My rating: 3 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or t...moreMy rating: 3 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Most people, even the ones we hold dear, are seldom what we think.”
Zoe is struggling to cope with the recent devastation of her father’s death. He left Zoe and her mother destitute and the two were forced to move into a small, dingy apartment to make ends meet. Zoe and her father both shared a love of music, of punk music, and when she stumbles upon a record store one day to browse the stacks she uncovers far more than she could have ever expected. The old records contain far more than classic music; they contain the contents of a persons very soul including Zoe’s father.
The most interesting aspect for me about Dead Set was the Egyptian lore that was incorporated into the story. Zoe travels to the underworld in order to see her father and they have a wonderful time together yet she doesn’t realize until after that she was only shown this peaceful place by her father in hopes that she would leave and never return. When she comes back and witnesses the horror of what truly goes on, Zoe refuses to leave her father in this hellish place. Queen Hecate is the moon-goddess that rules this nightmarish underworld, a place called Iphigene. Her children, enormous black dogs and black cobras, feed on the people forced to reside there. Iphigene is a terrifying and fearsome place when you consider these people are forced to remain there for all eternity.
Zoe’s character was troubled yet she remained spirited and was a fantastic main character. Her father’s death left her more devastated than we get to witness first-hand with the only reference being a rubber band she keeps on her wrist that she snaps as a reminder not to cut herself. At this point in the story she’s been able to overcome the damage she inflicts upon herself but while her wounds aren’t as deep they’re still not fully healed. Presented with this situation that her father is in she seeks to help him in anyway she can so as to assuage her own suffering.
Dead Set is an extremely violent and horrifying tale but was immensely entertaining. This is Kadrey’s first YA novel and my first read by him. His Sandman Slim series is widely touted and is definitely being added to my to be read pile.(less)
‘I don’t want to live in a world where the strong rule and the weak cower. I’d rather make a place where things are a little...moreMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
‘I don’t want to live in a world where the strong rule and the weak cower. I’d rather make a place where things are a little quieter. Where trolls stay the hell under their bridges and where elves don’t come swooping out to snatch children from their cradles. Where vampires respect the limits, and where the faeries mind their p’s and q’s. My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. When things get strange, when what goes bump in the night flicks on the lights, when no one else can help you, give me a call. I’m in the book.’
Harry is a detective but also a wizard; the only one in the city of Chicago. He’s going through some hard times currently and haven’t worked enough jobs recently to pay the rent (or buy food for that matter) and when a job comes knocking on his door he doesn’t think twice. Monica Sells is the traditional damsel in distress that hires Harry to help her find her husband. Karrin Murphy is the head of the Special Investigations Department of the Chicago police department and needs Harry’s help in solving a recent double homicide where a man and woman had their hearts ripped out ‘mid-coitus’. In addition to homicides and missing husbands, Harry is dealing with Chicago’s crime boss who has a personal interest in seeing that Harry doesn’t solve murder case. So basically just a typical day in the life of Harry Dresden.
Storm Front, the beginning of the massive fifteen (at the moment) installments in the widely known Harry Dresden series. Fifteen installments being the reason I’ve been so leery about picking this series but I’m so glad I finally did. I can count several Urban Fantasy series I love because of the empowered snarky main character with the best sense of humor but they all happy to be female. Not anymore.
‘Smiling always seems to annoy people more than actually insulting them. Or maybe I just have an annoying smile.’
“EASTER HAS BEEN CANCELED – THEY FOUND THE BODY” (T-Shirt worn by Harry)
While this isn’t the most solidly written detective/murder mystery (it was fairly easy to guess what was going on the whole time) it was still entertaining enough with an interesting cast of characters to avoid the urge to skip to the end. I loved the noir feel to Storm Front, Harry had a definite Sam Spade/Philip Marlowe feel to him just with a magical staff and a trench coat. The world-building was well-done without the typical infodump we receive at the beginning of any new series. There were various additions to this world that sets it apart from the rest: The White Council is the group which governs wizards, the Nevernever is a spirit realm and there are also vampires, faeries, demons and other assorted supernatural beasties. It was all very interesting and I look forward to the world being further explored in following installments.
I’ve been told that this is not the strongest installment and that they get better as they progress but I was sufficiently pleased with Storm Front that I will most definitely be picking up Fool Moon soon. The audiobooks made this even more of an entertaining read as they are narrated by James Marsters who does a fabulous job at conveying the proper amount of snarky into Harry’s tone (you can listen to the 1st chapter in full below). Don’t let the 15+ installments frighten you; if you love Urban Fantasy, The Dresden Files is one series you won’t want to miss out on.(less)