Aug 042014
 

Dirty Magic: Prospero's War: Book One MAGIC IS A DRUG. BE CAREFUL HOW YOU USE IT.

The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there’s a new blend out there that’s as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she’s brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realises she must secure a spot on the MEA task force.

Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier – on the same day she swore she’d given up dirty magic for good.

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with Urban Fantasy lately in that it all seemed quite similar and nothing was really grabbing me.  I was already a fan of Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane series, and the back blurb on Dirty Magic seemed a little different, enough to grab my attention and want to give it a go.

It did start a little slowly but it was a new version of our world to build and it was really interesting learning how potions have become part of normal, everyday life alongside conventional medicine.  I thought it was a really clever alternate commentary on how pharmaceuticals have done the same in our reality.  You have clean potions (legal) and dirty potions (illegal) and the alchemy adepts who brew or ‘cook’ them.  Covens instead of drug cartels, but it all results in addicts needing another fix and another dirty potion hitting the streets for those who are looking for the next big thing.  Addicts of clean potions like vanities, youth, weight loss or pain also hits home.

Kate Prospero is an excellent heroine – a former adept with a talent for making magic potions turned cop with a young brother to raise.  I understood her issues and felt for her for trying to make something good out of a life that dealt her a bad hand.  She isn’t a hugely powerful magic user, nor a clairvoyant, vampire etc.  In fact she goes out of her way not to use magic (sometimes a little too far) but for very good reasons (you have to read the book to find out what those are!).  She became a cop in order to balance the scales for what she had to do as a kid and that is where the brilliance of Dirty Magic comes in.  It’s a police procedural as much as an urban fantasy and it works very very well.  Wells’ research was meticulous and having read a lot of crime and thrillers, this was spot on for me.  Obviously the fantastical elements were included and I loved them!

I also thought I could see where the book was going to go when we were introduced very early to Kate’s ex, John Volos – fabulously rich, bad guy turned philanthropist (and I admit I rolled my eyes when I made that cynical snap judgment).  Full credit to Jaye Wells for completely surprising me in that regard!  The team of MEA agents were brilliant too and did much to flesh out the feel of this book – Mesmer and Morales in particular were my favourites but also Gardner for her sarcasm and no nonsense attitude.

I really liked the plot – seemed pretty simple at first but there were several layers to the story and it kept things interesting right to the end. So in spite of the slow start, everything else worked wonderfully and it was a really good book.

If like me, you have become a bit Urban Fantasy jaded – take it from me, this is something different that will really grab you!

Book Information
  • Author: Jaye Wells
  • Series: Prospero's War (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

May 092013
 

The Shambling Guide to New York City (The Shambling Guides) Zoe Norris is a successful guide book writer/editor who lost her job due to a dalliance with her boss.  Unfortunately the boss turned out to be married, a fact he’d neglected to tell Zoe until his wife, also the town’s Chief of Police found out and became very unhappy. Conveniently made redundant and strongly encouraged to leave town for her safety, she heads back to her home city of New York.  A job advert pinned up in a very odd old bookshop seemed tailor made for Zoe except that she keeps being told that she wouldn’t be suitable… Being human had never had a downside before.

This is the first book I’ve read by Mur Lafferty and I really enjoyed it.  A travel guide for the non-human visitors and denizens of New York City was a brilliant premise and the author built up a great cast of characters centred around Zoe.

Each chapter is separated with an excerpt from the guide and they make great little informational snippets that helped flesh out the ‘world’ Zoe never knew existed before applying for the job.  Often they relate to a place you’ve recently discovered in the story and it was a really nice touch.

Zoe herself is a really well written character, and I loved her a lot; her sense of humour is very appealing and matched well with my own.  She also has a huge amount of determination and balls of steel to enter into a world where she is at the bottom of the food chain… literally.  Her co-workers and new boss are brought to life (so to speak!) with equal care and attention and made this an extremely well rounded book.

The pace of the book was well measured; slow at the start while Zoe was still trying to come to terms with the massive change in her life and figuring out what her new direction would be.  As she discovered this supernatural half to the city she never knew about, it started to pick up.  As she got to grips with it and the story progressed, it sped up until it was running full tilt at the end.  I was quite breathless!

