Reviews :: Book Genre :: Urban Fantasy

Review

Kill All Angels

Posted: December 13, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Robert Brockway, Urban Fantasy
Kill All Angels

I think I can safely admit that I wasn’t even planning on reading this book when it first showed up in the mail. I hadn’t been particularly enamored with either the first or second books in the series, I had no idea where this third book might go that could possibly change that opinion, and the cover was so blaringly pink that the thing gave me a headache every time I looked at it. But it was a quick read (which I needed), and the cover was removable (thankfully), and… my experience with its pages was exactly what I expected it to be: a jumbled conglomeration of “What in the world did I just read?” Ever had one of those? For your sake, I hope not. Still, as the saying goes, “In for a penny, in for a pound,” and so I decided to finish this series off with one last monumental push.
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Review

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown

Posted: November 8, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Seanan McGuire, Urban Fantasy, Ghost Stories
The Girl in the Green Silk Gown

So I REALLY wanted to get this one put away before Halloween, what with this being an actual ghost story and all. For some reason, those don’t come along all that often. But, it didn’t happen. Them’s the breaks. Hopefully though you’re recognizing this as the culmination of the promise I made to several months back to buy and read these books after the author, Seanan McGuuire, tweeted about the freak that uploaded an electronic copy of this very book to a free download site. She was less than ecstatic about it, to say the least. Still gets me riled up just thinking about it myself. I’d like to think that book-reviewing peoples as a whole are a pretty solid bunch of honest individuals. Unfortunately they’re not all individually solid, honest people. What can you do? It’s always going to be that one guy that ruins things for everyone. Way the world is. Still, regardless of the events that prefaced me being introduced to and reading these stories, I’m really glad of the outcome. Because finding these books and fitting them into my reading schedule was SO worth it.
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Review

Strange Practice

Posted: October 23, 2018 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Vivian Shaw, Urban Fantasy
Strange Practice

With Halloween just around the corner, STRANGE PRACTICE by Vivian Shaw seemed like just the novel to review–with a plot full of vampires, ghouls, and creepy cultists, it’s a fun (and seasonally appropriate) read.
Like many doctors, Greta Helsing (her family having quietly dropped the ‘van’) works hard to keep her solo medical practice afloat. However, as one of the only doctors in England who caters to the supernatural community, Greta deals with an additional set of stressors including anything from keeping her patients’ identities safe to hand-carving new bones for disintegrating mummies.
When Greta’s good friend (and vampire) Lord Ruthven calls with an account of a mysterious assault, Greta’s life only gets more complicated. The victim is Sir Francis Varney (also a vampire) who was assaulted by a group of men dressed like monks. Their weapon of choice was a strangely shaped dagger smeared with poison that appears designed to target a wide-spectrum of supernatural […]Read the rest of this review »

Review

Sparrow Hill Road

Posted: August 30, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Seanan McGuire, Urban Fantasy, Ghost Stories
Sparrow Hill Road

Most of you should remember my post from a few weeks ago. One, two, three, four… okay, well, seven IS more than a few, I’ll grant you that. Anyhow, my post was about Seanan McGuire’s book being uploaded to one of those free download websites before it had even been released. If not, you can go read it. (EBR Post). Hearing about what happened really bothered me. Like, a lot. At the end of my short rant, I said I’d pre-ordered the book and would be following up with a review of it. Well, the book that got hijacked was the second book in the series. So, I bought the first as well, and this is the review for that one. The next is still in the works though and will be coming soon.
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Review

City of Lies

Posted: August 21, 2018 by Jane Funk in Books We Like Meta: Sam Hawke, Epic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
City of Lies

“I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me” (p. 1). So begins Sam Hawke’s debut novel, CITY OF LIES (Amazon). It’s a good start, with a fun premise that deepens as the story goes. The story follows the dual POVs of Jovan and Kalina, siblings from one of the most powerful families in the prosperous city-state of Silasta. Jovan and Kalina are close friends with the heir to the city, Tain. However, Jovan is more than Tain’s friend; he has spent his entire life preparing to be Tain’s ‘proofer,’ or food taster. Jovan and Kalina’s Uncle Etan, known in Silastan culture as their tashi, currently serves as city Chancellor’s proofer.
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Review

