by Gail Z. Martin
Mystery & Thrillers , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 13 May 2018
I have mixed feelings about Tangled Web. The plot is complex, with quite a few interesting twists. I was intrigued by Charleston as a hub of spiritual activity, and I did like how Gail Z Martin blended types of myth and magic. What threw me off, was how every time Cassidy met one of the central characters she went into an exposition about them and their activities. While it was valuable information, it felt awkward at times, and interfered with the flow of the story. Also, I think that too much was discovered only at the very end. There were numerous clues that Cassidy and the others overlooked. Despite this, Gail Z Martin does an excellent job of building suspense throughout. On the whole, it is a fascinating urban fantasy, even if the writing is a bit awkward at times.
4 / 5
I received a copy of Tangled Web from the publish...
Foundryside A Novel
by Robert Jackson Bennett
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 21 Aug 2018
In a world where writing can allow the rules that govern nature to be bent, one young thief holds the key to the future in her hand. Foundryside immerses the reader in a world where technology is founded not on electricity or steam, but on sequences of sigils that compel objects to reinterpret the nature of reality. Sancia is a talented young thief gifted with the ability to “know” materials through touch. After a large job goes drastically wrong, Sancia discovers that what she stole is a priceless artefact - a key that can open any lock. More than that it is a piece of ancient technology that the merchant houses would kill to acquire. To survive, Sancia must find allies and counter the forces set on possessing the artefact and gaining unimaginable power.
Bennett has created an incredible world of magic and intrigue that invites the reader to linger. There is plenty of action, and more...
Magick Run Amok by Sharon Pape
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 May 2018
Magick Run Amok is a fast paced cozy that serves up a winning mix of humor, magick and murder.
Kailyn Wilde has plenty to keep her busy between managing her shop and helping her aunt keep an eye on Merlin - who has a talent for trouble. When an investigative journalist and good friend is found dead, Travis suspects foul play. But all he has to back up his claim is a list of names that Ryan believed were connected. Kailyn readily joins in on his investigation, providing magical assistance when necessary. Killers have been dying, but who is responsible? Was Ryan murdered because he found a connection the police did not? Investigating murder is a dangerous proposition, even when you have magick on your side.
Magick Run Amok is a cute cozy mystery that will readily appeal to fans of paranormal cozies.
4 / 5
I received a copy of Magick Run Amok from the publishe...
Moonshine by Jasmine Gower
Angry Robot Books
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 06 Feb 2018
Moonshine is a fantasy with jazz age pizazz. Ashland lies at the foot of a volcano, and Soot City is a bustling metropolis complete with gangsters, speakeasies and Modern Girls (flappers straight from the mold). But there is something else that defines Soot City - the existence of magic.
Daisy Dell is the quintessential modern girl, fashionable, educated and ready to take on the world. She also has a few tricks up her sleeve - the trinkets left to her by her grandmother are magic. Her new job seems to be a simple office job, typing letters and filing reports. She soon discovers her job isn’t quite what it seems and the people aren’t quite what she expects. But as a Modern Girl she isn’t one to back down when the going gets dangerous. When she and her friends are targeted by an assassin hired by a conniving politician, she learns just what type of a family she’s joined. Be prepared for...
Jade City by Fonda Lee
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 07 Nov 2017
Jade City is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and others who enjoy intense politically complex fantasy. Set in an area much like early 20th century Asia, Kekon is an island nation divided between families of power. Green Bone warriors wield jade in service of the patriarchs, the bioactive stones enhancing physical and psychic capabilities. The more jade you can wield, the higher your position. Kekon maintains an uneasy balance of power, but jade and the capacity to wield it is envied by other countries as well as by commoners who see it as a path to wealth and prestige. Shine, a drug designed by foreign powers, allows the untrained to wield jade upsetting the delicate balance and leading to war between the Kaul and the Ayt.
Part gangster drama, part action fantasy Jade City is a unique and unforgettable epic. The story starts slowly, and is incredibly complicated. It takes time to get to kno...
The Censor's Hand Book One of the Thrice~Crossed Swords Trilogy
by A.M. Steiner
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 14 May 2017
A M Steiner has a great future as a writer. The Censor’s Hand is a captivating fantasy with a unique worldview and an unusual and uncanny take on magic. The masters of magic do so by going to strange and unusual extremes. There is not one way to do magic. It is highly individualized. It is also highly profitable and previously open only to men. The masters of the Honourable Company of Cunning sell their endeavors to the highest bidder. This has caused the rise and ruin of many including Jonathan - a man whose mill hasn’t fared well since the winds have been diverted by magic.
The story begins with a conspiracy and a murder. From there we are introduced to the main characters. Miranda - an extremely able young woman, a genius who wants to become a master of the cunning arts, something no woman has ever been permitted to...
Integral isn't bad once you get into the story. It gets off to a rocky start not because it's badly written, but because you aren't given much of a reason to care. It took a long time to connect to the protagonists - two Vampire investigators (similar to FBI agents but the country is run by corporations rather than a federal government). The initial half of the novel are seemingly unrelated cases, giving it the feel of an anthology or serial. There’s more meat when you get to the core story of a Mage who breaks out of their university (prison) and is forced to assassinate a vampire leader. The duo, plus a warden from the university and the Mage herself are forced to deal with the fallout.
There are numerous loose ends left - the drug jester, the individual bitten who may or may not be an undiscovered Mage left to turn into a vampire after an attack by a drug mad va...
Borrowed Souls: A Soul Charmer Novel Chelsea Mueller
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date May 2 2017
Borrowed Souls has some potential. It is has an original premise. (Souls can be rented so that the stain of sin does not affect the individual- of course it does presume God is a complete idiot, in my opinion would be more interesting if people only believed it mitigated sin and instead does something different). Otherwise it is your standard urban fantasy. Girl forced into magical situation, discovers powers, has help from sexy bad boy who finds her irresistible despite her whining. Throw in your standard dysfunctional family and maniacal bad guys and call it a day.
Borrowed Souls is a decent but unexceptional series debut.
3 / 5
I received a copy of Borrowed Souls from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A young woman with a brother who can't stay out of trouble dives head first into the grimy world of soul renting in this...
As urban fantasies go, Hidden Blade falls in the middle - decently written, a decent story with fairly interesting characters. I wouldn't call it excellent or groundbreaking, but it does successfully introduce the main series characters, provides some insight into their nature, and leaves the door wide open for future novels - exactly what a first novel is intended to do. I would be willing to try a future novel to see if the series kicks in to higher gear, but I am not at the edge of my seat hungering for the next installment.
Soul Eater uses Egyptian mythology as its foundation, with the gods living and plotting in New York. Ace's job is to clean up messes in order to prevent the public from discovering the existence of gods and demons. Ace is cursed, in servitude to the fickle and devious Osiris (Ozzie) and his wife Isis. When his ex wife, the goddess Bast comes to...
By Familiar Means is a solid, well written paranormal cozy with likable characters. While it isn't groundbreaking, it is an entertaining read perfect for a relaxing afternoon. What more could a reader want?
In By Familiar Means, coffee shop owners Jake and Mirabelle ask Annabelle to uncover whether there is a ghost haunting the location of their planned expansion. Despite not believing in ghosts (magic is already new to Annabelle) she gives it a try - what she discovers is a hidden tunnel and a not so well hidden body. The police believe Jake and Mirabelle are responsible, and aren't looking any further. Naturally Annabelle, her visiting grandmother (the source of her magic) and her friends start their own investigation. With a bit of luck, magic, and the help of a certain cat, they are bound to find the truth.
Annabelle's uncertainty about staying in Portsm...