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    In Other Spaces and Places

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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.
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    Saturday
    Jan302010

    New Juicy Review: Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge

    Book:              Street Magic

    Author:            Caitlin Kittredge

    Publisher:        St. Martin’s Press

    ISBN/ASIN:    9780312943615

    Rating:            Five Stars

    Caitlin Kittredge’s Street Magic is more than just an urban fantasy fix. Its an edgy, sinister treat. Kittredge has created two unforgettable characters that you will want to revisit again and again, just to peel away their unending layers. Hopelessly flawed, we gravitate towards Jack Winter and Pete Caldecott. Those imperfections speak to us, we relate to them.

    Kittredge has drawn Jack Winter as a diabolically seductive enigma with a deeply troubled soul. Once Winter was a mage superstar in The Black until he summoned an entity that tore his soul apart and forced him to make some very nasty decisions. Unfortunately he dragged his girlfriends’ younger sister and ingénue, Pete along with him.

    Twelve years have passed since that fateful eve, and the stain of that day still linger on. The soul-deep ties that were forged with spirit, blood and bone in that decrepit cemetery cannot be denied. Jack and Pete must join forces yet again against a deadly entity despite their past, and despite their personal demons. The Black awaits them. Whether they are ready or not.

    The overwhelming personal conflict between these two is the real draw-as is the selfless pursuit of saving Jack’s soul by Pete. Is Jack worth saving? Can he summon the courage within himself to fulfill the destiny at hand? Readers will inevitably dissect and invest themselves in this sole pursuit. Who is the real Jack Winter? How much will he sacrifice to save Pete? Can the crow-mage and his Weir battle this amorphous enemy? And how does the future of The Black rest on their collective shoulders?

    Kittredge has done her job. She has engaged and thrilled the reader. The realm of The Black as it exists in London and its occupants are enticing. Combined with Jack and Pete’s magical exploits it makes for a heady read. Street Magic has an overall sense of a mosh pit at Fivers meshed with The Clash and Poppy Brite’s Lost Souls. There are so many juicy bits to gnaw at and savor that I simply don’t know where to start. You’ll want to suck the marrow clean of Kittredge’s story and still lick your chops for more.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review

    Sunday
    Jan242010

    New Juicy Review: Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson

    Book:               Vicious Circle
    Author:            Linda Robertson
    Publisher:        Juno/Simon & Schuster
    ISBN/ASIN:     9781439163634
    Rating:             Four Stars

    Imagine you are witch just minding your own witchy business. And then imagine that you are drawn neck deep into a murder, are conned into taking a hit out on a vampire (and haven’t the foggiest on how to “off” someone), and housing one very sexy rock n’ roll waerewolf. All with your elderly crabby nana nipping at your heels, a ciggy ever present at her lips. Such is the case of Linda Robertson’s Vicious Circle. Robertson gently clubs you over the head with a thrilling read.

    One of the things that make Persephone Alcmedi so appealing is that she is not an overtly powerful character-at least not right off the bat. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have some serious clout. Rather Robertson has hammered her into a gentle but very resilient witch. She’s not the bad ass that rolls into town on a motorcycle with a rifle strapped to her back. But she definitely does rise to the occasion when it is needed. Here we have a character who for all intents and purposes, is virtually clueless about the supernatural world outside of her own sphere.

    As a solitary, but hereditary witch with significant power, and a few waerewolf friends to call her own, life was pretty simple. Readers get to journey with Seph as she learns that she is capable of so much more and an astounding destiny awaits her as the Lustrata. The reader is drawn to this as the character develops. And as for Menessos…woo-wee..Robertson has spared no expense in drawing him. As much as Johnny will give everyone a rock n’ roll heartache, Menessos is definitely the one to watch. He will make you pant for more.

    Robertson has all the cues, all the required ingredients to make a hot pot of chili and she is quite the cooker so far, but let’s ratchet up the pace of the plot, toss in some more cayenne (just a smidge), and set the burner to simmer and you’ll have one heck of a firecracker. This series has great potential and I will definitely be reading more of Linda Robertson!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review

    Tuesday
    Jan192010

    New Juicy Review: Shadowfae by Erica Hayes

    Book:              Shadowfae

    Author:            Erica Hayes

    ISBN/ASIN:    9780312578008

    Rating:            Five Stars

    In Shadowfae, Hayes brings to life a sensory feast of glittering and dangerous creatures, an urban fantasy realm existing side by side with humans in the magnificent shadow of Melbourne. In the luminous underbelly of that cosmopolitan city breathes a current of life filled with incubi, demon lords, banshees, vampire syndicates, spriggans, fairies..the Shadowfae.