Brief Cases

Brief Cases

I was a late comer to this series, and I have to thank my boss Steve for pushing me to read past the second book in this series much like he pushed me to read past the second Malazan Book of the Fallen novel. So it was, that I found little moments, mostly nights and weekends (whenever I found a spare “extra” reading opportunity) to creep through the main sequence of books as quickly as I could. Jim Butcher has done an amazing job of this series. Guy knows his stuff. Thus it was, about six months ago, that I finally finished reading Skin Game and went looking for the next entry of one of my favorite addictions: Harry Dresden stories. At last update, Jim is still working on “Peace Talks” (Book 16), but until we get that one (can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait) there is some new short fiction to be had, and it is absolutely brilliant.
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Review

Black Goat Blues

Posted: July 10, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Levi Black, Urban Fantasy
Black Goat Blues

There was a part of me that was really kinda pumped to get this book in the mail for my TBR pile. Granted, it was the dark, twisted, macabre and grotesque side of me, but a side of me, nonetheless. Levi Black’s first book, RED RIGHT HAND (EBR Review) caught me at a very opportune moment, and as I dove into the next offering from this author that so brazenly takes his mythos from that containing Cthulhu, I found myself digging through my music downloads to find that song by Metallica that had hit just the right spot the first time around. It was a good way to start my week.

And finishing this book was a great way to end it.
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Review

Seriously Hexed

Posted: March 14, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Tina Connolly, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Seriously Hexed

Cam is your typical teenager. She’s got friends, wonders how her awesome boyfriend could like such an awkward girl as her, and is frantically studying for her American History test. The only exception is that she’s a witch. However, it’s that extra complication that makes her high school years less than typical.

For example, most teenagers don’t have to deal with their mother disappearing during a coven meeting.
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Review

Burn Bright

Posted: March 6, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Patricia Briggs, Urban Fantasy
Burn Bright

Bran is out of town, leaving Charles in charge of the Marrok’s pack. But the situation is a little strange because he isn’t answering his phone when Charles calls. And he mentioned visiting Africa? Charles and Anna aren’t sure what’s going on, but they’re doing their best to hold down the fort until Bran decides to return… whenever that will be.

But they get a call from the mate of one of the “wildings”–which are unstable (usually old or traumatized) wolves that live in the Marrok’s territory, but are removed enough physically for the safety of the rest of the pack. Jonesy’s cryptic call leaves Charles concerned and confused, and with Anna decides to investigate.

They discover something much more than they expected.
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Review

Silence Fallen

Posted: February 9, 2018 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Patricia Briggs, Urban Fantasy
Silence Fallen

A master vampire of Europe, Iacopo Bonarata, is told that Mercy is the most powerful person in the territory protected by the Columbia Basin Pack.

So, of course, he kidnaps her.
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Review

Gods & Monsters: Mythbreaker

Posted: December 21, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Stephen Blackmoore, Urban Fantasy
Gods & Monsters: Mythbreaker

Steak and potatoes. These two foods comprise the epitome of a hearty American dinner. So if I wanted to make an apropos comparison of such an eating experience to reading a book, then that reading experience would be: full of goodness, tender and tasty, and most of all filling. At the end of such a read, I would expect to be satisfied, and if not necessarily ready to dive into the next book, at least ready to move on to something new. One could easily make other such comparisons between food and reading. And if I had to make a food-based comparison to reading this book, it’d be a bowl full of popcorn: easy to keep reading, exciting enough to keep my interest, and regardless of how it ends, finding that I have a bit of a belly-ache afterward. As with reading many of these kinds of books, once in a while they can be fun, but too many in a row? No thank you, sir. But it had been a while since I’d read a popcorn novel. So.
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Review

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Posted: November 7, 2017 by Vanessa in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Ruth Emmie Lang, Urban Fantasy
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Weylyn Grey isn’t like other people and he knows it. He’s a kid living with wolves in the woods when Mary first meets him. His parents are dead and his wolf family needs him, but he’s also painfully aware that he doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the kids his age. He wants to try to fit in, but every time he attempts to become a functioning member of human society, there’s always something that goes awry, so he ultimately returns to the wild. And yet, it’s his connection with Mary and a few other people he meets along the way, that reminds him about the power of human relationships.

