Maggie G. - Reviews

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The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, Bk 1)
The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, Bk 1)
Author: Jim Butcher
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 2/27/2017


Let me preface this with writing that I LOVE the Dresden series. This is NOT the Dresden series. Does that warrant the criticisms? If you really only want more Dresden, this series may not be for you.

This is the first novel in a saga - it's 630 pages in hardcover and written as beautifully and cleverly as Butcher can do. It is FULL of action and interesting characters and lovely easter eggs (there's a tip of the hat to Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who Sang which made my heart soar a bit). At first glance, the "main" character is Captain Grimm - a disgraced airship soldier who rarely shows what he's feeling to the people around him. He's solid, steadfast and absolutely the one person you want by your side when there's trouble. In the second half you find out more about his personal life. I'm sure we'll discover more about him in books to come but it's important to note that he's not the only major character. There's also Gwen, a daughter of privilege who wants independence and not marriage - gutsy, brave and needs to learn when to think first and maybe shut up :). Her cousin Benedict, a warrior-born who seems genetically different than 100% humans though he's human enough for me (hubba hubba) and definitely appealing to Bridget, another cadet who signed up for 2 years as a Spirearch guard out of family pride. They are a terrific trio. They're actually a quartet because Bridget travels with Rowl, the prince of the Silent Paws clan. If you love Dresden's cat Mister, then this is his cat with dialogue. Enjoy!

The people on the planet live in the sky - most of them on Spires which reach up into the clouds where the people live in "habbles". Commerce is done by ships that travel between Spires, and up and down between levels of each Spire. No people live on the planet surface but there are many dangerous creatures. Falling to your death is terrifying (not that you'd survive the fall anyway...).

A war begins between Spire Albion (where our heroes reside) and Spire Aurora. It will carry over to the next book and likely the next and what's fueling this war is very, very dangerous.

There is a LOT of information to take in, but it's absolutely worth the trip. You might not finish this quickly because of its length but you will race through the chapters as they're short and something important happens in every single chapter! The villains are incredibly dangerous and unnerving as you'd expect from Butcher - and the heroes are wonderful. You have to read it all to perceive this new universe he's built and once you do, you're HOOKED. I finished The Aeronaut's Windlass and immediately visited Butcher's website to find out that the next in the series is coming after the next Dresden.

Keep writing, Jim, I'll keep reading!


Alien vs Alien (Katherine 'Kitty' Katt, Bk 6)
Alien vs Alien (Katherine 'Kitty' Katt, Bk 6)
Author: Gini Koch
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 9/28/2015


Kitty is a terrific heroine. She's the outlier for very smart, very sensible aliens. She comes up with weird ideas which turn out to be right more often than not (she's Castle to Jeff's Beckett). Jeff is a hunky, tough-but-sensitive alien and together, with their team of humans and aliens, Kitty and Jeff save the world. A lot.

I love this series and, once discovered, have read the first six without a break in between! Funny and inventive, the characters are many but each one has a distinct personality and charm. The plots are complicated but make sense - it's a smart series which may be overlooked due to the humor (if you don't care for Kittyisms, these aren't the books for you - but I love Kittyisms! Kittyisms are essentially non-conformist names for things people tend to name in CAPITAL LETTERS.). I'm starting on book #7 tonight. Thanks, Gini Koch, for getting me through two months of operations and physical therapy - your books were just what I needed to cheer up.


The Art of Breaking Glass
The Art of Breaking Glass
Author: Matthew Hall
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/21/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Possibly the best thriller novel I've read all year. The plot twists are so clever, no matter how many mystery thrillers you read, you're bound to be surprised.

The police pick up what appears to be a homeless crazy guy and bring him to the high security ward at a NYC psychiatric hospital where he'll be evaluated and after checking his health, if deemed not a danger to himself or others, will be released on his own recognizance. That's pretty much all I can tell you without giving anything away. Is he crazy or not? Is he out to save NYC, or what is his goal? Just know it's not at all what you think it will be... GREAT READ!


As Lie the Dead (Dreg City, Bk 2)
As Lie the Dead (Dreg City, Bk 2)
Author: Kelly Meding
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 50
Review Date: 1/5/2013


The second novel in the "Dreg City" series picks up immediately after the first novel ends. The colorful (and many) characters of the first novel along with multiple plot lines keep the pace vibrant and the story intriguing. I enjoyed both novels but I do strongly recommend that you wait to read Book #1 (Three Days to Dead) when you already have Book #2 (As Lie the Dead) on hand to read right away. Meding does her best to remind you of what happened in the first novel without belaboring the effort but even if you have a great memory, you may find yourself wishing you'd read the books back to back so as not to miss any of the finer points of interaction between the characters, clans and the Triads. If you enjoy Karen Marie Moning and Patricia Briggs, you should give this series a try.


