Nicole's Reviews > Dark and Stormy Knights

Dark and Stormy Knights by P.N. Elrod
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's review
Mar 07, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: urban-fantasy, vampires-after-all
Read from March 02 to 12, 2012

** spoiler alert ** “A Questionable Client” by Ilona Andrews - The world of the story is intriguing--magic causes the equivalent of rolling blackouts and EMP bursts, and mercenaries roam to deal with beasties. Kate Daniels is a cool character, tough but relatable (especially her love of chocolate). The situation Kate is put into is weird and outrageous, her client is a royal pain; and I liked the outcome. I hadn’t read any Ilona Andrews before; but a friend recommended the Kate Daniels books , and I’ve had the first one on my to-read list for a while. I really look forward to reading it now.
“Even Hand” by Jim Butcher - Another good one by one of my favourite authors. This is a very interesting, though somewhat scary, look into the mind of longtime Harry Dresden nemesis (and occasional grudging ally) John Marcone. Butcher has created a unique voice for Marcone; he doesn’t sound the slightest bit like Harry or Thomas. The man plays by his own set of rules, that’s for sure. I liked seeing Marcone and his trusty Valkyrie henchwoman, Gard, up against a supernatural nasty without Harry around. The intended purpose of the countermeasures wasn’t really that surprising when I thought about it, but it still made me wince.
“The Beacon” by Shannon K. Butcher- A good premise for a story; and I liked the main character, Ryder Ward. He’s a reluctant hero who’s been choosing the lesser of evils while trying to save the most lives possible. (There are some surface similarities to Harry Dresden, which isn’t unexpected. It didn’t bother me because I like the Harry type.) I liked how the situation made Ryder come up with a new way to do his job and save more innocents.
"Even a Rabbit Will Bite" by Rachel Caine - The story was more of a downer than the previous three, but the writing style and the characters' voices are very good.
“Dark Lady” by P.N. Elrod - Sort of a cute take on 1930s Chicago hardboiled detective stories, with the addition of a vampire and a ghost. I actually prefer parodies on the hardboiled detective theme to the real deal. I liked how the ghost is helpful and how the vampirism isn’t glorified.
“Rookwood & Mrs. King” by Lilith Saintcrow - This is a very good story, with a compelling plot and good writing style. I enjoyed the twists and turns, and I liked Rookwood. I wasn’t sure until the end how Mrs. King was going to turn out. Very few writers I’m familiar with have gone with the idea of a half-turned vampire victim (as Bram Stoker did), an idea I think has a lot of potential. I liked how the “infected” people in the story fought “the Thirst” and became avengers and destroyers of evil vampires. I also got a kick out of the title, an homage to Scarecrow and Mrs. King (it has to be!), one of my favourite ‘80s TV shows.
“God’s Creatures” by Carrie Vaughn - Cormac is my favourite character from Vaughn’s Kitty Norville books. He’s edgy and dangerous, the guy to do the dirty jobs because someone has to. Underneath there’s a little bit of a softer side, a little bit of damage; but he’s not one to talk about it much. (Maybe it would’ve been cliché , but I still wish Kitty had gotten together with Cormac instead of Ben.) I enjoyed seeing more of Cormac in action and learning more about how he does his job.
…And this is as good a place as any to do my little vampire soapbox rant. Apologies in advance to all of you who write about or really like to read about vampires. You can probably finish reading this review right now. I’m tired of vampires as romanticised heroes and love interests with no or few weaknesses or inner conflicts, vampires who are supposed to be The Coolest Thing Ever, vampires as tree-hugging mages. I’ve never liked the vampire concept, anyway; but I made myself read Stoker’s Dracula about 10 years back to see what others were talking about and because I’d read Frankenstein--and they’re rather a pair, the forerunners of modern SFF. I thought Stoker’s Dracula was pretty good, very creepy. Since I got into urban fantasy, I’ve read quite a few books with vampires in them. Vampires can make good villains. Vampires as deeply conflicted, tortured individuals—-all right, I can get behind that. The idea of what a good person would do if forced to live as a bloodsucker, that has serious dramatic potential. Anyway…at this point, the only vampire I’m really looking forward to seeing again is The Dresden Files’ Thomas Raith, and he’s conflicted and not of the bloodsucking variety.
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Reading Progress

03/04 "2 4-star stories so far."
03/07 marked as: read

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