Seventh in the Children of the Night paranormal romance series and revolving around the Cordova-DeLongpre family of vampires and humans. The couple foSeventh in the Children of the Night paranormal romance series and revolving around the Cordova-DeLongpre family of vampires and humans. The couple focus is on Abbey Cordova and Nick Desanto. Based in Northern California.
This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Zebra for an honest review.
My Take It's a cozy read and feels like the 1950s with its doting, concerned parents. While it's a fun read, it is not an A-quality read as Ashley doesn't develop the romance smoothly, the writing itself is lacking in grace, and there's no real depth to the story. Be warned, it's also insta-love.
It's age, how one looks and a feeling of not belonging that drives Abbey's worries while Nick is bored, fed up with having lived too long. It doesn't take much for Nick to change his mind about living, and the real question, for him, devolves to how he wants to live: as a vampire or a human. As for Abbey, the story becomes a vehicle for Ashley to explore the pluses and minuses of being either human or vampire. To explore that human yearning for wherever the grass is greener.
Savannah's thoughts about becoming a vampire are poignant, making me feel how important the little things in life really are. On the other hand, Nick's musings about what he misses about being a vampire are also sweet. It's a two-way street with whatever you've become accustomed to over the years (and years and years and years, lol) seeming the proper way to do things.
Oh, boy, the dreaded she-deserves-better trope…*eye roll*…
"A man who wouldn't look at eleven helpless humans and think of them as lunch."
Oh, brother. Logan's jealousy is so contrived. He should be feeling secure about her love for him, and that scene with Mara licking some blood from Nick's lip is a definite eye-roller with yet more eye rolls needed when Abbey confronts Nick about the lipstick. Sure, you'd think Logan's and Abbey's reactions are reasonable…but just wait until you read the scenes, though…*eyes rolling like a one-armed bandit*…
Two issues I'm wondering about include Ashley stating that Rane is a born vampire and then later she says that he was turned vampire when he and Rafe turned thirteen. So, which is it? Born means when you're born, doesn't it? Then there are all these "uncles". If Rane is her dad, shouldn't some of those "uncles" be "grandfathers" and "great-grands"?
Aww, the new setting for Pearl and Edna is so sweet. And quite fortuitous.
I suspect I'd have gotten more out of the story if I'd read the previous installments. There is a lot in here that's implied and assumes that you know about past incidents.
The Story It's computers once Abbey flips through the list of her abilities with every job seeming to require computer literacy, and it's that visit to the computer store that will change everything for her.
Nick is tired. Alive for better than 2,000 years, he wants to end it. To experience a real death.
The Characters Abbey Marie Cordova is a wanna-be actress struggling in New York City. Rane Cordova, a former magician and vampire, is her adoptive father. Savannah was her human mother who chose the Dark Gift after Abbey graduated from high school. (Savannah's father is William Gentry, and she's a direct descendant of Abraham Van Helsing through her vampire-hunter mother, Barbara Gentry.) Freckles is the horse her parents give Abbey. Serenity is the very high-strung horse Savannah usually rides.
Niccola "Nick" Desanto is over 2,000 years old, but still younger than Mara, the vampire who turned him. He was her first.
Uncle Logan Blackwood, a.k.a., Hektor, is an Oscar-winning director, married to Mara, Queen of the Vampires who is better than 2,000 years old, about whom rumors flew that she was human again. Derek, Mara's son and a werewolf, got married last month to Sheree. Mara is godmother to Abbey, Rane, and Rane's twin brother, Rafe, whose parents are Uncle Vince Cordova and his wife, Cara. Uncle Rafe is married to Kathy. Cara is Uncle Roshan (vampire) and Aunt Brenna (witch) DeLongpre's daughter.
Pearl Jackson, a.k.a., Anita, might have a cure for what ails an old vampire. Edna Mae Turner, a.k.a., Brittany, is her partner and completely unable to keep a secret. (Uncle Rafe turned these two hunters during the War.) James Harkness and his friend, Monroe Taylor, take Anita and Brittany out on a date. Al, the bartender, is a vampire, and Diane is a waitress there.
Dendar is the vampire who turned Mara. Kyle Bowden, a werewolf, had once been married to Mara. Father Lanzoni, a vampire priest, has married many of the Cordova-DeLongpre vampires. (He was a priest when he was turned.)
The hunters include… Louise McDonald and Cindy McDonald Meloni, sisters, were legendary hunters who have been killed. F. Meloni is Cindy's daughter. Thad Rivers is a hunter who kidnaps Pearl and Edna. Cal. Clary and Berta are part of the kidnapping party.
Peter Abbott is Abbey's agent. Zendeya is a witch descended from Zara, the witch who did some altering in the Van Helsing book. Miles Jay Cunningham, an accountant, was the sperm donor with several aliases: Miles Novotny, a warlock in New Orleans; Miles Lightner, a self-proclaimed psychic and healer in Boston; Ace Lightner in Santa Fe; and, a dealer in Atlantic City.
The Cover and Title The cover has the most gorgeous man on it, or should I say 2,000-plus-year-old vampire? Dark hair, stubble on his chin, naked from the waist up with a background of silhouetted trees against a blazing yellow sunset — who wouldn't fall in love? A gorgeous scroll flows across the bottom with the author's name in a serif font and a smaller swirl for the title in a sunset yellow-orange with the name of the series in white.
The title is all about Abbey and her metaphorical capitulation to Night's Surrender....more
Thirteenth in the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series and revolving around Gin Blanco, a not-so-secret assassin and the current queen of the underThirteenth in the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series and revolving around Gin Blanco, a not-so-secret assassin and the current queen of the underworld. It's been a few weeks since Black Widow, 12. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Elemental Assassin books on my website.
This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Pocket Books for an honest review.
My Take This starts out hilariously with a "peaceful" mediation Gin is supposed to preside over between two of the crime lords. Gin is itchin' to "simplify everything", but Silvio reckons it could send the wrong message, lol. That itch gets scratched and simply proves how much better Gin is than the rest. I do love this about her. She is so incredibly competent. And, thank god, she knows enough to eat even if she isn't hungry!
The bad however is how many of the bosses want to "talk" to her. Nope, they really do want to talk.
I do enjoy the food descriptions in the Elemental Assassin series. It gets my taste buds tingling and thinking about barbecue, coleslaw, pie, that pumpkin cheesecake…yum. Then there are those breakfasts Gin cooks up…sorry, I'll have to stop for a minute or twenty and go make myself some French toast. Back in a bit.
Estep builds the question as she keeps pushing the symbolism of Lorelei's disdain for Gin. I think she's emphasized it too much, although the final reveal at the end was very interesting and sheds yet more light on Gin's and Lorelei's back history.
Estep also builds in the tension as she slowly unveils Gin's memory, a memory of why that mace seems so familiar. It drove me nuts having to wait to find out every last bit of the back history, and it was quite effective in pushing me to race through the story!
I am curious as to why Gin didn't simply throw the bomb. Why jump in with it? Get one of the giants to throw it if you need distance. Yeah, Estep does give a reason later, but I still wonder.
Oh, please. Now. Later. Pike would have caught up to her. I don't see how Gin or her friends had any effect on what's happening now. Hmmm, I'm thinking I may be wrong in this assessment. It was Fletcher's fault if any. I don't understand… No, actually, I do understand why Fletcher wants to hold to his own sense of what's right, but the boy is not the type to get better with age.
I also wonder about the crooks who interpret the world around themselves so weirdly. Why is it okay to hurt, abuse, and torture someone, but when their victim strikes back, it's not okay? A different wonder is why Gin didn't think about how Pike's metal magic would affect her knives. Over and over. Seems careless of such a skilled assassin. I did like the sound of those ice guns, though.
It's a nasty bit of back history about one of the pro bono jobs Fletcher did to rescue a young girl and her mother. I will never understand someone like Renaldo.
It's tense with the certain possibility of death. It's dramatic as Gin finds herself outmatched. — and I loved the response Pike's daughter gave that jerk. Taunting him with her true thoughts. Her speech at the end was another pip. And exactly RIGHT.
Chases, assassination attempts — some really spectacular ones! — fake waiters, bombs, fancy tea parties, and the trap that had me both surprised and relieved.
That final battle had my heart racing, especially with all those misses earlier.
Bless your heart…
The Story It's a nagging feel that accompanies Gin. There's something about this dark element that feels so familiar. She knows she's the target, heck, what's changed? She simply keeps rolling with the punches as the crime lords of Ashland try to take her down. But Gin thought she had made it painfully clear that no one touches her family or friends. Obviously not clear enough.
Imagine her surprise when she learns the truth of those attacks…
The Characters Gin Blanco was outed as The Spider, an extremely successful assassin with Stone and Ice elemental talents. Fletcher Lane was her mentor, a highly successful assassin, and Finn's father. Finnegan Lane is also Gin's foster brother, a snappy dresser *eye roll*, a ladies' man, and a natural schmoozer. Detective Bria Coolidge (her talent is Ice) is Gin's little sister, and one of the few cops in Ashland who isn't crooked. And she appears to have tamed Finn!
Owen Grayson, a Metal elemental, is Gin's lover. Eva is Owen's little sister. Violet is her best friend, and she lives up at Country Daze with her grandfather.
The Pork Pit is… …Gin's barbecue joint left to her by Fletcher. Catalina Vasquez is one of the waitresses (Poison Promise, 11) and Silvio's niece. Sophia Deveraux is a dwarf Goth, also with an Air talent like her sister Jo-Jo. Only Sophia uses her to "clean up". She's the Pork Pit's cook. Jolene "Jo-Jo" Deveraux is a dwarven Air elemental who uses her talent to heal Gin's wounds (must be a daily sort of thing the way Gin gets in trouble) and runs a beauty salon. The laid-back Rosco is Jo-Jo's basset hound. Cooper Stills, another Air elemental, is a dwarf blacksmith and Jo-Jo's beau. He was also Owen's mentor.
Silvio Sanchez, vampire and former mob, is Gin's personal assistant (see Poison Promise) with a love for lists and research. Phillip Kincaid runs the Delta Queen, a luxe riverboat-cum-casino and a friend of Gin and Owen's. Gustav is Phillip's cook.
Ashland PD Xavier, a giant, is Bria's partner, and he's in love with Roslyn Phillips, a vampire, who runs the Northern Aggression nightclub. Dr. Ryan Colson is the honest coroner. The first two are friends of Gin's while the latter is a supporter.
Ashland's underworld bosses include… …Dimitri Barkov and Luis Ramos who are the crime lords in conflict while Jade Jamison is a madam who is both leery of Gin's reign and has information for her. Harold Smith is staying at the Blue Moon Hotel. Emery Slater had been M.M. Monroe's bodyguard and right-hand woman in Black Widow, 12, with a major hate-on for Gin.
Lorelei Parker is a smuggler who owns the coin laundries in contention. She's never let on about her own talent: Ice. Jack Corbin is her right-hand man. Mallory Parker is a dwarf, a smuggler who clawed her way up as a grande dame of society, and Lorelei's many greats-grandmother. She does have some good advice for Gin.
Raymond Pike is incredibly strong with his Metal element and so very much like his father. Renaldo Pike is a vicious brutal Metal elemental married to Lily Rose Pike whom he abused horribly. Laura was Lily's mama.
There's an Ice elemental named Deirdre Shaw, Finn's mother.
Peggy and Fred are hotel guests who get lucky. Delilah loves her horses and bores on about them.
The Cover and Title The cover is dark. Dark green, deep grays, black with Gin in a fitted black T, its back cut out like a spider's web, a nice bit of symbolism that reinforces the title, which is Gin's own plans, The Spider's Trap. It's also the trap Gin herself falls into. Every. Single. Time. ...more
First in The Hot War alternate history science fiction series and revolving around the Korean War.
This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Del Rey forFirst in The Hot War alternate history science fiction series and revolving around the Korean War.
This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Del Rey for an honest review.
My Take What IF the war was going so badly for the UN troops in Korea that Truman decided to drop multiple atomic bombs on cities in China that were providing men and supplies to the North Koreans?
What IF Stalin does decide to come to the aid of his "allies"?
And the Americans are caught with their pants down and fast asleep?
Oooee, Turtledove does not like MacArthur! I don't know much about MacArthur or the truth of his actions in either World War II or Korea, but if those actions were anything like the generals of World War I, I wouldn't blame Truman for being pissy.
The bombings in the United States could probably have been lessened if people hadn't been so complacent. Just like the 9/11 bombers who got through, our intelligence community screwed up as much as the military did. How could they not think that Stalin would retaliate? If they didn't think he would, why wouldn't they take extra precautions? Just for the fun of it? It's just too bad that the enhanced bombs don't do anything like what Truman or MacArthur expected. They'd have been better off with regular bombing runs. They could've got the Lubyanka anyway and spared those lovely onion domes.
"Einstein … was supposed to have said, that he didn't know what the weapons of World War III would be like, but that he did know … [they would fight World War IV with rocks]."
I loved the tone Turtledove set in this. I knew I was reading this on a Kindle, but it felt as though I were reading a 1950s paperback with those fragile yellowy pages and the smell of an old book, all through the words and the burbly 1950s setting he created back in the U.S. Turtledove has the language, the culture, the fashion, and the mores down pat. It's a lovely complement to his switching back and forth between the cozy domestic homelife of Americans with Vasili's struggles in Manchuria, Daisy's worries in Fakenham, Ihor's inner thoughts in the Ukraine, and those of the soldiers and families in Germany.
Turtledove brings to life what survival means in a refugee camp, what war does to a conscientious man's psyche. He also provides insight into one good reason for smoking, lol. It made me wonder if it was war that made smoking so very popular. I have to admit, it was weird reading a story in which so many people are lighting up for a smoke.
It is a complex cast of characters, but one well used to provide us with a round of domestic and martial views on both sides of this war. Marina and Aaron provide the look-in at the domestic American side of life with Marina and her daughter representing the American refugees and Aaron the softer side of survival in the U.S. Daisy represents the English struggles with life after World War II. Ihor and Vasili provide that same peek at the Russian and Chinese domestic life with Vasili's delving deeper into life after an A-bomb attack as one of the few Russians in a Chinese-dominant enemy city. Curtis and Bill show us the American martial side in Korea while the rest of the men cover both the German and Russian/allies side.
There certainly isn't any love lost for the Russian government. With good reason. They did then, and still do, take what they can get from their citizens and those subject to the Soviet Union. Not caring how or if those people survive.
"Nice of the Russians to give us the chance to die for their country."
There's a complexity to Bombs Away, a fearsomeness. Those Germans in the American Zone are thrilled to be there as opposed to being in the Russian one, but it doesn't mean they like the Amis, the Americans. The fighting Russians also remember how the German army treated its people during World War II, and it adds an extra impetus now as they battle their way across Germany. But as much as they hate the Germans, they hate their own government as well, for they well understand how awful Stalin is. It did crack me up "listening" to the Russian soldiers and their allies re-interpret the slogans they have to spout.
"What were innocent children doing playing in a park in the middle of a nighttime air raid?"
As for the fear, this whole story is too possible. It feels so real! Cade's escape across Korea, the soldiers' reactions and fears on all fronts, Vasili's problems in Harbin. But what's bad is how Turtledove leaves us, desperate to find out what's left.
There's a beautifully Christian act in this one. One that makes Cade Curtis reflect on the lack of true Christianity back home. It's both sad and funny that the Christians Cade meets up with use Latin to communicate with him.
It's also an interesting look at bigotry. Hard to believe that intelligent people did (and do) think this way.
I do wish Turtledove had used some kind of text separator between the various groups.
"He would have to keep turning the pages of his life to discover [the answer]."
The Story It didn't matter that the enemy was so poorly equipped: They had the men to spend, and their generals were willing to splurge. It only seemed practical to drop a few A-bombs to distract the Chinese.
