The Better to See You

This is the follow-up to the previously reviewed RedThe Better to See You by Kate SeRine features a fairy godmother by the name of Lavender Seelie. Or I should say The fairy godmother. She is Cinderella’s fairy godmother and she, along with Aladdin’s (called Al Addin in these books) djinn, was responsible for opening up the rift between Make Believe and the Here And Now. Lavender is an alcoholic.  She’s spent the years following the rift opening drinking away her guilt and being a virtual slave to James (the prince) and Cinderella Charming.

Lavender’s magic has been, for want of a better term, on the fritz since the rift opened. She drinks to dampen her magic, or at least her ability to do magic. Until Red Little came along in the first book and helped her get clean.  So when James Charming came along and threatened her (reason for the threat is unclear), Lavender defend herself and burnt down James and Cinderella’s mansion. And shrunk James’ (a serial cheater) penis. Red Little wisely suggests that Lavender get out of Dodge (or in this case, Chicago) and sends her to a place in the Pacific Northwest called the Refuge.

The Refuge takes in Tales who have not been able to blend in to the Here And Now.  Its a safe place for Tales and the occasional Ordinary where they can be themselves. If they have magic, they can use it openly. If they’re a werewolf or such, they can be so openly.

So Lavender hits the road after getting a little financial help from mom and dad (purveyors of medicinal fairy dust). She runs into trouble when her GPS gets her lost and then she gets attacked from a hellhound. She’s rescued by none other than the Big Bad Wolf himself, Seth Wolf. He takes her home, despite his supreme dislike and distrust of all magic wielders, and nurses her back to health.

One thing leads to another and there is a gratuitous amount of Lavender/Seth sexy times. She finds a job and a growing mystery of disappearing tales and Ordinary murders. Someone’s after Seth and also after Lavender. Who is it? What is their end game?  Read the book to find out!

This was a very good follow up to Red and I highly recommend the both of them. They’re quite imaginative. I’ve already pre-ordered the third book (due out August 1), Along Came a Spider. Rating: A

Transplanted Tales

I just read this book called Red by Kate SeRine. The general gist of it is that a faerie godmother (Cinderella’s) and a djinn (Aladdin’s) got in a magic fight and ripped a hole in the fabric of reality between the land of make believe and the “here & now” (being the human or Ordinary world). This transplanted (ah hah! series name right there!) a whole of faerie tale people and creatures. Though strictly speaking they aren’t limited to just what we would consider faerie tales (Cinderella, Little Miss Muffett, Beauty and the Beast etc). It really covered literature as a whole, bringing over people from various points in their stories. For instance, Juliet is alive and well (and married to a gangster)…for now.

Red is about, I’m sure you guess, Little Red Riding Hood. Her name is Tess Little (ha) and she may be short but she’s no young lass. She’s an adult woman who works for the “Fairytale Management Authority” (FMA). They make sure that the transplanted tales don’t garner the attention of ordinary humans. See, its really rather hard to kill a Tale and they also retain characteristics from their stories (werewolves in literature will be werewolves here, faeries still have wings and magic etc). Ordinaries would likely want to either kill or study them, so everything needs to be hush-hush. If a Tale is injured, they’re taken to a special, Tale only hospital. There is at least one Tale only jail where one can spend decades or more and come out looking the same.

Red starts out tracking down the Pied Piper because he broke his parole (this guy is apparently a pedophile in this story and now I will never be able to read that story to children because ICK). Instead of ‘coming quietly’ for a year or two to finish his sentence, he takes his own life. It sparks an investigation where Red gets a new partner, a reaper with a fondness for film noir clothing called Nate Grimm (which cracks me the hell up because I know a guy by that name).

The Pied Piper is not the only Tale to mysteriously die and now Red is on the heels of a serial Tale killer who may or may not be one of her (many) exes including one Big Bad Wolf (aka Seth Wolf).  Will she find out who is behind the killings? How much will it cost her? I really hope you find out because this book was fun and interesting. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a concept like this before and if I have, it certainly isn’t as well done. I’ve picked up the next book in the series, The Better to See You. Can’t wait to finish that one. One thing is for certain, you will never look at any faerie tales the same way again. I think this includes if you have read the original Grimm and Anderson tales, which are much darker than the faerie tales American kids are raised on.

Rating: A. Pick it up.