The A Lion’s Pride series has been consistently excellent. Each book introduced fun new characters and sitReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
The A Lion’s Pride series has been consistently excellent. Each book introduced fun new characters and situations for them to tackle. WHEN A LIONESS POUNCES is no different, introducing cool new mythology and keeping up with the unstoppable group of lionesses we’ve learned to love since the first book.
Gaston was introduced as the owner of a nightclub and the leader of a group of vampire/gargoyle creatures in the previous book, WHEN A LIONESS SNARLS. He’s aloof, a bit snobby, and a total mystery to the lion pride. Reba is sent to find out what exactly he is. She learns that he doesn’t smell like the rest of the vampire/gargoyle creatures, and has powers that the shifters can’t explain.
As the lionesses investigate missing bodies in the city morgues, Reba’s path keeps crossing with Gaston. In part to annoy him, in part because she loves how he smells, Reba decides to stick close to him to figure out once and for all who - or what - he is.
With a fun lion and mouse chase and mad night-time cemetery fights, WHEN A LIONESS POUNCES is sexy and funny, balancing a very character driven plot with an expanding universe that leaves lots of room for future titles in the series....more
The third volume of THE BEAUTY is a prequel to the first volume, and I have to say I really loved gettingReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
The third volume of THE BEAUTY is a prequel to the first volume, and I have to say I really loved getting to know characters before the glam hit the fan. In the early days, no one knew how deadly the Beauty could get… except for the psycho who is targeting the newly beautiful.
It was most interesting to get to know the television host with whom the main characters have a rocky relationship with in the first book. She is an advocate for the Beauty community, and she wants to work closely with the police to catch the killers. She’s also a very public figure and has a few tricks up her sleeve to make the police cooperate, whether they want to or not.
There was less urgency than in the first book, and the pacing suffered a bit because of it. People weren’t exploding on the subway in the first scene, which is arguably hard to top.
With the world divided, both by attractiveness and by whether they think the attractiveness is moral or not, this series continues to be an interesting look at the standards we hold people to depending how they look....more
If you were one sexual encounter away from being permanently beautiful, would you do it? In Image Comics’Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
If you were one sexual encounter away from being permanently beautiful, would you do it? In Image Comics’ THE BEAUTY, physical perfection is a sexually transmitted disease and a lot of people have taken the plunge. Despite the constant low-level fever all the infected have, there’s no harm in it, is there?
One of my favourite aspects of THE BEAUTY was the colouring. It sounds like a silly thing to adore, but the colouring made it super clear who was infected and who wasn’t. The infected nearly glow, and everyone around them is pasty and grey by comparison. Being able to see the percentage of the population that was or wasn’t infected in public spaces really added to the drama, especially as more and more people started exploding.
It was fun to explore the different attitudes toward the infection. Most people were infected on purpose, but a few were not. One half of the detective team was infected by accident, and she hates that she’s judged by her coworkers and the general public for being vain. She is also underestimated by their enemies, both because of her sex and because of her apparent vanity. Seeing her kick ass at the end of the book was highly satisfying.
The book was a bit more police thriller than scientific thriller, but it still managed to include the two. I’m more of a fan of the scientific angle, so I’m hoping the next volumes concentrate on that. With the world changing at a hurtling pace by the end of the book, it’s guaranteed that things will get more intense than simple spontaneous combustion.
I read this book so quickly, I could barely believe it. The main character’s drive consumed me the way theReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I read this book so quickly, I could barely believe it. The main character’s drive consumed me the way the zombies in the book consume the living.
Tim Kempfer if not a warrior. He’s a librarian on a very simple mission: kill the zombie that murdered his wife and son, and if needed, end them as well. How does he know which zombie he needs to kill in a post-apocalyptic, quarantined Seattle? Easy: his wife’s death was on the news, and it was so graphic and iconic of the disaster that the broadcasts have been playing it on a loop. Since the beginning of the outbreak, he has been watching his wife die over and over again. The zombie (they call them droolers) who did it was Phil Nero, who did some yard work for them.
If he needed any confirmation he got it in the expanded footage. Whereas before the camera had cut away after showing Nero walking down an unidentifiable street, now it followed him farther. It pulled back to get a wide shot showing a pair of cars that had collided in a wide intersection. One was a red Nissan Sentra that Tim recognized immediately. He could almost read the license plate, and what he couldn’t make out he could fill in from memory.
The door of the Nissan swung open hard and a woman in a long skirt spilled out onto the pavement. She looked horrified. She had a claw hammer in her hand and as Nero approached she raised it as if she would hit him right in the face with it.
Nero just grabbed her arm and held it there. The woman was screaming by that point. She didn’t stop as Nero bit deep into her arm with a mouth full of white teeth. She didn’t stop until he’d torn a long strip of flesh out of her arm, until blood fountained across the street.