But it takes him a long time to understand, and we spend the book learning about how different he really is.
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Review

Urban Enemies

Posted: September 14, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Joseph Nassise (Ed), Urban Fantasy
Urban Enemies

In general, I tend to steer clear of Urban Fantasy. Always have. Every once in a while I’ll make a foray into the realm, but by and large I’ve been disappointed with what I’ve found. The obvious exceptions, for me, being Butcher, Correia, and Hanover. The really difficult part is that there is quite literally a metric ton of Urban Fantasy books out there, and there are more and more showing up on the shelves all the time. With all those possible choices available, how does one go about finding the next great Urban Fantasy series/author to start reading? Well, short stories can sometimes help give you an idea as to whether you’re going to like an author or not. Trouble is, even some of the really popular novel authors don’t know how to write a good short story. So how can you tell? I’ll always fall back on recommendations. Anyone got one for me? I’ll trade you a few. Check it out.
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Review

Wicked Like a Wildfire

Posted: August 8, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Lana Popovic, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Wicked Like a Wildfire

Twin sisters Melina and Iris aren’t your typical teenagers. For one, they are half-Japanese (a father they never knew) living in a village in modern-day Montenegro. They’re exceptionally beautiful and talented, Melina with music and Iris with color and art. And they have magic.

Some might call them witches. Their mother calls it the “gleam” and when they do magic together it’s called “eating the moon.” Whatever it is, they are otherworldly women living in a village where they hopefully won’t get too much attention.

However, after accidentally exposing their magic in front of a neighbor their mother Jasmina forbids the girls from doing their magic–especially Iris, whose flashy magic is the most noticeable. And they must never, under any circumstances, fall in love.
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Review

The Last Harvest

Posted: August 3, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Kim Liggett, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
The Last Harvest

As I’m sitting down to write this review, I’m reminded of a card game that my oldest child taught us one night. It’s very similar to Uno, only played with a deck of face cards, and there are a whole lot of rules that the “director” of the game gets to make up. The rest of the players then spend the rest of the game trying to figure out what those rules are by watching the director abide by them and then trying to decipher what the rule governing the director’s actions might be. And then obviously duplicate all of them in such a way as to win the game before the director does. It is a wholly frustrating and ridiculous game, and I’ve forever banned it from being played at my house if I have to be involved. What can I say? I guess I just like knowing what the rules are when I get involved in something. That goes doubly for my reading experiences.
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Review

The Empty Ones

Posted: July 13, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Don't Like Meta: Robert Brockway, Urban Fantasy
The Empty Ones

So I was reading a book with my daughter the other day and she skipped half a line, mid-sentence. There were two “ands” in a single line and she went from one “and” to the other “and” without a beat. Just kept reading without realizing what she’d done. So, I called her on it. “How in the heck do you even do something like that?” I wondered aloud. We both had a good laugh over it. It was only considerably later that I realized while reading the book for this review I felt EXACTLY like I had when my daughter had skipped half the line while reading: like I was missing a ton of story that should have been there, but just wasn’t. No surprise on the rating then, eh? Yeah. This one was kind of a rough go. Okay, maybe not kind of.
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Review

Fallen Stone

Posted: July 3, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Jana S Brown, Urban Fantasy
Fallen Stone

Once upon a time Misery was a holy warrior who came between humanity and evil. But eight years ago she left the Sentinels and since then has been using her earth magic to do odd jobs to pay the bills and stay one step ahead of her old boss. She currently finds herself in Denver and is finally starting to feel like life could be normal again, even if her roommate is eccentric. Finally, Misery thinks she might get ahead with a lucrative job for the Chimera Lord of Denver–and it may take every friend, resource, and bit of luck she has left to pull it off.

But something is rotten in the city of Denver when she discovers that lesser fae are going missing, and instead of skipping town when a Sentinel hunter tracks her down, she decides that sticking around is the only option. She just hopes pursuing the kidnappers won’t get her killed… again.
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Review

Legend Has It

Posted: June 13, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Elliott James, Urban Fantasy
Legend Has It

From the back cover: “Someone, somewhere, is reading a magic book that is reading them right back. The line between fantasy and reality is breaking down, and real life is becoming a fairy tale: bored office workers are turning, quite literally, into zombies, bullies into black knights, and squatters beneath bridges into trolls. John Charming and his motley band of monster hunters are racing to find the real villain of this story, following the yellow brick road through a not-so-wonderful wonderland. And if they can’t find Reader X before the mysterious grimoire is closed, there won’t be a happily ever after again.”
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Review

Seeker

Posted: June 6, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Veronica Rossi, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Seeker

It isn’t the end of the world, but the Four Horsemen of the Apocalyse in their current incarnation as young men must use their new powers to stop the demon Samrael and save the incarnation of Famine from the rift where Samrael was sent at the end of RIDERS. Now in the second and final book of this duology, Daryn must find a way to save Sebastian–and do it without the sight, which she depended on to tell her the future.
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Review

