Along Came A Spider

And I’m back! Moving across country is no picnic, let me tell you. And while I’m waiting  to find a job, I might as well update my blog! So I read a bunch of books on my trip, but some of them were rereads. One of the new ones was Along Came a Spider by Kate SeRine. This is the third in her Transplanted Tales books, which I really rather like.

This one features Trish Muffett, CSI to the Tales. The book starts out with Trish trying to investigate some vampire killings, but trying to keep the info she finds out away from best friend Red Little at the beset of bestie’s boyfriend Nate Grimm. Red is uber pregnant in this and since Nate Grimm is death incarnate for the most part, no one quite knows how this pregnancy will work. So, no one wants to chance Red running off to save the day as she likes to do.

At this opening crime scene, Trish is attacked by some Dracula brides. Who comes to her rescue? None other than the one man she’s had a crush on forever and a day, Nicky “Little Boy” Blue. Nicky disappeared some years (apparently) after the events in Red and has been off to parts unknown doing things unknown. Until he kills off those lady vamps trying to feed on Trish.

Utterly confused as to what Nicky Blue, notorious (or at least suspected) gangster, is doing saving her butt from certain death, Trish tries to use her not so secret superpowers (reading people’s souls through their eyes, very like a Dresden Files soulgaze only it works on the dead as well as the living) to figure out what the vamps are doing. No joy, so she goes home to her lonely apartment and cat. Why is it always a cat? Why not a dog? Dogs are way cuter.

At any rate, some rather upset ghostie tries to pull a Poltergeist on her and guess who saves her again? That’s right, Nicky Blue, who has apparently been breaking into her apartment to read the real, undoctored reports from her vampire crime scenes. That’s not creepy, really it’s not (*dripping sarcasm*). Even after finding out that he’s been breaking and entering and watching her sleep, Trish still has a think for bad boy Nicky. And this ghostie gives her a great opportunity. Unable or unwilling to beg a place to sleep off the pregnant Red and worry-wart Nate, Nicky offers Trish a room in his mansion.

So yeah, they really do get it on eventually. I didn’t find their hook up nearly as weird as Lavender and Seth’s in The Better to See You. So in between hooking up with Nicky and running from some Here and Now agency simply called The Agency (so creative), Trish and Nicky try tracking down Dracula and figuring out who is responsible for the deaths of a bunch of Tales that were really no threat to anyone but themselves (i.e.-The Pied Piper, who is apparently a career sex offender. Ew).

I enjoyed this book. I liked seeing a bit more of Trish Muffett although I do think she fell into a lot of urban fantasy female character cliches: in love with one guy in particular and no one else could possibly do, strong woman…unless there’s a man around to take care of things, constantly getting injured by doing something that defies basic common sense.  At any rate, I’d call it an quick, entertaining read. You could certainly get this done in much less than a day if you’re looking for just a little something to read. Rating: B-. A little trope-y but cute.

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.