Blood Challenge (World of the Lupi, Bk 7)
Blood Challenge (World of the Lupi, Bk 7)
Author: Eileen Wilks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 71
Review Date: 2/5/2013


An excellent mix of the major characters. All of them with substantial contributions to the story; Lily/Rule, Benedict and his new chosen Arjenie, Isen, Cullen/Cynna. You meet the other Lu Nuncios and learn more about another race (a new one :).

This is a banquet of characters in a world that's already becoming one of my favorites in fiction. They're smart, clever and sometimes devious; sexy and sometimes charming; loyal beyond expectation (mostly) true to their word - refreshingly three-dimensional. Wilks builds honest tension by putting her characters at risk and giving them (in this fictional world) believable reasons for their actions. I'm on the edge of my seat worried about my favorite peeps, knowing they could be hurt or killed at any moment. It makes for exciting reading. Whatever Wilks decides for these people, I'll be rooting all the way through. These characters are hard to forget once the book has been read.

Is it possible this is my favorite of the seven Lupi novels when the others are so good? I won't give anything away but the last sentence...wow. I cannot wait to find out what happens next. I'm hooked on this series!


Boyfriend From Hell (Saturn's Daughters, Bk 1)
Boyfriend From Hell (Saturn's Daughters, Bk 1)
Author: Jamie Quaid
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 3/11/2014


I had so much fun reading this book - to be honest, I thought "pseudonym of NY Times bestselling author" would mean some author attempting to do urban fantasy and failing spectacularly but that couldn't have been further from the truth. This debut reminded me a bit of Karen Marie Moning but without the noir elements, it has the same team spirit as MaryJanice Davidson and similar snark but less silly. All in all, I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel. Bravo, Patricia Rice - you created a very entertaining heroine and a quirky new world environment for her and her cohorts to explore.


Brief Cases (Dresden Files, Bk 15.1)
Brief Cases (Dresden Files, Bk 15.1)
Author: Jim Butcher
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 10/18/2018


I'd read one or two of the stories before in anthologies but all together like this, they were a pleasure to read again (not that they wouldn't be anyway). So much fun being in Harry Dresden's world while I'm waiting for a new Dresden Files novel. I loved loved loved the Bigfoot trilogy and the stories from other characters' perspectives, too. The last story - the new never-been-published-before story - was a total delight. One story, told from Harry's, Maggie's (Harry's daughter) and Mouse's perspective was great and the ending, it was PERFECTION.

Do not put off reading this anthology, you won't regret it.


The Bumper Book of Bunny Suicides
The Bumper Book of Bunny Suicides
Author: Andy Riley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/12/2017


Horrible and hysterical at the same time! I loved this but don't fool yourself, those bunnies are definitely, creatively, suicidal. It's like Oh no, Mr. Bill but with adorable bunnies.


Burned (Dani O'Malley, Bk 2) (Fever, Bk 7)
Burned (Dani O'Malley, Bk 2) (Fever, Bk 7)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 32
Review Date: 2/5/2015


This is listed as a Dani O'Malley book but the principal character is Mackayla Lane (O'Connor). Mac is back! Moning is NOT SLOWING DOWN, this is a wonderful, expansive tale hitting on all the characters we've come to love and extending their stories. I don't want to give anything away but we learn so much more about Ryodan, Lor, Jo, Dani "Mega" (one of my favs and, wow, what we find out!), plus Christian, the Keltars...

There's also a very handy dictionary of characters and places in the back of the book which I suggest you read before starting BURNED. Even if you think you know everything about the series, it's a great refresher.

This one is exactly what I was waiting for. Fascinating characters, amazing world building and hot sex. Thank you! Now I'm back to waiting until next year's novel and that's okay because I know it'll be worth the wait.


City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Bk 4)
City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Bk 4)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 141
Review Date: 1/23/2013
Helpful Score: 1


I read the first four Mortal Instruments books all in a row. I love the world Clare has created. Her characters are interesting and their struggles compelling. Love them. But, that said, this book was very hard on a loyal fan. I'm tired of Jace getting a raw deal again and again -- and now, given the cliffhanger ending, AGAIN. I'm tired of Clary always dropping her stele - or after she devises a weapon out of something ordinary, dropping that 2 seconds after she's used it once. She's impetuous and careless and we're supposed to root for her but after all she's gone through, wouldn't you think she'd be more careful? She may be new to this world of Shadowhunters and demons but when her power has to do with writing marks, you'd think she'd keep a writing instrument nearby at all times! I'm not sure I can read another book in this series. Clare is too hard on Jace and these books are supposed to be FUN to read.


Clockwork Prince, Walmart Edition (The Infernal Devices, Volume 2)
Clockwork Prince, Walmart Edition (The Infernal Devices, Volume 2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 3/29/2014


This Walmart edition has exclusive extras: the short story, Burning Bright, and the letter from Will to his family - and that's why I waited for this edition to become available. All things considered, it was worth the wait even if both bonuses are brief.


