no stops for thinking or catching my breath.
I do enjoy this series and this universe, but with a big caveat: I can barely stand Lily, and only like Rule a hair more.
My main complaint is that Lily isn't the sharpest crayon in the box. I was given the impression in the first couple books that she is supposed to be bright and a good detective. Either her POV is too pervasive, the author herself isn't particularly bright, or the author doesn't have enough faith in the intelligence of her readers. Lily manages to miss things that are made glaringly obvious, she forgets things that are mentioned repeatedly, and (the worst sin for me, as the one who suffers through her "process") she is incapable of making deductive or intuitive connections. I think we, as readers, are supposed to think her tendency to ask a million questions somehow proves her smarts. In fact, it does the opposite.
"So Rule, you're saying that rectangles are four-sided objects with four right angles?"
"Yes, nadia. And squares are four-sided objects with four right angles, in which all four sides are equal in length. The Lady had made this known to us for centuries."
"I may or may not believe in her, I haven't decided. I have another question!"
Rule, chuckling, "Of course you do, my dear. What is it? If I don't get too distracted, I might give you an answer in the next 3 months."
"Are all squares rectangles? I mean, both shapes are supposed to have four sides and four right angles."
"Yes, you are correct. My Chosen truly has been gifted with the ability to re-state the obvious which has been laid plainly before her!"
"But Rule, I have another question! And this might be the key to everything! Are all rectangles squares??? It seems like they should be, but what's up with those potentially non-equal sides? Is SHE behind them? Is it another plot?"
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...
And that being said, I DO love this universe. I love most of the ideas behind it. I love Gan (more Gan!!!) and Cullen and Benedict and Cynna and pretty much everyone EXCEPT Lily and Rule. At least her grandmother admits to being a terrible mother-in-law. When will Lily get with the program? And when will Rule stop being a jerk and finally do right by the clan he *decided* to take (and kill the former Rho to do so, in order to save his child)? Yes, he has/had obligations to Nokolai. Those are sooooo secondary to the immediate needs of Leidolf, who have no other option but him. He goes there one week a month (or whatever ridiculous amount of time it was)??? Unacceptable. I expected better of him.
I'm griping about this stuff mainly because it is all that serves to add to the drama/tension/suspense of this book (a Lupus attacks women and they're stumped for HOW much of the book?). It smacks of laziness or - again - the author's notion that the readers are so stupid we won't be going crazy screaming at the thick-headed idiocy within the first quarter of the book.
I will keep reading, especially after the bombshell ending of this last book. I loved it because I was surprised, but in retrospect have become increasingly disenchanted with the notion. What rhej *doesn't* prepare her clan for the potential prophecy fulfillment when news of Cullen's existence and "talents" becomes known? A bad one. I'm increasingly worried that this series is being authored by a rhej who is derelict in her duties.(less)
I read these books out of order, but it didn't matter. Carla Kelly is one of those amazing rare finds who treats her readers as if they have brains, a...moreI read these books out of order, but it didn't matter. Carla Kelly is one of those amazing rare finds who treats her readers as if they have brains, and gives us beautiful stories populated by wonderful people who we end up wishing (or pretending) were real.
I wish I wasn't making this review a condensation of all her books, but I am a lazy reader/reviewer. Suffice it to say that ALL the books I've been able to get on my kindle by this author have been AMAZING. And I will keep looking, for older publications and for anything new she may write. Carla Kelly is officially on my perpetual "watch list", and anyone who loves a beautiful, REAL love story with wonderful characters, would be well advised to add her to his/her own.(less)
Why does Goodreads not have a "Did Not Finish"/"Will Not Finish" shelf? Because that's where I'd put this one (so I added one of my own, but they stil...moreWhy does Goodreads not have a "Did Not Finish"/"Will Not Finish" shelf? Because that's where I'd put this one (so I added one of my own, but they still made me choose one of the pre-sets). I bought it on my sister's recommendation, and she later apologized for not updating her rec. I thought maybe she was punishing me for procrastinating on finishing a different series that we're both into.
But I digress. I don't often/always review books, but in this case I feel like I have to. This is complete and utter dreck. I have run into Ye Olde "too stupid to live" heroine in the past, and either suffered through her or put her story aside. Not only is this heroine lacking in intelligence, but she is also ridiculously lacking in self-esteem. EVERY time a male interest of hers says two words to her best friend, she freaks out and assumes he's into the friend, and runs outside to pout and wallow. It. Gets. OLD.
There are so many other problems with this book, but these were the ones that made me abandon it. Maybe I'm spoiled, but I prefer characters with a couple thoughts in their heads and at least a tingle of stiffness in their spines. The universe presented was promising, but I just couldn't wade through the idiocy to get to it. Sadly.
I feel I should say this: I DID make it more than halfway through. Probably a lot further, but I bought it for my kindle and deleted it in disgust, so I can't pinpoint where/when I gave up.
My poor review isn't sex-related (I loooooove good sex in a book!) or some other moral issue. Unless you count wanting decent characters as moral stand. Again, I've let that slide in the past, but it's not like the author lets us get to know any other characters here. We're stuck with Jolie the Idiot and Her Amazing Circus of Self-Loathing. No thank you.(less)