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[Book Review] Midnight, Water City

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  Midnight, Water City  / Chris Mckinney The world we live in has been changing alarmingly, with record breaking temperatures, forest fires, storms, flooding, and landslides, while billionaires play compete with each other in a space race.  Midnight, Water City  gives us a future that's not so far fetched, imagining how the world may be future reshaped and going from there.  The apocalypse has happened, the land poisoned, the seas rose, and humanity endured and adapted, building down into the depths of the sea. The story follows a man who for years protected the woman who saved the world from an extinction level meteor event.  The years have not been kind, years lengthened through advances in medicine and science, more years to make mistakes. Year 2142: Earth is forty years past a near-collision with the asteroid Sessho-seki. Akira Kimura, the scientist responsible for eliminating the threat, has reached heights of celebrity approaching deification. But now, Akira feels her safety

[Book Review] You Sexy Thing

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You Sexy Thing  / Cat Rambo The teaser hooked me with "Great British Bake Off meets Farscape" The story took a little bit longer, meandering in it's comfortable little setting. Then, as things are wont to do, everything went utterly wrong.  And that  my friends is when things started getting really interesting.  Rambo lulls you into complacency even as our intrepid heroes gear up for the biggest challenge of their culinary careers, and then pulls the rug out from under everything and sends the plot careening sideways into adventure and strife from most unexpected corners.  Amidst all of this, the characters unfold, giving the reader emotional stakes in the outcome. A delightful journey, all and all. Advance Reader Copy courtesy of  Macmillan-Tor/Forge in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

[Book Review] TERRIBLE FALL OF ANGELS

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A Terrible Fall of Angels (Zaniel Havelock #1) / Laurell K. Hamilton Confession - as much as I read large amounts of urban fantasy, particularly those with some sort of Investigator main character, I haven't really gotten into Hamilton's earlier works.  I gave Anita  the college try, working through a handful of books, but while I respected her work I never grew invested in the series.   But, Guilty Pleasures  came out in 1993.  Thirty years is a long time for someone to hone and refine their craft, and Hamilton's body of work and impact on the genre speaks volumes to her skill.  So a brand new series made me sit up and pay attention.  I wanted to see where this went, and I was not let down in the slightest.  Laurell K. Hamilton also took some time to answer some questions about the series, themes, setting, and horror! A Terrible Fall of Angels gives us a new setting, one where faith and belief can shape your magic, one where children can be taken and taught to act as a co

[Book Review] The Last Graduate

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The Last Graduate (Lesson Two of the Scholomance) / Naomi Novik Previously Reviewed: Deadly Education If you're a fan of magical schools, portal fantasy, and Naomi Novik, this series is a no brainer.  Really, you don't need to read a review, this book is well paced, engaging, with an evolving threat that the protagonist and her fellow students must continually adapt and overcome. It's senior year, one last year to build reserves, refine your craft, and survive for the final push and to escape the school. Only, the rules have changed this year in ways the students don't quite yet realize.  There's prophesy and destiny hanging in the air, and Novik constantly teases us with potential that leaves us guessing until the end. Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Penguin RandomHouse via Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

[Book Review] Escape from Puroland

Escape from Puroland (The Laundry Files 7.5)  / Charles Stross Previously Reviewed: The Annihilation Score The Nightmare Stacks Dead Lies Dreaming This novella is fantastic .  Coming it at under 150 pages it's a fast read, with just enough filling in of background & setting that an unsuspecting reader can dive in and follow without getting bogged down.  Bob is, after all, generally conscientious in journaling his missions.  Also, like a new reader, he is always being thrown into situations without a thorough briefing, so beyond establishing details such as his marriage, the organization he works for, and his role as the Eater of Souls, Jr, and the concept of Computational Demonology (all of which are integrated seamlessly), we are all discovering things together. Most of the series takes place in England, with a few visits to the US and International Waters.  Escape from Puroland  brings us somewhere new both in location for the series and the mythology it has delved into.  For

[Book Review] Bottle Demon

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Bottle Demon (Eric Carter #6) / Stephen Blackmoore Previously Reviewed: Fire Season (Eric Carter #4) Confession time first.  I didn't realize I had missed a book between Fire Season  and this one.  Which left me a tad bit confused about The Whole "Being Dead" Thing. For those new to the series, I very much recommend starting at the beginning with Dead Things.  Eric fits in well among a line up of literary contemporaries such as Sandman Slim or Harry Dresden, there's even something for fans of Preacher but pulling on Mexican mythologies (I'm going general here rather than accidently indicate the wrong pre-colonial culture) rather than Christian.  It's a dark urban fantasy featuring a necromancer who has a penchant for falling into problems above his weight class, a tendency to mouth off rather than play politics, and has a dry sense of humor. One thing that Blackmoore does well with this series is in effect keep it "small."  The cast does grow and cha

