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Tag Archives: Urban Fantasy

blackdogbluesTitle: Black Dog Blues (Kai Gracen #1)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Self Published (Coffee Squirrel Press)
Length: 92,479 words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Series, Urban Fantasy, Fae/Elves, Futuristic, Post-Apoc, California, Graphic Violence (and other…things), Blood & Gore, Dragons, Past Abuse, Action/Adventure, Unusual Creatures, Magic, Tattoos
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

Ever since he’d been part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figured he’d used up any good karma he had when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races were left with a messy, monster-ridden world and Stalkers were often the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy and dark moved into the neighbourhood.

There certainly were no shortage of monsters or people stupidly willing to become lunch for one.

It was a hard life but one Kai liked. And he was good at it. Killing monsters was easy. Especially since he was one himself.

After an accident retired Dempsey out, Kai set up permanent shop in San Diego, contracting out to the local SoCalGov depot. It was a decent life, filled with bounty, a few friends and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him he wasn’t really human.

That was until a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego and Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It was supposed to a simple run; head up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary with the new Court then back to San Diego. Easy, quick and best of all, profitable. But Ryder’s “simple” run leads to massive trouble and Kai ends up being caught in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich by being a Stalker. But then hardly any of them got old either. The way things were looking, it didn’t look like Kai was going to be the exception.

REVIEW

Pretty much all of you who read my reviews know that for the most part I’m rather reluctant to read anything angsty or intense. My tastes change and fluctuate of course, but for the last year to year and a half I’ve mostly left those alone. So somehow, I suppose because at the time I didn’t really know Rhys Ford’s writing all that well, I got into her writing even though she really flirts with the edge for me at times, no matter how much I end up liking the books. It takes me a bit of mental cheerleading to work myself into the frame of mind to start her books, and really it’s mostly the anticipation; fearing that the book will get too intense for me is more than half the battle, because I usually don’t mind as much once I start reading. But now that I know I’ll read anything by this author, it still means that I’m nervous starting her books. I was actually most excited about this one, mostly because I was really interested to see how she’d deal with urban fantasy when most of her writing that I’m familiar with are contemporary mysteries. And once I started, I was immediately sucked into it. Even though it was in many parts intense — it was just a different kind of intensity than I expected.

Kai Gracen is an anomaly among the lower denizens of San Diego. Taken in by Dempsey when only a feral elfin boy, the grizzled and uncouth hunter raised Kai in his shadow, among the human hunters of the black dogs, the spawn of the unsidhe that threaten the human population and whose hides earn money from the government. After a war between humans and the elfin races (both sidhe and unsidhe), the land is split between areas for each race to inhabit, with land specifically designated for the elfin to set up their courts. It also left the world full of monsters and beasties like the black dogs, making travel between those areas often difficult and dangerous.

As a hunter, Kai is skilled and extremely knowledgable about the area, which is why he’s called into the local government depot (where he gets paid for his kills) to take a non-negotiable contract to ferry a new elfin lord up the coast during dragon mating season. The run through Pendle is dangerous even without the complications that the sidhe lord brings, the first being their passenger on return. Ryder, the sidhe lord, is new to San Diego, setting up a new court (the Dawn Court). He needs to retrieve a pregnant human from the sidhe city in Los Angeles and needs Kai to take him, serving as guide and bodyguard.

This book drew me immediately in. It feels… literally jam-packed with action and plot. It’s almost as if there’s no stopping. And after reading the book and then seeing that it’s only just shy of 100k words. Honestly, I felt as if I’d read twice that. There’s so much to this story, starting with the world and the characters. This book does well as the first of a new series to set up the world, but so much of it is in great detail. It is rather smartly done, too. We don’t need a history lesson, because while we don’t really know how the war between the humans and elfin came about or how it played out, it’s fairly self-explanatory by how the world is set up. Both races have their positive and negative qualities, and Kai is uniquely placed to give us perspective on both of them, while having his own unique one about where the two races collide. Over the course of the book we learn quite a bit about his history, which is fairly graphic in detail but shows the evil and the good in the world. And also, there is so much world, plot, characterization that this story really can’t have it all. The romance is really non-existent in this book, except in the sense as a prelude to future stories and in the building of the relationship between Kai and Ryder. But I appreciated that there wasn’t a rush and that Rhys Ford didn’t (perhaps) bow to pressure to include it too early.