Only Stalin didn't ignore the challenge to his allies, and he retaliates with his own A-bombs.
The Characters Korea Lefty didn't make it out of the Choisin Reservoir. Lieutenant Cade Curtis did and is now a first lieutenant with a company of his own. Staff Sergeant Lou Klein could run it better. Sergeant Bernie O'Higgins is in charge of the guns. Major Jeff Walpole is the battalion commander.
Pusan is… …where First Lieutenant Bill Staley is a co-pilot on a B-29 with Major Hank McCutcheon as the pilot. The rest of the crew includes Sergeant Hyman Ginsberg on the radio, Roger Williamson as navigator , and Steve Bauer. Brigadier General Matt Harrison is the base commander.
Douglas MacArthur is in charge of the Korean War. Colonel Linebarger is a psy-ops man whose family is high-up — Sun Yat-sen was his godfather.
United States Everett, Washington, is… …where the Staleys live. Marian Staley is Bill's wife; they have a daughter, Linda. Fayvl Tabakman is a cobbler and a concentration camp survivor.
Camp Nowhere for Washington survivors is… …officially Seattle-Everett Refugee Encampment Number Three. Fayvl's friends include Yitzkhak and Moishe. Daniel Philip Jaspers is a teenager who tried to rob Marian's car.
Bill Devin is the mayor of Seattle.
Glendale, California, is… …where Aaron Finch lives and delivers washing machines for Blue Front, which is owned by Herschel Weissman. He'd tried to join the army, but they'd refused him for being nearsighted and too old, so he joined the merchant marine instead. It still didn't make him eligible for postwar benefits. Ruth is his wife, and they have a son, Leon. Martin is his well-to-do brother married to Sarah, a Phi Beta Kappa who has faded under Martin's shadow. Olivia is Martin's thirteen-year-old daughter. Caesar is their vicious German shepherd. Roxane Bauman is Ruth's first cousin married to an unsuccessful actor, Howard Bauman. They're both pinkos.
Finch will capture one of the ejecting Russian pilots, Lieutenant Yuri Svechin, a navigator. Lieutenant Colonel Del Shanahan is with Air Force Intelligence.
Jim Summers is Aaron's lazy partner. Elizabeth and Krikor Kasparian raise chickens and sell their eggs. Quite a lucrative business in a bomb-torn city.
Harry Truman is the U.S. president. Fred is an aide. Stephen Early replaced his former press secretary, Charlie Ross. Then Early is replaced by Joseph Short. George Marshall is the secretary of defense. Rose Conway is Truman's personal secretary. General Groves had ramrodded the Manhattan Project through.
Germany Konrad Adenauer leads the Federal Republic of Germany.
Fulda is… …a city in the American Zone. Gustav Hozzel had fought in World War II on the Eastern Front. Now he fights the nightmares alongside his wife, Luisa. He now works for his old commander, Max Bachman, who owns a print shop. Willi Stoiber is the Burgomeister. Horst is the grocer. The aggressive Rolf was with the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and the Waffen-SS during WWII. He still fights like a homicidal maniac.
Meiningen is… …on the American-Russian border. Sergeant Konstantin Morozov is a tank commander in the Red Army. Mikhail "Misha" Kayanov is the driver, Pavel Gryzlov is the gunner, and Mogamed Safarli is the loader. Comrade Captain Oleg Gurevich is the company commander. Yevgeny Ushakov will be the replacement driver. Corporal Igor Pechnikov's father made brick stoves. Captain Arkady Lapshin is handing out tanks and assigns Morozov a new crew: Juris Eigims, Gennady Kalyakin, and Vazgen Sarkisyan.
The Hungarian People's Army squad squad has… …Sergeant Gergely in command and includes Privates Tibor Nagy, Isztvan Szolovits is a Jew who proves himself to Gergely, Gyula Pusztai is as stupid as a bull, Ferenc's family went up in Szekesfehervar, and Andras Orban.
Admiral Horthy had tried to escape the German conflict once he saw what it was doing to his country. Too bad he didn't consider this when he first courted the Nazis in his zeal to recover lost Hungarian territory.
Outside Munich is… …where Gribkov will land his plane next. Colonel Madinov commands the base there. Klement Gottwald will take Asakov's seat for the Paris attack.
England Fakenham is… …where an air base is located with English and American pilots like American First Lieutenant Bruce McNulty. Daisy Baxter runs the Owl and Unicorn alone since her husband Tom's tank blew up at the end of World War II six years ago. Wilf Davies is the one-handed mechanic in town; his father had been the town blacksmith and farrier.
Panama Arnulfo Arias is the president of Panama.
Russia The Russians are known as Ivans. Joe Stalin rules with a very heavy hand. Molotov is a hard nose. Gromyko, a.k.a., Mister Nyet, Grim Grom, is the U.N. ambassador from Russia. Yuri Levitan is the Radio Moscow broadcaster whose replacement is Roman Amfiteatrov. Kuibishev is the alternate capital for the USSR.
Provideniya… …is a base commanded by Colonel Doyarenko until the Americans drop a bomb on it. Boris "Pavlovich" Gribkov pilots a Tu-4, a dead ringer for a B-29. Vladimir "Volodya" Zorin is his co-pilot. Alexander Lavrov is the bombardier. Gennady Gamarnik is the engineer while Leonid "Abramovich" Tsederbaum is the navigator and Andrei Aksakov is on the radio. Colonel Fursenko is the air-defense commander.
Commander Anatoly "Ivanovich" Edzhubov captains the destroyer that picks up the Russian fliers.
Lieutenant Colonel Osip Milyukov is the base commandant outside Leningrad.
Outside Kiev, Ukraine, is… …the site of one of Stalin's inefficient farm collectives, a kolkhoz. Former Sergeant Ihor Shevchenko is married to Anya. Nestor was a fine tasty pig. Pyotr. Olga Marchenkova is Volodymyr's wife. Orest Makhno rode off to see what was left of Kiev. Mykola is their best fixer. Petro Hpochka is the collective leader, er, I mean, kolkhoz chairman. Irina is his wife. Gavrysh Bogdan Stepanovich is married to Elizaveta.
Stepan Bandera and his nationalist band still skulks across the Ukrainian countryside. Vanya and his partner are MGB Chekists "recruiting" for the Motherland.
China Harbin is… …an important city in Manchuria now in the hands of the Communist Chinese. Vasili Yasevich works as a carpenter although his chemist father had taught him to compound drugs. His parents swallowed poison when the NKVD rolled in. Mei Ling is the serving girl Vasili is sweet on.
Commissar Wang is the husband madame wants to keep going. Wu is not someone to trust.
I think rodina means Motherland. A cosmopolite is a polite way to say kike *eye roll*.
The Cover and Title The cover has a very 1940s feel to it with the silhouette of a bomb and the lightning bolts sizzling out from its point of impact. Speaking of impact, that black background with the worn brown around its edges and the distressed gold of the text is enough to tell me this will be a grim story.
The title is too accurate, for once that first bomb is dropped, it goes on with more Bombs Away as this Cold War goes hot....more
It's one of Seanan McGuire's free short stories (PDF, MOBI, and ePUB) — 3.2 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series with the focus on Antimony Price. SeIt's one of Seanan McGuire's free short stories (PDF, MOBI, and ePUB) — 3.2 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series with the focus on Antimony Price. See the chronological listing of the InCryptid books on my website for the complete list.
My Take A sad tale and it's a shortie. A very short, shortie that ends much too soon. It does provide a ray of hope, however.
The Story Artie is freaking out over Sarah's injuries and not being able to see her, speak to her. Great-Aunt Angela holds all the cards and is keeping Sarah close. And warning Artie that it may never get any better than this.
The Characters Arthur "Artie" Harrington is an empath who is half incubus, half human with his dad's magic — "everybody wants to explore the wonderland in my pants", and in love with Sarah. It's a big reason why he prefers to hunker down in the basement and do his socializing on the Internet. His empathic sister is Elsinore "Elsie", who is friends with Antimony Price. Jane Price-Harrington is one of those Healy-Prices and his mother. His dad, an incubus, was his mom's senior project. Artie reckons this makes him his mother's graduate thesis.
Sarah Zellaby, a telepathic mathematician true to her cuckoo heritage with an obsession for numbers, is an adopted Price who is recovering in Columbus with Great-Aunt Angela Baker, another cuckoo.
The Cover and Title The cover is perfect. A brick wall in a basement with a computer monitor and keyboard off-angle to the left and part of a phone on the right. The table it's all on is round and wooden. It's a set-up that is both fancier, cleaner, and less than I would have expected Artie to have.
The title is what exhilarates Artie, an "IM"....more
It's one of Seanan McGuire's free short stories (PDF, MOBI, and ePUB) — 2.6 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series with the focus on Antimony Price.
MyIt's one of Seanan McGuire's free short stories (PDF, MOBI, and ePUB) — 2.6 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series with the focus on Antimony Price.
My Take Awww, Ryan asks Izzy to marry him, and she'll "return the favor" from "Black as Blood" by taking him home to meet her family.
Izzy is so cute, in her big wolf-bear waheela person. Her Lolita-style clothing. Her stilted speech. Her very literal interpretation of anything said to her.
Waheela culture also seems to be very poetic as Izzy goes all mystical at the drop of a hat. It's a fascinating contrast with waheela culture and Izzy herself. And waheela culture is, well, disgusting is a mild word. Really makes you appreciate what Izzy has done to fit in in New York.
The Story It's the first time Ryan has brought a girl home to meet his family, and he's tense. He's tanuki, she's waheela, and a tanuki must mate and have children to build their species back up after the Covenant massacres.
The Characters Istas "Izzy" is a waheela and the bouncer at the Freakshow. She's also considered an aberration because she fled the tundra, loves pretty clothing, and dislikes the mindless slaughter.
Ryan Yukimura is a tanuki and in love with Izzy. He's also a bartender at the Freakshow. Yukimura "Ako" Chiyako is his mother. His father, Paul is a human witch. Christine, Ryan's sister, came to New York.
Mary's Bar is... ...in Kugluktuk, Canada and lets customers in 24/7 — there's a "help yourself" sign. It also functions as a safe house for anyone caught out by the weather. Izzy's Aunt Miali runs the bar. Irniq and Siluk are her two brothers.
The Freakshow is... ...a highly specialized nightclub in Manhattan — a carnival-themed bar and burlesque club. Kitty Smith is the bar owner. Candy and her fellow dragon princesses bus the tables. Angel is the human bartender.
The waheela look like the First People of Canada in their human form while they look like wolf-bears in their animal form. The Covenant of St. George massacred the tanuki; the waheela fought back viciously.
The Cover and Title The cover has a mystical feel in spite of the blood-washed lower third of the cover, the blue of the trees of the forest, and the white light surrounding a naked Izzy perched on a rock, huge snowflakes falling around her, as she considers her past.
The title is totally lost on me. What the heck does "White as a Raven's Wing" have to do with this short story?...more
First in the House Immortal futuristic steampunk series revolving around Matilda Case, a galvanized girl struggling to save the farm, her grandmother,First in the House Immortal futuristic steampunk series revolving around Matilda Case, a galvanized girl struggling to save the farm, her grandmother, her world in the year 2210. Be warned, while I think Monk intended this as an adult story, it reads more like young adult.
My Take Okay, Monk grabbed me right off. First that hot cup of tea to start the morning off right followed by "the feral beast to die the first time she stabbed it in the brain". Now, if that don't catch yer attention, I don't know what will.
It's a crazy — nasty — world that Monk has created. A world ruled by eleven Houses, a greedy, power-crazed bunch who use the twelve galvanized as hired muscle. When they're not cutting off arms and legs, removing organs, and more just to see what happens to the galvanized. It is also a colorful world. One that is split into sections of the color wheel; I keep trying to imagine the streets filled with people who are all one color or another. Little flocks of greens sliding by herds of gray, moving warily past the men in black who get patched up by a dose of white, and in turn receive comfort from a converting of purple.
The most egregious part of this series is how the world works. A world without laws except what the head of your House decrees. One where you have to claim a House or any House can take you. And I do mean take, you won't have a choice. Abraham is telling Tilly that if her papers are not in order, any House will simply take her, her grandmother, her farm, everything, that some House will come out and forcibly take away her family farm. There is no recourse unless you are registered with a "legit" House. Who owns your land.
I do get confused about the Houses and when and why they rose. Monk led me to think they have been around for eons, that they were the instigators of what was done to the galvanized because the galvanized rebelled against their torturers (well, this world is torturous, so I think my confusion is reasonable). There is mention of the instability of resources which led to the Uprising ending, and then there's an epigram from L.U.C. about everything collapsing and that the Houses rose from that. Yep, I'm definitely confused. Okay, later, there's mention of the Restructure that put the world under House Rule, which kicked off the downfall, and then the Uprising. I dunno. I'm hoping the next in the series will help make this clear.
For the rest, it's a weird mixture of 1984 and Brave New World with the repression of The Hunger Games (the scene that introduces the formal Gathering with its "heroic" video of the various galvanized saving people, buildings, etc.), the mercilessness of Howey's Wool series while all that talk of Houses kept dragging me back to Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series. The steampunk comes from the stitched, and it implies science fiction, which is perfect with this dystopian story of advanced tech and backwoods survival.
There are a lot of loose threads in this. Quinten is supposedly "owned" by House Gray which loans him out to various other Houses, so wouldn't Gray keep an eye on their assets? Wouldn't they wonder why Quinten hasn't returned? As for that peace treaty? Hah. It claims that House Brown would be left alone, but that's not true at all. Brown members are used and abused constantly. Even Abraham says that being House Brown means you have no rights, benefits, pay, or legal voice.
There's a lot of "talk" about the heat being generated between Abraham and Tilly, but it's all tell.
The tension is way up there as it doesn't follow any standard expectations. I have no guidelines, no ideas of how Monk's very unknown world operates.
On one hand, people are terrified of the galvanized, and on the other, they're treated like celebrities.
All the galvanized are each "owned" by a House, and yet when Slater summons Abraham (who is with House Gray), Abraham claims he has no choice and MUST answer that summons. I'd tell 'em to stick it up where the sun don't shine. I can see each galvanized racing at a summons from the House that owns it, but no. This doesn't work for me. Maybe I simply don't understand enough about how this world works.
Then we get into the stupid tropes. On, brother. You get to thinking Matilda is a smart girl. Then she's refusing to wear House Gray colors even though she knows perfectly well that House Gray members wear gray. She's terrified about how she'll be treated, etc., since she is technically galvanized as well. She can be owned, enslaved, etc. The Houses all want her, desperately. So, what does she do on her first morning in the big city? Yep, she heads outside to grab a cup of coffee. *eye roll* … *ooh, ouch, that hurt*
She slaps out at heads of Houses — which I thoroughly appreciate — as if she has no idea how this world works, how they'll treat a woman they see as property and not human. And she jumps right off the cliff time after time. Yet, if she's been the eyes and ears for House Brown all this time, constantly eavesdropping on the world to know what the Houses are up to and how their alliances are shifting, how can she not know? Monk hasn't taken the time to think this through. She simply has Matilda being all rebellious and "brave" when all I can see is how stupid she's being in not learning everything she can, so that she can survive all this. Hmmm, shades of Allie Beckstrom begone!
She's just been "discovered" and they expect her to participate in games and know all their customs. Overnight. What's with that? Why should she prove she's galvanized? Seems to me that being considered a galvanized is bad news.
I suspect that Monk is trying for suspense with the confusion over Tilly's mother. The message that's received with Mom feeling desperate about saving her husband and daughter. No word about Quinten. But Tilly saw her parents murdered…so, yep, I'm confused. Again. Or is that still?
Right after she makes the deal, Neds hugs her, skin-on-skin. So, didn't he read her mind? Couldn't he have done something to stop it?
