Here we are into the third entry into the Bewitching Mystery series. So what's Maggie into this time? The murder of an Amish ladies' man, one who's maHere we are into the third entry into the Bewitching Mystery series. So what's Maggie into this time? The murder of an Amish ladies' man, one who's married and has young kids, at that. She also has struggles with her love life and is overcoming her fear of the "unknown" and becoming more adept at using her gift.
May contain minor spoilers of previous books.
A few times throughout this short book (246 pages), I felt like throwing in the towel. After reading the first book, I really felt this was a series for me. One that I connected with and would be able to read book after book. Sadly it has not panned out this way. Mostly because of the main character, Maggie O'Neill, who I really liked in the first book. While there's nothing inherently wrong with her, I cannot relate to her and I don't like her too much either. She's rather a dull fish. Also, some of her thoughts feel forced, especially the "humorous" kind, which might be a big part of why I'm not liking her anymore. Well, whatever it is exactly, she's just not quite working for me. Though now that she's using her gift more, this may liven her up in the future, I don't know. The other thing is her presumptions, or rather the one presumption about the "relationship" between Marcus and Liss she's had since the first book. Where she ever got that idea in her head, I haven't a clue, but at least it was resolved by the end of this book. On the up side, she wasn't as dumb as in the previous book, A Charmed Death. All the other characters in the series I like and feel really add to the series, with maybe the exception of Tom, who is very closed-minded and basically just irritates me as a modern woman. I suppose a character who is that way is needed, and he is making some strides in opening his mind to new and frightening (to him) things, but I don't get Maggie's attraction to him; it just has not come across in the three books I've read. As for Maggie's other love interest, Marcus, while he's definitely way (way, way, way, way, way) more interesting than Tom, and I'm going to flip this, but I totally don't understand Marcus's interest in Maggie. I cannot think of anything that would intrigue him about her. I honestly can't, other than she's nice. A nice, boring, girl-next-door-type. Well, I guess that's something. So, the mystery.... Surprisingly, it seemed very minimal in this installment and the baddie very easy to figure out since there wasn't many, or any, other suspects. Still, it was tied up pretty neatly and made some sort of sense.
At the beginning of every book there is enough of a recap of characters and what's been going on so each book in the series can easily be read by itself, and not necessarily in order. While that is nice for a new reader or one who has gone a long time inbetween books, it makes for a repetitive nature if read too closely together, so I think it'll be a while before I pick up the next entry....more
This second installment of the Bewitching Mystery series focuses on the murder of a popular teenage girl who may have been hiding a seedy secret or twThis second installment of the Bewitching Mystery series focuses on the murder of a popular teenage girl who may have been hiding a seedy secret or two. Maggie delves into the case, while also developing her newfound powers and going on her first N.I.G.H.T.S. investigation.
After the slow-moving first seventy to eighty pages that was mostly background information on the town, the shop, characters and a recap of the last book, the story actually moved onto the main mystery in this book. I found the mystery very intriguing and well-done (I could easily envision it on TV, heck, I wouldn't be surprised if I had seen a similar story-line), and the author shed more light on Marcus, which was nice, but was also detrimental to other secondary characters, namely Felicity (a.k.a. Liss, which the first time Maggie mentioned that nickname I forgot for a minute who she was referring too. That probably should have been clarified more, I may have read the first book less than a month ago, but I can't remember everything and it's not like it's Melissa/Liss which I would have picked up on immediately. :P). So less Felicity, and also Steff and Tom, surprisingly enough. Any interaction Maggie had with Tom was strained, sometimes strange, and there was a bit at the end I didn't buy in regards to the two of them. Maggie herself was exactly the same as in the first book, except a bit dumber but I'll come to that a moment, so that disappointed me. It's not as if I expect her to grow every book, but a little development here and there or something new we didn't know about her wouldn't hurt. Although her development of her 'powers' has been nicely and realistically done, and the only problem I had was a scene at the end that seemed more magic than magick. Now we come to Maggie doing a couple of stupid things I never thought she'd be dumb enough to do, one of which led to her 'showdown' with the murderer. In that instance, she really had no need to do what she did to get him/her arrested or for any reason. It just seemed a contrivance to put her in the murderer's path. Overall, after the first fourth or so of the book, it was a decent yet flawed read, and I am going to pick up the next in the series with the hope that any minor problems I had will have been just a fluke....more
A well-written, engaging mystery with a protagonist, Maggie O'Neill, I (mostly) connected with and a plot nicely developed. The author did a good jobA well-written, engaging mystery with a protagonist, Maggie O'Neill, I (mostly) connected with and a plot nicely developed. The author did a good job setting up the series while maintaining the mystery within and developing Maggie and her quirks. Easy to read and smartly paced, with an engaging writing style, I'll definitely be picking up the next book in the series, if not all of them....more
I'm not going to write an in-depth review, but here are the book highlights for me:
Doppelgangster by Laura Resnick - Except for the basic concept, thiI'm not going to write an in-depth review, but here are the book highlights for me:
Doppelgangster by Laura Resnick - Except for the basic concept, this is unrelated to her Esther Diamond series. Very creative and clever, my third favorite of the book.
