Review courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com
Funny and urban fantasy are not words that often go together, at least not intentionally, but HAPReview courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com
Funny and urban fantasy are not words that often go together, at least not intentionally, but HAPPY HOUR AT CASA DRACULA is the rare exception combining cool characters, witty dialogue, and laugh out loud moments in this Jane Austen channeled vampire romp.
Milangro had a strong voice and her outlook on life was hilarious in a Bridget Jones meets Charo kind of way, and there were several bitable vampires who pursued her, but it was the vampire matriarch, Edna who stole this book for me. She was prickly, condescending, and subtly insulting every time she spoke. I loved her.
And did I mention funny? I laughed so hard while reading HAPPY HOUR AT CASA DRACULA that I actually had to put the book down at one point because I was crying too hard to see the pages (it was the scene where Edna takes Milangro shopping for the second time).
Was it predictable? Yes. Was it groundbreaking in terms of world building? No. But it was smart, and clever, and great fun from beginning to end. If you’re feeling a little depressed by all the somber plotlines in most urban fantasy books, HAPPY HOUR AT CASA DRACULA is like a shot of margarita flavored sunshine in you tukis. I’m already planning my next visit to Casa Dracula.
Sexual Content: References to sex. A few mild sex scenes. A few mild scenes of sensuality. ...more
Review courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com
What do I want in an urban fantasy? A strong, likable protagonist with an as yet unrealized magicReview courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com
What do I want in an urban fantasy? A strong, likable protagonist with an as yet unrealized magical potential, a richly layered paranormal world, a well matched love interest who holds their own, and the promise of a multi-book meta-narrative. DARKFEVER has all that and more.
Mackayla “Mac” Lane is a near perfect UF heroine, and she befriended me immediately. As is a Sidhe-seer, Mac is someone who can see past the disguises, or glamours, that the fey use to hide in our world. Tenacious in pursuit of her sister’s killer, Mac is thorough and smart. Yes, she's a bit cocky, which she glosses over with more than a hint of old fashioned Southern charm, but she's also resilient and quick on her feet. The first time she truly spots a fey and is in danger of being discovered, it’s her quick thinking and cool under pressure that save her life.
Speaking of the fey, in DARKFEVER they are divided into two courts. The fey from the Unseelie court are the stuff of nightmares: grotesque hulking monsters who can suck the life out of humans with a touch. The fey from the Seelie court are the stuff of fantasies: breathtakingly beautiful beings whose very presence can send a human into an all-consuming erotic frenzy.
And this is Karen Marie Moning, so you know to expect romance, but it’s far from conventional. The enigmatic Barrons is Mac’s unwilling teacher/protector. He is harsh and demanding, bordering on cruel through out DARKFEVER, and yet, there are flashes of something more, mere glimpses of a different man beneath the brusque demeanor. The slow, smoldering attraction that builds between these too was palpable.
Overall, DARKFEVER is a near perfect urban fantasy (and yes, it is more urban fantasy than paranormal romance). A chilling mystery, a darkly seductive enigmatic love interest with questionable character, in a terrifying yet alluring world full of both scary and seductive fey. I am dying to devour the other books in the Fever series and be devoured in return.
Sexual Content: References to sex. References to masturbation. Two scenes of graphic sensuality....more
PENUMBRA continues the quick pacing and action of the previous two books in this series. I liked figuring oReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
PENUMBRA continues the quick pacing and action of the previous two books in this series. I liked figuring out just exactly what Sam is and how she fits into the vast network of government clones running amok around the world. I loved discovering Sam's powers along with her and how she learns about them was fascinating. This series storyline with an almost never ending rabbit hole of discoveries about just what the government has been doing in regards to human cloning reminded me of the television show Orphan Black which is all about clones and government cover ups. Since I adore Orphan Black you can bet I loved the premise of this series and had fun figuring out where the story was going and what new types of government craziness was going to be uncovered.
The characters are all fun and very well developed. The relationship between Gabriel and Sam as I understand was supposed to be a romance of some sort yet I really didn't feel anything romantic between them. They kept butting heads with Gabriel pushing Sam away and acting like a jerk as Sam attempts to flirt with him unsuccessfully. It got to the point that it became really annoying to have to read. I kind of didn't want them to get together and really they didn't which worked out for my hopes I guess.
The big issue I had with PENUMBRA was the fact that the ending just fizzled out. From what I understand there was supposed to be a fourth book that didn't happen for some reason which explains the random ending to this series. I loved the worldbuilding and storyline of PENUMBRA. The ending and the relationship between Sam and Gabriel were unfortunate downsides to an otherwise great book....more
GENERATION 18 is the middle book in the Spook Squad series and it valiantly escapes the classic second bookReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
GENERATION 18 is the middle book in the Spook Squad series and it valiantly escapes the classic second book syndrome of not living up to the expectations of the previous book and being a dull set up to the expected major events of the third and last book. Its exciting, fun, and attention grabbing with mysteries wrapped around yet more mystery. There is a frentic pacing to GENERATION 18 considering Sam’s supposed connection to the victims and her mysterious origins. Sam is in a constant search for answers to just who she is and as she moves closer to the answer, three more come up.
While I would say a book leans more towards one genre or another this one solidly treads the line between urban fantasy and science fiction with shifters and other magically abled people alongside secret government projects messing around with human genes creating super powered people. The intriguing mysteries of some truly horrid murders and just who and what Sam is are what keeps the plot rolling. I mainly kept reading this book just to figure out what the mystery of Sam’s past is and about all of the secret government projects that seem to keep popping up in this story.
