Moon Over Soho—Evil Magicians and Jazz Vampires

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch book cover
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over Soho is the second book in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. This time out Constable Peter Grant is investigating the strange deaths of jazz musicians, as well as some deaths by vagina dentata—and yes, the deaths are as gruesome as they sound.

1—Busy Busy

DCI Nightingale, Peter’s superior and the wizard who’s training him, is still suffering the deleterious effects of having been shot in the last book, leaving Peter to do most of the work in the one. Besides looking for several killers, Peter also has to hide the true nature of his investigations from civilians and policemen alike. Continue reading “Moon Over Soho—Evil Magicians and Jazz Vampires”

Burn Notice—Part Two—Things Get Dark

Burn Notice
Burn Notice

So I finally got around to watching the rest of this action-filled spy thriller series and despite a turn for the darker, I’m glad I did. This review is of seasons five through seven.

1—Frigging Anson

Anson is a walking spoiler so if you’d rather avoid, I skip to the next section. I entirely blame Anson for it taking me so long to finish the series. I just don’t enjoy watching him. Which isn’t to say the actor playing Anson isn’t superb or that the scenes/episodes with him in them aren’t good. I just really hate Anson. He’s the most manipulative son of a bitch in the series and Karma Houdini right up until his death, which you could still argue is too good for him. The stuff that bastard puts Mike through… Continue reading “Burn Notice—Part Two—Things Get Dark”

Codex Born—Magic Runs Amok

Codex Born by Jim C. Hines book cover
Codex Born by Jim C. Hines

Codex Born, by Jim C. Hines, is the second in the Magic Ex Libris series. Libriomancy, the primary magic in the book, is still thrilling. What reader doesn’t love the idea of being able to reach into a book a pull something out?

1—Fast Paced

The plot kicks off quickly and doesn’t let up. We get to see Isaac in a little bit of downtime but not much before he’s whisked off to investigate the murder of a wendigo. This in turn leads to a madman with an army of nigh-unstoppable metal bugs and a secret society that’s been hiding from the Porters for centuries. Continue reading “Codex Born—Magic Runs Amok”

In Shining Armor—In Which Someone Pisses John Off Worse Than Usual

In Shining Armor by Elliott James book cover
In Shining Armor by Elliott James

The fourth in the Pax Arcana series by Elliott James, In Shining Armor follows werewolf and sort-of-ex-knight John Charming as he tries to rescue his goddaughter Constance.

1—The Worldbuilding Continues

We delve deeper into the politics, particularly inter-Templar politics, and the politics between the Round Table—John’s werewolf pack—and the Templars. And of course as the person these two worlds intersect in, a lot of the pressure falls on John to fix things before they blow up. Continue reading “In Shining Armor—In Which Someone Pisses John Off Worse Than Usual”

Daring—This Time It’s Werewolves

Daring by Elliott James book cover
Daring by Elliott James

The sequel to Charming, Daring, by Elliott James, continues the adventures of John Charming, former knight and current werewolf. This time the Knights Templar have tracked John down to make him an offer—infiltrate a massing group of werewolves and kill their leader, or the knights will kill everyone John came to care for in the last book. Continue reading “Daring—This Time It’s Werewolves”

Some of The UnBook Reporter’s Favorite Anthologies

These are just some of the anthologies I’ve enjoyed over the years.

1—The Chicks in Chainmail Series

Edited by Esther Friesner, I believe this series is still ongoing. Humorous tales of damsels who refuse to be in distress, warrior women who want equality with their male fellows, and just generally to have more sensible armor than a chainmail bikini. Lots of fun.

2—Witches, Vampires, and Werewolves, Oh My

Witch Way to the Mall, Fangs for the Mammaries, and Strip Mauled are also edited by Esther Friesner. Also humorous, this set of set of anthologies focuses on witches, vampires, and werewolves respectively.

