Michelle and I take turns reading to each other, usually at night just before bed. Our reading tastes don’t always line up perfectly, but there’s enouMichelle and I take turns reading to each other, usually at night just before bed. Our reading tastes don’t always line up perfectly, but there’s enough overlap that we rarely have a problem finding a story we’ll both enjoy. It’s rare, however, that any story stirs and maintains our joint enthusiasm with quite the barrel-rolling intensity of K. M. Weiland’s Storming.
Hitch Hitchcock, the devil-may-care stunt pilot who has abandoned his family for the lure of adventure and a love of flying, has other, darker reasons for his departure from home. Curiosity over just what those other reasons might be is but one of the engines driving this adventure. Another is the fact that bodies have been falling out of the sky in the vicinity of his home town of Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska. Hitch means to find out why.
There are antagonists enough to fuel three novels, but Weiland’s a skillful master of ceremonies and manages to synchronize their cross-purposes with a deft hand and in a thoroughly credible manner. Storming offers a tightly choreographed dieselpunk performance that never feels predictable or forced. Weiland’s attention to the needs and frustrations of a diverse cast accounts for both the mysteries and the satisfactions of a complex tale told in a deceptively down-to-earth manner.
Your heart will break, your spirit will soar and sink, your stomach will turn somersaults. But you’ll land, satisfied, back on your feet again. And you’ll be wishing the ride didn’t have to end quite so soon. ...more
No demons have been harmed in the making of R. A. McCandless’s follow-up to Tears of Heaven, but the same cannot be said of the celestials. It is entiNo demons have been harmed in the making of R. A. McCandless’s follow-up to Tears of Heaven, but the same cannot be said of the celestials. It is entirely possible to read and enjoy Hell Becomes Her without having read the first novel in the Flames of Perdition series, but McCandless sets the character of lead Nephilim and die-hard contrarian Omedeliah “I told you, my name is Del” bar-Azazel so powerfully well in the first book that—do yourself the favor. Get both.
All Del wants is to get her daughter back safe and sound, but her usual slash and burn approach to problem solving will not advance her cause this time, but never fear; the fight scenes are more intense than ever. McCandless takes us on an inventive elevator ride into unexpected territory, exploring two new cultures that have blended and bunkered themselves into the austere Northern Nevada landscape in a bid to escape detection by the Throne.
Del shreds curtain after curtain to expose the motives and the means of a new enemy and displays a knack for diplomacy she is uniquely positioned to craft and deliver. But nothing is as it seems, nor as it seems to seem, in this surprise-laden, irreligious angel thriller, and his second volley advances the range of a genre McCandless seems determined to define on his own terms. ...more
R. A. McCandless's badass demi-angel bears a grudge nearly two dozen centuries old. She makes effective use of her displaced aggression by dispatchingR. A. McCandless's badass demi-angel bears a grudge nearly two dozen centuries old. She makes effective use of her displaced aggression by dispatching rogue divinities, presumably making the world safer for the rest of us, albeit in ways we oblivious mortals will never fully comprehend or appreciate.
Omedelia-bar-Azazel, Del for short, is impressively sexy as a 21st-Century death dealer and as slave-wife to a swash-buckling, happy-go-lucky, Roman-era sea captain. Her roles confine her not at all, but her obligation to the Throne--a debt she has incurred through no fault of her own--renders her incapable of knowing freedom.
McCandless navigates an arcane range of settings, styles and sensibilities with convincing poise. If he skips over several centuries worth of rogue warfare, we understand that neither bloodlust nor addiction has ever done much to blunt the pain inflicted on Del's soul when she once sought to deny what she is in an attempt to lead a marginally more normal existence. Her story pivots on that pain, her darkness balanced by the equanimity of her deadly protege and sidekick, Marrin.
Tears of Heaven delivers enough controlled firepower to leave your ears ringing long after you put down this angelpunk thriller.
(Review submitted in exchange for a free digital copy.)...more
Is the Bible—that is to say, are the first five books of it—prophetically encoded? The implications that arise from such a question ought to (althoughIs the Bible—that is to say, are the first five books of it—prophetically encoded? The implications that arise from such a question ought to (although they won’t; we all know they won’t) provoke far more widespread spiritual introspection and serious religious debate than the argument over whether Jesus of Nazareth lived to a ripe old age in the South of France, making babies with Mary Magdalene. Ezra Barany's homage to Dan Brown opens us to speculations on subjects as diverse, and as intimately related, as the availability of free energy from the fabric of space-time and the nature of the divine feminine.
What's interesting about Riggs is the transparency of his process. His muses speak to him through a collection of unusual vintage photographs, which hWhat's interesting about Riggs is the transparency of his process. His muses speak to him through a collection of unusual vintage photographs, which he shares in his books. The story of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and the characters in it are built around these found photos. The narrator, Jacob, (who does not appear in any of the photographs) serves as the bridge character between our world and the world of "peculiardom" where the other important characters live in a "time loop" which serves to keep them young and, more importantly, safe.
Readers be warned, this is the first volume of a series and does not contain a stand-alone story. The sequels, Hollow City and Library of Souls, follow the same modus operandi, with additional characters based on more vintage photographs. By the third volume, that inspirational crutch gets a little wobbly, but you probably won't mind, because Riggs will have woven by then a complex and complete world-within-the-world fantasy that will leave you with that longing for more that marks a truly satisfying read....more