The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire, Bk 1)
The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire, Bk 1)
Author: Craig Johnson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 97
Review Date: 1/9/2013


A terrific first novel and bodes well for the continuing series. I enjoyed all the characters, especially Walt's sidekicks - Henry (who is wise, witty and deadly) and Vic (who is foul-mouthed, funny and very good at her job). Walt Longmire is an excellent main character as sheriff - flawed but trustworthy - but this novel would not be as good if all the supporting characters weren't so strong. The former sheriff, the sheriff's office manager, the diner owner...the whole crew. They're all great. If you have any knowledge of the out of doors, you'll appreciate the care with which Johnson describes the terrain, the weather, the wildlife and the gear one needs to survive in it. Highly recommended.


Cress (Lunar Chronicles, Bk 3)
Cress (Lunar Chronicles, Bk 3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 2/8/2018


Just a quick review: Of the first three, assuming the first (Cinder) is always a favorite because it introduces characters you enjoy enough to read more about (i.e., I LOVED Cinder), I have to say that Cress is probably the best novel of the three. Finally the "gang" is pulled together and they accomplish and survive some really wild adventures. Cliffhanger ending leaves you with anticipation not annoyance (if you know what I mean). I cannot wait to read Winter. I think I'm going out to buy a copy because I really don't want to wait!


Crossing In Time (Between Two Evils, Bk 1)
Crossing In Time (Between Two Evils, Bk 1)
Author: D. L. Orton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 8/23/2016
Helpful Score: 2


A lot of authors try to handle jumping from universe to universe and popping forward and back in time and not all of them are successful. DL Orton managed it marvelously. I was thoroughly entertained, never lost, and entranced by Isabel and Diego's love story (and oooh, it gets hot in the last quarter). I have to read the next book and the next so I can find out what happens to everybody...or do I mean what *happened* to everybody? This is a fun read!


Dark Ride
Dark Ride
Author: Kent Harrington
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 5/28/2013


At first glance, his noir tale could be considered pulp but I think it goes way beyond that in terms of examining the motivations of the characters. A golden boy - comes from money, good education, with family "connections" - has his life spin out of control because of his obsession with a woman. For the first time, I found myself wanting to go along to see what happens to him, and enjoying the ride.


Dark Ride
Dark Ride
Author: Kent Harrington
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/4/2017


One of my favorite noir novels of all time. A small town "golden boy" falls head over heals for the wrong woman and the writing is so taut and compelling that you follow him avidly as his life falls to ruin.


Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega, Bk 4)
Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega, Bk 4)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 5/14/2016


I LOVE Patricia Brigg's series, Alpha and Omega AND the glorious Mercy Thompson. The characters are smart but not Sherlocky smart. They're capable of being surprised; their decisions make sense and you can trust the lead characters to "have your back" when you've invested in their story. What a relief - I'm tired of the "unreliable narrator" trend :). Their romance is satisfying without obliterating the plots (which are always clever).

If you love these books and haven't yet tried Eileen Wilks, then give her werewolf series a read. She and Briggs are my two top favorite urban fantasy writers.


Fated (Alex Verus, Bk 1)
Fated (Alex Verus, Bk 1)
Author: Benedict Jacka
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 1/15/2014


This was recommended as being "like the Dresden Files" (Jim Butcher) and on the surface they're very similar. But much as I wanted to like this series, I found myself disappointed. The pace is slower, there's less humor...and I found the hero, Alex Verus, explaining himself and his reasoning A LOT. That made the book drag for me - I did go on to read the second in this series (because first novels can be flawed :), but found myself speed reading to get to the end. I like the characters a lot and wanted to know what happened to them, but I didn't want to take the long way 'round. In this book's defense, perhaps I wasn't in the right mood for it but I'm sticking with Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne.


Feversong (Fever, Bk 9)
Feversong (Fever, Bk 9)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 2/11/2017
Helpful Score: 1


There is very little I can describe without giving away something you'd prefer to discover yourself as you read this last novel in the Fever series. If you loved this series as I have, you'll be so sorry it's finished but sincerely pleased with how Moning brought the story to a close. All the characters you've loved are here and, for a series conclusion, Feversong gave me everything I needed to know about them - the bitter and the sweet. It even brought me to tears (happy tears, mostly) and books rarely do that! Sorry, this is probably a lousy review but I don't want to spoil any surprises. Final novels are too important to bleed them out in a poorly written review :). All I can say is: Shazam!


Flint (Grace Flint, Bk 1)
Flint (Grace Flint, Bk 1)
Author: Paul Eddy
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 5/28/2013


Great kick-ass heroine. I really enjoyed this first novel featuring Grace Flint, a British undercover policewoman, who is out for revenge - and the man who's sent to catch her. The author is an investigative journalist so he knows of what he writes and it really makes for a gripping read.


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