Sunday, April 3, 2016

Book 17: Cry Wolf

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs is the first full length novel in the Alpha and Omega series which expands the world created in the Mercy Thompson series.  The actual start of the series is a short story called "Alpha and Omega" which is found in the Shifting Shadows collection of short stories.  Anna packs up and heads to Montana with the wounded Charles to start a new life as his mate.  Their time to get acquainted and mate is cut short by an attack on a park ranger by an unknown werewolf.  Charles and Anna hike out into the snow covered wilderness to find the rogue and discover a powerful black witch that has come hunting one of their pack members and has the ability to control the wolves through their pack bond.  Together they must find a way to save themselves and protect their pack.

This is one of my favorite series that I am currently rereading.  A definite read for Mercy Thompson fans and anyone else who loves a good werewolf romance.

Book 16: Marked in Flesh

With war on the horizon, Simon and the Others at Lakeside begin making preparations and continue trying to figure out the answer of how much human to keep.  Megan receives several sets of tarot type cards and begins exploring using the cards in lieu of cutting. The Humans First and Last movement launches a new series of attacks against the buffalo herds that the wolf packs in central Thasia hunt for food.  Supplied with weapons from Cel Romano, the attack and kill wolfguard packs in several locations leaving their carcasses in piles.  The leaders of Cel Romano launch an attack to expand their territory, and everyone with any sense at all waits fearfully for the response by the Others of the wild country who are Namid's teeth and claws.

Another excellent book in the Others series.

Book 15: Vision in Silver

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop is the third book in her successful Others series.  The blood prophets have been freed but find that they are ill-adapted to surviving in the human world.  The Intuit villages that took in some of the girls are horrified as they commit suicide.  Simon orders Meg and her human pack to write a blood prophets 101 book to help the remaining girls survive in the real world.  After a new vision from Meg, the Others begin looking for a new group of cassandra sangue, those who were formerly part of the breeding program and are being abandoned along the side of the road.  Meanwhile, the Humans First and Last movement continues to gain momentum and tensions escalate.  Lizzie arrives unexpectedly in Lakeside after her mother is murdered at the train station.  After several attacks around Thasia, the Others that live in the wild country declare a breach of trust by the humans and task Simon with determining how much human is necessary.

Great addition to a great series.  Another must read book.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book 14: Fire Touched

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs is the latest book in her Mercy Thompson series.  What started out as a normal day for Mercy at home quickly went downhill.  First came the call from the local police asking for help with a rampaging monster on a bridge.  Once the wolves take down the troll with help from Zee and Tad, the two fae introduce Mercy to the ten-year-old fire-touched boy who helped them escape from the reservation and now wants wolves protection from the fae.  Mercy offers the boy 24 hours of protection because he helped Zee and Tad and helped Joel regain control of his tibicena.  It may have been the right thing to do, but every decision has repercussions.  Bran declares Adam's pack to be rogue to preserve the treaty the rest of the wolves had with the fae, and both the Grey Lords and an unknown party of fae are demanding the return of the fire-touched.

Another great book in the series.  A must read for Mercy Thompson fans.

Book 13: Dark Horse

Rose MacKenzie was desperate to free herself from the three months of horror and torture aboard a Tecran vessel, so she strikes the only deal that she can with the ship's AI thinking system named Sazo even knowing that he is not telling her everything about his plan.  True to his word Sazo strands the ship deep in Grih territory and helps Rose board a transport to a nearby moon. 

Meanwhile, Captain Dav Jallan jumps out of hyperspace and is shocked to find a Tecran Class 5 vessel in his territory.  When he class 5 doesn't blast he ship to bits, he takes a crew over to find that only the captain and a few officers remain alive.  After securing the vessel, he proceeds to the nearby moon to find Rose and the six animals who escaped from the Tecran.  Rose doesn't appear dangerous enough to strand the class 5 and mass murder the crew, but it's clear she is hiding something. 

Rose is shocked when she realizes what Sazo has done, but she has given her word not to reveal Sazo because the Grih law demands that AI thinking systems must be destroyed when found.  Caught in the middle, she tries to warn Dav while not breaking her promise to Sazo at the same time she tries to convince Sazo to change his plan and not kill anyone else.  If she fails, then all hope for a peaceful life among the Grih and any chance of even exploring her feeling for Dav will be lost.

I was extremely impressed with Diener's well thought out and intriguing world building.  Between the world building and the plot line, I was quickly pulled into the story and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting.  Excellent series that I am looking forward to continuing.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Book 12: City of Dark Magic

City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte is a mishmash of time-traveling, spies, and quests set in the modern day city of Prague.  Sarah Weston receives an invitation to spend the summer in a castle in Prague cataloging and setting up a display of the music and other Beethoven related items in the collection.  Sarah is immediately immersed in several seemingly unrelated strange occurrences:  the prince acting strangely like he is on some type of drug, cryptic notes from the previous professor working on the Beethoven collection, and repeated references to Prague being a threshold.  Flyte slowly weaves the threads together and a more coherent story begins to form involving cold war spies and a search for missing items.

I have to say it took a long time for the book to get going, but eventually it did catch my attention.  I enjoyed enough that I will give the sequel a try at some point, but it is not a book I will be reading again. 

Book 11: Murder of Crows

Murder of Crows by Bishop is the second book in the Others series.  Picking up where the first book left off, the human antagonism of the Others increases with attacks on the Crowguard.  Food left by garbage cans is laced with the drug feel-good so that the crows eating it will become passive.  Then dogs or humans on gone over wolf, which increases aggression, kill the crows.  Meg's warning saves the crows of Lakeside, but the same scenario plays out in the town of Talulah Falls with deadly results.  As tension between humans and Others increases, Simon invites leaders from other courtyards to discuss the origin of the drugs and to find a way to eliminate the threat.

Like the previous book, the plot moves slowly and steadily.  The first book focused on Meg adapting to life outside the compound and the day to day life in the Courtyard.  Book two continues the first theme and the humorous relationship with Simon and others in the Courtyard, but it also expands beyond Lakeside to discuss the human lands across the sea as well as additional town in Thasia giving a broader picture of the various relationships between humans and Others. 

Favorite quotes:

"Of  course he looked funny.  Meg had hauled him halfway into her lap and was using him as a furry shield, peering between his ears when she wasn't squeezing him breathless during the movie's scary bits."(136)

"'The cow-shaped cookies have a beef flavoring, the turkey-shaped cookies have a poultry flavoring, and...'

Jane held up one of the cookies. 'Human-flavored?'

Meg stifled a sigh.  That would be the first thing on her feedback list:  don't make people-shaped cookies.  The Wolves were way too interested and all of them leaped to a logical, if disturbing, expectation about the taste."(246)

I will definitely be rereading this series in the future and recommend it highly.