And yet, I am intrigued by this nasty world, with learning more about the experiment, with discovering how the "intrepid" Matilda saves the world. Well, that and I do like that Welton Yellow. He cracks me up with his rebellious ways and outrageous thinking.
The Story Matilda is worried. Quinten hasn't been heard from for three years now, and now this galvanized, bleeding from a bad wound in his gut, shows up with a message from her mother as well as a warning. Her father's enemies are looking for him.
The Characters Twenty-six-year-old Matilda "Tilly" Case is galvanized and works their 150-acre farm in the hills of Pennsylvania while she stays under the radar. Her brother, Quinten, "made" her when he saved her life. The Neds Harris are Right Ned and Left Ned with each head having a distinct personality. He's also a touch sensitive in that, by touching someone, he can learn a lot about them. He's working for Matilda as a farmhand.
Grandma, Lara Unger Case, has lost a bit of her mind and passes her days knitting a scarf from the time-stopping wool of her pocket sheep: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Dr. Renault and Prof. Edith Case were her father and mother before they were murdered fourteen years ago. Dr. Alveré Remi Case, Tilly's greats-great grandfather, built the Wings of Mercury time machine back in 1910.
Lizard is the size of a barn and stitched together from crocodile and iguana, but we don't know where the wings came from. Pony is a bit of zebra, horse, and bison. Leapers are tree octopi with a preference for apples. The 11 Houses rule… …the modern world's resources and therefore the world. Each house is named for that resource, visually marked with a color by which the House is commonly known and that each member of that House has to wear. Everyone is strongly "encouraged" to belong to one of the Houses. Slavery. The Gathering is the annual event where the Houses gather and jockey for power and position for the next year.
House Brown is… …an independent-minded group of individual communities who prefer a democratic approach. They're most like a pioneer community with Tilly and Quinten as its unofficial heads, partly because of the high-tech communications array in their farmhouse. The other Houses don't recognize it, and House Brown has no rights.
Braiden Fessler is the head of a desert community in Nevada of about fifty. Thad is his son. They'll have to run again. Abraham knew Gertie Fessler. Pocket of Rubies is a homestead close by.
Boston "Bo" Sue is a neighbor and will watch over Grandma. Listra is a woman Tilly meets at the start of the gathering.
House Gray lays… …claim to and manages all the people in the world except for House Brown. Abraham Vail Seventh is one of the galvanized, born in 1880, and works for Oscar Gray, the head of House Gray. Hollis is Oscar's brother and second in line to rule. Elwa seems to be the housekeeper.
House Yellow is… …Technology, ruled by Welton Yellow whose galvanized is Foster First.
House Silver is… …Vice and run by Reeves Silver whose galvanized is Helen Eleventh.
House Orange is… …Minerals and run by Slater Orange, a vicious, sadistic bastard. He's dying and wants a way out. Robert Twelfth is his galvanized, but hates Slater so much that he helps Abraham all he can.
House Black is Defense and is ruled by John Black. His galvanized is Bernard "Buck" Eighth. House White is Medical with Kiana White as its greedy head. January Sixth is her galvanized. White and Black are the Houses who murdered the Case parents.House Blue, Water, is run by Troi Blue, and she has three galvanized: Wila Fifth, Vance Fourth, and Obedience "Bede" Tenth. House Violet is Faith and preached at by Gideon Violet. Clara Third is his galvanized. House Red is Power and run by Aranda Red. Loy Ninth is her galvanized. House Green handles Agriculture and is run by Feye Green who owns Dolores Second.
Galvanized, a.k.a., stitched, people or animals are Frankenstein-like, with their bodies stitched together from spare parts. It was the Wings of Mercury, a time experiment that went horribly wrong. These twelve were all that survived. Torturers, doctors, scientists took them apart, rebuilt them. They can't die. They have super-strength. Prized, they're owned by the heads of the Houses. Filum Vitae is life thread, Dr. Case's invention. Shelley dust will break the stitches of a galvanized, cause them to fall apart.
Sadie and Corb are smuggler friends of Neds'.
The Cover and Title I see the cover as a futuristic steampunk with a sexy looking Tilly in jeans and a sleeveless green khaki cotton shirt, a pale peach tank top underneath, her red hair blowing in a stiff breeze with a rifle over one shoulder. A loaded gun belt around her waist, stitches around her neck and wrists, Tilly is immediately in front of what looks like a huge brake shoe above a very futuristic city below her, all sharp spires in a golden glow against a yellowish green sky.
The title is a play on the ruling Houses with one looking to become House Immortal....more
Twenty-first in the Lucas Davenport detective mystery series and revolving around a cop who does it his own way in getting the bad guy. The story takeTwenty-first in the Lucas Davenport detective mystery series and revolving around a cop who does it his own way in getting the bad guy. The story takes place in Minneapolis and involves a cold case.
My Take We all have regrets, and Lucas has a big one. It's a place we've been ourselves, questioning our bosses in our heads, not wanting to make waves, worrying about the right move. It's this case that helps push Lucas into learning to be a better cop. A case whose end provides extra weight to the dichotomy between what Lucas thinks is right and how the original investigation ends. And Del Capslock will show Lucas another side to policing, empathy, which is so different from the street cop side.
The story is broken into Then and Now, and we get an intense back story on Lucas' early days, including why he likes Homicide. That time with Narcotics that left a bad taste in his mouth as opposed to Del's experience. The reality with which Lucas sees himself, his ambition to get better or change careers. It also goes into how Lucas got into the gaming business.
That was clever. Yes, macabre as well, but I got a chuckle out of Lucas reminiscing about that summer with all the bands, the music, the concerts and then that reference to the girls being back for their summer reunion tour
People like that post office bureaucrat would drive me nuts, and I LOVE the laydown Lucas puts on him.
One thing I did like about Daniels was his interest in learning how other people think. I do like Letty. She runs more to Lucas' attitude when it comes to revenge and protecting family. Weather is more concerned about law and order, with taking a softer approach, although this time around, she doesn't care if the bad guy gets shot. As long as it's not Lucas.
I liked Daniels' comment about his golf handicap. "It's his swing."
Lucas is lucky in his friends and his wife when they take steps to protect him, for they're not sure they can trust Lucas with his life. Loved that crack from the doctor at the end. He reckons if Weather Karkinnen is Lucas' wife, he'd better do his best work.
Sandford's insight into Scrape's mind was fascinating, and so very, very sad. To know that you're nuts and not be able to do anything about it. Jesus. Knowing that is almost enough to drive you nuts!
I don't understand about Marcy. In Storm Prey, 20, she was married to a medium big shot at General Mills, and she had a son, James. Now she's dating and thinking of running for state senate? What happened to her kid? Her marriage?
As for the case, it's the little pieces that add up. It's what I love about reading mysteries. How the clues come together. Heck, how they figure out how to find the clues! And Lucas' character is a treat and a half. He has his flaws — and that sense of humor — along with those unexpected aspects of his character that we wouldn't think a cop would embrace, at least not like Lucas does, LOL. It's that funny side of Lucas, the cop humor, and the support he gets from his friends that help alleviate some of the horror of Buried Prey.
The Story It was way back when. Back when Lucas was still a street cop, anxious to prove himself, to get that promotion to detective. He caved.
It started with two missing girls and a need to put all hands on deck, and Lucas is ordered into a shirt and tie to fill the ranks.
The Characters Lucas Davenport, a rich former hockey player with a love for fine clothing and poetry, works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and is the most influential cop in the state what with his troubleshooting for the governor. He's also respected by his fellow cops. The pregnant Dr. Weather Karkinnen is his wife and a plastic surgeon (we first met her in Winter Prey, 5). Letty is their adopted daughter (Storm Prey, 20).
"Still a little worried about the short sleeves."
Jennifer Carey is an ex-girlfriend and the mother of Lucas' oldest daughter. She works at Channel Three and got Letty a job there as an unofficial intern.
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Sandy is Lucas' very excellent researcher who has pulled up some info: Kelly Bell's attempted abduction in 1991. Virgil *that fuckin'* Flowers had once dated Sandy; he's tapped for his boating expertise. Del Capslock is taking a photography class. John Retrief is an imaging expert. Shrake and Jenkins play a very pivotal role in this. Norman Johnson and Delores Schmidt are crime scene techs. Gerald Taski is the lab director with ground-breaking DNA results.
John Simon is the BCA director with almost no control over Lucas' unit. Judge Paulson used to date Marcy. Judge Carsonet would be tougher.
Anoka County PD Detective Dave Carson talks about the DNA. Kelly Bell is married now to Todd Barker, and they live in Bloomington. She's become a professional interviewee while her husband is overly fascinated with guns. Idiot. Nathan Dunn was the good Samaritan who picked Kelly up off the road.
Minneapolis PD Captain Marcy Sherrill runs Homicide, and she's thinking of running for the state senate. She has a boyfriend, Rick?? I thought she was married and had a kid? John Rimes will run her murder scene. John Kling is the police chaplain. Homicide Detectives include Buster Hill, Clark Richards, Les MacGride, and Clarence Hill. Bob Hillestad is a friend of Lucas'. Detective Hote is working the cold case full time. Deputy Chief Marilyn Barin runs Professional Standards and Internal Affairs. Cody Ryan and John Seat work IA. Seat had once investigated Officer Willard Packard.
St. Paul PD Detective James Hayworth just got back from Quantico.
Woodbury PD Detectives Dan Ball and Bill Garvey.
Lake Vermilion PD Deputy Clark Childress is investigating the report that retired Detective Brian Hanson fell out of his fishing boat. His buddies are Tony Cole and Bill Kushner. Sedakis is Hanson's daughter. Darrell is her brother, who looks just like Fell; Carol is his wife. Jim is Darrell's attorney. Roger Hanson is a cousin. Mark and Debbie Jansen are Hanson's neighbors at his lake cottage.
St. Louis Park PD Lieutenant Carl Wright lets Lucas into Hanson's house. The entry team leader is Johnston.
Betty Ludwig is a short-term hostage.
Red Lake Falls School Superintendent Lawrence Olafson has been at Red Lake Falls for years. Steve Little and George Anderson were fellow teachers.
Bone is an old friend of Lucas' whom we first met in Secret Prey, 9, and again in Easy Prey, 11. Fred Carter is still out there, working as a security guard at the Capitol. Ignace Ruffe is a moderately trustworthy reporter with the Star Tribune.
A tip comes in about a Robert Sherman. Erik Berg is a ticked-off neighbor. SWAT has barricaded Donald Brett (a hometown psycho self-medicating too often), his wife, Roxanne, and their kids inside their house. Xavier Cruz is the guy in charge.
Then Minneapolis PD Captain Quentin Daniel was the head of Homicide back then and anxious to be chief of police. He didn't care how he closed a case unlike Lucas who wanted the truly guilty caught. Detectives John Malone, Frank Lester, Brian Hanson, Cherry, and McGuire are all on the case. As is the newly minted Detective Harrison Sloan who's married with two girls. Harmon Anderson is already on the police computers.
Fred Carter is Lucas' unambitious partner. Phil Blessing is the head of uniforms. Del Capslock caught Billy Smith's murder and needs help. Officers Morgan, Willis, and Sally are involved in small bit parts. Detective Park Brubaker is past history even in this. He was a very bad boy.
Stacy Sheriff's Deputy Ron Howard helps out in Stacy. Officer Ted Hughes was part of the sewer search team. Chip and Russ are the sewer guys.
John Fell works at Letter Man, a silkscreening place in Stacy. Ron Packard is the manager. His daughter, Kate, thinks she knows Fell. Dave is a local city councilman. Nancy and Mary Jones were kidnapped. George and Gloria Jones are their parents. He's a Vietnam vet who belongs to an organization of veterans against the war, so he has some good contacts.
The hookers are Mary Ann Ang and Lucy Sandry who figures Dorcas "Sally" Ryan might know where to find Fell who is always telling jokes. Owned by Steve and Margery Gardner, Kenny's is a bar where Fell hangs out. Kenny Katz is the manager. Katie Darin had some insight into student housing. Other residents include the Lees who are studying medicine and Bobby and Vicki Arens. Art and Alice Prose used to see him sliding under a fence to get to his cardboard cave. Dave Pirner is the lead singer in Soul Asylum. Karen Frazier, with Lutheran Social Services, is a social worker for the homeless. Mark Chakkour is Target's homeless shelter liaison. Jack Lacey owns Tom's Pizza. XTC is a gentleman's club. Mayer and his roommate were the girls' neighbors. Ronald Rice is a stabbing victim. Catherine Brown works at the Star Tribune. Millard is another witness with helpful, maybe, information.
DeeDee McAllister is a lawyer, married to Mark who has a nice gun collection, and she's sleeping with Lucas. Jared Michael was a fellow hockey player.
Carlos O'Hearn is one of the asshole brothers that include Enzo and Javier; Mother O'Hearn is an excellent example of why parents need to be licensed. Justice Johnson is a wife beater. Gene is the idiot post office bureaucrat. That damned Randy Whitcomb shows up again! (Eyes of Prey, 3; Chosen Prey, 12; and, Wicked Prey, 19) Delia White has it in for her brother-in-law, El-Ron Parker, whom she thinks killed her sister. George Danner is a friend of Delia's.
Terry Scrape is crazy and he knows it.
The Cover and Title The cover is eerie and makes me want to pull a blanket over my head, around my body, or just slink off and find a warm bar with lots of people and lots of light. A deserted road with puddles forming a trail, road signs and trees obscured by the mist, your attention caught by the fuzzy glow of red light in this dark and desolate corner.
The title is what is found, Buried Prey, that should have been found years ago....more
Eighth * in the Roma Sub Rosa ancient Roman historical mystery series and revolving around Gordianus the Finder and his family in the Rome of 48BC. IfEighth * in the Roma Sub Rosa ancient Roman historical mystery series and revolving around Gordianus the Finder and his family in the Rome of 48BC. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Roma Sub Rosa (and the Ancient World prequel) books on my website.
Chronologically, it's MY eighth and Saylor's ninth or twelfth if you include the Ancient World books. The reason it's my eighth is because the technical sixth, The House of the Vestals, is a collection of short stories that I've slotted in chronologically.
My Take I continue to love how real Saylor makes his stories. I feel as though I'm there in Rome, feeling the heat and tasting the food, interacting with real people. The research Saylor has done has that ring of authenticity as well; you can see how very much he's done to bring life to A Mist of Prophecies.
That said, Saylor employed an odd sort of foreshadowing as he flips back and forth between the past and the present. It's not particularly confusing, but it did throw me off. I don't feel it was well done. For the rest, A Mist of Prophecies is more of a catch-up on what is happening in Rome as Gordianus makes the rounds of seven Roman matrons and interacts with Cassandra.
Hmmm, Diana is asserting her abilities to take up her father's previous occupation as a Finder, and this papa is not happy. It could be interesting in future stories to see if she does start detecting.
Cytheris has the scoop on Cassandra's true identity, and it's so much more interesting than what Rome knows. And yes, there is a spattering of licentious behavior in a number of the characters' backgrounds. I do love how well Saylor fleshes out the women, especially when there is so little, historically, to go on other than asides in the men's biographies and letters.
The economy in Rome is suffering with all the strife between Caesar and Pompey. Prices are sky-high for everything, and it's wiping out everyone from high to low, adding another level of conflict.
The Story It's a fluke that Cassandra dies in Gordianus' arms, and as he mourns her loss, he organizes her funeral only to have seven surprise mourners. It's those mourners who will provide the clues to her murderer.
Yet, it's not Cassandra's death that is riling up Rome, but Caelius with his diatribes against bankers and landlords. With so many of Rome's citizens in debt and losing everything they own, his words are welcome and make Caelius a man to watch.
Meanwhile, Caesar's actions trouble Gordianus: Romans were never meant to be ruled by a king.
The Characters Gordianus the Finder retired a year before events in Rubicon, 6. Bethesda is his ill wife. Diana, his daughter, is married to Davus, a former slave who now serves as Gordianus' bodyguard. Eco, his son, is married to Menenia, and they have twin daughters. Hieronymus the Massilian from Last Seen in Massilia, 7, is now living with Gordianus in Rome. Mopsus and Androcles are brothers and slaves in his household. Meto, Gordianus' former son (see Last Seen in Massilia), is with Caesar again.
The epileptic Cassandra is named for the prophetess who saw the future but no one ever believed her. Rupa is her mute bodyguard.
Terentia is Cicero's wife; he is in Greece with Pompey. Tullia is their daughter and married to Dolabella, her third marriage and a huge mistake. Dolabella is in charge of Caesar's fleet in the Adriatic. Fabia is Terentia's sister and a Vestal Virgin.
Antonia is the wife of Marc Antony, Caeser's right-hand man who has been left in charge of Rome. And there's no love lost between them!Cytheris is a mime actress and Antony's mistress given to him by Volumnius, a rapacious banker who has loaned money to Gordianus. Chrysippus is one of Cytheris' slaves.
Fulvia is a widow twice over. Her first husband was Clodius (A Murder on the Appian Way, 5) while the second was Gaius Curio whose head now adorns King Juba's court. Sepronia is Fulvia's singleminded mother. Thraso is one of Fulvia's slaves.
Fausta is the very promiscuous daughter of the dictator Sulla; she's technically married to the exiled gang leader, Titus Annius Milo (A Murder on the Appian Way and Last Seen in Massilia). Birria was one of Milo's gladiators and is now Fausta's bodyguard.
Calpurnia is Caeser's wife, and she's running Caesar's spy network in Rome. Clodia was once the most notorious woman in Rome until events in The Venus Throw, 4.
Marcus Caelius (The Venus Throw) is back in town as one of Rome's magistrates, but he's speaking against Caesar these days.
Publius Servilius Isauricus is Caesar's fellow consul. Gaius Trebonius is the city praetor (we first met him in Last Seen in Massilia) charged by Caesar to manage his economic plans.
Didius is an old friend of Gordianus'; his shop sells writing materials and specializes in copying documents.
The chin-waggers at the Forum Volcatius, a Pompeian, is the most vocal; Canininus; and, the mild-mannered Manlius.
Pompey and Caesar are mentioned throughout but do not appear.
The Cover and Title The cover is a blend of Roman fresco and a maid helping her mistress. It's a mix as the bottom of the image is three dimensional with a purple-bordered orange cloth covering a bench on which a white-clad and be-turbanned woman sits with her back to us, one hand pulling on a purple cloth as her maid bends at the waist holding a shallow dish on which the cloth lies. The background is a damaged red panel bordered by black. The damage also appears on the women's faces making them seem a part of the wall. It's an odd effect.
The title refers to Cassandra and A Mist of Prophecies that she spreads throughout Rome....more
Fourth in the PC Peter Grant urban fantasy series, a.k.a., Rivers of London, and revolving around Nightingale's first apprentice since Ettersberg.
My TFourth in the PC Peter Grant urban fantasy series, a.k.a., Rivers of London, and revolving around Nightingale's first apprentice since Ettersberg.
My Take It does crack me up that Peter is constantly setting up scientific experiments to measure magic, to learn where it comes from, to discover why it affects electronics. I also enjoyed Peter's description of the mandated Officer Safety Training, ahem. Then there's the magical training with Nightingale introducing Peter and Lesley to the process of making their own staffs.
An underlying issue within the series were the aftereffects of the battle at Ettersberg at the end of World War II when the magic community lost most of its practitioners and came to the conclusion that magic was going out of the world. The magic users hunkered down to live out their lives, but it seems they were wrong.
Poor Nightingale. He cannot get away from Harry Potterisms. Seems he's quite annoyed about Pocket Quidditch, *giggle*. Peter's is an interesting character with a number of conflicts. He tends to wander off onto tangents when he's being lectured to or interviewing suspects. He's somewhat afraid of going after the bad guys, which, when I think about it, does make sense *eek*. He creates havoc wherever he goes (which makes Zach's comment about the advice he's getting make sense), and yet he still manages to accomplish things. He reminds me of an inquiring older boy who doesn't stop to think.
I do adore Aaronovitch's sense of fun:
"…the Coin Street Community Builders whose unofficial motto is 'Building houses that people might actually want to live in'. It was revolutionary stuff."
And there's a description of the Skygarden estate:
"…a very conventional design that one architectural critic complained, 'obscured the exuberance of Stromberg's central conceit'. These were built in a conventionally slipshod manner which certainly obscured the exuberance of most of the people that lived there, who also comprised the bulk of the population of the estate."
Ooh, the joint Court of the Thames was an experience. Part fairy party and part festival with booths and toffee apples. The pissing contest was an interesting, um, touch. The river gods and goddesses do make an appearance, but they don't have much input in Broken Homes other than introducing us to Sky and Nicky.
"Metropolitan Police: Working Together for a Stranger London."
Then there's the guilt trip Mum lays on Peter about his dad's lip. Oh, boy. I am curious as to why Aaronovitch always tells us the name of Peter's Dad, but his mother never has one.
It's an interesting observation about the difference between the vestigium of old and new hospitals and the reasoning for it. As well as Nightingale's comment about massacre sites. I'll bet you do dream after encountering one or more of these!
Sounds like blockbusting going on in here, what with "the Council paying County Gard more to secure the empty flats than it would cost to refurbish them for new tenants".
Yep, I can totally sympathize with Lesley's viewpoint:
"…people with heart conditions, epilepsy, and an aversion to electrocution should not embark upon breaches of the peace in the first place."
Oh, wow, I do love the sound of those balcony gardens. How perfect would that be?!
YES!! Peter actually tells his colleagues where he's going. Yes, deny the tropism!!
The Story It's one of those towering slums, the Skygarden estate, with something hinky going on. It'll take Peter and Lesley moving into an apartment, undercover, to make it all come crashing down. Well, okay, it's not really undercover, but more of an, um, "extremely subtle form of community policing…"
The Characters Police Constable Peter Grant is with the Specialist Crime Directorate 9, a.k.a., Specialist Assessment Unit (SAU), that deals with "other stuff". He's also an apprentice in magic to Detective Inspector Thomas Nightingale, his boss, governor, and master, along with PC Lesley May whose face is still undergoing work. They all live at the Folly on Russell Square with Toby, the dog they inherited from a victim in Midnight Riot, 1, and Molly, the housekeeper and cook who refuses to leave the house. She's also been experimenting with her cooking. It's all the fault of that Jamie Oliver cookbook.
Associated with the Folly Professor Harold Postmartin, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), and B.Mon, is the Folly's chief (and only) archivist. The German version of the Folly is the Komplexe und Diffuse Angelegenheiten (Abteilung KDA, a.k.a., Department for Complex and Unspecific Matters) and part of the Federal Police Force, the Bundeskriminalamt. TSG are the Territorial Support Group. Frank Caffrey is an inspector with the London Fire Brigade.
Peter's family Richard "Lord" Grant is Peter's dad and a jazz musician who has returned to performing with Lord Grant's Irregulars. Peter's mum is Fula from Sierra Leone and very keen on family. Abigail Kamara is a sort of beginning apprentice who is learning about magic at the Folly. Peter's cousin Obe is an electrician. Oooh, Catherine was Peter's first love. At twelve.
Lord Grant's Irregulars include James Lochrane as the drummer; Max Harwood is the bassist, and Daniel Hossack plays guitar. Jon is Daniel's boyfriend.
London Metropolitan Police The Scottish Dr. Abdul Haqq Walid is a world-renowned gastroenterologist and the only practicing cryptopathologist they know of. Senior Investigating Officer Douglas Manderly will investigate the accident. Douglas Douglas is the safety training lecturer. DCI Maureen Duffy is in charge of Operation Tinker. "DAFT is Southwark's Drugs and Firearm Team — and winner of the mostly badly thought-out acronym award three years running." PC Maureen Slatt was the first cop in attendance for the Weil accident, which will become Operation Sallic.
British Transport Police Sergeant Jaget Kumar (Whispers Under Ground) is an urban explorer, expert potholer and the BTP's Mulder and Scully.
River gods and goddesses The Old Man of the Thames, a.k.a., Tiberius Claudius Verica, abandoned part of the river back in the mid-1900s, and the river claimed a drowning woman as Mama Thames. Lady Tyburn is one of Mama Thames' children and the genius loci of the Thames as well as an Oxford graduate. Beverly Brook is another of her daughters, interested in Peter, and the hostage with Father Thames. Olympia and Chelsea are the goddesses of Counter's Creek and the Westbourne. Uncle Bailiff ended up staying on as Mama Thames' odd job man some years back when he arrived to collect an outstanding bank debt. Oxley is the Old Man's right hand man. Neckinger, a.k.a., Nicky, is a nine-year-old river goddess of warmth and sunshine. Oberon is is the River Effra's man who is babysitting Nicky. Ash is the hostage at Mama's.
We met Zach Palmer in Whispers Under Ground, 3, and he's a dodgy half-fairy who is now liaison between Crossrail and the Quiet People (Whispers Under Ground, 3). Artemis Vance has a magic stall at the Spring Court. Reynard was the perv who came onto Abigail.
"'You know,' said Zach, 'until you came along I used to be the local loose cannon. Now people have started warning me about the dangers of associating with "you".'"
The Little Crocodiles were… …a student dining club illegally taught by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, a theology professor (and wizard) at Magdalen College in Oxford. It's believed that the Faceless Man was one of his students. Robert Weil was one of the members, and he and his Volvo were hit by Allen Frust. Lynda is Weil's wife. Richard Lewis turns into a one-under and on the secondary list. He was in the Southwark planning department. Phillip Orante is his registered civil partner and a dot.com millionaire. Phillip's mother comes to help him out. Grace is a receptionist at the Southwark Town Hall; she and Peter have family in the same part of Freetown. Louise Talacre works in the planning department as well.
The Skygarden Estate was… …designed by Erik Stromberg, a German architect and the builder of the International-style West Hill House, now a National Trust property. The Skygarden estate was, supposedly, one of his masterpieces. It has been listed, and no one understands why. Margaret Shapiro is the property manager for West Hill House. Bruno Taut was a German architect Stromberg admired.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Tankridge, née Tuttle, will be one of Peter and Lesley's neighbors. Sasha (he'll be taking his A-level in mathematics this year) and Kevin are her kids. Emma Wall is the resident fallen princess. Jake Phillips is the "local activist, busybody, and thorn in the side of late stage capitalism". Goth Boy. Lionel Roberts is a wannabe poet working security. Anthony Beswick is unemployed and has a ten-year-old daughter, Anthonia.
Peter looks back at the Skygarden and realizes that they're living in Isengard.
Sky is a tree nymph living in one of the plane trees at the Skygarden.
George Nolfi is a rogue magician and a retired chartered surveyor. Gabriella is his granddaughter. Colin and Leech are reputable booksellers with Gavin Headley as the current proprietor. Patrick Mulkern is the book thief who becomes Operation Tinker with Duffy in charge. Richard Dewsbury was a drug dealer around Elephant and Castle. Sergeant William Daverc, a pioneer in community policing, is in charge of Dewsbury's case.
We met the Quiet People in… …Whispers Under Ground, and Zach has taken responsibility for introducing them to live aboveground. Stephen was the one who buried Peter.
Varenka Debroslova, a.k.a., Comrade Major Varvara Sidorovna Tamonina, was the former live-in nurse for Albert Woodville-Gentle, a.k.a., Faceless Man 1.0 (Whispers Under Ground, 3); she's actually a Nochnye Koldunyi, a Night Witch, a type of Russian practitioner trained in combat. Born in 1921, she's also aging backwards. Faceless Man 2.0 hires her for various jobs.
County Gard is a full service property management company that is supposed to be fixing the apartments, but it mostly collects rent, threatens late-payers, and works to turf out the tenants. Awa Shambir is a Somali cleaning lady.
Dave, a.k.a., Martin Brown, was one of the chainsaw guys; he drowned. Squinty Eyes, a.k.a., Barry, Pink Face, a.k.a., Max, and Danny Bates are part of the gang.
Vestigium is an imprint magic leaves on physical objects. Stromberg identified four types: Todesvestigium (death), Magievestigium (magic), Naturvestigium (nature), and Vestigium menschlicher Aktivität (human activity). The cream of English wizardry went to Ettersberg; only a few came back. Forma is how you think the magic into action. Lacuna is a hot spot of residual magic. A spell is a combination of forma. Signare is the individual signature of a wizard. Sensis illic is what Peter calls background vestigium. Isaacs are human magic users, particularly coppers.
Nightingale considers any magic user who dabbles a hedge witch. Nightingale's Uncle Stanley was the magic one in the family; he suggested his nephew go to Casterbrook, Nightingale's Hogwarts. The Weiße Bibliothek out of Cologne was the German center of magical practice until 1798. The Russian one Nauchno-Issledovatelskiy Institut Neobychnyh Yavleniy (the Scientific Research Institute for Unusual Phenomena; SRIUP) has been revived.
The Strip Club of Dr. Moreau (Moon Over Soho, 2) introduced the chimeras. The Pale Lady has that biting vagina dentata (we first meet her in Midnight Riot, 1). A Goblin Fair is a combination mobile social club, shabeen, and car boot sale for the supernatural community. Gentry is another term for fairy.
A MOP is a member of the public. HAT is a Homicide Assessment Team.
The Cover and Title The cover has a bright yellow background with the signature black-and-white "aerial view" of London with the building outlines and words detailing neighborhoods, tourist sites, and more that are involved in this story. The red of the title swirls out in tails, one of which slides under the wide red ribbon of the River Thames and bleeds into a large splot in the middle of London.
The title is the Broken Homes of the Skygarden estate. ...more
Fourth in the Rule Breakers romance series and revolving around Erin Connelly and her housemates. The couple focus in this very erotic installment isFourth in the Rule Breakers romance series and revolving around Erin Connelly and her housemates. The couple focus in this very erotic installment is on Dani Michaels and R4, Rand Winston, and based in Boston.
This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Random House-Loveswept for an honest review.
My Take Risk It picks up with the art opening at the Palm D'Or gallery when Dani manipulates Rule into buying one of Erin's paintings for a lot more than it's being sold for. It threw me, as being a "con artist" was not the impression I had gotten of Dani when I read Want It, 3. It's that contradiction that sent me reading even faster, as I had to know which was which even as I reveled in the clever psychological con Dani pulls on R4.
Seems though that she is blinded by her own prejudices when it comes to R4, and I loved Rand's manipulation right back, and that TENSE meeting in his office. Woooh. It's a great twist Chance has put on these two. Dani is a con artist and thief who likes to "save time", while Rand is bored and very interested in a thief who will provide him with some interest. He wants to break her.
"He lifted his brows. 'Did I just experience sexual harassment?'
Dani's smile flashed a little more broadly now. 'I do apologize, sir. I was just so swept away.'"
It's a game of power as the balance switches back and forth, tightening the sexual tension between two people each more interested in gaining the upper hand.
A touch of Indecent Proposal with a blend of Pretty Woman started a short descent into tropism that made me uncomfortable, but Chance managed a twist on this as well, and very much in keeping with Dani's need to win and be in control. It's that control that helps her come back after Catherine's nasty little barbs.
Yet another twist when the burglary Dani is supposed to pull off goes, um, astray, lol. I'll bet no burglar has ever experienced so much sexual frisson as she did that night.
That secondary conflict involving Jimmy was enough to keep me tense besides Dani and Rand's dramas, and what a relief to finally find out what traumas were afflicting him.