Fire Touched

Posted: March 28, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Patricia Briggs, Urban Fantasy
Fire Touched

The Fae have a chip on their collective shoulder. They’ve attempted to integrate into society, but it’s had mixed results since some Fae integrate with humans better than others (those who have a hard time are, for example, the ones who like to eat humans). Several years ago they “came out,” allowing their existence to become public knowledge. That didn’t go so well, so since then they’ve retreated to the Fae reservation in Washington state, near the Columbia Basin Pack’s territory. Now the Fae are downright testy. They’ve tortured Mercy’s friend Zee, let loose trolls to sew chaos in Tri-Cities Washington, and now want back a changeling who’s escaped Underhill.

And of course it’s up to Mercy to figure out how best to protect her own.
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Review

The Mermaid’s Secret

Posted: January 19, 2017 by mtbikemom in Books We Like Meta: Katie Schickel, Urban Fantasy, Books for Chicks
The Mermaid’s Secret

Are you in the mood for a breezy, uncomplicated read? Would you like to capture a bit of summer as winter digs its angry claws in for another bite? Did you love the movie Splash? Do you or would you like to speak “surf?”  (It’s an identifying language, just like all other sub-cultures possess.) Good news: I have a sweet, entertaining story for you! Turn off your analytical brain and enjoy.
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Review

Red Right Hand

Posted: December 15, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Levi Black, Urban Fantasy
Red Right Hand

For the last few weeks I’ve been binge listening to the new Metallica album after finishing my last audio book. In amongst the new brilliance from this, one of my favorite bands, is a song called Dream No More that’s all about Cthulhu awakening from the deeps in which he resides. So, when I got this next book in the mail and checked out the Acknowledgements page that included a shout out to Lovecraft and the necessity of his Mythos to this book, it felt like I was already on board, strapped into my seat, and yanking on the whistle chain. Just couldn’t wait to grab it and go, go, go.
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Review

Belle Chasse

Posted: December 8, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Suzanne Johnson, Urban Fantasy
Belle Chasse

I’m not sure if DJ can handle much more of this. I’m not sure I can handle much more of this. Seriously this woman needs to get her life back in order. Too bad it’s her sense of loyalty to her friends that her boss can’t seem to appreciate. Fortunately, she’s chosen well in her friends, because they may be all she has between her and those trying to kill her.

DJ has found herself on the run after the events of PIRATE’S ALLEY, her own wizard First Elder has determined her a criminal for simply wanting to protect her best friend, Eugeine. Fortunately her friend, the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, is harboring the fugitive and Eugeine at his home in Old Barataria. The result is a lot of sneaking around if DJ wants to figure out how to solve her current problem.
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Review

Borderline

Posted: September 27, 2016 by mtbikemom in Books We Love Meta: Mishell Baker, Urban Fantasy
Borderline

This book is good. Really good. I am not a huge fan of this genre, and really have only read MLN Hanover’s Black Son’s Daughter series in full, because I am very picky when it comes to urban fantasy. I think all the sexy vampire books of the last several decades have conspired to form my jaundiced opinion, some of which found their way into my cozy little house-full-of-children despite vain protestation. I have yet to crack open a Dresden Files–been meaning to–but I will read everything Mishell Baker decides to write. Because she is that good.
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Review

Romancing the Null

Romancing the Null

Let’s call this whole series my summer guilty pleasure. Maybe it will be yours for the fall season. Guilt and surprised delight were some of the many emotions I migrated through while reading most of The Outlier Prophesies, but for more than the first half of ROMANCING THE NULL, I’d say impatience was the primary. If I had not felt obligated to give it a go, per the contest, I think I would have abandoned this urban fantasy/romance/crime novel long before the two-thirds point, but that’s when things started to get interesting. By the end, I was hooked… though I dreaded what was to come in the follow-ups. I needn’t have worried.
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Review

Vendetta

Posted: August 16, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Gail Z. Martin, Urban Fantasy, Books for Chicks
Vendetta

Cassidy has magic: the emotion and events in which items are involved give them a history she can see. Her friend and co-worker Teag uses his magic to weave power into fabric or other items. They are employed by the vampire Sorren and are part of a larger magical community of good guys called the Alliance. Cassidy and Teag’s job is to find magical items they encounter during their work as antiques dealers in the heart of Charleston and take care of the dangerous items. Of course the nature of their work means they sometimes go up against some nasty things.

