Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date: January 29, 2016
Gifted Thief is a nice urban fantasy, if not ground shattering. The plot is pretty straightforward, an orphan runaway is adopted by a family of thieves. As an adult, she is blackmailed into returning, because as the last of her line she is needed for an important task. On its own, the novel is a bit plain. But, it looks like this book is more of a prologue or teaser, a means of getting Integrity interested in her family's past and the politics of the sidhe world. I would expect her team of thieves will also play a greater role in future novels. Of course this is only my opinion.
If I look at Gifted Thief on its own, the novel isn't bad. The writing is decent, the main character doesn't need rescuing by a hero, and there is a good bit of humor - though some jokes are funnier than others. As the start to a series, it has a lot of potential. I look forward to...
Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date: December 18, 2015
Alchemy is an engrossing supernatural mystery that explores the lengths men will go to attain immortality. Do not be put off by the length of this omnibus edition, it is definitely better to read both volumes together. The second volume is more of a continuation than a sequel.
As the novel progresses, the reader moves back and forth in time, gaining a unique understanding of the situation from multiple perspectives - that of Lizzie, the last living model, Silver, the brilliant artist and alchemist, and a few other pertinent characters. The truth is multifaceted. In both novels, Silver is put on trial for murder. Chris James reveals events and intentions slowly, layer by layer enticing the reader with each new bit of information.
Although this is a mystery, it isn't a traditional one by any means. There are aspects that place...
E-Murderer: A Jenna Scali mystery By Joan C Curtis
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date: December 17, 2015
I have mixed feelings about E-Murderer. On the whole, I liked it, but the novel wasn't without problems.
The first few chapters of E-Murderer are a bit awkward. It took me a while to get into the story, in part because I was thrown by some of the dated views of technology. It irritated me when Jenna, Starr, and even Dr. B had no idea that a person could get an email address on a server outside of the country. It also irritated me that while Dr. B had many privacy issues, he had no problems with office staff reading case notes - something that would never happen in real life. Also, if a psychiatrist feels a person may hurt themselves or others, they will report it to the authorities. After I got past these issues, I became more interested in the story.
Joan Curtis does a good job ratcheting up the tension. It's very clear that Jenn...
The Custodian of Marvels: Book 3 of the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire
by Rod Duncan
Angry Robot Books
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date: February 2, 2016
The Custodian of Marvels brings the saga begun in The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter to a thrilling conclusion that not only makes for a magnificent finish, but effectively ties up all important threads.
Elizabeth Barnabus needs to find what is so valuable about The Bullet Catcher’s Handbook. It may be the only thing able to keep her and Tinker from starvation or imprisonment. As a woman and a fugitive her options are limited. She is intelligent and versatile, but even her ability to disguise is not impervious. Her allies are few and her resources are limited. The lesser position of women within the Republic makes justice and fair treatment impossible to attain. Women on their own are a target.
When Fabulo, a performer from her old traveling show comes to her with a proposition, she at first turns...
I always love discovering talented new authors. H.Y. Hanna definitely fits the bill. A Scone to Die For is a delightfully clever British cozy mystery set against the fascinating backdrop of Oxford.
Gemma Rose has made her dream of owning a teashop a reality. The business is slowly growing a reputation amongst locals and tourists for delicious baked goods - especially scones. Not all customers are pleasant, however, and one particularly abrasive American ends up dead outside her shop, a scone shoved in his mouth. Unless Gemma can uncover the killer, her business may end up dead as well.
I enjoyed the many plot twists. The murder was cleverly plotted. It was easy to see how multiple people would have a motive for the murder as well as the opportunity. Like Gemma, I didn't realize the identity of the killer until the end. H...
The Case of the Fickle Mermaid: A Brothers Grimm Mystery
By PJ Brackston
Sci Fi & Fantasy, Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date: January 25, 2016
Although The Case of the Fickle Mermaid starts slowly, readers who are patient are rewarded with an entertaining tale. Hansel and Gretel have grown up, with little to show from their original misadventure than a degree of notoriety. Gretel has turned this to her advantage, offering her services as a detective, while Hansel follows along. Unlike his sharp witted but somewhat pompous sister, Hansel puts people at ease and has a talent for gambling and cooking.
The Captain of the Arabella hires Gretel to investigate a series of disappearances. Members of the crew are missing, and there are whispers hinting a mermaid is responsible. Gold and the offer of a free cruise are a powerful incentive for Gretel, as the payment from her last case is rapidly disappearing. She anticipates an easy case and a luxurious cruise....
The Adventures of Basil and Moebius: Volume 3 Secret of the Ancients
by Ryan Schifrin and Larry Hama
Diamond Book Distributors
Graphic Novel, Adventure, Horror
Pub Date: January 19, 2016
The third volume of The Adventures of Basil and Moebius has everything a comic lover could want - explosive action, cheeky but charming heroes, a globe spanning treasure hunt, guns and gadgets galore, gorgeous buxom spies and assassins, and vile over-the-top villains. Add a few voracious tentacled fiends to the mix and you’ve got a winner.
When I read the first volume of The Adventures of Basil and Moebius, my thought was - not bad. I have changed my mind about the series.
I REALLY enjoyed reading The Adventures of Basil and Moebius: Volume 3 Secret of the Ancients. The art has improved, as have the plotting and the dialogue. You’ll even see a few nods towards other famous fictional adventurers. The story moves forward at a break-neck pace, smoothly going from one action sequence to the next...
The Bell Tower is an amazing novel. I was entranced from the very start, and could easily understand why Nell West and Michael Flint became engrossed in the history of Thaisa's song and the tragedies that plagued Thaisa's descendants over the intervening centuries.
Thaisa's song is a lament, a dark dirge whose origins lie forgotten. Whenever the song is played or sung, death and despair follow. The tragic history is revealed through journals discovered by the characters and accounts of the monks of Rede Abbas.
Part of what makes The Bell Tower so fascinating is that the truth is discovered in bits and pieces. Thaisa, Andrew and Theodora live through their accounts. When coupled with the supernatural elements, it makes for an unforgettable tale. Even Maeve Eynon is a sympathetic, despite her madness. Wherein lies the power of Thaisa's song? Is it truly responsible fo...
Graft has two definitions. Originally it referred to the transfer of a bodily part or material to another area. Now, it also refers to political corruption, the use of public resources for personal gain. To Matt Hill, Graft has elements of both meanings. On the one hand, it refers to Y's reconstruction, the addition of a third arm to make her a more valuable product. On the other hand it refers to the use of people as disposable resources by the rich and powerful.
The Manchester of Graft is a city in ruins. The people eke an existence using old technology, gathering and reusing scraps. Health and other social services are almost nonexistent, only available to the rich. Natural food is scarce. With so few resources, human value is diminished to almost nothing. Exploitation is rife.
Sol and his partner are mechanics, fulfilling contracts through scavenging a...
The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer: A cozy mystery set in Wales
by Cathy Ace
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date Feb 1, 2016
Anyone who enjoys classic British cozies will adore The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer. Cathy Ace's second novel featuring the Women of WISE Enquiries Agency is a refreshing departure from standard mystery fare.
One thing that makes these novels special are the central characters, the women who run WISE Enquiries. Despite differences in background and talent, they are close friends who work well together. Cathy Ace does a remarkable job making them three dimensional and believable, from the heavily pregnant Carol (the Welsh part of WISE) to the outspoken and somewhat clumsy Annie (the English part of WISE).
Another departure from the norm is that their case is not a murder, but a missing persons case, more in line with what actual private detectives face. Mavis (the Scotch part of WISE), the erstwhile leader of the group repeate...