If THE WINTER LONG was a cataclysmic event completing so many of the series’ arcs, A RED-ROSE CHAIN is a triumphant rise from the ashes. Toby and her friends are thrown into unfamiliar waters with the highest of stakes, and the narrative sparkles along as they investigate, quip, and kick ass. A return of everything fantastic about this series, A RED-ROSE CHAIN proves that with good and the bad revelations in her rearview mirror, Toby’s adventures march triumphantly onward.
A MURDER OF MAGES is a book that should’ve been right up my alley. A murder mystery, taking place in a victorian era alternate world with magic. Though A MURDER OF MAGES starts really strong, introducing Satrine and her forged papers, and then throwing her and her new partner directly into a case. The story quickly stalled out until the action picked up again in the middle of the book.
Though the Katherine “Kitty” Katt series is technically science fiction, it reads just like an urban fantasy novel. Just replace magic with technology and werewolves with aliens, while still keeping the same spunky female lead, and you’ve got TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN, the first book in the series.
With a series about cryptids who can kill you in very weird ways it was inevitable that a visit to Australia, a land of ten thousand things that can kill you if you look at them wrong; was in store for the Incryptid series. POCKET APOCALYPSE introduces werewolves into this world which from the perspective of someone who has read a ton of werewolf related books, seemed kind of mundane for this series.
Just when I thought the October Daye series couldn’t get any better, along comes THE WINTER LONG. Gathering so many hints and threads and portents, this book is one delicious secret after another coming undone.
Of the many, classic Urban Fantasy books of the 90’s, the Vicki Nelson series holds extremely well. This strong source material lends itself well to revival, from the Canadian TV show “Blood Ties” to the recent reissues of the books themselves. Re-reading Victoria Nelson now, every description of Vicki brings to mind the strong jaw and dry sense of humor of her televised incarnation, adding to the experience of the re-read.
With HALF-OFF RAGNAROK we get the same action packed, funny and at times emotional story we’ve come to expect in an InCryptid novel except there is a narration change with Alex Price, brother of Verity from the first two books. After hearing so much about Verity’s siblings and grandparents in MIDNIGHT BLUE-LIGHT SPECIAL and DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON I was happy to finally get a whole book involving Alex and their cryptid grandmother and cousin.
HAPPY HOUR IN HELL picks up right where the events left off in THE DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN. This somewhat surprised me since when the series was first announced I remember reading that Williams planned to make the novels only loosely connected so that they could be read in any order. I suppose you could still do that, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
MIDNIGHT BLUE-LIGHT SPECIAL is one of those rare sequels that outshines even its predecessor, offering non-stop cryptid comedy as Verity prepares to thwart the Covenant in her own backyard. Well paced action in parallel with laugh out loud moments had me giggling, snorting, and reading excerpts to everyone within earshot.