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Tag: urban fantasy

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11)

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11)

Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Ace) in exchange for an honest review. While I’m incredibly thankful, all opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was ecstatic to receive a copy of this book. First of all, Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series served as my gateway into truly appreciating urban fantasy. I had previous exposure to the genre, having binge read many of the Anita Blake novels (until it devolved into nothing but orgy after orgy), a handful of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, and the first five of Moning’s Fever series. While I enjoyed these books in the moment, I always viewed them as junk food, something to be consumed and forgotten, leaving nothing behind but a vague literary equivalent of a stomach ache from overindulgence.

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My Familiar Stranger (Knights of Black Swan, #1)

My Familiar Stranger (Knights of Black Swan, #1)

My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. First of all, the cover just was not appealing to me. It’s a chick’s face. There is wind coming from somewhere, blowing said chick’s hair across her face. She would probably benefit from a hair tie or a headband. And that’s all there is to the cover. Bland, right? Also, it sounded like a really weird blend of commonly used tropes, such as the combination of vampire hunters and inter-dimensional travel. Furthermore, it involves one of my least favorite tropes: the dreaded love triangle, or in this case, a love square.

So, if I was so opposed to various aspects of this book, why on earth did I pick it up? Because my mom told me to.

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Fate Lashed (Ethereal Earth, #2)

Fate Lashed (Ethereal Earth, #2)

I received a copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Fate Lashed by Josh Erikson
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josh Erikson does it again with his stellar narration in Fate Lashed, and this time with a faster-paced, action-packed and riveting plotline.

In the previous book, we got the origins story of Gabriel Delling – how he became intertwined with supernatural entities and ended up as a human with the ability to use magic (well, just somewhat at this stage). After losing the evil God from his head and spending time hiding out in a remote cabin to ruminate, he returned to civilization and in no time landed himself into trouble again. As fate would have it, the powerful inner circles of the Umbras are now contending to seek a ‘Key to the Universe’ which has revealed its existence just about the same time that Gabe got himself unwittingly embroiled in the affairs of these creatures from the Ether. That he survived what he did in Hero Forged, Gabe became a wildcard that fate has neither a read nor a hold on. In other words,  he is now the key much sought-after player in this quest for the Key, for better or for worse.

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Uncanny Collateral (Valkyrie Collection, #1)

Uncanny Collateral (Valkyrie Collection, #1)

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Uncanny Collateral by Brian McClellan
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Uncanny Collateral is an entertaining, fast-paced urban fantasy novella that packed a surprising amount of character development for its size.

McClellan was best known for his Powder Mage trilogy which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. His ongoing Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy which is based off the same world is reputedly even better than his debut efforts but I’ve yet to read them; something which I intend to rectify sometime in the future. If this novella was anything to go by, his writing now has an even more natural and practised ease that flows and ebbs with the story. In Powder Mage, the writing was slightly clunkier in the first book, but improvements were noticeable as we progressed to the third one.

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Wild Country (The World of the Others, #2; The Others, #7)

Wild Country (The World of the Others, #2; The Others, #7)

Wild Country by Anne Bishop
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“We are here. We are different but we stand united to protect our home. We are different but we protect our families by blood or by heart. We are different but not alone. Never alone.

We are here.”

Wild Country is a fun return to a world I came to love years ago, but from a side that felt fresh and new and even more dangerous than the original series. It was more vicious than preceding books, though it still maintained the simplicity that first made this world so appealing. However, the brutality and setting hardened some of the softness that made the original series so intriguing, and the inclusion of more sex and language than was used in previous books gave this new community a more jaded and less trusting level of interaction than the Courtyard that so entranced me in Meg Corbyn’s story.

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The Sleeping Dragon

The Sleeping Dragon

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Sleeping Dragon by Jonny Nexus.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

The Sleeping Dragon was an entertaining and pretty clever piece of writing.

When the author approached me to offer a review copy, I checked out the blurb as I usually would, and was intrigued by the premise of a five hundred-year old world-ending prophecy being brought into play in the modern world where “heroes” were obsolete.  I’ve yet to read a fantasy novel where a prophecy revealed during medieval times was to be dealt with in an urban setting.

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Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

I received a copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hero Forged by Josh Erikson
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Hero Forged is a rare achievement for an indie urban fantasy debut, both in terms of its compelling characterisation and excellent author-narration.

I cannot claim to have a wide repertoire of urban fantasy under my belt, but I have read some of the more popular ones such as The Dresden Files, Kate Daniels, and The Iron Druid Chronicles, and my favourite, the Heartstrikers.  I’ve not come across such in-depth and engaging character development of the main protagonist in the first book of a series. Save for perhaps another self-published title called The Never Hero – also an origins story of a reluctant hero.

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Fairy Tale (The Temple Chronicles, #0.5)

Fairy Tale (The Temple Chronicles, #0.5)

Fairy Tale by Shayne Silvers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fairy Tale is the prequel to the Nate Temple Chronicles by Shayne Silvers, and is the first piece I’ve read from the series or the author. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The snark level here is exactly what I’m looking for when I choose to read urban fantasy. When I start gravitating toward UF, my life is generally becoming hectic in some sense. I go to UF because I know that I will almost always deliver fast-pasted, well plotted stories with a dynamic cast of characters and, in the best case scenario, a plucky protagonist who wields sarcasm as a weapon whom I can look forward to revisiting again and again as UF series tend to be long in installments instead of hefty books.

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Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth, #1)

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hero Forged (Ethereal Earth #1)Hero Forged by Josh Erikson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A solid beginning to an urban fantasy series.

I’ll first start this review by saying that urban fantasy is a rare hit for me. In fact, other than The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett, Heartstrikers by Rachel Aaron, Paternus Trilogy by Dyrk Ashton, and Jade City by Fonda Lee, I’ve been mostly disappointed with what I’ve read so far. Hero Forged is a new rising urban fantasy that’s well-loved by some reviewers I know. However, knowing my hit and miss statistics with the sub-genre, I was actually going to decline the request to review this book. The author then told me that the main character resembles Vash the Stampede from Trigun; there’s no way I would decline reviewing the book after hearing that and I’m glad I gave it a go.

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Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ, #1)

Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ, #1)

Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rachel Aaron has become one of my go-to authors when I need a pick-me-up.  She has such an uncanny knack of writing stories that are just so effortlessly engaging, immensely enjoyable and just plain fun.

Minimum Wage Magic is the start of a new series taking place in the DFZ, a huge metropolis setting first introduced in her self-published Heartstrikers series – my current favourite urban fantasy of all-time. In Heartstrikers, the author’s characterisation was possibly the best part of the storytelling.  Couple that with the most interesting worldbuilding in urban fantasy that I’ve come across, and you will get an addictively fun ride with great characters that you either want to root for.  Or alternately, strangle with your bare hands.

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