Sunday, April 12, 2015

Libromancer by Jim C. Hines


Magic Ex Libris - Book 1 
Let me begin by saying that I will need to get Book Two. I really enjoyed my read.

Isaac Vainio is a libriomancer forbidden to practice his craft unless it's a dire emergency. Needless to say, the book starts off with a dire emergency. :)

So what's a libriomancer? Well, it's a person who can 'reach' into books and create objects from their pages. And it appears that the world as we know it is going to end up going to hell in a handbasket unless Isaac does something. Accompanied by a dryad named Lena Greenwood and his own man's best friend, Smudge, the fire spider he sets off to dive into a situation that's totally over his head and WAY above his paygrade. *LOL*

Isaac and Lena were great characters and I grew fond of them very quickly. Smudge, I loved from the get go! They had their faults, some of the big ones, but even so at times I thought that maybe Isaac was a little too good to be true in the way he managed to get them out of situations. But he just about always got his ass handed to him physically, so I guess that makes up for it. :)

Look, it's a magical adventure novel, rip-roaring and tons of fun, and as such, it hit the spot almost perfectly. The world-building and the system of magic is fascinating, but I think it helps if one is decently read in the SFF world in order to get all the details of the magic that Isaac uses.

Libriomancer is a really fun, exciting read. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hell on Wheels by Z.A. Maxfield


Sometimes you're just in the mood for a fun, sexy, heart-tugging romance and that's exactly what Hell on Wheels is.

Hell on Wheels is part of Riptide's Bluewater Bay series but even so, it's a total standalone. (For a change!). It stars Nash, a mechanic and all round good guy and Spencer, the British TV star who is really rather tightly wound. Spencer is fresh from his very publicly ruined marriage and Nash, well he's just been hooking up when the spirit moves him, more intent on being available for his family. His dad, Ace, his little sister, Shelby and his faraway twin brother, Healey. There is baggage on both sides and it's logical, realistic baggage.

I really enjoyed this book. Z.A. Maxfield - ZAM - has become one of my favourite M/M romance authors. I love her dialogue and her characters almost always ring true. And now that I think about it, I believe that I've shed a soft-hearted tear or two while reading all of her books. I also tend to laugh aloud on occasion when I read her books.

Oh, of special note, I totally enjoyed Tick and Bast, Spencer's assistant and bodyguard. They were much, much fun. :)

Hell on Wheels hit the spot.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow


Bannon and Clare Affairs - Book 1

This book wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it a whole lot. :)

The first book in The Bannon and Clare Affairs series introduces us to quite the colourful cast of characters. Emma Bannon, the Prime sorceress. Archibald Clare, the mentath with almost supernatural powers of logic and deduction. Mikal, Emma's shield or bodyguard, for want of a better word. And a whole bunch of other fascinating folk.

I thought I was going to read a romance with steampunk and mystery/thriller elements but what I ended up reading was a steampunk adventure/fantasy with a wee bit of romantic overtones that had more to do with the magic going on than any romance plot. And that was FINE!

The world-building that went into the creation of this AU Victorian age Britain is nothing short of intense, in-depth and fascinating. There's magic - White, Grey and Black and it's tied in with the tide. Then there are the mentaths who can't deal with magic at all; it fries their logic synapses, so to speak. So when Emma and Clare team up, well, it's quite the miracle. :)

And then there's the mysterious Mikal. How he comes to be Emma's Shield is a story in itself, one that we don't get many details of. I assume, I hope, this will come in later books, probably in bits and pieces for now. I think he must be a vampire or something. He intrigues me. I think he's probably, right now, the most intriguing character of the whole bunch of intriguing folks.

The plot is simple. Someone or something is attacking the realm, basically, and needs to be stopped. How Emma, Clare and their bunch go about it is action-packed and filled with twists and turns. You know... it reminded me a little - probably because of the setting - of Penny Dreadful and I could definitely see Eva Green portraying Emma.

Anyway, I really enjoyed it and am glad that I have the second one waiting in my ereader.

(Note: I paused in the reading of this to read Crash & Burn - and it was hard to pause.)