Imaginary Numbers (InCryptid)

Imaginary NumbersImaginary Numbers
by Seanan McGuire
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 0756413788
Series: InCryptid #9
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Pages: 431
Publisher: DAW Books

The InCryptid series is an outlier for me; it’s the only series I’ve ever read where I  feel comfortable picking and choosing which books to read, and have no problem skipping those that don’t appeal to me.  My favourites are the Verity novels, and in those novels one of the best characters in my opinion, was Sarah.  So when this book came out, I was excited about seeing where the author would take this character when given her own space.

I went in with few expectations, but still, even though it was a good book I read in almost one sitting (I fell asleep with 10 pages to go), I was disappointed.  It started off great but went pear shaped once Sarah was forced to work with the other cuckoos.  Because at this point the story became more science fiction than urban fantasy, and I don’t like science fiction.

Still, I could have coped, but there were two biggies for me: 1. The all-or-nothing we have to save the world from annihilation trope drives me insane.  Like nobody would notice this apocalyptic occurrence?  It’s totally unreasonable and gets more unreasonable as the book comes to an end.  2.  The end.  It’s a damn cliffhanger.  I hate cliffhangers.  Especially when the cliffhanger is in a book that’s just been released and how long am I going to have to wait until the resolution?  Will I care by that point?

In spite of all this complaining, you’ll notice I still gave the book 4 stars.  Because McGuire can write.  She made me devour a story that was irritating me more and more from the mid-way point because her characters are awesome, and the dialog, oh, the dialog is a joy to read.  So much sass and wit that’s perfectly balanced and never over-played.  Also, the Aeslin mice – they’re always good for at least a 1/2 star bump.

I had planned to use this book for a Spell Pack card in Halloween Bingo, I think.  But after reading it I realise it fits perfectly for the In the Dark, Dark Woods square, as most of the story takes place on the Price compound in the middle of the Oregon woods and Sarah is very descriptive about the drive through those woods to get to the compound.  Also, 2 significant events to the plot take place in those woods.

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3)

Fair GameFair Game
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★½
isbn: 0441020038
Series: Alpha and Omega #3
Publication Date: March 9, 2012
Pages: 293
Genre: Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

While still a great read, probably my least favorite of the three (and a half) so far in the series. A crises of faith, of sorts, is visited upon Charles and the readers are the spectators as he makes every obvious, clichéd mistake on his path to enlightenment.  Fortunately, while this is a main theme in the story, it’s not constantly front and center – there’s too much of the main plot going on for Charles’ crises to feel cloying.

The plot was amongst the darkest I’ve read of Ms. Briggs books. Torture, the feeding-off of pain, misery and agony. Very distasteful themes. The ultimate villain was immediately obvious to me, but it didn’t detract much from the story, because I was reading the book for the characters: Charles and Anna. Without these characters, written as well, and as likeable as they are, I’d never have started this series.

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)

Cry WolfCry Wolf
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9781440630811
Series: Alpha and Omega #1
Publication Date: September 27, 2020
Pages: 321
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

I’m a fan of the Mercy Thompson series, but I really had no interest in the Alpha and Omega series, since weres aren’t my favorite paranormal species.

But I found myself unspeakably bored at work yesterday and nothing on my kindle for mac app appealed. Until I stumbled across Cry Wolf and thought reading more about Bran and Charles sounded like a great idea

.An excellent read, although I’ll still maintain that I prefer the more diverse world of Mercy’s. It was a bit tough figuring out what was going on at first, since this book takes place pretty much right after the novella ‘Alpha and Omega’ – so if you’re looking to get into this series, start with the novella – it will make the beginning of this book so much more sensical.

After figuring out what was going on though, I really liked the dynamic between Anna and Charles and I appreciated the amount of time spent on them before launching into the action. The action itself, while not gory, was hard to read at times and I’ll admit, I passed right on over anything having to do with hurting animals. It makes up a small, very small part of the story, but those few sentences were more than I could bear. Otherwise, the subjugation of one person by another (I won’t say human, as I don’t think it applies in this case) is a big theme in the story and I thought Ms. Briggs did a very good job with it – reading it made me uncomfortable, as it was meant to.

I don’t know if I’ll read the next or not, but I’ll certainly be checking it out.

Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2)

A fun, entertaining read that I found myself lost in and didn’t want to put down. All the characters in this motley crew were likeable (except the female dragons, and we don’t see them much); I think Islas might be my favourite; she had some of the best lines in the book.  The writer used humour to soften what could have been some dark scenes – something I appreciated as I don’t really go for the dark stuff.

 

The plot was very fast-paced with constant movement; not a lot of time was wasted with unnecessary dialogue, there was always something happening to forward the storyline.

 

The writer mentions at the end of the book that the next book will focus on another member of the Price family, so I’m not sure I’ll pick up the next one or not. I really grew attached to Verity, Sarah, Dominic and the Freakshow crew.

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6)

Great read. As usual, the humour and wit shown in these books offsets the sometimes dark themes the plot lines incorporate. I loved the American Native Indian focus to this story; learning about Mercy’s heritage, and the introduction of Coyote. I hope he’ll be a recurring character in the remaining books. The River Devil was over the top towards the end, but the whole story was enjoyable, nevertheless.

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson #5)

Love love love this book. Love this whole series. Ms. Jones has a unique ability (IMO) to take a very dark subject matter (or matters) and make it bearable to get through it. Charlie has had every bad thing thrown at her in this series, and they are all written graphically, and without holding back. Normally, this would cause me to run rapidly in the opposite direction, but she also writes with such compassion, humour, and scathing wit. I find the latter helps me get through the former.

 

The mythology(?) of Charlie’s world comes together in this book and I was totally sucked in – and relieved that what she’d been led to believe about the future was inaccurate. Questions are answered in this book, in between solving murders and other mysteries. I can’t wait to see what happens with all of these people coming together: Cookie, Uncle Bob, Garret, Quentin, Reyes, Sister Mary Elizabeth. Charlie is getting herself a gang. As for Reyes and Charlie, well damn. Hot damn. Literally. Just taking these two and their relationship into consideration, this is by far the best book of the series so far.

 

Thank you Ms. Jones, for writing a story/series I can lose myself in and come out of grinning like a fool.

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, Book 5)

This was my favorite book of the series until the last fifth or so the time spent in Elphame and that only because fae is my least favorite of the supernatural, I think. Still, this was an excellent read and I loved it. I really enjoyed the time spent on developing Mercy and Adam’s relationship, the pack, and definitely on Samuel. This book felt a lot less high-intensity than the ones before it in many ways, and I appreciated the break.

 

I can’t say a whole lot about the plot beyond what’s written on the back cover without going spoilerish. As I mentioned above, not a fan of the typical fae mythology – although I really like Zee and the way the author weaves the truth behind the fairy tales into this series. I just prefer them more when they aren’t taking center stage and this book – at least the last half, they are definitely center stage.

 

I have the next one on it’s way to me now and I can’t wait to read it.

Biting Bad: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel #8

My favorite of the UF/PF series I read, and Biting Bad was excellent. It felt a bit like Christmas, having everyone together and getting along; no dramas between Merit and Ethan, Mallory back to being a main character, Catcher back – the gangs all here!

 

I’m certain I’ve said this in every review for every book in this series, but the character writing is just excellent. Dry wit, sarcasm, excellent timing, all make the dialogue just flow beautifully, and reading about the Chicagoland vampires is like being there with them. I have such a detailed image of Cadogan House, Grey House, Little Red – even Merit’s parents house (well, until her mom redecorated).

 

A lot was happening in the plotlines of this book: riots, political strife, family interference, McKetrick. But I never had any trouble following anything that was going on; the story flowed smoothly and once I picked it up, I didn’t put it down again until I was finished (Thank goodness it was a Saturday!). As one thread of the overall story arc is resolved, another one starts to unravel, taking us into the next book. I cannot wait.