The plot was equally as measured, and we discovered the new ‘world’ at the same time as Zoe and went through it all with her.  From co-workers who would love to have her for dinner to weird and wonderful establishments catering to the weird and wonderful, it was a great read.  What really made it good though, was the threat hanging over her that someone was out to get her and would stop at nothing to mess with her life.  Who that was, was very well concealed, and I was kept guessing right to the end.  The action scenes were entertaining, sometimes funny and it was a refreshing change to have a heroine who wasn’t suddenly a kick ass fighter with unimaginable power.  She was however organised enough to keep working on the book as her new found life threatened to come crashing down around her!

In summary, this is a great book and highly recommended to fans of Urban Fantasy.  I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Mur Lafferty
  • Series: The Shambling Guides (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Apr 212013
 

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson) Charley Davidson, Private Investigator and the only Grim Reaper this side of Mars.

When I started this book, it was with every intention of writing the review before moving on to the next one. The problem is (if it’s actually a problem) is that I adore these books, they are such fun, and I love every last thing about them. Which of course means I couldn’t help myself and tore straight into the next book!  But anyway, here we are now.  This is the second book in the series so if you haven’t yet read First Grave on the Right then do so quickly!

Charley herself is a wonderful character, flaws and all.  Her habit of naming things makes me laugh every damn time.  Danger and Will Robinson (Left and right breasts) are two of her major assets and quite often come up in conversation.  Her inner monologue is hilarious and while this series isn’t intended to be comedy based, Darynda Jones has a natural flair for making Charley extremely funny.  It’s not all laughs, there is a serious side to her as well.  The penchant for people trying to kill her as well as the often poignant duties of her unchosen career as the Grim Reaper.  Most people cross when they die, but those that stay because of unfinished business can see her as a bright beacon from wherever they are and sometimes that can be quite sad.

The side characters are just as good – Cookie, Garret, Uncle Bob – all have a special place in my heart and their involvement is what make the books such a complete read.  Then there is Reyes Farrow.  Hottie extraordinaire and a supernatural being like Charley.  Along with the main case there is usually a side plot running and it’s usually to do with Reyes.  He has a plan that will keep Charley safe, only it means he will die.  She is not on board with that idea at all.  Their interactions leave me breathless… half snarky conversation, half red hot passion.

I loved the plot in this one – A friend of Cookie’s has gone missing and she is frantic to find her.  As the investigation continues it unearths a secret from high school decades ago, that will affect some very powerful people.

I can’t help but make a comparison to Stephanie Plum but Charley Davidson, with her paranormal issues, wins hands down for me!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Darynda Jones
  • Series: Charley Davidson (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jan 312013
 

Fortress Frontier (Shadow Ops 2) ***Please note there may be some very minor spoilers for Control Point in this review***

Fortress Frontier has an interesting and surprising start, not at all what I expected.  Not only are we seeing it from the perspective of someone different to Control Point, but the events overlap slightly, revealing new details about the previous story.  Colonel Alan Bookbinder (US Military) isn’t a front line soldier but the man behind the scenes.  All the things that need to be kept track of, for resupply, for scheduling, he is responsible for and he likes it that way, feels comfortable with it, even if he feels it is all he is.  After a weird dream and a day feeling like he is drowning, he realises something has fundamentally changed.  He’s a latent, and like a good soldier, he follows orders and turns himself in… and that’s when his life really goes to hell.

If I’d known about the change of character before I started reading, I might have been worried but actually I thought it worked really well, even if it was unexpected.  Alan is an interesting if unassuming character, worried about his family, and the impact his change has on his life is monumental.  The differences between Alan and Oscar are huge but they are both good people and their individual characteristics have you rooting for them very quickly.

That’s not to say Oscar doesn’t feature, he does and I really liked the way Myke Cole wove the story, moving to integrate the two characters in small steps.  I loved the way Alan slowly comes out of his shell, as events in the world progress around him. He grows in confidence and attitude until he becomes the man and leader I think he was meant to be.  I can only say again how fascinating and beautiful I find the source world, Cole’s creation of this rich magical but deadly world is amazing and I’m glad we get to see more of it in this book.  The intricacies in the way he describes the magical talents, their creative uses and peeks at how they might be used if the military wasn’t keeping them locked up tight for their own uses.  It’s just wonderful and superbly done.

We also get to see more of the impact of magic on the ‘home’ world, the government’s rigidly tight grip on it and the resistance that wants to bring it all toppling down and I can’t honestly blame them.

The story is a little more straightforward in Fortress Frontier but it doesn’t lose any impact despite that. It was still gripping and there were a couple of twists that had me exclaiming aloud!  The action is just as intense and emotional as the first book and Myke Cole’s writing style is so easy to read, I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished.  The supporting cast again were brilliant and we get to see some familiar faces and several new ones. When the end came, I was almost beside myself and chattered at my husband about it for quite a while; he’s used to that when I’ve been really caught up in a book.

If I thought the first book was great (which I did!), then this second novel is just superb.  The third book can’t come along soon enough, I need to know about the things that happened but can’t mention because of big spoilers!!

Highly, highly recommended to anyone who likes urban military fantasy, but do start with the first book in the series, Control Point!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Myke Cole
  • Series: Shadow Ops (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jan 302013
 

Control Point (Shadow Ops 1) In the great Reawakening, magic has flowed into the world and those who manifest latent talents must hand themselves in immediately and become part of the Supernatural Operations Corps. In the name of public safety new laws and restrictions have risen to control and govern magic.  The only other option is to run and be branded a ‘selfer’, one who is selfish and doesn’t care about anyone but themselves.  They are to be hunted down and forced to join the SOC, killed if they resist.  And that’s only if you manifest in an approved ‘school’.  If your talent is in a prohibited (probe) school, there is no chance, it is illegal and you must be destroyed.

Oscar Britton is a Lieutenant in the US Army, and has always believed in what they do, even when working alongside the Supernatural Operations Corps.  However, his faith is shattered while hunting down a selfer and a probe and he learns the hard way that being a probe is an automatic death sentence.  When his own latent ability manifests in a prohibited school, he realises the choice isn’t a choice at all and runs.  Now he is the one being hunted.

I started writing this review several times only to stop, delete and start again.  My instinct is to cry ‘OMG this book is amazing!’, but I think it needs a little more consideration than that.

Oscar is a first class character, admirable, likeable and troubled.  I found it very easy to empathise with him and what he believes to be right and wrong.  He is humane and hates seeing cruelty done to people, even those whose actions perhaps deserve it.  On the other hand he is very much an army man, it’s his family and his purpose in life and when he is cast adrift from it, I could feel his pain and loneliness.  I thought they way he just wanted a home again, to feel like he belonged to something greater than himself was very cleverly written. This then allows Myke to remind us that being forced to do something and choosing to do something are two very different things.  He is thrust into an alien world where the rules of conduct he has been taught all of his army life just don’t apply anymore.  He is now a weapon and owned by the US government, being trained how to point so they can shoot.

The world that Myke Cole created was fascinating and he populated it with wonderfully detailed creatures that capture the imagination.  Some of them are terrifying but beautiful.  I loved the friendly ‘goblins’, the indigenous sentient population although I’m not too sure about how they honour their dead!  I did growl several times at the way they were treated, as little more than slaves rather than allies.

There are several supporting characters who are well fleshed out.  I either loved or hated them, but all of them moved me on an emotional level whether bad or good.

The first thing I did when I finished Control Point was to spend several hours thinking about Control Point; I went to bed thinking about it and I woke up with it still on my mind. There is no black and white, only some nasty shades of grey relieved by a few rays of light.  Oscar in desperation makes some seemingly extreme decisions and the ramifications are going to be huge.  There was a twist at the end which I honestly didn’t see coming and it made me want to howl.  The ending seemed fitting and right, almost calm, but I can only imagine the storm which is coming.

I had a little trouble with Oscar’s wavering commitment and decision making, but ultimately I understood it.  He chose to join the army and believed in it.  He is being forced to serve now, controlled by people who see him as nothing more than a weapon and as he manifested in an illegal school, he has absolutely no choice.

I loved the magic system, it was extremely well created and the uses for each of the schools were fascinating and imaginative.  Even the prohibited schools had their place, even though ‘illegal’.  I liked the call signs a lot and it appealed to my inner superhero fangirl.

The military side of the story was extremely crisp and well envisioned, clearly something Myke Cole has personal experience of.  While Jargon is used, it doesn’t overwhelm and he includes a handy glossary of terms at the back of the book.

The action is just full on, exciting and the battle scenes are depicted in realistic terms, often poignant and shocking.  The inclusion of magic in these fights doesn’t seem out of place at all and make for extremely gripping reading.

This is an amazingly well written debut novel, descriptive, imaginative and easy to read. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Fortress Frontier and see what the outfall has been of Oscar’s actions.

Highly recommended for anyone who loves urban fantasy, futuristic military novels or superheroes.  Control Point is a fantastic blend of all three!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Myke Cole
  • Series: Shadow Ops (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jan 092013
 

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson) Darynda Jones is an author I kept meaning to read and I’d had this book for quite a while, waiting to be picked up.  Having just finished it I’m kicking myself now.  I loved it, loved the main character of Charlotte (Charley) Davidson and her snarky, sarcastic personality, madcap ways and unique gifts.  Her best friend and receptionist Cookie is adorable and I loved the way they bounced off each other.

I thought it a nice touch that while being the Grim Reaper is who she is, she is also a PI and often the two go hand in hand.  Of course when the client can tell you where the body/treasure/will is, it makes it a damn sight easier.  Add in the consultant work for the police and she is a definite asset to her Uncle on the local police force (and her father before that).  I thought the misery her gifts had brought her throughout her life were extremely touching and wow do I want to give her step-mother a good smack!

Jones didn’t lay everything out for us at the start, she gave us a few key facts and then we made discoveries along with Charley.  Her gifts were fascinating and it felt a little like several concepts were brought together in her but managed to avoid being cliched or full of tropes.  I think it was extremely clever writing.  The cast of characters are all lively in their own way (even the dead ones) and brought colour and excitement to the story.

The pace of the book was well judged, at times a bit chaotic, but it also meant I was gripped and didn’t want to put it down.

The parts I must touch on because they were very, very good – The mystery of Reyes, the hot dream/ghostly lover is… hot ;)  I wouldn’t mind having a few dreams like that to be honest!

The case of the three dead lawyers (not a joke!) Charley gets involved in is interesting and I loved how the ghosts themselves get involved.  It was inventive and funny and the story is quite light hearted in tone which makes the dark parts seem much darker.

While the story does contain some hot scenes, I would consider this to be more Urban Fantasy based than Paranormal Romance but fans of both genres should enjoy First Grave on the Right.

A brilliant first book in this series and I can’t wait to read Second Grave on the Left which I have right here!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Darynda Jones
  • Series: Charley Davidson (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Nov 282012
 

Cold Days: A Dresden Files Novel Harry Dresden is back, and mostly kicking!  Being reunited with the body he is pretty fond of comes with a price; he now wears the mantle of the Winter Knight, the burden he tried so hard to avoid. Something is badly wrong in the Winter Court of Faerie and it’s now his job to solve it.  The pay freeze sucks though.

After the emotional overload of Ghost Story it was good to get back to a more ‘normal’ Harry (read those quotes as huge honking flashing ones!).  Apart from the first few chapters, the majority of the book takes place in a very short space of time, so the pace of the story as you can imagine is pretty much full on, breathtaking, balls to the wall action.

To say Harry is on a huge learning curve would be an understatement but he still manages with gusto, witty comments and his own imitable style. He gets reunited with most of the people I have grown to love and I consider them to be an integral part of Harry’s world.  Things changed however during the course of the previous book so it’s not just Mr Dresden who is learning a new way.

There are so many things I want to mention about this book but they would be complete spoilers so I will just say this – The things… that happened!  OMG NO WAY! and finally, Awesome!!  I think that about covers it ;)

I loved Cold Days so much, Jim Butcher’s writing style is so distinctive yet eminently readable and the flow just drags you in deeper, while the charm wraps itself around you and before you know it, you are caught.  Add in the laugh out loud moments, the pop-culture jokes, the shocks that smack you upside the head but then make complete sense and you have a book that stands head and shoulders above anything else in the genre.

I think Jim Butcher is holding out on us, I think he is a wizard and enthralls his readers, with his books as spells.  Or you know, he is just an awesomely good writer ;)  Either way, you need to read Cold Days!  If you haven’t experienced Harry Dresden yet, track down a copy of the first book Storm Front and get started, you won’t regret it!  I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Jim Butcher
  • Series: Dresden Files (14)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Oct 312012
 

God Save the Queen: Book 1 of the Immortal Empire I loved this book so much! Set in the modern world but with a twist; Victoria is still on the throne and is celebrating her 175th year, the aristocracy are vampires and werewolves with the lower classes being half breeds or humans.  Then there are goblins, a mutation of all the others.  The British Empire is still very much in effect except for the Americas and Canada which were conceded and of course, world history for the last 3 centuries is very different from our own.

Kate Locke managed to pack so much into God Save the Queen but it never felt too wordy or heavy on explanation as to how and why the world is at as it is.  Electricity, computers, cars, motorbikes and mobile phones are all present but are a bit different than what we know.  They are named in keeping with the setting and so well described, you could clearly envision it.  The genetic side was just brilliant, the evolution of vampires, werewolves and goblins, starting from the bubonic plague.  It was clearly laid out and a matter of fact part of life.

Our heroine is Alexandra Vardan, the half blooded daughter of an aristocrat and I absolutely love her.  She’s feisty, intelligent and loves her siblings to the point she would walk happily into danger for them. As a member of the Royal Guard, it’s her duty to protect the aristocracy but as her youngest sister goes missing, Xandra has to go against everything she has been taught, if she has a chance to find her.  What she finds is something that shocks her to her core and suddenly nothing is what it seems.

The pace of the book was exciting and fast but the few quieter periods were well timed and a much needed break for both reader and heroine!  The plot was just phenomenal, I loved it all.  I was actually sad when the book finished but only because I didn’t have the next one!  I also liked how the romantic scenes were not played out in full, it left a lot to the imagination and it suited the story perfectly.  And Vex, he is one sexy scottish wolf!

In terms of genre, I would put this book in Urban fantasy.  It does have the twist of steampunk but the setting and language are modern. I liked how words and phrases had carried on from Victoria but became more modern.  I am also stealing ‘hatters’!

God Save the Queen is a fantastic debut by Kate Locke and I highly recommend it!  A fresh and wonderful voice to Urban Fantasy.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kate Locke
  • Series: The Immortal Empire (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Oct 122012
 

Tracey and I were lucky enough to meet Suzanne McLeod at a recent book launch and in addition to her being a fascinating lady to talk to, we were intrigued by the sound of her Spellcrackers urban fantasy series.

Suzanne McLeod is the author of the Spellcrackers.com urban fantasy series about magic, mayhem and murder – liberally spiced with hot guys, kick-ass chicks and super-cool supes! The Shifting Price of Prey – #4 – is her latest book. Suzanne has been a cocktail waitress, dance group roadie, and retail manager before becoming a writer. She was born in London (her favourite city and home to Spellcrackers.com) and is now lucky enough to live with her husband on the sunny (sometimes) South Coast of England, about a mile away from the sea.

Now on with the irreverence!

What would you be or want to be (or still are), if you weren’t an author?
I’ve always wanted to be a musician and play the saxophone, only problem is I have no musical talent. :-(

Do you have any rituals or processes before you can start writing?
I don’t – other than I have to have numerous cups of tea (black, green or herbal! I don’t care which, so long as it’s available :-D)!

Describe your working environment right now (desk, sofa, bathroom, etc.)
I have a comfy office chair and a small laptop table tucked into the corner of our lounge.

How did you celebrate when your first book was published?
We, Mr Mc and I, always open a bottle of bubbly to metaphorically wet the new book’s pages! And I like to treat myself with something that’s relevant (in some way) to the book. (The picture shows something for each of my books, plus the short story – Full-Scale Demolition. The partly hidden item on the necklace with the blue bottle and gold coin is deliberately obscured to prevent a spoiler. *teases*)

Whose opinion matters most to you?
This is a difficult one as it changes depending on what stage the current book is at. Initially it’s the opinion of my editor and my beta readers, and later, once the book’s published, it’s the opinion of those readers who love the previous books in the series and who hopefully love the latest.

Do you get fully dressed to write?
Usually. Though there has been the odd occasion when I’ve started early and I’ve still been in my PJs at lunchtime!

What gets you in the mood or inspires you to write?
Thinking about my characters and what they could get up to next usually inspires me. After that it’s the actual act of writing; the more I write, the more I want to.

What is the best experience you’ve had with fans?
Every email or comment from a reader who tells me that they love my characters always make my heart sing. Sounds a bit sappy, but it’s true. :-)

What do you value most?
My family, friends, and my health.

How do you deal with negative comments?
I try not to. I find that negative comments can sometimes hound me like a Black Dog, so I’ve learned not to even read them.

It’s movie night, the credits are just about to roll, Happy Ever After, Everyone Dies, Or…?
Oh, this is a hard one . . . I definitely don’t like Everyone Dies (that last episode of Angel :-( ) but Happy Every After is too Disney, so I think a mix of Happy For Now and the characters heading off to do interesting things. (I should add that my comments here in no way indicate what will happen at the end of Genny’s last book . . . *looks innocent*)

What do you do to relax?
Read, watch TV, bake, and walk – sometimes more than one of those things at the same time.