3—Anything by Martin H. Greenberg

Some of the books I have that he’s co-edited are A Girl’s Guide to Guns and Monsters, the Catfantastic series, Warrior Princesses, and Wizards, Inc. I’m sure there are more in my collection but some of my books are still in boxes from the move.

Killjoys Season Two—Still Excellent

Killjoys Season 2
Killjoys Season 2

Killjoys is a gritty scifi adventure series on SyFy channel. Everything I said about season one still holds true—the characters, plot, and world are all richly developed.

1—Deadly Politics

After the bombing of Old Town and subsequent wall around it is put up, Pawter leaves her practice as doctor for Q’resh to take her place among the Nine to try to use that influence to get the wall taken down. I’d have loved to see Pawter grow into that role, as well as come to term with what she had to do to get the wall down. I understand her death was used to destroy the hope spot in the penultimate episode but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed she’s dead.

Beyond that, we see more company scheming, and finally learn what Kleyn’s is really up to. And of course with Seyah Kendry around, nothing is quite what it seems. Continue reading “Killjoys Season Two—Still Excellent”

Harsh Gods—More Shadowside Fun

Harsh Gods: A Novel of the Shadowside by Michelle Belanger
Harsh Gods by Michelle Belanger

Harsh Gods by Michelle Belanger is the sequel to Conspiracy of Angels. An Urban Fantasy told in first person by Anakim angel Zaquiel—mortal name Zachary Westland—as he tries to save an autistic girl from possession by something she calls the Whisper Man.

1—Angel Still Unaware

Zack’s lost memories continue to be a problem but Father Frank, the priest who called Zack in for the exorcism, knows Zack’s real name, as well as having a more intimate link to Zack and his past life. Beyond that, Zack is still tormented by the flashes of memory that surround the missing events—scents and sounds, vague impressions that flee as soon as he tries to grab them. It’s understandable Zack is depressed. But it’s fun watching Zack interact with strangers who know him.

Beyond that though, Zach is realizing he may not like the person he used to be. He has instincts and thoughts that sicken and terrify him, most of them violent. But some of them have been acquired through his still-active connection to the Eye of Nefer-Ka, the magical artifact that gutted his memory. Continue reading “Harsh Gods—More Shadowside Fun”

Rat Queens Volumes 1 & 2—Damsels who Cause Distress

Rat Queens volume one Sass and Sorcery

Rat Queens The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'Rygoth
The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth

Rat Queens is a comic by Kurtis J Wiebe with art by Roc Upchurch and later Stjepan Sejic, and published by Image Comics. It follows the adventures of the titular group in and around the town of Palisade. Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery, and volume 2: the Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth comprise a full story arc which is why I’m reviewing them together. Plenty of fights, some nudity and sex, and lots of cursing—in both senses of the word—Rat Queens is great fun but not for kids.

1—The Characters

The world of Rat Queens has a D&D RPG flavor to it, medieval-ish look with lots of magic, and lots of humor. The back of Sass and Sorcery describes the Rat Queens as “Hannah, the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief.” Hannah, the leader of the group, is the most violent of the bunch, with Violet a close second. But whereas Violet is more professional about it, Hannah is definitely having too much fun. The most tactful, prudent, and introverted of the Rat Queens is Dee, who actually saves some of her earnings instead of spending it all on booze and drugs, and stays sober during parties. And Betty, who brings drugs and candy for dinner, and also plucks out eyeballs—not as a hobby, just the once…that we’re shown, anyway. Continue reading “Rat Queens Volumes 1 & 2—Damsels who Cause Distress”

Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children—Enchanting and Visceral

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a unique YA (young adult) novel as part of the tale is the vintage photographs scattered throughout the book.

1—A Peculiar Tale

I wasn’t certain what to expect when I opened Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children but what I got was subtle magic threaded through with both wonder and unease, punctuated by brutal violence. The story opens with Jacob finding his grandfather brutally killed and from there the story is a journey of discovery—equally a mystery and an adventure—about who his grandfather really was.

Continue reading “Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children—Enchanting and Visceral”