Sorren has been around for about 600 years and as a result of his work has made his share of enemies. And after a strange series of events where Charleston ghosts are acting strange and random people are disappearing, Cassidy and Teag begin to think that an old nemesis of Sorren’s may be the culprit.
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Review

Destiny Blues

Destiny Blues

Life was going just fine for Mattie when on her meter-maid route she discovers that a demon is following her. This is bad news, since the FBI considers demon masters potential terrorists. She’s desperate to find someone to get rid of the stinky little guy when…another one seems to attach itself to her. That’s impossible, isn’t it?

Mattie feels like she messes up everything: she gets put on probation from her job, hurts herself and totals the moped she uses on her rounds, misses her demon-banishing appointments, and now has to babysit her niece for a few days while her brother Lance is out of town. Friend Karen takes her out for lunch and helps Mattie get some much-needed perspective–and a potential date from the hunky waiter. But then Mattie discovers that Lance is up to his old gambling problems again, more demons start following her around, and she learns that the FBI wants to talk to her.

DESTINY BLUES by Sharon Joss is one of the books from Mark Lawrence’s Blog-Off given to EBR. LARCOUT (EBR Review), which I finished before this book, is a better novel overall, so alas DESTINY won’t make it to the next round here at EBR, but I wanted to point out that despite its failings, this book was fun to read and it’s easy to see this author’s potential.
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Review

Roses and Rot

Roses and Rot

Imogen is a writer who dreams of some day becoming a famous author. To that end she has applied to the exclusive Melete, a New Hampshire artist retreat where she–and other aspiring artists of various talents–would have access to famous artists as mentors. Also accepted is Imogen’s younger sister Marin, whose talent in ballet has people predicting a successful professional career.

The sisters had a difficult upbringing. With a father out of the picture early on, their mother raised them with a tyrannical fist. For her own sanity, Imogen signed up for boarding school and left home–including her sister to deal with their crazy mother alone. When they arrive at Melete together, the sister’s relationship seems normal on the outside, but like Melete, not everything is as it appears.

For the first couple of chapters I didn’t like ROSES AND ROT, Kat Howard’s debut novel. The setting is trendy and pretentious (‘it’s all about the art!’). The sisters’ baggage felt overwrought. The foreshadowing seemed cliché. I was sure I knew where the story was heading.

But I forged onward and was rewarded with a story I didn’t expect.
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Review

Fearless

Posted: July 18, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Elliott James, Urban Fantasy
Fearless

FEARLESS by Elliott James has been out for nearly a year, which means it’s been sitting on my “to read” shelf for that long, and I’ve been avoiding it because the cover is dumb. Go ahead, take a look at the cover again, and maybe at CHARMING and DARING, too (the first two books), and see if you don’t assume it’s another lameo Urban Fantasy series to take up shelf space.

I was so wrong. I love it when a book surprises me, and FEARLESS is the kind of book where I will eagerly go buy the first two so I can get more of this series. Should you have read the first books before reading this one? Probably, but I doubt that lack made me enjoy this book any less.

John Charming comes from a long line of monster hunters. Of course, not all monsters are bad, but when you have abilities that make you able to squash mortals without any effort, you tend to not care for the weaker of the species. That’s where the Knights Templar comes in, and the Pax Arcana, which gives hunters the authority to fight the bad guys. But John is different than any other knight: he’s also a werewolf.
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Review

Rising Tide

Posted: July 4, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Rajan Khanna, Urban Fantasy
Rising Tide

Ben Gold is in serious trouble. After the events in FALLING SKY, he now finds himself imprisoned on a ship captained by a man named Malik who would like to see Ben dead. Fortunately, Ben has the brilliant Miranda, who negotiates for Ben’s life by offering her medical skills in a post-apocalyptic world where such a resource is in short supply. The question is: standoffs don’t last forever, so how will they escape?

Ben has spent his life as a scavenger in a world where only the clever and strong survive, which means Ben has talents of his own. So he negotiates for his life in exchange for scrounging up ship parts Malik needs to keep his boat afloat. But Malik has Miranda, which doesn’t give Ben much leverage.
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Review

Revisionary

Revisionary

Isaac Vainio, once-librarian and now major player on the world stage, helped reveal magic to the world along with certain Porters and allies. The Porters are an organization of magic-users founded by none other than Johannes Gutenburg himself. Libriomancy, discovered by Gutenburg, is magic using books and “libriomancers” are able to pull things out of books, things that real authors have imagined and in which a certain amount of belief exists from readers, which fuels the magic. These items–weapons and magic cloaks and healing elixirs–and even characters, have a profound effect on the real world, with mixed results and sometimes dire consequences. Jim C. Hines has taken this idea and developed it in a most satisfying way. He often references favorite sci-fi and fantasy classics, even some obscure geek favorites, and also simply makes books up when he needs them. These are some of the best, especially when they parody bad speculative fiction.
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Review

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

Posted: April 29, 2016 by mtbikemom in Books We Love Meta: Scott Wilbanks, Urban Fantasy
The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

I like whimsy. I loved THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS (EBR Review) by Rothfuss and I “heart” almost everything by K.J. Parker (even though he is not a she) and, of course, Mr. Terry Pratchett in small, infrequent doses, so my initial survey of THE LEMONCHOLY LIFE OF ANNIE ASTER seemed promising. Cover art beautiful. Author’s back-story intriguing… Dive in!

Oh no, the first few chapters read like whimsy for the sake of whimsy and I lost interest. The strong characters and promise of a good story brought me back eventually, though, and I’m glad for it. LEMONCHOLY is a very sweet, sometimes sad, fast-paced and ultimately uplifting tale. Yeah, it gets better. Much better.
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Review

Staked

Posted: April 4, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like...and Hate Meta: , Urban Fantasy
Staked

Vampires are the reason why druids are in short supply in modern days. Druids have a special ability to unbind vampires without even touching them, and as a result, 2000 years ago the vampire Theophilus convinced Rome to hunt them down and wipe them out. Atticus alone survived and has been laying low ever since. But now with Granuaile and Owen effectively tripling the number of druids in the world, they are also on the vampire’s hit list, and Atticus has decided that now is the time to finally fight back and commit a little genocide of his own.

In the meantime, Granuaile is busy finding a way to cloak herself from the prying eyes of Loki, and Owen is beginning to train a new generation of Druids. To find success in their respective quests, our heroes often get side-tracked, but always with their eyes on the prize: preventing Ragnarok.
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Review

Dead Heat

Posted: March 2, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Patricia Briggs, Urban Fantasy
Dead Heat

Anna and Charles have been married a few years now, and here we are in book 4 of Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series and it finally feels like these two are hitting their stride. They’ve had several bumps in the road over the years as Anna has learned about herself and her rare abilities as an omega werewolf. To Charles’ surprise, he’s found happiness and a contentment with someone who sees him for what he really is. And it’s because they’ve come so far that they’re able to face their greatest challenge yet: deciding whether to have a child together.

Oh, and facing a powerful fae Grey Lord.
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Review

Riders

Posted: February 16, 2016 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Veronica Rossi, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Riders

Gideon is the Incarnation of War. Yes, one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. One day he was in Army Ranger training, doing a routine parachute jump… only, the impossible happens. Neither his chute nor his back up deploy like they’re supposed to and Gideon hits the ground, dies, and is miraculously resuscitated. But that’s not the only inexplicable event to happen. Despite severe injuries, he’s back on his feet a week later, a new cuff on his arm seems to be part of his body, and then demons show up at his sister’s college party.

Daryn, a strange girl who convinces him that the demons are after him, gets him to safety and explains what’s going on. Some renegade demons want a key to a realm where they can escape Hell and set up their own purgatory. One such key was nefariously stolen and now the four horsemen–or at least four teenage boys who can currently wield their powers–are summoned to protect the key until it can be returned to its rightful angelic owner.

Phew. Did you catch all that? In RIDERS we are taken on a wild ride–and not just because Gideon is afraid of his crazy war horse.
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Review

Heart of Stone

Heart of Stone

Faith has a secret. Years ago she was forced into an impossible choice: use her powers to kill or hand them over to her husband to use. Rather than kill those she thought innocent, she fought against her husband and accidentally killed him. It’s more complicated than that, however.

You see, Atlantis existed, and there were survivors, and they all had one of three kinds of magic: Seer, Channeler, and Warrior. But the survivors blame each other for its demise and are convinced that killing each other off is the only way to ensure future survival. Faith is a channeler, with the rare ability to manipulate stone, and now everyone wants her to use the three Atlantian stones of power to wipe out their enemies.

