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Archive for February, 2011

The Mage In Black

Sabina Kane, Book #2

Author: Jaye Wells

Format: paperback

Publisher: Orbit

Length: 340 pages (incl. Green-Eyed Demon excerpt)

Release Date: April, 2010

Acquired: purchased from BN.com

 

 

 

The back cover blurb:

Sabina Kane doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional.

Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she’s some kind of “Chosen” who’ll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn’t care who chose her, she’s not into destiny.

But the mages aren’t Sabina’s only problem. In New York’s Black Light district, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame.

Sabina thought she’d take a bite out of the Big Apple, but it looks like it wants to bite her back.

 

My thoughts, which may include some minor spoilers:

The Mage In Black is the second book in Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane series. I first picked up book #1, Red-Headed Stepchild at the suggestion of my dear friend over at Waiting For Fairies, and I’m happy that I did. I enjoyed it immensely, burned through it in a few reading sessions and then to my chagrin, neglected to pick up book #2 when it was published last year. I have remedied that gross oversight in my reading repertoire however, and  so without further ado…

The story opens just days after the ending of Red-Headed Stepchild and Sabina and Adam are on their way to New York City so that Sabina can join the mages and meet her twin sister. Giguhl is, of course, along for the ride and provides much comic relief throughout the story. Vampire assassins start the first chapter off with a bang and we get to see a pretty good fight scene which really sets the pace of the story right out of the gate.

I did hit a slow spot right around the middle of the book, as Sabina started learning to use her magic, but it didn’t last long and I got through the rest of the book in a couple of sittings. A couple of nit-picks (just because I’m fond of nit-picking!) and then I’ll move on to what I liked about the story.

Rhea cussing really left a bad taste in my mouth because she struck me as being more refined and respectable than that. Sabina has a potty mouth but that’s kind of expected in a trained assassin, especially when she started off as an enforcer and has  mingled with the dregs of society and done her share of some serious ass-kicking. But Rhea cussing just rang sour with me and it didn’t seem to fit.

Also, I pegged the baddie right off the bat and I was actually kind of disappointed at the reveal, although the fact that said baddie was dense enough to have been so badly duped made me feel kind of sorry for her.

Next, the way Sabina’s powers manifested kind of made me giggle and I couldn’t help but think, “Cyclops?!”

Finally, I just could not get used to Sabina referring to everyone in her mind as the “male” or the “female”. I don’t recall being annoyed by that in RHS so either it wasn’t an issue for me during that read or the use wasn’t as prevalent. Whatever the case, there were times when the term “woman” was used and so I wasn’t clear on why it was used in a couple of instances when “female” was used most of the time.

Like I said… just nit-picking! On to non-nit-picky stuff!

I was involved in a discussion recently regarding pointless sex in books and this book was one that was mentioned. Having knowledge of the act but not the events surrounding it at the time of the discussion, I waited to see if Sabina’s tryst with Slade was indeed pointless. While wishing she hadn’t done it, for the sake of a possible relationship with Adam, I do understand why she did it.

She felt rejected by the vampires as well as the mages and at that moment, she felt a kinship with Slade. She needed comfort after her disgust at the way she had killed Hawthorne and after being reminded of that horror during her fight with Tiny, she needed something to make her feel good. At least, that’s how I looked at it and while it might not have been the smartest decision for her to make at that moment, it did make sense to me. I was glad at the way Slade helped her out at the mage compound and especially that they parted on good terms.

Demon Fight Club? *chuckle* Awesome. Silly and cheesy, perhaps… but hilarious. Also, cool to see Giguhl kick some ass of his own! AND get the girl. You go, G!

Since mentioning the chuckle I got out of Sabina shooting lasers from her eyes, I ought to mention how the mages circled during the vamp battle, joined their magic and blasted it outward to kick some major vamp ass. That… was very cool.