Do you have pets, and if so, describe them?
This year we’ve had a litter of fox cubs in the garden. They’ve been wonderful to watch, though sadly we’ve had to stop feeding them so that they’ll split up and find their own territories, as nature intends. This hasn’t gone down well with them, for obvious reasons, though they still look extremely healthy so we know they’re not starving. There are more pictures here and and we have some videos here

What are your preferred conditions for writing, i.e. silence, background noise, TV?
I prefer silence, though if there’s a lot of noise around then I stick the headphones in, turn the volume up high, and drown it out.

What is your favourite type of music?
I’m not much of a music person (I don’t have much time to listen to it now) but two artists I love are Seal , my fav of his is Kiss from a Rose; and Queen, my fav of theirs is A Kind of Magic (well, my husband is a McLeod of McLeod!*g*).

Do you have any phobias?
Yes! Elfs! A.k.a Eight Legged Freaks or arachnids. I’m so phobic that I’m thinking of taking the ‘Friendly Spider’ course that London Zoo does to try and cure it.

Slippers, socks or barefoot?
Barefoot!

Many thanks to Suzanne McLeod for taking the time to answer our questions, and if you want to know more about the author, visit her Website, Twitter or Facebook!

Pictures provided by and used with permission of Suzanne McLeod
Author photograph copyright Rob Monk


Suzanne’s latest book, The Shifting Price of Prey – Spellcrackers#4 is out now!

Sometimes a bit of magical help might cost more than you bargained for . . .

London is hosting the Carnival Fantastique, and Genny’s job has never been busier or more fulfilling. Only not everyone is so happy. Genny believed she’d cracked the fae’s infertility curse . . . but the fae are still barren. It’s a devastating plight to which the mysterious Emperor may have the solution – if Genny can find him.

She needs help.

She turns to the vampire Malik al-Khan, only to find he’s wrestling with his own demons and, when the police request Genny’s assistance with a magical kidnap, her own problems multiply too. Is it all unconnected, or can the Emperor help her solve more than the fae’s infertility? Soon Genny is hard on his trail, so it seems she’ll have a chance to ask . . . but will the answer cost more than she’s willing to pay?


Irreverent Questions is BookThing‘s fun, feature where we ask a series of random questions that popped into Grete’s curious head. If you are an author and would like to take part, please get in touch!

Jul 032012
 

Fair Game: An Alpha and Omega novel With the werewolves ‘out’ in society, the time has come for them to start integrating, to show they aren’t monsters without restraints or morals.  When a serial killer is on the loose in Boston, targeting werewolves and fae, the FBI turn to Bran as The Marrock for help.  As the ultimate head of the American werewolves, he sends Anna and his son Charles to help.

Considering that this successful set of books developed out of a short story that was set in the world of the author’s main series, it’s a pretty amazing feat.  That it’s also eminently readable and enjoyable with characters I’ve loved since that short story, is nothing short of amazing and a testament to the writing skill and imagination of Patricia Briggs.

Fair game is book three in the Alpha and Omega series and despite the two year gap in time between the release of Hunting Ground and Fair Game, the flow, writing and characters remained consistent.  I’d been hoping she would return to the characters of Anna and Charles, as they have become as dear to me as Mercy Thompson.  While you do get mentions of the others from time to time, I would dearly love to read a book that had them all in, now that would be heaven!

Anna has come a long way from the mentally and physically abused wolf we first met in Cry Wolf.  She is married to Charles and understands her role as Omega much more.  In fact it was a treat to see her confident and using the power she has grown into.  Charles I adore and want to smack in equal measure which for me, is about the right tone for an alpha male; dominant yet endearing.  I really felt for the problems they had between them, with Charles being his father’s enforcer, carries out the Marrock’s justice.  I don’t know how anyone could have carried that weight around without it affecting them and it was sad to see it causing a rift between them.

I loved the plot of Fair Game, it actually felt more like a supernatural mystery than traditional urban fantasy and a really good one at that.  The interactions of Anna and Charles with the FBI and the police were sometimes very funny, and Anna’s instructions on how to deal with an Alpha werewolf were well done, even if people then chose not to follow them.

These books are just so easy to read, entertaining and engaging that I before I started Fair Game, I actually read the previous books again right from the short story.  It only took me a couple of days and confirmed how much I love them.  As with all series I love, I just want more and I’m hoping that the consequences of the ending means there will definitely be more coming.

Fair Game is a wonderful read that charms and entertains while sneaking ever more into your heart.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Patricia Briggs
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)