VISION IN SILVER was, while as enjoyable as always, a bit of a disappointment after MURDER OF CROWS. Much of VISION IN SILVER felt like build up to a larger issue that will be realized in the next book. While not exactly ending on a cliffhanger, VISION IN SILVER left me wanting more – more action, more time with the primary characters, more everything.
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GRAVE MATTERS is an excellent follow up to NIGHT OWLS. Full of the same action, snark, and mystery as NIGHT OWLS, GRAVE MATTERS marks the Night Owls series as one to keep an eye on.
This steampunk western adventure includes a bevy in a brothel, a lethal sewing machine, and love at first sight. Elizabeth Bear introduces her audience to KAREN MEMORY (actually spelled ‘Memery’), a working girl at the Hôtel Mon Cherie with a penchant for dime novels and a huge heart that gets her into trouble. The ladies of Madame Damnable’s are worth following all on their own, but Bear sweetens the pot with a series of mysterious murders in the vein of Jack the Ripper. The novel’s only misstep is in mild over-plotting, but there’s no denying it’s one hell of an adrenaline ride at the end.
The Bloodlines series is one of my favorite young adults series right now. So I spent the past week relistening to the whole Bloodlines series, and I was surprised to see just how many loose ends and subplots Mead had left to tie up in the final and shortest book of the series. As a result, I started THE RUBY CIRCLE with high hopes, but ready to be disappointed.
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.
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.
FORGED IN FIRE sounded intriguing from the first time I heard of it, so I was delighted to be able to review it here for All Things Urban Fantasy. Unexpectedly, FORGED IN FIRE felt similar to other books I’ve read, with a girl coming into special powers that make her completely unique, and all the men subsequently want her. Luckily, the New Adult tone and the mythology manage to set the story apart from other similar stories.
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.
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.
CROUCHING TIGER, FORBIDDEN VAMPIRE, the last book of the Love at Stake has it all, from sweeping action, to tough as nails heroes, and a sweet romance between two very different people. In a previous review of another book in this series I complained that the much more interesting plot was overshadowed by the romance. In CROUCHING TIGER, FORBIDDEN VAMPIRE there is thankfully a balance and the romance actually works within the against the plot.