I may be a little biased because Jack Campbell is my favorite living author, but I loved THE HIDDEN MASTERS OF MARANDUR. This book picks up about two weeks after THE DRAGONS OF DORCASTLE ended, and you’re thrown right into the action. The intense battle and action scenes are one of the places where Campbell’s writing really shines. There are a lot of urban and epic fantasy novels that make me cringe when I read their battles, but Campbell’s years of military experience help him write realistic battles.
THE DIABOLICAL MISS HYDE was an entertaining twist on the classic tale of THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE. I love a good murder mystery and one where the protagonist in part doesn’t know if she is the killer makes for an especially juicy story. The story, like the kind upright Dr. Eliza Jekyll is split in narration between her and her more brash and violent alter ego Lizzie Hyde.
In GRETA AND THE GLASS KINGDOM, Chloe Jacobs has created a fun and unique world, filled with lots of interesting characters. The main character, Greta, starts off with lots of problems to overcome, and they all seem to get worse quickly. Yet despite that the book starts out very slow, taking far too long to get the ball rolling.
Dakota Cassidy is one of the authors I tend to grab the newest book for as soon as it comes out. Her books are always a wonderful mix of sweet, sexy, and seriously funny. THE ACCIDENTAL DRAGON is full of fun sexy paranormal hijinks and a breeze to read through.
A very satisfying follow-up to Greg van Eekhout’s CALIFORNIA BONES, PACIFIC FIRE picks up ten years later when a collective of loosely allied osteomancers finally decide to fill the power vacuum created by the death of the Los Angeles Hierarch. Unfortunately for Daniel Blackland, former thief-turned-fugitive, their plan for mass destruction requires the sacrifice of the boy Daniel has spent a decade trying to protect. PACIFIC FIRE opens van Eekhout’s world of bone magic a little wider, and is still populated by the sorts of characters that made the first book so much fun to read. Once again, it’s a slow build leading into a hurried ending, but it’s a ride definitely worth taking.
THERE WILL BE LIES isn’t the typical book you’d find here on All Things Urban Fantasy, but I felt it was one worth sharing. With this thriller, Nick Lake has written a book that is really difficult to review without spoilers, but I’ll do my best.
THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST is the perfect update to the fairy tale worlds of childhood. A little darker, a little sexier, and with heroes and heroines just a half step away from what is expected.
In THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK, Amber Benson introduces us to the Southern California “blood sisters” who, along with other covens across the globe, keep the world in balance. When coven leader Eleanora informs her great-niece that she’s dying, Lyse abandons her life in Georgia to fly to Los Angeles – and, unknowingly, to take her great-aunt’s place as an Echo Park witch. Benson channels Alice Hoffman in this novel, painting the Echo Park neighborhood in a way that should delight locals, and inform strangers. Though I found the first half of the book a little overly descriptive, the narrative overall reflects the dreams that are central to the story – including that feeling that the dream never quite reaches its conclusion.
A creative take on a fairy tale retelling, PRINCESS OF THORNS follows the daughter of Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, as she treks through the kingdom to rescue her brother. With elements of other fairy tales brought in (Niklaas’ curse comes to mind), PRINCESS OF THORNS is a wonderful continuation of a beloved fairy tale. Plus, the entire first half of the book has Aurora dressed up as and acting as a boy – a trope I can’t resist – and in this case, it was done well.
THE FAIRYLAND MURDERS was a interesting mixing of noir detective stories with fairy tales. With this mixture of a gritty murder mystery with light fanciful fairies and princesses you get an at times bizarre world filled with some hilarious interactions between characters. There are some neat references to fairy tale characters and fairy tales.