“Karen,” Tim wheezed. His wife’s name came from deep inside of him. He stared at the car, then, tried to force the image to gain resolution by pure willpower. There was a shadow in the backseat. A shadow the size of a ten year-old boy.
“Jake,” he said.
Unfortunately for him, every highway has turned into a one way street, and no one is going his way, so he has to walk. He’s been walking for weeks. He’s been dodging zombies and bullets from terrified survivors, and he’s not even made it to Seattle yet. Things get significantly worse for him when he gets to Seattle.
David Wellington started writing serial novels, putting a short chapter online every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the duration of the novels, which are typically 60 chapters long. The short chapters add a sense of urgency to the story, keeping you guessing and your heart racing.
There is such an amazing plot twist at some point that I am terrified to ruin it if this review gets any longer. Because the whole book is available to read on David Wellington’s website, I recommend simply jumping in and giving it a go. It’s an easy way to discover a new author if you’ve not read any of his later work, and a treat if you’ve read his other books, Positive, the Monster Island trilogy, or Frostbite, which is about werewolves and is also heart-wrenching....more
This gorgeous illustrated novel is one of the scarier things I have read. A framed collection of short storReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
This gorgeous illustrated novel is one of the scarier things I have read. A framed collection of short stories, the tale is told by three strangers around the table of an inn. BALTIMORE is about war, plague, human weakness and vampires.
These vampires are original and disgusting. The translation that the horrors of the Great War awoke literal monsters is very effective. Both authors are veteran fantasy and horror writers. They create a slew of amazing monsters, each more terrifying than the last, sometimes simply by being benign in initial appearance.
If you’re not a fan of short stories, you may find the format a bit repetitive. Each man tells two stories: why he believes in magic and monsters, and how he met Baltimore. The frame around these stories is expanded at the end, when Baltimore actually shows up and takes the men hunting.
Mike Migonla's dark, silhouetted illustrations hint at the horror without showing it, which is perfect. You’re hearing stories of monsters without truly seeing them. The shadowy, imperfect images perfectly represent the faulty nature of memory and imagination.
A perfect blend of Gothic imagery and twisted history, BALTIMORE, OR, THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER AND THE VAMPIRE is a beautiful book to treat yourself or any horror, fantasy or graphic novel fans in your entourage....more
We’re supposed to feel for the heroine of NEW ROMANCER; she’s been fired from her job, works for a tiny matReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
We’re supposed to feel for the heroine of NEW ROMANCER; she’s been fired from her job, works for a tiny matchmaking site that is going out of business, and she’s a giant fan of classical literature. Unfortunately for us, she was fired for stealing important assets and messing up experiments, she’s not serious about her current job, and her infatuation with dead writers keeps her from seeing the potential in people in front of her.
Readers are supposed to be shocked that Lord Byron and Cassanova, when digitally inserted into modern bodies, aren’t quite as charming as their writing made them out to be. But any lit geek knows that most of these romantic writers weren’t very nice people. Still, there’s no reason to be treated to Byron farting while proposing “rutting” with our heroine. Gross.
For a book that features scientists and programmers, the technology makes no sense. It’s never explained except for telling us that Lexy is a genius and it works through “algorithms”. Casanova then hijacks the algorithms (somehow) to hypnotize people… I think? If they can create humans from scratch, there should be larger philosophical issues at play. Do they actually have consciousness? Can they actually make choices?
Greedy science and romantic hearts replaced any real character motivation, and the final showdown between Casanova and Lexy isn’t solved because of her brains to override his hypnosis, she just threatens to put his penis through a meat grinder. She’s as much of a bully as Byron is.
There were a few almost-funny moments, but overall this was a confusing mess with pretty art. This book is not for lovers of romance, of Byron, or of graphic novels in general. I don’t know who this book’s target audience is....more
It’s rare to find a book that feels darkly grown up and enchantingly child-like at the same time. CURSED PIReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
It’s rare to find a book that feels darkly grown up and enchantingly child-like at the same time. CURSED PIRATE GIRL is spooky, touching and intricate, luring you into a topsy-turvy world with detailed images that pull you in.
The art ranges from the charming to the disgusting, with a distinct Alice in Wonderland sense of the grotesque, especially in the humanoid characters. They have large heads and out of proportion features, much like the humanoids in Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations.
As the Cursed Pirate Girl dives deeper into the magical seas, she meets duelling knights in swordfish armour, giant sea-puppies and all manner of pirates. She loses an eye, gains a talking parrot, and searches for the one thing she really wants: her father.
The story can be ridiculous, but remembers to veer back to the serious a few times, including one time that made me gasp out loud. There are moments of nonsense but the book does a good job keeping readers on track.
CURSED PIRATE GIRL is amazing, and if you haven’t read it before, pick up the latest copy (beige cover, instead of blue) which includes an amazingly funny artists’ gallery at the back, where a man tasked with getting a portrait of the pirate girl gets descriptions of her from various sources, leading to the different artists takes. My favourite is Mike Mignola’s.