Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘action-adventure

Just Reviewed Lackey and Edghill’s “Sacrifices” at SBR

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Folks, if you don’t regularly read my book reviews, I’d be really astonished.  (Well, those who aren’t following me simply for my insights, often trenchant, on the Milwaukee Brewers, that is.)  That’s the main reason I try to post something here when I write a new one.

Anyway, I’m very short on time right now, but I did get up a book review this evening for the excellent young adult urban fantasy by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill, SACRIFICES.  This is book three in their Shadow Grail series, which deals with Arthurian myth (I called it “neo-Arthurian” as this series fuses the best of what’s great about urban fantasy and the best of historicity, in case anyone’s wondering how I came up with that) along with self-sacrifice and a whole lot of other interesting concepts.

If you love urban fantasy, mystery, Arthurian legend/history, or just admire the writing of Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill, you want to read this book, soonest.  (Trust me.)  Not your typical “middle series” book by any means, this book is a non-stop thrill-ride (unfortunately, as I’d already used that term for another of their books, DEAD RECKONING, I didn’t think I should use it in the review, variety being the spice of life and all that) that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

So I figured that before I went off to tonight’s rehearsal with the Racine Concert Band (for Sunday’s free concert at the Racine Zoo; I’m playing alto saxophone), I’d get something up for the review, then write a very quick blog post about it.

Anyway, go read my review, then go grab the book!

Just Reviewed Dave Freer’s “The Steam Mole” at SBR

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Folks, if you’ve been looking for a thrilling YA action-adventure set in an alternate universe where the science has been meticulously worked out, well, search no more.

Such a book exists — actually, two such books exist, the first being Dave Freer’s CUTTLEFISH, and the second being THE STEAM MOLE, set in the same universe with most of the same characters but a different setting.

Hie thee hence to your local bookstore, online outlet or what-you-will, or if you’d like to read my review first, go here.

Then do yourself a favor, and buy both books.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Barb, why are you pushing these novels so hard?”

It’s simple, really.  Freer wrote two books on contract for Pyr — those two being CUTTLEFISH and THE STEAM MOLE — and now has to decide whether he’ll write another in this universe (as Freer does have other options for publication, whether it’s self-publishing or through the Naked Reader Press).  My hope is that Freer will write many more books in this universe, as it seems to me there’s a great many plots that could be viable in such a milieu . . . which is why I urge you to go read my review (better yet, read both reviews, as there’s a link to my review of CUTTLEFISH included in tonight’s review), then go buy the books as fast as you can.

And, as always, enjoy!

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 13, 2012 at 12:25 am

Just Reviewed Osborn’s First Two “Displaced Detective” Novels at SBR

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Tonight’s new review at Shiny Book Review is for Stephanie Osborn’s first two books in her Displaced Detective series about Sherlock Holmes as brought into the modern day via modern physics.  These are fun reads, but more to the point, they’re faithful to the spirit of Holmes in milieu and mythos.  Osborn came up with a great way to start her series by using modern-day physics along with the “World as Myth” concept as delineated by Robert A. Heinlein; the two together explain how Holmes could be a real person, and then how it came to be that Osborn’s hyperspatial physicist, Skye Chadwick, was able to rescue Holmes before he ended up dead at Reichenbach Falls.

These are really fun reads that make good sense in context.  The mysteries Holmes solves are appropriately complex (yes, I said that at SBR, too, but it’s a phrase I don’t get to use much, thus the repetition), Holmes’s abilities seem realistic (for him), and the halting romance that grows between Holmes and Chadwick is worth the price of admission all by itself.

But do expect there to be a romance, especially in the second book, and do expect it to be PG-13.  This makes sense in context, and it’s something I applauded in my review — but some Holmes-o-philes may not wish to see their hero in love.  (If so, the more fool, they.  Osborn does a great job showing how these two extremely brilliant people could and did fall in love, and it works, plot-wise.  To great effect.)

Seriously.  Go read my review of these two fine books, THE CASE OF THE DISPLACED DETECTIVE: THE ARRIVAL and THE CASE OF THE DISPLACED DETECTIVE: AT SPEED.  Then go buy the books already.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm