Kirsten Reviews: Dr. DOA by Simon R. Green

, by Kt Clapsadl

Dr. DOA by Simon R. Green
Secret Histories #10

The name is Drood, Eddie Drood, also known as Shaman Bond. My family has been safeguarding humanity for generations, facing the hidden horrors of the world so you can sleep at night and remain oblivious to the existence of the monstrous nightmares that walk and stalk among us.

Speaking of predatory night terrors, there is a man who gets away with murder. A man who specializes in removing the problems from other people’s lives, by killing the people who cause those problems. He operates from the darkest shadows of the hidden world, coming and going unseen. No-one knows who he is, just his nomme du muerte. Dr. DOA.

Somehow, this demented doc poisoned me. I don’t know how he did it, when or where, but whatever is coursing through my veins seems to be immune to magic cures and treatments. But that’s not going to stop me from finding him and whoever hired him and give them both a taste of their own medicine...

Dr. DOA is the 10th book in Simon R. Green’s the Secret Histories series and by this time the characters and its world are well-established. In order to shake up what can seem in a long series like the protagonist’s solid grip on things, Eddie Drood finds himself in the most dire of straits.

Assigned by his family to investigate a matter causing all sorts of trouble for the Droods, Eddie isn’t expecting things to go wrong, but they inevitably do.

His girlfriend Molly, who is an extremely powerful witch and formidable even without using magic accompanies him, but even their combined skills do not prevent Eddie from being poisoned. His only hope is to find the mysterious Dr. DOA, a man who makes people’s lives easier by killing anyone who causes them problems.

With a character’s life hanging in the balance it’s a good opportunity for them to go on a long quest and encounter old friends and enemies alike. This is exactly what Eddie does, and although readers know that Green isn’t actually going to kill off the protagonist, it makes for enjoyable reading.

The entire series has a very James Bond-esque feel, from the titles to the way Eddie is written, the action sequences and some of the other characters. It should be noted that Molly is not a damsel wandering around in a bikini and needing rescue at key moments, which is a good choice by the author.

If one is a longtime fan of the series then they’ll undoubtedly be happy to revisit the characters’ latest adventure, but should be aware that this book ends in a cliffhanger rather than wrapping up the plot neatly by its conclusion.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:


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Other Reviews:
     By Hook Or By Book
     Nerd Girl
     Citadelata

Previous Books:
     1. The Man With the Golden Torc
     2. Daemons Are Forever
     3. The Spy Who Haunted Me
     4. From Hell With Love
     5. For Heaven's Eyes Only
     6. Live and Let Drood
     7. Casino Infernale
     8. Property of a Lady Faire
     9. From A Drood to Kill 

Kirsten Reviews: From a High Tower by Mercedes Lackey

, by Kt Clapsadl

From a High Tower by Mercedes Lackey
Elemental Masters #10

When a man is caught stealing from a walled garden owned by a strange woman, he bargains away his youngest daughter in return for food for his family. The woman, rumored to be a witch, takes the golden-haired child and locks her away in a high tower. Sixteen years later, Giselle has lived an isolated life, but her adoptive mother has trained her in Air magic, and Giselle must use her new skills to keep herself and her new friends safe...










From a High Tower by Mercedes Lackey is the eleventh book in her Elemental Masters series and like the others it blends magic with a familiar story. In this case the fairy tale of Rapunzel is the basis of the protagonist’s story. As a baby, Giselle’s father stole food from a walled garden. The garden’s owner is rumored to be a witch and in exchange for food to feed his family, the man trades his youngest daughter, who happens to have long golden hair. In the next sixteen years, Giselle is kept isolated from the world in a high tower while her adopted mother teaches her Air magic.

However, Giselle is assaulted by a young man who ascends Giselle’s tower and is saved by Mother, who happens to be an Earth Master. It’s with the Foresters and Earth Masters of the Black Forest that Giselle stays for the next four years. They teach her their fighting skills and she becomes an expert markswoman and uses this ability to survive when Mother dies. Giselle eventually cuts off her long blond hair and pretends to be a boy in order to enter shooting competitions and supports herself with these winnings.

