Urban Fantasy is a bit like fast food. While it isn’t haute cuisine, it is fast, and if well done can be quite tasty. Sonya Bateman isn’t the next Neil Gaiman, but she is a good storyteller, able to put a slightly different twist on the human vs other scenario.
One nice difference is that she uses a male lead. Gideon has an amiable nature and an easy charm that keeps him from coming across too powerful. He is also clever, but pleasantly lacking ego. Also unlike the female leads in many urban fantasies, he does not have a harem of potential mates. All of this makes it easier to focus on the story. Various supernatural creatures have long been hunted by Milus Dei, a cult whose influence is wide reaching. Gideon is of interest because of his newly awakened ability to speak to the dead. His ability draws him into the conflict....
I was intrigued by the description of RE*PRO*DUCT. Unfortunately the graphic novel itself was unappealing. First, I didn't care for the distorted illustrations. Along with the gratuitous cursing, it made the story feel unpleasant and disjointed. I expected a far more eloquent tale. Instead, RE*PRO*DUCT was more a jumble sale of ideas and possibilities, from robotic frat boys to robots as replacement for children. As a first volume RE*PRO*DUCT didn't have enough continuity or a strong enough plot to catch my interest and overcome my dislike of the art.
I received a copy of RE*PRO*DUCT from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
In the future, robots have been legally granted the right to life. Their intelligence is not artificial, and it may not be the best approximation of a persona...
Ameerah: Paranormal Thriller by Rebekkah Ford
Mystery & Thrillers, History
Pub Date: January 27, 2016
Ameerah challenged the norms of her time, dancing, drinking and smoking in speakeasies along with flappers and gangsters. She made love to her best friend Betty, and looked forward to a vibrant and creative life. Instead, she dies soon after being placed in an insane asylum by her parents. The torment she suffered at the hands of the staff there leads her to accept an unusual offer. Rather than pass on, Ameerah becomes a dark spirit, able to live, eat, drink, and make love by possessing the bodies of soulless humans. Best of all, in her mind, is that she will finally be able to get revenge, to make those who betrayed her suffer.
Dark spirits are in part tricksters, angry and embittered. Some however have a goal - the elimination of humanity. As the novel progresses, Ameerah's experiences are recounted against the backdrop of hist...
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date: January 18, 2016
I’ve been consistently impressed by the British Police Procedurals released by Joffe Books. No Evil is no different. It is an excellent procedural set in the late 50’s in a small English town. The novel is the first of a series featuring DCI Jack Callum, a detective who is not only smart and focused on his job, he is also a man who cares a great deal about his family. Being a good father and a good husband is as important to him as being good at his job. He is a compassionate and compelling lead.
No Evil is cleverly plotted. While the culprits are revealed early on to the readers, knowing only makes the situation more tense. As the reader watches, youths are abducted only to be discovered days later eyes and mouth sewn shut and ears filled with wax. It is a race against time, as the local team led by DCI Callum struggle to follow leads and prevent further murders. The...
Dead Lost: A DI Calladine & DS Bayliss Thriller by Helen H Durrant
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date: January 29, 2016
I’ve read several books by Helen H Durrant and have enjoyed them all a great deal. British police procedurals are one of my favorite mystery types, and she knows how to create plots that are not only chilling, but also remind the reader of important but troubling issues. Dead Lost focuses on the plight of the homeless and on human trafficking. Throughout all of the Calladine and Bayliss novels, police politics makes an impact on their investigations.
The case begins with the discovery of a bloody coat. There is no sign of the owner. Despite the disapproval of their new DCI, Calladine moves to have it examined by forensics. The fact that the victim’s identity is uncertain adds to the difficulty.
Someone clearly wants the homeless population moved out of a disused mill. Bones of some kind are being sent to volunteers. Th...
The Haunting of Melmerby Manor is a novel that defies categorization. There is a strong humor element to the book, very uniquely British and sometimes a bit rude, which won't appeal to everyone. Robinson has a remarkable way with words and is quite clever in his phrasing. It adds life to his characters who are themselves rather unusual. You have Pete, a former cop turned PI, Kevin, a dealer of dubious merchandise and shady connections, and Lady Concepta Rand-Epping (Scepter) who connects with the supernatural through her ghostly butler, but is rather naive by nature.
Scepter and Kevin are convinced that there is potential to make an income from ghost hunting. Pete is along for the ride, although he believes that ghosts don't exist and Scepter is more than a little off in the head.
Throw in a murdered low level criminal, 25,000 missing pirate DVDs, more tha...
Part noir part sci fi adventure, Burt Holmes PI is a thrilling novel by newcomer A.M. Roelke.
Burt Holmes was a cop, but something happened and now he is a PI with gaps in his memory and all too many regrets. What he does have is a sense of right and wrong and a desire to protect. It leads him into taking a case for an ancestral captain – a young girl who fears for the welfare of a brother she has never met. Her father, another ancestral captain, is a cruel man with money and connections and a history of being abusive.
The ancestral captains command immense ships and control the majority of commerce. Perseus Station and many others is dependent upon their business. That makes them not only powerful but entitled. Wade Hampton, Holmes's client, is at once vulnerable and dangerous. While she has had control over her ship for several years, she is not emotionally mature and her history...
Now You See Me is a gripping psychological thriller which keeps the reader guessing until the final page. While disturbing, the novel is skillfully written and the characters are richly detailed. This isn't your run of the mill murder mystery. Instead, it is a tale of interconnected lives, all affected by a sociopathic killer. It is a story of secrets and deception, and the dreadful legacy of physical and sexual abuse.
Abused children are being murdered. Naturally suspicion falls on the abusive parents, but Noel Baker, an investigative reporter, isn't so certain. Some of the evidence suggests someone else is targeting the children.
Noel's boyfriend, Mick is part of a circle of friends who have been together since university. The narrative switches between the daily lives of the group's members as the investigation progresses, and the killer's personal narrative. The mor...
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...
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...