It took me a long time to get round to reading Dead Witch Walking. The book gets a lot of praise, but it was first mentioned to me as “urban fantasy about killer tomatoes,” and that description did nothing for me. It sounded like comic fantasy, and the list of authors who can manage to do that well is extremely short.
Dead Witch Walking is not comic fantasy, and killer tomatoes don’t really feature. Instead, a weaponised virus used tomatoes as a carrier, eventually wiping out a significant proportion of the human population. In the aftermath of this tragedy, vampires/witches/et cetera revealed themselves to humanity. The book takes place long after this, in a post-masquerade world where monsters are feared but accepted as part of reality.
Rachel Morgan is tired of dealing with bad assignments and unreasonable orders. For years, she’s been an employee of Inderland Security, tasked with solving supernatural problems – rogue vampires, black magic, that sort of thing. Now she’s ready to strike out on her own.
Life outside the I.S. isn’t easy though. With only a pixie and a vampire as backup, Rachel has to find steady work and stay alive, all the while dealing with demons, drug lords, and an agency that really doesn’t like people breaking their contracts. Continue reading “Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison (Review)”
I was warned off from Thaumatology 101 before I started reading it. Reviews are rather mixed – some people think it’s a fun and flirty urban fantasy romp, and some people think it’s objectionable smut about unrealistic cardboard characters.
I thought the massively polarised reviews were fascinating. Normally there’s majority agreement on whether a book is urban fantasy or paranormal romance, and similar agreement on whether it is worth reading.
Ceridwyn Brent is a magical research assistant who can’t do magic. She’s also the heir to a wizard mansion, protected by burning tattoos and with a half-succubus for a housemate. She starts of her series with the kind of assests and confidants that it takes most urban fantasy protagonists at least a trilogy to acquire. Continue reading “Thaumatology 101 – Niall Teasdale (Review)”
James Brimstone doesn’t want to have anything to do with magic anymore. With the burial of his cruel mentor, all his remaining bridges to the world of hexes and demons have been burnt. He can start work as a private investigator and leave the supernatural behind him.
His first case, predictably enough, plunges him right back into it all. A actress with hideous facial scarring – scarring that tastes of magic – begs for his help. James Brimstone finds himself going up against Nazi occultists, monstrous snakes and rage-filled gladiators as he investigates the seamier side of Hollywood. Continue reading “Hex-Rated – Jason Ridler (Review)”
Every month, Fantasy Faction runs a feature where they seek out examples of fantasy tropes. Other bloggers are welcome to join in, finding their own books to match the given topic. This week’s topic is assassins:
Assassins are ubiquitous throughout fantasyland. Sharp-eyed readers (or even dull-eyed ones) will notice that their hooded forms often adorn book covers, and that they frequently appear – rather improbably – not to mind being the sole focus of our attention. Whether they’re spotlight hogs or camera-shy and brooding, most assassins will have trained for years and are very, VERY good at their job (i.e. killing people for money).
Continue reading “Tough Travels – Assassins”
I initially intended to review just the first book of this series – A Darker Shade of Magic – but I got caught up in the story and read the rest of the trilogy without a pause. that makes it difficult to fairly review one book, so this review is going to focus on the series as a whole.
There is more than one London. A city of the same name occupies the same place in several different worlds, and those who have the right magic can pass between them. There’s a grey, Georgian London with no magic, and a red London where magic is everywhere. There’s a white London where magic is hoarded and hunted, and a black London where no one goes any more. Continue reading “Shades of Magic – V. E. Schwab (Review)”
Alex Caine is a fighter with an edge – he can see what his opponents will do before they do it. He doesn’t question this much – it is the way things have always been, and it helps him to win.
It’s only when he angers a mob boss and meets a mysterious and rather pushy Englishman that Alex starts to explores his abilities more deeply. His limited pre-cognition is just one manifestation of his mostly-untapped magical potential. Continue reading “Bound – Alan Baxter (Review)”
Madison Fox has always been able to see auras. She just never thought it was a particularly useful skill. It’s not until she starts a new job that she realises she can do more than see – she can manipulate lux lucis, the light that suffuses all life. With that ability comes a responsibility – she must defend against imps, demons, and all other evil things. Continue reading “A Fistful of Evil – Rebecca Chastain (Review)”