This book drew me in from about ten feet away on the shelf. The whole thing is beautiful and feels old inReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
This book drew me in from about ten feet away on the shelf. The whole thing is beautiful and feels old in your hand. The story of Johannes Cabal’s fight with the devil takes place in a demonic fair ground, where he is charged with stealing away 100 people’s souls in a year in order to exchange it for his own (which he carelessly sold to the devil a few years back - he figured a scientist wouldn’t need it!).
The reason he needs his soul back is amazing in itself.
The fair ground staff work for him but are, in the end, loyal to Satan, making for an interesting dynamic between Johannes and the demons. In order to wrangle them, he frees his vampire brother from the crypt where he has been imprisoned for the last decade. Unfortunately for Johannes, it was his fault his brother was turned into a vampire in the first place, so there’s a bit of tension there.
The writing is elegant and can be quite funny at times. This is the type of writing best read slowly, in case you miss anything. There are funny asides to the reader and seemingly nonsensical asides, which recall Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.
By the end of the book, Johannes is a truly human character, you feel bad for him and at the same time understand where he is coming from. With the fifth book in the Johannes Cabal series now published, I’m still amazed how each book can be totally different from the last one while keeping up the spirit and delicious writing style. Whether he is a necromancer, a detective or a revolutionary, Johannes Cabal is always entertaining....more
This book is the ultimate blend of science-fiction and romance. It will leave you thinking about the worldReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
This book is the ultimate blend of science-fiction and romance. It will leave you thinking about the world and characters long after you finish the book, wishing you could be back on Trilby's ship for just a few more pages.
When Captain Trilby Elliot saves Rhis from a crash on a wild jungle planet, he tells her he’s a pilot who got lost. He promises his commanders will pay her to get him back to civilisation. She’s wary, but when he offers to help her finish the repairs she was making to her ship as well, she agrees to take him to the nearest space station - she's seriously strapped for credits. It also helps that he’s kind of charming, and good with an electric wrench and computers.
Unfortunately, Rhys isn’t quite who he says he is. He may not even be fully human.
The interactions between Trilby and Rhis are testy at first, but as they work together the tension turns from wary to hot. They’re trapped together, at first on an uninhabited planet and then in Trilby’s small ship, for the first half of the book. They do have a slightly annoying but endearing AI with them as well, but he lacks a physical body. Trilby’s not used to having another person around, especially not one that doesn’t listen to her orders.
The author does a great job of making a small space feel both claustrophobic but complete. Trilby’s ship feels like a character in itself, a recycled, cobbled piece of crap that should have been retired years ago… Or at least, it seems that way from the outside. Trilby and others have done so many illegal repairs and modifications to the ship that it could probably outlast, if not outrun, many modern ships.
By the end of their short trip, they’ve really made a connection; too bad Rhis hijacks her ship and takes them back to a massive space station where everyone listens to him: he’s actually a high ranking military officer. Not only that, he’s known as the coldest, meanest commander in the fleet, who everyone fears and most hate. Rhis appears to be gone, replaced by Khyrhis Tivahr, and Trilby feels betrayed. Too bad for her, he’s not the only one who has used her without a full disclosure.
The plot, which started out relatively simple when they were stranded on the jungle planet, gets more complex, and as new characters and locales get introduced, it’s easy to get a feeling that what Rhis and Trilby have gotten themselves into could easily prevent - or start - and deadly galactic war.
This book has a bit of everything: there are political plots and betrayals to uncover, unethical experiments to unearth, competing military factions and alien computer programs to hack. The science and space combat is strong enough to satisfy the more traditional science-fiction lovers, who may be turned off by the idea of a scifi-romance novel.
This is one of those books I selfishly wish was part of a series. Although all of the plot points are wrapped up, I just want to read more of Trilby and Rhis’ interactions and romance. Although they seem so different at first, when they find shared passions, they are fun and work amazingly well together. I’ve read this book a few times a year since I discovered it, every time enjoying the evolution of the characters and of their relationship as much as I enjoy the discussion of space cannons and space maps. This book is a must read for both romance and science fiction fans....more
If I am the first person to recommend NIMONA to you, drop whatever you’re doing and check out the three fiReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
If I am the first person to recommend NIMONA to you, drop whatever you’re doing and check out the three first chapters, available as an excerpt. If you don’t fall in love with Nimona and Lord Ballister Blackheart, there is possibly something terribly wrong with you - or your sense of humour.