I’ve gone the route of deciding to urge you to read this yourself rather than really dig in and explore the book in my review. I would actually love to do that, but there’s honestly just way too much to talk about. And I was really surprised by how well balanced all of that was. I felt like Rhys showed quite a bit of restraint in parts of the book, which makes me eager to see what she’ll write for the sequel… there’s just so much more story left to tell.

I will say that if you might be squeamish about blood and gore this might be a difficult read for you. I was expecting more emotionally intense writing than what I got, but I didn’t expect so many physically intense scenes. There’s one scene that made even me sick to my stomach (which… I don’t know that that has ever happened to me actually), where… Well, all I’ll say is that Kai gets something really nasty in his mouth. And the blood and gore was a few times almost comical, like a Tarantino movie. I really enjoyed that part of it, though some people really might not.

But, in all, this was a really fantastic read. While I applaud the author’s decision to take the romance slow (which is really needed because of Kai’s emotional growth throughout the book), I would have liked maybe a bit more connection between him and Ryder before the ending of the book. It got there, sortof, before the end, but for a book that for most of reading it I wasn’t sure if it even was going to develop into a romance, I wanted a bit more assurance of the direction their relationship was moving in before we left them for a year or however long it takes before the sequel is ready to read.

Beautifully and smartly written. And, I think, one of the best books so far this year. Definitely recommended!


Herbs and spices.Title: Herbal Remedy (a Paranormal Days story)
Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 13k words
Genre: m/m Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame (mostly fade to black)
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, May/December, Magic, Witch/Mage, Dreadlocks!, Secrets & Lies, Urban Fantasy, California
Rating: Pretty Good

**Giveaway! Enter by 6/18 to win a copy of this story (as well as it’s partner, Beach Remedy, by Sasha Miller) on Sasha Miller’s guest post yesterday.

BLURB

Jordan is used to being the butt of every hedge witch joke, painfully aware he’s a checklist of clichés, and long resigned to never being as successful as the more favored elemental witches. Then a prestigious magic firm puts out a call for hedge witches, and the chance to prove himself and become more than a joke is impossible to resist—even if he has to put aside all those things he loves for a little while. It’s only temporary, the money is great, and it will all be worth it in the end.

REVIEW

In this Paranormal Days story, we get to know Jayden’s brother, Jordan. In Beach Remedy we really don’t get to see much of Jordan, only enough to see that he’s a more reserved and responsible version of Jayden with long, beautiful dreadlocks. And, while they’re both hedge witches, Jordan is the only one that really practices. He’s a stereotype in most ways (think beach bum), even down to the herbal blends he loves to smoke. One of the biggest differences are their sexuality — while both brothers are gay and Jayden tends to be a somewhat promiscuous wildcat, Jordan prefers a more sedate and mature man, and hasn’t been out on a date in forever.

Being a hedge witch is Jordan’s dream. He makes defensive amulets and protection charms agains vampires and werewolves. He makes his own small spells that he sells to his neighbors, including his herbal cigarettes (though some of them are private and definitely not-legal). It’s what he loves to do, even if most people see him and immediately take him for a lazy bum and he’ll never make enough money. Both he and Jayden have taken care of each other from a young age, but Jordan is fed up of always living hand to mouth when they deserve so much more.

The remedy seems to be against a lot of what he stands for, but it might not be that bad either. A large magic firm is looking to take on hedge witches to travel around the country and work. It pays a lot of money and Jordan knows that he’s good enough to get one of the coveted spots. But working up the corporate ladder means saying goodbye to his dreadlocks, his pride, and most unfortunately, his time. The only thing that saves him from a complete breakdown of spirit is the distinguished older man he meets while on the road…

In structure and plot, this story differs a bit from Beach Remedy. Where that story is all about falling in love and having fun on the beach, Herbal Remedy is really about trying to make it through the pitfalls of a relationship with an older man while trying to work a particularly demanding job. Jordan is a genuinely good soul. In many ways he’s uncomplicated and fiercely loyal, and that can come across as naivety. In a way it is. Falling in love for Jordan is freeing and beautiful with no reservations, which makes dealing with the experience of a man so much older than him a difficulty that he didn’t expect to face and doesn’t know how to reconcile. I liked Jordan quite a bit. I’m not sure how much I liked Shayne, and I can’t decide if it’s his actions or the fact that I felt like I didn’t really get to know him or much about him or see them a lot together. Or both. Probably a little of both.