A Death in the Working by Debra Doyle - About one-third to half the story is footnotes. Intriguing world and premise but I would recommend either reading the story first, then the footnotes or the other way around. Otherwise the footnotes interfere with the flow of the story.
Overrush by Laura Anne Gilman - I haven't read her Retrievers series, this story features the same cast, so I'll definitely try it out after reading this.
Au Purr by Esther Friesner - In my top two favorites of the book. Very well-done and interesting. Wish it was a series but from what research I did, it isn't.
Getting the Chair by Keith R.A. DeCandido - A bit nonsensical and silly, but that's why I liked it. A fun read even if some sentences were confusing due to their structure.
Grey Eminence by Mercedes Lackey - No murder, not really a mystery, so it doesn't fit into this anthology as well as the others but I don't care. They saved the best, and longest, story for last. Captivating and wonderful, I loved every bit of it and want more. :)
The Afterword - Yes, that's right, the afterword was good too.
There were a few other stories I liked (The Case of the Headless Corpse, Cold Case, Murder Entailed, Dropping Hints), but the rest were either just okay or I didn't like them at all. 3.5 stars
Here we are in the third entry into the Esther Diamond series. UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC doesn't feature the zany characters that the previous two books hadHere we are in the third entry into the Esther Diamond series. UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC doesn't feature the zany characters that the previous two books had, which is a nice shift, and the focus on Esther and Max that was lost in Doppelgangster is back. The plot about Vodou*, zombies, and bokors is okay, but gets a little too predictable for my liking. Luckily, the author writes well enough to lift it up a level and ends up entertaining, and at times interesting.
Now for the bad news: the humor isn't as fresh or funny and I can't remember once laughing aloud during the book. Some of the scenes felt too forced to be funny, and one scene in particular had me cringing because of a character that got hurt. Maybe that scene wasn't supposed to be funny, but it seemed as if that was it's purpose before the injury happened. Basically all the humor in the book is a comedy of errors, and that's fine, as long as it's humorous and not as repetitive as it's been in these three books. Next, the length of the story needs a drastic paring down. While the book moves at a fairly brisk pace, I can't help but feel that another go or two with an editor was needed and the plot should have been tightened so it's more cohesive. I think it'd be a much better book with at least fifty pages less and I wouldn't get as tired of the plot or characters by then. There's a reason for the phrase "too much of a good thing" and both DOPPELGANGSTER and UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC fit the bill. Still, I didn't hate the book and thought it was a small step up from the last, so I'll give the next book a shot because I enjoy the characters a lot (sorry for the unintentional bad rhyme). Even if the series hasn't hit the mark for me since the first, I have hope yet. Besides, how can I pass up a book called VAMPARAZZI? 3.5 stars
*Apparently Vodou is not pronounced like 'voodoo', it's either vo(like in toe)-dow(cow) or vo-doo, but I'm not sure which is right, from what I've figured out online. The book has a glossary, which is rather unnecessary since everything is explained in text, but not a pronunciation guide....more
What do you get when you cross a down-on-his-luck private eye, a randy elf, a femme feline, a miniature horse, and a whole host of other oddball charaWhat do you get when you cross a down-on-his-luck private eye, a randy elf, a femme feline, a miniature horse, and a whole host of other oddball characters? Well, if you answered, "The book this review is about, you dolt," or something to that effect, then congratulations, you are right (and slightly hurtful). You get a gold star.
Stalking the Unicorn instantly had me hooked with the appealing characters, interesting plot, and tongue-in-cheek humor. The story flowed well and at a nice, clipped pace for a good part of the book. Unfortunately, it fizzled out a little bit nearer the end and lost some of my interest. I think too much was revealed too soon and the book probably could have lost around thirty pages. However, the plot picked back up some of its steam at the end, which saved the book from being three stars. Altogether, this is an easy and fun read that's a good starter to a series, and which I look forward to the next installments. If you like absurd humor, zany dialogue, detective work, and an urban fantasy setting all mixed into one big stew, than you'll probably enjoy this book.
Fun fact: Mike Resnick is the father of author Laura Resnick. I picked both of their books up about the same time without realizing it until after I had read her first Esther Diamond book. :)...more
I picked up reading the third story sometime this summer, read a decent bit, put it down, and haven't been able to resume reading. I think the main reI picked up reading the third story sometime this summer, read a decent bit, put it down, and haven't been able to resume reading. I think the main reason is that the writing is poor. Not to mention I enjoy the majority of newer books in this genre better. Even though LKH might have been the first (or at least one of the first) to write an urban fantasy book featuring a kick-ass female protagonist, she is one of the worst writers. I think I'll stop while I'm ahead. I'm kinda sorry I bought so many in this series now....more
Underground is a solid third entry back into the grey. Harper is, as always, a protagonist I can relate to and is believable in her thoughts in actionUnderground is a solid third entry back into the grey. Harper is, as always, a protagonist I can relate to and is believable in her thoughts in actions. Although the plot was slow at times, it was still entertaining and usually kept my interest. I love Seattle as a setting, even if there are a few liberties (hey, I've never been there! :P), and will continue to pick up Ms. Richardson's books!
*slight spoilers* I hope Will is gone for good (what a bore) and Quinton is as intriguing as he's always been....more
Fast and fun. Dark and gritty. This is an amazing sequel to Caitlin Kittredge's first Nocturne City book, Night Life.
For the first fifty or so pagesFast and fun. Dark and gritty. This is an amazing sequel to Caitlin Kittredge's first Nocturne City book, Night Life.
For the first fifty or so pages, Luna started to get on my nerves with her general b!tchiness, but I soon go back into the groove of Ms. Kittredge's world and her protagonist. I love how different Luna's world is from other Urban Fantasy books and it feels very real. Now I don't always like how Luna acts, but something about her is so true and raw, that I sympathize and root for her all the way.
The storyline was intriguing and I didn't quite know which path it was going to swerve off on (which is a big plus). Pure Blood captured and held my attention all the way through the book and I am very curious to see how the next installment turns out. Luna is a character that will always stick out and I can't wait to see what mess she gets into and chaos she creates in the next book!...more
I first read this in 2006 and never got to another Sookie book. Since I want to see True Blood whenever it comes out on DVD, and I don't quite remembeI first read this in 2006 and never got to another Sookie book. Since I want to see True Blood whenever it comes out on DVD, and I don't quite remember too much of the book to get to the rest of the series, I decided to re-read it.
