Archive for May, 2012

Discount Armageddon

May 9, 2012 - 12:28 am No Comments

Discount Armageddon
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW Books
Page count/Size: 352pp
Release date: 6 Mar 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

The first of the ‘Incryptid’ novels by Seanan McGuire a.k.a Mira Grant, Discount Armageddon is a fun ride into a brand new urban fantasy environment.

From an early age Verity was trained to protect herself and fear the things in the dark. Verity is a member of the Price family, a family of cryptozoologists (the study of unknown or mythical creatures such as Bigfoot or lamias) who have abandoned their previous role working for the Covenant, the equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition.

But cryptid relations and threatening beasties to leave town isn’t all that Verity wants to do. From a little girl she dreamt of being a ballroom dancer, so in between fights with lizard men and other ghouls, she salsas, ballroom dances and waits tables.

The first in the series starts with a ghoul apparently stalking New York and kidnapping/eating single young girls who have been going missing from the cryptid community. Fifteen girls have been taken from the Manhattan Club scene and Verity is on the trail of the monster, determined to stop the disappearances and punish the fiend.

Apart from a few editorial issues, this book is top notch.

There is Buffyesque action, a dash of romance from the Covenant representative Dominic, guest monsters from most genres, a chorus of singing mice who share Verity’s apartment and a good dollop of humour.

This is a tightly written, neatly paced adventure by a top female author who should be recognised for her brimming talent.

Superb fun!

Deadfall – Dead Strange!

May 8, 2012 - 11:57 pm No Comments

Author: Steve Rasnic Tem
Publisher: Solaris Books
Page count/Size: 300p
Release date: 17 April 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

“Past properties have allowed botanists to study the grove, and all have been at a loss to explain its peculiar physics”

The Deadfall Hotel and its surrounding grounds, its residents, its staff including the elusive ‘housekeepers’ are peculiar indeed, yet it makes for interesting, if difficult reading.

Running such a hotel requires a special calling, or need.

Richard Carter recently lost his wife Abby in a fire. Richard is offered a job as Hotel Manager at the Deadfall Hotel, and with eleven year old daughter Serena, who is just blossoming into the early stages of womanhood he packs his bags and enters the strange and mysterious world of the Deadfall.

Previous managers (who tend to have experienced a dramatic trauma in their lives) have a history of rapidly resigning, combusting or simply disappearing. With shades of Gormenghast or The Shining, I certainly won’t be planning my summer jollies at the Deadfall. No map can work in the Deadfall and the rooms and walls always seem to change. The residents are weird or supernatural in nature and the housekeepers are invisible to the human eye.

And if you’re afraid of cats, this novel will certainly unnerve you.

Cats are everywhere; intelligent, stalking cats that surround Richard, his daughter Serena and handyman Jacob, watching their every move.

If it sounds a bit confusing, well it is. This is no ordinary novel. It is not a comfortable read and it is incredibly surreal. However, it is a book that must be read.
Whilst some of the scenes seem a little uncalled for to move the plot along, this novel is a deep exploration of what it is to deal with loss and also tackles the very uncomfortable issues of puberty and widowhood. It is not meant to be light or fluffy, yet there are moments of humour that break up an otherwise mind boggling read.

This book has much to offer to the discerning reader.