Howling mad

Full Moon CityFull Moon City by Martin H. Greenberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The children of the night. What music they make.“

“I Was a Middle-Age Werewolf”, Ron Goulart, ★★★★★
Hollywood. My kind of humour. Funny. I am envisioning Michael Douglas in the lead and Alan Arkin as Hersh, aka The Kominsky Method with werewolves.

“Kitty Learns the Ropes”, Carrie Vaughn, ★★★★☆
This story is most likely the reason I got this anthology five years ago. Well, Carrie Vaughn can write, she‘s proven that often enough. This was easy to read , especially because I have read the whole Kitty Norville series and it‘s one of my favourite UF series. Maybe it is time for a re-read.

“The Bitch”, P. D. Cacek, ★★★★☆
Story about a bothersome and creepy ex-lover. Oh, that was unexpected! How fun! I am a big fan of doing something differently and this surprised me. Checked out the author, did not see anything that grabbed me.

“La Lune T’attend”, Peter S. Beagle, ★★★★☆
Good world-building and character development. I liked the setting. It felt like a much longer story through what it conveyed. Sad, but powerful ending.

“The Aarne-Thompson Classification Revue “, Holly Black, ★★★★☆
Third person present tense, urgh. I don‘t like it. Never mind. We are auditioning for a musical!

“Being a werewolf is like being Clark Kent, except that when you go into the phone booth, you can‘t control what comes out.“

Sweet, a little sad, made me smile. What a werewolf girl wants. Good! Checked out the author, all YA—not my genre…

“Kvetchula’s Daughter”, Darrell Schweitzer, ★★★¾☆
Jiddish vampires in New York. Lots of kvetching. Mildly amusing. Where are the werewolves, you ask? Oy vey.

“The Bank Job”, Gregory Frost, ★★★¾☆
Well-written, good story. Good pacing, nice level of suspense. Fairly predictable. Will check out the author.

“A Most Unusual Greyhound”, a Harry the Book Story, Mike Resnick, ★★★½☆
Amusing. What is a werewolf to do to make some money? Slightly odd tense and grammar in general. Possibly on purpose, but it threw me off.

“Sea Warg”, Tanith Lee, ★★★☆☆
“Now the boats put off from the west end of Sandbourne, or at least they did so when the rest of Europe allowed it.“
What did we do? Did Brexit start in 2010 and I missed it?”

I could swear I read some novels written by her, but for the life of me can‘t recall their titles or plot. I only found a short story collection I DNFd.

Hm, interesting. Hadn‘t expected that ending. Well, that was mean. And Johnson is a very creepy character.

“And Bob’s Your Uncle”, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, ★★★☆☆
Sad boy meets mysterious, but cute black dog. Promising beginning, but didn‘t turn into much.

“The Truth About Werewolves”, Lisa Tuttle, ★★¾☆☆
Unusual take on werewolves. I disliked the female MC for her dishonesty. She felt like a hypocrite to me, especially after disrespecting the Chihuahua woman for „shopping“ and then doing the exact same thing.

“Weredog of Bucharest”, Ian Watson, ★★☆☆☆
A murder investigation and a crime writer observing. Ponderous, overly explanatory, superfluous details. The author seemed very eager to show us little details of Romanian life, perhaps trying to create atmosphere? Unsatisfying, with a lame ending.

“Innocent”, Gene Wolfe, ★☆☆☆☆
Weird. Guy in prison tells a priest about his life. The story only consists of his side of a dialogue.

“No Children, No Pets”, Esther M. Friesner, ★☆☆☆☆
Another odd one, about a werewolf child of six living in Central Park. Humorous writing, I suppose. Not my thing.

“Country Mothers’ Sons”, Holly Phillips, ★☆☆☆☆
When I started, the slow moving, very descriptive prose had me interested. It never went anywhere though and I lost that little spark. Suggestive, but ultimately pointless.

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The moon called again

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘His eyes lit for a minute. ‘Mercedes the Volkswagen mechanic?’ His face closed down quickly, and he mumbled, ‘Sorry. Bet you’ve heard that a lot.’‘

It‘s been over 10 years since I read this for the first time. It is a good reminder of all the little details I forgot. Hair colours, eye colours, who is who, who did what when and why…

Never mind not remembering the actual plot. At all. The resolution of the whodunnit at the end revealed a pretty convoluted plot.

Still liked it after all this time.

Chronological reading order for my Mercyverse re-read:
(1st time readers should start with Moon Called)
– Silver, novella, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson, might read later.

, comic, ★☆☆☆☆, skipping
– Gray, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows
– Fairy Gifts, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows
– Seeing eye, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows

Moon Called
, ★★★★★, 1st Mercy novel
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 1
, ★★★☆☆, comic adaptation of the beginning of the first Mercy Thompson novel.

Alpha & Omega
, ★★★★☆, novella, start of the Alpha & Omega spin-off

Cry Wolf
, ★★★★☆, first full-length novel in the Alpha and Omega series
Hunting Ground, second novel in the Alpha and Omega series, next… and with this I am back on track in the correct reading order.

Time-line for the “Mercyverse”:…

Original review from the 1st read in 2007:

How refreshing, the shapeshifting heroine is not a werewolf for a change, but a coyote! And she’s almost a normal girl from next door with her job as a car mechanic. Ok, so the guy who fancies her is the alpha of the local werewolves and her old boss is a gremlin. And that other bloke that keeps coming over is a vampire…. Life is not perfect. But cheeck-in tongue and a page turner with Mercy Thompson. First in the series.

