The Darkest London series teases your expectations, pretends to follow the rules, and then goes all terrain through the underbrush of unexpected events. Despite containing elements of a great Paranormal Romance and an enthralling Historical Fantasy, Callihan’s stories manages to break all the rules and become something altogether different.
In HATSHEPSUT’S COLLAR by A.W. Exley, sequel to NEFERTITI’S HEART, a traitor to the crown forces Cara Devon and Nathaniel Lyons to St. Petersburg in order to clear the Lyons name, and along the way they encounter airships, pirates, Russian prostitutes, and even dragons. In addition to supernatural adventure, the book wants to be erotic romance, but in this case the two genres don’t blend together. The latter isn’t my scene, so I found the second half of the story, where the international espionage intrigue comes to the front, a lot more entertaining.
As charming and quirky as Gail Carriger’s Soulless series, CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES delves back into all the ways that society, science, and magic can collide. Sophronia’s perspective on manners and intelligence gathering is a fantastic window into this world, which is as interesting for the social dynamics as for the dirigibles and mechanimals.
HIS LORDSHIP POSSESSED was quite the ride. Action packed and full of surprises to the reader, there was never a dull moment. However, it very much felt like coming in halfway through the story, which, in essence, the reader is. From what I understand, HIS LORDSHIP POSSESSED and HER LADYSHIP’S CURSE will be printed together as one novel in the spring. This makes sense; HIS LORDSHIP POSSESSED starts off immediately where HER LADYSHIP’S CURSE ended, much to my relief. HER LADYSHIP’S CURSE wasn’t really a complete story, so I was curious to see where the second half would take us. Unfortunately, it almost immediately goes a little crazy.
RAGS & BONES is a gorgeously curated collection of short stories, as satisfying for the glimpses of each story’s origin story as the final product. Have you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall when your favorite author pitches an idea? See a little piece of art through their creative lens? As favorite authors distill classic tales to their essence, this anthology was immersive and thought provoking, a masters class in the creative process with an all star attendance list.
WITCHSTRUCK’s description references THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL as well as THE SECRET CIRCLE, and right there it is spot on. WITCHSTRUCK is a fun read, if you like the historical paranormal genre. It was very believable in terms of setting, and how the characters would have acted. Except for the magic of course!
The beauty of DELIA’S SHADOW starts at the cover for me; haunting, rich, and mysterious. The concept of a haunting in history, pairing paranormal themes with the grace and politeness turn of the century San Francisco was an irresistible lure.
HOW TO KILL A VAMPIRE: FANGS IN FOLKLORE, FILM AND FICTION is an excellent compilation and analysis of the vampire myth and its evolution from historical folklore to present day pop culture. This book had the folklore nerd in me very happy and I loved reading theories on how the present day vampire became what he/she/it is today.
Set in an imagined America after losing the Revolutionary War, HER LADYSHIP’S CURSE was, while not perfect, definitely original and enjoyable. It was a quick read, with a brave and spunky heroine, and a mystery with so many parts that I can’t even begin to guess how it is going to end.
While THE SWEETEST DARK brought Abe’s Drakon into the twentieth century, marrying the poetry and mystery of their magic with bombings and black-outs and Europe at war, THE DEEPEST NIGHT took that springboard and lept to the next level. A strengthening heroine, a tender love story, and daring midnight flights over war-torn Europe, this book gave me all the tenderness and adventure and strength and magic I could have hoped for, all in a neatly paced story that leaves me anxious for more.