Switchblade Goddess is the third book in Snyder's Jessie Shimmer series. I strongly advise you start with the first one, not just so you know what's gSwitchblade Goddess is the third book in Snyder's Jessie Shimmer series. I strongly advise you start with the first one, not just so you know what's going on, but also so you understand the graphicness of the author's style. Because boy does this book get nasty!
In the last book Jessie faced down a half demon daughter of the Japanese death goddess. If that wasn't bad enough we get a good look at Miko's past in this book, and learn that as bad as she is, she's only an instrument in an eons old battle for human souls, a battle Jessie's now a prize in. Struggling against a deadly infection, trying to mend things with her boyfriend Cooper, and his brother, The Warlock, and trying to save the life of her familiar who has been infected with lycanthropy, Jessie's pretty busy tying up loose ends in this book. Except, for each one she fixes more fray from her life. And she still has to defeat Miko for good, as well.
The Jessie Shimmer books outrageous and enjoyable, total stand outs from the rest of the urban fantasy scene. They're a hard core, punk view in a middle class genre (not that there's anything wrong with UF in the first place). Recommended for collections with strong horror readers or dark fantasy readers.
Koehler's A Clockwork Vampire is part steampunk, part modern urban fantasy and part classic Agatha Christie-style mystery. This delicious blend of difKoehler's A Clockwork Vampire is part steampunk, part modern urban fantasy and part classic Agatha Christie-style mystery. This delicious blend of different is pure fun.
Eliza McGillicuddy is an inventor by trade and a wife by choice. Her husband is a vampire with a clockwork heart and a dark secret that's about to knock on their door. He's the Heir and Enforcer to one of the most reclusive and dangerous vampires in the world, a master who wants him to come back and solve a series of vampire murders. Eliza has a few secrets herself, none of which makes facing a centuries old vampire lord any easier.
Koehler's world building is stellar, her characters charming and complicated and her story outrageous fun. A Clockwork Vampire has a lot to offer readers who both love, but are tired of genre tropes, or those looking to expand their interests. I highly recommend it to paranormal fans and can't wait for the next book in the series....more
Persephone Alcmedi is the Lustrata, a fable witch said to bring balance and justice to the magical world. In the last book she was outed to the otherPersephone Alcmedi is the Lustrata, a fable witch said to bring balance and justice to the magical world. In the last book she was outed to the other witches of her city and she was forced to save her foster daughter and grandmother from a murderous fae. Now the fae are using her actions as an excuse to declare war on the human magic users. Persephone is being forced to publicly disown her family, take a position as a vampire court witch for the protection it brings to herself, and her fellow witches. She must become pariah to protect them, a role that only one called to equality and fairness could bear. But can she? Robertson's Circle series is less violence and battle-based than a lot of urban fantasy out there. For readers that prefer more mystery-based paranormal romance this series is good one. It's dark, emotional and meaningful without dallying into a lot of the gore and extended sex scenes. Robertson's lead, too, is set apart from other UF leads. Persephone is a woman embedded in family and responsibility, not to save the world, but just to do what is right. Fatal Circle is a breath of fresh air to the magical worlds of paranormal fiction, while also meeting reader's ravenous appetites for more. It's a good addition to public collections, either on the SF/F side or the romance side. Contains: language, violence, sex...more
I'm a big fan of Snyder's Jessie Shimmer series, which is often considered by readers more horror thanI was given this book to review by the author.
I'm a big fan of Snyder's Jessie Shimmer series, which is often considered by readers more horror than urban fantasy. I expected much the same going into Sparks and Shadows. But instead of a rich, dark collection of horror I found Sparks and Shadows to contain Snyder's other trademark, sexy, playful stories, that just happen to be science fiction, fantasy or horror. There are poems, fantasy, horror and science fiction stories bound together on these pages, most of which, despite the terror or pain the characters go through, left me smiling.
