The Nightmare Stacks: This one just missed for me

The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross

In my review of the LAUNDRY FILES book before this one, The Annihilation Score, I noted that there was a lot I liked and a few things I disliked. Unfortunately for me, my experience with The Nightmare Stacks (2016) was the reverse. There were a number of things I enjoyed, but overall I didn’t like this book very much. Charles Stross is a smart, funny, inventive writer, and it distresses me to give this book two and half stars, but it just missed for me, big time. Please note that people on Goodreads are giving it four and five stars, so clearly other people are enjoying more than I did.

I’ve prepared a PowerPoint presentation outlining my — haha, no, tha... Read More

Rise of the Huntress: Bony Lizzy escapes

Rise of the Huntress by Joseph Delaney

Rise of the Huntress is the seventh of Joseph Delaney’s LAST APPRENTICE / WARDSTONE CHRONICLES popular horror series for children. The series deservedly has legions of young fans and it’s likely that nothing I, a jaded adult, has to say about a seventh book will mean anything to anybody, so I’ll make this short.

Rise of the Huntress delivers exactly what we expect. The formula has become clear by now. Each book is a scary little adventure which gives Tom and his friends an evil foe to fight while advancing the overall plot slightly. This time Tom, the Spook, and Alice flee the Spook’s house because it has been overrun by soldiers involved in the war we keep hearing about. Bony Lizzy, the evil witch that the S... Read More

White Witch, Black Curse: Solid addition

White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison

White Witch, Black Curse is the seventh installment in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series featuring witch Rachel Morgan and her companions Ivy (vampire) and Jenks (pixy).

I enjoyed White Witch, Black Curse, but felt that there were certain elements of the plot that dragged a little bit. The whole banshee story feels tacked on. They are a cool addition to the Inderlanders that inhabit the series, but, since there has been no mention of banshees in any of the other books, this was probably something that Harrison only recently decided to include. I also found that the sucking of emotion was much like vampires’ sucking of blood, which means having two such predators in the series. I'm not sure how much mileage Harrison will get out of banshees in future books, bu... Read More