It is really hard to do something completely fresh and original in fantasy for me these days. I have been readingoriginally posted at www.csdaley.com
It is really hard to do something completely fresh and original in fantasy for me these days. I have been reading fantasy for a long time. I read a lot of books. So when something jumps out at me as different I tend to take notice. Three Parts Dead is different. While on its surface it is an Urban Fantasy set in a world that looks a little like ours. Underneath it is a mash up of many different genres. By many different genres I am not frakking around. There is a bang up legal procedure that culminates in one of the most interesting court room dramas I have ever read.
I am not even sure I know how to describe this book. The main story revolves around the murder of a god and a young lawyer's search for justice. There are gargoyles and vampires and magic (called the craft). The story is gritty and reads like a great mystery novel. The world building is fantastic and the characters pop off the page. I was a little sad to find out that this is a series that will not center around any one character, although I am hopeful that we will see a few of our favorites from book to book.
The writing is smooth and moves at a brisk pace. I like how Gladstone gives us a little bit of the world. Lets our assumptions take hold and then blows it up and goes somewhere surprising. The book had me constantly wondering where it was going next. It is a pretty rare book that does this to me. I don't think I have read a more enjoyable book this last year. When I finished it was everything I could do to delay gratification and not jump into the next book. Three Parts Dead will keep you reading and smiling. You will love the world and how Gladstone peels it back a little at a time. I love that the book ends. Fantasy has become dominated by massive series. It was refreshing to get to the end of the novel and have a conclusion. Gladstone lets his writing and his world draw you into the series. Go buy this book right now and prepare to be entertained. ...more
Dave Hooper is having a very bad day. Mind you, not as bad as his fellow co-workers who are just going about theirOriginally posted on www.csdaley.com
Dave Hooper is having a very bad day. Mind you, not as bad as his fellow co-workers who are just going about their business of drilling oil out of the Gulf of Mexico when some nasty creatures crawled through a portal and ate them for lunch. Not just ate them but gorged on them. Ripping them apart in some sort of zombies would run in horror buffet. Dave wanders into the horror show and suddenly fines himself the unwanted hero cleaving beasties in half and generally making himself a giant pain in the ass.
This is the type of book I should have loved. Eaten up like popcorn and gone back begging for refills. The monsters were nasty and horrific. Dave is a smart ass and it is quite possible that I might have a few things in common with smart asses. He uses a splitting maul as his main form of dismembering the monsters from below. He names it Lucille (that is full of win). There are nasty ninja like creatures called Sliveen trying to end Dave. I loved the Sliveen. They were my single favorite creature in the book. Lots of action. Tons of horror. Boatloads of gore.
Despite all this, I didn't love the book. I liked it. I finished it. I wasn't tempted to put it aside. I just didn't love it. I had two main problems. I really didn't like Dave that much. Don't get me wrong. I don't have to like main characters to enjoy a book, but for some reason Dave really annoyed me. I feel like Birmingham was going for a slightly unlikable hero who would morph into something more. It just didn't really click for me. The second problem I had was I was not a giant fan of Birmingham's writing style. It didn't flow real smoothly in parts. The books pacing felt off. The first half of the book dragged in places but would then be punctuated by some great action scenes. It didn't stop me from reading but I didn't fly through it like I do with a book that completely captures me.
Now, the things Birmingham did that I liked. He can flat out write action and the last 25% of the book is a giant roller coaster ride of action. The monsters were great and I even liked the sections written from their point of view. I loved a lot of the supporting characters and I thought the plot was a fun one.
If you are already a fan of Birmingham this book is going to be a treat for you. If you like action packed monster movies (which was especially true of the 2nd half of this book) than enjoy the brain candy.
I am fairly certain this book will not be for everyone. The language can get crude and it reads like a summer blockbuster in some place (in particular it hammered some of the normal cliches you get in those blockbusters). However, if a quick read summer blockbuster is what you are looking for than buckle up it's going to be an explosive ride.
