Jan. 27th, 2017

chez_jae: (Books)
I spent most of Thursday morning finishing Rosemary and Rue by [personal profile] seanan_mcguire. It's the first book in the author's "October Daye" urban fantasy series.

October "Toby" Daye is trying to reclaim her life after a curse cost her fourteen years...years in which her family moved on without her, while her friends mourned, believing she was dead. As a Changeling, Toby is part Fae, but she wants to put that part of her life behind her and live instead in the mortal world. She is dragged back into the world of Faerie when someone murders the Countess Evening Winterrose. With her final words, Evening binds Toby, compelling her to seek justice for Evening or die in the attempt.

Toby finds herself reconnecting with old contacts in the world of Faerie, including her liege, the Duke of Shadowed Hills, a former Changeling lover, as well as other friends. Aided by a key that Evening had delivered to her, Toby is able to unlock both doors and secrets. She knows she's getting close to the truth when someone tries to kill her. Unfortunately for Toby, if she quits searching for justice, she'll die...that is, if the culprit doesn't kill her first.

Excellent story. There were a lot of characters introduced, but they were portrayed well. In spite of her dire circumstances, Toby manages to maintain her snarky wit. If I have any complaints, it's that too many of the male characters were attracted to her. Shades of Bella Swan much? Other than that, it was fast-paced and exciting. I enjoyed the world building and learning about various Fae and their abilities.

Favorite lines:
♦ Cats never listen. They're dependable that way; when Rome burned, the emperor's cats still expected to be fed on time.
♦ The night just kept getting better. Now I had bad news to deliver to a powerful woman who didn't like me, a terrible crime to avenge, and wet socks.
♦ If anything attacked us, we could just panic at it until it went away.
♦ "Scooby and the gang aren't here yet."

Wonderful book, and I look forward to reading more in the series. Five stars!

chez_jae: (Books)
I stayed up far later than I should have last night (this morning!) to finish reading Words With Fiends. It's the third installment in author Ali Brandon's "Black Cat Bookshop" mystery series.

Bookstore owner Darla Pettistone is concerned when the shop's mascot, a large black cat named Hamlet, doesn't seem to be himself. He isn't terrorizing customers or knocking things off of shelves, like he normally does. Darla bites the bullet and hires a behavioral specialist to come in to see Hamlet. In the meantime, Darla and her young employee, Robert, are taking self-defense classes at a local dojo. When they go to the dojo early on a Sunday, they find their sensei in dire straits. Master Tomlinson is pronounced DOA at the hospital, and Darla finds herself at the epicenter of another murder investigation.

There doesn't seem to be a shortage of suspects, from the sensei's seemingly callous wife, to his two stepsons, to the student he argued with earlier in the week. Darla vows to stay out of it this time, but when Hamlet begins knocking books off of shelves again, books that seem pertinent to the murder investigation, Darla is unwittingly drawn into the search for clues.

The story moved along at a rapid pace. There were several subplots, including Robert's desire to adopt Master Tomlinson's dog, Roma, the case that Darla's PI friend, Jake, is working on, and Darla's preparation to compete in a karate tournament. I was able to figure out who dunnit, but not until late in the book.

Favorite line: "Cats have their own code of honor, you know."

Fascinating, fast story. Five stars!



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