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Fool Moon by Jim Butcher {2.5 Stars}

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher {2.5 Stars}

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #2)
Published by Roc on Jan. 9th, 2001
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 342 pages
How I got my copy: BookLender
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Harry Dresden--Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work--magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses--and the first two don't count...

2.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Grave Visions by Kalayna Price {3 Stars}

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price {3 Stars}

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #4)
Published by Roc on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 340 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Grave Visions by Kalayna Price is the much-anticipated fourth installment in the kick-ass urban fantasy series about Alex Craft, a grave witch who can communicate with the dead.

If you want to hear voices from the dead in Nekros City, you call Alex Craft. She's a Grave Witch with reasonable rates and extraordinary powers, who specializes in revealing the secrets of the dead. But now she's the one fighting to keep her own secret. She's not human—and her newly discovered heritage is causing havoc for her both in the human realm and in Faerie. But her status as an unaffiliated fae also makes her an ideal candidate to investigate a new street drug that has surfaced in several of the spaces between the human and fae worlds.

This glamour-infused drug causes hallucinations that turn real—at least for a while and often with deadly consequences. Searching for the source of this drug—and its purpose—lands Alex front and center in the conflict brewing in Faerie and she must find answers before she's dragged so deep she loses her freedom.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Grave Memory by Kalayna Price {5 Stars}

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price {5 Stars}

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #3)
Published by Roc on July 3rd, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 373 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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When the dead need to talk, Alex Craft is always ready to listen…

As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.

But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a mysterious suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade she raises has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…

5 Stars

Ready for another bare-bones, just-my-notes review? Good, me too!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Grave Memory from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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After Atlas by Emma Newman ARC {5 Stars}

After Atlas by Emma Newman ARC {5 Stars}

After Atlas by Emma Newman (Planetfall)
Published by Roc on November 8, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Sci-fi
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley, Publisher
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Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas’s departure, it’s got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.

To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There’s more to Casales’s death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes...

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of AFTER ATLAS from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier ARC {4 Stars}

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier is the third book following my favorite wise woman and strongman: Blackthorn and Grim. I love how each book tells its own new tale that feels like it could easily fit alongside the Brothers Grimm tales, while continuing to build Blackthorn and Grim’s story. If you’ve enjoyed the first two or been considering starting this series, don’t miss this addition!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Den of Wolves from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier ARC {4 Stars}

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier (Blackthorn and Grim #3)
Published by Roc on Nov. 1st, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Feather bright and feather fine, None shall harm this child of mine...

Healer Blackthorn knows all too well the rules of her bond to the fey: seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good. But after the recent ordeal she and her companion, Grim, have suffered, she knows she cannot let go of her quest to bring justice to the man who ruined her life.

Despite her personal struggles, Blackthorn agrees to help the princess of Dalriada in taking care of a troubled young girl who has recently been brought to court, while Grim is sent to the girl’s home at Wolf Glen to aid her wealthy father with a strange task—repairing a broken-down house deep in the woods. It doesn’t take Grim long to realize that everything in Wolf Glen is not as it seems—the place is full of perilous secrets and deadly lies...

Back at Winterfalls, the evil touch of Blackthorn’s sworn enemy reopens old wounds and fuels her long-simmering passion for justice. With danger on two fronts, Blackthorn and Grim are faced with a heartbreaking choice—to stand once again by each other’s side or to fight their battles alone...

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman ARC {4 Stars}

Fans of Jasper Fforde’s Tuesday Next or Deborah Harkness’ Diana Bishop should make room in their summer (or winter, depending upon the hemisphere) reading list for the new edition of The Invisible Library and get ready to make the acquaintance of Irene and her student Kai as they hunt for a rare volume of Grimm’s fairy tales.  In this first adventure of the Invisible Library series, our two heroes leave the safety of the Library, a place that exists outside of time and space, to enter into a steampunk alternative universe where they match wits with an adversary just as determined as they are to collect the book in question …. but with far more sinister motives.  As they are joined in the hunt by a famous detective reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, the reader can settle into a comfortable and easy tale in which there are a few twists (stemming mostly from the unique magic system) but many delightful characters.

Note: I received an advanced copy of THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman ARC {4 Stars}

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library #1)
Published by Roc on June 14, 2016 (paperback and Kindle)
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Daemons are Forever by Simon R. Green {4 Stars}

The larger-than-life Drood family protects the world from just about every possible threat, mundane and supernatural:  wars, demons, witches, mass murderers, alien invaders, you name it.  They’re a cross between MI6 and the Justice League except that the entire organization is one big dysfunctional in-fighting family.  They’ll protect you from all enemies only to stab you in the back themselves.  That kind of family. 

