Magical almost-steampunk

Witchmark (The Kingston Cycle, #1)Witchmark by C.L. Polk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This made me think of World War I, Pat Barker‘s Regeneration Trilogy (on a much shallower level), Sherlock Holmes (blond), Steampunk (with aether instead of steam engines) and the M M Romance of KJ Charles (without the hanky-panky).

It took me a little to warm up to the main character, it was not love a first sight. The bad guy was a bit one-dimensional. A deeper look at him would have been nice. I hope that some of my favourite side characters from this will show up in the second book. And I really, really wanted to see Grace burn in a fire for a long time.

Good world-building, nice plot, not terribly complex. Overall I liked the story, but wasn‘t glued to the page. I could have done with a trickier mystery and a little more suspense. The bicycle chase was fun. I loved the reveal at the end—I had my suspicions, but guessed wrong and had a wow-moment.

I am pretty sure that I will pick up the sequel at some point.

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Magic

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11)Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One by one,
Two by two,
The Hardesty witches
Are traveling through.
With a storm of curses,
They call from their tomes;
They will drink your blood
And dine on your bones.

A good title for this book could have been „Trouble with Witches“.

Zombies, vampires, werewolves, the fae, the mentioned witches and other critters that you have to figure out for yourself… And Mercy—“Not that clever. But I am a coyote and apparently stupid lucky.”—Thompson. I loved having so much of Zee, he has always been one of my favourite characters.

I had a lot of fun reading this! It might not have been terribly complex or twisty. But it had a cohesive plot, well-drawn characters, great action scenes, suspense, things to smile and laugh about, tension and some scary moments. Good fun, I was entertained!

Anything else would be spoilers.

Additionally I salute Patricia Briggs for ensuring that all of Zee‘s spells were worded in perfect German*. They sound much better and more poetic in German, rather than in the translated English, by the way.

*You wouldn‘t believe how much badly translated German can be found in English language novels. It’s terribly jarring, if you speak the language.

Water, be my friend,
come and stay by my side.
Flow, release, bind, grab,
entangle the witchcraft, catch it,
diminish the curse, decay the spell,
take it away, hear me.

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Not black and white

Black Magick, Vol. 1: AwakeningBlack Magick, Vol. 1: Awakening by Greg Rucka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really nice! I like the black and white artwork very much. The brief bits of colour are very nicely placed and the line art is gorgeous.

Great attention to detail.

Issue #2 was a bit of a filler. Issue #3 was slightly more interesting, but this definitely seems like a slow burning type of story. The ending of Issue #4 was a scary cliffhanger… Issue #5 brought it all to a nice climax, with two plotlines coming together and a new one opening…. which means that I will very likely get the next volume.

Bottomline, the plot is not Earth shattering, there is nothing terribly new or unusual. Not a lot of suspense until the end of Issue #4, but the story is solid enough. The black and white artwork with rare swirls of coloured highlights on the other hand is great. Great sketching, especially the shading and expressions of the various faces were fantastic.

Artwork ★★★★★
Plot ★★★★☆

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Peter Grant again…

Rivers of London Vol. 1: Body Work

Rivers of London Vol. 1: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“A perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter“

I read the complete series and one of the novellas/short stories and wanted to see, how and what the comic adds to it.

Ok, so I pictured Guleed shorter and lighter, more Middle Eastern looking. And Stephanopoulos thinner and less well dressed. And with dark hair? Peter I picture looking like John Boyega, because I find him pretty cute. Too young for me, but whatever… So, I am pleased that the comic isn‘t that far off on that front. I never had a pretty clear picture of Beverly. I pictured Molly older looking? Undecided about The Nightingale. Anyway, so much for looks.

The plot kinda jumps in after the first few books, doesn‘t it? It‘s fun meeting all those familiar characters in the flesh, so to speak… Good artwork, I like the colouring. The plot not Earth shattering, but solid… I am pleasantly surprised, I hadn’t expected it to be this good.

The additional one-pagers at the end of my edition that are pretty cute and a little funny.

Well worth reading it. I will be reading the next one at some point. I got Volume 5 for free, so I might read that next, as the various volumes seem to be standalone. The numbering of the issues and collected volumes here on goodreads is a little confusing.



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More Verity

Corpselight (Verity Fassbinder #2)

Corpselight by Angela Slatter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Jumped in straight after reading Vigil, the first book of the series. It‘s good, although I liked the first book better. It was fresher somehow, lighter, funnier. Livelier. This one here is more plotted, structured, but also a little less fun. I liked the plot, though.

Brisbane is not quite as center stage and we do not meet as many new Weyrd. I liked the addition of Olivia. Are the characterizations a little flat? I am not sure. The snark is good though and I laughed quite a bit.

The last chapter is a pretty elaborate set-up for the next (and final?) part of this series. I wasn‘t sure in the middle and latter part of this novel, if I would want to pick up the next installment. I am now, I want to know how Verity‘s story ends and if she will get a HEA.



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Weyrd, but good

Vigil (Verity Fassbinder #1)

Vigil by Angela Slatter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This was pretty good! I was expecting another UF along the usual lines. Tired tropes, a little paranormal romance thrown in… but the setting in Brisbane is refreshing, the Weyrd are mysterious and there is good world building. It is not corny, there is no silly paranormal romance, Verity is kick-ass and snarky. The sleuthing could be a bit more intense—I like my crime to be a bit more procedural. But bottomline pretty darn good.

This actually seems to be UF for grown-ups, what a nice discovery. I liked the short history lesson, how all the Weyrd happened to end up in Brisbane. Lots and lots of potential.

I would have liked more character development for Ziggi and Bela. I have a pretty good idea, what type of Wyrd Bela is (Tepes, D-oh!), but it is never spelled out or strongly hinted at. His powers also don‘t seem to be quite what I thought. He stays a little too episodic and one-dimensional. And does Ziggy really have a third eye in the back of his head or is that a metaphorical eye?

And how fun is it that she doesn‘t end up with the tall, dark and handsome guy?

The only thing that bugged me a little: It feels as if I missed reading an important prequel. Which doesn‘t exist, as far as I can see. And I really looked. I am a little vexed about this strong feeling of having missed something in the FIRST book of a series.

Anyway, good stuff, the next book of the series is downloaded and ready to go.



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The end. A weird one.

Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London, #7)

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Halfway through the book I was still trying to find a cohesive plot. No red line in this one, more like the odd breadcrumb of something familiar… the breadcrumbs made up a story eventually and there were lots of entertaining bits and chuckles. I loved Foxglove. But the final battle was a bit WTF, the resolution was a teeny bit lame and the ending left me with a „Wait, what? That was it?“

So, was that really it? The end of the series? Hm.

Not sure how to rate this. 4 stars, because the overall series was great and lots of fun, I guess. Kobna-Smith did another great job of narrating this. Weird ending.




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