I tried, I feel I really did. But I got to Chapter 8--page 85--and could go no further. This is an ambitious book, but the author misplaced those ambiI tried, I feel I really did. But I got to Chapter 8--page 85--and could go no further. This is an ambitious book, but the author misplaced those ambitions, putting all his toys in his world-building toybox without leaving anything for development and execution. And that's my main issue with the book, the world building: Yes, it's detailed. However, it's never fully explained. Now, I admit, I hate info dumps and it's a poor writer who uses them to explain how his or her world works. But I also hate a book where the author throws words and people and situations at you without explaining context, history, origin, or without even giving you a general understanding of what the hell is going on! I mean, yeah, it's cool to be in a world where a day is 25 hours long, or power is provided by the bones of the dead; where captive wraiths power elevators and escalators are powered by runes. But I'm the kind of reader who needs an understanding of the how and the why, a history of how a world in which humans and zombies and wraiths and mages can live side-by-side, in relative harmony, even if it's just a sentence here or a throwaway line of dialogue there. Instead, I'm left feeling more and more lost as the book continues to sink me further into this world without providing any sort of guide rope to follow. Yet, Meaney went overboard with certain scene descriptions where there was no reason or no action relevant to the plot. For example, Meaney goes into great detail concerning the main character's, Donal Riordan's, evening ritual, wherein he comes home, uses the bathroom, changes and does some stretching, goes out for a run, comes home and takes a shower, changes clothes again, goes back out, buys a book, eats, comes home, reads in bed, and falls asleep. Seriously. All that took up four pages of the book. Why? Yes, Riordan does his running in the underground tunnels of the city, which are used in a later action sequence. However, that information could've easily been introduced in a more interesting manner without all the other, extremely boring stuff that gave me no insight into Donal's character and certainly did nothing to actively advance the story.
There's a lot of imaginative stuff in this book, but it hasn't been presented well and that's where the poor execution shows: Poor character development, poor sentence construction (a lot of sentence fragments), and just a general lack of flow and easy readability. This wanted to be hard-boiled. This wanted to be the snappy, sparsely-written detective story in the vein of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, just with a few twists on the setting. It's not. Meaney confused brevity with lack, and it shows. (Meaney has the idea that if you throw in enough skulls, ouroboros images, catacombs, along with zombies, deathwolves, and other assorted ghoulies, we'll get the idea that his Tristopolis is a Gothic wonderland without him having to go to the actual effort of bringing his creation to life with history and backstory. It's like one of those Hollywood backlots, where the fronts of the buildings look all functional and fabulous, but there's nothing behind them except some 2"x 4"s propping the facades up. Not to mention everything Meaney describes is either black or purple. Now, I love me some purple, but after a while, even I got tired of hearing about the color!) And there are multiple italicized asides that simply add to the confusion as we have no idea who's speaking them, if they're indeed being spoken, or if they're internal, I'm-going-crazy-and-this-is-what-I'm-hearing whispers in Donal's head. For example, Do you hear the bones?, So beautiful..., We are the bones, We know you now. Again, there's no context, no explanation, no reason behind them other than a sense of, "Ooh, look, I'm making things spooky here, folks! This is my Gothic-detective-fantasy novel and things are getting wei-rd!"
I might not have had a problem with any of this if I could've gotten a handle on the main character, but it seemed as though every time I turned the page the man would flip his personality. Donal would threaten one character for off-the-books fudging of inventory and then turn around and do something shady and very un-cop-like the next chapter. I still don't know what Donal's motivations are, what his innate character and personality is, nothing about what drove the man to do what he did. And that fits in with the overall description for this book: It's an enigma. One I don't care about, nor was ever given a reason to care about, solving....more
*e-ARC graciously provided to me by the folks over at NetGalley*
I cannot believe how much I adore Kristen Callihan's Darkest London series and its lat*e-ARC graciously provided to me by the folks over at NetGalley*
I cannot believe how much I adore Kristen Callihan's Darkest London series and its latest entry, Moonglow. No, really, I can't. Because, you see, I don't particularly care for the PNR sub-genre, not because of the paranormal elements--actually those are what draw me. It's because, for the most part, I loathe, detest, and despise romance novels. Those romances which I do happen to read, written by authors I know and trust not to become too ridiculous, are picked out because the other story elements are stronger, as in a thriller which has some romance (such as those by Iris Johansen or Tess Gerritsen); otherwise, I avoid the genre like the plague. The only time I've ever really read "straight" romance was when I was younger, when I was a bit more idealistic and ready to believe in "twue wuv": In my mid-teens, I read a couple of titles by Jude Devereaux (A Knight in Shining Armor is the one I really remember), as well as Jewels by Danielle Steel, the one and only Steele title I've read. Currently the only romance novels I actively seek out and enjoy are contained in the Eve Dallas series written by Nora Roberts (as J.D. Robb). And even with those novels, as much as I like them, it's the futuristic setting and mystery/thriller nature of the stories which drives me to read them, not the romance between Eve and Roarke. Nowadays, when I do read a romance novel, whatever the title or author, when things get hot, I skip over the panting, writhing, and moaning so I can get back to the story all the panting, writhing, and moaning has interrupted.
