Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A funny and strange book story...

Back in November (I think) I downloaded an e-reader book by J.C. Daniels (aka Shiloh Walker) called Blade Song. It's a fantastic book and I highly recommend it. A few weeks ago when the sequel, Night Blade, came out I was excited to read it and immediately downloaded it. Unfortunately, my TBR pile is miles deep, so I didn't get around to reading it until yesterday.

So, I start the book....and its weird, because Blade Song was in first person and its an urban fantasy. This book seemed to be a romance in third person about a girl who was abused and raped as a child, dealing with a psycho, trying to remember that past (she's blocked it out) and trying to trust the man she wants to love. It wasn't well written (it actually felt like a draft), but I thought...well, maybe there's a back story to get to the urban fantasy, so I kept reading. And skipping thru parts. And struggling to figure out how this fit in as a follow up to the first book.

I finished it this morning (really, I was skimming at that point trying to understand what the hell one book had to do with the other and wondering if the author had lost her mind somewhere between the two - which is highly unlikely because its Shiloh F-ing Walker). I thought maybe I'd missed something. I went back and looked at Blade Song. Nope. I thought maybe Night Blade came after this story - which was maybe a freebee offered up with it. Nope. I was all WTF?!?!? This can't be right? Am I losing my mind?

Then I remembered that maybe two days after I downloaded the book, I received an e-mail from Amazon saying that there was an updated version of the book. I'd ignored it, and deleted it - because I don't really care about updates. So I went to My Amazon and sure enough there was a link to download the update of Night Blade. I downloaded it. And waited. And....opened the book....

...the update is an entirely different book. And yes, it is the actual sequel to the first book! WT everliving FUCK?! So what was the book I just read? I. Don't. Know! I can tell you I wasn't a fan of it. It needed serious work. But I'm glad I now have the right book.

So I guess tonight I'm reading Night Blade. The real Night Blade. So strange.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Slashback by Rob Thurman

I'm just getting rolling on a stack of books from some of my favorite authors. Last night, I finished Slashback by Rob Thurman. As usual, this book excels.

Rob takes a bit of a twist in this books - in that she takes us back to when Cal and Niko were kids, and Cal believed there was a serial killer living next door. We get a rare look into Niko's psyche since the flashbacks are written from his perspective. (Have I said that Niko is one of my favorite book characters. If he was real, I would be all over him. Swear to God.)

Present time, is as usual, from Cal's perspective. He's still his snarky self, but underneath that Cal is taking on new and worrisome depths. He and Niko have to deal with an evil serial killer who is hunting them for some reason (hence the tie-in to the past).

This book is all about secrets. Secrets you keep because you're trying to protect the people you love from ugly things. Secrets that have to be revealed to heal broken parts of yourself. Secrets that are surprising in their implications. Seriously, now knowing these secrets, I may have to go back and reread the whole series again, because these secrets definitely play into all of the characters' motivations through the ENTIRE series of books. Holy crap, it's brilliant.

I'm recommending not just this book, but every single book in the Cal Leandros series. Seriously, buy them and have a reading festival. Be prepared to stay up late, skip housework and order delivery. Cal, Niko, Goodfellow and the relationships between them are amazing and real.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Trickster by Jeff Somers

You know how sometimes you read a book and it sticks with you even after you've finished it and moved on to another? This is one of those books. 

Lem is a mage (well, he refers to himself as a trickster, but basically he can do magic with blood). He's also a con man and taking care of Mags, who is also able to work magic, but is mentally challenged. They're down on their luck, just getting by, bleeding themselves to perform crap tricks like making a one dollar bill look like a twenty for a meal. Then all hell breaks loose.

This is a pretty dark and visually ugly world. Magic users cut themselves to make magic. Or they cut others. Blood fuels magic. More blood, more magic. The more powerful magic users have bleeders to bleed for them. And the highest level users slaughter people. They're not good people, as Lem says.

So, Lem and Mags make the mistake of breaking into an apartment and discover a body in a bathtub. This is only the beginning of their troubles, though. Because then they rescue a girl locked in the trunk of a car - a girl who has magical runes all over her. And that's a very bad thing. Why? Because they've pissed off a very strong mage who has plans for the girl. 

Why did I like this book so much? In all honesty, I think its because Lem doesn't try to be likeable as a character. But he is. He takes care of Mags as best he can. He wants to save Claire (the girl in the trunk).  If he has to con people to do it, then that's just what he has to do. He's practical. And compared to his fellow mages, he's a damned saint. 

I loved this book from the first page. It's dark and gritty and it bleeds hopelessness at the same time it gives you hope that Lem can do what needs to be done. Where it ends up....well, you'll have to read it to find out. Let's just say Lem is tested in ways that would break most people. But he's smart, tough, resolute and persistent. 

This is a definite must read if you like dark urban fantasy. I can't wait for the next book to come out. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Is It Seriously March??

I think I entered a time warp. Damn.


I've probably lost what few people visit this blog, and am blogging to myself. That's just sad, you know? But blog I will...

I've been reading a lot. I've read some really fantastic urban fantasy books, some deliciously smutty books (don't judge me - I'm keeping myself sane), and a few bombs. Even the bombs have been an escape from my life, though, so I can't complain. I'm making a commitment to whoever is out there that I'm going to start blogging about the books, because I've discovered some really interesting authors.

My life is chaotic. Kiddo turned 18, which is scary & challenging. He's taking a couple of courses at community college (one he loves, one he's withdrawing from). I remind myself that at least this withdrawal is only $600 lost, compared to last semesters spectacular failure which cost us over $16,000. He thinks he's doing well - and he's happy with the way his life is, but from my end I'm dealing with a sullen, erratic, volatile, uncompromising dictator. Aspergers is part of it, but not all.

My beastie has been another source of stress for me. We've been back and forth to the vets since October dealing with what we thought was an injury to his leg. That led to xrays which showed the beginnings of arthritis in both his lower spine and the leg he was favoring. Over the last few months, things have progressively gotten worse. There have been tests, expensive meds, more xrays, emergency visits - which in the end has led to the diagnosis of systemic lupus. He can no longer sit at all, or stand from a lying position. The stairs require the help of a sling under his belly. For now, he's stable and not in pain, and I'm hoping with the coming of warm weather, some of his symptoms will subside. We'll see. I'm pretty emotional about it, because Leo is the smartest, sweetest dog I've ever known. And he's been my constant companion through all the shit.

I'm back to being a chauffeur, sitting in parking lots while kiddo goes to classes. On the upside, I've started writing again. It's crap, but at least its giving me a release. Writing is cathartic. Which is why I'm going to start blogging.

So for those of you who are out there, don't abandon me. I'm trying. I have so much to blog about - book-wise, that is. My personal life I'll keep to myself as much as possible.