However, for a short story, I think that we get a pretty good picture of the world and a lot of story for only 13,000 words. As I said in my review today of Beach Remedy, these stories should definitely be read as a pair. I only say that because I enjoyed both of them. They definitely don’t need to be read together, and you could pick either one to read as a standalone story and be satisfied. Recommended.


beachremedy400Title: Beach Remedy (a Paranormal Days story)
Author: Sasha L Miller
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 17k words
Genre: m/m Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Magic, Witch/Mage, Vampire, Urban Fantasy, California, Ghosts/Spirits, On Vacation, On the Beach, HFN, Light and Sweet
Rating: Pretty Good

**Giveaway! Enter by 6/18 to win a copy of this story (as well as it’s partner, Herbal Remedy, by Megan Derr) on Sasha Miller’s guest post yesterday.

BLURB

With his cousin laid up from a broken ankle, Lee agrees to help him out and combine a beach vacation with a bit of legwork to scope out a haunted lighthouse. That his cousin agrees to pay for the vacation certainly makes a cheesy ghost tour bearable. Lee’s plan is to get the work out of the way quickly, then spend the rest of his time on sun, sand, and all the blood and sex a vampire can stand. But the cute hotel clerk he picks out proves to be anything, but an easy snack.

REVIEW

Though there’s no need to read these stories in any certain order (the other being Megan Derr’s Herbal Remedy), they are connected. The common denominator are two of the main characters. In this story, it is Jayden, who is the brother of the narrator of Megan Derr’s story. I happened to read Megan’s story first, so I found that I knew quite a bit about Jayden before I got to read his story. In Megan’s story we see quite a bit of Jayden and his importance in Jordan’s life, so I had a pretty good handle on his character. Though… it’s interesting, and this one aspect played out well in the order I read the stories. From Jordan, I got one characterization of Jayden and though it was admittedly multifaceted because he’s an important character to him, actually getting to know Jayden firsthand from this story completed his character in the same way you’d get to know someone through their sibling only to see later that you only understood them through the lens of sibling affection and at the same time, frustration 🙂

Lee probably felt similarly towards Jordan, when he meets him in this story just because he’s heard about him through Jayden. The two meet at a sunny beach hotel. Lee had planned his vacation to the beach for some well-earned rest. It might seem strange for a vampire to vacation at the beach, but all Lee wants is some relaxation and a new guy to share his hotel room with each night. So his fixation on one man alone surprises him.

Jayden works at the hotel desk and checks in Lee when he arrives. The two share a flirtation that baffles Lee a bit. Jayden seems to be reacting strangely to his vampire-seduction mojo, but if Jayden is immune then maybe he’s really interested in him. He still has a job to do though. He wouldn’t have met Jayden at all if his cousin wasn’t laid up with a broken ankle. Astor is researching the local lighthouse (which is rumored to be haunted) for his next book on hauntings. If he hadn’t agreed to do the research for him since he was laid up, then Lee wouldn’t be staying in such a swanky beach-front hotel, and therefore wouldn’t have had the chance to meet the lovely Jayden.

The best part about this story is that Sasha Miller has thrown away all the unofficial vampire rules and created an interesting, rather mundane vampire. For someone like myself who prefers the Wild Bill sort of vamp (though Wild Bill could never be called mundane!), I really enjoyed getting to know Lee. He’s got a bit of a shaky moral compass, though he’s a genuinely good guy. And I liked the couple that Jayden and Lee make.

Second, this is really a nice beach read. Not that it’s about a beach (duh), but because it’s really about a vacation fling, and those are always fun to read about. The warm weather and long evenings, the lack of stress, and… the beach. It’s about appreciating the day and not worrying about tomorrow. That made this story fun to read. Jayden and Lee enjoy each other, have lots of sex and because they aren’t worried about the future, they allow themselves to be playful. One of my favorite scenes is when they go to do Astor’s research at the lighthouse and make fun of all the ghost stuff. It’s light and sweet.