I have to admit that I spent the entire book worried that Maisie was going to betray Sabina. What? Why no, I’m not suspicious of people in the least, why do you ask? Trust issues? What do you mean, I have trust issues?!

Yes… I fully expected her to be a baddie. No… I’m still not fully convinced that she’s not. We’ll see what Green-Eyed Demon holds in store in that regard. I’ll be reading a galley of it next but I feel the need to add that when I turned the final page of this book and discovered that it was the end, I was glad that I hadn’t picked it up last year because I totally had a “NOOOOOO!” moment that it was over. As it is, I can start GED right… now. *smug* I’ll let you know what I think in a couple of days.

Fave quotes:

“Why is it forked?”

“I waved my hands in the air and shook my head, as if trying to shake off the crazy.”

“Adam, this is Slade. He’s an old friend. Slade, this is Adam. He’s my-”  “I’m her new friend.”

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The Name Of The Wind

Kingkiller Chronicle, Day 1

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Format: audio book

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Narrated by Nick Podehl

Length: 27 hours, 58 minutes

Release Date: 05-15-09

Acquired: as a gift

 

Publisher’s Summary:

“My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I have burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to gods, loved women and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.”

So begins the tale of Kvothe—from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more—for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe’s legend.


My thoughts:

Before I talk about the story, I want to mention my experience with the audio book. I had rather a hard time getting into this story and I think it was due mainly to the reader, Nick Podehl. I just could not maintain interest and found myself wishing for the book in my hand so I could give it my own voice. Once I got used to the new-to-me reader however, I enjoyed the hell out of this story!

I have a friend that restarts her audio books several times until she gets a feel for the reader and while I’ve never really found that necessary in my own audio book experiences, I wish I had tried that tactic with this book. I missed out on a lot in the first third of the book because I just couldn’t get a feel for it and when I had to pause for whatever reason, I didn’t find myself anxious to get back to it like I began to do once Kvothe arrived at the University. Now that I’m used to  and thoroughly enjoy Podehl’s reading, I’m more than ready to listen to him read The Wise Man’s Fear when it’s released next week. Look for that review soon!

Moving along… as the blurb states, this is essentially a story of Kvothe Kingkiller’s childhood and education, as told by him. However, when we first meet Kvothe, he’s not “Kvothe” but “Kote” and he’s an innkeeper in a small village. He gets the same customers in the inn for dinner every evening and occasionally he gets to listen to Cobb, the eldest of them, tell stories about the legendary Kvothe. On one such evening, one of the regulars staggers into the bar, bloodied and terrified. He’s been attacked by… something. A demon, the townsfolk think but Kvothe knows better.

While he’s out one night, intent on killing the other somethings that he knows must be about, he meets a traveler. Meets him and saves his life from the aforementioned somethings. This traveler happens to be a scribe. He’s The Chronicler, in fact, and he very much wants to get the story of Kvothe’s remarkable life, straight from the source. Despite having another engagement, Chronicler agrees to stay and spend three days with Kvothe in his little inn, writing the story of the legend in his own words. This book, of course, is the first day of that recitation and nearly the entire book is Kvothe recounting the events of his childhood.

Which was wrought with tragedy and loss, might I add. As the blurb states, Kvothe is an orphan and the circumstances surrounding the deaths of his parents instill in him a desire to find those responsible and somehow, to take his revenge. In order to find them, not to mention the whole revenge thing, Kvothe needs to be educated and to do this, he needs to attend the University. So he sets out to do just that.

I absolutely loved Kvothe’s University experience, especially scenes with his mentors and his friends, and the way Kvothe begins to work on building a reputation for himself. His time at the University was interesting and funny, sprinkled with a bit of injustice and some infuriatingly nasty people. I love that teenage Kvothe is so clever and brilliant but the unfairness he encounters is extremely frustrating for me to read. I found myself angry that he was judged so poorly at times and that one certain, vindictive and petty person was allowed to cause him so much misery and grief.