See, the problem I have with the Romance genre is the unreasonable expectations the novels engender. The women in these novels, all of them wish fulfillment avatars for the author, are always perfect: Short or tall, willowy or curvaceous, every single romantic female lead has a perfect face, perfect breasts, a perfectly formed body, giving the impression that only the beautiful find true love, deserve true love, are worthy of true love. The plain, the fat, the imperfectly endowed, they don't exist, so therefore they aren't aren't worthy of being loved. And it's just as bad for the men. All the men are walking Adonises: Perfectly sculpted abs, wide shoulders and narrow hips, with Goldilocks muscles (not too big, not too small, but just right), these guys are always endowed with the ideal combination of savagery and sensitivity, not to mention enormous cocks. They may have their faults, but nothing so disagreeable or disturbing as to derail the romantic buildup; just something small enough for the woman to “fix” with the power of her love (which is just another myth perpetuated by the genre: Women, you cannot “fix” men, no matter how hard you try or how much you love them or how loudly you nag. That's the man you fell in love with, warts and all; if you can't accept that, walk away). It's enough to give a man, should he dare to be seen reading a romance novel, a complex. Frankly, the whole genre feeds into the obsession for beauty and perfection, just as guilty for female self-image dysfunction as beauty magazines and ad campaigns. Not to mention the perpetuation of the whole “Happily Ever After” myth, the idea that love is perfect and once you fall in love, all your troubles are over and marriage will only enhance this rosy state of being. There's never any mention of petty disagreements, marital spats, the sensation of coming to hate all those little quirks and habits which once you found cute but now gnaw at you until you snap at your partner for every little thing he or she does. Yup, you guessed it, I'm a cynic. So the idea of perfection--perfect people, perfect love, perfect sex--presented in the Romance genre makes me ill. That's why I skip over the sex scenes, not because I'm a prude, but because if I want to experience so much unrealistic sex, I might as well go watch some porn.
Not so with Kristen Callihan's sex scenes. True, they still feature perfect people in perfect bodies, yet the scenes are hotter because there's a sense of connection, of the occasional awkwardness, of two people exploring each other, with words, with touch, with every sense in their bodies. Not to mention a real sense of affection, even of humor and, in the case of carriage scene with Daisy and Ian in Moonglow, palpable frustration. It's a depth of reality which seems to be missing from other romance novels and which makes for some pulse-poundingly, seat-squirmingly hot scenes. Then again, maybe it's just that the sex, as it's written, is so bloody hot, it was easy for me to overlook such things as “...her pillowed bottom lip and the taste of her, like sweet strawberries and dark chocolate” and “...she traced a path of kisses along his jaw... He was better than caramels, richer and saltier.” Do people really taste like candy?
Okay, so now that the important stuff is out of the way, let's get down to the story. This is the second book in Callihan's series and features Daisy, sister to Miranda, the heroine of book number one, Firelight. Daisy, widowed just over a year ago, is just coming out of her mourning period, though there was no love lost between her and her loathsome husband, Sir Craigmore, and his death came as an immense relief. Daisy is, well, let's just say she's a lusty lass and knows the pleasures which can be found in a little flesh-on-flesh romping. But just as she's spreading the wings of her new-found freedom, in the form of a social outing and a bit of 'hide the sausage' in the back garden, Daisy finds herself face to face with a hideous beast who attacks her. She gets tossed aside in the mayhem and the creature begins to munch on the bodies of her erstwhile lover and the hostess of the soiree Daisy ducked out on, Alexis, another recently widowed young lady and Daisy's friend. Oddly, at the time of her death, Alexis is wearing the exact same perfume as Daisy; in fact, it's Daisy's signature scent, meant to be worn by no one else. As she follows this clue, helped, hindered, and distracted by the infuriating Lord Ian Ranulf, Marquis of Northrup, she discovers not only is her life in danger, so is her heart as she defends it from the persistent attentions of Ian.
