All posts filed under: Fantasy

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave. (GoodReads) Book 26 for the year was Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I am ashamed to say, I thought Robin was a woman at first. No, I didn’t look at the back cover …

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Goddess Test #1)

Every girl who had taken the test has died. Now it’s Kate’s turn. It’s always been just Kate and her mom – and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld – and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he’s crazy – until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess. If she fails… (GoodReads description) The Specs ISBN: 0373210264, pb, 293pp, 2011, Harlequin Teen, YA, Mythology, Fantasy, Romance This is a series that hasn’t been available at my local library for a couple of years.  I was finally able to obtain it …

Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni (Angelology #2)

Ten years after the Times Square incident, Verlaine has become a lethal angelologist, a hunter, but is haunted by his lost love, Evangeline. A chance encounter before Evangeline is kidnapped leaves Verlaine with an exquisite clue to a mystery touching upon the Romanov Dynasty and the seeds of ancient civilization. While he pursues Evangeline’s captors, Verlaine begins to unravel a secret that could ensure the destruction of all Nephilim. Angelopolis, the sequel to Danielle Trussoni’s New York Times bestseller, Angelology, is an exhilarating chase as modern angelologists pursue the Grigori family and a warrior class angel from the rooftops of Paris to the Trans-Siberian Railway and an island along the Black Sea. Trussoni interweaves historical figures like John Dee and Rasputin with familiar Biblical stories including the Annunciation and the Deluge. The decade gap between books glosses over the development of Verlaine’s abilities and readers may find some of his decisions to be out of character from the academic introduced in Angelology. Where Angelology introduced readers to Trussoni’s alternate history, Angelopolis thrusts us deeper into …

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #1)

Over the past few years I’ve noticed a trend in young adult (YA) fiction in the Fantasy genre that seems to be going strong. Retellings of classical mythological figures, angels and demons, and explorations of death as the netherworld (instead of all that fire and brimstone) are increasing in popularity. I’ve blogged about Meg Cabot’s Abandon series (Abandon, Underworld) which re-imagines the Hades and Persephone myth.  There’s also Aimee Carter’s The Goddess Test (series) which I’ve been meaning to read/review as well (same concept). If you lean towards the angel stories, I recommend the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick. The display racks in the Teen Lounge (at my local library) are one of my guilty pleasures.  I try to slip in an hour before closing, or just before opening, when it’s usually just me and the books.  Kudos to library staff who seem to devour YA Fiction and have the newest, most popular titles on the shelves.  I love discovering a great new read! That’s how I found Brodi Ashton’s Everneath. So today, I’m blogging a bit about what exactly there is …

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (Strands of Bronze and Gold #1)

Tucked away in a backwater Mississippi town is Wyndriven Abbey, home of the mysterious, intoxicating Bernard de Cressac. Sophia Petheram enters her godfather’s world as an orphan and is captivated by his gusto for life. However, Sophia soon discovers an eerie commonality between de Cressac’s former wives and herself: they all have hair in strands of bronze and gold. This awakening brings the realization of how isolated Sophia’s world has become, and how little she really knows about her host. From debut novelist Jane Nickerson comes this re-imagining of Bluebeard and his many wives. Several changes from the Charles Perrault version refashion the cautionary tale into a Gothic mystery with supernatural elements, drawing parallels between Sophia’s gilded cage and the trials of slave life. Sophia becomes a proactive heroine determined to exhume the secrets of the Abbey by reaching out to its inhabitants and neighbors. The champion of the story is its setting. Nickerson, a former Mississippian, transports us to the antebellum South where the sweltering heat and mossy oaks are as magical as an …

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abé (The Sweetest Dark #1)