It will be an interesting journey into different experiences for both Dani and Rand. And we'll enjoy the ride along with them.
The Story It may be a con, but it sets Erin's career on the fast track, and allows Dani to put one over on a fraud. Only, it seems that Rand had his own reasons for "extending the dance".
The Characters The tattooed Dani Michaels is Erin's housemate as well as her friend. Jimmy is her foster brother, always in trouble. Lou will give him a job as a barback. A second job. Katie is his wife and they have a new baby, Nell. Erin Connelly has hooked up with her Army Ranger, Zander, from Want It.
R4 is what Anna Richardson calls him, employee shorthand for Rand Sterling Winston IV, a tycoon, playboy, and more. He's also the new head of Winston Securities to his father's dismay. Helen Pearson is his executive assistant. Ice Barbie is Catherine, his sister, the younger William's twin. His brother is campaigning to be a Massachusetts congressman. They've all been trained to hate each other and are united only in their hatred of their father, Rand Sterling Winston III.
Club Noir is… …Lou's bar where Dani works as a bartender. Shae is one of the cocktail waitresses. Lou also owns a chain of drycleaning businesses, and he sets up the burglaries that Dani commits.
Darke is a, more intimate, part of Club Curl. Mary is the bartender at the Danny Mann Pub. Marilyn Wren is a club manager at yet another place. Bill is a member of Rand's social set.
The Palm D'Or Gallery is… …where Erin works as an assistant. It's also where she had her first art show. Miss Garrison is her boss and the owner of the gallery.
Gene and Janet Morrissey are Dani's targets that night. Matt Wallace was a bully back when Jimmy and Dani first met. Mama J was their foster mother.
The Cover and Title The cover makes me think of a scene from the story, mmm-mmm, yeah, I think I'd Risk It too if that muscled torso were stripping off his shirt and tie for me....more
It's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.14 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" mIt's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.14 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" mourning the loss of someone much loved.
If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the InCryptid books on my website of the live-and-let-live Healys who have seen the error of their ways when it comes to huntin' down monsters.
My Take This short story will break your heart all over again as the Healy family holds off on Fran's funeral as they wait for the mourners to gather.
"There were still hours to burn before the morning came and they put Fran in the ground forever. This was their last night in the same world, and he'd be damned before he wasted it on sleeping."
I hated this story and the last, "Broken Paper Hearts" for all the loss — I loved Fran's character. And I hate how her death hurts everyone. All I can say is that McGuire had better write a story that tells us what happened to Alice!!
The Story Almost twenty years ago, Jonathan Healy rode a train across the country to investigate reports that something was killing people in the wake of a small family circus. Almost twenty years ago, he brought home the woman who would be his wife, the mother of his children, and his partner in the endless quest to protect the cryptids of the world. The time has come for Fabulous Fran, the Flower of Arizona, the Star of New Mexico, to take the stage for the final time, and take her final bow.
Fran touched a lot of lives in her time in Buckley, and the people who loved her are coming to say goodbye. It's not going to be easy. The things that are most important so very rarely are.
They say she never missed a shot; she was the darling of the west. But now she's gone, and the ones she's left behind must figure out what this means for them.
"It had taken nearly two weeks to arrange the funeral of Frances Healy.
For the ones she'd left behind, it would take a lifetime to say goodbye."
The Characters Fran Healy, whom the mice christened the Priestess of Unexpected Violence, is dead and will be buried next to the God of Early Arrivals and Earlier Departures.
Jonathan, the God of Unexpected Situations, is grieving so much that he'll die soon if someone doesn't snap him out of it. His parents, Alexander, the God of Uncommon Sense, and Enid, the Patient Priestess, are holding it all together. Alice is Fran and Johnny's six-year-old daughter. The girl, according to Juney's cards who will one day give up everything she had because she didn't know how to give up on love. The Aeslin mice are grieving as well, remembering every day that Fran had been with them.
Juniper Campbell, a routewitch and the closest thing Fran had to a sister, and the Campbell Family Circus needed time to get there. Laura is Juniper's daughter, and she gets introduced to Alice. Mary Dunlavy, a crossroads ghost, will be there for the funeral and to help with Alice.
Arturo and Elena Gucciard must find a babysitter for their son, Aldo. Asta and Chruse will represent the Kalakos. Lynn Gentling and Elaine Lindsay from Gentling, Maine, have arrived.
Roy Hagar is the funeral director who had to be bribed to keep Fran's body.
The Cover and Title The cover is a montage of Fran's life as a trick rider with the circus, "The Star of New Mexico", a poster, PR photos, her six-guns, postcards, and letters. A look back at a life that was short and well-lived....more
It's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.13 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" wIt's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.13 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" whose hearts can break as easily as anyone else's.
If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the InCryptid books on my website of the live-and-let-live Healys who don't forgive the monsters who hurt their own.
My Take This one will break your heart just as the title portends. And now I have absolute gotta re-read Discount Armageddon, 1, if only to glean a bit more about the Healy-Price past.
The Story Valentine's Day has come to Buckley Township. For Alice, that means cupcakes and paper hearts. For Jonathan, it means sleepless nights and fear, because Fran hasn't come home.
Everything ends eventually. No matter how much you hope that it won't.
The Characters Fran Healy is Jonathan's wife and six-year-old Alice's mother. Alexander and Enid are her in-laws.
The Cover and Title The cover is a wooden porch with melting snow in the back. In the front is red paper heart torn into pieces, a metaphor for a family of hearts that have been broken.
The title is what is is, "Broken Paper Hearts", when Alice tears up the Valentine she made in school....more
It's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.12 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" iIt's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.12 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" indulging their daughter in a trick-or-treat night. It's been 16 years since Fran followed Jonathan home.
If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the InCryptid books on my website of the live-and-let-live Healys who have seen the error of their ways when it comes to huntin' down monsters.
My Take Living vicariously through Alice's excitement takes me back to my own trick-or-treating days and the huge bag of candy my sisters and I would sort through. But "Snakes and Ladders" quickly devolves into every parent's nightmare.
I cannot believe these townspeople. What would be the harm in calling the cops to report a missing child??
Oh, yeah. I would expect a Healy to get feisty, and Alice is definitely a Healy, lol. She's also quite concerned about the mice's teachings being disrespected. A move that leads to an unexpected twist.
The Story It's Alice's second time, although the first time she was too terrified of all the monsters. This year, she and her mama are going as cowgirls. It's good excuse to carry a gun, and Alice embraces the whole gun-carrying-costume idea. Seems the mice are coming along on this trip as is Mary when she joins Fran.
Unfortunately, there are others who plan to crash their party.
The Characters Frances and Jonathan Healy (he's a librarian too these days) are monster hunters with a little six-year-old girl, Alice. They live with Jonathan's parents: fellow monster-hunters Enid and Alexander, a librarian. The Aeslin mice keep an oral history of the Healys, the people they consider their Gods and Priestesses.
Mary Dunlavy is a crossroads ghost who has been off learning the tricks of her new "life". The mice call her the Phantom Priestess and consider her part of the family. She still babysits Alice.
Missus Walters is giving out popcorn balls. Mikey Caldwell is one of Alice's classmates.
Oscar is one of the kidnappers; an assistant at the chemist's is another. Naga is the snake-man, a professor of Extra-Dimensional Studies at the University of K'larth.
The Red Angel is a drinking establishment for cryptids in Buckley. Carl is the Sasquatch with an idea.
The Cover and Title The cover is eek! It's a brown and black textured background with a snake-man and his metallic bronze scales that join with the rest of his finely scaled body on this cover. Appropriate when you consider he's the god the kidnappers want to bind. The color of the font used in the author's name and the title is also appropriate, the orange of Halloween.
The title is a game for no one but the kidnappers, even the snake is unhappy playing "Snakes and Ladders"....more
It's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.11 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" wIt's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.11 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" with compassion in their hearts.
If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the InCryptid books on my website of the live-and-let-live Healys who have seen the error of their ways when it comes to huntin' down monsters.
"All she'd needed was someone to haunt, and she'd haunted him with the very best of intentions, and with love."
This is so sad. Fortunately, it's only a few tears in this…whew…
The Story It's a humbling moment when Fran realizes how hard Mary is struggling, and how little the Healys have done to help. It's that plate dropping through Mary's fingers that's the final tip-off.
The Characters Mary Dunlavy has been a crossroads ghost for three years ever since she was hit by a car one night. She's managed to conceal it from everyone, including her father, Benjamin, and the Healys for whom she babysits. It's been five or six years since her mother, Caroline, died.
Fran Healy is the mother of Alice and the wife of Jonathan who is Enid and Alexander Healy's son. The family of five live together in a big old house on the fringe of Buckley Township.
Arturo is married and his wife is expecting.
The Cover and Title The cover is creepy with the bony skull lying on the ground between two rows of corn. The author's name and the title are certainly fertile with the flourishing green of that fancy serif font.
The title is what Fran wishes Mary could have been honored with, respected by her father, mourned by her friends, and "Bury Me in Satin" properly in a churchyard....more
It's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.10 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" sIt's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.10 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" seeking vengeance for the assassination of their young son and grandson.
If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the InCryptid books on my website of the live-and-let-live Healys who have seen the error of their ways when it comes to huntin' down monsters.
My Take I already know how easily McGuire kills off characters, and I was terrified that someone would die in "Oh Pretty Bird". After all, how do you combat a supernatural who can manipulate your mind?
But their cause was just, and I burned as well for vengeance.
The Story It's taken five years for the Healys to track down the assassin responsible for their baby's murder. Now they've found her, and they'll take her out or die.
The Characters Jonathan Healy is married to Fran, and they have a baby daughter, Alice, who prefers teething on antlers. Enid Carew Healy and Alexander Healy are Jonathan's parents. They all live in the same house on the outskirts of Buckley Township. The Aeslin mice keep an oral history of absolutely everything that happens in the Healy family.
Mary Dunlavy is the Healys' babysitter and much beloved. She quit school to housekeep for her father when her mother died.
Whiting, Indiana Mrs. Tapper is the town librarian with a finger on the pulse of the community. Robert Tapper is the school principal.
Heloise Tapper is a mind manipulator. Alexander is positive she is responsible for setting up a "suicide", that of his contact, Marcel, a Bigfoot in Connecticut.
The Red Angel is a drinking establishment in Buckley. A Letiche witch makes amulets to protect minds from being invaded. Apraxis wasps are brain-eating bugs with a migrating pattern. Alexander has set up a fail-safe with Arturo Gucciard, a family friend we first met in "Sweet Poison Wine".
The Cover and Title The cover is rather terrifying in its gothic splendor with the three-story Gothic Revival mansion set far in the back and slightly off-center on that brick-baked street. It's a wide road going through town, and the barely seen storefronts on either side of the "path" are a metaphor for the townfolk.
The title is a mockery of the Healys' prey as they seek "Oh Pretty Bird" to achieve vengeance....more
Third in the PC Peter Grant urban fantasy detective mystery series and revolving around an apprentice wizard in today's London. This story takes place
Third in the PC Peter Grant urban fantasy detective mystery series and revolving around an apprentice wizard in today's London. This story takes place around Christmas.
My Take It's business as usual, although Peter's mum thinks his being a witch is more respectable than being a cop, lol. It's just a dip in the overflowing bucket of hilarious and satirical humor in Whispers Under Ground, part of a series that is a combination of annoying police bureaucratese at which Peter pokes fun and the magic of this cynical copper. Must be Terry Pratchett's influence *more laughter*.
Yeah. Right. Reynolds tells Peter that the FBI investigates all crimes against Americans that occur overseas and Peter throws back the question of the crowbar and the Soho assault. Yep, a well-earned cynicism.
"…we police never like to use real words when we can use incomprehensible jargon instead."
In police circles, he's thought to be a train wreck what with burning down Covent Garden, driving the ambulance into the river, and the helicopters. Then there's that paper clip and Peter's thoughts about what it could do to the rest of the stationery, lol.
I am somewhat confused. In Moon Over Soho, 2, Aaronovitch says Peter is a detective constable, and now he's back to being a police constable.
I am so gonna love the trainspotting Abigail. When she turned eleven, she told her dad that if anyone came near her hair again, she was gonna call Social Services, lol. And it turns out she can see ghosts. The weaselly Zach is going to be an interesting addition; I suspect this con artist will be added to the core cast of characters.
Oh, yeah, the goblin market. Where all the punters despise the Old Bill, until that demon trap goes off…lol…yeah, "now you want the police".
If you love poking fun at Authority and most anything else in life, you have GOT to read PC Peter Grant. It's dang hard to put down!
The Story It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher — and the victim's wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom — if it exists at all — is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects.
The Characters Back-to-Police Constable (PC) Peter Grant is apprenticed to learn magic with Detective Inspector Thomas Nightingale, his boss, governor, and master. In Moon Over Soho, 2, PC Lesley May, Peter's magic-damaged colleague (see Midnight Riot, 1) has become Nightingale's second apprentice. All three live at the Folly, the London headquarters for their, ahem, "other stuff" division, the Specialist Crime Directorate 9, a.k.a., Specialist Assessment Unit. Molly is something other and acts as the Folly's housekeeper and cook. Toby is the little dog they inherited from a victim in Midnight Riot. Professor Postmartin is the magical archivist. Frank Caffrey is their fire brigade contact and an ex-Para who heads up the magical SWAT team, the Armed Response Unit.
Peter's family, some of 'em Richard "Lord" Grant is his dad, a jazz musician making a comeback. His mum is Fula, a Sierra Leonean tribe from West Africa. Alfred Kamara is a cousin who lives in the same neighborhood, the Peckwater Estate. His thirteen-year-old daughter, Abigail, extracted a promise from Peter about learning magic. Aunty Jo is actually an old schoolfriend of his mum's.
"'Do you even have a background on mental health?'
I thought of my parents but I didn't think they counted so I said no."
London Metropolitan PD The Scottish Dr. Abdul Haqq Walid is a world-renowned gastroenterologist and cryptopathologist keeping an eye on how much magic Lesley is doing. Detective Inspector Miriam Stephanopoulos knows about the magic, but doesn't want to know about the magic. Detective Chief Inspector Seawoll is back in charge of the Murder Team and is a hardliner about good old-fashioned policing. In other words, no magic. DC Sahra Guleed calls herself a Somali Muslim ninja. DC David Carey is also the family liaison. Detective Sergeant (DS) Bob will handle the security of the case. Simon Kittredge is Counter Terrorism Command (CTC), liaison to Special Agent Reynolds.
London Transport is… …the railroad system including the Underground. Sergeant Jaget Kumar is a British Transport Police (BTP) officer who can officially maneuver around the live tracks. He also keeps track of the weird shit. David Lambert is a BTP patrolman.
The Rivers are all… …gods and divided into Father Thames' family who live above Teddington Lock and Mama Thames' who live below the lock. The original Sir Tyburn is unhappy about the theft of his birthright. Mama Thames was a wanna-be nurse who jumped in the River Thames in 1957. Beverly Brooks, one of her daughters, is a hostage with Father Thames. Lady Tyburn is the rebellious, politically oriented daughter. Fleet is a stocky one and hosts a radio show. Ziggy is the captain dog of Fleet's dogs. Effra Thames, the goddess of the River Effra, Brixton Market, and the Peckham branch of the Black Beauticians Society, has a B.A. in History of Art and is hangin' with Oberon, a cowboy from New Jersey, at the goblin market. Olympia is fraternal twins with Chelsea, respectively the goddesses of Counter's Creek and the River Westbourne, and they're running an underground club.
