Whispers Under Ground—Trouble Under London

Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch book cover
Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground, by Ben Aaronovitch, is the third in the Rivers of London series. This time wizard’s apprentice and police constable Peter Grant is investigating the stabbing death of an American art student who happens to be the son of a senator.

1— Mysterious Places

This book’s adventure sees Peter spending much of his time underground. The murder starts in a subway tunnel and leads Peter to an old ceramics company, and thus to a race of large-eyed pale people living in the sewers. There’s also an art galley and a Goblin Market, both of which places a River Goddess shows up. Continue reading “Whispers Under Ground—Trouble Under London”

Advertisements

Villains By Necessity—Necessary Fantasy

Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward book cover
Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward

Villains By Necessity, by Eve Forward, is one of my favorite books. It’s a stand alone book that works both as epic fantasy and as a subversion thereof. It follows the world’s last villains—an assassin, a thief, an evil sorceress—and a neutral druid (plus one minstrel spy for Good) as they try to save the world by restoring evil to it.

1—The Premise

The armies of Good have vanquished the armies of Evil and sealed the Darkgate, thus ending the influx of evil into the world. This is a problem. The world is now out of balance and going to be sublimated in Light.  Continue reading “Villains By Necessity—Necessary Fantasy”

Night Child—CSI With Mages

Night Child by Jes Battis book cover
Night Child by Jes Battis

Night Child, by Jes Battis, is an urban fantasy set in Vancouver. Tess Corday is an OSI, a member of the Mystical Crime Lab, which is secret from the normal world, even the rest of the police force.

1—Technical Magic

There’s a lot of technical terminology, with enough explanation that I didn’t get lost. Even Tess’s turns of phrase and metaphors tend toward the technical descriptions of the body—blood, flesh, heartbeats, etc. And that’s before you get into the technical terms for magic, like “materia” and “necroid”. I won’t try to remember how she put it, just that there was a sense of poetry to it. Tess is also given to flights of poetic imagination. Continue reading “Night Child—CSI With Mages”

The Good Place Season One—A Good Twist Ending

The Good Place
The Good Place

The Good place is a fantasy sitcom (I think it’s a sitcom) about a woman who accidentally gets into heaven—the titular Good Place—and all the things that go wrong as she tries to keep her secret.

1—A Quirky Sense of Humor

Not that Eleanor is a Quirky Girl (TM). She’s actually a selfish jerk. But with the help of her “soulmate” Chidi, who was an ethics professor in life, Eleanore tries to learn to be a good person who actually deserves to be in The Good Place. Continue reading “The Good Place Season One—A Good Twist Ending”

Midnight, Texas Season One—Supernatural Fun

Midnight, Texas
Midnight, Texas

Midnight, Texas is a tv series based on a book series by Charlaine Harris. Psychic and conman Manfred is on the run and his dead Aunt suggests he hide out in the titular town.

1—Cast of Characters

Midnight is full of people with secrets and supernatural abilities. There’s vampire Lem and his human lover Olivia the assassin. There’s the Reverend Sheehan who runs the town’s chapel and pet cemetery, who’s a were-tiger. There’s husbands Joe and Chuy, a fallen angel and half-demon respectively. Bobo, another human who runs the pawnshop, and who’s missing fiancé turns up dead and kickstarts a bunch of trouble. And there’s Fiji, a powerful witch who’s in love with Bobo. And of course, now there’s Manfred, who has the lay of the town explained to him by local waitress and love interest Creek. Continue reading “Midnight, Texas Season One—Supernatural Fun”

Alien Tango—Business as Unusual

Alien Tango by Gina Koch book cover
Alien Tango by Gina Koch

Alien Tango is the second in Gini Koch’s Alien series (I’ve read but not reviewed the first book, Touched by an Alien—I liked and recommend it). Following the adventures of Katherine “Kitty” Katt and her boyfriend from Alpha Centauri as they deal with threats both terrestrial and extra.

1—Nutjobs Everywhere

After defeating the psychotic head of the Alien Super-Beings in the first book, things seem to be settling down for Kitty and Jeff Martini (the alien boyfriend), which for Kitty means boredom. But then Alpha Team is summoned to Florida to deal with a problem no one will explain to them and things go wrong one after another. There’s an anti-alien conspiracy afoot, something incorporeal has hitched a ride back to Earth with the crew of a top-secret space mission, and Kitty’s garnered a muderous stalker. Continue reading “Alien Tango—Business as Unusual”

The Doctor Blake Mysteries Season Two—More of the Same

The Doctor Blake Mysteries
The Doctor Blake Mysteries

I don’t have anything substantively different to say about season two than I did about season one. The mysteries are still good, the atmosphere is still gloomy, and the character development still has good subtext. However, Danny is gone with a new young copper taking his place. This cop has been sent from Melbourne to spy on the Ballarat police department. Later in the season, Superintendent Lawson gets into some internal political trouble, so we’ll see if he comes back next season or not.

I still enjoyed season two of The Doctor Blake Mysteries and will be watching the third season on Netflix.

American Gods—An Unusual Journey

American Gods by Neil Gaiman book cover
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, follows Shadow after he gets out of jail and comes to work for someone who calls himself Wednesday as he tries to rally the old gods for a war against the new.

1—The Gods

We meet gods from many pantheons during the course of Shadow’s journey with Wednesday. Wednesday himself is Odin, from the old Norse pantheon. There’s Mr. Nancy, Anansi, from Africa. And Kali from India. Some of my favorite are Mr Ibis and Mr Jaquel—Thoth and Anubis—and Bast and Horus from Egypt. Easter herself makes an appearance. Czernobog and the Zoryas. And then of course there’s the hall of forgotten gods that Shadow dreams about. Continue reading “American Gods—An Unusual Journey”

R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: the Series—Atmospheric

R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour The Series
R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour The Series

R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour is a kids’ show, a horror anthology series that clocks in at two seasons.

1—Dark

The thing this series does best is atmosphere. It’s always genuinely creepy. They do a lot with such a short time frame—less than half an hour (though there are a few two-parters). It’s a short story format, sometimes focusing on plot, sometimes focusing on character, but always with that mood. Continue reading “R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: the Series—Atmospheric”