Sadly, that individual will wreak more -and worse- havoc in the next book and while I’m not looking forward to that, I am very anxious to see what comes next for Kvothe. Very anxious to see more of what makes him such a legend. And very anxious to see more of what’s going on the the present-tense of the story, especially after a disturbing visitor comes to the inn on the evening of day 1 of Kvothe’s story. Looks like there’s much to look forward to next week!

 

Fave quote:

“I will walk back to Imre this very night and set fire to your house. Then, when you run out the front door in your night shirt and stockle cap, I will kill you, cook you and eat you, right there on your lawn while all your neighbors watch!”

(there were more chuckle-inducing moments than this but I didn’t get them written down… there was a lot of funny in this book!)


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Managing Death, book #2 in Trent Jamieson’s Death Works series, picks up a mere two months after the end of book #1, Death Most Definite… and Regional Manager Steven de Selby still has a lot to learn about being Death. He could really use an instruction manual!

 

From Amazon.com:

It’s not easy being Death. For starters, people keep dying. And then, they keep getting up again.

Steven de Selby got promoted. This makes the increasing number of stirrers (and the disturbing rumors of a zombie god rising sometime soon) his problem. That time management seminar he keeps meaning to take would also remind him that he’s got a Death Moot to plan, a Christmas party to organize, and an end-of-the-world thing to avert.

Steven must start managing Death, before Death starts managing him, or this time the Apocalypse will be more than Regional.


Steven’s been slacking off a bit on the job. He has horrific nightmares, even though he doesn’t really need to sleep at all, and so he drinks too much. Being Death isn’t all its cracked up to be. With the other twelve Regional Managers arriving in Brisbane in a matter of days for the biannual Death Moot that he still needs to organize, his girlfriend angry with him and someone trying to kill him… again… it’s no wonder he’s been hitting the bottle kind of hard.

Then there’s the bizarre Stirrer activity and, oh yeah… the Stirrer god that’s approaching to end the world. Steven needs to do something about that, too. Where is that to-do list again? The problem is that he was just a regular old Pomp before Morrigan, the Ankou to Mr. D, Steven’s predecessor, began a Schism and killed all of the other Pomps in the region, Steven’s parents and Lissa included, in an attempt to grab the Regional Manager position for himself. Steven defeated Morrigan during the Negotiation but he’s a bit clueless as to where to go from there.

Sure, he’s Death and has all kinds of mad skills due to that little promotion, but he still hasn’t come into his power. Not fully. There’s political maneuvering amongst the other RMs and he doesn’t know who to trust. He’s been offered an alliance by a couple of them and accepting one of them might seriously jeopardize his relationship with Lissa. Would he do such a thing? He loves Lissa, went into Hell itself to bring her back… sure, he really needs the help but would he lie to her to get it?

It took me a bit to get into this book but I don’t think it had anything to do with the story. It was just me, being distracted and trying to start reading entirely too late at night. Once I had some time and wasn’t so tired, I tore through it relatively quickly and happily, had that ‘can’t put it down’ feeling that I absolutely love to have. I enjoyed Steven’s bit of rebellion, his grudging decision to knuckle down and do his job and finally, his acceptance of what he must do, despite the way responsibility has once again been thrust on him unasked for and unwanted.

Once again, Steven breaks the rules to save his love and that’s a touching addition. His tendency to want to physically touch Lissa whenever possible is a sweet reminder of how badly he wanted to touch her in book #1 but was unable to do so, else he pomp her and send her spirit to Hell. His love for Lissa, I think, is a driving force for him to do what must be done to save the world and that bit of humanity that he’s hanging onto tooth and nail is one reason I’m so enamored of this story.

But I must also mention the humor. I found myself chuckling quite often while reading this book, as well as while reading book #1.  Steven is a snarky, reluctant protagonist and I adore his dry sense of humor and various pop culture references. Jamieson has me hooked and I will anxiously await the release of the next book in the series, The Business of Death, due out in September of this year. Come oooonn, September!

Fave quotes:

“When did you last reply to one of my invitations on Facebook, or comment on an update? You’re not even following me on Twitter.” ~Death

‘We saved each other. Whether it was the right thing or not, it was the only thing either of us would have done. And hang the consequences.’

‘I see stars, literally all sorts of unnerving constellations. Aquarius-today you will have the shit beaten out of you, dope. Dress for wet weather, and probable death.’

‘I feel like I’m an out-take of Highlander. “There can only be one,” I mumble.’

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Published in August of 2010, book #1 of the Death Works series is Death Most Definite, Australian author Trent Jamieson’s debut novel. Set in the city of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia, the story focuses on Psychopomp Steven de Selby, whose job it is to facilitate the journey of the souls of the newly dead to the afterlife. Yet the newly dead girl he just met doesn’t want him to do so. Instead of needing him to ease her journey to the Underworld, she’s trying to save his life.

 

The back cover blurb:

Steven de Selby has a hangover. Bright lights, loud noise, and lots of exercise are the last thing he wants. But that’s exactly what he gets when someone starts shooting at him.

Steven is no stranger to death-Mr. D’s his boss after all-but when a dead girl saves him from sharing her fate, he finds himself on the wrong end of the barrel. His job is to guide the restless dead to the underworld but now his clients are his own colleagues, friends, and family.

Mr. D’s gone missing and with no one in charge, the dead start to rise, the living are hunted, and the whole city teeters on the brink of a regional apocalypse-unless Steven can shake his hangover, not fall for the dead girl, and find out what happened to his boss- that is, Death himself.

 

It’s a certainty that our main character, Pomp Steve de Selby, wouldn’t have lived through the first chapter had it not been for  newly deceased Lissa Jones. A fact which makes him tend to rather like her quite a lot. Maybe a little too much. Even though she’s dead.

After the attempt on his life, things just go from bad to worse to horrific for Steve and he’s literally running for his life while those around him are all dragged down. So here he is, attempting to deal with the dreadful weight of loss and betrayal that’s been heaped upon him out of nowhere, while realizing that he’s the only one left who might be able to prevent a regional apocalypse.

The dead need to be pomped and as time passes and his Pomp colleagues dwindle, Steven is the only one who can ease their passing to the Underworld. And dammit, it’s getting hard! To make matters worse, Stirrers are beginning to inhabit the bodies whose souls are seeking passage. They’re everywhere and they’re after Steven. Now, Stirrers aren’t your run-of-the-mill, Romero-esque, living flesh-eating zombies. Oh, no… they’re much worse. Here’s how the book describes an outbreak of Stirrers:

Bodies will disappear from morgues, people will see their deceased loved ones walking in the street, or wake up with them in their bed. And there will be no joy in the occasion, because they are not loved ones, just something that possesses their memories: an imperfect and deadly mimic.

Stirrers are voids. They will turn a house cold and they will swallow laughter. They are the worst aspects of time only sped up and grown cruelly cunning. Bad luck follows them.

The scariest thing about them is that instead of mindless sacks of flesh and bone shambling aimlessly about and trying to eat people, Stirrers are actual beings from the depths of the Underworld that inhabit dead bodies and move them about. They do very unzombie-like things like talking and driving cars and shooting at people and such. People like poor Steven de Selby. As a Psychopomp, he can “stall” these Stirrers, or banish them from the bodies they inhabit. He only needs to shed some blood, his blood, and touch them to do so. But it’s difficult, it’s painful, and they’re just… everywhere.