James Gallagher is an American art student attending St. Martins College (his case will be named Operation Matchbox). Senator Gallagher is James' father. Zachary Palmer, a.k.a., Goblin Boy, is Gallagher's roommate — and an itinerant dodgy half-fairy. Eric Huber is Gallagher's tutor and studio manager. Sonya is the Italian cleaning lady tidying up the mess. Special Agent Kimberley Reynolds is with the FBI and was sent on a watching brief on behalf of James' father.
Shakespeare Tower, a residence designed by "the same Guernsey Gun Emplacement school of architecture" with a Grade II listing, is where Albert Woodville-Gentle, a retired, wheelchair-bound wizard, lives. Varenka is his Russian nurse.
Ryan Carroll is an artist who has an exhibit at the Tate Modern. Siobhán Burke is Ryan's alibi. Kevin Nolan and his smarter brother are Nolan and Sons, a produce vendor, using the old warehouse that was once the Unbreakable Empire Pottery Company.
Graham Beale is CEO of Beale Property Services. His great-great-grandfather, Eugene "Ten-Ton Digger" Beale, was an illiterate navvy from Kilkenny who founded the pottery along with Patrick Gallagher and Matthew Carroll in 1865.
The Quiet People, a.k.a.… …the Whisperers, live dry and comfy. Stephen is Elizabeth's fiancé, technically, although it's Zach who's really interested; Matthew Ten-Tons is their leader; and, Elizabeth, Matthew's daughter, is more interested in James Gallagher.
The Little Crocodiles were… …a student dining club illegally taught by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, a theology professor (and wizard) at Magdalen College in Oxford. The Faceless Man whom we met in Moon Over Soho was probably taught by Wheatcroft.
Vestigium is an imprint magic leaves on physical objects. Hypothaumaturgical degradation is what kills you if you do too much magic. Ettersberg was the last magical battle in World War II. Breaking their staffs is the euphemism for quitting wizardry and taking up a mundane life. Forma is how you think the magic into action. Lacuna is a hot spot of residual magic. A spell is a combination of forma. Demon traps are weaponized ghosts. Sir Isaac Newton was the founder of modern magic. Isaacs is a slang term for wizards.
A goblin market is a flea market for those who live in our world, and this one is located in Powis Square. A nazareth is an illegal venue where stolen goods are sold on by strangers to strangers. Hyacinth is a goth girl who deals in figurines and may well be cited "for wearing heavy black mascara in a built-up area". Robert Su is assistant to Madame Teng, a Chinese Taoist sorceress from Taiwan. Macky is a graffiti artist, and a ghost.
The Cover and Title The cover is the same black-and-white aerial view of London, only this time, the broad red ribbons against the blue–deep lilac background are the London Underground with those wisps from the title forming exchanges as they trail down from the title. I do like the curvaceous title — a reflection of the roller-coaster aspect of the story.
The title refers to what Peter and company find, the source of those Whispers Under Ground....more
Second in The Circle Opens and sixth in the overall Emelan fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around Briar Rose and his discovery,Second in The Circle Opens and sixth in the overall Emelan fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around Briar Rose and his discovery, Evvy. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Emelan books on my website.
My Take The idea of the tattoos Briar gave himself may have backfired a bit, but they suit him.
I like that Pierce has the kids finding apprentices whose magic is not the same as their own. It provides the storyline more independence as the apprentices require more characters to be brought in and made a part of the "family".
It's taken until Briar's story for me to realize the meaning of "The Circle Opens". I mean, duhhh, the original circle is Briar, Sandry, Tris, and Daja. With this second quartet of books, The Circle Opens as each discovers a mage who needs teaching. I suspect The Circle Reforged will bring the four back together, although I haven't figured out what their adventures might be!
I do love that Briar's trees are arguing with him. I can't decide if I think the trees are like siblings or independent-thinking pets, lol.
Using the gang war as a device to influence Evvy to trust Briar was a good idea. It helps the conflict over Evvy accepting Briar's help smoother, more natural.
That so-called Lady is a piece of work. Bored, she resorts to stirring up trouble, murder, and worse. That Jooba-hooba is almost worse, for he was taught better. It's quite spiteful of me, but I love the idea of what that Stonesplicer has coming to him, *snicker*. And I don't mean only the scolding Rosethorn will give him!
There are good values in this story for children — doing the right thing, generosity, thinking of others, fair dealing, all the reasons why gang life is bad — and Pierce presents them well. There are no lectures in here!
The Story Briar and Rosethorn are off on their own adventure, settled in the town of Chammur while they help the farmers there. It's very much a work-study trip for Briar. While Rosethorn helps the farmers, Briar works with the local temple, replenishing their stores.
It's on one of his trips to Golden House that Briar encounters a girl with magic, and he learns the lesson Sandry learned in Magic Steps, 1 (5): He who discovers the mage must teach the mage.
The Characters Briar Moss is a plant mage, part of a circle of four young people who are capable of prodigious feats of magic. He's brought his personal tree, his shakkan that is his storehouse of power, with him.
Evumeimei "Evvy" Dingzai is a runaway slave and will be a stone mage. Meanwhile she lives in the stench-filled caves in the upper heights with her pack of cats: Mystery, Asa, Monster, Ria, Apricot, Ball, and one more. Qinling is a resident of the caves and speaks Evvy's native language with her.
Dedicate Rosethorn of Winding Circle temple in Emelan is his teacher and a highly renowned plant mage. She is also a member of Winding Circle's Initiate Council and the Mage-council of the University at Lightsbridge.
Chammur Jebilu Stoneslicer is the only stone mage in town. Sulya sells herbs and charms. Mutabir Kemit doen Polumri is the governor of the Watch; his residence is at the base of Justice Rock. Hedax Yoson leads the squad who "escorts" Briar. Pahan Turaba Guardsall is a Mohunite mage and Polumri's aide.
The gangs in Chammur The Camelgut are… …the gang in Briar's neighborhood whom he's befriended. Hammit was his first contact. Mai, Douna, and Ayasha are some of the other gang members.
The Vipers are… …a new gang sponsored by a noblewoman. Ikrum Fazhal is their leader. Members of the gang include Sajiv, Orlana, and Yoru. The Lady Zenadia doa Attaneh, a Chammuran noblewoman and the aunt of the amir, is a manipulating nasty woman who's bored out of her mind and sadistic. Her armsmaster, Ubayid, will give the gang weapons and teach them how to use them. Her guards include Filyen and Osazi.
The Gate Lords are… …the premier gang in Chammur.
Golden House is a high end market where rare and costly things can be found as well as anything magic. Nahim Zineer peddles crystals and stones. An eknub is a foreigner. A takameri is a rich woman. Tesku means leader. A pahan is a mage. A thukdak is a street rat. A zernamus is a suck-up, a parasite who lives off the rich.
Niklaren Goldeneye was the mage who discovered Briar. The Thief-Lord "recruited" Briar into his gang. Dedicate Crane is a rival of Rosethorn's at Winding Circle. Tris, Daja, and Sandry are part of Briar's mage circle.
The Cover and Title The colorful cover is the market scene where Briar discovers Evvy polishing rocks, bringing forth their magic, doing Street Magic....more
Second in the PC Peter Grant urban fantasy detective series and revolving around Peter, a police constable who has become an apprentice in magic. It rSecond in the PC Peter Grant urban fantasy detective series and revolving around Peter, a police constable who has become an apprentice in magic. It really should be a "6".
My Take I can't help but love the PC Peter Grant series. Aaronovitch has the slyest sense of humor, and you can't help laughing your way through.
"…the planning department of the London County Council, whose unofficial motto was Finishing What the Luftwaffe Started…"
Peter is a typical guy who wants to shag the bird, has family issues, and is struggling with police bureaucracy. The bird is usually a river goddess or some other supernatural. His family consists of a heroin-addicted, jazz-playing father and his Fula mother with her widely extended Sierra Leonean family. The police issues are the typical ones found in any mystery novel, but with that twist of magic about which no one wants to know.
"It had the surprising heft of a 78, much heavier than an LP; anyone weaned exclusively on CDs probably wouldn't have been able to lift it."
Peter talks about his dad a lot. The drugs and alcohol. The heroin. The number of times his dad almost made it. His mother is the one who makes me laugh. She's a typical mom with an obsession for relatives, no matter how remote. Then there's the home cooking that reflects her origins. It makes for a nice twist on the usual protagonist background.
"I mean, I have my problems with the New Thing and the rest of the atonal modernists but I wouldn't kill someone for playing it — at least not if I wasn't trapped in the same room."
Aaronovitch cracks me up with all the "official speak" that Peter translates in his head. It's all the snark you've thought in your head when your boss is pontificating away.
"…and the clever people at CERN are smashing particles together in the hope that Doctor Who will turn up and tell them to stop."
We find out what Ettersberg was and get more background on Molly. Eeep.
"For a terrifying moment I thought he was going to hug me, but fortunately we both remembered we were English just in time. Still, it was a close call."
The Story Being his "dad's vinyl-wallah is how I know my Argo from my Tempo. And it's why, when Dr Walid called me to the morgue to listen to a corpse, I recognized the tune it was playing." Nightingale discovers how isolated he'd become as he and Peter dive in, and it starts when "something violently supernatural had happened to the victim, strong enough to leave its imprint like a wax cylinder recording. Cyrus Wilkinson, part-time jazz saxophonist and full-time accountant, had apparently dropped dead of a heart attack just after finishing a gig in a Soho jazz club. He wasn't the first.
It will be old-fashioned legwork, starting in Soho, the heart of the scene. I didn't trust the lovely Simone, Cyrus' ex-lover, professional jazz kitten, and as inviting as a Rubens portrait, but I needed her help: there were monsters stalking Soho, creatures feeding off that special gift that separates the great musician from someone who can raise a decent tune. What they take is beauty. What they leave behind is sickness, failure, and broken lives.
And as I hunted them, my investigation got tangled up in another story: a brilliant trumpet player, Richard 'Lord' Grant — my father — who managed to destroy his own career, twice. That's the thing about policing: most of the time you're doing it to maintain public order. Occasionally you're doing it for justice. And maybe once in a career, you're doing it for revenge.
The Characters Detective Constable Peter Grant is learning magic under the eagle eye of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale. They are officially in the ESC9, the Economic and Specialist Crime Unit 9, a.k.a., the Folly, the magic house (where the boys live in Russell Square) that most coppers don't talk about in polite company. Their primary duty is the investigation of unsanctioned wizards and other magical practitioners. Toby is the dog they acquired in Midnight Riot. Inspector Murville was Nightingale's first "governor". Molly is the Folly's housekeeper, cook, and rodent exterminator. She terrifies Peter with all those teeth and her preference for raw meat.
"Peter doesn't hold any of that against her or 'let her get between me and the exit'."
Harold Postmartin, DPhil, FRS, is the curator of special collections at the Bodleian Library in Oxford — and the magical archivist. Frank Caffrey is their fire brigade contact, a reservist in the parachute regiment, and the magical SWAT team.
Lord Grant's Irregulars will include… …Jimmy Lochrane (teaches seventeenth century French history) as the drummer, Derek "Max" Harwood plays bass (he's an integrated systems specialist for the London Underground), and Danny Hossack (a classically trained music teacher) was on the piano in their band.
Peckwater Estate is where Peter grew up. His father, Richard "Lord" Grant, who lost his lip back in the 1990s, is a jazz legend. Now he's learning to play keyboard. Abigail is a young girl interested in magic; her father, Adam Kamara, is some sort of cousin.
London Metropolitan PD Leslie May, Peter's cop friend, is recuperating at Chez May under the eye of her dad, Henry. Dr. Abdul Haqq Walid is a world-renowned gastroenterologist, cryptopathologist, and practicing Scot. Detective Sergeant (DS) Stephanopoulis is one scary copper on the Murder Team. Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Zachary Thompson is Stephanopoulis' beard. Sahra Guleed is a Somali Muslim ninja.
Commercial Robberies Unit of the Serious and Organized Crime Group is also known as the Flying Squad or the Sweeney. DPS is the Directorate of Professional Standards and scares all the coppers. OPS was the Obscene Publications Squad, the single most corrupt unit, that had run a protection racket for porno shops and strip clubs.
Detective Constable (DC) David Trollope is with the Norfolk constabulary .DCI Seawoll is being investigated for his part in the Covent Garden riots. PC Phillip Purdy is a "uniform carrier" copper with whom Peter had worked. The retired DCI Jerry "Greasy" Johnson, whose beat was Soho, might have been a source for Dunlop. Seems Greasy had some unsavory delights.
Father Thames is… …the ancient god of the River Thames, or at least that part above Teddington Lock. The gorgeous Ash Thames is one of Colne's sons and the hostage sent to Mama Thames in Midnight Riot. Oxley Thames is one of Father's sons and one of his chief counselors, media guru, and hatchet man; he'd also been a medieval monk.
Mama Thames appeared… …in 1957 and is the goddess who rules below Teddington Lock. Her children are all named after rivers whether those rivers still exist or not. Beverly Brook was the hostage exchanged at the end of Midnight Riot. "Lady" Cecelia Tyburn Thames (leave off the lady at your peril) is a snooty bitch who went to Oxford and loves playing politics. She's married and they have a son, Stephen George McAllister Thames. Brent is very young. Effra's kids went to Peter's school. Olympia, a.k.a., Counter's Creek, has a twin sister, Chelsea, and they're patrolling the Thames where Peter must jump in with Ash.
The jazz connection is… …a combination of victims and predators which began in March 1941 at the Café de Paris in Soho when Ken "Snakehips" Johnson and his band were playing. Cyrus Wilkinson, an accountant, was on alto saxophone playing "Body and Soul". Simone Fitzwilliam is Cyrus' jazz-loving girlfriend. She has two friends she considers sisters: Margaret "Peggy" Brown and Cherie Mensier. Melinda Abbot was Cyrus' fiancée. Or as the boys says, "just the one at home". If only she had come to gigs.
The Mysterioso, a smoky bar designed to recreate the old jazz bars, is run by the Management, Don Blackwood and Stanley Gibbs. The Potemkin has a late license. The Groucho Club is a Postmodernist club.
Mickey the Bone, a.k.a., Michael Adjayi, is a one-in-million trombone player in Don Cherry's band. Martha is one of three of Michael's sisters. Cherie was Mickey's girlfriend. Henry "the Lips" Bellrush, a cornet player, left behind Anita Bellrush. He used to do an act with Peggy. Colin Sandbrow would have been the next victim if Ash hadn't intervened.
Madam Valerie runs a patisserie which Simone absolutely adores. Tista Ghosh is the Jazz Section's welfare officer. Gabriella Rossi opened A Glimpse of Stocking in 1986. Miss Patternost was the girls' music mistress at Cosgrove Hall; Sadie Weintraub was her friend in Hollywood.
The Little Crocodiles were… …a boys-only club at Magdalen put together by Geoffrey Wheatcroft who taught theology, officially, at Magdalen College. Jason "Gripper" Dunlop was a freelance journalist who met a woman with a vagina dentata. He'd been at Magdalen along with Jeffers. Tiger-Boy is a chimera working for the Faceless One, a magician probably taught by Wheatcroft.
Larry "Larry the Lark" Piercingham had been with the Somers Town gang. Michael "the Mick" McCullough was likely the governor of the mob. >Alexander Smith puts on burlesque shows at the Purple Pussycat. Seems burlesque is all about glamor and sensuality.No-neck, a.k.a., Tony, is the bodyguard Alex inherited.
Peter christens the vagina-chomping assaulter the Pale Lady.
Vestigium is an imprint magic leaves on physical objects. Sensis illic is what Peter calls background vestigium. Signare is the unique signature left behind by a magic practitioner. Lacuna is a hot spot of residual magic. Forma is how you think the magic into action. Tactus disvitae is antilife. Think vampire. Black magic is magic used to cause breach of the peace. The Virtuous Men are an American magic group out of the University of Pennsylvania. Ettersberg was the last magical battle in World War II. Hypothaumaturgical degradation is what kills you if you do too much magic.
