I didn't expect to love this as much as I did. Undertow was a fun read about a new kind of alien invader - The Alpha or First Men - or what we would hI didn't expect to love this as much as I did. Undertow was a fun read about a new kind of alien invader - The Alpha or First Men - or what we would have called mermaids. But these aren't the beautiful women with fish tails. They are strong and fierce warriors. And they are on the shores of Coney Island. Thirty thousand of them.
In an attempt to integrate the Alpha with the human population, the Alphas are invited to attend the local high school, much to the chagrin of the humans. In scenes reminiscent of desegregation, the Alpha are brought to school under guard of the police and National Guard. Things don't go well and the governor of New York rallies the humans against the "Fishes".
Throughout all of this nonsense, 17 year old Lyric Walker prevails. She is assigned to the Alpha Prince Fathom and she teaches him to read. Fathom is quite a scary character and I loved how he just didn't understand some of the books Lyric brought to him. Just his comments about One Fish, Two Fish made me laugh.
Undertow is not your usual mermaid story. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Sync audio book free download week of May 30 - June 5.
Oh, thank goodness it's finally over. I don't know if it's me or maybe I just couldn't stand thSync audio book free download week of May 30 - June 5.
Oh, thank goodness it's finally over. I don't know if it's me or maybe I just couldn't stand the narrator - she made the main character (and pretty much all the female ones) come across as whiny, while the male characters were a little too stalkerish for my taste.
The ending was quite abrupt. There is an art to a cliffhanger and just stopping the narrative doesn't cut it. This is it, I'm done with this series. I really don't care what happens to Galen and Emma any more. ...more
Madly is a mermaid princess living on land and attending school. She is living the life of your average teenager when suddenly she feels that somethinMadly is a mermaid princess living on land and attending school. She is living the life of your average teenager when suddenly she feels that something was wrong. The Lore have escaped and her parents and younger sister are being held hostage.
This is a nice start to a series. It's a short book and a pretty quick read. I enjoyed the mermaid lore and the tension between Madly and Jackson was kind of fun. My only criticism is that this book ended rather abruptly, so I guess I'll be looking for the next book in the series. ...more
Emilie and the Hollow World is a delightful book about a young girl's journey to the center of the earth. I loved how the steampunk elements were incoEmilie and the Hollow World is a delightful book about a young girl's journey to the center of the earth. I loved how the steampunk elements were incorporated into the narrative. The story picked up for me once Emilie and her friends reached the Hollow World. Lots of fantastic monsters and stuff.
This is a fun little read and would be appropriate for middle grades and up.
Thank you to Angry Robot books for a review copy of this book.
Anthologies provide me with a way to sample an author's writing without the commitment of a full novel. I've discovered some fantastic authors this waAnthologies provide me with a way to sample an author's writing without the commitment of a full novel. I've discovered some fantastic authors this way and my TBR (to be read) list has grown to a huge mountain. Carniepunk has got to be one of my favorite anthologies so far. This list of participating authors reads like a Who's Who list of urban fantasy stars. I was impressed by the writing quality and have added a few new authors to my ever-growing to-read list.
Carniepunk is an anthology about carnivals and the people who work there. I've always found carnivals, especially the traveling ones, to be a little creepy. These stories build upon those irrational (or are they?) fears. Add in a touch of the paranormal and there's some great stories in this book.
I had several favorite stories - I won't review each one individually. You can see my thoughts on each story below in the status updates. I think that for me, the following stories stood out:
The Cold Girl by Rachel Caine Freak House by Kelly Meding The Demon Barkers of Wheat Street by Kevin Hearne
Another really good story is Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep and is available for free on on Amazon.
I usually don't recommend anthologies but this one had an all-star cast of urban fantasy writers and is one of the best anthologies I've read.
Here is a full list of authors in this anthology: Rob Thurman, Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne, Mark Henry, Jaye Wells, Rachel Caine, Alison Pang, Hilary Jacques, Jennifer Estep, Kelly Meding, Nicole Peeler, Jackie Kessler, Kelly Gay, Seanan McGuire.
Something for everyone!
Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon and Schuster for a review copy of this book.
Deep Betrayal is the sequel to Lies Beneath and takes place about a month after the events of that book. Lily haDefinitely not your ordinary mermaids…
Deep Betrayal is the sequel to Lies Beneath and takes place about a month after the events of that book. Lily has been sent away from her family’s home on the shores of Lake Superior in order to keep her safe. All she can think of is Calder, her merman boyfriend. Lily also feels strangely attracted to the water.
Like the first book, this is a darker, more sinister take on mermaids. The author blends intriguing mermaid lore with native Indian legends to create a captivating read. Even Coyote makes an appearance. The narrative is enhanced by the addition of mermaid themed poetry. The underwater sequences are beautifully detailed as well.
