Seanan has done it again! In Pocket Apocalypse Alex Price, herpetologist and cryptozoologist, is on his way to Australia. His girlfriend, Shelby TanneSeanan has done it again! In Pocket Apocalypse Alex Price, herpetologist and cryptozoologist, is on his way to Australia. His girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, a cryptozoologist in her own right, has requested his help with a werewolf outbreak back home. Since Australia is a closed ecosystem, the introduction of a feral, highly contagious, apex predator is a very dangerous thing. One werewolf could infect the entire continent in a matter of months. However, the only thing more dangerous to Alex than the werewolves could be Shelby’s family. They aren’t at all happy to have their oldest daughter dating anyone, much less an American who happens to be a Price boy. This book packs a wonder for the natural beauty of Australia in with high action, and a humorous reminder that everything in Australia wants to kill you. No, really. EVERYTHING. And that’s just the things that the normal folks know about.
ragnarokI love this book so much! There are sad things and funny things, and downright silly things. The Aeslin mice continue to be one of my favorite parts of the series. (I wonder what would happen if the Aeslin mice from the InCryptid books got together with Oberon from the Iron Druid books? Probably bloodshed, but they might bond over a shared love of food.) If you haven’t read any of the InCryptid books, you can start with Half-Off Ragnarok and then come on to Pocket Apocalypse. The first two books focus on Verity Price, the middle child of the Price family, while these two focus on Alex. I’m assuming Antimony (the baby) will also get a run. Seanan has stated that the InCryptid series is a mult-generational story, so I think we’ve got lots of time to spend with the Prices and the Healeys. Seanan has also, in her infinite awesomeness, given us loads of InCryptid material on her website. For free! I highly recommend you swing by there and look around. The link takes you straight to the short stories, but there is a field guide, wallpapers, and info on the novels.
This is the 19th book in the Phryne Fisher series. It’s not actually out in print in the US yet, but you can get it on Audible. Phryne inadvertently gThis is the 19th book in the Phryne Fisher series. It’s not actually out in print in the US yet, but you can get it on Audible. Phryne inadvertently gets in between a beating and its victim in Little Lonsdale street one night. Said victim is Polly Kettle, intrpid girl reporter! Polly is investigating a number of disappearances from a lying-in hospital for expectant, but unwed mothers. Phryne makes some suggestions, which Polly ignores, and soon Polly is missing too. Phryne’s investigation leads her all over town, into houses of ill-repute and the homes of the gentry.
This is another exciting romp through 1920′s Australia. Australian television has done two seasons of these as tv shows, but they aren’t available in the US yet. I believe that Netflix has bought US distribution rights, but I haven’t heard about a start date yet. I really really want them to be available soon! The only downside to these books is that they’re over too soon....more
Courtship and Curses takes place during the Regency era. Sophie's papa has something to do with the war office and is very busy trying to fight NapoleCourtship and Curses takes place during the Regency era. Sophie's papa has something to do with the war office and is very busy trying to fight Napoleon. Sophie herself is making her curtsey to society this season. However, when she was a child she suffered a severe illness that left her with a limp. The same illness also took her mother, her sister, and her magic from her. She is shy about dancing, or even walking in public. When a handsome young lord begins paying attention to Sophie she hardly knows what to think. But love does seem to be in the air. Sophie's aunt rediscovers an old beau who was lost to her as a girl. Sophie's father is showing signs of interest in the charming widow of an old family friend. Everything seems to be going well. Then Sophie's magic starts to trickle back. It isn't reliable, but it seems to show up at the best possible times because it seems that someone is trying to kill her father. And the assassin is using magic. Now Sophie must wrest her magic back under control in order to keep her family safe. But who can she trust?...more
This is the third (and, as far as I know, final) book in the Frontier Magic series. I love this series! My quick and dirty tagline for it when I'm tryThis is the third (and, as far as I know, final) book in the Frontier Magic series. I love this series! My quick and dirty tagline for it when I'm trying to hand-sell it at the bookstore is: Harry Potter meets Little House on the Prairie. It's so much more complicated than that, but when you've got ten seconds to get a middle schooler's attention you work with what you've got. I like these books so much that I did a video review of book one, The Thirteenth Child. It's pretty terrible, but you can go watch it if you want a good laugh. The world is essentially 19th century America, but magic has always been known and because of that things have developed a little differently. The biggest differences for our purposes are these: it's not America, it's Columbia; westward expansion has essentially stopped at the Mammoth River (The Mississippi for us) due to the uncontrollable wildlife on the other side; Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson managed to create a barrier using the river that keeps all magical animals to the west; there is no Native American presence (I assume because of the dangers of the wildlife although it is not specified in the text); the Civil War worked a little bit differently, but the end result is the same and slavery has been abolished, although it was never as big a deal there as it was here due to the difficulty of clearing large plantations. As in most fairy tales, the seventh son of a seventh son is considered the most powerful magician known. However, especially in the eastern-most areas of the country, thirteenth children are considered more than unlucky, they're seen almost as plague carriers. The best case scenario is that their bad luck could spread unintentionally; the worst case is that they become twisted and lash out on purpose. Eff is a thirteenth child, but also the twin of a double seventh son. Throughout the entire series she has been struggling with the matter of who she is, what she can do, and what she should do. At the same time, she has begun to come into her own as an explorer. In each book she takes a trip across the Great Barrier into regions very few people have explored. In this third book, Eff joins an academic expedition into the far west. Their aim is to go further than the last successful expedition and catalog the plants and animals along the way. Several new threats have been moving eastward in the last several years. The expedition hopes, among other things, to give the settled communities some hint of what is coming so that they can prepare for it. I cannot say enough good things about this series. I've read the first book three times now, the second twice, and I think tonight when I get home I'll start book three for the second time. It is an amazing series. And I don't mean for a young adult series. There are things in this series about identity, self-worth, inner strength, and ways of seeing the world that I'm still trying to get a grip on in my thirties. So, if you have any interest in this type of book, westward expansion, fantasy literature, awesome female characters, please please please give this series a shot....more
I looked at this book in hardcover two years ago, but for whatever reason, never got around to buying it. I can’t think why. It’s right up my alley; JI looked at this book in hardcover two years ago, but for whatever reason, never got around to buying it. I can’t think why. It’s right up my alley; Jane Austen-ish, but with magic. Sign me up! Maybe the cover was understated enough that I thought it wouldn’t be fun? I think it’s a beautiful cover, don’t get me wrong. I can’t really explain why I didn’t pick it up. The reason I got it this year is because the sequel came out and, obviously, the series has been repackaged. Glamour in Glass was mistakenly shelved in the YA section and when I went to move it I thought, ‘Gee, that looks awesome.’ Then I saw that it was the follow up to that other book I had never gotten around to picking up. So, I got both. Congratulations cover design department, you did your job! The set up of the story is straight out of Jane Austen. The Ellsworth family has two daughters; Jane, the older sister is more talented, but Melody is the family beauty. Jane has more or less resigned herself to being an old maid and someday living on the charity of her sister’s husband. The difference between this book and your average Regency era novel of manners is the world that Kowal has built. In this world magic is readily available and young ladies of breeding are taught how to weave glamour the same way they are taught to play the piano forte or cover screens. Drawing rooms are decorated with glamour tapestries and debutantes with slightly less than perfect physical features can cover them with magic, for a short time. Jane, though plain, eschews such deception and meets the world with her own face. If her skills and personality cannot persuade a man to marry her then nothing shall. Melody, though somewhat ham fisted with her magic is lovely enough that she should find a husband with no difficulty. Difficulties arise when both girls develop an attachment to their neighbor, Mr. Dunkirk. There are also the complications of Mr. Vincent, a master glamourist working on a tapestry for the Lady FitzCameron, and the lady’s nephew, Captain Livingston. Secrets, meetings, betrayals, and magic all weave together in this most excellent novel. ...more
This is the fourth Bess Crawford mystery by Charles Todd. Bess is working in a hospital in France during the spring of 1918. The Spanish Influenza hasThis is the fourth Bess Crawford mystery by Charles Todd. Bess is working in a hospital in France during the spring of 1918. The Spanish Influenza has begun to eat its way through the soldiers and the medical staff. Bodies are being stored in sheds until the overworked teams of grave diggers can get to them. After one especially long shift an orderly comes to Bess and shows her a body that has no business being in the burial shed. The man did not die of the influenza, nor was he a patient in the hospital. Even more, the man is someone Bess knew; a soldier in her father's old regiment and a friend. All the signs indicate that the man was murdered and hidden in the shed, but before Bess can alert anyone she herself is struck down by the influenza.
Bess faces a long recovery and the memory of the hours before her collapse are hazy and muddled up with fever dreams brought on by her illness. She is half convinced that she imagined the whole thing, but the man she saw is listed as a deserter and the ordlerly who showed him to her has committed suicide. Bess cannot let it rest at that. Something much deeper is going on and she will defy her family and the killer himself to find out what and clear the names of the two dead men.