If the spirit of Charlotte Brontë were to write a World War I novel about the English House System featuring a heroine who goes through puberty recognizing she’s “different” and that sort of different involves a world of dragons and sorcerers… you might end up with something like Shana Abé’s The Sweetest Dark. It’s been a LONG time since I read Jane Eyre but it’s hard to forget Jane wandering the moors and that sort of atmosphere is all over this novel. At least Jane didn’t hear voices. Lora Jones is sixteen years old and she’s got this odd Pocahontas “Colors of the Wind” thing going on where she can hear the music of stones and other objects in Nature and this nudging voice that urges her to do things — like jump out of windows, for example. Of course, Pocahontas jumps off a waterfall so maybe they’re more alike than I thought. Lora’s under this illusion that this private, all-female boarding school is going to fix all of her problems and give her a fresh start — because …

Overbite by Meg Cabot (Insatiable #2)

Morning folks!  Today we’re beginning the day by discussing very dark things.  Vampires.  Subterranean passages.  The New Jersey Devil (yes, it’s real!).  And the end (probably) of a very promising series by Meg Cabot. Ignoring the rants of GoodReads reviewers, I decided to give the sequel a try for myself. My copy of Overbite finally arrives and it’s got Meena’s classic red dress, she’s holding an ornate book and staring down a menacing, gothic, clearly vampiric set of doors.  Cool.  There’s the inherent threat and the promise that something about this book gives Meena courage to face danger.  Yeah — you really can read all of that in the cover. I don’t get it, I really don’t.  Overbite has all the potential to be a very nice sequel — it’s got a love triangle between Meena, Alaric and Lucien, the prince of darkness.  Meena’s brother Jon takes over for the dog as the comic relief character, working on a vampire-hunting weapon out of a household object. SPOILER ALERT!!! [spoiler]There’s plenty of danger, dark places, some familiar faces …

Insatiable by Meg Cabot (Insatiable #1)

What can you say about Meg Cabot?  Girl’s got talent.  How many authors successfully cross age groups, let alone different genres too?  For those of you who don’t know Meg Cabot’s work, here’s a brief introduction. She’s the bestselling author of multiple series for children, YA, and adults (1-800-WHERE-R-U, Avalon High, Queen of Babble, Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls, just to name a few). You may not have heard of these but I bet you’ve seen the Walt Disney version of her book series, The Princess Diaries. If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you may have seen my reviews of her Abandon series (Abandon, Underworld).  The final book, Awaken, is coming out later this year so watch this space for a review! Today, I wanted to introduce you to the first in another supernatural series by Meg Cabot, Insatiable. Insatiable takes a new look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula (still on my reading list…) following NYC television writer, Meena Harper.  Meena writes for one of those soaps that’s been going on since …

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #3)

The term “Iron Kissed” is Mercy’s word for describing Zee, a Gremlin who isn’t really a gremlin because the term was invented only about a couple of hundred years ago and Zee is a LOT older than that.  Mercy bent the rules and used a borrowed fae item twice in Blood Bound and Uncle Mike and Zee need a non-magical person to investigate the scene so they call in a favor.  During the investigation, Mercy finds herself and her friends endangered by her nose and the company she keeps. [spoiler]Zee is found at one of the crime scenes with blood on his hands and is charged with murder.[/spoiler] Nobody threatens Mercy’s friends without her having a say in it and it’s up to Mercy to face the Grey Lords, the fae community, and some fae-hating political groupies to find the true killer before someone offs her friends. I love the incorporation of German in the fae’s speech and the connection between the original folklore and stories like the Brothers Grimm with the worldbuilding that Briggs …

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #2)

Mercy is back in Book 2 of the Mercy Thompson series by paranormal fiction writer Patricia Briggs.   What absolutely draws me into these books is the world that Briggs has created.  It feels real.  Half of me wants to take a trip up to the Tri-Cities to meet the werewolves, but maybe not the vampires.  Great sense of mystery and the story keeps you turning the pages.  I’ve snuck reading time in on the road, in bed, and almost everywhere in between.  Except church. I can’t bring myself to read paranormal romances during church. I’m also a sucker for romances and there’s plenty of that kind of tension too.  Briggs tastefully deals with the love triangle (or is it quadrangle?) with Mercy by making her the kind of girl not to rush into things.  She doesn’t want to be hurt the way she has been abandoned by her parents.  I adore this series by Patricia Briggs and I strongly recommend you check these out if you enjoy paranormal fiction.  Check them out and let …