In spite of her success, Giselle can’t forget the man who attacked her, and that trauma manifests in another violent incident when her secret is discovered and she kills a man who also tries to assault her. Giselle’s escape is assisted by an Earth Master and she winds up in an American traveling show and her marksmanship earns her a job there. But she remains haunted by the spectre of the man who attacked her in the tower as his body was never found.

As a variation on the Rapunzel tale, this book is interesting, and there are a few new characters who would be welcome additions to future stories, and the return of a familiar one. However as a whole the story feels rambly rather than suspenseful and the villain is dispatched without much fuss, making the book feel rather uneven and new readers to the series should start at its beginning rather than with this book.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Open Book Society
     Fantasy Literature
     Amethyst Bookwyrm Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. The Serpent's Shadow
     2. The Gates of Sheep
     3. Phoenix and Ashes
     4. The Wizard of London
     5. Reserved for the Cat
     6. Unnatural Issue
     7. Home from the Sea
     8. Steadfast
     9. Blood Red

Review: Legacy of the Demon by Diana Rowland

, by Kt Clapsadl

Legacy of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Kara Gillian #8


Sidelined demon summoner Kara Gillian has her hands full when dimensional rifts allow demons to cause widespread panic and destruction on Earth. These aren't the human-tolerant summonables she's known before, but demons from the far reaches of the demon realm.

Add three demonic lords with conflicting ambitions to the mix, and Kara has the perfect recipe for global disaster.








The Kara Gillian series has been one of my long running favorite urban fantasy series. So much has happened since the beginning of the series it’s truly amazing when you think about it. Unfortunately, however, this latest installment was missing a lot of the spark that keeps me coming back to this series. From the start, we’re thrown into the middle of things with no explanations of the massive changes from the previous installment. Granted, it’s been a while since I read the last book, but I had to stop reading to make sure I hadn’t missed a book in between. It was simply that confusing, and jumps ahead in the timeline that much. The book just had a different feel about it, almost as if trying to return to the much less powerful Kara days, but unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me. It just felt wrong to make her weak for the sake of being weak. That may what was intended by the author, but it's how it felt to me, and just soured things. But onto the good side of that, Kara is fully owning her new weakness and through it found strength and new ways of doing things/getting the job done

Getting past Kara, and onto the book itself... So much happened in this book, I mean so much to the point of almost frenzy. Sure a lot, and I do mean a lot of unanswered questions from the entire series did seem to culminate in this book, but frankly it was just too much. I would have preferred just a bit less, and considering just how long the book was, removing some of the deluge wouldn't have been an issue. That being said, it's just my opinion, and others might like just how frenetic and jam packed this book is, but it just didn't work for me.

I bounced back and forth between a two and a three while deciding what to rate this book, but in the end I'm going to go with a three. When it's all said and done, the book more than kept my attention and I didn't find myself wanting to put it down, so I just can't justify a 2 star when it's all said and done that I was entertained throughout despite my frustrations. In the end I'm going to chalk this one up to being a bumpy installment and I still look forward to the next in this much loved series.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:


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Other Reviews:
     Urban Fantasy Investigations
     Fangs for the Fantasy
     Under the Covers

Previous Books:
     1. Mark of the Demon
     2. Blood of the Demon
     4. Sins of the Demon
     5. Touch of the Demon
     6. Fury of the Demon
     7. Vengeance of the Demon

Kirsten Reviews: Forbidden by Cathy Clamp

, by Kt Clapsadl

Forbidden by Cathy Clamp
Luna Lake #1

USA Today bestselling author Cathy Clamp reboots the Sazi universe in Forbidden, a tightly-paced, high-tension urban fantasy thriller.

Ten years have passed since the war that destroyed the Sazi Council and inflicted a horrible "cure" on thousands of Sazi, robbing them of their ability to shapeshift.

Luna Lake, isolated in Washington State, started as a refugee camp for Sazi orphans. Now it's a small town and those refugees are young adults, chafing at the limits set by their still-fearful guardians.

