So I was just going through my Amazon recs and came across a book called Geekomancy by Michael R. Underwood. Being that I am a geek, I was intrigued. So I downloaded the sample to my Kindle and away we go. I was a little worried by the ridiculously complicated name of the main character which I can’t remember the whole of so I’ll just let you know that she’s Ree Reyes.

I’m not entirely sure one has to be a geek to enjoy this book but it would definitely help to understand it. This book is made up of mostly pop/geek culture references. I personally love when my favorite writers sneak in a pop culture reference (Jim Butcher, I’m looking at you) but this might be a tad much for some. The character of Ree tends to think of things in a  geeky way. Like breaking down people into D&D character sheet traits (strength #, wisdom #, intelligence #, charisma # etc).

She works at a theme cafe called Cafe Xombi that provides coffee, pastries and comics (among other things). She’s got the standard urban fantasy trops of having recently broken up with her boyfriend, her mother left when she was a child, her father is poor/hard-working and in every way supportive and she has a dream job (being a screen writer) that just isn’t meant to be. Just once I would like to see a female character (or any main character I suppose) be in a stable relationship, have both parents and a job that they love and don’t lose.

Aaaaaaaanyway, moving on. Ree’s post-break-up mopiness is interrupted by the arrival of a man who insists on being known as Eastwood (*sigh*), who is the one who inadvertently introduces her into the world of the weird. Now here is where I rather like the world that Underwood is creating because I haven’t seen something like it before.

Back around the time of the Renaissance, those people who could do magic influenced how those who could not do magic see magic. What I mean is, they created this thing called The Doubt. Because of the books and general enlightenment of the era, those who did magic basically put a big, multi-generational “someone else’s problem” spell on, well, Muggles for lack of a better term.

Someone who has magic has a type of magic. Werewolves are Atavists, who use magic to bring out the beast in them…turns out they have to use rubber werewolf suits as a focus but hey. Eastwood can basically use comics and other geek memorabilia to gain powers. The rarer the item, the longer the power will last. Like a Nightcrawler card will allow him to teleport briefly. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Ree’s power is emulation, which would also rock. She can watch something or read something and gain the ability to do that thing. Want to fight like Buffy? Watch Band Candy. Want to dodge attacks? Watch The Matrix. Want to investigate a crime? Well, that’s all on BBC’s Sherlock (which you should totally watch BTW, because AWESOME doesn’t cover it). It only lasts for a little while and it doesn’t make her bullet or wound proof but hey, she can kick some booty.

So Eastwood has her looking into some virgin suicides that he is apparently investigating. Only investigating is a rather loose term. Its more like he’s looking for them specifically. He needs to collect the souls of five virgin suicides to get his lady love back from a demon (who is so ridiculously named I didn’t even try to remember it). And who is our mystery love? I’ll give you three guesses. No? Enter trope long-lost-mom.

Oh what is a girl to do? Well, read and find out. 🙂 This is a geek’s fantasy. I’m telling you if I could suddenly dive into an urban fantasy book, I think it would be this one. How cool would it be to be able to fight like Westley and Inigo Montoya simply by watching The Princess Bride? I know right?! But it is a really trope-y book, just so you’re forewarned. I enjoyed it enough that I would read another book in this series (if there is a series-it was certainly left open for a follow up). Rating B. His writing could use a little work. I feel like there was a lot of exposition in this book and that any follow ups would be smoother.

Ashes of Honor

Okay, so putting this out there ***MAJOR SPOILERS***. You have been warned.

Oh. My. God. Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. Ashes of Honor is fantastic. This might just be my favorite of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books. We pick up with plucky Toby some months after Connor has died and Gillian has chosen to be human. At the very start of the book, she is doing something dangerous, confronting a group of teenage Changeling druggies. But these drugs aren’t the usual drugs of pot or heroin one might think of as being rampant in a city just as San Francisco. This drug is called goblinfruit and while harmless to purebloods, it is addictive and fatal to Changelings.

Toby is confronting them without back up and with only her knife. These kids are armed with mortal weapons and are of the opinion that Toby needs to die. Why? Because in the very first Toby Day novel, Rosemary and Rue, Toby killed Devin, the man that took care of most Changeling kids. So they shoot Toby but it doesn’t kill her. Toby’s mom messing about with her blood to make her more than a mere Changeling makes her very hard to kill. That doesn’t stop her friends from worrying.

Speaking of friends, Tybalt has been sent after her by May and Quentin, arriving just in time to dispense some Cait Sidhe justice on the stupid young drug dealers. He then takes her home where another surprise is waiting for her, Etienne the Senechal for Shadowed Hills. Etienne has a problem. Namely, he had a daughter by a human some sixteen years ago and never knew it. And now, that daughter has come into her fae powers and has disappeared.

Disappearing happens to be Etienne’s trick. He’s Tuatha de Dannan, a teleporter. And his daughter is too. Only she’s a lot more powerful than dear old dad. Apparently on occasion Changeling children are more powerful than their full blood parents because something goes (genetically, I’m assuming) wrong and they have none of the innate blocks on their powers that pure bloods have.