[Book Review] Angel of the Overpass

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Angel of the Overpass (The Ghost Roads #3) / Seanan McGuire Previously Reviewed Sparrow Hill Road The Girl in the Green Silk Gown Angel of the Overpass is a novel I didn't expect to come across.  I thought Rose's background arc was wrapped up with The Girl in the Green Silk Gown .  This story picks up after the events of That Ain't Witchcraft , with the Crossroads dead, realities readjusting, and Bobby Cross has lost his lifeline. Just as the world setting of this story has changed, Rose is also inevitably changing. Parts of this book felt like I had read it before, and others seemed completely new.  It tackles the results of people making choices for themselves without considering others, and the unrealized choices that shape oneself. Advance Reader Copy courtesy of DAW (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.  

[Book Review] Wild Sign

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Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega #6) / Patricia Briggs Previously Reviewed  Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega #4) Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) This book caught me off guard.  Not because the chronology fits it in between and around Mercy's stories, that's laid out cleanly.  No, what caught me off guard is that I never expected the book that would actually unlock Leah to us.  She's been a cypher throughout all of the books in the series, an antagonist at times, mated to Bran, the Marrok, but always somehow on the outside and at odds.  That it would happen in the Alpha & Omega arc instead of Mercy potentially makes more sense, after all, there are more walls between Mercy and the mate of the man she thinks of as her father.  Yet, I've always thought of Alpha & Omega as the series that was more Paranormal Romance next to the Urban Fantasy of Mercy Thompson . Y

[Book Review] Sinners and Saints

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  Sinners and Saints (Blood and Bone #2)  / Jennifer Roberson From the publisher: " A biker and a cowboy must fight the coming apocalypse in the second book of the Blood and Bone contemporary western fantasy series. It’s the End of Days, and Gabe and Remi–an ex-con biker and a Texas cowboy–have been conscripted to join the heavenly host in a battle against Lucifer’s spec ops troops: demons who inhabit characters from fiction, history, myths, legends, and folklore. But Gabe and Remi, still learning their roles, now must deal with one particular demon wearing the body of an infamous murderer: Jack the Ripper. Young women bearing the names of the murder victims killed during the Ripper’s time are turning up dead, setting Gabe and Remi on a perilous path to save whoever they can, while also battling members of Lucifer’s vanguard bent on killing them. Sinners and Saints is myth and magic, gods and goddesses, angels and agendas. " Upfront, this sounds like my type of book.  I love

[Book Review] How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge

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How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge (Thorne Chronicles #2) / K. A. Eason Previously Reviewed: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse (Thorne Chronicles #1) At the end of book one, Rory renounced her title and position and sought to make a new life for herself defined by her  actions rather than that of the family she was born into.  Unfortunately for her, the multiverse had other ideas. There's something slightly bittersweet about this story, we see growth and development across the supporting cast, and some of that proves painful.  Rory is no longer their princess, and in that absence her companions are growing into their own power and actualization.  Rory still has the fairy gifts, but she still requires tempering instead of falling back on the assumptions of her upbringing. While still enjoyable, How the Multiverse Got It's Revenge doesn't quite recapture the magic of How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse .  Still fun and worth a read, just more standard magical spa

[Book Review] Dead Lies Dreaming

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Dead Lies Dreaming (The Laundry Files) / Charles Stross I've been an avid reader of Charles Stross and The Laundry Files in particular.  A series that started as parodies of well-known British Spy novels with snappy humor and a delightful taste of Lovecraftian horror... as well as Information Technology horror.  If you've worked IT, you know there's plenty of material there .  The series now stands on its own as a dark fantasy, comedy lightly coating the deep horror of what you're reading. Dead Lies Dreaming is a departure from the familiar story line, set instead in the greater setting that Laundry Files falls within.  There's no Bob, or Mhari, or any of the familiar faces... except one.  The New Management, the being formerly known as The Mandate.  This is his England, a country drastically shaped by the damage the Laundry could not mitigate, and this is a story about the people who live in that country. When magic and superpowers emerge in the masses, Wendy Dee