Full review coming at Bookspan closer to release, but short answer: Way cool. I was more hooked by the clever time travel aspect and the heroine PeriFull review coming at Bookspan closer to release, but short answer: Way cool. I was more hooked by the clever time travel aspect and the heroine Peri than the romantic elements, which is saying something. That said: the sexy is there, folks. ...more
Day Shift, like so many engaging mysteries, picks up steam as you delve further into its stoThis review was originally published at Vampire Book Club.
Day Shift, like so many engaging mysteries, picks up steam as you delve further into its story. The novel begins at a meander—it took me three chapters before I was hooked back into the world set in Midnight Crossroad. The easy pace at the opening of the novel is a clever deception on Charlaine Harris’s part. She’s such a master of this. She skips from one eccentric Midnight resident to another touching on day-to-day minutiae that give the novel the feeling of a languid character study. Toward the end of the novel, though, you’ll be sprinting to solve mysteries.
The rich ensemble she’s crafted for this series is engaging and curious and Day Shift gives us more. We learn more about each of the characters, what makes so many of them more than human, but questions aren’t easily answered in Midnight. There are far too many secrets for that. And perhaps that’s why I was hooked the second we had chapters from Olivia’s point of view. While Manfred, the key protagonist of the first novel, is again front-and-center, Olivia is equally so this time. She’s engaging and fascinating and has the right amounts of ingenuity and darkness to make me crave every passage with her.
While Day Shift focuses on its characters, the deeper we get into the story, the more the plot winds. More secrets are revealed, and by the end I found myself rushing forward to get the answer of the whodunit instead of simply wanting more time in Olivia’s head.
Without giving any of the clever twists away, I was shocked to discover that the Midnight, Texas world coincides with that of the Sookie Stackhouse one. An ancillary character everyone will recognize makes an appearance in this book, and fit right in with the Midnight crew. It was curveball, and at first I balked a bit, but quickly everything fell in to place and I understood the decision. Plus, it’s like an Easter Egg for the Sookie fans.
Harris continues to be a master at the character-driven story. Day Shift has a cast worthy of your investment and intrigue piled upon intrigue. I’m eager to get back to Midnight, Texas just to unearth more of their secrets....more
Time travel stories are tricky. A Thousand Pieces of You isn’t a time travel story, though.This review was originally published at Vampire Book Club.
Time travel stories are tricky. A Thousand Pieces of You isn’t a time travel story, though. When this first book was first released, though, several people told me they loved it as a time travel story. As anyone who has read Harry Potter or Outlander knows, time travel stories are notoriously tricky. So I passed.
As such, let’s get this part out of the way up front: A Thousand Pieces of You isn’t a time travel story. It’s about five times more complicated, but told in a way that’s utterly clear, straightforward, and unputdownable. Read this sucker!
Claudia Gray takes some of the tenets of time travel books—the fear about what may happen in the present—and rolls them in with key pieces of portal fantasy (something I don’t typically read much of), science fiction, and romance. The finished product is fantastic. In the Firebird series, there are unending parallel universes to ours. There is another version of us there (as long as your parents in that universe ended up together at some point), and their lives could be very similar or very different. Marguerite’s family are geniuses. We’re talking they—along with their two grad students who are like family—invented a way to travel between the dimensions. Marguerite has never been interested in all that—she’s far too right-brained—but when her father is murdered and the man responsible takes off to another dimension, she’s determined to catch him.
There are some nice twists in this novel, which make writing a spoiler-free review tricky. It’s a good problem for this reviewer to have. The visuals of each location Marguerite travels to, trying to understand who she is in each world and what it means for that world’s Marguerite while she’s inhabiting her body are pure highlights. The romance gets sticky, and most certainly has a love triangle element. While I was initially wary of a situation of guy A versus guy B, the plot reveals dictate much of this and it worked for me.
Claudia Gray has crafted another must read. Once we start hopping through dimensions, there is no way to put this novel down. I had to know what happened next, and I bet you will, too. Plus, hot Russian dudes play a part and I’m never going to say no to that....more