Book: Brad Magnarella’s Demon Moon – “Something tells me I’m in over my head.”

This might sound like a tangent, however I don’t like Spider-Man; the reason I don’t like Spider-man is he has a day job which allows him to muddle along in a hand-to-mouth sort of way and then an unpaid night job which puts him through hell and jeopardises everything good in his life – including his crumby day job

demon moon

This basically sums up Everson Croft’s life, he has some powers but isn’t really that in control of the potential those powers bring, he has a day job that is constantly suffering from his underpaid night activities as a wizard and he’s rather dull

 

‘Demon Moon’ is a readable book, it just isn’t terribly memorable and wasn’t my idea of good fun – I’m look for escapism not a meagre mundane existence with the occasional monster

 

*Link to Amazon if you are so inclined*

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Book: Shayne Silvers’ ‘Obsidian Son’ – “Then I was off again, feeling marginally better”

It’s very hard to have anything truly original given how many things have gone before, however it’s a little tricky to think of anything except “Batman with magic” at most of the backstory for the main character of ‘Obsidian Son’

Nate Temple has dead parents, who had a company they owned and was named after them, they left him lots and lots of money, he’s an arrogant prick, he fights crime (sort of), has friends with ‘powers’ and lots of inexplicably hot ladies seek him out

obsidian son

So yes Batman with magic that he very rarely uses and a city with a dragon problem… it’s a pretty decent sounding plot however the writing is basic and rather juvanile, plus it did feel like the book went on for an awfully long time in particular as Nate really is a clueless prick for the vast majority of it…

Due to Kindle Unlimited I didn’t pay money for it so yeah it was ok I suppose, really cant be bothered to faff with putting a link in for it though.

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Book: Last Mercy Thompson book that I owned – paste tense is deliberate.

Popping this up before Monday so that I can get the books to the charity shop this weekend.

The Mercy Thompson series started off so well, Mercy was funny and practical – if a little impulsive.

Then she just got dumber as she spent more time around werewolves.

There are currently eight books in the series (at least 11 are planned) and I owned five out of the first six.

  • Moon Called
  • Blood Bound
  • Iron Kissed
  • Bone Crossed
  • Silver Bourne – I didn’t have but did read ages ago from the library
  • River Marked – very cheap charity shop purchase
  • Frost Burned – released in 2013 I have not read
  • Night Broken – released in 2014 I have not read

river marked

Either way I don’t own it to re-read and won’t lose any sleep over this!

I do however have ‘River Marked’ and the plot is Mercy has now married Adam but Adam lets the fae send them camping by a river for their honeymoon.

There are monsters in the river and people are disappearing. Which means Mercy now has to save the day at great personal cost AGAIN.

On the plus side we get to find out that Mercy’ father is Coyote – THE Coyote from the Native American legends. Which is probably how she’s survived her stupid stunts for so long.

I am done with this series, the first book was good but everything that followed either wasn’t a good – too much focus on vampires, or was just stupid.

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Book: Patricia Briggs’ ‘Bone Crossed’ – “One of the oddest things about being grown-up was looking back at something you thought you knew and finding out the truth of it was completely different from what you had always believed”

At the end of book 3 Mercy was raped and some aftermath of this event was depicted.

Book 4 ‘Bone Crossed’ starts at the place book 3 let off – there is actually some scene overlap, and then Mercy goes off charging into another adventure.

At this point my suspension of disbelief got annoyed and stopped playing.

bone crossed

If Mercy really is part of the pack now and really is Adam’s mate then why the BLEEP isn’t anyone protecting her?

Why the BLEEP is everyone saying “ok” to her running out of state pretty much on her own – everyone keeps saying how vampires cant be trusted so Stefan shouldn’t count even if he is ok for a vampire, to investigate a haunting at the house of her old college ‘friend’ who just happens to live in the State where a vampire known as The Monster lives!

Everyone treats Mercy as some sort of supernatural punching bag and it just isn’t fun to read anymore.

The plot is rubbish too, but that is almost by the way compared to my indignation at everyone assuming Mercy will be ok and then blaming her when the sh*t hits the fan!

I remember disliking book 3 but book 4 is just boring and stupid.

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Book: Patricia Briggs’ ‘Iron Kissed’ – “It was like being leaned on by a very heavy, warm brick. A sexy brick”

‘Iron Kissed’ is the third book in the Mercy Thompson series and the one that I knew I had issues with.