Now, we all remember Ian from Firelight, right? He was the shit who kept coming between Miranda and Archer, so much so that many readers assumed he was the villain of the story. Here, though, we see that he's much more complicated than what we saw of him in the first book, and as his story unspools and the reasons for his previous behavior come to light in Moonglow, we discover the vulnerability beneath his swaggering facade. The heat and the chemistry between Daisy and Ian, as the two discover each other in both physical and psychological ways, is immediate, especially of the physical kind. (Hoo boy, is it hot!) However, as the story progresses, the two find each other connecting on a deeper level as their long-held secrets come out to one another. The requisite third act forced-separation* comes a bit later than normal in romance novels, setting the reader up to believe that it might not occur, that for once the two romantic leads will solve the greater exterior problem affecting them without an interior problem causing a rift between them. Yet when the two do separate, once I understood the solution Callihan was setting up which would bring them back together, I was actually happy as the whole thing solved a larger issue plaguing Daisy and Ian's relationship, paving the way for their 'riding off into the sunset as they lived happily ever after' moment.
The book develops the mythology introduced in Firelight, not only by adding to the roster of supernatural creatures (the 'Ghost in the Machine' creature is brilliant--creative and ooky. Yes, that's a legitimate descriptor), but by making us aware of a sort-of supernatural police force: the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals. The S.O.S., as it's known, is responsible for keeping the general public unaware of the activities and the presence of creatures which have crept, climbed, and clawed their way out of myth and folklore. As to the story, it's a worthy successor to Firelight and certainly doesn't suffer from the "second book slump": it's thrilling, mysterious, comedic, heartfelt, passionate, and very, very entertaining. The prose moves along at a steady clip, never dragging or becoming dull. From the very first book, Callihan has managed to avoid the dreaded info dump syndrome, giving her readers all the information necessary to keep them interested and engaged in the story without dumping great gouts of exposition on them. Her dialogue is lively and sparkling, her descriptions vivid, and while I'm sure there are a few minor faults in the novel, they're undetectable in the greater excellence of her work. (At least to me they were.)
As an added bonus, the novel lays the groundwork for the third (and, I would presume, last, even though the thought saddens me) book of the series, starring the eldest sister, Poppy. Now, after I finished reading Firelight and heard about Moonglow, I figured there would be a third book; makes sense after all--three sisters, three books. But what stumped me was how that could be. After all, romance novels are all about two unattached persons finding and wooing each other. Yet Poppy's been happily married to the man of her dreams since the very beginning of the series--how could she star in her own romance novel? Well, Callihan settles the issue with events which occur in the last half of Moonglow and I can't wait to see how she pulls things together for Poppy and her Detective Inspector Winston Lane.
All in all, I thoroughly recommend this series and personally I can't wait for Winterblaze.
*As outlined in the following script: Boy meets girl, boy saves girl from some difficult yet minor trouble, boy and girl fall in love and vow to be with each other forever, girl suddenly finds some reason not to be with boy through some fault or doubt of the boy's character, girl leaves boy in heartbreaking manner, boy mourns then gets angry over girl's leaving, girl finds herself in trouble, boy stiffens backbone and discards pride to rescue girl, girl realizes depth of her feelings for boy and boy's depth of feelings for girl, boy and girl head off into the sunset to live happily ever after.
I met Sara King about four (or was it five?) years ago while I was participating on writing.com. I started reading the story she'd posted there entitlI met Sara King about four (or was it five?) years ago while I was participating on writing.com. I started reading the story she'd posted there entitled "Outer Bounds," or should I say part of a novel because it simply consisted of the first few chapters she'd been working on. I was immediately hooked, so much so that I almost cried when I reached the end of what she'd posted. When I discovered more about her, I was absolutely astonished that she hadn't been picked up by a big-time publisher, even with the help of a go-getter agent. After all, it only takes a brief glance at any of her works to see that this lady has an untamed imagination and an unstoppable talent.
