I wasn’t sure what to expect from Gretchen Galway’s debut paranormal mystery. I was decidedly impressed. Not only did the mystery keep me guessing, but it applied magic in a creative way. I absolutely loved Random, Alma’s dog, and found Alma’s empathy for others believable.
The only weakness was that some characters were less developed than others. Some characters were little more than names while others had a bit of personality attached. With a touch more character development, I’d rate Dead Witch on a Bridge a 5 rather than a 4.
4 / 5
I received a copy of Dead Witch on a Bridge from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
The first in a new paranormal mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Gretchen Galway.
Is her magic strong enough to stop a killer?
On her first assignment as a demon-hunting witch, Alma was...
The Spectral City
by Leanna Renee Hieber
Rebel Base Books
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 27 Nov 2018
The Spectral City is an enticing blend of fantasy and mystery set against the backdrop of turn of the century New York. For those intrigued by the idea of spiritualism - seances, ghosts, mediums etc.., it is a perfect fit.
The New York City Police has an additional department headed by Eve Whitby. This group of young women are mediums who use their abilities and their spiritual contacts to obtain clues and help solve cases. Both their gender and their profession receive little respect, but they are successful and have a powerful patron in Roosevelt.
The novel is somewhat uneven. The prologue is suspenseful, but the first few chapters are correspondingly dull. The focus is primarily on the secondary mystery of a missing young girl, as opposed to the corrupt Prenze family (introduced in the prologue) and how and why they are trapping spirits (also discov...
Irontown Blues by John Varley
Berkley Publishing Group
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 28 Aug 2018
Luna has a thousand faces. Whether you want to live in a 1930s style noir city or a modern metropolis, all is available. If you want to change, lose or add body parts you can. Chris, for his own reasons, and his ultra smart enhanced bloodhound Sherlock run a 1930s style pi office. Most of his business is following cheating spouses until a mysterious woman arrives with a case that if true is a major threat to life on Luna. What ensues is a far more complex case than Chris ever imagined - linked to one of the most terrible times in Luna history. Thankfully he has Sherlock to watch his back.
Part of what makes this novel fascinating is how Varley alternates between Chris and Sherlock’s POVs. Sherlock’s approach is distinctly dog, though his elevated intelligence makes his thoughts accessible. In many ways Sherlock is the stronger partner - his love and support enab...
Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater
Multicultural Interest , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 31 Oct 2017
Solace is exciting fluff. What it lacks in plot, it more than makes up for in action - lots of explosions, gunfights, sneaking past enemies, space combat, etc… By keeping the action going nonstop, readers don’t have much time to notice plot holes or question inconsistencies. Drinkwater does a better job developing his two central characters - Opal (a former soldier) and Clarissa ( the experimental AI on the ship Opal stole). It would have been nice to have been given more of Opal’s background and how / why she was able to hack into Clarissa. Too much hand wavy magic ( technology) can do anything.
Simply put, Opal is looking for a lost ship to find something in particular - yup that nebulous. She finds one in the process of falling into the gravitational well of a neutron star. Of course lots of alien stuff tries to a) stop her from boarding b) kill her. And the...
Street Freaks by Terry Brooks
Grim Oak Press
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 02 Oct 2018
Terry Brooks is well known for his beloved Shannara novels. Classic fantasy is his specialty. Street Freaks is his first science fiction novel, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was astounded. Street Freaks is as innovative as Sword of Shannara was, giving readers a story that will appeal to teens and adults alike. On one level it is a story about growing up and finding where you fit. On another it is an action adventure pitting corrupt corporate and government forces against a teen who may be able to reveal their secrets. The characters have more breadth than found in most young adult novels. All are exceptional in one way or another, labeled as “rejects” by the majority. They’ve made a family of sorts in the workshop of Street Freaks, using their unique talents to design and build exotic street racers for rich clients. The juxtaposition of the beautiful and individualistic cars they b...
Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire
Berkley Publishing Group
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 04 Sep 2018
Seanan McGuire continues to be one of the foremost authors of fae-centered urban fantasy. Her novels are unique in that her portrayals of the many kinds of fae and changeling are deeply rooted in folklore and legend. Her characters are simultaneously more real and more magical for their depth and complexity. Readers are not simply viewing a new world, they are being submerged in it. Despite Night and Silence being the 12th novel in the Toby Daye series, the novel is as captivating as any of its predecessors.
When Toby’s ex-husband and his new wife arrive at Toby’s door accusing her of kidnapping her daughter Gillian, there is no question of her not taking the case. The question is why was she taken and if it was one of Toby’s enemies, who knew of Gillian’s existence. At Gillian’s dorm, Toby finds an assortment of curiously powerful charms designed to repel f...
The idea of an antisocial synthetic being becoming involved in human issues, often against his better judgment is an appealing one. Rin, as he calls himself here, pretends to be an augmented human, but is in reality a rogue SecUnit - rogue because he doesn’t have an owner and follows his own agenda. While helping humans is far from his first priority - if it helps him attain his goals….
Rogue Protocol is a short novel with a straightforward action heavy plot. Rin (the name Murderbot adopts) is pursuing evidence against GrayCris a large and influential corporation. This takes him to Milu where GrayCris was supposedly terraforming - but actually excavating alien ruins. Vital evidence may still be present, despite the abandonment of the base. Rin stows along with a team of researchers, their humanoid robot and two bodyguards on an expedition to the base. Needless...
Westerns are not normally my thing, but when I read the description of Fey West, I just had to read the novel. Wow! Fey West is an amazing fantasy/western that shows just how good mashups can be when they are done well. There is action, magic, drama, and even a touch of humor and romance to balance out the more serious aspects.
Rafael West barely escaped the Old World with his life. Coming back to the New World is just as dangerous, perhaps more so now that he owes a powerful fae a favor. As a half-elf and a Druid/gunslinger Rafael is viewed as an abomination by elves and mages alike. He’s used to people trying to kill him. Rafael left his home because he felt it put his friends at risk, without realizing the price they paid for his disappearance. Now, everyone he cares about is in danger because a powerful fae wants him to protect a Dwarven railroad being built with iron as it...
Magical Mystery Paws (The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency)
by Mandy Morton
Humor , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 12 Jul 2018
The No.2 Feline Detective Agency novels are difficult to categorize. They are fantasies in that all of the characters are cats - walking, talking, driving, clothes wearing, pastry eating cats. They look and behave like cats, but at the same time do all the things humans do. Apart from this, they are strictly mysteries- delightfully whimsical ones, with plenty of cat reinterpretations of pop culture history. The novels aren’t for everyone, but if you love cats and enjoy a bit of whimsy you will have a lot of fun reading Mandy Morton’s novels.
In the newest No. 2 Feline Detective Agency novel, Magical Mystery Paws, Hettie and co agree to accompany Patty Sniff on her new tour. Crammed together on Psycho Derek’s bus along with Patty and the Cheese Triangles, Kitty O’Shea’s Irish dance troupe, and Derek and Belinda Beacon they prepare to set o...
by Kevin Hearne; Delilah S. Dawson
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 17 Jul 2018
Kill the Farm Boy is one of the most hilarious fantasy novels I’ve ever read. It takes the old trope of a young man chosen for adventure and greatness and turns it on its head. Yes the farm boy and his now speaking goat Gustave set off for adventure, but Worstly is soon killed, the victim of an accidental squashing. What follows is a riotous pun filled adventure, with a group of mismatched and more than a little inept adventurers. From Fia, a warrior in an extremely uncomfortable chainmail bikini, Argabella a bunny bard, the crepuscular lord (not quite dark) whose magic centers around bread products, and Poltro the chicken fearing rogue to Gustave, the chosen one, who simply wants to avoid becoming curry and imbibe lots of delicious leather boots - these adventurers will make even the most staid reader laugh until...