sparkindarkness: (Default)
Indigo is a lieutenant with the Snowdancers pack and one of the few dominant female soldiers. Third in the pack, she has few equals and even less superiors and this causes her a problem – because she and her wolf do not want a subordinate male to be a partner.

Enter Andrew, tracker for the pack. With his dominant wolf and indeterminate rank, he may fit Indigo well, if it weren't for that grey area left by the unknown rank and the looming worry about whether their excellent working relationship would be compromised by a failed romantic encounter.

They battle their mutual attraction as well as continued problems from both being dominant wolves, negotiating each others dominance, rank and control.

The Psy are on the verge of civil war, the Council fractured between those who are desperate to preserve – and expand Silence and those who see it falling as inevitable. The latter faction is now closely linked with the Snowdancer and Darkriver Changeling packs and both stand to be dragged into the war by their Psy members and simply to protect their territory and San Francisco. Already, the pro-Silence Psy are moving in force against the Changelings as the war begins.

I have to say, I was deeply disappointed with this book, though that's not entirely fair of me. This is difficult. Because part of my unhappiness with this book is genre related – therefore highly subjective, even more than most reviewing – rather than quality related.

Read More
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Why, I do believe we have arrived.

Harry Dresden is dealing with the ongoing fallout of the war between the Wizard's White Council and the Vampire's Red Court. A war he started and where he still very much stands at the eye of the storm. The Red Court noble, Ortega is in town with a proposition for Harry. A duel. A duel between Harry and Ortega to the death. If Harry wins Chicago is declared a neutral zone. If he refuses the duel? His friends will be targeted and killed. Faced with this non-choice, Harry is forced to accept the duel against a vampire centuries his senior. But life is never so simple for Harry. Susan is back in town, still dealing with the affects of being infected with Red Court vampirism she must struggle against her urges and her attraction to Harry as well as forward her own agenda and the agenda of the organisation to which she now belongs.

Worst of all, the Denarians are in town. Not just demons, but servants and vessles of the Fallen themselves. They're in town and they seek to acquire the stolen Shroud of Turin and use it in their nefarious plotting (and yes, I got to use the words “nefarious plotting” in a serious sentence. Yes this amuses me) opposed by Michael and his fellow Fists of God, the Knights of the Cross and yet further complicated by John Marcone, crime boss also being involved.

Never simple, but most certainly epic.

I would say this is the book where everything this series has been promising to be has finally got into action. Every book until now seems to have been an introduction paving the way to this book, though Summer Knight was epic in its own right.

Read More
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Keille Riviere, hoodoo and persistent user of a right hook to solve all problems is still facing the fall out of the events of Black Dust Mambo. Doctor Heron's misplaced crusade of revenge still casts long shadows – and her cousin, Jackson, has gone missing, perhaps Dr. Heron's latest victim. But, more pressingly, magic is failing. Every hoodooist, voodoo priest, magician and conjurer through Louisiana is finding their spells go awry. Some reflect back against their casters, some warp – some just become completely random. Worst of all, after Katrina, wards were set across the Louisiana coast to prevent another disaster. The wards have reversed – they're now attracting and increasing hurricanes – and another Katrina is on the way.

And if that wasn't enough to be getting on with, the loa Baron Samedi thinks Keille is responsible and is quite willing to kill her to solve the problem. Then throw in some werewolves and ongoing issues with her aunt's identity theft and you have a full set.

As I said, I liked the story. It has a wide world and it manages to maintain tension surprisingly well. It also managed to cover a lot of different things happening, often at once, without it ever getting lost, confused or any element feeling completely superfluous. It's a wide world,a deep, nuanced and fascinating story with plenty of twists to keep you amused and lots of curiosity to pull you further forwards – I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened, I wanted to see how various things worked, I wanted to see what the solution was, what the consequences where, how the world fit together.

Read More
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Harry Dresden returns in another Urban Fantasy Mystery. This time, ghosts are running amok, causing chaos and killing people and similar shenanigans. Harry must go out with his new side-kick, Michael a Knight of the Cross, and stop this sudden tidal wave of deadly ghost activity.

Following the exhausting and dangerous trail finds that someone is tormenting and manipulating these ghosts raising them and encouraging them to spread their havoc – and further, in doing so they are thinning the barrier between the real world and the Nevernever, allowing more and darker spirits to emerge. As if that weren't enough, there is something else out there, a Nightmare that is darker than any ghost they've faced that is hunting Harry and his friends specifically.