That said, this book is one hot mess. Don't get me wrong, it was fun to read. (And rather spooky from my end: The heroine is 6'4" tall [if I'm remembering correctly] and complains about how men her height seem to have a genetic disposition to prefer women about a foot shorter than they, leaving her out in the cold and having to deal with the freaks who only like her because they can dress her up in leather and be their 'Amazon woman'. I'm 6'1" and have often complained about the same issue. Not to mention I've literally had people cling to the other side of a hallway I'm walking down, in fear, I guess, of me squishing them to death. I seriously thought about growling out "Fee, Fie, Fo, Fum" at them. But I digress...) Blaze's inner dialogue concerning her dating issues and other problems can be quite hilarious; the description of Jack facing the humiliation of his paralyzed legs is heart-wrenching; and the parts where the bad guys are being bad made my butt pucker with the utter 'badness' of the villains. However, the story, taken as a whole, is all over the place. You can tell King and company really tried with the editing (since she doesn't have access to a professional editor, she relied on the help of several friends and first readers), but the book desperately needs that professional polish and tightness. The so-called banter between Jack and Blaze often became infantile and drawn-out. Their continual arguments and insults, with the occasional "Um, I like you" inserted just to let the reader know that the two of them were engaged in some sexy banter designed to build up tension, failed as such because they just went on for too long. Even the sex scene, once the two finally worked their issues out and got together, went on way too long. They'd start getting hot and heavy, then they'd stop to talk right in the middle of the action, then get back to it. Frankly, it took all the heat out of it. The action jumps around, going from a near-fatal encounter in which either Blaze or Jack is unconscious and ready to die, to the description of Blaze or Jack or both going about their duties on the lodge grounds as if nothing had happened. Stuff gets built up and then we pause, then it starts up again and then we pause again, like going up a hill and down a hill and up a hill and down a hill, instead of a nice steady climb to the final scene: There's no real coherency. And once the climax is reached, the book continues on for another good while, describing how things get back to normal at the Sleeping Lady lodge, with Blaze and Jack turning it into a scare-fest for geeks and thrill-seekers. While that's all well and good (and personally, I like a bit of a wrap-up once the villain(s) has been taken care of and all personal issues between lovers have been cleared up), it just seems like a rather flat way to end the book. Coming down from the high of the climax is fine, but with this, we've come down and started to fall asleep once the book finally ends.
Basically what we've got here is a good set of bones that desperately needs the flesh rearranged to make it more appealing. After all, King has managed to combine the Alaskan Bush, wereverines, werewolves, a phoenix in human form, and other assorted supernatural and mythical beasties into one novel and, aside from a few bumps, makes it work. That's no small feat. Which is why, at the end of the day, I gave this book 4 stars. It may need some serious reworking to make it flow better, but I was still enthralled and entertained by what I read, enough to make me eager to start book two. And for anyone who's read enough of my reviews, you'll know that I am rarely eager (in fact, before now I'd say never eager) to read a second book in a series if the first book has as many editing errors as Alaskan Fire. There's a good story here if you're willing and have the patience to dig it out....more
I know, this is a paranormal romance and I liked it. What is the world coming to? Well, first off, this is a retelling (albeit a loose one) o4.5 stars
I know, this is a paranormal romance and I liked it. What is the world coming to? Well, first off, this is a retelling (albeit a loose one) of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairytale and I love a good retelling when I get my hands on one. Secondly, I'm a sucker for any kind of alternate Victorian novel. I can't tell you why, just that I am.
One thing to know, the blurb on the back of the book is slightly misleading. Miranda, the beautiful (natch) leading lady, is forced to wed the mysterious and infamous Lord Archer in order to redeem her family's name and fortune. Well, Miranda, her temperament matching her fiery red hair, is feisty and fully capable of defending herself and certainly not one to be "forced" to do anything she doesn't want. For once, I didn't find myself screeching in annoyance over a empty-headed ninny of a female protagonist. Miranda's got spirit and intelligence; she's a protagonist whom I can actually admire. Now we come to Archer. Tall, dark, and brooding, in the best possible way. And masked. And sensual as hell. Yummy!