Sparks and Shadows is a great read, particularly for those who love dark humor, or readers who love seeing writers play with all manner of storytelling tools, from regional mythos to genre. And of course, it's a must have for Snyder completeists, or even Jessie shimmer fans as it contains side stories from Snyder's dark, demon-ridden world. Sparks and Shadows is definitely an excellent read for fans of the fantastic dark....more
The second in Robertson's Persephone Alcemdi series, Hallowed Circle follows solitary witch Persephone as she tries to deal with her new roles in lifeThe second in Robertson's Persephone Alcemdi series, Hallowed Circle follows solitary witch Persephone as she tries to deal with her new roles in life as a guardian of a friend's orphaned daughter, caretaker of her aging grandmother, the mysterious Lustrata, girlfriend to a werewolf rock star, vampire-bonded and now contestant in the bidding for High Preiestess of the area coven. Despite being full of magic, murder and mystery, Hallowed Circle is ground in a theme of responsibility, not necessarily to save the world, but to do the right thing for the people and community. The witch contest has a real Clue feel, which will draw in mystery lovers. 'Seph herself balances magic with a day job and mortgage making for a solid, enjoyable read. Less dark or brutal than other urban fantasy on the shelf, Hallowed Circle definitely appeals to the crossover pararomance audience as well. Its price and solid readablility make it a good choice for public collections and private readers who can't get enough of paranormals. Contains: language, sex...more
An off-beat book, Raiju is part teen urban fantasy, part classic monster movie. Kevin is a teen reeling from the utter destructionI bought this book.
An off-beat book, Raiju is part teen urban fantasy, part classic monster movie. Kevin is a teen reeling from the utter destruction of San Francisco by a mutated shark. His best friend and mother both died in the attack and he and his father both emerged different people. Now Kevin is trying to start over at a new school in New York, but being half Japanese and a hothead makes fitting in hard. And of course there's a girl, Aimi, a gothic lolita singer with a temperamental sidekick and a dark secret. Beneath the city another monster grows, and it seems to be coming after Kevin. Kevin has his own secret. He's a Keeper, the guardian of an ancient kami-god, one that could help him defeat the mutated monster lurking in New York's sewers, or tear the city apart in its rage. While much of this book appears to be straight out of a Godzilla flick, Koehler puts a wonderful new spin to it, infusing the mutants and science-gone-wrong explanations with an enticing Japanese mythos. An exciting book, it's a shame it's not longer (or that there's no sequel out yet.) Definitely a book for people looking for more flavor to their paranormal fiction....more
With this book I'm finally caught up on this series (until March at least) and it's this one that has the most complex, detailed wI bought this book.
With this book I'm finally caught up on this series (until March at least) and it's this one that has the most complex, detailed world building of the three, which is saying something. Hines' Princess books follow the further adventures of Snow White (Snow, a talented sorceress), Cinderella (Danielle, happily married princess and mother) and Talia (Sleeping Beauty whose tale is possibly the most vicious of all), fairy tale princesses whose stories didn't quite turn out as legend would have you believe.
In Red Hood's Revenge Danielle receives a letter from Red Riding Hood (who is now a widely feared assassin), a bold proclamation of her intent to kill Danielle for no other reason than she's been paid to. But like in all of Hines' books the plot (and the emotional story) is not so simple. When Snow and Talia come to Danielle's aid, the three of them find themselves magically transported to the exotic desert land where Talia's legend began—and where the Queen has put a death sentence on Talia's head.
Talia must save old friends, defeat (again) the insidious fairy plot that was put in place when she was first “gifted” as a child, and save her kingdom from the Wild Hunt, which savages towns from dusk to dawn. Hines spins out the well-known fairy tale into a semi-religious and definitely political plot to destroy the human rulers of Talia's land and bring the world under fairy rule. Likewise the subplot of Talia facing up to her own rage over what really happened to her (I'll give you a hint if you haven't read any of these books yet—it wasn't the prince's kiss that awoke her) makes for a satisfying read on many levels.
Readers won't be able to help but become personally involved with these princesses. They're brave, bold, strong and anything but helpless women waiting to be rescued. But Hines also holds respect for the classic feel of fairy tales, creating something strong enough, and interesting enough to stand on its own in the weight of the classic art of storytelling....more
The Mermaid's Madness follows The Stepsister Scheme in Hines' Princess series. It focuses on Talia (Sleeping Beauty), Danielle (CiI bought this book.
