Sunday, August 21, 2016

What Angels Fear

by C. S.  Harris

Sebastian St. Cyr is a nobleman who's been accused of murder. All the evidence points to him, but he swears he is innocent. His father wants to send him away so he won't have to face prosecution, but Sebastian is determined to find the true killer and clear his name. As he is dodging arrest, he is blamed for killing an officer as well and now the police are on an all out manhunt.

Sebastian is assisted by some stereotypical cohorts, an ex fiancee turned lady of the night and an Oliver-esque kid on the streets. And as is the case with many of these period English stories, it can be confusing keeping up with all the characters due to the many names and titles by which they are called. There are some pretty gross crime scene descriptions and ahead of the times police work, but even so, What Angels Fear incorporates some Regency history and is a good start to a who done it series.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Paper Magician

by Charlie Holmberg

Somehow I missed the tidbit about The Paper Magician being a YA novel (because it wasn't mentioned), but even that doesn't excuse this POOR writing, characterization and plot- or lack thereof. Not even sure I should continue this review except for you Twilight fans out there, who may like this book too.

After Ceony receives high marks on her final exam, she is apprenticed to a paper magician to learn the craft of magical paper folding, about which she is less than excited. Her tutee is sort of a recluse, who she dislikes and falls in love with, in all of 10 pages. His ex-fiancee, Lira, also a paper magician, is angry with him and on a mission to destroy him. Once under her spell, it is up to Ceony to save him.

I generally give bonus points to author's with unique storylines, but this was so poorly executed I have a hard time extending awards to it.

Shockingly there are three books in this series, so some people liked it, just not me.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hard Magic

by Larry Correia

There's a lot going on in this first installment of the Grimnoir series! For starters, it is a semi-historical alternate universe of the 1930's; a place where various types of magic runs through a special segment of the population, some who use it for good and others for evil. Jake Sullivan, an ex-war hero and ex-con, joins forces with Hoover and the FBI to hunt down some of these bad guys in order to get an early release. He teams up with several other "specials," in particular a teen from Oklahoma who seems to have more than one kind of magic, something almost unheard of. There are multiple fighting, shoot 'em up scenes, and an ending that doesn't quite leave you satisfied... because of course there are another two books (and perhaps more)?

Correia has done a good job of making a believable world with interesting characters and a unique story. There are a lot of pages, but it's a relatively fast read. Hard Magic is kind of fantasy, noir, historical and action/adventure wrapped up in one tale. I think this book would appeal to a variety of readers, it's pretty fun.