I really don't have anything additional to say to my first review, other than I'm not as picky about the romance this time around. So here's my original review from June 24, 2006:
I've been in a paranormal mood lately so figured I'd pick this one up and see what's different here. While there's nothing original in the vampire front, the story was nonetheless told in a new and fresh way. Although the start seemed slow, I quickly immersed myself into the pace of the book and thought it was quite fitting to it being a southern book. I enjoyed reading about the courtship between a vampire and human, although a slightly different human. It was kind of sweet and though I thought they professed their love to each other too soon, it was still quite lovely in a strange way. The mystery was nice in that I didn't necessarily know who the culprit was. I did have a niggling of who it was a few times but wasn't quite sure. The book also had some interesting characters and I am curious to what direction(s) the author decides to go next....more
The Seance was one of those books that I just could not put down! Addictive, fast-paced, thrilling, and thoroughly fun, it had everything I w4.5 stars
The Seance was one of those books that I just could not put down! Addictive, fast-paced, thrilling, and thoroughly fun, it had everything I wanted to read - mystery/suspense, romance, paranormal - and reminded me of R.L. Stine for adults. Of course it's not 'serious' fiction, who wants that when picking up a book that looks like this? It's fun brain candy, plain and simple, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I haven't had an easy time finding books to read because my concentration level has taken a nosedive, but this book had me hooked from the back synopsis - and kept me hooked throughout. Yes, there are some editing issues, coincidences, red-heads seem to be the main populace, redundancies (e.g. victims are attractive red-heads, beautiful red-heads, gorgeous red-heads, and did I mention Christina's a beautiful, attractive, gorgeous red-head also? Argh, it was annoying! I got it the first time; I don't need it repeated ten million times.), and I figured out who was behind everything in the first-seventh of the book, which could have used more of an explanation for the why at the end, but my problems are eclipsed by the engaging plot.
After Christina called Gen, I wondered if there was a previous book with her, Thor, and Adam, and there is called The Vision, and I've already ordered it from the library - I can't wait to read it! I'm thinking Heather Graham's romantic suspense novels might just be the key that'll keep me reading all the way to the end of a book. :) So, overall, I liked the characters, the story was great, and even though it isn't even close to Hallowe'en, I would still recommend it for a thrilling good read....more
Another fun Pepper Martin mystery that's as good as the first and better than the second in the series. Again, the ghost is the best character, this Another fun Pepper Martin mystery that's as good as the first and better than the second in the series. Again, the ghost is the best character, this time a 60s rocker who possibly died of an overdose forty years ago. I couldn't help but think he was a Jim Morrison prototype, especially with some of the lyrics.
Pepper was thankfully brighter in this book and figured things out at a good pace. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to figure out whodunnit early on in this series, for lack of suspects, but I liked how the author had Pepper go about it anyway.
I could do without the constant who-wears-what, how Pepper's hair or nails are done, everything she wears at every given moment, and most of all, I get annoyed at her overactive libido every time a hot guy - dead or alive - comes into contact with her. Get it together girl! What's your problem. Luckily, it looks as if she might (finally) get her act together for the fourth book. Hopefully it is not Quinn, because he is a boring, cut-out character that adds nothing to this series. However, I still look forward to the next book and hope it continues to get better....more
What a great, great book! I loved this from start to finish, even if I was confused in the beginning, what with all the species and their codes of conWhat a great, great book! I loved this from start to finish, even if I was confused in the beginning, what with all the species and their codes of conduct and all. Mercy was a very put together character; not too weak and not too strong to be unbelievable. While I do wish that authors in this genre would quit with the multiple love interests, Patricia Briggs managed it quite well, and I look forward to those developments (although I'm partial to Adam myself :P). I've already ordered Blood Bound from the library and can't wait to get my greedy little hands on it and other future installments! :)...more
Since I don't feel like writing a review, I'll just detail what I liked and disliked about the book.
Liked: The subject matter - From what I know, I th Since I don't feel like writing a review, I'll just detail what I liked and disliked about the book.
Liked: The subject matter - From what I know, I think the author handled Wicca/Witchcraft very well. How it was written - I'm not the grammar police and don't know everything about it, so it was fine with me. Sometimes I think that the books that have the best grammar are the most unrealistic and holds the reader away from the book and story because of this. I mean Mr. Sellars has a point, how many people really speak or think in proper English? Most of the book.
Disliked: The constant use of paleface, squaw, and other white or Native American Indian terms. I get that Rowan and Ben are friends and they use the words as buddies (and the author means well I assume), but I think it's unlikely that anyone would say them so much - it felt forced and unrealistic to me. Some repetitions of phrases, descriptions, etc. - i.e. Felicity's hair, eyes, temperament, other actions people did, or descriptions of places. The use of the word query. How many people actually use that word? LoL The ending was a bit saccharine and not very likely, but I'll let that pass.
Neutral Some of the descriptions made me a bit queasy but I think it added to the storyline.
Overall, I was very impressed with the story, will read the next and be on the lookout for others in the series....more