after a pair of somewhat lighter historical-fantasy-romances (albeit, ones with a darker undercurrent in the form of nasty villains), the series divesafter a pair of somewhat lighter historical-fantasy-romances (albeit, ones with a darker undercurrent in the form of nasty villains), the series dives much more deeply into that dark tone with the 3rd installment. Hobson has apparently completed the tale of the delightfully-named Dreadnought Stanton and his dirt-witch bride, moving on to tell the story of the couples' youngest son here. from the get-go, the main character is a pretty gawd-awful jerk (his willful carelessness likely killed his elder brother's favorite horse), but again, the interesting little twists on both the world Hobson has built for these interesting people to walk through and their own personal foibles keeps being engaging. there's a lot going on here (Tesla and his super secretive factory, the remains of the magic rock system, a whackadoo preacher, some "cursed" children), and with the book ending on an almost-cliffhanger, we're left wondering how much of it is red herrings or real plot anchors....more
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
A half-dead man with no past (killed and resurrected with no memory of life before) works as an enforcer for the shadowy NYC Council of the2.5 stars.
A half-dead man with no past (killed and resurrected with no memory of life before) works as an enforcer for the shadowy NYC Council of the Dead, removing who- and whatever they consider a threat. He stalks a lushly described big apple populated with ghosts and voodoo priests, smoking cigarillos and hunting with a sword cane, avoiding notice by the mundane folks.
All of which has the potential for so much badassery that it's frustrating when it sinks under the weight of its own moral grey zones. The COD guys are described as incompetent and possibly immoral assholes, but hey, we work for them anyway. Are there alternative employers? Is fighting the fight from within of benefit to someone? What happens if he just tells them where to shove it? Who knows? Worse, though, I'm still fuzzy on why the bad guy's plan was in fact actually bad.
Despite all that, the set-up here is pretty fantastic, so I'll X fingers that the next one finds stronger footing. ...more
Kenyon has a formula that works for her (and her diehard fans): describe a tortured but hottt bad boy, explain how he got to be so very tortured and vKenyon has a formula that works for her (and her diehard fans): describe a tortured but hottt bad boy, explain how he got to be so very tortured and very very bad, then drop him in the pathof a refreshingly average,sweet caring woman who totally just wants to love him and discover how nice he is underneath his tough tough exterior. this installment is not much different, even though it's about a truly ancient being of immeasurable power. Apparently everybody is going to find their true love somewhere around New Orleans, and it's all going to end out great for everybody, no matter whether God or demons or fate themselves are involved. Pure popcorn fluff of the type that is ideal for beaches and airplane rides....more
dear 'annihilation': it's not you, it's me. the creeping dread, the lovecraftian horror, the possibly less than sane narrator, the unknowable (?) mystdear 'annihilation': it's not you, it's me. the creeping dread, the lovecraftian horror, the possibly less than sane narrator, the unknowable (?) mystery - wow, all wow, and full points for technical achievement. the writing here is gorgeously lush in a way that's really unexpected; the story of a coolly detached biologist could have been written very dryly to the point, but we really get to live and breathe her internal narration, and her sensory descriptions of what she sees and hears and experiences are just incredible. i thought about this book a good bit when i wasn't reading it...which was also a good bit. 3 weeks is an impossibly long time for me to nibble at such a slim novel, and i found it far too easy to put down. maybe you need to be in just the right headspace for such a thought experiment, and i was somewhere else?...more
the first in the Liaden universe novels starts more than a little bit slow, and takes its sweet time to leap into action. When it does, finally, charathe first in the Liaden universe novels starts more than a little bit slow, and takes its sweet time to leap into action. When it does, finally, characters emerge that really make me want to read the rest of their story. there's some military plotting going on, and some rogue pirate action that everybody will enjoy,and more than enough to keep you moving on to the next book....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
An interesting story with a fun magic system (adepts brew potions, but there's no wand-waving and zippy spell-slinging, so you better plan ahead), wheAn interesting story with a fun magic system (adepts brew potions, but there's no wand-waving and zippy spell-slinging, so you better plan ahead), whete we're going along with a cop who might be getting her big break to detective, tracking down the source of an illegal killer new potion/street drug. Unfortunately, our heroine is one-note brashly foul-mouthed tuff, though she has a really interesting back story to explore in future installments. The difference between "clean" and "dirty" magic is annoyingly vague, though that may be the point. There's a pair of obligatory alpha males to start the obligatory love triangle, but refreshingly, there's more thought into career and getting stuff done than love/lust....more