This latest installment of the series pits the Droods against beings that are literally from out of this world, and the action doesn’t let up until the very end.  Favorite characters are back to join in the mayhem, and Eddie Drood’s challenges with his family are about as complicated as you …. and he ….. would expect. Afterall, he does have a relative who is half-demon and is dating a witch from the wild woods.  

Daemons are Forever by Simon R. Green {4 Stars}

Daemons Are Forever by Simon R. Green (Secret Histories #2)
Published by Roc on June 3rd 2008
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 406 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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The name's Drood. Eddie Drood. Of the great and powerful Droods - the clan that's been watching mankind's back since we all first dropped out of trees - the group of hard-fighting, devilishly handsome arse kickers who take on the monsters of the world so you lot can go about your happy lives.

During World War II, the Droods made a pact with some nasty buggers from another dimension. We needed the Loathly Ones to fight some other nasty buggers the Nazis were using. But once the war was over, they decided that they liked this world to much to leave. We Droods are the only thing standing between them and you. Unfortunately, I'm not keen on trusting some of my own kin - and if I choose the wrong horse to back, everything we know is going bye-bye.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Grave Dance by Kalayna Price {3.5 Stars}

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price is the second book in the Alex Craft urban fantasy series featuring a heroine who just wants to get paid to settle inheritance disputes and solve the occasional murder by raising shades of the dead, but finds herself in another horrible murder investigation with a whole lot more going on. I like that I’ve finally found an urban fantasy series where the main character has friends that she can call on to save the day, plus an adorable dog.

Note: I received a copy of Grave Dance from the publisher.

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price {3.5 Stars}

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #2)
Published by Roc on July 5th, 2011
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 371 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

Whoever said dead men tell no tales obviously never met Alex Craft.

After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L” word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses, only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end—her own.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney ARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney is the first in a new series starring a boy and a blind girl who see visions of death in their dreams and work with the police to solve the revealed murders. In addition to the cool magic and solid main characters, I really enjoyed the unique cultures that are depicted throughout this story and look forward to finding out everything about their histories and traditions as the series continues. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Dreaming Death from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney ARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney (Palace of Dreams #1)
Published by Roc on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

Shironne Anjir's status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.

A member of the royal family's guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail, and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.

But then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare...

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein {4.5 Stars}

If you like your fantasy subtle and have an interest in Japanese culture, both modern and historical, then Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein might be a book that you will enjoy.  The book alternates between large sections of urban and historical fantasy, following the paths of several samurai swords, created by a legendary, master swordsman in Medieval Japan.  These swords became cursed or blessed and affect the lives of the people who possess them … and sometimes, they create waves that may nudge the course of whole countries.

The magical aspect of the swords is so ephemeral during the early part of the book that it seems to be mere superstition or legend to the main character, a Japanese police detective who follows hard evidence and bucks a system and culture that constantly throws up barriers to a woman trying to be taken seriously in a “man’s job”.  But as coincidences mount … and a few surprises lend credence to the tales of the old scholar whose sword looks to be a target for theft … both the detective and the reader finally realize that the Fated Blades really do possess incredibly strong magic.

Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein {4.5 Stars}

Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein (The Fated Blades #1)
Published by Roc on January 10, 2012
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 468 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Purchases made support this blog

Mariko Oshiro is not your average Tokyo cop. As the only female detective in the city’s most elite police unit, she has to fight for every ounce of respect, especially from her new boss. While she wants to track down a rumored cocaine shipment, he gives her the least promising case possible. But the case—the attempted theft of an old samurai sword—proves more dangerous than anyone on the force could have imagined.

The owner of the sword, Professor Yasuo Yamada, says it was crafted by the legendary Master Inazuma, a sword smith whose blades are rumored to have magical qualities. The man trying to steal it already owns another Inazuma—one whose deadly power eventually comes to control all who wield it. Or so says Yamada, and though he has studied swords and swordsmanship all his life, Mariko isn’t convinced.

But Mariko’s skepticism hardly matters. Her investigation has put her on a collision course with a curse centuries old and as bloodthirsty as ever. She is only the latest in a long line of warriors and soldiers to confront this power, and even the sword she learns to wield could turn against her.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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