I should not have started reading the sequels I ordered, but I couldn't help myself. At first, I used them as rewards: finish some bit of homework and I could read a few chapters of Jabril. Fortunately, I got a lot of work done before I reached the point that I couldn't put it down. Now I've gobbled up all three, and I think I'm having Seanan McGuire withdrawal. Not that the others weren't great, too, mind. But finishing A Local Habitation had me walking around the house like a junkie, as though if I looked long and hard enough, I'd find the remnants of some former stash (or, ah, the next book would just appear in my apartment, four months before it's supposed to hit the bookstores).
In my original Raphael post, I wrote: "Cynthia Leighton is an ex-cop P.I.--I know, I know, been there done that. BUT she's her own character, not a rip-off of any P.I.'s we've seen before. She's "smart, tough, and sexy" without crossing the line into obnoxious. When a certain powerful vampire (and yes, he's a hottie alpha male) hires her, she holds her own against the creatures of the night with her brain and a few high calibur weapons, and without losing her humanity."
Hmnph. I so hate spoiling anything that my "reviews" are terribly vague. It's worse for sequels, generally, since telling you about them may reveal something you wanted to find out for yourself from book one. Can I be more detailed without giving things away? Maybe. I'll tell you this: Jabril doesn't disappoint--in fact, the danger was pushed to a higher level. Cyn gets called to Texas to find a missing girl, only to discover that the girl, and the sister still trapped by the vampire that hired her, need to be rescued. She's in strange territory and working under circumstances where even winning might mean her death.
For those of us who read a lot of paranormal/urban fantasy, there's a little voice in our minds going, "Yeah, sure. Even if she 'dies', she'll survive." But the mortal danger to the girls, and the possibility of other damage to Cyn, was so real that I was held captive until the end.
My post for Blue Diablo (click to go to it) was more detailed, so I'll let that stand. Hell Fire (Corine Solomon, Book 2) gave me pause. It seemed a little more "American Gothic" than I was in the mood for reading. Though delving past the preview chapter left me with that same sense, in typical Ann Aguirre fashion, the book was just too good to set aside for something else. Corine made a deal with Chance in Blue Diablo--if she helped him with his problem, he would help her discover who killed her mother and why. In Hell Fire, he makes good on that promise.
Kilmer, Georgia has more secrets than the mystery behind Corine's mother's death, and someone is ready to kill to keep them. The town seems lost in time--so cut off that neighboring towns don't even know it exists. Something dark and hungry haunts the woods around Kilmer. While it reads more like horror than urban fantasy, it's a damn fine story. The only draw back is an ending that makes you want to know what happens next NOW, but the book three won't be out until April 2011.
Of Rosemary and Rue, I originally wrote: "It struck me as a fantastic blend of the "old" urban fantasy with its emphasis on the mythic and the "new" hard-boiled/kick-ass urban fantasy." October Daye was...a Changeling knight, a P.I., a wife, a mother... At the start of her story, she's on the case for her liege lord, thinking she'll be home in time for dinner. Caught in a fairy trap, October becomes lost to the world for fourteen years. Unable to understand what happened, her human husband and child want nothing to do with Toby. Faerie wants her back, but having lost so much to it, she refuses. A spelled phone call takes the choice away from her; Toby must solve a murder mystery or die herself.
See? That's the problem with reviews...with the appearance of book two, you know that Toby lives. What you really should know is that this is a world where the magic of Faerie is alive but hidden in the streets of San Francisco. Kelpies lurk in foggy shadows ready to run into the sea with anyone foolish enough to ride them. The King of Cats slinks through alleyways and a flock of pixies makes its home in the produce section of a local supermarket.
Did I mention I'm going through withdrawals? Finishing any good book makes me want to read more by the author, but Seanan McGuire has become an instant favorite. I don't know how I'm going to make it until book three's release in September!