Book Review: “Stand Against the Dark”

Stand Against the Dark is the fourth book in Denton Salle’s Avatar Wizard series where the myths and magic of Eastern Europe come to life. Jeremy, the panda-shifting volkh wizard has passed his Third Level tests and is becoming more powerful. He is powerful enough to attempt the ritual to call the Lord of Winds and Winter to ask a favor – a ritual that others have died attempting.

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Book Review: Odd Magics: Tales for the Lost

Odd Magics, by Sarah A. Hoyt, is a collection of classic fairy tales reimagined as short stories set in the modern world. They don’t quite follow the original story, but those who know their fairy tales will quickly figure them out. Sarah Hoyt has given us a collection of stories that are quirky and fun and take you out of your head for a short while. The entire book is a quick read that will give you a lift and inspire you to look for the magic in everyday life.

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Book Review: “Lost Souls” by Tim Rangnow

Jack Dalish is a private investigator in San Antonio, Texas. His cases include the usual cheating spouses, or someone trying to find hidden or embezzled funds; cases that are not exciting or exotic but pay the bills. Jack is also one of the few humans who knows that monsters are real and are living among us, disguised as humans. He has a talisman that allows him to sense when one of the Filii Nox is, or has been, nearby. Because of that, his cases include those with supernatural victims and perpetrators.

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Book Review: “Taking the Night” by J.F. Posthumus

Taking the Night mixes the mafia and magic and comes up with an adventure in the underworld, both criminal and magical. Selia Lascari is the daughter and employee of a well-heeled mafia boss. And she has a secret. But it’s not the kind of secret you might expect. Selia is highly trained in a number of ancient fighting techniques, and she controls magic. One evening on an errand, which she presumes is for her father and boss, she walks into a trap set by a rejected suitor. Between what she hopes is a subtle use of her magic, and New Campania’s mysterious vigilante crime stopper, the Sandman, Selia escapes the trap, but now faces a more deadly foe from her past as well as family members who will kill her for associating with the Sandman, their sworn enemy.

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Deep Space Noir

Other Rhodes is a far-future, deep space noir detective story and another fun genre mash-up from Sarah A. Hoyt. Our heroine, Lily, finds a cyborg in her airlock when she expected her husband. Now she has no option except to team up with the completely illegal creation to locate her missing husband. Additionally, with no other allies, she has to trust that her husband’s long-time friend is also her friend and will give her the help she needs. The book combines elements of classic noir detective stories (Rex Stout, Nero Wolfe) within a space-faring and high-tech universe.

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Book Review: Knowingly Familiar

This week’s book review is Alma T.C. Boykin’s Knowingly Familiar. It is Book 16 in the Familiar Tales series. And, until this week, was the latest in that series of stories about the magical community in Riverton. I like to think that the Riverton of the familiars is the Riverton my grandparents lived in and I visited frequently as a small child. The weather and some of the town features are similar…hmmm….but, back to the book.

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Book Review: Divided We Fall

I’ve always liked anthologies because I can get a taste of multiple authors at one time. Anthologies also introduce me to authors I haven’t yet read and finding new authors is always fun. This week’s book review subject is Divided We Fall: One Possible Future edited by Tiffany Reynolds and Patty McIntosh-Mize. The authors include Sarah A. Hoyt, Brad Torgerson, Mack Henkel, Jon Del Arroz, and more. There are twelve stories in all. All twelve are good to great, but I’m only going to go into detail about a few of them here.

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Book Review: “What Does This Button Do?” by Bruce Dickinson

This week’s book review is not an urban fantasy selection. It’s Bruce Dickinson’s autobiography, What Does This Button Do? Like many people, I have an eclectic range of interests when it comes to reading. Well, let’s be honest, I’ll pick up pretty much anything if it looks interesting. On a three-week backpacking trip through Europe after college I read five or six Jason Bourne novels…in a row. I discovered how formulaic they were, but they kept me engaged until the next hostel or pension. Hostels had (or may still, I don’t know) libraries that functioned as sort of pick up/drop off points for books (this was waaaaaay before phones and tablets or e-readers. Way before). Pick up a book in London, read it, drop it off at hostel in Edinburgh or Paris or Nice or wherever, and pick up another one. I read a lot of things in terms of genre and authors that I might not have otherwise. It was definitely a way to broaden my already wide reading horizons. All that is to explain why I read and write urban fantasy but end up reviewing a book by and about the lead singer of Iron Maiden.

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Book review: Paladin’s Sword

The weekly book reviews continue! This week I’m reviewing Fiona Grey’s debut book, Paladin’s Sword, the first in the Professor Porter series. We are introduced to Dr. June Porter, newly minted PhD in folklore and military history, on her way to her first full-time position at Paladin University in New Hampshire. In addition to her new PhD, June is also in possession of magic which, unlike the PhD, she would like to put behind her. But the universe is a fickle thing, and it has other plans for her.

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