There's reason to fear: Sazi children are being kidnapped. Claire, a red wolf shifter, is sent to investigate. Held prisoner by the Snakes during childhood, Claire is distrusted by those who call Luna Lake home.

Before the war, Alek was part of a wolf pack in Chicago. In Luna Lake he was adopted by a parliament of Owls, defying Sazi tradition. The kidnappings are a painful reminder that his little sister disappeared a decade ago.

When Claire and Alek meet, sparks fly—but the desperate race to find the missing children forces them to set aside their mutual attraction and focus on the future of their people.

Forbidden by Cathy Clamp is the first book in the Luna Lake series, which reboots the Sazi books.

It’s been a decade since the war that obliterated the Sazie Concil and which gave the Sazi a “cure” that was also a curse. They lost the ability to shapeshift. Luna Lake, a small community in Washington State began as a refugee camp for the many Sazi orphans and has now grown into a small town with tension between the generations. The young Sazi are eager to test their boundaries but the elder Sazi have good reason to be concerned as someone is kidnapping Sazi children.

Claire is a red wolf shifter and an agent of the Wolven, those among the Sazi who enforce the laws. She is sent to investigate the kidnappings. She is distrustful of Luna Lake’s residents, having been held captive by the Snakes as a child.

Alek was once a part of a wolf pack in Chicago, and after the war, was adopted by a parliament of Owls which goes against the traditions of the Sazi. He is especially sensitive to the kidnappings, as they are a painful reminder that his younger sister disappeared ten years ago.

There is plenty of chemistry between the two protagonists, but their focus is on figuring out what happened to the missing children while handling the suspicions and baggage of an entire community.

The world Clamp is revisiting is full of many types of Sazi, from cats to bird and wolves, and all the groups have reservations or prejudices about the other. However, in Luna Lake most are doing their best to live peacefully in order to survive.

For readers who haven’t read any other books set in this world, the backstory is filled in well enough that it’s easy to begin fresh with this book and not feel lost. However, while the book is classified as being an urban fantasy, the romantic aspects are also very strong, and a good deal of the story depends on readers buying into the relationship between Claire and Alek.

As a whole, the world of the Sazi is interesting, the layers to the society well-drawn and in need of some serious shakeups and the romance believable in spite of some Claire and Alek feeling frustratingly limited in terms of characterization at times.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     The Bibliosanctum
     My Guilty Obsession
     Nyx Book Reviews


Review: Elite by Mercedes Lackey

, by Kt Clapsadl

Elite by Mercedes Lackey
Hunter #2

Joy wants nothing more than to live and Hunt in Apex City without a target on her back. But a dangerous new mission assigned by her uncle, the city's Prefect, may make that impossible.

addition to her new duties as one of the Elite, Joy is covertly running patrols in the abandoned tunnels and storm sewers under Apex Central. With her large pack of magical hounds, she can fight the monsters breaking through the barriers with the strength of three hunters. Her new assignment takes a dark turn when she finds a body in the sewers: a Psimon with no apparent injury or cause of death.

Reporting the incident makes Joy the uncomfortable object of PsiCorp's scrutiny—the organization appears more interested in keeping her quiet than investigating. With her old enemy Ace still active in Hunts and the appearance of a Folk Mage who seems to have a particular interest in her, Joy realizes that the Apex conspiracy she uncovered before her Elite trials is anything but gone.

As the body count rises, she has no choice but to seek answers. Joy dives into the mysterious bowels of the city, uncovering secrets with far-reaching consequences for PsiCorp... and all of Apex City.

It's been a while since I read the first book in this series, but I had no trouble jumping right into ELITE and the characters. Joy and crew were tested and tested again again in ELITE. The trials they faced were incredibly intense and I felt like we rarely were able to come up for air to take a breath before the next crisis would happen. It made for one heck of a roller coaster ride of a read. But even though the plot and danger continued at a frenetic pace, there still was plenty of time for character development and the various relationships between them all. I particularly enjoyed the dynamic between Joy and the White Knight, especially once his fiancee came to town. While Joy, and this series seem to skew on the younger side of YA, there are times where the maturity jumps several paces ahead, which kept it interesting as I prefer the older side anyway. Joy herself progressed an impressive amount from who we originally met in the first book. I can't wait to see how she continues to grow.