As usual, I loved this book. Bess has never been an untouchable heroine. She starts the very first book wounded, but there is something about seeing her so vulnerable to the flu that I found really touching. I also like the way her family reacts to try to protect her. She understands their fears, but she cannot let things lie. The very first book in this series is titled A Duty to the Dead and I get the sense throughout the entire series, but especially in this new book, that Bess feels a sense of duty to those who are hurt and killed fighting this war. She cannot let good men be reviled as cowards or deserters, she cannot let their families live with that stigma. It is not that she wants to investigate, but that her duty compells her to. ...more
First of all, did I mention, DAN WELLS IS COMING TO MY BOOKSTORE JULY 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look – it’s on his webs First of all, did I mention, DAN WELLS IS COMING TO MY BOOKSTORE JULY 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look – it’s on his website and everything!!!!
Sorry, had to get that out. The book actually comes out July 3. I’m also talking to my Tor rep (The Hollow City) and my HarperTeen rep (Partials ) to see if there’s any way to get some copies to give away. I probably won’t haveThe Hollow City early, but I will try to get some signed copies of Dan’s books to give you guys. And I’m probably going to take some medication before the signing so that I don’t freak right out. Again.
Ok,The Hollow City. First off, it’s brilliant! I mean, just really, really good. The first thing you have to understand, is that Michael Shipman, our protagonist, is not to be trusted. I mean, he’s a nice enough guy, but he’s a paranoid schizophrenic. He has delusions. He sees things that aren’t there and imagines that dark, shadowy people are out to get him. They communicate thought any device that sends an electronic signal; cell phones, computers, tvs, clock radios. The faceless men are the worst. They literally have a blank where their face should be. They’re out to get him and do something horrible to him.
Granted, Michael has a right to be paranoid. His pregnant mother was kidnapped and murdered by a cult. People were out to get him before he was even born. His father resents that Michael lived while his mother died. He’s had a hard life for a young man. But, it’s all just in his head. Right?
The problem is that there are murders happening in the city. Horrible murders. Murders where the killer disfigures the victim’s face. The FBI think that Michael might know something, have seen something during one of his episodes. Or maybe, Michael saw everything because he is the killer? Michael himself can’t remember what happened the last time he blacked out. But there are only two possibilities; either he is a serial killer, or, some of the things he sees are real and they’re coming for him next.
I read this book incredibly fast. When I finished it, all I could say was, “Wow”. On twitter. Where I apparently made the author a little nervous.
I highly recommend this book! Michael is an amazing character. He is beautifully human in the midst of the horrible things happening around and to him. The story is tense and well thought out. I don’t want to keep talking about it because I don’t want to give anything away. Just buy it. Please.
I really don’t know what to say about Angelmaker. I have this problem with Nick Harkaway books. The easiest thing to say is, “It’s awesome, just trustI really don’t know what to say about Angelmaker. I have this problem with Nick Harkaway books. The easiest thing to say is, “It’s awesome, just trust me.” But that’s not a very effective review. It helps if you’re actually in front of me so that you can see how my eyes shine and my cheeks glow with happiness over the book. But since you’re at home, consuming this through a screen, imagine some sort of anime eyes staring up at you (even though, statistically, I’m probably taller than many of you.)
Ok, a few things about Angelmakerthat are totally awesome. First, the cover. Not only is it a very cool cover, but it has a code in it! The awesome designers over at Knopf actually designed a secret message and encoded it into the cover. So that’s awesome. The next awesome thing is the book trailer, which you can watch here. It makes me happy. I’ve probably watched it 10 times. I’m like that.
So, those are awesome things about the book. Now, let me tell you about the story. Our markedly mild mannered hero is Joseph Spork. He is the son of a fairly famous chanteuse and an old school London gangster. Joe’s grandfather, Daniel, was a clockmaker and Joe has chosen to follow almost religiously in his footsteps. He has given up his crown as a prince of the underworld and makes his living repairing clocks, windup toys, and other items made up of gears and cogs. The Spork legend lingers in the London undercity, but only like a hint of cigarettes and food the morning after a fabulous party.
One day, Joe’s friend Billy brings him a clockwork book and then all hell breaks loose. Joe is soon on the run from the police, a secret government organization, and a cult. He is accompanied in his flight by Edie Banister, former client, former super spy, current octogenarian; her dog Bastion, world’s ugliest pug; and Polly, an administrative assistant of epic abilities and very, very intriguing toes. It’s a little bit steampunk, a little bit of a spy thriller, and utterly, totally awesome.
