Books in brief: Johnson, Andrews, Bourne, MacLean, Wilks

Jean Johnson, Damnation. Ace, 2014.

Final book in the Theirs Not To Reason Why space opera series. The weakest of the lot, and they didn’t start out particularly strong.

Ilona Andrews, Burn For Me. Berkeley, 2014.

First book in new series. I really dislike Andrews’ tendency to have very controlling men turn up in love interest roles. Otherwise this is a lot of fun, with explosions.

Eileen Wilks, Tempting Danger, Mortal Danger, Blood Lines, Night Season, Mortal Sins, Blood Magic, Blood Challenge, Death Magic and Mortal Ties. Berkeley, 2004-2012.

Urban fantasy series. Good fun, undemanding. Explosions, werewolves, demons, dragons, magic, and people having sex that is entirely too good to be anything but fiction.

Greg van Eekhout, Pacific Fire. Tor, 2015.

Read for review for Good book, heist-thriller-magic stuff. Sequel of sorts to California Bones.

Joanne Bourne, Rogue Spy. Ebook, 2014.

Romance. Spies. Napoleonic war period. Fun, but ahistorical in the espionage nonsense.

Sarah MacLean, Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover. Ebook, 2014.

Romance. Post-Regency pre-Victorian. Lady-owner of casino leading a double (triple?) life under three identities (one madam, one male casino owner, one disgraced lady having borne a bastard daughter) falls in love with a newspaper magnate with secrets of his own. Meh.

Books in brief: Mead, Dietz, Sagara, Wexler, Shepherd, De Pierres, Andrews, Arnason

Richelle Mead, Gameboard of the Gods and The Immortal Crown. Penguin, 2013 and 2014.

Bah. These started out promising and rapidly descended into annoying – and in The Immortal Crown, nasty evil-religion kidnapping-and-selling-pubescent-girl-children-into-life-of-abuse because… religion? I dunno, mate, I just work here. Also Odin and Loki show up – how do you make the Norse gods boring? People seem to be managing it left and right these days – and oh, yeah, I almost forgot, there is rape by deception.

William C. Dietz, Andromeda’s Fall and Andromeda’s Choice. Titan, 2014. Second book: review copy via publisher.

I want to talk some more about these books – remind me to talk some more about these books – about what parts of them work really well and what parts of them don’t work at all. But I largely concur with the Book Smugglers’ review of Andromeda’s Fall – it’s not a very clever book, but it is a fun one.

Michelle Sagara, Cast in Flame. Mira, 2014. Review copy via author.

Read for column. Good, fun next installment in series. If you like the series, read this book! It is a return to the city of Elantra, and lots of things go boom.

Django Wexler, The Shadow Throne. Ace, 2014. ARC via

Review here at Very fun book!

Mike Shepherd, Vicky Peterwald: Target. Ace, 2014.

Awful horrible sexist problematic WTF BOOK. Read for review for, though heaven knows if they’ll publish my expletive-laden review.

Marianne De Pierres, Peacemaker. Angry Robot, 2014.

A fun book that mixes science fiction and the fantastic. Not entirely tightly plotted, though.

Ilona Andrews, Magic Breaks. Ace, 2014. ARC via

Latest series installment. Read for review for Fun.

Eleanor Arnason, Big Mama Stories. Aqueduct Press, 2014.

Read to talk about in a column. Interesting collection.

Ilona Andrews, Magic Rises

A new review over at

Magic Rises is the sixth instalment in the Kate Daniels series, after Magic Slays, and marking a return to the main series line after last year’s Gunmetal Magic. Magic Rises also marks a first for Kate Daniels: for the first time, Kate leaves not only Atlanta but the North American subcontinent itself. (Dimensional gateways and magical rips in the space-time continuum aside, at any rate.)

Books in brief: McGuire, Andrews, Gellis, Vali

Seanan McGuire, Ashes of Honor. DAW, 2012. Copy courtesy of DAW.

It’s a fun series, but HELL PEOPLE. I’m getting really really tired of “Irish” being shorthand for “sensitive to weird-ass made-up mythological shit.” (Also, I have never in my life heard of “Bess” being a nickname for Bridget. Really? ‘Cause I’ve always thought of Bess as a peculiarly English shorthand for Elizabeth.) Seriously. Any more of this “Irish” – ahem – bullshit is really going to ruin my generally happy feelings about this series.

Ilona Andrews, Magic Rises. Ace, 2013. ARC via

Review to appear on Perfectly cromulent series installment, no real surprises.

Roberta Gellis, The English Heiress, The Cornish Heiress and Siren Song. Ebooks.

Historic romance from an elder generation – although one would probably be more correct to call them romantic family sagas. Entertaining.

Ali Vali, The Devil Inside, The Devil Unleashed, and Deal With the Devil. Ebooks.

Lesbian mobsters. Yes, I will read almost anything.