Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews (mild spoilers)

Thanks to Ace (a Penguin Group Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint) and my Twitter addiction, this happened on Monday:
Just in case you were about to underestimate how happy this made me,
please use the size of this picture to as an indication of my joy.
Now, increase that amount by an exponent of 10 and crank up the volume.

My sisters love me (or they were afraid of my excessive use of exclamation points), and they agreed that the ARC (advance reading copy) could come to my house.  It arrived on Friday.  So this was a BFD for couple of reasons.  As I texted, this is one my favorite series, but an ARC also meant I wouldn't need to wait until release day (July 29) to read the book.  

Suffice to say there was much fangirl-ing* in my house this week.

And, yet, this Kate Daniels fangirl has somehow never reviewed a Kate book for you before.  

A book set in Kate's world? Yes.  

A novella in anthology that is also in Kate's world? Yes.  

But an actual, honest-to-goodness Kate book? No. That just incomprehensible.
(And that word does mean what I think it means.)

This is our ARC.
You are not allowed to judge it by its cover.
Warning: mild spoilers found below.

Magic Breaks is the seventh book in this series; the authors are contracted for three more.  (I am unlikely to think that 10 is enough.)  The book opens with series summary by one of the supporting characters, so you could dive right in and read this book without being lost**.  Briefly, what that summary explains is that Kate lives in Atlanta at a time when magic pulses and technology works inconsistently.  Kate, due to her parentage, IS magic. She's also, due to her upbringing, quite the ass-kicker.  Her fiance, Curran, is the Beast Lord, the alpha's alpha of the Atlanta Pack of shapeshifters.  There are witches, trolls, and vampires*** in this world, and Kate works hard to protect her loved ones, the defenseless, and a few mostly righteous people willing to pay for her services****.

The story begins when the uneasy truce between the people who navigate the vampires and the shapeshifters is broken by the discovery that a shapeshifter killed a master navigator. Kate has to figure out how to prevent an almost inevitable war between the two sides--a war seemingly kick-started by Hugh d'Ambray, a wingnut with a twisted preoccupation with Kate.  Hugh is so preoccupied with Kate that when she manages to foil his master plan (curses!), he uses betrayal within the Pack to get Kate (literally) where he wants her.

So, war averted, but personal jeopardy ensured. (That's kinda Kate's MO.)
The copy  pre-ordered will look like this
when it arrives on Tuesday.

Hugh is a sociopathic wingnut, so he underestimates both the devotion and capabilities of Kate's friends and family, and that underestimation eventually leads to his embarrassment before his boss, Kate's father.  

Oh, I need to tell you somethings about Kate's dad.

He's . . . not nice. Nor is he weak.
He wants to "claim" Atlanta as his own, and he just might have a history of killing off his offspring.

So the part of this series and this story that has been leading up to a confrontation between Kate and her father? 

Err, tense and likely deadly.

So what have a described so far?  An urban fantasy about an ass-kicking, sword-slinging heroine; her devoted, psychotic (in a good way?) supernatural friends; and her messed-up family tree.  A heroine forced (through circumstances and her own conscience) into facing a powerful wizard who will try to control or kill her.

Sound like fun?  It's AWESOME.  It's so good, I'm going to read it again before release day. 

Now, excuse me, while my Precious and I go spend more time together.
One last look at our Precious for you.

*In my case, fangirl-ing involves dancing around the house with no concern for dignity, copious amounts of texts and social media messages--again, with no concern for dignity--and, of course, squee-ing. ZOMG!! We won an ARC.

**But for the love of my book OCD, start at the beginning.  There's a difference between not being lost and really appreciating what's going on.***These vampires are little like remotely controlled zombies.  On their own, they're mindless predators, but "navigators" can manipulate them like string-less marionettes. 

***These vampires are little like remotely controlled zombies.  On their own, they're mindless predators, but "navigators" can manipulate them like string-less marionettes.

****For more insight into Kate's world, go here.  It's a new site, so I can't tell you much about it.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another (book) quickie

As promised I took a few hours to read the next offering in a series of short offerings from Alexander McCall Smith.  I read and reviewed the first in the series here and I liked it.

This one, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs, didn't disappoint either.  That's right, I said "sausage dogs."

Mistaken for a vet, the Professor has no choice but to perform emergency surgery on an unsuspecting sausage dog.  Naturally, this leads to lectures on the finer points of sausage dogs and ultimately a trip to the Vatican where said sausage dog eats the bones of Father Christmas.   Sound ridiculous?  It is.  But so is that book cover we posted the other day.  And over 350 of you liked that enough to click on it.  You're welcome.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Short. Funny. Done.

I don't know about you, but short,  funny, and done is how I like my summer reading.  I save the long, drama-filled plot twists and turns for the school year.  Summer, in my view, should be filled with quick little funny stories that I can pick up at the pool and put down once a friend plops down next to me and my Build-a-Bear towel. 

Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith (of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency fame) is just that.  It follows Professor Dr. von Igelfeld and his haphazard band of academic acquaintances all over Europe.   Very proud of his title and of his published novel about verbs, Dr. Von Igelfeld takes himself way too seriously. And it's funny. 

There are two more in this series and I plan to finish them this summer.  Where, you ask? At the pool, of course!

Happy reading!

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