Darius is a seer, gifted with empathic abilities. His family has one of the stones of power and need Faith to use her magic and heal it of the impurities it’s collected over the years. After a run-in with people who want to force her to help them, Faith decides to accept Darius’ offer of safety and money so she can get back on her feet.
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Review

The Unnoticeables

Posted: January 15, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Robert Brockway, Urban Fantasy
The Unnoticeables

This book immediately caught my attention when I first saw it. The bright colors and dark, almost rorschach-testness of the images were immediately arresting, and the summary on the inside cover did even more to get me excited about reading this one. The impression as a whole was one of weird stuff in the modern world, which falls into the category of Urban Fantasy, although I don’t know if it really fits into that subgenre wholesale. Regardless, this book like any other had a job to do when it landed in front of me:

  1. Catch my eye
  2. Get me to open the cover and read
  3. Catch my interest with its premise
  4. Start me reading Chapter 1

And it absolutely succeeded on all those levels. If I had been a regular schmoe, bumming around the book store, looking for the next good read, this book would have had some serious mojo for me to try and ignore for it to not end up in my hand when I got back into my car. But past that point, what is it’s job? And how did this one stack up where it really matters: inside the content of the book. Check it out.
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Review

Half-Resurrection Blues

Posted: October 27, 2015 by mtbikemom in Books We Like Meta: Daniel José Older, Urban Fantasy
Half-Resurrection Blues

Me to Vanessa: “I can’t wait to find a real gem, a diamond in the rough, some unknown phenom.” Ding, ding, ding! I’ve think I’ve found one in HALF-RESURRECTION BLUES (Amazon), Daniel José Older’s first in a new series of dark urban crime fantasy, Bone Street Rumba. This ghost story diamond has plenty of polish, its facets expertly cut within the dirt and grit of its setting.
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Review

Kitty Saves the World

Posted: August 18, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Carrie Vaughn, Urban Fantasy
Kitty Saves the World

There’s something so incredibly satisfying about reaching the end of a great series. Fourteen books (and a few short stories) of Kitty, Cormac, Ben, et al. We’ve come to know and love these people, their friends, and the work they do for the greater good. And now they have to try to save the world.
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Review

The Veil

Posted: August 5, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Chloe Neill, Urban Fantasy, Books for Chicks
The Veil

Claire Connolly lives in a New Orleans we wouldn’t recognize. Seven years ago the veil between our world and the world of magic was ripped open. The paranormal waged war on humans, but the humans won and repaired the veil. The paranormals left behind were rounded up and interned in what they call Devil’s Isle, where they aren’t allow to use their magic. Some humans exposed to magic become Sensitives, and if discovered are immediately taken to Devil’s Isle, where the magic eventually burns their minds and they become wraiths.

Claire inadvertently discovers that she’s a Sensitive, but hides her ability, risking not learning to control her ability–she doesn’t want to be sent to Devil’s Isle. Despite being careful, she’s seen using her powers by Liam Quinn, but fortunately he decides to help her. But that’s a risk in itself, because Claire knows little about Liam or his motives.
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Review

Seriously Wicked

Posted: July 30, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Tina Connolly, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Seriously Wicked

Camellia is a high school sophomore who lives with her adopted mother, who happens to be a witch. But witches are only ever wicked, as evidenced by the spell Cam saw the witch perform when Cam was five years old. She still doesn’t like to talk about it.

Growing up with a witch stinks, since their M.O. for child rearing includes really terrible punishments. Like turning fingers into noodles. Or turning the child into a pile of rotten tomatoes for the afternoon. And forcing them to gather weird ingredients such as goats blood, pigs ears, and… eggplant?

But now the witch is planning to take over the town using Phoenix fire, and needs Cam’s help to manage the demon she summoned in order to do it. Cam wants to undermine the witch’s plans AND pass her Algebra test at the same time, but she’s not sure that’s possible.
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Review

Pirate’s Alley

Posted: June 3, 2015 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Suzanne Johnson, Urban Fantasy
Pirate’s Alley

DJ’s life is full of the good and the bad. For example: bad–last month she was bitten by a loup-garou; good–she was kept from changing by elf magic; bad–that meant a blood bond with the most annoying elf in existence; good–she was able to keep her friend Jake from getting in trouble. Bad–at the opening of PIRATE’S ALLEY (Amazon) she’s still injured and homeless as a result of the events in ELYSIAN FIELDS (EBR Review). Good–she’s living at her best friend Eugenie’s place, Alex is still her boyfriend, and she’s been able to avoid Rand for the most part.

