Ah, politics. It's pretty blood-thirsty business. Now imagine it in a corrupt city where vote buying is allowed, and campaigns are only one day.
Hawk a...moreAh, politics. It's pretty blood-thirsty business. Now imagine it in a corrupt city where vote buying is allowed, and campaigns are only one day.
Hawk and Fisher are assigned to protect a Reform party candidate. Hawk is interested in politics, and really likes the guy. Fisher just figures they are all the same.
Throw in a wife-abusing rival, an undead sorcerer, an insane female mercenary who likes to burn things, a misogynistic warrior society and an Abominations trying to re-manifest in the physical world, and you get even more violence than the usual Haven election.
Rereading this series has been a lot of fun. And eventually I'll work my way up to the most recent book in the universe.(less)
Three books it took to get across the continent. Three books. And getting home again took one.
I've fallen behind in this series, even though I continu...moreThree books it took to get across the continent. Three books. And getting home again took one.
I've fallen behind in this series, even though I continue to buy the books in hardcover because I love the early books. I've decided that it's time to get caught up, starting with this one.
You can't really say much about the plot without spoiling earlier books. Basically, they made it to Nantucket, where the Change spread out from, find the magic sword, and now they need to head home before the Church of the Universal Truth violently take over everything. Oh yeah, and set up Rudi/Artos as the first High King of Montival
It took me a while to remind myself who the secondary characters are, and what their societies are like. On the one hand, I still shake my head over things like the Norheimers, who are all nordic, Odin-worshipers, but I kind of wonder if the event that started all this, and opened things up for the presumably supernatural thing behind the CUT, maybe made the survivors more inclined towards over-the-top religiosity of various groups.
I did enjoy the completely throw-away chapter where they travel through Toronto and decide to climb the CN Tower (and find that a woman had gone up there with her cat to commit suicide in the early days). And when they reach the prairies, I like the fact that the RCMP is still around as scouts/fighters (much like the boy scout descended group of trackers in a previous book). I could have done without the fact that French-Canadians are all barbarians (Quebequois become Bekwas). So much of the province is sparsely populated that there should have been groups like the Norheimmers and so on. But no, gruesome barbarians.
One thing that is a ding is the fact that every. single. time that Rudi draws the sword, everyone reacts. And every time he fights with it, he goes a little cold and all-knowing, and Mathilda has to drag him out of it. Once is fine, but over and over again got a little annoying.(less)
I give the story about three stars, but the format of the book adds a full star to the rating.
Amy works at Orsk, an American store chain that is an IK...moreI give the story about three stars, but the format of the book adds a full star to the rating.
Amy works at Orsk, an American store chain that is an IKEA ripoff. She's a recent transfer to the branch she currently works for, and is trying to transfer out. She's convinced that her boss, Basil, is out to fire her.
Then he pulls her into a meeting with Ruth-Anne, the most popular cashier in the store. No, they aren't being fired. Instead, they are being recruited to stay in the store overnight, because every morning there's been evidence of vandalism, and they need to figure out how before the head office closes them down.
They end up joined by Matt and Trinity, who want to film a ghost investigation show, claiming that the store is haunted. It was built on the site of a bizarre insane asylum. And then there is Carl, who claims to just be a homeless man who has been managing to live in the store.
And then the lights go out and things go very bad.
The story was a little plot by numbers, and nothing original. But it was creepy enough. What really makes the book is the IKEA catalogue style layout, with advertising copy for products that get more and more disturbing as the book progresses. And the very end did make me cringe in a good way.(less)
Sigh. This was a good book that was somewhat hobbled by the book two back in the series was covering the exact same territory. Grendel's Curse involve...moreSigh. This was a good book that was somewhat hobbled by the book two back in the series was covering the exact same territory. Grendel's Curse involved a politician finding the sword of Beowulf which drives him crazy because of something on the sword. This one involves one of the descendants of the last ruler of an independant Wales locating a supposedly magical sword that drives them crazy as well. If they'd been released a year apart instead of four months apart, this one would have stood a little better on its own.
This one also suffered from a few cases of 'acting stupid for the sake of the plot'.
Still, beyond those flaws, it was a reasonably good entry in the series. Someone is trying to find the lost 13 treasures in Wales. Roux finds out and calls in Garin and Anja (who just happens to be taking a vacation in Wales and has already stumbled across the theft of one of those treasure: a whetstone displayed in a small museum as a grinding stone). Only three of the treasures ever come into play (or are even identified): the whetstone, the sword, and a cloak of invisibility. Roux apparently was involved in hiding them (at least the sword and the mantle), and even set guardians on them.
But someone is stealing them, Roux is a little freaked out by this, and they need to find out who (plural) and what their plans are.
The plot is a little loose, and clearly the (off-screen) Welsh cops are incompetent. But if you have enough tolerance for that, it is a fun, but light, read. Not the best of the series, but far from the worst.(less)
I read the first book when it came out, and really enjoyed it, but due to various factors, it took until now to get to the second novel of the trilogy...moreI read the first book when it came out, and really enjoyed it, but due to various factors, it took until now to get to the second novel of the trilogy. But that's alright. Book two has a twenty year jump from the first book (although I better read book three faster).
At the end of the first book, which featured English warlocks vs Nazi science-created superheroes, the Soviets captured the Nazi technology. As a result, they now control pretty much all of continental Europe. England has a lot of refugees, and the US is in a decades long depression.
But now Gretl (the seer) and her brother have escaped from the Soviet outpost studying them, and they've made it to England, stirring things up all over again. Will, consumed by guilt over what he did during the war as a warlock, has been giving the Soviets the locations of the warlocks, setting them up for assassination. Marsh has become a drunk and his marriage is collapsing because of his son's... condition.
And then there is the question of the otherworldly creatures that the warlocks contact to do their work and what they really want for our world.
The story ends on a cliff-hanger, and I really look forward to finding out what happens in the end.(less)