The story does evolve, towards the end, as they start having real feelings and thinking about what happens next. I appreciated having a solid Happy for Now ending with a real plan going forward for their relationship rather than an unreal HEA.

This is definitely best read as part of a pair, but mostly because the stories are both good and go well together than needing to be read together. You could enjoy either of them separately if you wished.


**Note: this review contains spoiler tags, which are shown only on the bottom of the review and not in the book info at the top. If you don’t want to be spoiled, avoid reading the tag links at the bottom of the post please!**

we are family cambionTitle: We Are Family (Cambion: Dark Around the Edges #3)
Author: Cari Z
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Length: 19k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty (It always is with these two!)
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Serial, Short Story, Demons, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Secrets and Lies, Kids, Family, Gay Dads
Rating: Really Liked It

This review contains spoilers for the first two parts of the serial — “Heaven’s On Fire” and “Black Magic Woman”

BLURB

Devon Harper is a cambion, the offspring of an incubus and one of his female followers. Discovered by those who could’ve helped him too late to be saved from his nature, he barely survived a brutal childhood before getting a handle on his powers of seduction. Lust, sex, desire: these are second nature to cambion, and are their road to both riches and ruin. Devon has the power to bring people to their knees with a glance, to drive them so crazy with pleasure that they forget their names, and occasionally forget to breathe as well. He could use his birthright to force the world to worship him, but Devon is trying to fight against the pull, to do what he can to track down people with the power to summon a demon and stop them before more cambion can be made.



But Devon doesn’t realize that the path he and his friends are following is only one strand of a web laid in place by a demon who’s not content to wait on the whims of humanity to get out of Hell. Devon is this demon’s key to staying above ground permanently, and when he finally catches up with the cambion, he’s not taking no for an answer.

Episode 3: We Are Family

Still coping with the aftermath of the deal with Lynlis, Devon decides there’s no place like home and convinces Rio to stop by Devon’s fathers’ lakeside home on their way to pick up Porter Grey’s trail. Along the way, Rio opens up about his past in a way Devon has never known. Then at the lake house, more secrets of Rio’s mysterious origin are revealed, along with a frightening connection between Devon’s family and Porter Grey himself!

REVIEW

Owing to staying sick for about a month between March and April, it’s taken me quite a while to get back into the swing of reviews and get caught up on some of them, especially the two serials from Storm Moon Press, which before getting sick I was thoroughly enjoying. I suppose it isn’t so bad being able to read more than one of them in a row, especially with the Cari Z’s Cambion serial.

We ended the second story in the Cambion serial (“Black Magic Woman”) with the pair gearing up to flee Las Vegas. The City of Sin turned out to have more of a bite than these two were expecting and gave both of them a reminder that though they have some pretty powerful weapons on their sides, they aren’t infallible. In the process of seeking a witch to divine the location of their quarry, Porter Grey, Devon lost his sense of touch for three days. What seemed like one of the better sense to gamble (rather than say, his sight) turns out to be almost impossible to deal with and Devon is relegated to letting Rio take care of him.

The pair flee Vegas to find Porter Grey, who according to the information of the witch Lynlis is in Seattle. But Devon is not up for any kind of mission, so they instead decide to stop in Oregon to visit Devon’s dads. Ren and Emile are an enigma with many of their own secrets to keep. They’re foster parents to cambions, teaching them to control their powers. But going home only highlights the growing feelings between Rio and Devon and puts Rio and his secrets in even more of a precarious position.

I think that what I liked so much about this third installment into the Cambion world is that it takes what we saw in the second and continues to develop it. Of course, some pretty big secrets come out, including the one Rio’s been trying to hide, but while it was nice to find out what he really is, I liked seeing the developing intimacy between him and Devon even more. Devon’s vulnerability stemming from losing his sense of touch brings that connection to the forefront; for the first time, Devon has to overlook his pride and accept help and seeing Devon in such a state shows Rio just how much he cares for the cambion.

Cari mentioned after my review of the second story that soon after this third one we’d get back to more of the action. It makes sense if you’re considering it by the story. Now that they’ve gone home and their relationship is on much firmer ground than the casual sexual and professional relationship they had in the first story, it makes sense that the last half of this season will return the focus to their hunt of the demon summoner, Porter Grey.