The Mermaid's Madness follows The Stepsister Scheme in Hines' Princess series. It focuses on Talia (Sleeping Beauty), Danielle (Cinderella) and Snow (Snow White) whose stories are far darker than Disney would have you believe. In The Mermaid's Madness Hines takes on possibly the least-happy fairy tale, Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid. Fairy tale fans know that this tale is sad and gruesome while Hines fans will find this to be the prefect tale for Hines's princesses as Hines uses a heavy subtext of emotional recovery in this series. Lirea is the Little Mermaid, once friend to Queen Beatrice (Danielle's mother-in-law) who fell in love with a human prince who didn't love her and was given a knife that would restore her tail at the cost of her betrayer prince's life. But something happened and now Lirea is mad, broken and violent. When greeted by the queen after her family of undine return from their winter hibernation Lirea lashes out, stabbing the queen and trapping her soul in the cursed knife along with the prince's. Now Talia, Danielle and Snow must find the cause of Lirea's madness, find Lirea herself, and free the queen before her body gives out. Hines' work is excellent, layered between the fantasy and fancy of fairy tales with a real world punch that adult readers can't help but expect. Sure we all want there to be a happy ending, but isn't it more satisfying when it's fought for, earned, not merely handed over as if the players are exceptions to human nature instead of parts of it? The Mermaid's Madness is an excellent retelling of the original that nails the morbid sweetness of the legend while making it a more vibrant, fleshy thing before reader's eyes. Fantasy and urban fantasy fans are missing out if they aren't reading this series....more
The chances of readers not being familiar with either bizarro fiction or the “flying circus” storytelling forSBN: 978-1936383009
I bought this book.
The chances of readers not being familiar with either bizarro fiction or the “flying circus” storytelling form is pretty high. So let's start there. Bizarro is a pseudo-genre that embraces Absurdism, irony, satire, surrealism and even outright silliness. Think Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, Jean-Paul Sarte, Samuel Beckett meets The Twilight Zone, Lovecraft and David Lynch. In fact this book comes out through Eraserhead Press. The flying circus is an homage to Monty Python. It's a collection of related (thematically, directly through characters and worlds, or merely grammatically) shorts that come together as a whole. How to Eat Fried Furries supposedly is a pamphlet included in the goodie bags at the American Association of Furry Farmers convention. Cushing's shorts start out as silly riffs on religion and genre (alien squirrel invaders led by the Squirrel Pope, readers will get that the stories are absurd, as is the bits of religion they're reflecting). It disarms the reader with over-the-top stunts then subjects them to some pretty serious shorts that challenge the nature of human status quo and pretentiousness. In these darker pieces Cushing establishes that there are three people in the world: the Flesh, who uphold and define the status quo; the Flayed to reject it to the point of rejecting their own skin; and the neutral who are very screwed indeed. While the premise might seem silly (and honestly the first mini-tale is quite far gone) Cushing deftly slices apart the reader with a wicked wit and almost playful viciousness. The power packed second act makes Furries an excellent, rattling read and a chance to get in on the ground floor of what will be a stellar career....more
While Lee Thomas is no newcomer to GLBT-themed horror it's possible you've not heard of him before. If so, this quiet-looking boReview for The Letter
While Lee Thomas is no newcomer to GLBT-themed horror it's possible you've not heard of him before. If so, this quiet-looking book is your chance to experience a dazzling, sometimes blistering, example of queer horror.
In the Closet, Under the Bed is a collection of fifteen horror tales that range in scope from the horrors of being gay, to the the unique, strange and sometimes erotic horror drawn to an unconventional life. You'll never think of bears the same way again after “Down to Sleep”. Thomas tackles shame, the delicate difficulty of pretending to the point of maintaining a “traditional” family and even the hidden complications of gay spousal abuse. And the one story told from a female perspective, “They Would Say She Danced” is perhaps the most poignant despite addressing the intricacies of gay life from an outside point of view.
Absolutely dark, absolutely queer Thomas' collection would collapse without with either the gay or horror aspects. Breathtaking only begins describe this example of what horror, science fiction and fantasy could be, if it could just drag itself out of the closet. Highly recommend....more