The amusement factor of this book is so high that I have actually purchased it 5 times... and that's not counting the times I've specifically purchaseThe amusement factor of this book is so high that I have actually purchased it 5 times... and that's not counting the times I've specifically purchased it as a gift. I loan books, and I always seem to want to read it again when it's not on the shelf anymore.
Harry Dresden is a believable, internally consistent, geeky, self-depreciating wizard who has set up shop in modern-day Chicago. He even has an advert in the phone book. His life is hard because he cares. He cares about people he knows, he cares about people he doesn't know, he cares about fairness and he cares about animals. He is completely willing to step between people (or puppies, but that's another story) and the things that go bump in the night.
And that's when all the fun begins.
Things do go bump in the night. And have their hearts explode in the night. And it's obviously magic, so the cops (in the form of tiny-but-fierce Lt. Murphy) show up and ask Harry to explain how it was done. Of course at that point, Harry is caught between the rock (paycheck, and the need to pay rent and eat) and the hard place (laws of magic, and the breaking thereof, and death threats). Hijinks ensue, and much fun is had, at least by the reader.
This book is (to me) inherently part of the larger series, but it can stand alone. ...more
**spoiler alert** This book started off in a very distant way; Brynna has escaped from Hell and made her way to Earth to try to redeem herself and reg**spoiler alert** This book started off in a very distant way; Brynna has escaped from Hell and made her way to Earth to try to redeem herself and regain her status as a Highborn (an angel). Her mindset is so foreign to humanity that it was very hard to initially empathize with her.
This quickly becomes an emotional connection; Brynna is so out of place and both strong and vulnerable at the same time that she becomes oddly accessible. She doesn't know the simplest things about herself, surprising herself when choosing a name. As the story progresses, she has moment of disconnect over the modern world; some of which she's never known (driving) and some of which she's forgotten (sleeping/eating). She relies heavily on the kindness of strangers, but holds mental debates with herself over what she can give back and how much she can risk of her own freedom, maintaining a fragile balance between accepting friendship and keeping her cover as a human.
Ms. Yavarro does a marvelous job weaving together an exceptionally strong character in Brynna with the brutally broken pain of an angel fallen but yearning for redemption. She manages to respect real world lore and injects enough religious background to make Brynna and her opponents real without being either preachy or condescending in any way. Brynna's struggle is both epic and personal, bringing demons and angels into the grit of subsistence living.
I found the imagery of Brynna's remaining feather both sad and beautiful, and look forward to reading further stories in this series....more
I first read Faith Hunter's Rouge Mage series, and loved it... but for some reason I didn't pick up the Jane Yellowrock books. Perhaps it was the precI first read Faith Hunter's Rouge Mage series, and loved it... but for some reason I didn't pick up the Jane Yellowrock books. Perhaps it was the preconceptions of "skinwalker" being Bad Things, or having read too many paranormal romance novels disguised as Urban Fantasy with shifter-type characters and not being in the mood to risk it. But, while looking for something new to read and wanting a comfort-author to go with my NyQuil and Tea, I picked up Skinwalker. After devouring it, I went back and picked up the others in the series and couldn't stop reading until I got to the end of Raven Cursed.
This book is amazing; Jane is both strong and human while being fully other. Her relationships, especially with Beast and Molly, are complex and central to the story without overwhelming the plot. The secondary characters, especially Katie and her Ladies, are fleshed out without excessive sidelining. The writing is strong and accessible without talking down to the reader, and the setting is so real I mourned the lack of chicory coffee in New England.
At no point did I feel bored or like I knew what was going to happen. The final showdown between Jane/Beast and the rogue had me tense and fully engaged, despite the meta-knowledge that with 3 more books (soon to be 4) in the series, Jane had to win.
A complex and satisfying book, I highly recommend this for both urban fantasy and were-creature fans....more
First off, let me state that I adored this book. I usually don't like "destined mates" books because they leave me wondering why the heroine didn't knFirst off, let me state that I adored this book. I usually don't like "destined mates" books because they leave me wondering why the heroine didn't knife the overbearing lout who is stealing her from her life. This time, I get it - she's been in love with him on some level for her entire life, and she's an empath (even if she won't believe it).
Ellie is my favorite kind of heroine. A fallible character who grows in ways that don't toss believability out the door, and who slowly grows into her strengths with lots of backsliding along the way. She's not "strong" because of her insecurities, she's strong in spite of them. She's not all powerful and ready to take over the world, she's scared of her strength and dealing with her family as a girl whose never expected all this craziness might deal. Her mistakes are honest, even the really horrid one.
Rain is a little less human... but he's a shapeshifting fae. Thank goodness he's not human. Nothing ticks me off more than an old immortal with the attitudes of a modern 20 year old. Rain is old. He feels old like someone taken out of their own time might feel. He has issues, and he admits them. He tries to protect Ellie, both because of their individual societal expectations, and because he has baggage. And he's a giant saber-tooth cat with wings that breaths fire and takes Ellie flying. Hot damn, sign me up. :)
This book is fantasy. Sure there's this huge relationship happening, but it's about the world; the things around the characters aren't effecting their relationship because the relationship is all there is, they are effecting the relationship because it's happening inside a plot. There is sex, but it's neither graphic nor physical. The sweetness and slow growth of the relationship may annoy readers who have become accustomed to immediate gratification romance, but I found it realistic for the levels of trust in the relationship and the backgrounds of both characters. (See not always liking "destined mates" above).
Overall, I think this is an excellent first book - I immediately went and got the second in the series, and am looking forward to it greatly....more
I started this book a little concerned that the whole "competition" theme would feel old, having been done before in this series, but the escalationsI started this book a little concerned that the whole "competition" theme would feel old, having been done before in this series, but the escalations of this book were very different, and even with the competition game aspect the book seemed fresh and new. Like all the other Eve Dallas books, this one has great interactions with Eve's slowly (?) expanding circle of important-to-her people.
The continued growth of characters (Especially Peabody) brings a great feeling on continuation, and the frustration that could be present when Eve knows who the bad guys are but can't prove it yet lends a certain immediacy to her having to work inside her own system.
Another fabulous installment from Ms. Sagara. I want to discuss the plot and the developments in both Kaylin's past and future, but I think I need toAnother fabulous installment from Ms. Sagara. I want to discuss the plot and the developments in both Kaylin's past and future, but I think I need to read it again (and again and...) first....more