I got this book from a friend who was purging her paperback bookshelf. It's not something I would have picked up on my own. The premise of the seriesI got this book from a friend who was purging her paperback bookshelf. It's not something I would have picked up on my own. The premise of the series is fairly original, as urban fantasy goes: Harper Blaine, a private eye in Seattle (how come so many of these series are set in the Pacific Northwest? Aren't people there afraid to walk the streets by now?), has a near-death experience and, once recovered, finds that she can see ghosts and other critters who live in our world. In this book, she runs afoul of a monster out of Native American legend who is killing the homeless near Pioneer Square.
The tone of the book is quite dark, with very little in the way of humor to lighten the mood. Anybody who can be menacing, is menacing. The homeless people are almost all crazy, the Indians almost all inscrutable. Even the weather is miserable. I found myself speeding through the last 80 pages or so, but I wasn't sure whether it was because I wanted to find out what happened or whether I just wanted to be done.
My friend gave me the next book in the series as well, but I think I'm going to have to work up to it....more
This book got me hooked on the Kitty series. The main character is a radio talk show host in Denver. Radio and Denver -- two points in its favor, righThis book got me hooked on the Kitty series. The main character is a radio talk show host in Denver. Radio and Denver -- two points in its favor, right off the bat. The fact that she's also a werewolf named Kitty is just icing on the cake....more
This is the first of Briggs' series that I got hooked on, courtesy of my daughter. Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifter who takes the form of a coyote. HeThis is the first of Briggs' series that I got hooked on, courtesy of my daughter. Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifter who takes the form of a coyote. Her over-the-fence neighbor is a werewolf and the alpha male of the local pack. One of her best friends is a vampire. And there's something a little odd about the guy who owns the garage where she works as a mechanic. Other than that, her life is pretty normal!
The magic is appropriately edgy, the humor is snarky, and -- okay -- the alpha male is kind of hot. In all, a fun series....more
I'll leave my own first chapter in this book for others to critique. :) I've already read a number of the other books represented here, but had not yeI'll leave my own first chapter in this book for others to critique. :) I've already read a number of the other books represented here, but had not yet had a chance to check out the rest. Now I'm going to have to get them all!...more
I'm always interested to see how an author of a long-running series keeps her stories fresh. This is the 12th outing for Vaughn's Kitty Norville, a laI'm always interested to see how an author of a long-running series keeps her stories fresh. This is the 12th outing for Vaughn's Kitty Norville, a late-night radio talk show host in Denver who also happens to be a werewolf. I absolutely loved the first book (she had me at Denver and radio -- the shapeshifter thing was a bonus) and I have mostly enjoyed the others (the book set in Las Vegas didn't really grab me). But when you get to dozen outings with the same, uh, pack, you might begin to have some trouble delivering.
Vaughn stayed close to home with this book, and went minimalist in a way. While husband Ben (who, for the uninitiated, is also a werewolf, as well as a lawyer -- oh stop, they are not the same thing) is away on a business trip, Kitty is lured up into the mountains by the scent of a couple of werebeasts encroaching on her pack's territory. She's tranquilized and captured, and sucked against her will into a cockamamie scheme to try to defeat Roman, the vampire who's playing to win the Long Game (vampires vs. werewolves, with world domination as the prize). Her captors believe Kitty is an avatar of Regina Luporum, the legendary wolf who suckled the eventual founders of Rome; Kitty has already been drawn to her, and believes she too may have been a werewolf. (I bring this up because I expect it will come up again in future books.)
Kitty spends a good chunk of this book locked away in the dark. That could be a problem in terms of driving the plot, but Vaughn throws her readers enough bones that I was willing to stick it out. Still, I enjoy the interplay between Kitty, Ben, and Ben's cousin Cormac (and his ride-along witch, Amanda), and that was mostly missing here.
I found Kitty in the Underworld to be an enjoyable read. But Kitty and Roman are going to have to meet in epic battle sooner or later, and I wonder how much longer Vaughn will draw her own Long Game out. *** Originally published at http://hearth-myth-rursday-reads.blog......more
Chuck Wendig is a force of nature. His blog, Terrible Minds, is a must-read for indie authors (and pretty much anyone else with a pulse). And he writeChuck Wendig is a force of nature. His blog, Terrible Minds, is a must-read for indie authors (and pretty much anyone else with a pulse). And he writes his fiction in multiple genres at once, as if he didn't know any better.
Blackbirds is a case in point. This book could fit into any one of several genres -- contemporary fantasy, paranormal something-or-other, thriller, horror. It tells about an episode in the life of Miriam Black, a woman who has an unusual ability, and one she wishes she didn't have. All she has to do is touch someone, and she can see how the person will die. In living Technicolor. And she knows, pretty much to the minute, when it will happen. It's part of the reason why she's adopted a wandering lifestyle, but it's not the only reason.
One night, she gets into Louis Darling's truck, and learns in her usual manner that he will die in a month, in a horrible way -- and all because he met her. The worst part of it is that Louis is a nice guy. Thus begins Miriam's quest to either get out of Louis's life entirely, or figure out a way to cheat the fate she knows is his.
This is not a book for those with delicate sensibilities. Many of the novel's scenes are visceral in their violence, and Miriam has a colorful vocabulary. But the plot is well-paced and the characters are believable. I was invested enough in Miriam and Louis that I had to keep reading to know how it all turned out.
Blackbirds isn't the kind of thing I usually read, but I'm glad I did. *** Originally published at hearth-myth-rursday-reads.blogspot.com....more