Archive for May, 2015

Toby Daye – Books 1 & 2

May 29, 2015 - 6:41 pm No Comments

Rosemary and Rue (Toby Daye Book 1)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Release date: 2009
Page count: 346pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

October (Toby) Daye is a changeling – half human half fae and a knight of the Summerland Court. Things get a little fishy for Toby when she’s tailing Simon Torquill, twin brother of her liege Sylvester Torquill. And by fishy, I’m being literal; no fancy metaphors here. Simon uses his power to turn Toby into a fish where she flounders in a pond for fourteen years until the spell breaks and she is found naked, disoriented the apparent victim of an attack.
When she tells the police who she is they are in uproar at her for impersonating a dead woman. So she has no choice but to retain a human disguise and work the night shift at the local Safeway, dealing with the loss of her partner Cliff and daughter Gillian who wants nothing to do with her after she reappears fourteen years later.
Toby can’t ignore Faerie much longer when her friend Countess Evening Winterrose phones her, in trouble and sounding scared. And she is on the case before she can blink.
Blending magic, fae mythology and the sprawling city of San Francisco, McGuire puts the ‘urban’ and ‘fantasy’ in equal measure back into this busting-at-the-seams genre. It is at times over saturated but McGuire’s combination of a truly sassy, likeable female hero, her supporting cast, and the murder mystery elements make this book stand above the rest. It is written with a wonderful wry sense of humour and Toby has to deal with attempts on her life as well as attempts on her chastity by ex lover Devin, whilst building up a whole host of debts to various fae including the annoying, yet alluring Tybalt, Cait Sidhe and King of Cats.
The initial murder mystery is wrapped up nicely by the end but the book does leave lots of questions open for the following book. A rollicking good read.

A Local Habitation (Toby Daye Book 2)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Release date: 2010
Page count:
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

After the events of book one, this novel starts off quite light hearted as Toby totters home drunk after a night out with the girls, running into the ever delicious King Cat Tybalt. Letting him carry her home drunk is a mistake he may never let her forget.
Her hangover is interrupted by the arrival of her liege Sylvester who orders her to go to Fremont California to look after his niece, January and check on her, as she’s been quiet for a few weeks.
When she arrives their with page Quentin, things are a little weird at ALH Computing and it’s clear January is hiding something. But the mystery doesn’t interfere with Toby stealing a kiss or two from cute changeling Alex. Of course, things are bound to get hectic, and it isn’t long before bloodied bodies are turning up all over the place and Toby is in the middle of a murder investigation, the closest thing Faerie has to a medical examiner or forensics team.
Once again McGuire delivers with a strong female hero, a diverse set of characters, lots of humour, adventure, intrigue and magic.
This series is becoming addictive with each installment. Great stuff.

Cutting the Bloodline – Introducing Angeline Trevena

May 22, 2015 - 12:42 pm 2 Comments

Not everyone is born innocent.
A generation of defective children were abandoned. They grew up on the fringes, without rights, without a way to change their fate.
Journalist Kenton Hicks is driven to tell their stories, but these are not stories everyone wants told. As he digs deeper, he finds that the discovery of the criminal gene, the foundation of their crime-free utopia, isn’t quite the salvation it promised to be.
Armed with a book that could bring down the government, Kenton finds the country’s future in his hands.
Some see him as a saviour, others as a traitor. It’s time for him to choose which he will become.

This Book Cannot Bring Down a Government – But it is the Story of One That Can
Originally written as a stageplay five years ago, Cutting the Bloodline is the début novella from British horror and fantasy author Angeline Trevena.
Released on Kindle on May 12th, this adult dystopian thriller follows magazine journalist Kenton Hicks as he sets out to change the world.
Cutting the Bloodline is set in a future Britain where people are tested for the criminal gene, where carriers are outcast, and babies testing positive are aborted. Kenton simply wants to gather the stories of those who have suffered, but as his book gathers pace, and he investigates further, he finds that the crime free-utopia they enjoy was sold to them on a lie.
While the government fight to protect that lie, there are others determined to expose it, by whatever means. Kenton finds himself pulled between everyone else’s agenda, while his own motivations start to become a little confused. But his book has the power to start a civil war, and he needs to figure out who’s on his side.
Tony Benson, author of dystopian thriller, An Accident of Birth, said “Cutting The Bloodline is a vivid portrayal of a scarily real future, and the man who risks his life to expose the truth. Insightful, original, imaginative, and a great read.”

