Forces from Beyond

Courtesy of Amazon.comObligatory SPOILERS warning because this book is really, really new. I just finished the last of Simon R Green’s Ghost Finders novels, Forces from Beyond. This series features the folks of the Carnacki Institute, who deal with those who just won’t lay down and die already. The books revolve around one team made up of JC Chance, ‘Happy’ Jack Palmer and Melody Chambers.

JC is sort of like Faceman from the A-Team, smooth, suave, well-dressed and charming with it. He lives with his ghost girlfriend Kim. No, I don’t feel like elaborating. Read the books. 😉 JC is the team leader because he’s that sort of guy.

Jack Palmer is the team telepath. In order to keep himself functioning in a sane way, he pumps himself full of drugs which could probably kill an elephant. He lives with the team tech geek, Melody Chambers. From the sound of it, they have a really interesting sex life. Jack’s nickname of Happy is heavily ironic.

In this book, we find out that Happy is dying. No surprise given his drug problem, but it really seems to be just around the corner here. The Carnacki Institute is hoping to have him for one last push against the final boss, the Flesh Undying. We know it’s the last push because Carnacki Institute boss Catherine Latimer is behind what goes on in the book.

I don’t want to get into this plot in too much detail since it’s so new but I do feel that the book was rather rushed. I feel like he really could have stretched out this Flesh Undying arc into another two or even three books. It seemed like because he’s having some health difficulties, he’s decided to just get his series over with as soon as possible.

While that might work well with the Nightside or the Secret Histories, which are rather winding down naturally, it didn’t work so well with the Ghost Finders. I found this a rather meh series to begin with but the kind of Scooby Doo ending in this one just left me going “Wait, that’s it?”.

So yeah, if you’ve read the others in this series, totally go ahead and round it out. I really hate leaving books unfinished unless I find them truly godawful but I almost wish I hadn’t read this book at all. I have re-read a lot of Simon R. Green’s books but I don’t think this will be one of them. Rating: C-. Not worth the price, luckily I believe I bought this with birthday money.

A Red-Rose Chain

Courtesy of goodreads.comI just finished the latest October Daye story from Seanan McGuire, A Red-Rose Chain. Literally just finished as I set down my Kindle and came to pop out a review. This book is so, so new (less than two weeks now), that I’m going to give a bare-bones description but please be warned that there could be SPOILERS here.

So, we start out with Toby and company fighting off a pack of Mauthe Doog, giant black dogs from the depths of Faerie that had been locked away by Oberon centuries ago. I’m still hoping that McGuire will get Toby to find out why Oberon sealed off much of Faerie so long ago. I think it would be fascinating.

She figures out that these dogs aren’t evil creatures. They’re frightened. They haven’t seen the mortal world in centuries or longer and to be suddenly dumped out in modern San Francisco scared the crap out of them. Scared animals will fight back, so naturally, they’d caused a dust up. And because she’s a hero of the realm, Queen Arden of the Mists called in Toby for help.

Once they Mauthe Doogs are taken care of, the next catastrophe rears its ugly head pretty immediately. Like, within 2-3 hours immediately. The Kingdom of Silences to the north has declared war on the Mists because, though Queen Arden is confirmed as the rightful ruler and heir of the prior king, Gilad Windermere, the deposed queen had run straight to Silences and the puppet she’d put on the throne.

Arden sends Toby as her chosen diplomat to Silences in hopes of averting a war. Which, given Toby’s experience is probably not the best course of action but Toby touched the queen without permission (a major taboo in the fae world). So this post is punishment essentially.

With her are new fiancee and King of Dreaming Cats (I believe is the kingdom’s name) Tybalt, squire Quentin and former Fetch May. Let’s face it, May is around because 1) she’s hard to kill and 2) she’s the only person who has a hope in hell of making Toby presentable to royalty. Together, they have three days to try and talk Silences out of their ridiculous war or there will be hell to pay.

I won’t say more because otherwise we get into major plot points and I don’t want to ruin it. It’s a delicious book that took me about four hours to plow through total (stretched over a few lunch breaks). I love the October Daye novels. All of them. There hasn’t really been a bad one, though some of them are definitely better than others. I think at one point in time Amazon had this listed of book 9 of 9 of the series, so I’d gone into this a bit sad, expecting a grand wrap up.

Luckily, I don’t think this is the case. There are too many loose ends. We still don’t know what it is that the Luidaeg really wants Toby to do. We don’t know what’s going on with Amandine. And (spoilers) Toby and Tybalt didn’t get married at the end of the book. So there’s lots left to come. I’ll be interested to see what happens. So, Ms. McGuire, I can haz next book please? Rating: A


Courtesy of goodreads.comI just finished Gail Carriger’s latest, Prudence. This is book one of the Custard Protocol series, which I assume will be a 4-5 book series like the Parasol Protectorate books and the Finishing School series. Because this is a very new novel, I won’t go into much detail here. All three series are interlinked, so it’s really fun to see where things come from or go.

This book follows Lady Prudence Akeldama, the adopted daughter of Lord Akeldama, rove vampire extraordinaire and biological daughter of Lord and Lady Maccon. She’s out in society, so probably about 18-19. Her best friend Primrose is the daughter of her mother’s best friend, Ivy Tunstall and she clearly has some sort of feeling for Madame LeFoux’s  son Quesnel.

This book follows the adventures of Prudence (called Rue) and her friends to India via the improbably ladybug colored dirigible, The Spotted Custard. This is a present from Lord Akeldama to Rue with the express intent of getting her out of London due to an unfortunate werewolf in bloomers incident at a society party and to get her to do some covert tea buying.

This is clearly the introductory story of her next story arc. There’s a lot of character building but I can’t quite decide of I’m supposed to like any of these character, particularly Rue. I feel she’s a bit spoiled and I can’t help but feel that I really, really want her taken down a serious peg or two.

There’s clearly supposed to be some sort of romantic build up between Rue and Quesnel, but…I just can’t seem to care. I think that’s far too tidy, considering Quesenl’s mother was in love with Rue’s mother. I don’t particularly like that Lady Alexia Maccon seems to have turned into every disapproving mother ever. She didn’t seem like that when Rue was little in the last Parasol Protectorate book.

I enjoyed reading the book. It had Gail Carriger’s distinctive style…but I think you could read the second book in this series (whenever it comes out) and still not really miss anything. It makes me want to read Soulless again. Rating: C+/B-