    The lives of two entities take center stage in Hayes’ dark treat: Jade a succubus, and Rajah, and incubus form an unlikely partnership to free themselves of the mystical bonds enslaving them to a demon lord. According to legend, if the enslaved capture and devour four souls, four particular souls, then the bonds that hold them prisoner will disintegrate.  Jade, who has been enslaved for over 140 years, and Rajah just over 300 years, the possibility of freedom is too much to ignore. Even if it means that one will have to brutally betray the other. 

    As Jade and Rajah hunt down the four souls at great personal cost, and fight those who would keep them apart, each has to examine what immortality means. Greater yet, to learn the sacrifice of love, happiness, and its boundless capacity when sorrow shadows it’s every move.

    Breathless and exquisite imagery are illuminated by Hayes’ sure hand as Shadowfae captures readers in its edgy, twisted fairy tale and never lets go. Hayes shatters the dreamy shallow urban fantasy romance with a stygian tale that examines the heart-wrenching journey of two beings who will never capitulate, and never stop until they are free and their souls are joined…

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review

    Monday
    Jan182010

    New Juicy Review: Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

    Book:               Mark of the Demon

    Author:            Diana Rowland

    ISBN/ASIN:    978-0553592351

    Rating:            Five Stars

    Mark of the Demon is dark, sexy, fare where the heroine doesn’t always get her way and the chase is filled with longing as well as plenty of twists and turns. For those fans of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, Mark of the Demon will instantly be a hit. Guaranteed. And those fans who might hunger for a Rachel Morgan demon “lurve” connection with Algaliarept or Minias, or Morgan Kingsley and Lugh from Jenna Black’s series, then feed your desires with Mark of the Demon.

    Kara Gillian leads dual lives: that of a homicide detective in her small Louisiana parish, and a demon summoner. When Rhyzkahl, one of the most dangerous demon lords to cross into the earthly plane steps casually out of her summoning portal instead of a lower level luhrek demon, Kara knows she is in trouble. Big trouble. But what could have been an impending gory death for the tricky summoner, morphs into something sensual and extremely dangerous.

    As Kara heads the team on the Symbol Man serial killings, she comes to realize that there is a definite connection between Rhyzkahl, the recent ritual mutilations, and a powerful unknown rival summoner who is leaving a trail of bodies a mile-wide. Shackled with an FBI agent she doesn’t quite trust and yet is attracted to, Kara finds she has few allies in which to solve one of the grisliest crime sprees to hit her region in years. Stumped, Kara tries to tentatively solicit information from Rhyzkahl with potential devastating consequences. She finally comes to realize what “playing with fire” means when toying with a demon lord.

    Rowland gives readers what they secretly crave: wicked non-stop action, diabolical sensuality and danger. As well as a sinister deadly demon force to be reckoned with in Rhyzkahl, and the possible means to tame him through Kara Gillian.

    One can only wonder what Rhyzkahl has planned for Kara in BLOOD OF THE DEMON (out February 2010). We hope it’s equally good and BAD!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review

    Tuesday
    Jan122010

    New Juicy Review: Deadtown by Nancy Holzner

    Book:          Deadtown

    Author:       Nancy Holzner

    ISBN:         0441018130

    Publisher:   Ace Books

    Rating:         Four Stars

    If you are intrigued by a new paranormal world where zombies (oops Recently Deceased Humans) just want to be loved and treated equally, then you’ll love Deadtown. Brilliantly funny and believable zombies, werewolves, vamps and other dark creatures of the night exist side by side in a sort of refugee camp outside of Boston separated by the New Combat Zone, a buffer between the norms and the paranormals (PR). A This class schism erupts after a plague breaks out in Boston and other cities and its citizens either die or are reanimated providing a whole new problem for the city government to deal with. In the wake of the plague, other paranormal residents who hid under cover of darkness come out to help with the cleanup. In Revealing themselves Holzner not only pens a great world but highlights supernatural class issues: zombies and other paranormals fighting for their civil rights in a world dominated by norms.

    The plucky heroine of the story is Victory Vaughn, a Cerddorion, a race of shapeshifters who can pretty much shift into anything. With a legacy stretching back to ancient Wales, Victory Vaughn's destiny is to eradicate demons despite being marked by one, while dating a werewolf PA (Paranormal American) rights lawyer and fighting her attraction to a golden haired cop. Now if she could only get her sword back from her zombie sidekick, then she could do some damage!

    Deadtown was a refreshing read, with plenty of laughs and animated secondary characters. I absolutely loved the "Monsterchusetts" concept. A pleasure to read and I look forward to seeing more of Holzner in the future.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review