The sons of Mūsā ibn Shākir are famous for Kitab al-Hiyal, The Book of Ingenious Devices, published back in the 800s.
The Cover and Title I do love the covers in this series. This one is subdued lilacs with a fuchsia ribbon twirling off the letters in the title. Some swirl up to frame the author's name while another swoops into the black woodcut of an aerial view of London town. A thicker ribbon of fuchsia winds through the neighborhoods, the River Thames, an underlying theme for the series.
I'm not sure about the title. My best guess is that it's that dark light of magic, the Moon Over Soho, that shines forth on the truth and the past of the jazz scene in London....more
Fourth in the InCryptid urban fantasy series and revolving around the Price-Healy family of cryptozoologists. The couple focus is on Alex Price and ShFourth in the InCryptid urban fantasy series and revolving around the Price-Healy family of cryptozoologists. The couple focus is on Alex Price and Shelby Tanner. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the InCryptid books on my website.
My Take Oh, yuck. McGuire has done a twist on werewolves that will make you gag. They can turn any mammal that's big enough to handle the change. Try imagining a horse / wolf combo! Almost worse are the sheep werewolves, lol.
McGuire does a nice bit of summing up as to Alex's activities over the past year. Busy boy. He must be taking his dad's advice:
"The trick to doing things people say are impossible is confidence. As long as you seem to know what you're doing, and never hesitate, you're very unlikely to face any challenges. People don't like to break illusions, even when they don't know that's what they're looking at."
At last! The real reason why so many homeowners' associations insist upon houses being beige! It makes more sense than any of the other reasons, lol.
"[And] lo, the words of the Noisy Priestess did tell us You May Leave the Bag, Just Don't Get Caught. And we have left the bag, and we have not been caught!"
And lo, another rule is created: "Thou Shalt Not Denude the Airplane's Cheese Selection."
God, I do adore the Aeslin mice!! They are the best part of the whole series!
"Prove that you're better than the things life throws at you. Live."
– Thomas Price
Geez, I hate to say it, but the Tanners have a point, a wrong one, but still a good point about the Healy-Prices being known for betraying an ally. That said, I don't like the Tanners. Talk about super-prejudiced! And it's an odd prejudice: they'll protect non-human-looking cryptids, but ignore the cryptids who look human. They claim that the cryptids don't belong in Australia. As if the Europeans sent there as convicts do!
The Tanners and the Society know that they know nothing about werewolves, that the Healy-Prices left the Covenant, that Shelby invited Alex to come to Australia because he does know about lycanthropy-w, but they still won't believe what he says and they insist on seeing him as Covenant. If that's true, then they can't complain that the Price-Healys betray their allies…since the Aussies keep saying that Alex is still Covenant.
I gotta say, I thought this protesting and bitching was overdone. I'd'a thought that Shelby's family would be intelligent people concerned about protecting Australia. I can understand Shelby's parents being unhappy about her daughter's choice of man, but not this bad. Then there's Raina. What is her problem? These people are off. The. Wall.
Hooee, Alex also makes a good point about how easy it is to be tolerant when you're the dominant species. That sentiment can certainly apply to a number of people.
Wow, it is amazing how nasty Shelby's dad is. The way he talks, you'd think he was some kind of religious nut. The rest of the family and the Thirty-Sixers aren't that much better. I don't think they've ever considered using logic.
Basil's way of thinking may well modify the Price-Healy mission statement. At least it will, if the Price-Healys are smart!
"The reality of her, on the other hand, was worth moving mountains for."
It was a good ending. McGuire set it up with lots of promise for the immediate and far future.
It's a story that proves you'll never know everything.
The Story Nope, Dee ain't believin' it. Only critters that can move can migrate. And yams are not on the list of movable critters.
But the last laugh will be on Alex, as Shelby comes to him, begging him to help her and her family tackle an outbreak of lycanthropy-w in Australia. It's his worst nightmare. Werewolves.
"This is a terrible, horrible, incredibly foolish idea. Let's try it and see what happens."
– Jonathan Healy
The Characters The Healy-Price family is… …renowned throughout the cryptozoological world as defectors from the Covenant of St. George with a shoot-to-kill-on-sight.
Alex Price, a.k.a., the God of Scales and Silence, is a credentialed cryptozoologist, ostensibly from California and masquerading as Dr. Preston, doing research at the Columbus Zoo. Yes, he has his own colony of Aeslin mice, the pantheistic rodents who worship the Price-Healy family as gods and have raised passing on the family oral history to a religious ritual — think living black boxes. Crow is a Church Griffin — think cat with wings — and something of a familiar / pet to Alex.
His sister Verity is a cryptid social worker who does ballroom dancing for fun. Antimony is the youngest sister and still in a state of rebellion. Sarah Zellaby is a cousin by adoption and a cuckoo who almost died when she saved Verity in Midnight Blue-Light Special, 2. While in Columbus, she and Alex are living with his maternal grandparents: Angela and Martin Baker. Angela's a cuckoo and Martin is a Revenant (think Frankenstein) who works as a coroner for the city. Cousin Artie is half-incubus. Alice is the dimension-hopping grandmother on the Price side.
Dr. Shelby Tanner is a big cat specialist from Australia. And a member of the Thirty-Sixers. LOL, she tries to make Alex feel better about meeting her family, says it'll be like taking a trip back home to see his family. Only Alex replies that "that doesn't make it any better. He's met his family." The Aeslin mice give her a name: the Unpredictable Priestess. That settles it.
The Thirty-Six Society is… …anti-Covenant and obsessed with protecting their own island ecosystem. Those Thirty-Sixers who have been infected include Trevor McConnell, Isaac Wall, and Pamela and Jeffrey Cornish.
The Tanner family… …worries Alex as "he breathed" might be a good enough reason for the Tanners to kill him. Raina (she has an obsession with Pokémon games) and Gabby (she's fixated on a career in opera) are Shelby's sisters; Jack is the brother who died. Riley and Charlotte are her very suspicious and incredibly antagonistic parents. Flora is a garrinna, Shelby's familiar.
Cooper is head of security and a vet tech. Jett is Cooper's dog. Angelo Magdael will act as Alex's jailer. Patrick Hester is not trusted due to his drop bear dealings. Chloe Bryant likes stirring up trouble, Mick is the idiot, Trigby, Blithe, Donny, Albert, and Deb are more of the Society.
Dr. Helen Jalali is a wadjet and Kumari's cousin. She also has three university degrees. Basil is a yowie, a swamp monster, who's annoyed about his Tim Tams and Dr. Who Magazine.
Columbus, Ohio The West Columbus Zoo Dee is a Pliny's gorgon and Alex's assistant at the zoo, happily married to Frank, the doctor of the local gorgon community. Kim and Nelson are the junior zookeepers in the reptile house. Crunchy is the big alligator snapping turtle who has come in handy in the past when Alex needs to get rid of a body or two.
Cryptids in Columbus include… …Dr. Kumari Sarpa is a wadjet who can appear human and works as a pediatrician. Chandi is her daughter trying to bond with her zoo-bound fiancé, Shami.
The werewolf incident outside Vancouver, Canada, 7 years ago Kevin (he's a chronicler and general historian, a.k.a., the God of Decisions Made in Necessity) and Evelyn Baker (she's a cryptid health professional known as the Thoughtful Priestess) Price, Alex's parents, and his Aunt Jane Price-Harrington were leading the hunt. Elsie is Alex's cousin. Alex is hoping Aunt Mary will show.
The Covenant of St. George is a secret "organization of scholars, warriors, and assholes, dedicated to eradicating the world's 'monster' population". Exterminators with no sense of humanity, although they are responsible for werewolves coming into existence. Dickheads. Seems Grandpa Thomas Price was sent by the Covenant to take out the Healys, but became enamored of Grandma Alice's rack.
Cuckoos, a.k.a., Johrlac, are math-obsessed telepathic predators with no compassion. Wulver are therianthropes who are perfectly nice, um, people and beasts. The bite of a wagyl can cure anything.
The Cover and Title The cover is dorky. Sorry, it is. It's got a cartoon quality to it, and Alex and Shelby look like cutouts into which two people stuck their faces. It's a tropical sort of scene with lush trees, a small body of water under and behind them with Shelby wearing an abbreviated pair of khaki shorts with a matching safari shirt, unbuttoned down to there, and a rifle in her hand. Alex is wearing a green safari vest over a purple button-down shirt with loose-fitting jeans. And werewolves are circling them.
The title is an Australian problem, a Pocket Apocalypse that threatens the entire continent. Good thing it's an island....more
Eighteenth in the Temperance Brennan forensic mystery series and revolving around Dr. Tempe Brennan, a forensic anthropologist who commutes between ChEighteenth in the Temperance Brennan forensic mystery series and revolving around Dr. Tempe Brennan, a forensic anthropologist who commutes between Charlotte, North Caroline, and Montreal.
This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Bantam for an honest review.
My Take It's a nasty cold case, oh, heck, aren't they all? This one combines missing teens, excessively religious families, a defrocked priest, and medieval thinking. Full of twists, red herrings (for everyone!), Speaking in Bones is dissatisfying with the lack of support Tempe gets, with her stupid moves, with the lack of follow-up, and worse, that stringent, medieval idiocy. How can people actually believe this way? It really makes me wish we had a stupid bomb. You know, the kind that would take out stupid people.
The beginning of Speaking in Bones is at first confusing, and then, at the end of the first chapter, it's terrifying. It starts off with first person point-of-view in the now. As in right now. I'm not wanting to believe what I'm hearing, but Reichs builds this and builds until she slays me with three little words: "Please. Kill me."
In many ways, it's an example of expectations. We believe the first thing that comes to mind, whatever is the current hot topic in the news. In this case, it's child abuse for whatever reason and prejudices about religious fanaticism. Well, maybe prejudice isn't the right word… Still, my imagination ran riot, and not in a good way. The way these children are treated…jesus. Religion has so much to answer for, and the brief discussion on past exorcisms will also make your heart sink.
"Nothing says God like a loaded Browning."
Then there's that marriage proposal Ryan popped in Bones Never Lie, 17. Reichs is driving me bats with Tempe's up-down and all-around avoidance of her and Ryan's relationship. And it only gets worse in Speaking in Bones!! I do understand Tempe's fears, but all life involves risk, and she loves Ryan. The question is, is that enough?
We learn more of Tempe's childhood with her nutso mother. I do like Daisy. She's vibrant, fresh, and oddly, a fun sort of selfish.
I wish I could feel bad about Lucky, but all I think about her is that she shouldn't have been such a hoarder. She behaves so nasty with Tempe, that I'd blow her off too. What I don't understand is why Tempe kept letting her get away with that audio file. Why didn't she get the cops to go seize it?
Ick, that description of the brain during an autopsy squicked me out.
In-ter-esting. Ryan and Slidell have been chatting back and forth. The reason for it will knock your socks off. I can't wait to see how this works out!
I'm not understanding why Tempe has to die. It won't stop the investigation. If anything it will intensify it. Of course, it was stupid to go by herself, especially when she already knew the guy was nutso.
Then there's the wrap-up. Oh. Boy. There are so many directions to go on this emotionally. Part of me is appalled at past events, how horribly religious fanaticism distorts one's perspective while another part is relieved that we finally learn the truth. And it's so simple. Horrible. But simple.
The Story It's a challenge Lucky Strike presents to Tempe. An audio file so disturbing it fires Tempe into pushing a cold case, ME229-13, bones found by Mort, a hunter's dog.
The Characters Dr. Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who does a tour in the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's office in North Carolina and switches off with the Bureau du Coroner in La Belle Province in Montreal, Quebec. Birdie is her cat. Katy is Tempe's daughter doing her second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Pete is Tempe's cheating ex-husband and Katy's father. Boyd is his dog, a chow.
Her sister's name is Harry, and she's married to a Texan. Daisy, a.k.a., Katherine Daessee Lee Brennan, is Tempe's crazy-as-a-sock-puppet mama who has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently living at Heatherhill Farm. Luna Finch is her doctor. She experiences manic-depression, and in an up phase, is absolutely amazing at mining the Web. She's also in love. Cécile Gosselin, a.k.a., Goose, is Daisy's caregiver.
Lieutenant-détective Andrew Ryan is a homicide cop with the Sûreté du Québec in Montreal. He catches a case of a good samaritan farmer, Jean-Guy Lessard.
Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Dr. Timothy Larabee is her boss and the chief medical examiner. Joe Hawkins is a death investigator and autopsy tech. Mrs. Flowers is the receptionist. Detective Erskine "Skinny" Slidell is a homicide cop, a legend in his own mind. He's back to seeing Verlene Wryznyk. Bebe Denver is the concrete analyst. Burgess Chamblin was one of Tempe's "clients". Franco Saltieri found a body. Annette Wyant disappeared in 1979. Connolly Sanford was a short-lived director. Selma Barbeau was a widow.
Burke County Sheriff's Department Deputy Opal Ferris was the investigating officer in Cora Teague's case.
Avery County Sheriff's Department I suspect Deputy Zeb Ramsey is about to become a romantic interest. Gunner is Ramsey's dog. Sheriff Kermit Firth is a certified criminal investigator. Fenton Ogilvie was the coroner at the time of the Eli Teague and River Brice deaths. His major skill was being drunk.
Aunt Ruby is Zeb's aunt, and she runs a B&B, the Cedar Creek Inn, up in the mountains.
Hazel "Lucky" Strike, a.k.a., luckyloo, is a websleuth and matches bodies to people gone missing. OMG is one of the CLUES members. Todd Matthews is a Doe Network supporter, cybersleuth, and was the administrator of NamUs. WendellC is Wendell Clyde, famous for his identification of Quilt Girl, and a plasterer by trade. He has an ongoing feud with Lucky.
Cora Teague is an 18-year-old white female with epilepsy who disappeared three-and-a-half years ago. John Teague is her very religious father who runs a convenience store-gas station-hardware-bait shop. Fatima, her mother, is a stay-at-home mom. Owen Lee, a dog trainer, is the surviving son and Eli is not while Marie and Veronica are the daughters (both married). The family belongs to the Church of Jesus Lord Holiness which is run by the defrocked Father Granger Hoke, a.k.a., Father G. Elizabeth Báthory is a dominant personality. Terence O'Toole was Cora's doctor; Mae Foster is his nurse.
Cora used to work as a nanny for Joel (an artist who works with metal) and Katalin (a baker) Brice. Saffron is their daughter; River is the son they lost through SIDS. Dozer is their Cujo.
Mason Gulley was Cora's boyfriend. His father was Francis Gulley, a.k.a., Frank Danger; his mother was Eileen Wall. They both split and left their son with Gulley's parents, Martha Regan (she's a member of Father G's church) and Oscar Gulley. Susan Grace is another daughter of Eileen's. Edward was Oscar's brother who suffered from NSJ Syndrome. Oscar Mason was a photographer pioneering the field of medical photography and radiography in turn-of-the-century New York City.
Allan Fink is Tempe's long-suffering accountant, nagging her for her tax receipts. Marlene Penny is an ABFA board-certified forensic anthropologist, but not brilliant. Father James Morris has been Daisy's confessor on-and-off for years and pastor of St. Patrick's in Charlotte. Dennis Aslanian is a blogger from Dubuque. Claire/Cher/Chantal is the realtor in Montreal.
A websleuth is an enthusiastic amateur who competes with others online to solve cold cases. NamUs.gov is the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, an official database for unidentified remains. CLUES.net is Citizens Looking Under Every Stone, a privately hosted database. MP is missing person; UID is unidentified. NCIC is the rarely used National Crime Information Center, another database containing information on all things criminal. AFIS is the Automated Fingerprint Identification System holding tens of millions of fingerprints. Edmond Locard, a French investigator, is the discoverer of Locard's exchange principle.