Steven is racing against the clock, trying to avoid being wiped out, trying to avoid the Stirrers, trying to discover his betrayer and the reason for the Pomp massacre, trying to stop the apocalypse… and trying to find his boss because as creepy as he is, Steven could really use his advice and assistance. Where in hell is Death, anyway? With help from the dead girl he’s falling for,  despite knowing better, and a couple of Black Sheeps who didn’t want to join in the family business but happen to be relatives of newly murdered Pomps, he’s going to try to find out. Even if it means going to hell and back.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book, the humor in the writing and the way Steven wore his heart on his sleeve. His bewilderment and pain in the face of the fiasco his life and his world became, literally in the blink of an eye, were believable and it was easy to sympathize with his plight. The story was fast-paced and the plot was like nothing I’ve read before. It held my interest so completely that I read it in three parts, kicking out the entire last half of the 320 page paperback in one sitting. I most definitely look forward to the next installment of the series, the recently released Managing Death.

Fave quotes:

‘It’s the first new law of the universe according to Steven de Selby’s life: things always get worse-and then they explode.’

‘Why were the seventies all about vomit colors?’

‘This would all be so very Mad Max if I was driving a V8, and if it wasn’t me.’

‘Shit, give dead people firearms and soon enough it’s all they know. Shoot this, blast that.’

“I never bothered with a computer for the real work. Who needs one, eh? Though I do like my Twitter.” ~Death

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I had the opportunity to read a galley of Tom Holt’s hilarious Life, Liberty, And the Pursuit of Sausages last week and am squeaking this review in just before the book is actually published on February 21st. Picture Indiana Jones, sliding beneath the closing stone door in the hidden corridors beneath the palace in The Temple of Doom. Okay… this isn’t really like that, but that was a great scene, you have to admit.

I requested this galley largely in part due to the suggestion of a good friend who had the chance to read the book before I did and I’m exceedingly happy that I did so. Despite, or more likely, because of the many mind-warping aspects of this story, I highly enjoyed reading, puzzling over and laughing with-though never at-this book.

 

A short blurb about the book:

Polly, an average, completely ordinary real estate solicitor is convinced she’s losing her mind. Someone keeps drinking her coffee. And talking to her clients. And doing her job. And when she goes to the dry cleaner’s to pick up her dress for the party, it’s not there. Not the dress – the dry cleaner’s.

And then there are the chickens who think they are people. Something strange is definitely going on – and it’s going to take more than a magical ring to sort it out.


More than a magical ring, indeed. Perhaps a magical… pencil sharpener? Sure! Why not?!

Between a dry cleaner’s that relocates at random, a housing development that periodically disappears while the pristine, untouched land where it used to be comes up for sale again, and a couple of knights that have been duking it out for hundreds of years, in the dry cleaner’s toilet, no less… there’s plenty going on to keep one interested. There’s a real estate solicitor who keeps finding her coffee cup empty to the one that keeps finding hers full… what’s funny is that they work in the same office. Literally,  in the same chair at the same desk talking on the same phone in the very same office. At the same time. But they’ve never met. Something is certainly odd!

The absolute silly kept me laughing and more importantly, kept me reading. The sheer ‘what the hell is going on?’ feeling that the bizarre events elicited in me was plenty to keep my interest up and keep me reading. Despite jumping from character to character, at times right in the middle of a sentence, it didn’t make the flow of the story any more difficult to follow. Was I confused by the events of the story? Sure. Was I interested in the plight of the characters? Absolutely. Did I enjoy the hell out of it? You know I did. I generally take breaks between chapters as long as the ones in this book but upon scanning the first sentences of a new chapter, I was sucked in and just had to find out what mind-boggling events would transpire next.

Definitely a fun read and you can choose to either fly through it or stop between chapters to ponder the possibilities… and the ridiculousness of such expensive sausages!

A few fave lines: “The world would be an OK place if it wasn’t for people.”

“It’s one of the basic laws of human nature that a man suddenly finding himself in possession of an unanticipated pencil sharpener will immediately proceed to sharpen all the pencils in his possession.”

“His satnav seemed to have given up entirely. It kept warbling, ‘At the end of the road, phase-shift into an alternate universe,’ so he switched it off.”