I enjoyed Deep Betrayal more than Lies Beneath. I think it’s because the characters had another level of development. Whereas in the first book Calder was a little creepy, in this book he became the family’s protector and mentor. Calder even took his relationship with Lily a step further, attempting to take her on dates like a regular boyfriend. Calder seemed a little more human in this book.
In Deep Betrayal, Lily’s father Jason realizes his calling and begins to spend more time in the lake, abandoning his family. Calder takes him under his wing (fins?) and is showing Jason how to live as a merman. Meanwhile, something sinister is going on in the town and the surrounding areas. Someone or something is killing off the local townspeople. Calder and Lily work together to find out who or what is responsible.
This is a fun book to read if you ignore a few of the little inconsistencies and just enjoy the ride. (I’m not too sure that a human could deep dive 20 fathoms without a sub or specialized equipment). Also, Lily holds her breath for quite a while. I’m sure it’s possible, but a tad unrealistic.
Despite these niggling little things, Deep Betrayal still was an enjoyable read. For a darker take on mermaids, Deep Betrayal fits the bill (fins?). I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for a review copy of this book.
Now this was a very different take on mermaids. Step aside Ariel and let author Anne Greenwood Brown tell us all ab3.5 stars
Now this was a very different take on mermaids. Step aside Ariel and let author Anne Greenwood Brown tell us all about her mermaids. Lies Beneath's mermaids are predators that feed upon humans’ positive emotions, leaving shriveled husks of their prey behind. These mermaids have special abilities: they are able to communicate telepathically with other animals, they have speed, they have beauty, they are able to compel and persuade, and they are able to transform into human form and walk among us.
Set in Lake Superior, near the Apostle Islands off Wisconsin, Lies Beneath borrows from the Manitou legends and lore of the Native Indians of that region. The rugged beauty of the area and its remoteness create a wonderful backdrop for this tale. (No pun intended).
The story is narrated by Calder, a merman who is compelled to leave the warmth of the Caribbean and migrate to join his sisters Maris, Pavati, and Tallulah up north in Lake Superior. They have summoned Calder back to Lake Superior to avenge their mother’s death. Calder’s migration used all modes of transport – by water, by plane, and stolen car. Yes, these mermaids have a kind of outlaw feel to them. Maris is particularly ruthless, carrying a grudge for long periods of time. Pavati uses her beauty to acquire necessities for her family as well as prey. Pavati loves to “play” with her food. Tallulah is the more happy-go-lucky sister who cares deeply for Calder. Tallulah wants to be free of Maris’ control.
Calder’s character both intrigued and repulsed me. It’s not often that I read books about mermaids and his perspective was new for me. Calder was different from his sisters – he preferred the warmth of the Caribbean to Lake Superior (completely understandable). He also viewed his sisters’ feeding habits with disdain; he had not fed from a human in months. I was a little creeped out by Calder’s stalker tendencies, more so because he was behaving as a predator which was his nature. Calder did have some cool abilities. He had a strong electric charge which made him handy as a bug zapper.
There’s lots to like about Lily. Lily is a bit of a free spirit, a poet at heart. The oldest daughter of Jason Hancock, Lily was responsible for her younger sister Sophie. Lily does not fall head over heels for Calder at first – in fact she is quite wary of him, and rightfully so. Lily is smart and resourceful and handles herself well in difficult situations.
I liked how the author includes poetry about mermaids into the narrative. Lily even sports her favorite line of poetry as a tattoo.
Lies Beneath is not without a few little problems. Lake Superior would be way too cold for swimming, especially in April unless one is a fish. Aside from that, and perhaps a few stalkerish moments, I found Lies Beneath to be an enjoyable read and an exciting new take on mermaids.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s Books for a review copy of this book.
This is a review of the audio book which I listened to late at night to combat a bout of insomnia.
I loved the narrator. She was very convincing as VeThis is a review of the audio book which I listened to late at night to combat a bout of insomnia.
I loved the narrator. She was very convincing as Verity and she did the voices of all the other characters quite well. In fact, I think that I lost a lot of sleep this week just because the story kept me awake instead of lulling me to sleep.
Discount Armageddon is a fun read - it's quirky, it's got eccentric characters, and it is hilarious. Verity was an amazing character - a kickass heroine outfitted with all the requisite weapons, but she was also a ballroom dancer. Who creates characters like this?
Anyhow - this is a nice introduction to the Incrytid series and I can't wait to read more of it. ...more
I loved, loved, loved the audio book version of this book. The narrator doesFree Audio book download week of Aug2 - 9 on http://www.audiobooksync.com/
I loved, loved, loved the audio book version of this book. The narrator does a wonderful job and her voice is both expressive and relaxing. She really brings all of the characters to life and captures the mood well.
Laini Taylor is a genius. Her writing is so beautiful, elegant, and I can't even begin to express in words what I felt about this book. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a wonderful story and I can't recommend it enough to everyone I know. I am so glad that the next book in the series is already out. I can't wait to read it!...more