You can buy the book from Amazon here, and you can visit Angelne’s website at www.angelinetrevena.co.uk.

The following is a excerpt from Cutting the Bloodline:

Cutting the Bloodline 800
Angeline Trevena 800

Expecting bad news didn’t make it any easier to hear. Kenton pocketed his phone and shook his head, trying to push the call to the back of his mind. He couldn’t deal with family issues right now.

He pressed the bell, and the scanner below it flashed red. He pulled back his sleeve and waved his ID bracelet across it. He was still avoiding upgrading to the implant.

The door opened and the officer tipped his head, inviting Kenton inside. As he ducked through the doorway, the blue lights of the scanner ran over him; head to toe and back up again.

The officer held out his hand.

“No mobile phones. No recording devices.”

Kenton grimaced and handed them over. He’d have to do the interview old school.

“Mr Hicks, I presume.”

Kenton nodded. “That’s me.”

The officer huffed, and hitched his trousers back up to his broad stomach. His belt was so heavy with scanners and weapons, it threatened to drop his trousers to his ankles. He pointed to a row of steel chairs.

“Someone will come for you.” He ran his eyes over Kenton, tutted, and pulled the entrance door closed.

“Everyone knows what you’re doing, and why you’re here. They aren’t happy about it.” He huffed. “Things are working just fine, and no one needs you shoving your nose in.”

Kenton nodded. He hadn’t expected to get a warm welcome.

He slipped his hand into his jacket pocket and wrapped his fingers around his pen. It had run out of ink years ago, but he always carried it for luck. It was a novelty pen; one with a clothed woman who became naked when you tipped it. His dad had given it to him the day he graduated. He had always considered a journalism degree a waste of time, and the pen had been a symbol of his disapproval. A way to make a fool out of his son.

“Get a trade,” he had always said. “A real man’s job. There’s always work for real men.” Two years later, he’d been made redundant when they replaced him with an automated machine.

“Mr Hicks?”

Kenton looked up at the female officer. She raised her eyebrows with a look of impatience.

Kenton stood, stumbling as his foot caught against the chair leg. “Er..yes.”

She looked him up and down and gave a tiny shake of her head.

“Follow me.” Before she’d finished speaking, she had already turned and started to walk away.

Kenton jogged to catch up to her.

She spoke as she walked, never once looking at him. “Do not give anything to the patient, do not accept anything from the patient. Do not touch the patient, do not allow the patient to touch you. Should you wish to leave, at any time, simply stand, collect all of your belongings, walk calmly to the door, and you will be escorted out.”

She stopped and Kenton had to side step to avoid bumping into her. She gestured to the open door in front of her.

“There is also a panic button should you need it. If you do press it, make sure that you move clear of the door.”

Angeline Trevena was born and bred in a rural corner of Devon, but now lives among the breweries and canals of central England. She is a horror and fantasy writer, poet and journalist.
In 2003 she graduated from Edge Hill University, Lancashire, with a BA Hons degree in Drama and Writing. During this time she decided that her future lay in writing words rather than performing them.
The most unlikely of horror writers, Angeline is scared of just about everything, and still can’t sleep in a fully dark room. She goes weak at the sight of blood, can’t share a room with a spider, but does have a streak of evil in her somewhere.
Some years ago she worked at an antique auction house and religiously checked every wardrobe that came in to see if Narnia was in the back of it. She’s still not given up looking for it.