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I was fortunate enough recently to be approved to read a galley of Pale Demon (link has sneak-peek at first chapters!), the soon-to-be-released 9th installment of Kim Harrison’s popular urban fantasy Hollows series featuring witch and independent runner, Rachel Morgan. It’s summer in Cincinnati as the story opens a couple of months after the ending of Book #8, Black Magic Sanction, and Rachel is about to embark on a trip out west, to attend her brother’s wedding and formally have her shunning removed by the coven of moral and ethical standards during their annual convention.

 

Here’s the blurb:

Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after.

Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passenger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail.

A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

 

While this review contains no spoilers for this book, it most definitely contains spoilers for the series to date so if you have yet to read through book #8, proceed with caution! I’ve been looking forward to the impending release of this book for some time but as I’ve been doing my re-listen of the entire Hollows series over the past month, I’ve become increasingly excited to finally read this ninth installment of the series. I was not disappointed.

At the end of Black Magic Sanction, Rachel had made a fragile agreement with a reluctant member of the coven to have her shunning rescinded in return for her silence in regards to the little-known fact that witches came from demons. Oliver, the coven member she was blackmailing… erm, making the deal with, rather… was quite insistent that he couldn’t make the deal himself and stated that Rachel would be required to apologize to the coven in person for her previous use of black magic… and she had to go to San Francisco to do so.

So at the start of this book, the staff of Vampiric Charms Independent Runner Service is ready to hit the road and head  to California. Mass transit is out and so they hop into Rachel’s mom’s Buick and set out on the open road. With Trent. Yes, charming, charismatic (and oftentimes first class jerk) bio-drug lord and multi-millionaire elf, Trent Kalamack  has his own urgent, and apparently secret, business to attend to on the West coast so he’s going along for the ride. Rather, he’s requested that Rachel escort him and keep him alive because his ex-fiance’s family is trying to kill him. How nice.

So they’re off… and what a ride it is! Rachel fears an attempt on her life from the coven, they’ve got elf assassins on their tail, and the icing on the cake would be the day-walking demon that eat people’s souls and has turned his blood-thirsty eye toward Rachel. Witches, elves and demons, oh my! Makes for quite the interesting road trip.

Of course one of the highlights of this book is the great deal of interaction between Rachel and Trent. There is plenty of time to chat on a 2,000 mile long road trip and I’m happy to say that they do a lot of it. One of Rachel’s greatest issues with Trent for the past couple of years in the world of Cincinnati after the Turn, is trust. She doesn’t trust him, and why should she? After all, he kept her prisoner, killed an employee right in front of her, entered her in the city’s rat fights, tried to hunt her down with dogs and… need I go on? Trust? Definitely an issue. Although… he did keep her alive after she performed the same service for him after the explosion on Lee’s boat in book #3, Every Which Way But Dead, among other things that have made her question her previous opinion of him. Yes… to trust or not to trust. That is the question for Rachel in regards to Trent on this latest of her many adventures.

As was revealed earlier in the series and highlighted in book #8, the two have known each other since they were kids and Rachel attended Trent’s father’s Make-A-Wish Camp where Rachel received the bio-drug treatment that enabled her survival from the usually deadly Rosewood Syndrome. Most witches die of the disease and so it’s never been discovered that those who suffer from it are the witch community’s closest links to their demon ancestors. It’s also not widely known that witches are even related to demons. And now Rachel is a living, breathing, demon magic-wielding link to them. Which is where all of her problems seem to originate: with her ability to kindle demon magic and because of that, with her inevitable association with demons. One demon in particular.

We get to see a new side of Algaliarept in this book and it’s quite an interesting peek. I thoroughly enjoyed Al’s scenes, particularly those in which he shows a bit more emotion than anger, hatred and general demonly nastiness, which is usually all we see from him. As I’ve stated in previous reviews, I do enjoy this character, especially when listening to the audios read by Maruerite Gavin as she does a particularly fine job with Al’s voice. I won’t spoil anything but I will go so far as to say that I was very  moved by a couple of Al/Rachel scenes. Take that as you will, considering my aforementioned tendency to be a crybaby.