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Crying wolf three times…

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn‘t find Anna as whiny as during my last re-read. I did pay more attention to Bran, Leah and Asil this time around. Satisfying read.

I have been wanting to re-read this series for a while. So here it goes. We‘ll see how far I‘ll actually get. Skipping stuff, as the mood strikes me.

Chronological reading order: (1st time readers should start with Moon Called)
– Silver, novella, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
Homecoming, comic, ★☆☆☆☆
– Gray, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
– Fairy Gifts, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
– Seeing eye, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
Moon Called, ★★★★★, 1st Mercy novel, re-reading next.
Alpha & Omega, ★★★★☆, novella, start of the Alpha & Omega spin-off, re-read in January 2020
Cry Wolf, ★★★★☆, first full-length novel in the Alpha and Omega series, re-read in January 2020
– …

Time-line for the “Mercyverse”:…

Re-read July 2017:

“I was never afraid of monsters until I became one. Now I’m afraid of my own shadow.”

Anna is a little whiney in this one. I know that some people get put off by that. But she is not really a special snowflake, she comes into her own eventually and it’s done in a convincing way.

I think to appreciate the story best, reading the Alpha & Omega prequel is a good choice. It moves on from the pretty smoothly.

Entertaining, good action scenes, good characterizations. And it fleshes out the world of Mercy Thompson quite nicely.

First read in 201o:

This series is a spin-off of the Mercy Thompson books. The first one is set back in Aspen Creek and centres around Charles Cornick and his new mate Anna. I was hesitant at first if it would be as good as the Mercy books, so it sat on my shelf for a while. But it is really good, I’ve had a lot of fun, it actually kept me up half way through the night.

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Werewolves can be boring

Wolf MoonWolf Moon by Cullen Bunn
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The story was very generic, run of the mill werewolf lore, adding nothing to the genre.

The larger, full-sized pages have nice artwork. The actual artwork of the story is ok, but not great. Anatomically so-so and I wasn‘t always sure what I was supposed to see. A bit sloppy and indistinct at times.

The underlined words in the text bubbles irritated me quite a bit.

I started skimming a third into the story. Not recommended, unless you are a fan of B-movie-level horror-trash. Which is ok and can be fun, but in this case it was not my cup of tea.

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Same old, same old

Triad Soul (Triad Blood, #2)Triad Soul by Nathan Burgoine
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

„Luc, Anders, and Curtis—vampire, demon, and wizard—sidestepped tradition by binding themselves together.“
Without this sentence in the book synopsis I would have been completely lost. Even with it I struggled to keep the characters and names straight.

Minimal to no set-up or world building. All the characters felt the same. The magic kept reminding me of other UF or PNR I have read. Same old, same old, read this many, many times over.

Everybody else seems to like this, but it is not for me, DNF at 24%, 2 not very sparkly stars.

In a galaxy far, far away I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you! Sorry that it took me so long. Too many books, too little time. I will try to do better.

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Boring werewolves chase boring zombies…

Broken (Women of the Otherworld, #6)Broken by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Some spoilers ahead. This was boring, sorry.

I developed no interest in Elena or Clay. Clay was one-dimensional. Elena was whiney. All other characters stayed flat.

The pregnancy lacked interest. Usually supernatural beings with a pregnancy have some interesting character development going on. Not here.

These are some of the most boring werewolves ever. Not impressed with the world building in general.

The sex scenes were not sexy. They just seemed like a required plot point to tick off.

The portal and the Jack the Ripper angle sounded like fun at first, but then devolved into a zombie hunt that lacked tension. How inept are these werewolves, that they can’t catch them? Over and over again. TWO zombies. The apocalypse can be boring, who knew. And the bad guy was dull, too. Plus it was the guy I suspected from the start. It all seemed pretty pointless.

After 250 pages I was hoping for Clay to fall deadly ill from his infection or to start changing into a zombie, just so something interesting would happen.

I can’t believe I liked some of the books of this series so much and others just dragged. Maybe it’s me, who knows. Maybe if the book had been a hundred pages less, it would have had more momentum. I guess I am finally calling it quits with the Women of the Otherworld, at least for now.

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The wilds of Montana

Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5; Mercy Thompson World - Complete, #15)Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very early in the book there is a brief conversation between Charles and Anna, that upset some of my goodreads friends quite a bit. It might cause them to stop reading this series and also Mercy Thompson. I was surprised when I read that conversation, mulled it over a little, but was not massively perturbed by it. It might or might not be a plot bunny for later books, we shall see.

Unfortunately the comment thread of that review had spoiled me by revealing who the traitor in this story is. That obviously took some of the suspense out of the story.

The plot as such was pretty straight forward and simple, the action was good, we get a deeper look into Anna‘s ever developing skills with her gift. Leah gets some page time that helps to make her a more interesting character. I liked it, solid addition to the series.

Johnny Cash, Hurt
Bobby Dylan, Knockin‘ On Heaven‘s Door
Waylon Jennings, I‘ve Always Been Crazy
Johnny Cash, Personal Jesus
Patsy Cline, Crazy
Dolly Parton, The Company You Keep

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