------ Review copy provided by Random House Publishing Group - Del Rey Spectra...more
I should buy myself a rubber stamp with the word sucker on it. This way when I am looking at new books andPosted originally on my blog www.csdaley.com
I should buy myself a rubber stamp with the word sucker on it. This way when I am looking at new books and say the words, urban fantasy, heist, alternate history, genre blending, fantasy, I can just stamp my head sucker and buy it. I don't even really know how to begin describing California Bones. At its heart it is an urban fantasy set in a Los Angeles dominated by magic and canals (you read that right, canals. It is one of my favorite parts of the book). Ruled by a nasty piece of work called the Hierarch. Calling him a brutal, tyrant of a dictator is probably too nice of a selection of words.
The magic is where the fun starts. You see bones make the magic system do its rounds. Any kind of bones; human, animal, fossils. Eekhout does a great job of building the magic system which is good because it is central to the plot. It seems the Hierarch likes to cleanse his Southern California nation of potential rivals and powerful Osteomancers (bone magicians).
This is the leaping off point where we meet young Daniel and his family. They are caught up in one of the cleansings and Daniel escapes into the city where he becomes a brilliant thief. Fast forward a few years and we get to the meat of the story. Someone hires Daniel and his crew to break into the Hierarch's fortress.
That's about as much of the plot as I want to give away. The joy of this book is the discovery. Eekhout does a bang up job of world building. Giving you just enough of a familiar Los Angeles to keep you guessing what surprise will come next and there are plenty of them. The book is relentless. It plows forward and barely gives you a chance to breath. Lots of action, magic, and suspense with a dash of dark grittiness thrown in for good measure.
California Bones is one of the best times I have had reading a book this year. I curled up in my reading chair yesterday and plowed through it. It is a book that is hard to put down. So hard in fact dinner was a little late. I needed to know how it finished up. The best news of all is that it is book one of a planned trilogy and book two Pacific Fire is already out. I know what I will be reading this week. Pick it up and set aside a few hours. You won't regret it. ...more
I have been waiting to read this until I new the next two books were going to be released in the U.S. Now I wish I had waited until they were all releI have been waiting to read this until I new the next two books were going to be released in the U.S. Now I wish I had waited until they were all released because waiting to see how the story is going to end is going to drive me crazy. A great mix of thriller, police procedural, and horror. Read it on a dark and rainy night. ...more
One of the things I have most loved in recent years is the absolute explosion of books getting published that expeOriginally posted at www.csdaley.com
One of the things I have most loved in recent years is the absolute explosion of books getting published that experiment with mixing genre. London Falling at its heart is a police procedural. A good old fashion cop story where our heroes painstakingly work through the clues left behind to catch a serial killer. It is a giant part of the story. It's just that the serial killer may or may not be a supernatural being sacrificing children to fuel her hatred for the London leaders who wronged her.
The book is full of everything I love in a paranormal, urban fantasy, police procedural. We have ghosts, talking severed heads, and one fairly useless cat. It was like reading a John Constantine Hellblazer comic in novel form. The book was full of creepy. It was also full of flawed police officers doing their best to understand a world that has suddenly gone wrong. Throwing out what they know and trusting in their instincts to get them through the horror of what they don't know. I absolutely loved them and when the book ended I knew I would be back for more.
Cornell takes his time in this story and it works very well. The mystery unfolds a little at a time. We get to experience the weirdness right along with the heroes. Take our best guesses and watch where Cornell decides to lead us. The tension builds all the way through the story with the pace gradually increasing until the break neck and explosive finish. The world building was top notch. Giving us a London we both knew and didn't all in one go. If you're a fan of urban fantasy and police procedural than don't miss this one. I mean you can't go wrong with talking severed heads. ...more
I always find it a little interesting which books grab the public eye and explode and which do not. This book was fantastic. Far better than any of thI always find it a little interesting which books grab the public eye and explode and which do not. This book was fantastic. Far better than any of the Sookie books. Yet Harris' series has exploded into the bestseller list. If you like vampires than do not skip reading this book....more