Of course, there's some intrigue and both Miranda and Archer have deep, dark secrets, which neither of them is willing to divulge to the other, creating the sexual-tension-fueled misunderstanding between them which drives most of the action for the first half or so of the novel. And while that kind of cliched misunderstanding gets rather irritating (you just want to knock their heads together and makethemtalk), once it gets cleared up and they start working together, they work so well as a pair, it's worth any amount of annoyance. Their sparring, and the sparks that often (literally) fly, reminds me of another fun literary couple, Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson. There's something about a large, bellowing man, who is really a soft, squishy marshmallow inside, which is just unbelievably sexy. Add in a woman who's not afraid to stand up to his thunderings, who'll stand nose to nose (even if she has to pull over a step-stool to do so) and poke the bear, as it were, and you've got one immensely readable, entertaining, compelling story.
There was only one big quibble I had with the story and that was the fact that Miranda's "talent," her ability to create fire, is never fully explained, as far as where the ability came from. Was she cursed as a child? Were her parents cursed? Was there some sort of magical object causing the ability? I would've liked to have had a deeper backstory on Miranda.
That said, I could barely put this book down, reading it in only two days which, considering how my powers of concentration have been lately, is an amazing feat. I'm eagerly looking forward to the sequel and because I got this book from the library, I'm seriously contemplating buying it and adding it to my permanent "keeper" shelf....more
There's a good book lurking somewhere in here; one just needs a machete, a weed-whacker and a couple of sturdy pruning shears in order to find it. DonThere's a good book lurking somewhere in here; one just needs a machete, a weed-whacker and a couple of sturdy pruning shears in order to find it. Don't get me wrong, I like it when an author gets creative with certain stock genre archetypes and messes with the traditional mythology associated with said archetypes. I don't like it when authors then decide to cram every single item which pops into their head into one book. With Once Bitten we have shape-shifters, but not just of your lupine variety but also of feline, in the the shapes of lions, tigers, bobcats and, in the case of the lead character, a calico housecat. Okay, no probs with that, especially the housecat bit; that's rather amusing, once your brain stops trying to figure out the physics and logistics of squishing a human into a tiny cat form, complete with clothes, and just goes with the flow. Then you have vampires. Okay, sure, why not? After that, though, it starts to get a bit over the top, as you have a vampire "bringing over" a shifter (said calico housecat), a mage shows up with his demon hoarde, a fairy pops by (at least, I think she's as fairy; it's never clearly explained, another of the author's problems I'll get to in a moment), a vampire council is introduced, not to mention we have a rogue shifter who's the main thrust of the plot. It's exhausting! It's as though the author, in one of her brainstorming sessions, thought, "Hmm, what else can I add to make sure this book is as 'supernatural' as possible?"
Basically, the story runs like this: We have our calico shifter, Kita (whom everyone calls "Kitten" even though she hates that nickname and, trust me, by the end of the book, you'll hate it as well), who's run away from her clan. Now, according to her, this clan lives in Firth. We don't know where Firth is, whether it's another city or country or dimension; we can kind of guess it's the latter, as a 'gate' opens up between the human world and Firth every full moon or so and apparently that's the only method of travel between the two places. But we're never told explicitly. And here's where we run into the information problem. I've been very vocal about my hatred of info dumps: they are poor excuses for exposition and world-building. However, the opposite, info droughts, are just as despised. Ideally, an author should sprinkle pertinent information, including backstory, throughout his or her novel, like a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar through a coffee cake: Little nuggets of extra information which add bursts of yumminess and dimension to the experience. Withholding information doesn't make you seem mature as a writer; it makes you seem even more inexperienced as, the further you go on not explaining your world, the more a reader believes you haven't taken the time to fully build it and its mythology. We are left to fill in so many blanks in the story, after a while it's easy just to give up and skim through the remainder of the book. After all, if the author didn't put the effort into writing it, why should we put any effort into reading it?
