Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Review of Bless Your Heart (Fairy Tales of a Trailer Park Queen Book 1), by Kimbra Swain

I purchased an e-copy of Kimbra Swain‘s Bless Your Heart.

Description from Goodreads:

Scorned by her family. Banished by her kind. Hunted by zealots. 

Where does an exiled Fairy Queen hide? 

A remote mountain cabin, the seedy underbelly of a metropolis, or an uninhabited island. All would be good choices, however, after hundreds of years on the run, the daughter of Oberon, King of the Wild Fairies, signs a binding contract with the zealots that hunt her. In exchange, they allow her to settle down in the last place anyone would look for fairy royalty. 

Adopting the name Grace Ann Bryant, the Queen buys a double-wide and moves into a trailer park in the one-horse town of Shady Grove, Alabama. Her contract requires her to lend aid to the local sheriff, Dylan Riggs, when supernatural problems arise. 

But when two children go missing, the humans point to the trailer park queen helping the sheriff, and the zealots point at the exiled fairy. Grace must decide whether to fight for her innocence or break her contract returning to life on the run. 

Bless Your Heart is a Southern Urban Fantasy that will make you laugh, cry, and laugh until you cry, as Grace wrestles with the dark fairy inside herself and starts to see that she’s more than just trailer trash.

Review:

This was a cute story let down in the execution. It really needs another copy editing pass, to catch misplaced commas, missing words and homophones and such. Plus, someone really needs to sit the author down and discuss the fact that people DON’T SAY NAMES IN EVERY CONVERSATION. It’s one of my biggest dialogue pet peeves. It’s redundant and annoying, and Swain is particularly bad about it. I almost DNFed the book pretty early on honestly, because of it. 

Beyond that, I didn’t believe the twist at the end (in the church). Grace would have to be exceedingly oblivious, moving into Too Stupid To Live territory, to really not have noticed ANYTHING until the big reveal. And could/would the town really have kept that secret so well? Plus, keeping the secret from her doesn’t even make sense. 

All in all, I did actually like the characters and I appreciated the male/female platonic friendship. But beyond that, the book didn’t live up to what it could have been.

Review of Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), by Janet Evanovich

I borrowed an audio copy of Janet Evanovich‘s Wicked Appetite from the library.

Description from Goodreads:

For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers. He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.

That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She’s freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston’s North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.

Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She’s not sure about Diesel. He’s offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.

The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that’s fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

Review:

I’ve wanted to try a Janet Evanovich book for a while. Everyone seemed to love them. But I was never certain where to start; there are so many of them. So, when I came across Wicked Appetite, clearly labeled book one in a series I jumped at it. (For the record, I think Diesel is a character from another of Evanovich’s series. But the book certainly stood alone.) After all the anticipation I was severely let down. I found the whole thing silly beyond belief. And not even endearingly silly, just stupid silly. I was irritated by all the onomatopoeia, the dialogue was ridiculous, the plot paper thin, and the characters shallow. I made it all these years without ever reading one of Evanovich’s books. It looks like I’ll go several more without them. I have no desire to read another one. Lorelei King did a fine job with the narration.

Review of Already Dead (Joe Pitt #1), by Charlie Huston

I borrowed a copy of Already Dead, by Charlie Huston, from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Those stories you hear? The ones about things that only come out at night? Things that feed on blood, feed on us? Got news for you: they’re true. Only it’s not like the movies or old man Stoker’s storybook. It’s worse. Especially if you happen to be one of them. Just ask Joe Pitt. 

There’s a shambler on the loose. Some fool who got himself infected with a flesh-eating bacteria is lurching around, trying to munch on folks’ brains. Joe hates shamblers, but he’s still the one who has to deal with them. That’s just the kind of life he has. Except afterlife might be better word.

From the Battery to the Bronx, and from river to river, Manhattan is crawling with Vampyres. Joe is one of them, and he’s not happy about it. Yeah, he gets to be stronger and faster than you, and he’s tough as nails and hard to kill. But spending his nights trying to score a pint of blood to feed the Vyrus that’s eating at him isn’t his idea of a good time. And Joe doesn’t make it any easier on himself. Going his own way, refusing to ally with the Clans that run the undead underside of Manhattan–it ain’t easy. It’s worse once he gets mixed up with the Coalition–the city’s most powerful Clan–and finds himself searching for a poor little rich girl who’s gone missing in Alphabet City.

Now the Coalition and the girl’s high-society parents are breathing down his neck, anarchist Vampyres are pushing him around, and a crazy Vampyre cult is stalking him. No time to complain, though. Got to find that girl and kill that shambler before the whip comes down . . . and before the sun comes up.

Review:

Early on in this novel I thought it was going to be a total fail for me. I wasn’t certain of Joe’s voice to start with, and then the first female character was introduced. She was simply a bar patron, no one he even spoke to. But the way he ogled her, the way he referred to her only in terms of ‘the number,’ ‘the number in the dress,’ etc made me go, “Oh, it’s gonna be one of those books.” I resigned myself to a disappointing read. 

And while I think the representation of women in the book remained problematic, with one large exception, I really did end up liking the book. The exception is that the plot is based around rape. Several years ago, I started noting in reviews when a book includes rape as a plot device. I started doing this because it’s so problematically frequent in books. Since I started, I swear it feels like a full 2/3 of the books I review include it. Are there really so few other options out there to progress a plot? It’s not that I take issue with rape in books in general, I take issue with it being all pervasive and everywhere. So, I note it when I see it. And here, in Already Dead it’s not graphic, but it’s especially heinous, what he’s trying to stop. 

Outside of that, I liked Joe. I liked his smart mouth, his gruff attitude, his buried but real soft side. I liked the gritty representation of New York and the inclusion of quite a lot of diversity. Granted, being a dozen years old, the language in the book is sometime a little cringe-worthy, but time ages all things. All in all, I plan of continuing the series.