an occasionally unevenly-written "normal people end up in a fantasy land" sort of tale, only SWEET BABY MONKEY IT'S ABOUT VETERINARIANS TREATING UNICOan occasionally unevenly-written "normal people end up in a fantasy land" sort of tale, only SWEET BABY MONKEY IT'S ABOUT VETERINARIANS TREATING UNICORNS AND WHATNOT.
BJ is a 4th year vet student in the middle of a brutal life upheaval that makes her question whether she can finish school. on the verge of walking out the door, she's invited by a large animal prof to join an ambulatory rotation, where she finds herself again by finding herself in an entirely different world. there's a somewhat superfluous bad guy plot tacked on the end, but that bit is easy to ignore in favor of the droll but deadly griffin and his ilk.
the fun of this for me was absolutely in the details. the afterword says that O'Donohoe's wife was a vet student during the writing of this novel, and her influence on accuracy of both the vet student experience and the practical realities of emergency equine surgery are utterly evident. this one is highly recommended for anyone who's both a fantasy lover and an IRL veterinarian....more
3.5 stars, rounding up for it being breezily readable.
though this has plenty of thumbs-up from GR reviewers, the glaring/dead-eyed cover pose and desc3.5 stars, rounding up for it being breezily readable.
though this has plenty of thumbs-up from GR reviewers, the glaring/dead-eyed cover pose and description of an assassin's coming-of-age tale had me more than a little leery that i was in for some stab, stab, level up, stab, dude-fantasy of the most eye-rolling sort. i ended up quite pleasantly surprised that 'the way of shadows' instead was a compulsively readable story with totally engaging characters. these guys aren't assassins just to be badass (the terror in the hearts of men and the respect that engenders is merely a pleasant side effect), nope, they've got to make a living in this rough world, and they can take pride in the quality of their work without enjoying it for its own gory sake. amidst a backdrop of some twisty political intrigue that's definitely going to need the other 2 in the series to play out, 'way' is all about the transformation of westley into the dread pirate roberts (srsly): a boy leaves his girl behind to start a life where the grimmest of grimdark folks tells him continuously, "well, that's alright, but i'll probably kill you tomorrow."
there's more than a few confounding moments that one has to ignore to keep things moving - action sequences are often written in a "wait, what just happened?" muddle (thankfully, these moments aren't generally plot-critical), top level assassins are called "wetboys" (which apparently has nothing to do with soggy diapers), and the most stealthy of all ninjas continuously chews raw garlic (completely disregarding one's preference for such things, dude, that stuff oozes out your pores, rendering your aroma 150% NON STEALTHY) - but 'way' is fun without being vapid, with a good bit more depth than the 'assassin's creed' comparisons imply. ...more
a solid 3.5 stars from one of the trailblazers of the genre, though there's some confusion as to reading order: this one was published 2nd, but comesa solid 3.5 stars from one of the trailblazers of the genre, though there's some confusion as to reading order: this one was published 2nd, but comes in the timeline before the first book, Burning Water.
somewhen in 1973 or 4ish, Nixon's on trial and everyone's smoking grass and hanging groovy with the band. a young witch has moved to NYC now that college is done. though she has a pretty heavy amount of magical power, bills loom large for everyone, and saving people from demons & whatnot gets you lots of hugs but not the rent money. she's banging out formulaic romance novels on spec and minding the shop for a pregnant friend, and also discovering how to handle herself with a few unexpected things that go bump in the night.
it's funny how many more recently written series have echoes of this one (LK Hamilton and Tanya Huff instantly come to mind), though this series is pretty obscure even to UF aficionados. the pacing is a little slow, and everything is going to feel anachronistic until you get the date ironed out, but it's certainly refreshing to have a heroine with actual problems that doesn't get to level up instantly every time a baddie shows up. kindle versions are often on sale, and these are so far well worth checking out....more
3.5 stars, and basically the same review for the last three or four books in the series.
Neill has her formula down well: come up with a mystery that o3.5 stars, and basically the same review for the last three or four books in the series.
Neill has her formula down well: come up with a mystery that only Merit is capable of solving, then stretch out the final who done it till the end, all while building up bigger and bigger piles of vampire politics. You're definitely too far along in the series for a new reader to start out here, but she does a good job of reminding returning readers about important events at the moment that you need to remember that information. A solidly entertaining series, if not an amazing one. ...more
a relaxed, leisurely story about traveling across a planet in search of compatible genetic traits, 'the best of all possible worlds' is the sort of sca relaxed, leisurely story about traveling across a planet in search of compatible genetic traits, 'the best of all possible worlds' is the sort of sci-fi where mature, intelligent people think their way through problems that need to be solved, instead of laser-blasting their way through bad guys. it's most definitely a pleasant way to pass an afternoon, with huge bonus points for a slowly developed love story based on mutual admiration rather than swoony teenage hormones. unfortunately, the sci-fi-ness of it all was merely a light flavoring sprinkled through a sandwich of diplomacy and data-gathering that could have otherwise taken place across any remote set of locales that a science team would have to travel to: it all felt very here-and-now, and not so much galaxy-far-away. ...more
Jade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by thJade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by the same team that runs the coffee shop she works at next door. keeping tenants in the joint is difficult due to rumors of ghosts in the place, which ultimately turn out to be true. by the end of this story, Jade has to figure out who the ghost is and why it's bugging her, and what she's going to do about hottie landlord.
one of the most solidly written freebies i've come across, this book has clearly seen the blessed red pen of an editor. the story works very well, being neither the comedic fluffy romance you'd expect with the back-of-book blurb, nor a horrific tale of poltergeist harassment, but with a generally nice balance between the two. characters tend to be messy and nuanced, not cardboard good guys. there are actual friendships between women, not just catty chick cut-downs (crazily enough for a romance novel, this book passes the Bechdel test!!). if it wasn't for the eye-rolling insta-romance and the suddenly silly ending, it'd be a solid 4* read....more