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.
Posts Tagged: 3rd person
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.
ZEUS IS DEAD: A MONSTROUSLY INCONVENIENT ADVENTURE by Michael G. Munz is like GOOD OMENS – if Pratchett and Gaiman stopped after every paragraph to explain why their jokes are funny. There’s breaking the fourth wall, and then there’s demolishing the wall and reaching through the wreckage to punch the reader in the face. The book has the potential to be fun, and it’s clear that the author has a sense of humor, but unfortunately he fails to trust that his audience also has a sense of humor. Or a brain.
Fans of MISTBORN are going to love Greg van Eekhout’s West Coast take on the magical heist story in CALIFORNIA BONES, with its alternate Los Angeles, quirky ensemble of thieves, and introduction to osteomancy. Though I devoured it with the same gusto that the Hierarch devours the bones of Daniel’s father, the narrative moves very quickly, cramming several books’ worth of story into a single novel. There are so many fascinating aspects of the world van Eekhout’s created that I want more time to get to know its intricacies, and I think the relationships, in particular, suffer for the speed.
In LAGOON, Nnedi Okorafor poses the question: what if first contact with aliens took place not in New York, London, or Tokyo, but the beach city of Lagos, Nigeria? The answer is something both utterly human and uniquely African. In addition to stunning detail of both city and marine life, Okorafor fills this novel with a dozen points of view, but rather than confusing the narrative, those sections allow the reader to experience all sides of the encounter that leads to some of Nigeria’s darkest days, and to understand why different people react so differently to something ‘alien.’
Downton Abbey by way of Anne Rice, THE MIDNIGHT WITCH is a touching period romance, set against a backdrop of a dying class system and a secret magical war over the ability to raise the dead. Though the exact purpose of the Lazarus Coven and their sorcerer rivals, the Sentinels, is vague, Brackston does an excellent job of painting Lilith Montgomery’s classic struggle between her duty to her craft and her heart.
With this sequel to THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK, Mur Lafferty returns her readers to a world of vampires, zombies, dragons, and gods, most of whom are just looking for ways to pass their lengthy, or even immortal, lives. The pressure’s on Zoe Norris in GHOST TRAIN TO NEW ORLEANS, as the urban jungle she’s scouting for her next supernatural travel guide recognizes her as a rare citytalker, and doesn’t want to let her go – especially when she’s determined to go straight into danger. GHOST TRAIN is a fun urban fantasy, with some clever ideas in a rich setting, but it’s tripped up by repetition, a few too many characters, and some flaws in the internal logic of the universe.
If Tim Powers wrote THE NIGHT CIRCUS, the resulting novel would probably look a lot like Adam Christopher’s HANG WIRE. A number of seemingly random ideas – including an exploding fortune cookie, a serial killer, and a semi-retired Hawaiian god – form together to create a mystery, tangled in history, surrounded by evil. Some emotional depth is sacrificed for the density of the plot, but each of the characters is fully-formed and multi-layered, and make for an engrossing read.
Richelle Mead has proven herself to be a fantastically creative author time and again writing impossible love stories, dynamic characters, and sweepingly epic stories. But GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS, which promised to deliver Mead’s trademark excellence, fell so completely flat and tedious that I can hardly believe it’s the same author.
The blood hits the proverbial fan in BITTER BLOOD and the fallout makes it one of the most daring Morganville books to date. I’ve long had a number of ‘what if’ questions floating around in my head involving certain Morganville residents that I honestly never expected to actually happen, but Rachel Caine completely shocked me in BITTER BLOOD by letting not one, or two, but three HUGE game changing events play out (one of which still has me reeling).