Harry must find how they are all connected and what lies behind the ghosts, the Nightmare, the thinning of the Nevernever all the while dodging his faerie godmother who hunts him and seeks to drag him away to be her slave – and even that must be done while negotiating the twisted and convoluted plots of the vampires as Bianca, an old enemy, rises within their ranks.

It's a desperate fight to keep body and soul together – and to protect those he cares about who are being targeted by forces even Harry can't comprehend.

Read More
sparkindarkness: (Default)
This review is difficult for me. Blood Bank is a collection of short stories by Tanya Huff that involve the characters and world of the Victory Nelson series. The problem I have in reviewing it is I, frankly, don't like short stories. As soon as I realised what it was, I admit I was disappointed. I like epic series with huge meta-plot and endlessly developing themes and stories and plotting. Little vignettes of people's lives just generally don't do it for me. So, I'm going to try and work past my natural disinclination to do this book justice

I would say these are a series of delightful little stories that just add a lot of little bits of flavour into the world. They each add depth, they each add a new angle and they all hint at the breadth of the world as well as giving little bits of insight into things like Henry's past and Vicki's relationship with Mike.

But, and I admit this could all be personal taste, it all felt a little empty. It added a little flesh to the bones but not much grew – there was no development, no advancing of the plot or story, no growth. It was interesting, it was a series of amusing insights and curious stories. But after 5 books of the plot advancing and going forwards it felt a little like someone had pushed the pause button and we were having an intermission. Even if the intermission is interesting – seeing how Vicki is settling in with her new circumstances, seeing more flashes from Henry's past – it's still an intermission.

Read More
sparkindarkness: (Default)
I only really started writing reviews relatively recently, certainly on books rather than on various issues that arise throughout a series. This has lead to a few regrets because there are a few books I would have liked to review in more depth when I read them and they were fresh in my mind – probably greatest of which are Tanya Huff's Victory Nelson series.

I have so far read 5 of the 6 books (the 6th is on my ever-growing reading list) and I wish I had written a review on each of them, because they are some of my favourite books. Not on par with Kevin Hearne or Kim Harrison (both of whom stand pretty far up the pinnacle) but certainly just beneath them. Since it's been a little while since I've read them and because I don't really have time for a re-read, I'm going to have to do a review of the series up to book 6.

Victoria “Victory” Nelson was a police detective – and an extremely good one. Her nickname wasn't just a play on her name, it was an acknowledgement of her extreme skill. She and her partner, Mike Celucci, had a competitive, almost antagonistic but deeply connected relationship as they solved case after case. Then Vicky developed a degenerative eye condition. Her peripheral vision is shrinking and her night vision has reduced to almost nothing – and it will get worse and worse until she is blind. Facing this, Vicky quits her job because she will not accept a lowering of her performance or record and becomes a private investigator. Mike stays on as her contact, her friend, her sex partner – and someone she has marvellous blazing rows with.

As a private detective she stumbles upon the supernatural world – in particular she runs across Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance novel writer – and vampire. The two start investigating increasing supernatural occurrences that threaten Toronto, her with her vast experience and skills as a detective with his age, experience and knowledge of the supernatural world. Over the books they investigate demons, sorcerers, mummies, werewolves, werewolf hunters and even mad wannabe Doctor Frankensteins

Through this, Vicki develops her in depth relationship with both Mike and Henry – with Mike himself becoming more and more involved in the supernatural world – as well as their interactions with the ex-street kid Tony.

Read More
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Yes, here I am getting fully up to date with Anita Blake so I can have another break before I have to face this again. So, Hit List, by Laurell K Hamilton

Anita finds herself called all around the US and finally to Seattle in her role as US Marshall of the preternatural branch. The Harlequin loyal to the Mother of All Darkness are hunting tigers – weretigers – and leaving a trail of butchered bodies in their wake. Anita, away from St. Louis and her powerful magical foundation there, as well as her mighty and numerous – oh-so-numerous – allies now must face Harlequin and Mother Darkness with a few body guards and her fellow US Marshalls, including Edward, Bernardo and Olaf.

