The Spawn of Lilith—Being a Stuntwoman in Hollywood is Hell

The Spawn of Lilith by Dana Fredsti book cover
The Spawn of Lilith by Dana Fredsti

The Spawn of Lilith, by Dana Fredsti, is an urban fantasy mostly told from the first person perspective of Lee Striga, stuntwoman extraordinaire. The only fully human member of the Katz Stunt Crew, Lee, after taking a near-lethal fall and gaining a fear of high-falls—the Katz crew’s speciality—is looking for some independent work.

1—Fighting for a Living

Most of the book is spent with Lee as she works her day job. Despite being surrounded by supernatural people, most of Lee’s days are down to earth—taking her turn on beer runs for the Crew, getting up early to beat traffic to her new job, going out with friends for a few drinks. But that day job is also fascinating—fight scenes galore (Lee’s speciality), behind-the-scenes gossip and insight, and did I mention the fight scenes? Ms. Fredsti describes well all that goes into making an on-screen fight happen. And the real fight at the end of the book isn’t bad either. Continue reading “The Spawn of Lilith—Being a Stuntwoman in Hollywood is Hell”

A Spoonful of Magic—A Kitchen Witch Comes Into Her Own

A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford book cover
A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford

A Spoonful of Magic, by Irene Radford, follows Daphne “Daffy” Deschants and her family as they realize they all have magic, and that Daffy’s ex-husband’s ex-wife wants to steal their son’s eyes to replace her own. I know that sounds like a dark story, but it’s actually pretty light, despite G’s visit to a morgue to identify a dead friend.

1—Life-Changing Events

Daffy is out with her husband G (short for Gabriel) on their anniversary dinner when she confronts him with photos of him with another woman and asks for a divorce. If that wasn’t enough, three young men jump out at her in the parking lot and attempt to mug her when G intervenes with magic and Daffy finds out her husband is a wizard. Not only that, but all their children are budding wizards as well. To top it all off, Daffy also has magic and is now part of a hidden community. Continue reading “A Spoonful of Magic—A Kitchen Witch Comes Into Her Own”

The Lost Boys—My Favorite Vampire Movie

The Lost Boys movie poster
The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys is about Michael, Sam, and their mother Lucy as they move in with their grandfather in Santa Carla, the “murder capital of world” as is says in spray paint on the back of the town’s entry billboard, and finds themselves the target of a nest of vampires.

1—Horror and Humor

The Lost Boys has the perfect balance of horror and humor so that neither overwhelms the other. The pacing is good, a slow build interspersed with people being pulled up screaming into the night sky. The showdown between the pairs of brothers (Sam and Michael joined by the vampire hunting Frog brothers) and the vampires is satisfying, while the very end of the movie is both unexpected and and the perfect ending note. Continue reading “The Lost Boys—My Favorite Vampire Movie”

Coraline (the movie)—Spellbinding

Coraline movie poster

Coraline (yes, that’s spelled correctly) is the stop motion animated tale of a young girl who moves into the Pink Palace Apartments and finds a door to a magical world that’s more sinister than it first appears. Based on a book of the same name, by Neil Gaiman, it is one seriously creepy movie.

1—Wondrous

The “wonders” the Other Mother creates for Coraline are suitably spectacular, seeing as in-story there were created to be spectacles. Spink and Forcible’s musical and high-diving act with its scottie dog audience; Mr. Bobinsky’s Jumping Mouse Circus in the attic; and of course, the garden. Oh my, the garden. And of course all these wonders turn to horror in their time. Continue reading “Coraline (the movie)—Spellbinding”

Every Heart A Doorway—Dark and Lyrical

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire book cover
Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart A Doorway, by Seanan McGuire is the tale of Eleanore West’s Home For Wayward Children—that is, children who went through a magical door to another world, and then ended up coming back. The children no longer belong to the world they were born into, their parents think they’re crazy, and so they come to Eleanore’s school. Except someone has started murdering them.

1—Every Story Has to Start Somewhere

And this story starts with Nancy arriving at Eleanore West’s Home For Wayward Children. Nancy went to an underworld, The Halls of the Dead, where she learned to be slow and still. She’s desperately trying to hold onto her stillness in this world so fast and bright. Every child at Eleanore West’s Home For Wayward Children is trying to hold onto the survival skills they learned in the world they went to, hoping that they’ll find their door again and get to go home. Though Nancy’s roommate Sumi says, hope is a bad word. Continue reading “Every Heart A Doorway—Dark and Lyrical”

The Resurrection Game—Family is Bloody Business

The Resurrection Game by Michelle Belanger book cover
The Resurrection Game by Michelle Belanger

The Resurrection Game, by Michelle Belanger, is the third Shadowside novel. An urban Fantasy told in first person perspective, it follows Zack Westland—the mortal name of the Anakim angel Zaquiel—as he battles one of his own brothers bent on revenge for an act Zack doesn’t remember committing.

1—Memory Troubles

Zack’s lack of memory is still getting him in trouble. He’s apparently done something to one of his Anakim brothers named Tashiel that’s set Zuriel on his hellbent quest for vengeance. Zuriel has sworn to destroy Zack’s life, to kill all those close to him. It starts with a woman named Marjory, a woman very important to Zack if for no other reason than she holds some of the keys to his past. Now Zack is looking for Marjory’s daughter and hoping he finds her before Zuriel does. Continue reading “The Resurrection Game—Family is Bloody Business”

American Gods Season One—Intense

American Gods
American Gods

Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, the tv series American Gods follows Shadow Moon after the death of his wife and hiring by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. As Shadow and Wednesday cross the American landscape meeting with old gods from across the world and preparing for war with the new gods, the narrative intercuts with other stories, including that of Shadow’s undead wife.

Warning: full frontal nudity, both male and female.

1—Spectacular

American Gods is a beautiful show. Every scene bursts with color and atmosphere. Even the dark scenes are rich in hue. Every piece seems well chosen to convey the story being told at that particular moment. The effects are gorgeous, but more than that the symbolism is really well-chosen. Some of the imagery is of a giant bison with flaming eyes, dandelion fluff that goes up into the clouds and turns into snow, and a noose made out of a spinal column. American Gods does spectacle well. Continue reading “American Gods Season One—Intense”

Grave Witch—Intriguing

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price book cover
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price is an urban fantasy told from the first person perspective. It follows Alex Craft, a grave witch—that is, a witch who works with the dead, shades, ghosts, souls, corpses—as she tries to find a serial killer who carves strange glyphs into their victims’s skins.

1—Faery Tale

The world changed when the Fae came out of the closet and revealed themselves to humans—literally changed, as in pockets of reality opened up new land. In one of these new places is Nekros City, the city where Alex lives. There are all kinds of Fae, the differences of which aren’t important in this book but I suspect will be in later books in the series. Alex ends up partnering with one from the FIB—Fae Investigation Bureau—when it turns out the glyphs the killer is using are Fae. Continue reading “Grave Witch—Intriguing”

Lost Girl—I Just Feel Like Something Is Missing

Lost Girl tv series
Lost Girl

Lost Girl is a SyFy show now on Netflix. It’s about Bo, a young succubus of mysterious origins raised as a human who must now contend with the world of the Fae.

1—The Fae

The Fae are a collection of species that live alongside humankind. There are a ton of them, all drawn from mythology (or, in this world, the inspiration for human mythology). There are sirens, werewolves, succubi, kappa, furies, and so many more. They make for an interesting cast of characters, recurring and one-shot. Continue reading “Lost Girl—I Just Feel Like Something Is Missing”

Deadly Curiosities—Good But Not Great

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin book cover
Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin is an urban fantasy told from the first person point of view of Cassidy Kincaide. She’s the proprietor of Trifles & Folly, an antiques store with the secret agenda of finding and neutralizing haunted items.

1—The Crew

Cassisy is a phychometric psychic, meaning she can read an objects history by touching it. Sometimes, if the object is powerful enough, she doesn’t even need to touch it to be overwhelmed by the memories of dead people. Then there’s her employee Teag, an expert fighter who possesses Weaver magic, which he mostly uses to weave together information and hack the Darke (sic) Web, the supernatural version of the Dark Web. There’s also Sorren, Cassidy’s silent and secret partner in Trifles & Folly, a five hundred year old vampire. He’s part of a supernatural Alliance and Cassidy’s family have been helping him for generations. Continue reading “Deadly Curiosities—Good But Not Great”