To get back to Kita, she's apparently run away from her clan because she's the next in line to be clan leader or Torin; she doesn't think she's powerful enough to take over, even though everyone else is seemingly okay with it (and once again we have another author falling prey to the tired PNR cliche concerning their female lead: "Ooh, poor me, I have no self-esteem even though everyone I know tells me I'm great, but I just can't believe it, woe is me, I'm so pitiful"). So now she's been on the run for five years and has hunters from her clan and others on her tail, so she's constantly on the move, changing cities quicker than some people change their underwear. The latest town, Haven, isn't turning out to be one; hunters have found her already, including one of her childhood pals from Firth, Bobby. To escape them, she hides inside a local rave. She finds herself roofied, on her way to crying out "Goodbye, cruel world!" only to be rescued by a vampire who has to turn her in order to save her life (which he endangered in the first place, as he decided to feed from Kita but found her memories and life force so interesting, he took a wee drop of blood too much; finding he couldn't let such an "interesting" creature die, he turned her instead. Nice, huh?) Waking up naked and chained to a wall, naturally Kita's a bit perturbed. Even more so when the mad vampire woman who's guarding her offers her a cup of warm cat's blood to drink. The vampire who turned her, Nathanial, finally releases Kita (who was chained for her own good; yeah, we've all heard that one before), who, quite naturally, tries to get as far away as possible. Just then, however, is when this mage pops up, who's apparently some kind of uber-judge for supernatural creatures, and sentences Kita to death for creating a rogue shifter who's been piling up the bodies in the local environs. Are you saying "Huh?" yet? Because I know I was. Who is this judge? Why does he have the right to sentence Kita? How does he know she's responsible, because, as far as I can see, there's no obvious evidence leading to a glaring neon sign of 'Guilt' over Kita's head. Why does he have demons doing his bidding? What the hell is going on? So, to try and wrap this up, Kita has two nights to find the rogue and kill it. She's helped in her hunt by Nathanial and Bobby (who, despite the fact he has a mate who's expecting a litter of his whelps, still pines for Kita's affection), as well as the fairy Gil, who tags along, studying Kita for some sort of interdimensional college doctoral thesis (or something like that; once again we're never explicitly told, leading to yet another round of questions: Who is this Gil? Why does she have the authority to study Kita? Why the hell would she want to? How did she know about the judge and Kita's case?)
While there is some good writing in here, the book is clunky. I had a hard time identifying or even liking any of the characters. Kita is whiny and whimpy; most of the time I just wanted to punch her and turn her over to the judge. She's also a complete mess: she's feisty when she should be calm and showing some sense, and meekly docile when she should be kicking some ass. Bobby is underdeveloped, with little-to-personality; the most we know from him is that Kita and he used to be an item when they were kids, but, because he's a wolf and she's a cat, I suppose (although it's never specifically stated), he wasn't allowed to mate with Kita and instead was forced to mate with another, a female wolf from a different clan. So Bobby moons over Kita and bristles at any affection shown to her by Nathanial, but that's about it. Nathanial has the most potential for being a well-rounded character; although he's still slightly one-dimensional in the novel, things are hinted about him which could add depth to his story. I presume those hints are further explored in subsequent novels. And although you can sympathize with Kita's anger over being forcibly turned into a vampire and her reluctance to initially trust Nathanial, the way she treats him and her situation is more like a toddler throwing a temper-tantrum: "I don't like it, I don't wanna do it, you can make me, waaaaaaa!" Not to mention the many questions and inconsistencies throughout the book. For instance, in Firth, females cannot be hunters (why the hell not?), in fact females seem to be good for nothing other than breeding, yet there's no problem with Kita taking over as leader? That doesn't jive with such a seemingly misogynistic society. Why does Kita wear a necklace into which the finger bones of a human child and kitten (her own bones, taken when she was little) are woven? What does that signify? What about the number of bones, which is more than Bobby's, who, apparently, shouldn't even have the right to wear such a necklace, but petitioned the clan elders to do so and was allowed.
Frankly, there are too many questions, not enough answers and not enough sympathy or interest generated to make me care enough to read the next book....more
Much better than the first book. I know first books can often suffer, trying to set up not only the recurring characters but the tone and flavor of whMuch better than the first book. I know first books can often suffer, trying to set up not only the recurring characters but the tone and flavor of whatever world an author is trying to create. Sometimes an author can fit all that in and a spectacular storyline; sometimes, not, as was the case with Kitty and the Midnight Hour. However, now that we know about Kitty and her world, the author was finally able to concentrate on giving us more well-rounded characters and a more captivating and interesting storyline. The best thing is the fact that the author doesn't fling supernatural beasties at the reader; instead, she makes it more of a surprise, even to those supernatural creatures that exist in the author's world, so that the experience of finding out 'there are more things in heaven and earth' is fun for everyone involved....more