The problems start piling up as Toby takes Quentin to visit her aunt, the Luidaeg (Sea Witch) for a tracking charm. It seems that an out of control Changeling Tuatha can rip the very fabric of Faerie apart at the seams. Etienne’s daughter, Chelsea, has apparently already been to places that the long gone Oberon had sealed off for his own mysterious reasons. And because everyone in Faerie lives by Oberon’s Laws, this could mean tons of trouble.

Toby has to track down Chelsea and the ones who took her while dealing with a Tybalt who has finally, FINALLY confessed his feeling to her. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I have been waiting for this forever and a day! Not to mention that one of his subjects is attempting to usurp Tybalt’s throne and the Countess of Dreaming Glass, Treasa Riordan, is up to something.

This was an amazing book and I am sooooo tempted to re-read it right now. Seanan McGuire, you had better write the next book because I’m drooling for more! Rating A+

The Vesuvius Club

Well, as I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday back in August, I decided to take a chance on The Vesuvius Club. There was no supernatural element to this book at all. If I had to classify it, I’d go for Victorian espionage.

Written by BBC Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, I had some vague sort of hopes for this book but I wasn’t sure exactly what they were. I like Gatiss and I love Sherlock ( Benedict Cumberbatch! Martin Freeman! Mmmm!) but I was a little wary.

The book follows protagonist Lucifer Box, artist and spy, as he tries to investigate the deaths of a couple scientists of the realm while trying to make some money on the side teaching art to vapid society dames. Box has some strange morals for the time. He’s always impeccably dressed as any society man should be…but he really doesn’t see anything wrong with shooting a mark in a restaurant. Not to mention that he’s bisexual which was a big no-no in Victoria’s day.

Box’s investigation eventually leads him to Naples, where all unfolds amid chases, sex (non-graphic, which makes a nice change) and assassination attempts.

It was an interesting book and I am intrigued to see what happens afterwards. Be warned though that pretty much all the characters have ridiculous names (as evident by the main character’s name) and it is rife with British slang you might need to look up ( is a good source). Think of it rather like a Victorian James Bond. So I guess I’d rate this a B/B-

Ghost of a Dream

So I wasn’t too sure what to make of the Ghostfinders stories from Simon R. Green at first. I LOVE Simon R. Green, easily one of my top 5 authors. But the first book was really kind of meh. The second book was a bit better and this third one, Ghost of a Dream is a bit better than that.

Ghost of a Dream starts out with our favorite (read only) Ghost Hunters JC Chance, Melody Chambers and “Happy” Jack Palmer on the case of a ghost train, which is just an awesome concept. I love ghost train stories. At any rate, they’ve been sent up north to figure out why Bad Things have been happening to an abandoned train station called Bradleigh Halt that was supposed to get refurbished by a local steam train enthusiasts society.

The event behind the haunting is a missing train from the Victorian Era. It went in a tunnel near Bradleigh Halt and never came out. Now it wants to come home from the Outside and its bringing Something back with it.  Its up to JC, Melody and Happy to figure out what that Something is and how to kick it’s arse back to where it came from.

That’s the first sort of intro story that Simon often puts in his stories, a little teaser to whet your appetite for the real deal and the bigger, badder nasty. The second story is a tad more interesting. It takes place very soon after the Bradleigh Halt incident at a theater that was out of production for twenty years. The owners of said theater apparently have pull with the Carnacki Institute’s big cheese, Catherine Latimer, and so the three Ghostfinders find themselves on what appears to be a typical haunting.

And when I say typical I mean typical. All of the little spooky incidents are the sorts of things that people up and down the centuries have been claiming  as proof of ghosts: flickering lights, cold spots, eerie noises and doors opening and closing on their own. Nothing is outright malevolent at first but something is definitely there and definitely powerful and definitely after the two actors who are re-opening the theater.

JC and his team have to find out why and not only that, but another big, bad nasty is taking the opportunity to try and finish them off. Will they survive?! Duhn-duhn-DUUUUUUUUUUHN! Well, SPOILERS, they do survive because the series is clearly not over yet but it there was a bit of a cliffhanger moment at the very end that made me go “YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO ME!!”. So over all, I’d say that this isn’t quite as good as Hawk&Fisher, Deathstalker or the Nightside story arcs…yet. It has potential and it seems to be working up to it slowly. So I do recommend the books because I will always recommend Simon R. Green. Rating B.

Devil Said Bang

So first off, I have a warning about this for Kindle owners. The book actually ends about 2/3 of the way through what it lists as the length, at least in my version. After that, it goes back to about half way through the book and repeats itself. I read through it just to make sure it wasn’t some sort of “oh this was all just a dream” trope. It wasn’t. If anyone knows where or how to report this to Kindle, let me know. I don’t really care but there are some assholes out there that will raise a stink. And now to the book!

Awesome! Totally awesome. Does not disappoint at all. As with the Taken review, I won’t go into much detail as the book was released a little over a week ago. Sandman Slim is back and trying to stay alive in Hell. He wants to get back to LA (must be a glutton for punishment) and get out of being Lucifer. He keeps playing off people down below against each other so he has time to figure out a plan, even a crappy one.

He eventually figures out how to get to LA but his troubles are far, far from over. Crazy nutball angel Aelita is trying to kill him, God and re-write the world. The usual. So there’s lots of gratuitous violence and Slim fighting with his other half (his literal other half, the angel portion of him he dubbed Saint James) and Slim being a general dick.

If you liked the first Slim books, you will love this book. A+