The issue is largely around my personal feeling that rape is not a valid plot device. I am aware that it is a handy way of putting a female led in peril but it crops up in a fair number of urban fantasy books to the extent that it feels like rape is being trivialised.

With the Mercy Thompson series you can at least say it was foreshadowed so wasn’t a complete surprise, in the first book Moon Called there is heavy implication of something inappropriate and sexual happening to a young teen who is being held hostage and Mercy’s branding of someone as a rapist, in book 2 Blood Bound Mercy concludes the chap she accused of being a rapist probably isn’t but she uses a rape analogy for when a vampire fed from her without consent – I can see why that would feel a potentially appropriate description as it is a bodily violation.

iron kissed

(It is curiously hard to find images of the old UK covers online despite the fact they are far more tasteful than the US covers or the new UK ones)

Which means that is isn’t a huge surprise that book three goes THERE, I dislike the scene but at least Briggs does deal a bit with the aftermath, Mercy isn’t magically expected to pick herself and carry on as normal – except she sort of does.

What I find most disappointing is that the rest of the book is actually interesting, ok so there isn’t much werewolf stuff or shifter stuff but the fae plotline is really interesting and was something that I’d have liked to not associate with rape.

On the plus side, the book does at least make sure the reader will remember to not trust the fae.

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TV: Sleepy Hollow – “no more first-hand accounts of witches or founding fathers. Or donut tax outrage unless you want to be sent back to the asylum”

The premise of the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ TV series is an odd one, Ichabod Crane is resurrected two and a half centuries after his death in the Revolutionary War and finds himself working with Police Lt. Abbie Mills.

Nicole Beharie is fab as Abbie and forms a superb odd pairing with Tom Mison’s Crane. The strength of their interactions really sets this series apart from anything else currently on television.

I can’t really explain the storyline in a way that does it justice – I really enjoy the culture clash between Crane’s historical viewpoint and the modern reality he now finds himself in. That combined with the supernatural elements just works for me!

sleepy hollow

Season 1 was entertaining purely on “this is different” and whilst season 2 did flag a little in the middle it ended on a high to the extent that now it has finished I am finding myself looking forward to season 3.

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Book: Dawn Nicole Stevens’ ‘Forgotten (The Mystikó-lykos Series Book 1)’ – “Things between them would be different now that she remembered who she was”

So far free Kindle books are broadening my horizons – in so far as I now really understand that something which is free can still feel overpriced.

Case in point being Dawn Nicole Stevens’ ‘Forgotten’. It is basically werewolves with added twaddle.

A woman, let’s call her Jane Doe, wakes up in a US hospital with no memory, is convinced to follow a strange man to Germany – GERMANY. Good grief, even with no memory how on earth does that seem a good idea?

Then Jane decides to dwell on how fab it would be to have a mate – full on life partner territory, she has no memory and knows that she doesn’t have an existing mate … because she hasn’t been bitten… oh my goodness.

Perhaps this drivel is readable if you like nonsensical lazy gender stereotypes, for example:

“She had a pretty face, but she wasn’t really curved like a woman.”

Perhaps it is tolerable if you like your female lead to be weak, spineless and stupid:

“She wasn’t a woman worthy of a man like Dirk. She had so many dark secrets hidden away in her consciousness. She wasn’t the sweet, naïve women he’d rescued from the hospital.”

Urk, I don’t understand the appeal of this sort of story – even if I try. The entire story is written as though the author’s first language isn’t English – things are often phrased in a clunky manner and the incorrect word used (Manor instead of Manner).

Delete is a wonderful function!

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Jeaniene Frost’s ‘The Beautiful Ashes’ – “Beauty fades, but Evil Bitch is forever”

‘The Beautiful Ashes’ was recommended to me ages ago but the paperback was just under £12 – which I wasn’t going to pay for a book that I wasn’t sure about. Then I found it on Kindle for 99 pence, which combined with my flu seemed a good combo.

The back blurb doesn’t mention the large part of the plotline is demons VS angels – this isn’t something I seek out as they deteriorate into shades of grey where everyone is as petty as everyone else – inevitably over a girl, and nothing matches up to the ‘Dogma’ take on demons and angels.

I have read some of Jeaniene Frost’s Cat and Bone’s series, which always seemed a slightly more raunchy version of what I’ve heard about Spike-era ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’, so I was expecting similar bad boy antics however I also expected a strong female lead.

the beautiful ashes

Ivy isn’t terribly strong, she is looking for her missing sister and has no support network – gosh this seems to be a familiar theme for female leads these days. She is kidnapped by a strong, attractive, mysterious stranger and lusts after him even though he has kidnapped her. I suppose I should be grateful that he isn’t dressed as a pirate really.

There is nothing wrong with the book, it wanders along nicely, the descriptions are done well, the plot progresses sensibly and doesn’t randomly jump into what feels like a completely different book but nor does it throw up any surprises, the characters are entirely paint by number, the whole thing feels like you’ve read it before.

In fact if you’ve read any urban fantasy ever you probably have read it before, that doesn’t make it bad, it was just what I needed when bedridden with the flu; a nice safe, predictable read. I think everyone should have a couple of dependable books like this that are perfect for when you are feeling crappy, sort of want to be rescued yourself and don’t want the stress of an emancipated female lead who can sort her own s*** out.

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Book: Becca Mills’ ‘Noland’ – “None of that meant a thing to the beast. Either blood would be shed over the matter, or it would not.”

I picked this book up because I read about the author’s recent experience with a malicious use of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and because this book was free – book 2 costs money but I was open minded about paying for it if I liked the first one.

Beth has panic attacks and no real support system. She lives alone in the small town she grew up in and barely sees her brother or his kids due to his wife’s rabid dislike of her.

Beth takes photos on a non-digital camera and develops them herself, one day she sees a monster foot in one of the photos – but she swears it wasn’t there when she took the photo. Then weird stuff starts to happen and she finds herself dealing with powerful forces who think she has skills they can use.

nolander The start of the book was rather good, Beth was ok, the plotline was interesting, the characters were developing – even if Williams was clearly a pyscho,  and then the book got odd.

I think it probably got odd around the time statutory rape was mentioned and that the quasi-demonic creatures could, I’m paraphrasing, “make you want it even if you don’t”.

This seems a bit rapey for what had been reading like a Young Adult book, but I tried to ignore that feeling. I continued through the  MASSIVE plot jump and getting lost in the jungle bit and the random octopus bits – seriously I don’t know why we need to know the octopus’ gender.

By now I’m over 60% through the book and increasingly aware that this wasn’t the plotline that I started with or one that was strong enough for me to suspect my disbelief – increasingly I was getting a  bored and creeped out.

The odd phrasing of talking about characters who are searching for Beth but Beth is commenting on their actions as if she is there with them and using the word “me” was jarring.

But I got through that speedbump and was on the home stretch only to find that the end of the book seemed random too, it was as if the book wanted to be a slaves and masters romance but felt urban fantasy might be a more modern genre.

‘Nolander’ isn’t a bad book, but it feels like two books accidentally got spliced together and just had to roll with it. I was personally more interested in the original story than the one I fell into, so I won’t be continuing with Beth’s adventures.

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Book: ‘Hexed’ (specifically Jeanne C. Stein’s ‘Blood Debt’) – “History is just the present in retrospect. Times change but people do not”

My good intentions finally paid off and I read the fourth & final story in the ‘Hexed‘ anthology, which was Jeanne C. Stein’s ‘Blood Debt‘.

It was ok in so far as I’ve not previously considered what life would be like for a bounty hunter who is a vampire.

There was a fair bit of history to the character but it was handled in a high level so I had a decent flavour without feeling too bogged down in detail for a short story

If you’d asked me if I’d heard of Jeanne Stein before reading ‘Hexed’ I would have ummed for a bit and concluded that I hadn’t, however it transpires that I have another story by her in yet another anthology that I haven’t read fully, ‘Many Bloody Returns‘, oops.

anna strong the becoming

Then when I looked up her main series of books – the Anna Strong Chronicles, I realised that I *have* seen her books but the cover art put me off.

I have a feeling that the books might remind me of Chris Marie Green’s ‘Night Rising’, but the short story sounded interesting and if I can find the first ‘The Becoming’ cheaply enough I am willing to try it despite the cover art and despite knowing it features rape – which I usually try to avoid.

Maybe I should start reading all the stories in anthologies rather than just the one I bought it for…

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