I am a huge fan of Nick Harkaway’s. His first book, Gone Away World, is still one of my favorites. It also had a pretty awesome cover. It was fuzzy. I may have used it like a teddy bear once or twice. I’m not saying I did. Just that I might have. ...more
I just finished reading Partials by Dan Wells. It's a post-apocalyptic dystopia. About 20 years ago the American government produced the Partials to hI just finished reading Partials by Dan Wells. It's a post-apocalyptic dystopia. About 20 years ago the American government produced the Partials to help them fight a war with China. The Partials were engineered, part human creations. I'm still not totally clear on whether they're cyborgs or if they just have some nanotech or what. but the point is that after the war was over they rebelled. they were winning easily when a plague came. It was a virus that wiped out 99.996% of the human population, but didn't touch the Partials. It is now 11 years after that and the remaing humans in North America are gathered at the end of Long Island. No one has seen a Partial in that time, but things are still in danger. The virus (called RM) is still around. The current population are imune, but all the babies get it. There hasn't been a single baby that has survived over 48 hours in eleven years. The government has created the Hope Act, which requires all women over 18 to have as many babies as possible. The goal is to overwhelm the virus with numbers. Eventually, the power of probability demands that one of the babies will live. It's not working. There is a rebel group called the Voice that opposes the Hope Act and has been commiting acts of terrorism to push for its repeal. That's all the background. The foreground is a 16 year old medic named Kira who has come up with a plan to cure RM. The problem is that her plan involves committing treason, leaving the settlement, finding a Partial, and studying it to determine the source of its immunity. somehow she and her friends will have to do this without getting shot by the humans, killed by the Partials, or starting a new war. And they're on a time limit - Kira's friend Madison is pregnant and the Senate has just lowered the pregnancy age to 16. ...more
Joe has been a long time healing from the events at the Dragon Factory. He’s actually on vacation in London when the Royal London Hospital is bombed.Joe has been a long time healing from the events at the Dragon Factory. He’s actually on vacation in London when the Royal London Hospital is bombed. As the only DMS agent available in Europe he is attached to the investigation. Just as he is starting to make some headway he’s called out to the Orkney Isles to attempt to contain a situation at a bio-weapons research lab. Someone is terrorizing ordinary men and women into committing atrocities; someone who is working for a shadowy organization calling itself the Seven Kings.
The Kings are dedicated to destabilizing the world. Anything that might cause chaos, and result in profit for them, is fair game. Terrorism, assassinations, disease, scarcity, coups; all of these are weapons in the King’s arsenal. But the Kings themselves remain shrouded in darkness. The DMS has tangled with the Chosen, the street level minions of the Kings’ organization. They have once engaged the Kingsmen, the upper level of soldiers, but of the Kings themselves there is no sign. The only thing they know is that the Kings want to drown the world in a river of blood. That is ominous, but terribly vague. How do you fight something that sounds like a biblical curse?...more
What can I say about how much I love this series? It’s magically delicious! RENEGADE MAGIC is book 2, following KAT, INCORRIGIBLE, which will be out iWhat can I say about how much I love this series? It’s magically delicious! RENEGADE MAGIC is book 2, following KAT, INCORRIGIBLE, which will be out in paperback in April. It’s Jane Austen for the Harry Potter crowd. Kat is the youngest of three girls. Her father is an absent-minded vicar and her stepmother is a horror. She’s not evil, she just desperately wants the family to be respectable and fine. Kat is not respectable. Her mother, you see, was a witch and the witchcraft has passed to her daughters. Kat however, has gotten a little more than her sisters. Their mother wasn’t just a witch. She was actually a Guardian, one of the people entrusted with special powers to defend the realm against the misuse of magic. Kat has inherited her powers, her responsibilities, and her enemies.
Kat’s oldest sister, Elissa, is terribly respectable. She would never dream of doing anything so outre as using magic. The middle sister, Angeline, is a little too interested in magic. In fact, in book 1 she accidentally ensnared a suitor using magic. Now his mama has burst into Elissa’s wedding shouting accusations and casting aspersions on the entire family. With Elissa gone on her honeymoon, Kat and Angeline are left to deal with Stepmama alone. She decides that the only thing to be done is to take the girls to Bath and try to get Angeline safely married off to someone who doesn’t know about the magical skeleton in the family closet.
Kat soon finds herself in a difficult position. Her brother is dodging in and out of the house, obviously up to no good. Her sister is taunting the most notorious rake in Bath in an attempt to drive Stepmama into apoplexy. The entire family is staying with relations who may be under the misapprehension that Lady Fotherington, Kat’s greatest opponent, is actually, her godmother. To make things worse, Lady Fotherington has had Kat banished from the hall of the Guardians. Kat is on probation, one step out of line and her powers will be bound. But there is more going on in Bath than family troubles. Someone is using the ancient Roman baths to draw power and Kat’s idiotic older brother is caught up in it. Soon, so is her hostess’s youngest daughter. And Kat’s Guardian mentor won’t believe a word she says about Lady Fotherington, the buildup of wild magics in Bath, or the danger to her family. Once again, it looks like the incorrigible Kat will have to save the day on her own....more