But DJ knows that any of that can change in a heartbeat. Like when she discovers that Eugenie is pregnant with Rand’s child. But it turns out that’s not all she has to worry about.
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Review

Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown

Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown

Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves–Lucifer, for short–isn’t the kind of teenage girl you’d find at any given high school. Beyond the mundane such as her unusual name, living on her own in a dump of an apartment, thieving for a living, and avoiding the authorizes, there’s the fact that she knows about magic while the rest of the human population lives unawares. She makes it clear from the beginning that she doesn’t have magic, but she can use magical items. That’s where the thief part comes in: she steals these magical items from bad people.

It turns out that even though she’s not technically an adult yet, she has insider knowledge of a world few know about. So when a policeman’s daughter, Gina, is kidnapped by a witch in a mirror, only Lucifer knows how to navigate the strange and mystical in order to bring the girl home.
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Review

Monster Hunter Nemesis

Posted: March 24, 2015 by Steven in Books We Love Meta: Larry Correia, Urban Fantasy
Monster Hunter Nemesis

So we apparently never reviewed this novel. Oops! With the paperback edition of MONSTER HUNTER NEMESIS recently being released, I looked back over our reviews and discovered the absence. So, yeah. Here we are.

If you’ve paid attention to this site, you already know that MONSTER HUNTER NEMESIS (Amazon) was one of EBR’s top novels for 2014. For me personally, NEMESIS is my favorite Monster Hunter novel. Why? Because Agent Franks is the main character.

When Franks was introduced in MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL (EBR Review), he became an immediate favorite of mine, and a huge portion of Larry Correia’s readership. As book by book went by, we got more pieces of info and came to realize Franks wasn’t exactly human. But we still didn’t have all the answers.

Well now we do. And the answers made for one of the most entertaining reads of 2014.
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Review

Vicious

Posted: March 20, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: V.E. Schwab, Urban Fantasy
Vicious

Sometimes it’s easy to get into the rhythm of reviewing and forget that there’s more going on in conjunction with the books I cycle through. Read, ponder, review, repeat — the mantra of the book reviewer. Occasionally though I like to shake things up and go looking for more, be it details about the author, story inspiration, sequels, interviews, bonus dealings — stuff like that. I happened to do a little homework on this one because for some reason or another the curiosity bug bit me once I’d read it. After very little time, I came across an article about this particular book that made me hesitate and think on my opinions. The article I found talked about a movie deal, and it had a name attached to it: Ridley Scott.
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Review

Awakening

Awakening

McKayla’s aunt Avril has always been a little odd. She travels the world as a psychic for the FBI, to the chagrin of McKayla’s mother, who doesn’t like it when she talks magic with her daughters. Now, Avril is visiting Sun Valley in small-town Idaho where McKayla and her family live in order to investigate a serial killer who – it appears – possesses her victims. McKayla goes with her aunt during a case to interview the widow of a murder victim. There she discovers that maybe Aunt Avril’s psychic abilities are magic and run in the family because McKayla can feel the window’s emotions–she’s empathic.

But that’s not even the strangest thing, because despite outward tears the widow’s inside emotions are not what McKayla expects a widow to be experiencing: she’s not sad, she’s angry.
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Review

The Archived

Posted: October 27, 2014 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Victoria Schwab, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
The Archived

When people die their memories and experiences are archived in a special library that few people know about. But sometimes those memories wake up, the restless and violent kind especially, and someone has to return them.

That’s where Mackenzie Bishop comes in.

Four years ago, when Mackenzie was twelve, her grandfather introduced her to the Archive, where the people’s Histories are stored, to learn about the job of a Keeper and take his place. She’s spent the years since his death doing just that, finding Histories assigned to her by the Librarians at the Archive and returning them to their rest.
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Review

To Dance With the Devil

Posted: September 30, 2014 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Cat Adams, Urban Fantasy
To Dance With the Devil

In this latest installment of Cat Adams’ The Blood Singer series, we begin TO DANCE WITH THE DEVIL (Amazon) with Celia in therapy. Her mother hates her, Celia’s grandmother doesn’t understand their animosity, all the while dealing with her own problem of being part-vampire and hunted by demons. But it’s not the therapy that lands her in the hospital. No, it’s the guys in suits who run her off the road, trash her car, and leave her on a sun-soaked beach to burn alive.

Not really the relaxing weekend she was hoping for.
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