I’m looking forward to story #4 (not long of a wait!) and in particular hopefully finding out more about Ren and Emile or seeing if they play any further part in the story. I also can’t wait to see when Devon finds out what Ren is and by proxy what his dads are 🙂

If you haven’t started this serial then this is a good time to get in on the action, with half of it now over (at least, these first 6 installments). If you buy the season as a bundle you get some free goodies along with it, the first of which was just sent out — free story “The South Beach Job”, which takes us back several years to Rio and Devon’s earlier professional relationship when their sexual one is just starting. It’s a good story that shows them before they change by their association with the other. Plus, it’s always fun watching Devon in slut mode 😉


cambionTitle: Black Magic Woman (Cambion: Dark Around the Edges #2)
Author: Cari Z
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Length: approx. 17,972 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Serial, Short Story, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Demons, Vegas
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

Devon Harper is a cambion, the offspring of an incubus and one of his female followers. Discovered by those who could’ve helped him too late to be saved from his nature, he barely survived a brutal childhood before getting a handle on his powers of seduction. Lust, sex, desire: these are second nature to cambion, and are their road to both riches and ruin. Devon has the power to bring people to their knees with a glance, to drive them so crazy with pleasure that they forget their names, and occasionally forget to breathe as well. He could use his birthright to force the world to worship him, but Devon is trying to fight against the pull, to do what he can to track down people with the power to summon a demon and stop them before more cambion can be made.

But Devon doesn’t realize that the path he and his friends are following is only one strand of a web laid in place by a demon who’s not content to wait on the whims of humanity to get out of Hell. Devon is this demon’s key to staying above ground permanently, and when he finally catches up with the cambion, he’s not taking no for an answer.

Episode 2: Black Magic Woman
Tracking Porter Grey means making a deal with Lynlis Syfer, a witch with a gift for finding the unfindable. It takes something special to catch the eye of a woman like that, and so Devon and Rio split up in order to blacken the eyes of Lynlis’ two main rivals. But that just gets them in the door. To secure her help requires a sacrifice that may be higher than the boys can afford.

REVIEW

What a pleasant surprise it was when this second installment of Cari Z’s new serial Cambion showed up in my email. The first “episode”, published one month ago, was reviewed here and was something that I really enjoyed. We met Devon and Rio in “Heaven’s On Fire”. Devon is a cambion, half human and half demon/incubus. He has the power of lust and uses it with deadly precision. On the other hand, Rio is an enigma. Secret even among the clandestine group in which they work, Rio is smart, capable and ruthless, yet with a solid and gentle core, something that only Devon really sees. The two have forged a working relationship over time that skirts the edge of friendship. Rio has no reason to lie about the fact that Devon is charming (though his powers don’t work on him), that he likes him and finds their easy sexual relationship comforting. Devon feels the same. He has rather progressive and loose boundaries towards sex anyway, but if there were one man who he’d want something more from, it is Rio.

In “Heaven’s On Fire”, Rio came to Devon’s rescue, extracting him from a deadly situation involving a pleasure house catered to the grotesque and sadistic taste. He was there to make contact and try to apprehend Porter Grey, a dangerous man known for summoning demons. Porter Grey, however, has proved rather difficult to apprehend, making it out of the club alive and setting off on his own. Now, in “Black Magic Woman”, Rio and Devon must make the rounds among the paranormally powerful of Las Vegas to find a way to track the man.

Cari Z is continuing to draw me in with this serial. The first episode hooked me but this one did what it needed to keep my interest up. And more than doing that by leading us to more clues as to the overall and main plot, and about Porter Grey, it takes the time to lay down the bones of the characters (especially Rio in this one) and further develop the relationship between the two. There’s a lull in the action with this story, to really lay the groundwork for what is to come later. I found that this story was just as much to my taste as the first one, even though it was without big explosions and the action that I enjoyed so much. That is because Devon and Rio can hold the story on their own. Devon is just as funny here as I first saw him, with an outrageous personality and Rio’s secrets and air of mystery kept me intrigued, especially as we got to know him better with more of his point of view in this episode.