Sam is a very strong character and I liked her determination and will to keep going forward even when she hits a roadblock. Her relationship with Gabriel is an odd one. I can’t really figure it out. I think they work well together but I just don’t see them getting together as love interests which I assume will occur in the next book as Sam seems determined for it to happen. With GENERATION 18 there are mysteries to untwist, bad guys to fight, and brilliant new powers to discover. This story is a wonderfully exciting build up to the last book in this trilogy, PENUMBRA....more
Review courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com
Kim Harrison - Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - I had a bit of a falling out with Rachel Morgan's TReview courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com
Kim Harrison - Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - I had a bit of a falling out with Rachel Morgan's The Hollows series after book four. I've long maintained that Ivy is in need of some serious staking, and as her relationship with Rachel increasingly became more of the focus of the series my enjoyment decreased (if a guy pulled half the possessive, needy, territorial garbage that Ivy does Rachel would never have put up with it). Plus after what happened with Kisten...But after reading Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel, I remembered why I loved this series so much to begin with. Nobody, and I mean nobody does better world building than Kim Harrison. I loved getting to read about Rachel as a teenager brimming with excitement about following in her late father's footsteps as a runner for Inderland Security (basically the paranormal police). But Rachel nearly died as a child, and at this point in her life she is still struggling with chronic fatigue and weakness from any type of physical activity, a fact her older brother uses to encourage her to pursue an alternative career as an earth witch. When the two strike a bargain to decide the issue, Rachel accidentally calls forth the ghost of a murdered witch (handsome Peirce) who has some unfinished business with the dead vampire who condemned him centuries before. Together he and Rachel hope to save not only Peirce's soul, but the soul of the young girl the vampire is about to condemn as well. This is a fun quick read sprinkled with holiday magic that will entertain both new and familiar readers, and might even re-hook those of us who had given up on this series for one reason or another. (plus no Ivy!)
Sexual Content: None
Run, Run, Rudolph by Lynsay Sands - I haven’t read anything by Lynsay Sands before, but I’m a little surprised that her story was included in this anthology because its basically a typical contemporary romance with an added sci-fi element. Jill gets struck with a destabilizing ray by an evil scientist and goes on the run through a parade and Christmas party with her longtime crush Nick. Jill new superpowers include being able to take on the appearance of anyone or thing (remember the title?) that she sees. Of course while on the run, Jill and Nick take a few breaks for a steamy make out session, and a near coupling in the parking lot. For a story that was only 90 pages long, the sexual content felt abruptly introduced and overly emphasized.
Sexual Content: A scene of heavy petting, a graphic sex scene that isn’t quite consummated.
"The Harvest" by Vicki Pettersson. Vicki's story focuses on Zoe, the mother of the main character Joanna in her Signs of the Zodiac series as she tries to rescue her infant granddaughter from the evil Shadow agents during Thanksgiving. The Zodiac series has an extremely complex and unusual paranormal world involving an endless battle between good and evil personified in comic book-like heroes of the Light and Shadow. I wouldn't recommend starting this series with this prequel novella as the paranormal elements will likely be confusing (and there are a few spoilers from the main series in here). But if you have at least read Scent of Shadows already, you should enjoy the back-story this provides and a deeper look at the inner workings of both sides of the Zodiac.
Sexual Content: A reference to a rape. A non-graphic sex scene ...more
Confession time: This is my first ever Charles de Lint book. And yes, I’m suitably embarrassed that I run aReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
Confession time: This is my first ever Charles de Lint book. And yes, I’m suitably embarrassed that I run a blog called All Things Urban Fantasy and haven’t read the Father of Urban Fantasy. In my defense, I discovered the genre through Buffy, and it was quite a while before I even heard about Charles de Lint. My ignorance excuse ran out a long time ago, but I still shied away because once I understood exactly who de Lint was and what he means to this genre, I was terribly afraid I wouldn’t like his books and that would mean my UF love was really a sham.
My fear was 100% unfounded.
As I said, PROMISES TO KEEP was my first visit to Newford, but I never once felt like I’d missed something. Jilly Coppercorn, "the heart and soul of Newford” according to her creator, has been working hard at keeping her life together and putting a past that included physical and sexual abuse, drugs, and prostitution behind her. De Lint weaves episodes from Jilly’s past throughout the narrative at the exact moments I began to wonder. He gave me every piece of the puzzle I needed precisely when I needed it to understand Jill and the journey that brought her to where she was. Jilly is the perfect example of a character who you root for. One of the most damaged characters I’ve ever encountered, yet I was completely engaged in her story.
Glancing over de Lint’s website, I learned just how numerous and varied the creatures who populate Newford are, but in PROMISES TO KEEP, there really aren’t any. As one reviewer on Goodreads put it, “there seemed to be less of that whisper of magic that brings Newford alive and fills me with joy.” Instead, it’s the place that is the fantasy, and I’m not even talking about Newford, which comes off as nearly completely mundane. Mireya is the magical city in this book, but in a very subtle way. In fact, I would describe it as more lucky than magical.
For my first foray into Newford, I found PROMISES TO KEEP to be a strong character driven tale with the barest hint of magic, but with an easy going narrative style that forced the pages to fly and made me long for my next visit. If you have yet to try a Charles de Lint book, now’s the time. He’s the father of urban fantasy for a reason.
Sexual Content: References to child molestation and prostitution....more