This graphic novel features a strange mix of tech and fantasy I found automatically endearing. Dueling knights and dragons share the pages with supercomputers and scientists, and it works so well that you don’t even blink when these aspects mix. Nimona’s strange powers seem purely magical, but it’s a scientist who comes closest to understanding her - or at least containing her.
Although the book is named after Nimona, the red-headed, hot-headed shapeshifter, the true hero for me was Lord Ballister Blackheart, a villain with a strict moral code. He used to be one of the good guys, until he was betrayed and made to be a scapegoat for the secretly sinister Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics. It cost him his arm, but it also cost him his best friend. He is truly horrified when Nimona’s antics cause someone’s death during one of their disruptive attacks; this isn’t how he operates, and although he is a villain, it’s not how he “does things”. Nimona, on the other hand, has morals as shifty as her shape.
It has enough action and humour to appeal to younger teens, and becomes emotionally charged enough to appeal to older readers. As Nimona’s mysterious origins and powers start to create more problems for the Institution and for Lord Blackheart, readers become more conflicted about the morality of the various characters. By the end, it’s almost deliciously heart breaking.
For a book with a truly sharp, unique illustration style and characters that will stay with you long after you’ve reread the epilogue, get your hands on NIMONA. I have yet to find someone who didn’t adore it, regardless of age....more
THE BURNING PAGE combines the best of THE MASKED CITY and THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY to produce a madcap, worldReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
THE BURNING PAGE combines the best of THE MASKED CITY and THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY to produce a madcap, world-jumping caper. With the return of Alberich, stakes are high and Irene and Kai have no idea who they can trust, inside or outside the Library. A thrilling read, THE BURNING PAGE should delight any fan of the Invisible Library series.
In THE BURNING PAGE, Irene cements her place as one of my favorite fantasy protagonists. She is competent and smart, and doesn't let her mistakes cause herself to second-guess every decision she makes in the future. She gets the job done but is able to ask for help when she needs it (mostly). She's a remarkably compelling heroine, in my opinion, as though there are some small bits of romantic tension between her and the various men in her life, she doesn't ever let that get between her and her job, which I love. In a genre sometimes littered with unnecessary sex scenes, I enjoy the muted romance in THE BURNING PAGE.
The world expands even further in THE BURNING PAGE, as Irene and Kai go to even more alternate worlds on missions. We're treated to a trip to a world with magic and high-order, and Irene gets to use the Language to get her and Kai out of quite a few sticky situations. If I have one complaint about the book, it's that the Language seems to be a catch-all "get out of jail free" card, sometimes making a situation almost too easy to escape from. Regardless, there still is plenty of danger, and Irene manages to think her way creatively out of all of it (did I mention I loved how competent she is?).
All in all, THE BURNING PAGE manages to answer some questions, but also brings new ones to the front of the reader's mind, and I, for one, am desperately wanting to read the next book, THE LOST PLOT. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a longer wait for this one, so I'll be over here, stewing on the mysteries Cogman introduces.
DARK MOON WOLF was a pretty unique premise from the typical wolf shifter urban fantasy/paranormal romance sReview Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
DARK MOON WOLF was a pretty unique premise from the typical wolf shifter urban fantasy/paranormal romance story. The love interest is not there, and there is already the HEA baby that happens at the end of many of these stories. In fact there is really no romance or person who could eventually become a romantic interest (granted that could still happen later in this series) I enjoyed seeing the way in which Julie is introduced to the shifter world through her baby randomly shifting into a wolf pup. That would be pretty weird to experience-a suprise werewolf in your baby's crib. I found it rather fascinating that the story revolves around loss and discovery instead of Julie finding her place and new love in a shifter town. The discovery part mostly involves a murder mystery which was well done and is full of betrayals, kidnappings, secret agendas, and suspense.
I love seeing a new angle on werewolf mythology and DARK MOON WOLF presents a kind of complex system of wolf powers based on the phases of the moon. The wolves were shockingly welcoming to Julie, a human who randomly shows up with a kid, looking for the father. The baby could have very well be kidnapped by Julie as a part of the same evil plot that was causing werewolves to go missing in this story. They didn't know. Either way, I enjoyed meeting the Greybull pack and learning more about their lives.
DARK MOON WOLF was a fun, unique take on werewolf mythology and an interesting murder mystery with some exciting twists and turns. The ending could make the story work as a one off story but I can see how more books could be added as there is enough story and character development to stretch it out to a series. I am interested to see where this series goes from here.