July 10, 2009
In The Spy Who Haunted Me (the third book in Green’s Secret Histories series) Edwin Drood enters a competition organized by the Alexander King, the legendary Independent Agent. The group of gathered spies must work together to solve some of the world’s greatest mysteries, but only one of them can claim the prize – the secret knowledge accumulated by King during his career. There’s also a literal deadline. Alexander King is terminally ill, so if the victor doesn’t return quickly enough then King’s secrets could go with him to the grave. Edwin believes that only the Drood family can be trusted with what the Independent Agent knows. But he’s not the only one determined to win at any cost, which becomes clear once the competitors start dying.
April 8, 2009
Mean Streets is an anthology with four stories about supernatural investigations. It includes:
- “The Warrior” by Jim Butcher
When Harry Dresden steps in to protect a threatened friend, he could be playing into the hands of an unknown enemy. This book is set after Small Favor, and has some pretty major spoilers for that story. The story took some interesting turns and there was also a nice theme about how small actions can have unforeseeable results. It was my favorite story in the collection, and any fan of the Dresden Files should enjoy it.
- “The Difference A Day Makes” by Simon R. Green
A woman asks John Taylor to help recover her lost memories of the previous day, and the search leads to one of the seediest areas of the Nightside as well as a truth that she’d probably be better off not knowing. This story seems like it may be targeted at people who haven’t been introduced to the series yet. As someone who has read all of the books, I found it pretty repetitive. I think maybe I’ve read that “Not everything that looks like a car is a car” bit one too many times. The concept was interesting enough, but it was too stuffed with speeches about the nature of the Nightside and the ending was less than satisfying.
- “The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog” by Kat Richardson
Harper Blaine gets a bequest in a stranger’s will, but it comes with strange conditions that lead her to a Day of the Dead celebration full of secrets and revenge. This is my first exposure to Richardson, and I’ll definitely be trying one of her novels. Harper’s powers seem interesting, though I didn’t understand them all that well. Some of the Day of the Dead explanations felt too much like lectures, and the climax got a bit confusing. But there were some great twists and I liked it a lot.
- “Noah’s Orphans” by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Remy Chandler gets dragged into another angel-related investigation after the murder of Noah (yes, the one that built the ark). It’s set shortly after A Kiss Before the Apocalypse (my review), and there are a few spoilers for that novel. The story is okay and I like the main character, but I’m just not connecting with this setting the way I have with my favorite urban fantasy worlds.
January 18, 2009
The people of the Nightside have good reason to fear the Walking Man, an unstoppable embodiment of God’s wrath who travels the world smiting sinners. In Just Another Judgement Day, John Taylor is hired to stop him from taking out the new Authorities and the rest of the Nightside’s morally flexible residents.
December 6, 2008
Unusual Suspects is a mystery/fantasy anthology. It’s a follow up to Powers of Detection, so if you liked that one then you know about what to expect. The stories all focus on crime and the supernatural. Some stories are urban fantasy, while others take place in more traditional fantasy worlds.
November 11, 2008
We’re practically swamped in anthologies lately, this one is a holiday themed collection. The stories in Wolfsbane and Mistletoe involve werewolves and Christmas, though several of them could have been set at any time of year and seem to only include seasonal mentions as an afterthought.