I’m really looking forward to getting more of the story! I definitely recommend this one, but only you know if you’d rather hold out for the whole story to be completed before you read it. I’m usually that way myself, but so far I’m really getting into reading this serial, which must mean that they’re doing something right 😉


BoyandHisDragon[A]LGTitle: A Boy and His Dragon (Being(s) in Love #2)
Author: R Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Length: 79,598 words
Genre: m/m Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Series, Urban Fantasy, Dragon Shifters, Faeries, History, Opposites Attract
Rating: So So

BLURB

Arthur MacArthur needs a job, and not just for the money. Before he dropped out of school to support his younger sister, he loved being a research assistant at the university. But working for a dragon, one of the rarest and least understood magical beings, has unforeseen complications. While Arthur may be the only applicant who isn’t afraid of Philbert Jones in his dragon form, the instant attraction he feels for his new employer is beyond disconcerting.

Bertie is a brilliant historian, but he can’t find his own notes without help—his house is a hoard of books and antiques, hence the need for an assistant. Setting the mess to rights is a dream come true for Arthur, who once aspired to be an archivist. But making sense of Bertie’s interest in him is another matter. After all, dragons collect treasure, and Arthur is anything but extraordinary.

REVIEW

When I decided to review this book, I didn’t realize that it was the sequel to R Cooper’s Some Kind of Magic. I had intended to read that book at some point, but even though I got it when it was released I never read it. This book seemed more interesting to me, however, because of the dragon. I love dragon shifters and I can’t stay away from any book that looks like it might have one. So I decided to read both of these books, and as it turned out, I ended up liking the first book better than this one, despite the yummy dragon man.

A Boy and His Dragon opens as Arthur MacArthur visits the home of Dr. Philbert Jones, a historian to interview for a position as his research assistant. Arthur is working towards a degree in history himself and has a real love of learning and an academic mind, but family problems and lack of money have forced him to take a student sabbatical until he can find a way out of his debts and support himself and his sister with enough money left over to return to his studies. This job, then, is perfect. While he has two other jobs, they’re part-time and don’t challenge him the way he needs to be, and a research job is just what he needs to keep his career on track.

Arthur is also a normal human. Living in a world where the paranormal is normal (at least for the last 70 some-odd years), means that there is familiarity and misinformation alongside one another. Humans mostly still know very little about Beings, at least on a day to day basis. Arthur is a an example of this. Knowing that his potential employer is a dragon, he makes and keeps an ongoing list of things he knows about dragons, which is very small and somewhat misinformed. Despite his personal curiosity, this job means a lot to Arthur because of his need to protect and care for his sister. But when he meets Philbert, “Bertie”, he finds another reason to care about the job — caring about the dragon himself. They’re fairly opposite, obvious signs notwithstanding, but they soon learn to care for one another as Arthur spends his days organizing Bertie’s book collection.

The writing itself in this book is very good. Readers who have read the first book in the series, Some Kind of Magic, will find it similar. The story is firmly set apart from that book, there’s almost no connection whatsoever, besides the world, so there’s really no need to read the books in any certain order. Mostly, however, readers will find this book very different from it’s predecessor, mainly in that this book isn’t a mystery. There is one overarching choice the author makes, however, that is the same in both books, and it is something that bothered me in both of them. The romantic tension is created by severe miscommunication, all bolstered and made more authentic by the fact that the Beings and Humans and the different types of Beings don’t understand one another. Still, I found this to be a rather fragile and thin excuse.

I read quite a few short stories because of my weekly reviews at Brief Encounters and one of the biggest problems I find in short stories is the excess of plot for a short format. This book had the opposite problem — I felt like there wasn’t enough plot for the size of this book, which made the story drag for me, throughout most of the book. The miscommunication and desire of the characters (especially Arthur) to do what they think is best for everyone else without talking it over with anyone else first (I hate that), is used to draw out the story into a longer work. I felt a bit like I was waiting and waiting for something to happen.

Others might like this story more. The writing, like I said before, is good, I just tend not to enjoy stories focused solely on the relationship and the added (very) slow place compounded that problem for me. For some reason, while I liked them, I didn’t find the characters engaging enough to overcome that problem. So it was really only a so so book for me. I’m still looking forward to reading more of this author’s work, however, and hopefully that book will be more to my personal taste in style.