In some ways I was relieved when the focus of this book became clear. It was another Obsidian Buttferly, another rescue from the endless sex, another holiday from the angst. Another attempt to return to what Anita Blake was – Necromancer, kick arse fighter, strong, powerful, driven by justice and finding the bad guy. Rather than what she had become – sex addicted, surrounded by angst and personal issues, constantly emotionally crashing, constantly fretting about her loves and marvelling at the new shiny power du jour.

Already we've removed many of the problems that normally make me cringe at Anita Blake. Without the 10 zillion extra characters, we're not going to get stuck on unnecessary tangents and side-plots. Without her harem we're not going to have page and page of sex. Without all their emotional baggage to juggle, we're not going to get the endless angst pages. This made me happy! Less so when Anita picked up a new tiger boyfriend to put some of the sex and angst back, but still, it was an improvement

click for the rest of the review
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Yes. I read it. I know I know, reading Anita Blake at this point redefines flogging a dead horse. But I feel compelled to finish this hot mess – and it's like a trainwreck, you just have to keep watching. So here I am, suffering through book 19 of the series. Book 19! Ye gods, who would have thought it would last this long

On the actual plot (let's cover it quickly since it's a relatively minor element). And there's some sorta there, carefully sandwiched between the drama, angst and random ongoing side issues.

It would appear the Mother of all Darkness is not dead. Though her body got all exploded, her spirit live son, possessing... the vampire council! And with this power Mother Dark can rule the world (dramatic laugh) and do deadly dark, evil things, using the power – political and metaphysical – of these mighty vampires to feed on death and destruction and raise up to new and greater powers until the earth is swallowed under a tide of badness.

Jean-Claude, Anita & the ever expanding posse will oppose this – by setting up a new Council and becoming a new pre-eminent power and part of this involves binding more power to them – especially the tigers – all the colours. The red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and... no, wait, that's Sing a Rainbow. Anyway, Anita & JC must bind to themselves to be the new Master of Tigers and Lord of the Day. Since (if you've been keeping up from the last book, or the one before. I forget, they all involved humping) Mother Darkness' arch-nemesis had these powers before Anita killed him after performing a sex show for him (yeah, I know, I know).

So, anyway. JC & Anita (and the posse) need to gather their power and their multi-coloured day-glo tigers (gotta catch 'em all!) and become the overlord of all Masters in the US to protect everyone from Mother Darkness.

That plot summation could probably have been done with little more attention. Probably. Sad thing is? The plot idea I liked. I was intrigued and the idea of again being forced to gather power to protect themselves and again facing a danger so epic and completely terrifying in scope as this was presented. And it was presented as that – it was literally a “oh shit” moment when you realised what the antagonist was. But it's so damn hard to be engaged in this series now with all the endless sex and utterly pointless angst that get in the damn way. I think the actual plot made up about 20% of the book, if that

Read the rest on Fangs for the Fantasy
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Oh I like this one. And the ooooh means I mean it!
No, I really do. The main character is awkward enough, clumsy enough and generally human enough to appeal. And I like how he is both an awesomely powerful wizard capable of so much, while at the same time being several kinds of dorky and human.

I also love the little tricks of world building like electronics not working near wizards. Little things like that make a world :). Which is big and rich – but I haven't seen it all. Which is good – I'm on the first book and I shouldn't see the whole world in a several book series yet. This is how world building is done – in increments not info dumps, in lots of showing not long lecturous tellings

And I love the magic system, I love the system of imagery and symbolism that makes it up. I like it a loooot :)

But above all I like the story. And I didn't think I would. I'll be honest, the supernatural consultant to the police isn't something I dislike, but it is something that has been done a whooooole lot and it's beginning to feel just a tad tired to me. However Harry Dresden is a police advisor in a Masquerade world that is a little bit of a twist and it was done well enough that it didn't bother me :). I think it also got the right balance for a crime mystery – complicated enough that the detectives don't look like fools for not getting it right away without being so convoluted that the whole thing just didn't make any damn sense at all.

There's a wizard out there and he's killing people. Killing people in big, nasty messy ways. Harry has to find them. He also has to make rent, which is overdue, complete work for one of his few paying clients (being Chicago's only public wizard doesn't pay well – not with most people not believing in magic) and deal with saving himself from the attentions of the same murderous wizard. As an added bonus, the White Council, the wizard ruling body, thinks he's done it and is willing to execute him unless he proves otherwise. On the side he has to deal with a cynical police force that doesn't believe in magic and a curious journalist who very much does.

Read the rest at Fangs for the Fantasy
sparkindarkness: (Default)
I liked this book. Yes yes I know, if I start like that you know I'm trying to lay the groundwork against a lot of fuckery to follow. But, no, really, I like this book.

The story follows Kellie Rivière, hoodoo practitioner who has gone to visit a magical carnival run by the Hecatean Alliance, kind of international magic police/UN. It's a time to party and play with your fellow magical practitioners and Kellie has a blast – until she wakes up and finds the guy she slept with last night is now dead in her bed. And worse, the magic seems to have been aimed for her.

She now has to deal with her dead lovers surviving friends and family, the Hecatean Alliance officials and the shadows of her own traumatic past while trying to find out who is trying to kill her, her friends and her family in the name of an ongoing vendetta.

The rest of the review is over at Fangs for the Fantasy
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Our reading list is long and legendary, and one series that has been on our to read list for a long time is the “Sisters of the Moon “ series by Yasmine Galenorn. So I have finally got round to reading “Witchling”

Witchling introduces us to 3 sisters, Camille a faerie witch, Delilah, a werecat and Menolly, a vampire. Agents for the OIC (a kind of faerie combo police/diplomat/secret agent corps) they are on Earth (Seattle to be exact) doing their job to the best of their slightly clumsy, half-human abilities. They work closely with the local police to help solve supernatural crime and navigate the world as alien, magical beings.

There job becomes several times harder when the Demons of the Subterranean world are stirred up, a threat to both the Otherworld (from where the fae come from) and Earth. And worse, the forces of Otherworld seem to be descending into chaos, just when they need to be at their strongest – leaving the sisters very much alone to face the threat.

Let’s start with some good points

Post is on the review blog. Make with the clicky clicky
sparkindarkness: (Default)
I am going to do something I never ever do. I am submitting a DNF review. Yes, a Did Not Finish.

I normally refuse to review a book I haven't finished. I think it's wrong and unfair to write a review unless you have read it. I've always held on this – but this book broke me.

In my defence, this is me here. Seriously, I read 3 LA Banks Vampire Huntress novels and intend to read the rest. I even read LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries. I got through Cassadra Clare's over written mess and Yasmine Galenorn's florid florid prose, I even read through Anya Bast's interminable sex scenes. I read Vampire Academy that gets a special award for slow start (the story starts at 80% in). I read Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series – ALL of it, every last minute of the drek and that should have been banned by international law. I'm even STILL reading Anita Blake when everyone else has declared themselves done with the fuckery 10 books ago

In short, I have a high high high tolerance for crap books. But this broke me. The very idea of reading another word makes me cringe.

The rest of the review is at my blog clicky clicky
sparkindarkness: (Default)
I actually have a hard time reviewing books I like. There's so much more to say about a series you hate, a series that is deeply problematic or a series you can snark over. More, I feel far leerier about spoiling a book that is ZOMG awesome than I do about spoiling a book that defiles the very page it's printed on

So I approach a review of the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (and may I add, YUM for that cover art? Yes yes I cam. Nomnomnom) with some difficulty. Because I LOVE IT. Yes yes I do. Kevin Hearne has actually done the impossible and displaced Kim Harrison as my favourite Urban Fantasy writer. Sorry Kim, I love you and the Hollows, but you've been left in Kevin's wake because his books are awesome.

Review up on the blog clicky clicky to see why I love these books and why Beloved hates them
sparkindarkness: (Default)
I have some thoughts on the latest Doctor Who

Actually, less thoughts and more "OH MY GODS!"

SPOILERS of course

clicky clicky
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Thoughts on the latest episode of Doctor Who can be found on the bloggy thing

Clicky clicky for the rest
sparkindarkness: (Default)
Some musings on the new Doctor Who on the bloggy thing

sparkindarkness: (Default)
Some musings on the new Doctor Who episode up on the bloggy thing

sparkindarkness: (Default)
It was pretty sad making from start to finish – it reminded me of all those gimmick episodes when Pirates of the Caribbean came out – you know, every show had to some how squeeze in pirates somewhere.

It didn't advance the meta-plot at all. And the Doctor actually felt out of character (since when is Earth “our planet” Doctor?) flailing around with random guesses like someone on a game show

And the whole damn concept of the show was ridiculous!

Clicky clicky to read the rest


sparkindarkness: (Default)

April 2015

262728 2930  


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags