Category: faries and fae

Alright, I gave her a couple of extra days because I was late with the announcement, but I haven’t heard back from Loverofbooks. That said, Antane is the new winner!


Alright, I’m more than a little late posting this, and for that I am sorry, but we have a winner!

Loverofbooks, please email me your mailing address to receive your copy of The Exile.

So, I’ve been gone for awhile.  Work and all that, but I’m back and I bring tidings of good reads!  Thanks to the lovely people at Tor, I’ve got one copy of C. T. Adams’ new book The Exile up for grabs for readers in the United States and Canada.

This is a really cool sounding book about a half Fae witch living in the human world, selling magic trinkets and the occasional spell, unaware that in the relm of the Fae an ancient prophesy is coming to pass that will place all that she loves in danger.

To enter, post a comment on this post and tell me about what you look for in urban fantasy and a way to contact you if you win.

The winner will be randomly selected on Friday, March 6th and will have three days to get back to me with their shipping address.

Alright folks, lets do this thing.  Halloween is in three days and I’ve got a couple of books ready to find new homes.  This is a short one, three days two prizes, and the usual two ways to win.

Prize one is a once read review copy of C. Aubrey Hall’s Crystal Bones, a teen fantasy novel.

Prize two is a new copy of E.S. Moore’s Blessed By A Demon’s Mark, the third Kat Redding novel.

To enter, follow my blog and comment on this post telling me which prize you want and something that you really enjoy about Halloween.  For a second entry you can follow me on twitter @Tymp3st.

Contest will end at midnight Standard time on the 31st.  I’ll have winners posted on the first.

Remember folks, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Hi all, this is me popping in sometime after midnight with a review and much mumbling about missed sleep. I’m rather excited lately as classes seem to be getting off to a good start and I finally managed to find some red bean mochi and enough espresso Monsters to keep me for a couple of weeks.  Going to be job hunting for the next while, so my review schedule will still be a bit patchy for until I find employment.  That said, on to the review.

Agent of Death Madeline Black can’t catch a break, deaths are happening outside of what should be, she faces attacks from both inside her own family and without, and dear old Granddad wants her to go on a diplomatic mission for him.  A diplomatic mission to the faerie court where the last, better trained, diplomat was beheaded.  Add to that her bodyguard’s disappearance and what’s a girl to do?

In reviewing Christina Henry’s Black Night I really wish that I’d taken the time to also read the first novel in the series, Black Wings.  It wasn’t so much that this book didn’t stand on its own as that I felt a bit like the new person in a social group who has to have all of the in-jokes explained to them a few times before they get it.  The first person may have had something to do with that, Madeline’s speech patterns can get a bit formal in places and she has a tendency to repeat her opinions regarding other characters every time they’re mentioned. Not that either of those are bad necessarily, just that they have the potential to throw a reader out of the narrative flow.  There was a side plot involving werewolves dying outside of the natural order of death that could have been expanded on easily for another novel that was mostly left alone.

I’m going to admit that some of the sympathy for the devil aspects of the book threw me big time, this is one of the main reasons I wish I’d read Black Wings first.  Madeline seems completely not freaked out that her father is a fallen angel and her grandfather is Lucifer himself.  She gets bothered by their methods and the fact that they want to use her as a playing piece in some vast power play, but what they are doesn’t really seem to play into her reactions too much.  I would have liked to have seen her initial reaction to finding this out.

There was enough courtly intrigue to make me really want to see the faerie queen, Amarantha, take a long walk off a short pier along with just about every other named faerie.  Really, the faeries here seem to pretty well be an entire race of jerks with over inflated sense of self worth.  I can’t say that I was a big fan of most of the side characters, but I did enjoy reading Beezle and Madeline’s interactions.  Gabriel was probably supposed to be sympathetic, but he just came across as a bit of a nothing character or a pretty piece of scenery for Madeline to worry over.  I’d want to see more character development for just about everyone down the road.

So, what’s the verdict?  I enjoyed Black Night while reading it, but it isn’t terribly memorable.  I get the feeling that I would have enjoyed it more as part of the series because the writing is fairly solid, but as a standalone novel it’s kind of bland.  I give it a three out of five and a check through the local bookstores for the first one

I got a book in the mail today out of no where.  The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynn M. Valente may very well get the longest title of the year award, but I’m not quite sure where I got it from.  I’m guessing Goodreads since I’m fairly sure that I didn’t request it and there were no publicity things in with it.  But yeah, I’ve also been playing too much Echo Bazaar lately.

What’s this? A review posted on time?!  Wow, looks like it is.  End of Spring Break, I’m not going to post much here so I can get back to being around my family.  Enjoy the review!

Crystal Bones by C. Aubrey Hall is the second of the Marshall Cavendish books I was sent to review.  It is the first of a trilogy of teen fantasy novels featuring the half fae twins Diello and Cynthe.  It is also, again, aimed at a younger audience.

It all starts the night before the twins’ thirteenth birthday when Diello hears a voice in the storm calling his mother.  This is, of course, foreshadowing into their parents’ deep dark past, as mentioned in the blurb.  Diello is then disappointed when his father gives him a useful gift for his birthday rather than the traditional fun present and both twins are sent out to do their chores unlike any previous birthday they’ve had. The first few chapters seem to be pretty well dedicated to reminding the reader that growing up sucks.  There are however magic herbs in the morning milk which apparently get the fae either high or drunk and the fair is that day.  But they’re told not to go because of the dangers of being around humans.  It follows that an errand for their mother leads them right into the thick of the fair and straight towards danger!  The deck is stacked against our heroes, will they survive and figure out the mysteries surrounding their parents’ pasts or are they doomed to failure?

I’m going to say right off the bat that I got caught up in Crystal Bones about halfway through, where the meat of the story started.  Up until then had been mostly lead up, background, and foreshadowing which, while necessary to the overall plot, wasn’t particularly different from any other coming of age fantasy novel that I’ve read.  There were also some points where it felt like Cynthe could have been omitted from the book, while both twins were billed as the heroes in the blurb it  is very much Diello centric.   She does get some moments of awesomeness but, all told, could have been removed in favor of making Diello a bit more three dimensional. Hall also seems to think that if humans hating half fae isn’t mentioned every time the twins run into a human the reader will forget.  This leads to a ton of fantasy racism which can make the book a bit hard to read at times.  Crystal Bones gets better as it goes, once I got to the meat of the story I was hooked.  Unfortunately it also cuts off rather abruptly in an almost painful sequel hook, leaving a rather unsatisfying ending and a year long wait to find out what happens.

As a final note before I rate it, Crystal Bones seems to be Hall’s first novel so I’m sure that most of the kinks will be worked out for the second book.  It’s also worth noting that, any issues aside, I did enjoy the book it’s just that most of what I enjoyed probably constitutes spoilers and I don’t want to ruin anything for other readers.  That said, I give it a three out of five and a note to myself to keep an eye out for the next one.