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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Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3)Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Out and about in London. Love and geographical knowledge of London makes this even more fun. I recommend to have a map of the London burroughs handy or maybe an AtoZ. I did.

Entertaining police procedural with a magic twist. I am finally hooked on this series. And once I am through with this series buddy read, I will re-read the first book. This time around my rating will most likely be quite a bit higher.

Some editing mistakes in the ebook, mostly missing prepositions and articles.

I am picturing Zach as Rhys Ifans in the movie Notting Hill. Having more of Lesley was fun. Abigail was a good addition. She has potential.

Was Peter‘s architectural interest there in the previous book and I missed it or was that new?

When did it become a standard that magic and technology don‘t interact well? Harry Dresden doesn‘t do well with electronics and Kate Daniel‘s world jumps from one to the other, but they don‘t coincide. It feels like a theme.

The plot was good, I liked being underground. Good humour. I liked what they found there and I have actually seen the movie. Reminds me of my horrible Hammer movie adventures. Loved all the quotes and hints at books and movies, Ben Aaronovitch is my kind of nerd.

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Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I expected to not like this much, as I struggled with the first book. I apparently had forgotten how much I enjoyed the first book, until I didn‘t.

About a third into the book, I liked it. I liked Peter, I liked Nightingale. In my head he looks and sounds like an older Benedict Cumberbatch. I am thinking John Boyega as Peter for my mental casting list.

In the end I wasn‘t head over heels for the story, but it was a pretty enjoyable read and I will continue with the series. I am tempted to get the comic, too. I am looking forward to finding out how Peter‘s magical skills will develop.

‘Fuck me,’ I said. ‘You can do magic.’

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I tore through this like wildfire…

Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3)Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When life hits you in the gut, it’s always a sucker punch. You never see it coming.

I have some small grievances, that I will happily ignore in my final rating, because the rest was just so much fun:
Too many repetitions of previously explained points. The elaborate descriptions of absolutely everybody’s hairstyle, hair colour, shape of their chin, skin tone, bla… got a bit tiresome.

Oh, yes, and please ignore the cover. It is hideous and has absolutely no relevance for the contents of the book. I don’t know what the cover artist was smoking. This is Urban Fantasy with some romance thrown in, some sleuthing and some great magic.

I am also 99.999% sure of the identity of Cesar, because his last sentence in the book is something he said exactly like that in an earlier scene. And because I have been suspecting him since White Hot. Bummer, because I like him. One could hope for a false trail?

Victoria turned out to be a likeable character. Surprise!

Arabella was fun and her alter ego is great. I am picturing her as the monster on the cover of Where The Wild Things Are, with bigger horns and a bone plate on top of her head. And strangely, I picture her fur to be a dark purple. No idea.

Leon evolved very nicely.

Cornelius is becoming one of my favourite characters, especially now with the addition of Zeus.

Seargent Teddy riding in the car with them was a hoot. The whole book was a hoot.

The final battle was over way too quickly. Could have gone on for another 30 or so pages. But nobody asked me.

Fingers crossed that there will be a fourth book. And in the acknowledgment a new book in The Edge series is mentioned. Really? I thought that series was done? Instabuy!

Would I buy the next book? Silly question. 5 stars, with a cherry on top.


All things Nevada Baylor:…

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Brain candy

The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1)The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very entertaining and well written brain candy with likeable characters, a nice mystery, some sorcery and the requisite hot sex toward the end. Couldn’t put it down! Well, I had to sleep at some point…

Includes Interlude with Tattoos (A Charm of Magpies #1.5), a short story set just after the end of The Magpie Lord.

I will very likely continue with this series.

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Enter my lair, said the dragon

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)White Hot by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Enter my lair, said the dragon. I have shiny treasure for you to play with, I’ll keep you warm and safe, and if it suits my purpose, I’ll chain you to the floor and kill your client by throwing quarters at him with my magic. Been there, done that.”

Great action, as always. Some darker tones, too. Nice development of the existing characters and I like the added new characters. Loved the plot, the snark, the humour in general. The sex scenes were ok. Not the best I ever read, but not bad.

Giving this five stars is a no-brainer. I would give a grocery shopping list five stars, if it was written by Ilona Andrews. Can’t wait for Wildfire and am extremely distressed at the info, that it will be the FINAL volume of Hidden Legacy.

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