2009.09


A Red-Rose Chain: Some pacing issues

A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire

This is one of my favorite of Chris McGrath’s covers for the OCTOBER DAYE series, and it’s one of my favorite titles too, so it pains me to say that this isn’t one of my favorite books in the series. A Red-Rose Chain (2015) suffers from some pacing issues and didn’t quite knock my socks off like The Winter Long did.

The kingdom of Silences, analogous to mortal Portland, declares war on the Mists. By faerie law, the Mists has three days to try to make peace instead. Toby annoys Queen Windermere at exactly the wrong moment, and her punishment is to travel to Silences as an ambassador.

There’s a good deal of setup for this, followed by several chapters of Toby and her chosen family discussing who should go along on the trip and wh... Read More

A Magical Match: Gives us just what we expect (and want)

A Magical Match by Juliet Blackwell

In A Magical Match, the ninth book in Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES, vintage clothing store owner Lily Ivory is preparing for her wedding, but something is wrong with her groom. He’s been acting strangely, and then he is accused of a murder. Witnesses saw him at the scene, and it looks like an open and shut case, until Lily realizes there may be a magical explanation. Can she discover the truth and get her fiancé out of jail before the wedding?

Sometimes it’s not necessary to write a book review and this is one of those times. Fans of Juliet Blackwell's paranormal cozy mysteries just need to know that A Magical Match maintains the quality of the WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES series. If you love hanging around Read More

The Kill Society: There are parts of Hell even Sandman Slim hasn’t seen

The Kill Society by Richard Kadrey 

The Kill Society (2017) is the ninth SANDMAN SLIM book, even if Stark prefers to go by Stark now, rather than the name he was given when he fought in the arena in Hell. Hell is not the eternal absence of God, or some theoretical dimension of punishment; it’s a county, a landscape. And Stark, alive or dead, is very familiar with it. In The Kill Society, Kadrey takes Stark, and us, on a tour of a previously unseen area of Hell, the Tenebrae. Even Stark is not very familiar with the desert-like stretch of Tenebrae with its mummified ghost towns. He’d prefer to be in Pandemonium, the capital, but he has no choice, because he’s been captured by a charismatic, mad soul who calls himself The Magistrate, and his caravan of killers called the horde.

(This review may contain mild spoilers for earlier book... Read More

Madness in Solidar: Bleak

Madness in Solidar by L.E. Modesitt Jr

THE IMAGER PORTFOLIO has hopped all around the chronological history Solidar, from the very beginning when Imagers were feared and forced to hide or else be killed or enslaved, to the very end when they are a powerful arm of the government. Madness in Solidar (2015) falls in the middle and is one of the bleaker installments in Modesitt’s series. You need to have read the previous eight books before picking up Madness in Solidar. Understanding the plot of this book depends on knowing a lot of previous history in the series.

Alastar has recently taken over the Collegium as the Maitre d'Image. He grew up outside the capital, but, after the death of the last Maitre, he succeeded to the leadership of all the Imagers. It's a difficult job at the best of times, but for Alastar it's even more challenging because he is a relative s... Read More