Immortal

May 21, 2015 - 10:50 pm No Comments

Fallen Angels Number 6
Author: J R Ward
Publisher: Piatkus
Release date: 3rd March 15
Page count: 400 pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Demon Devina, in her current curvaceous suit of flesh has been trying to curb her appetites and compulsions with therapy, but when she sees the pair of gold Louboutins she just has to have them. It’s the only thing that will keep her mind off the fact that her lover Jim, had gone home to someone else, that virginal Sissy, after making love to Devina. It was a good thing then that she was leading in a war over humanity, so if she won this current soul – she won everything. Devina’s tone of voice is a great blend of SATC, Confessions of a Shopaholic and, er, evil.
Sissy Barten, on the other hand, is an immortal; a sacrificial dead-ass Virgin resurrected from Hell into a war between a pair of fallen angels and a demon. The problem was, she couldn’t stop thinking about angel Jim Heron and the fact that he’d done the walk of shame that morning having spent the night boning someone instead of doing his job. Grrr. But she should give him some slack, she figured. After all, it was him who’d rescued her from Hell.
Then there’s Adrian, the other Fallen; solidly built, military style, bad leg and blind in one eye through an injury, but no lightweight.
As Sissy flees the house, desperate for thinking time, Jim awakens and wants to follow her, but he can’t. He has to focus on the mission or Devina will win dominion over all the souls in Heaven and Hell. The Creator has set up the task so Jim has to intercede with seven souls at the crossroads. Winner takes all.
Jim, as fallen angel, is suitably dark, with buried memories and a hurt he can’t express and what could be PTSD from his pre-angelic life as a soldier.
The novel gives glimpses into all areas in Heaven, Hell and in between, from Purgatory to the Manse of Souls, where the archangels reside. Pleasingly, from a diversity point of view, the novel features strongly written gay characters in a relationship.
The narrative rattles along at a nice pace with some good surprises along the way, and amidst the romance brewing, is a wry sense of humour that definitely brings out the chuckle factor in the reader.
And as a bonus, although number six in an ongoing series, this book can easily be read independently. An enjoyable, testosterone fuelled romp.

Spellbound and Thirteen

May 9, 2015 - 8:42 pm No Comments

Women of the Otherworld (12)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: 4 Aug 2011
Page count: 339pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Following straight on from the eleventh book in the WoTO series, Waking the Witch, Savannah Levine, 21 year old witch and PI has just left the small town of Columbus disheartened at deaths she believes are on her head. Because of a vague wish made in her moment of grief, her powers have disappeared and she thinks that the ‘Fates’ have accepted her bargain. Her best friend and demon Adam Vasic has other ideas. He’s pretty sure it’s not a done deal, so drags her back to the town to find out what’s going on. Then to seek advice from Necromancer Jaime. Unfortunately though it isn’t the Fates who’ve done this to Savannah, and they’ve sent her deceased Mom on an investigation to find out exactly who’s stolen her powers. On top of all that, a new activist group The Supernatural Liberation Movement, are trying to ‘out’ the supernatural races.
Fraught with escalating tension, this penultimate novel in the WoTO series sees Savannah grow in maturity as she faces challenges without her powers. Added to that is her burgeoning relationship with Adam. It’s a great instalment in the series, that really kick starts the action in …

Thirteen
Women of the Otherworld (13)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Orbit
Release date: 24th July 2012
Page count: 419pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

NO SPOILERS ALLOWED. This review will have to be quite light, because I can’t tell you anything! At last it’s here, the eagerly awaited finale in the WoTO series. Appropriately titled ‘Thirteen’ this last full length novel in the series delivers everything but said on the tin and more.
The supernatural world is in upheaval. There is a war coming and it’s time to choose what side you fight for.
Narrated primarily from Savannah’s first person POV, Armatrong also writes some cheers from third person POV from a whole host of the female characters including Alpha Elect Elena Michaels and coven leader Paige Winterborne.
If you’ve travelled with these women for ten years, the last chance to spend time with them in this expanded universe is rewarding. This is a fitting, strong finale. But never fear, there are many more short story collections and novellas in the Otherworld universe to enjoy.