The Cover and Title The cover is bright and cheerful in its blues and yellows, at least it is until you get a close look at the grid and its contents. Creepy, all those profile shots and head-on views of a skull.
The title is how Tempe learns the truth, how she brings that truth to light when Speaking in Bones....more
Fourth in the Septimus Heap fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around the Heap family. The focus is on Beetle.
My Take It takes almosFourth in the Septimus Heap fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around the Heap family. The focus is on Beetle.
My Take It takes almost 200 pages before we start to get to the purpose of the story, and thoughout, it's an odd combination of Roald Dahl, Harry Potter, and Disney with that fun sense of gross that Dahl brings to a story — I mean, a banana-bacon chew?? ewww — the supportive camaraderie of Harry Potter and his friends, and the cartoon craziness of Disney.
This is a story that you should read as soon as you can after the first three. That four years since I last read a Septimus Heap has left me very confused as to who, what, how, or why.
A nice lesson in here from Simon: he no longer wants to become a wizard the easy way, through the Darke. He wants Lucy to be proud of him.
It's a silly story with lots of action, drama, and laughs. Children will adore it, and adults may well get a laugh as memories of fanciful childhood dreams surface.
The Story It's Jillie's fault. Putting that ad up. Just anyone can apply and Jillie will take him! And that anyone just happens to be Merrin, er, Daniel Hunter.
It's that bargain Merrin makes with Old Tertius who will send Septimus on a Queste from which he will never return. But he won't go alone, for Beetle, Princess Jenna, and Ullr will go on Queste with him. If they can escape the Witch Mother. And the Thing.
The Characters Beetle Beetle, a.k.a., Cockroach, is the Front Office and Inspection Clerk at the Magykal Manuscriptorium and Spell Checkers Incorporated where he inspects the Seals in the ice tunnels. His mother, Pamela Beetle-Gurney, lost her husband, Brian, shortly after young Beetle's birth. Jillie Djinn is the Chief Hermetic Scribe and Beetle's boss. Foxy is one of the more highly strung scribes. Partridge is another of the scribes. Ephaniah Grebe is the half-rat, half-human Conservation, Preservation, and Protection Scribe who lives and works in the basement.
Marcellus Pye is the 500-year-old Last Alchemist with whom Snorri and Nicko have been staying. He's also the one who kidnapped Septimus through the Glass and for whom Septimus was Pye's Alchemie Apprentice.
The Heaps are… …a scattered family with some living in the Castle and others in the forest. In the Castle is Sarah Willow Heap, Sep's mother who was trained as a healer and gave up Magyk; Silas, her wizard husband; Maxie, their wolfhound; and, Jenna, their daughter (well, Milo is her real father) and the Princess and heir to the Castle. Jenna's pets include Ethel, the crocheted-waistcoat-wearing duck. Ullr is a Transforming cat Jenna is watching. DayUllr is a regular mottled orange house cat; NightUllr is a panther. Silas' father, Benjamin Heap, was a Shape-Shifting wizard who now lives as a western red cedar somewhere in the Forest. Demelza Heap is an ancestress who used to sell fine glass apparatus until she disappeared.
The Wizard Tower is where… …that lying young Septimus is stuck with Marcia Fusspot Overstrand, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard. Boris Catchpole is a night porter (demoted from failed wizard); he had been a Deputy Hunter back in the Young Army. Spit Fyre is Septimus' dragon. He's a challenge to keep fed and be a good little dragon.
Camp Heap The four sons living in the forest with a coven of witches include Sam, Edd, Erik, and Jo-Jo.
Castle staff There aren't many servants in the castle, only Cook, Cleaner, the WashingUp Boy, and the Housekeeper. The Castle is, however, stuffed with ghosts, including Sir Hereward, a ghost guard. The unhappy Billy Pot is in charge of mowing the lawn and collecting Spit Fyre's dung. He's about to become the Dragon-Watcher. Hildegarde Pigeon is a sub-Wizard on door duty at the Palace.
Message Rats Stanley is an ex-Message Rat and an ex-Secret Service Rat who still has his instincts. He's thinking of starting the Message Rat Service back up. Dawnie is not his wife any longer. Humphrey was his old Message Rat Service boss who retired six months ago. When the RatStranglers had formed up.
In the town Mrs. Gringe is the wife of the gatekeeper and Lucy's mother. Micky Mullin is the ferryman and one of Sally Mullin's many nephews; she runs the Sally Mullin's Tea and Ale House. Jannit Maarten is a boatbuilder to whom young Nicko is apprenticed. Rupert Gringe is nearing the end of his Articles. The Grateful Turbot Tavern offers up beds and haunts. Olaf Snorrelssen is the ghost of a Northern Trader, and he chooses to make his first Appearance to Merrin. A mistake. Terry Tarsal is a shoemaker with a purple python. Ma Custard runs the All-Day-All-Night Sweet Shop where Merrin gets his licorice snakes, toffee termites, spider floss, and more.
The Gathering of the Ghosts are… …ghosts of all previous ExtraOrdinary Wizards. They come together when the Apprentice draws a stone from the Questing Pot. Maurice McMohan has advice for Septimus. Julius Pike is another who lost Apprentices. Syrah Syara and Talmar Ray Bell were Apprentices lost on Queste. Marcus Overland was an Ordinary Wizard.
The Ghost of the Vaults is one of the Ancients, ghosts over 500 years old. He's very unpleasant and refuses to tell anyone his name. Beetle has figured out that he's the very first Chief Scribe: Tertius Fume.
Eldred and Alfred Stone are the brothers and tunnel ghosts trapped in the Emergency Freeze. Moaning Hilda is an Ice Wraith. The Toll-Man is a greedy, nasty bugger of a thief.
The Wendron Witches' Summer Circle Morwenna is the Witch Mother. Marissa (she's hooked up with Jo-Jo) and Bryony are some of her witches. The Old Quarry is a cave where the witches spend the winter. Madam Agaric was Morwenna's predecessor.
The House of Foryx is… …the Place Where All Times Do Meet is also a Place of Waiting. You can only leave when someone arrives, and then you have to enter into their time. It's the DoorKeeper's fault that they all fall in. The Guardian of the House is a nasty, vicious woman. Brat and Fowler are two of the Guards.
Nicko Heap has been gone for six months with Snorri Snorrelssen, who had a grandmother, Herdis Laursdottir, who lost a sister, Ells. Alfrún is Snorri's mother. Snorri also has a sister named Herdis. Old Mother, a.k.a., Ells Laursdottir, is a stallholder who happens to be from the same time as Nicko and Snorri.
Hotep-Ra was the Castle's very first ExtraOrdinary Wizard, and he set up the honor of the Queste. The Akhu Amulet is the symbol and source of the power of the ExtraOrdinary Wizards.
Alther Mella was the last ExtraOrdinary Wizard. Alice (she had been the Chief Customs Officer at the Port) was the one he had loved, but their careers had been too important. Now that she's dead, Alther intends to change that.
The bad guys include… …Simon Heap is the son who went bad and ran off with Lucy Gringe. Thunder is Simon's horse. Merrin Meredith, a.k.a., Daniel Hunter and Septimus Heap, is Simon's sulky assistant. His previous master had been the almost indestructible DomDaniel who had constantly called him stupid.
A Glass is a portal to another time from which it is near impossible to return. Things are a kind of human figure that most people can't see. A good thing as they're mean, miserable, and nasty.
The Cover and Title The oxblood cover with its gilt border and gilt trim in the corners is fun with its punched out holes along the left edge and the turquoise ribbon "binding" the book together with more turquoise ribbon wrapping around a gold button to keep the book closed. The outer edge of the cover is aged, curling parchment, furthering the impression of an old ribbon-bound book. The series information, title, and author are also in a gold foil. The pebble of lapis lazuli is the Questing Stone.
The title is the journey, the Queste, upon which the quartet sets out, desperate to find Nicko and Snorri, sort of. ...more
Twentieth in the Lucas Davenport detective mystery series and revolving around an honest detective in Minneapolis who is willing to take shortcuts.
MyTwentieth in the Lucas Davenport detective mystery series and revolving around an honest detective in Minneapolis who is willing to take shortcuts.
My Take Another complicated and unusual mystery for Lucas. It's not an easy case for him or the rest of the cops. Suspects run, get killed, kill. It's turning Lucas and his people into a joke with the other cops, especially when Lucas and company keeps getting beat up.
It's not easy at the hospital for Weather either. All those cops hanging around as her bodyguards. Asking questions about French accents. It's enough to push her into investigating.
I get that the surgery was delicate what with all the doctors and how they had to keep stopping and starting over a number of days, but Sandford didn't make me feel the tension in it. Not like I felt for the woman with the grenade between her thighs!
Don't get me wrong. Sandford still writes a fascinating mystery, one with few clues that he roots out, uncovers, and builds on until he learns whodunnit.
Thank god Weather is a cop's wife when that assassin comes after her on the freeway. Lol, I do love how she takes things into her own hands. And he's so pissed that she'd defend herself, the lack of respect(?), ROFLMAO. What is it with bad guys that it's okay for them to gun people down, but when someone shoots back…it's all wrong?
Sandford writes about a serious topic, murder, and yet he infuses it with humor. Cop humor, family humor.
"I'll put you in for something. A medal, or something. Or we could get the guys to chip in, buy you one of those family packs of Cheetos."
Poor Shrake, he's learning just how dangerous it is to be around Letty.
"'Don't bother us,' Letty said. 'If he goes out, I've got to take my bra off.'"
It's stupid enough to pull a robbery, but then they keep trying to clean up after themselves. It sure didn't help that they teamed up with a drug addict. It's a fatal combination. Then they pull in an outsider, which only makes it worse when Cappy teams up with Barakat. Talk about a match made in heaven! Criminal heaven.
"'Last time I saw him, he, well, he looked like that drawing.'
Shrake said, 'If you weren't short, fat, and male, I'd kiss you on the lips.'
'Hey, that's okay,' Melicek said. 'I can live without it.'"
And the crooks just keep stonewalling as more and more people die.
Oh, yeah. Lucas is whipped!
"'As for me, I'm going to get pregnant again,' Weather said.
'You got the daddy picked out?'
Well. Okay, then.'"
The Story It's heartbreaking for the parents and life-critical for the babies. The way their heads are joined will lead to their deaths if they can't be separated. One of the babies has a congenital heart defect which could complicate the operation to save them.
Dr. Maret has done two of these surgeries before, and he invited Weather to participate due to her successful reconstruction of a young boy's thumb. It's a complicated operation for both doctor and patient, and it doesn't help when robbers clean out the pharmacy.
Nor does it help that Weather may be an eyewitness.
The Characters The battered yet hawk-handsome Lucas Davenport is the governor's troubleshooter, a state police investigator, a man who loves clothes, poetry, fighting, and his family. Dr. Weather Karkinnen is a plastic surgeon who does aesthetic, reconstructive, and microsurgery at Hennepin General. Sam is their son. Letty is their officially adopted fifteen-year-old daughter.
The Department of Public Safety is… …the governor's pet project used to keep him and the Democrats in Minnesota looking good. Rose Marie Roux is the head of the department while Lucas is the agent in charge. The agents who work under Lucas include Shrake and Jenkins, a double act; Virgil Flowers will move in to Lucas and Weather's place to guard her; and, Del Capslock.
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is… …where Lucas has his office. Frank Harris doesn't like Lucas; he and Lannie Tote are BCA's gang guys. Dan Martin knows most of the Seed guys. Sandy is a part-time researcher, a really good one.
Minneapolis PD Deputy Chief Marcy Sherrill is heading up the drugs robbery; she's married to a medium big shot at General Mills. James is her son. Larouse is a cop supervisor and an old friend of Lucas'. Lodmell is in the lab. Detectives Phil Dickens, Franklin, Marilyn Crowe, Doug Jansen, and Stone are all working the case. Lee Hall is the senior guy on the final day.
St. Paul SWAT John Nelson is the team commander. Billy Harris is part of the team.
Mendota Heights PD Mark Grace is the chief.
Washburn PD Bill Stephaniak is the sheriff.
Hastings PD Nancy Knott is with forensics. Lonny Johnson processed the Haines-Chapman murder scene.
Bakersfield, California PD Detective J.J. Ball works Intel with Al James.
Minnesota Medical Research Center The surgical team consists of… …all kinds of doctors and some twenty nurses and surgical assistants. Dr. Gabriel Maret is a French doctor (and the team leader) who has socialized over the winter with Lucas and Weather. He and Lucas can spend hours talking about clothes.Regan is a radiologist; Rick Hanson is the orthopedic surgeon with the custom electric saws; John Dansk, Sandy Groetch, and Mark Lang are the neurosurgeons; Dr. Yamaguchi is an anesthesiologist; Dr. Alan Seitz and Geoff Perkins are the cardiologists; Tremaine Cooper is another plastic surgeon; and, Kristy is the nurse to whom Weather gives the note.
The patients are… …Siamese twins, Ellen and Sara Raynes, joined head to head. Their father, Larry, works in a heating and air-conditioning business owned by his father. Their mother, Lucy, works at the post office.
The pharmacy victims are… …Dorothy Baker was the nurse doing inventory in the pharmacy, and Don Peterson.
Other employees in the hospital include… …Dr. Alain Barakat, a spoiled rich kid with an addiction, is observing; he works the ER. Thomas Carlson is the hospital administrator. Rob Jansen is a supervisor in Sanitation. Marlene Bach is the head of surgery. Possible suspects include Halary, who is a weasel and an otolaryngologist; Martin; and, Albert Loewe. Adnan Shaheen is also a doctor, and Barakat's babysitter. Shaheen did all the studying to be a doctor for the two of them.
The gang Lyle and Joe Mack (he's just dumb) are brothers who own Cherries Bar. Their father is Ike Mack, a Seed member in the sixties. Mikey Haines is big and dumb, the guy who got carried away. Charles "Shooter" Chapman is a talker from California. Harriet B. "Honey Bee" Brown is Lyle's girlfriend but not averse to slipping it to Joe; she also tends bar.
Anthony Melicek and Ron Howard patronize Cherries, both are former Seed. Donna Howard is Ron's wife. Melanie is the Howards' probation officer. Lincoln. Dan Lenert is with Mid-State Vending and Games. Ansel Clark pulled a five-year sentence for a robbery. Jon Orff is an assistant warden in Stillwater. Phil Lighter drives for a limo service and is a childhood friend of Joe Mack's. Alice "Butch" is his woman.
Caprice "Cappy" Marlon Garner is a sociopath in love with his BMW; he "bought" it when he held a gun on its original owner. Not to worry about the original owner, he died very, very soon after. His childhood is another reason why parents should be licensed.
"He'd killed them without a flicker of a doubt, without a shred of pity, and enjoyed the nightly reruns…"
He's 20 years old.
Dick Morris owned the Yamaha that got stolen. The Bad Seed is a Wisconsin motorcycle club; in Minnesota they operate out of Cherries. Jim Locke is a retired Minneapolis detective. Arnold Shoemaker is the gassy chicken farmer. Jill MacBride was going to pick up her daughter, Stacy, from school. Marti Stasic is the concerned teacher. Star, Michellay, and Jamilayah are ladies Cappy and Barakat run into at the bar. Don Johnston is Cappy's supervisor at UPS. Roger Denton works with Cappy. Ann Wilson owns the house where Cappy rents a room. Ruffe Ignace is a cop reporter with the Star-Tribune who's worked with Lucas before.
The Cover and Title The cover is a deep blue-green, a lonely road under a hazy moon with a solitary car parked by the side of that road. Trees and bushes line the sides with powerlines snaking alongside.
The title is that ending, what better to do with Storm Prey than have one last drink? "What better to do on a day like this?" ...more