We also get to see a bit more of the ever after than Al’s kitchen and the random surface scene. I have the hope that we’ll get to see more one day, especially if Rachel’s able to do a bit more re-decorating. *wink* Newt made a reappearance in this book and frankly, I rather enjoyed her scene. I can only hope that Gavin does her voice the way she originally did it because during Newt’s brief appearance in BMS, I almost didn’t recognize Newt, her voice was so different.

Pierce is featured quite a lot in this book, once Al sends him along to babysit and he does help Rachel out a bit, though he does screw up royally, as well. I’m still touched by the lengths to which he’ll go to protect Rachel and I do believe that he loves her. “I will cry when I go because I could love you forever.” That line from Black Magic Sanction still gets me!

Jenks and Ivy are, well… Jenks and Ivy. Awesome as always, snarky comments and ass-kicking expected and included. Jenks also has the occasion to talk with Trent a lot while on the road trip, their sleep schedules being the same and all. The result is quite interesting and I can’t help but want to see where that particular association might go in future books.

Last, but surely not least… especially considering the circumstances in which he enters the story, is Bis. Oh, Bis… the young gargoyle who was kicked off the Basilica earlier in the series. For spitting on people, no less. It’s no wonder he and Jenks get along so well, but Rachel’s been squeamish about the whole bonding with a gargoyle thing. Bis truly goes above and beyond in this book and I find myself liking him more than ever. You go, Bis… you bad-ass little gargoyle, pixy babysitter and line-jumper, you!

If you’re a fan of the Hollows series, then I dare-say you’ll enjoy the hell out of the 9th book in this fun and touching series. If you’ve never read a Hollows book then I highly recommend that you remedy that gross oversight in your reading repertoire and burn through the first eight books so that you can get to this one. You’ll be glad you did. I promise.

And now, for a few of my fave quotes: Ivy to Rachel: “Fine, you drive. I’ll sit with my head hanging out the window like a golden retriever.”

‘Jenks darted in, and I followed, eager to see what a penthouse suite looked like. Nice. I think the word would be “nice”. Or really nice. I’d go as far as friggin’ nice.’

Jenks: “Take a chill strip, Rache. They’re faster than the pills and come in convenient dispensers.”

I.S. Guy: “If Rachel permanently eliminates the threat of this day-walking demon, no one will care if she’s the queen of the damned and eats live kittens for breakfast in front of kindergarteners.”

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An awesome book blogger and good friend of mine linked me to this “pay what you want” short story by Wil Wheaton. Hunter is about 2,500 words and is available  in DRM-free .mobi format for Kindle, .epub for other eReaders, and .pdf format for printing. There are two ways to pay, a ‘donate’ button where you choose what to contribute or a Google Checkout button, which is a $2 option and is what I paid. There is an option to download and read before paying  which, of course encourages one not to pay at all but I chose not to do so; I was good and I paid first. 🙂

A short excerpt from Wheaton’s site

It wasn’t the first time Pyke had pushed a rebel into the avenues. In the six months he’d been working for the Gan, he’d let dozens of terrified patriots think they were making their escape into the old city’s maze-like streets, only to trap them in one of its countless dead ends, where he’d have a little fun before turning them over to his masters.

The longer excerpt on the site is what prompted me to drop two smackeroos to read a few pages and while some may think it a lot to pay, I think it was well spent. I enjoyed the story and wished there had been more. Wished there had been a lot more! I found myself wanting more back story on the Gan and their invasion. I wanted to know more about the colony and learn the fate of Earth. I really wanted to know more about the Psykers and their powers. I think that’s a sign of a good short story, it leaves you wanting more rather than leaving you satisfied.

Check it out. You don’t have to pay the $2, you can choose the donate button and drop a dollar, the entertainment you’ll get in return is surely worth a buck, yes?

 

 

 

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