Book: Christine Warren’s ‘She’s No Faerie Princess’ – “Given the way his night had been going so far, he didn’t have time to go to jail”

This was published in 2006 and was one of the earliest urban fantasy books that I read that wasn’t by Kelley Armstrong.

Fiona is actually a fae princess, she is Queen Mab’s niece. However she would rather pop to earth and go to a punk club that stay in a palace.

she's no faerie princess

Whilst popping she encounters a very large demon that wants to eat her and a werewolf who wants to get in her pants.

The book wanders along happily, with some sex, some mild detective work and mild paranormal stuff.

It’s not a bad book whilst not being terribly challenging or original. However once I’d read it more than twice I found that I had little interest in rereading it and was keeping it around more as a security blanket than anything else.

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Book: H P Mallory’s ‘Fire burn and cauldron bubble’ – “When a business partner’s friend sticks her ass in your face, discussing the weather is the best line of recourse.”

‘Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble’ is book 1 in the Jolie Wilkins Series and is apparently a paranormal romance novel – although the cover art makes me think it is more likely to be chick lit with a couple of magic spells thrown in. But I’m still feeling under the weather so something easy to read might be a nice distraction for a couple of hours – oh yes and it was free.

I haven’t read much chick lit but the main character in this book seems ridiculously dumb and in need of more rescuing than most. Jolie is so dumb that she doesn’t know how long a fortnight is, that is insanely stupid and I’m not sure what the book telling the reader that was meant to inspire – distain, pity, homicidal wishes?

Her best friend Christia is a flat out slut and not really a good friend at all – by page 21 I am already expecting her to be behind a pretty horrendous betrayal before the book is done.

Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble

By page 30 I want to stop reading, it doesn’t make any sense – a random warlock (with a British accent) walks into some shop in Nowhereville in America in the present day and convinces the tarot card reading owner to come with him to Chicago to find out who killed a person in the 1920s. She gets all hot and bothered by him, but goes anyway, takes her slutty friend and tries to ignore her attraction to the warlock.

There have been little attempt at characterisation or scene setting, everyone is annoying and shallow, the writing is basic and has no depth or descriptions.  I can’t see there being any payoff if I continue to read but I can’t work out where this drivel is going.

Slogged through to page 60, ok stupid Jolie has managed to go to a fancy dress party and sign her life away to being a glorified supernatural slave and will have to give up her old life – instead going to live in England with the warlock. What a weird concept for a plot, they would have been better off not involving vampires and supernatural unions as the author isn’t capable of writing romantic drivel between a stupid little girl and a warlock, much less anything deeper or more complicated.

I skipped from page 62 to about the last ten pages of the book and just about managed to slog through those. The writing gets worse, I’m not even going to comment on the awful writing dialogue in accents attempt, Jolie needs shooting and ending the book on (spoiler?) fairies joining the fight against the mean female witch who invited Jolie to the fancy dress party back on page 60 ish.

Book deleted with joy in my heart.

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Book: Stacey Jay’s ‘Blood on the Bayou’ – “We’re people who knew older versions of each other too well to ever see the new person standing in front of us”

I gave away ‘dead on the delta’ after reading it once, but it came back so I felt I should reread it to see if it improved after the shock value of needless cruelty to animals was diminished because I knew it was coming (and could skip over those sections).

Skipping those section meant it was actually ok on second read and I was curious as to where the plot was going, so I found a very cheap copy of book two ‘Blood on the Bayou’ to call my own.

It built on from the first book rather nicely, there are still mosquito-sized fairies with poisonous bites, Annabelle is still rather dysfunctional but now has the start of powers from the injection that the invisible Tucker gave her. I won’t comment on anything else that Tucker is also giving Annabelle as Cane is still on the scene…

Blood on the Bayou

Also Hitch is still hanging around – despite having a pregnant fiancée, and wants Annabelle’s help investigating what seems to be a secret government funded lab.

The book twists and turns somewhat, to the point where no one can be trusted and unfortunately it doesn’t get resolve in this book… nor has a sequel come out yet… so if you are impatient I wouldn’t suggest reading this book just yet…

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Book: Stacey Jay’s ‘Dead in the Delta’ – “Monsters come in every sex, color and creed, and hold a wide variety of jobs.”

It is refreshingly low pressure to pick up a book expecting to find it dire. I had heard awful things about the main character in ‘Dead in the Delta’ and had invested a whole 1 pence in purchasing the book (plus £2.80 postage).

Annabelle Lee is described on the back over as a “hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead”, what this means in real terms is that she is a functioning alcoholic, at times barely functioning but still doing way better than Chess in a similar urban fantasy series.

The background is that a terrorist blew up a chemical plant and it mutated fairies into human-flesh craving monsters. Once a human is bitten by a fairy they die, get put into a camp or, if they are immune they work for the government.

Annabelle is immune and works picking up samples from the swamp, but mostly she drinks and shags her cop boyfriend.  However booze transpires to be a pretty tame bad habit as the drug of choice in this post-fairy-mutation world is Breeze, which is a combination of fairy poo and bleach.

dead on the delta

At this point I did wonder about the sanity of Stacy Jay’s imagination, this idle pondering turned into outright disgust after details of cats being drowned and bunnies being killed with rocks. It didn’t seem necessary and if it hadn’t been for these I would have called the book surprisingly good – for cheap trash that features cheap trash, although ‘Game of Thrones’ has rather taken any surprise out of a blonde haired child being the product of incest.

As it is I’m cheerfully going to drop it at a charity shop and avoid Jay’s work in future.

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Nails: Fairy nails – “All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust”

Having recently read ‘Wicked Lovely‘ I have fairies on the brain, so matching fairy nails would be the icing on the cake – especially if they looked like these!

fairy nails
(Photo from ink361.com)

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Book: Melissa Marr’s ‘Wicked Lovely’ – “Just tender feelings walking around exposed in their delicate shells…Easy to crush.”

I am starting to wonder if I am being overly fussy of late, there seem to be more things that I am under-impressed with than usual and I am listening to a lot of shouty music (I woke up with Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Sin’ stuck in my head and Skinlab’s ‘Come and Get It’ seems to have been on loop this week). So I decided to curl up with a book and not multi-task!

‘Wicked Lovey’ had a cute quote on the front cover, “Never speak to invisible faeries” and the quote on the back of the book was intriguing too “If she ran, they’d chase: faeries always gave chase.”

wicked lovely

This fits with the fae folk in the stories that I grew up with , from Grimm’s tales to Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’, Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ and Pratchett’s ‘Lords and Ladies’. In these the fae weren’t nice, they were just so pretty that people forgot what they were like, to quote ‘Lords and Ladies’ “If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are.”

Aislinn has a stupid name and can see faeries, she just tries really really hard to pretend that she doesn’t so that the fae don’t find out her secret. Then Keenan, the Summer King, starts stalking her and stuff happens.

The book started well and had some pretty imagery, for example “The vine-girl in the suit was there again. She looked up from her newest menagerie of origami animals – which were now walking around as if they were alive. “Told you, Cerise,” she said, and went back to folding more leaves.”

However some of the characters were a little too two-dimensional for my tastes and at times they were so immature that it was obviously a Young Adult (YA) book. Keenan is more of a princeling than a king, he is immature and self-centred, he has a panto style relationship with his mother who is a paint-by-numbers Disney cartoon villain and Aislinn is pretty shallow too!

goblin market

In keeping with the general framework of a Young Adult book there was no actual sex, but there were numerous references to “the Summer girls” being very open to anyone’s attentions in bed, one in particular that surprised me was:

“Once they’re Summer Girls, their inhibitions are gone. Remember Eliza when she was a mortal? Not the least bit affectionate.” He took a long drink and sighed. “Now she’s much more receptive.”

I personally feel that this is uber creepy and sounds far too close to grooming or spiking drinks. ‘Wicked Lovely’ is also the first Young Adult book in which I’ve encountered clear rape references or tests for sexually transmitted diseases “test results for everything from HIV to chlamydia”. I’m a fan of educated teens (and adults!), but it was a bit of a shocker to trip over these sentences.

lords and ladies

I’m going to stick with less STD-ridden fae from now on, Pratchett had it spot on in his depiction:

“Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.”

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