Frenetic pacing and interesting characters aside, it's the world behind this series that really steals the show for me. The combination of Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic and Folklore/Fairytales with Hunters who protect the naieve citizens almost gladiator reality TV style. I particularly enjoyed the added twists and turns with the PSI secrecy, and the waters getting murky on good vs evil with the folk. The next book should be mighty interesting to say the least.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable installment in a very unique and fascinating series. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait for the next book.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Books, Tea, & Insanity
     Will Read for Feels
     Going on to the Next

Previous Books:
     1. Hunter


Kirsten Reviews: A Study in Sable by Mercedes Lackey

, by Kt Clapsadl

A Study in Sable by Mercedes Lackey
Elemental Masters #11

Psychic Nan Killian and Medium Sarah Lyon-White—along with their clever birds, the raven Neville and the parrot Grey—have been agents of Lord Alderscroft, the Elemental Fire Master known as the Wizard of London, since leaving school. Now, Lord Alderscroft assigns them another commission: to work with the famous man living at 221 Baker Street—but not the one in flat B. They are to assist the man living in flat C. Dr. John Watson and his wife Mary, themselves Elemental Masters of Water and Air, take the occult cases John’s more famous friend disdains, and they will need every skill the girls and their birds can muster!

Nan and Sarah’s first task: to confront and eliminate the mysterious and deadly entity that nearly killed them as children: the infamous Haunt of Number 10 Berkeley Square. But the next task divides the girls for the first time since they were children. A German opera star begs Sarah for help, seeking a Medium’s aid against not just a single spirit, but a multitude. As Sarah becomes more deeply entwined with the Prima Donna, Nan continues to assist John and Mary Watson alone, only to discover that Sarah’s case is far more sinister than it seems. It threatens to destroy not only a lifelong friendship, but much, much more.

A Study in Sable is the eleventh installment in the Elemental Magic series by Mercedes Lackey. In this volume. Sherlock Holmes as well as John and Mary Watson are introduced to the world set in the late Victorian era. Unsurprisingly Holmes is unwilling to believe in magic or get involved in such matters, it’s the Watsons who are masters of Air and Water.

Other characters who make appearances are Sarah Lyon-White and Nan Killian whose last adventures were in Home from the Sea and they are not only possessed of magical gifts, but are also psychic. Accompanying them are their avian companions, the raven Neville and the parrot Grey. As agents of Lord Alderscroft, the Elemental Fire Master, also known as the Wizard of London they are given various missions and now have been charged to work with the gentleman at 221 Baker Street, but not Holmes, but instead John Watson and his wife Mary.

In the course of confronting occult matters, Nan and Sarah must find and destroy the creature that almost killed them when they were children, the Haunt of Number 10 Berkeley Square, but it’s the next task that causes them to disagree. Sarah becomes involved with a job from a german opera star, but in the course of her investigation, matters take a darker turn, and Nan, John, and Mary must find a way to intervene before things end tragically.

As the stories in this series are often somehow inspired by fairy tales, it should be noted that in this case, it’s a folk tale or ballad called the “The Cruel Sisters” or “Binoorie” found in both Scandinavian and English folk culture that is the origin of this book.

The story is a combination of investigation and magic which makes for a plot that is easy to follow and the addition of various well-known literary figures lends this story a little bit something extra and will likely please long-time readers of the series or fans of Sherlock Holmes and related characters.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:


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Other Reviews:
     The Bookwyrm's Hoard
     Margy's Musings
     Book Carousel Blog

Previous Books:
     1. The Serpent's Shadow
     2. The Gates of Sheep
     3. Phoenix and Ashes
     4. The Wizard of London
     5. Reserved for the Cat
     6. Unnatural Issue
     7. Home from the Sea
     8. Steadfast
     9. Blood Red
     10. From a High Tower

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