I first picked up this book because Seanan McGuire happens to be a personal friend of mine, and I wanted to be supportive of her then-nascent career aI first picked up this book because Seanan McGuire happens to be a personal friend of mine, and I wanted to be supportive of her then-nascent career as a professional author. Then I read it cover to cover in one sitting, because it was just so gods-damned, can't-put-it-down good. This was no halting, inexperienced first-timer's effort; had I not known better, I would have sworn the woman had been writing fiction professionally for years.
Urban fantasy isn't usually my thing...or so I believed before reading this. But I was won over by Seanan's trademark snarky, quirky, pop-culture-reference-laden humor; the inspired (if not terribly original) conceit of a magical, fantastic-creature-filled world hidden inside the mundane world we all know; and the characters, starting with October "Toby" Daye herself, who hits me squarely in my long-standing funny/kick-ass heroine addiction. The plotting is clever and the action is almost non-stop, the dialogue crackles like Joss Whedon at his best, both the fae worldbuilding and the descriptions of San Francisco and environs are amazingly well-researched and accurate, and the characterizations are uniformly well-drawn, fascinating and believable. I immediately started casting the movie version in my mind, which is a sure sign of a good read for me. (I see Eliza Dushku as Toby and James Marsters in Spike mode as Tybalt. What do you think?) The drama is taut and terrifying, the deaths really hurt, and both Toby and Tybalt grow and change as they move from frenemies to lovers to engaged couple while fighting for their lives every step of the way.
Since then, I've devoured every new Toby adventure Seanan has seen fit to grace us with, and been enormously thankful that enough others seem to agree with my admittedly-biased opinion of the series to buy the books and keep them coming. Along the way, I've had the pleasure of seeing my dear friend pick up not one, but TWO Hugo Awards; start a second writing career under a pseudonym (Mira Grant) and do just as well with that, plus a third series under her own name (the InCryptid books, including DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON and MIDNIGHT BLUE-LIGHT SPECIAL); and move from strength to strength, all while still keeping up her sideline as a convention panelist/guest of honor and her hobby as a gifted singer/songwriter and recording artist/performer of filk music, winning awards for that as well. Honestly, this woman has more separate talents than any one person should be allowed by law....and I get to be among the lucky few who can say, "We knew her when."
I gladly and whole-heartedly recommend this book, and the entire series...and I could still do so even if I didn't know Seanan from Adam's off ox, which should tell you something about how good it is. Each book is self-contained enough that you don't need to have read any of the others to enjoy it (though it surely enhances your enjoyment if you have), but linked enough to the rest that you can see the growth of the characters happen and it all hangs together. If you like urban fantasy and magic; if you're a fan of Buffy, Faith, Xena, Katniss and the rest of the butt-kicking super-sorority; if you're versed in ancient folklore, myths and fairy tales; or if you just like a cracking good mystery or drama or love story, you'll read the ever-loving daylights out of these books...and want to re-read them, again and again and again....more
Bought this direct from the author himself at Loncon 3 (the 2014 World SF Convention) in London, UK and ended up devouring both it and its predecessorBought this direct from the author himself at Loncon 3 (the 2014 World SF Convention) in London, UK and ended up devouring both it and its predecessor volume. A delightful sendup of the conventions of super-hero comics (particularly their treatment of women) while also providing cracking good drama and characters. Looking forward to more in this series....more
I should probably preface this with two disclaimers: 1) I have not read Mr. Moore's earlier autobiography, My Word Is My Bond, so anything in this booI should probably preface this with two disclaimers: 1) I have not read Mr. Moore's earlier autobiography, My Word Is My Bond, so anything in this book other reviewers found too familiar from that book is new to me; and 2) of all the men who have portrayed Agent 007 on the big screen, he is probably my favorite (with the possible exception of Pierce Brosnan, who a) looks more like Sir Ian's description of Bond and b) I have fond memories of from his TV series Remington Steele). Not to take anything away from Sean Connery or the others, but Sean's time was largely over with before I was really old enough to appreciate the series, whereas Sir Roger was more contemporary to my adolescence and so it could be said he was really my first Bond. (As with the Doctors in Doctor Who, another British cultural icon, you never forget your first...)
All of this said, I found this book quite entertaining and could hear Sir Roger's droll baritone in my head as I read the text. He has a marvelously dry, self-deprecating sense of humor, a becoming modesty about himself and a willingness not to take it all too seriously which makes all the background material on the Bond films and the people who made them more entertaining. I also found much new (to me, anyhow) material in both text and images from half a century's worth of Bond studio photos and memorabilia that made this book worth buying (especially as I found it in the bargain bin at a local store)...and I already have Dorling Kindersley's excellent 50th-anniversary book on the franchise.
I was also interested to learn that Sir Roger was among the early supporters of Daniel Craig being chosen to succeed Brosnan; I was among those who considered Dan "too short and too blond" for the part. Had I known of this, I might have given him more of a chance early on; as it is, I found Craig's two first outings diverting enough, though I missed some of the familiar trappings and lighter tone of the earlier films. Altogether, I can easily endorse Bond on Bond as a worthy addition to any 007 fan's library, whether or not they also own any others....more