Review: Closer to the Chest (Herald Spy #3) by Mercedes Lackey

Closer to the ChestIt’s taken quite a few books, but I think Lackey is back on her stride with her long-running Valdemar series. While I still noticed a few editorial discrepancies, I enjoyed this novel a lot more than any of the previous books that featured Mags and Amily. This particular story acts as a culmination to what both characters have been working toward for years. Now, they are full Heralds who have come into their own, both in the work that they do and in their relationship.

Valdemaran courtly and political intrigue are some of my very favorite things, and I got both of those in spades in this novel. As an added bonus, Lackey also introduces us to other religious elements in the world, proving that just because a series has literally dozens of books doesn’t mean that the readers (and the author) aren’t always learning new things.  Continue reading

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Review: Valhalla (Stargate SG-1 #14) by Tim Waggoner

ValhallaI enjoyed this book more than I otherwise might have, reading it so soon on the heels of watching Thor: Ragnarok in theaters. Any Stargate reading for me is a visit to a world I love, and this was a solid, though not necessarily memorable, entry into the media tie-in offerings for this world.

One of my biggest criteria for media tie-in stories is whether the story would have worked in the constraints of visual storytelling, and unfortunately, I could have easily seen this, special effects totally doable, on screen as a two-part episode. The planet Langara and its all-powerful naquadia resources and rogue Asgard scientists are also already done to death in the realm of Stargate stories.  Continue reading

Review: A Scandal in Battersea (Elemental Masters #12) by Mercedes Lackey

Scandal in BatterseaThe novels of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series take two forms. The first is re-imagined fairy tales set in Edwardian England (and Europe beyond). The second is a more of a traditional (historical) urban fantasy series that centers around a group of magicians, psychics, and mediums in London, starring two plucky young women and their avian familiars. They hang out with Sherlock Holmes sometimes, which is why his star-power gets him on the cover of the book.

A Scandal in Battersea is the latter style, which is not my preference of the two, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read. It was a solid, magical mystery adventure filled with comforting characters familiar from earlier in the series. Watching Nan and Sarah grow up has been a lovely ride, and I do enjoy checking in on them.  Continue reading

Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

ArtemisWhen the credits rolled on Ant-Man, I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “Marvel made me a heist movie!” When I read the first blurb about Artemis ages ago, I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “Andy Weir is writing me a heist novel!”

Considering I read the book in the space of a solid 4 hours on Wednesday night, the day after the book’s publication, I think it’s safe to say that Weir did not disappoint. (Since this review is coming out so close to publication, it has no spoilers).  Continue reading

Review: Canyon Shadows (Dark Tyrant #2) by C.R. Langille

Canyon ShadowsDisclaimer: I consider myself friends with the author, via the graduate writing program we both attended. However, I purchased the hardcopy version of this novel for full price.

Though this book is the second in a shared world of stories, you do not have to read the first in order to get full enjoyment from this novel (which I think is actually a prequel, anyway). Set in our contemporary world, this story features a fascinating mix of mythologies, Christian and indigenous North American, which complement each other to good effect over the course of the plot. The combination starts with a fascinating archaeological mystery and ends with an epic showdown.  Continue reading

Review: “A Case of Spirits” (A Charm of Magpies short) by K.J. Charles

Case of SpiritsThis short story was included in my Kindle edition of A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies #2).

This delightful short story doesn’t add much to the interpersonal relationship between Lord Crane and Stephen Day, but it does show how Crane and his manservant Merrick have become intricately linked with Day’s world of magician justiciars. This might have been an simple mystery, but it provided tantalizing clues to Crane’s past — and Merrick’s future.

Also, I would like to be best friends with Esther Gold.  Continue reading