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The second book starts a few months after the Discount Armageddon. Dave’s Fish and Strips is now a burlesque club that features the cryptids so the customers think it is all fake. But not everything is right. The Covenant is coming to town to check on Dominic and get ready to purge NYC of the cryptic population. Verity does come do a decision about living two lives in New York as she is working hard to protect the cryptid population and gather forces that can fight back against the Covenant while the ones that can’t fight try and flee or find safety somewhere. A good conclusion to this story arc and the next book will feature one of Verity’s siblings.




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This novella needs to be read after Penric’s Mission otherwise you will miss the entire setup of how Penric got to where he is. He is still traveling with the brother and sister he met in the previous story and they have one more town to travel through and a short trip before they can cross the border to safety. But to do this Penric must rely on his demon to help him craft a plan of escape and misdirection. Lots of good chuckles throughout the story and as usual Bujold crafts a wonderful story.




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This is a new series from John Scalzi and I haven’t been disappointed with his books yet. The setup is there is a vast empire that relies on “The Flow “for FTL travel. But the Flow is moving away from where it has always been and only a few people know that the empire that is built on the travel and trade using the Flow is coming to an end. When the new Empress takes the throne she never expected to inherit and had only a few months of training before her father’s death she is only given a small clue by her father about what will happen. As the few people that do know what is going on try to get to her and somehow mitigate some of the collapse to their society when the Flow ends.

The book was interesting and a solid setup for more books to come. Will be interesting how it proceeds from here.



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This is currently an audio only short story that has Peter doing a poltergeist investigation at the British Library. This is a short story so there isn’t much development that happens but the librarian that meets with Peter knew his mother when he was a baby. This is more of a quick peek into the setting and a decent taste of what the story universe is like but it was all over way too quickly.



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This anthology has a cool theme.  Not quite villains not quite heroes but certainly fitting the anti hero mode.  The nice thing about the collection you get a look at several side characters in well-established story universes that certainly deserve a turn in the spotlight.  Overall the collection was well worth the price of admission. I was originally excited about new Butcher and McGuire but I think the one story I read that made me miss reading more in the universe was the Tanya Huff Vicki Nelson story.  Overall the collection has given me some new series to track down and read and I think that is the best thing that can come out of these themed anthologies.

 

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The third novella in the life of Penric sees him settled in his life as a divine and on a secret covert mission that fails as soon as he goes ashore.  Things work out in the end and you find out what has happened to him in the years previously. The nice thing is the story does wrap up everything but you also know there is more that could possibly be written about him in the future. Wonderful storytelling as usual for Bujold and the plus with this one and the other stories about Penric if you read them out of order you are not completely lost.


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The third book in this series about an inn on Earth that is an intergalactic waystation that most people have no idea about and the Innkeepers on Earth must keep the secret from the rest of us.  This is not a book to start the series with but it is a fun read.  Dina receives word that her sister needs her and she drops everything and calls in some favors to rescue her sister that she hasn’t spoken to in years.

She also takes in a guest that his species is being hunted into extinction.  The inn is under attack and it is her duty to protect all her guests. But the payment for housing the guest is too much to pass up. It is a lead on where she can find her missing innkeeper parents.

The story is fast paced and there is some resolution on some story threads that have gone on in the previous books.  There is room more story by the end of this book and I can’t wait to see more of this universe.


missingvolume: (books cats)
The second novella in this setting is set several years after the previous one. Penric is working with someone of the Father’s order to track down a possible murder suspect that seems to be a shaman.  He is comfortable in his role as a divine and has a good working relationship with his demon.  This book you learn about shaman that don’t correspond to the Five Gods religion but seems to also be just fine with them.
The actual murder isn’t a mystery but the real mystery is what happens when they catch up with the missing shaman.  Overall a great story and it can be read without having read the previous story since the reader is easily caught up with what has happened before.


Digital review copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley


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I’m not sure why I hadn’t read this when it first came out but I’m glad that I finally did.  The novella can be read without knowing anything about the world setting. Young Penric on his way to get betrothed stops to help some people and instead become the recipient of a demon from priestess of the Bastard God.  Not trained in the religious arts he is viewed with suspicion as he is taken to the head of the order.  The church has a few demons that are passed upon death to specially selected candidates and Penric certainly isn’t one of them.

This is a great self-contained story that doesn’t require any knowledge of the other works since this is set between the books but since there is two centuries between them there is nothing from the books given away.


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This is part of Seanan’s Patreon series of stories. You can find the story here and subscribe if you want to read it. https://www.patreon.com/posts/stage-of-fools-5702713

This is a Tybalt story set after Rat Catcher when he is still new to being the King of Cats in London. His sister has returned to court and needs his help.  I won’t say what help is needed but as usual Tybalt is there for the people he cares about.
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This is part of Seanan’s Patreon series of stories. You can find the story here and subscribe if you want to read it. https://www.patreon.com/posts/in-little-stars-6453115

This story covers the time frame when the Kingdom in the Mists was new and King Gilad was just a prince. I liked it because you find out more about him than just a data point of he is the father of the current Queen and he died during the earthquake. It also give you more of a background of the kingdoms and how things are not so great now that Oberon has left the building.
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This ebook only is set in the Soulless universe and you do get to see Lord and Lady Maccon but it mostly deals with Genevieve living with the Woolsey Hive and possibly falling in love with a house maid.  There is quite a bit of class protocol in the story that sets up the problems for the possible couple to overcome.  Overall it is a sweet love story and a nice dip into the Soulless universe and I was glad to get my hands on it.


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This is the first collection of comics that is a complete story.  Most of the regular cast do show up in the pages with the major exception of the Faceless Man, which would take more than a few issues to wrap up a story if he popped up.  For the most part it shows Peter working on a Falcon case and Nightingale coming in with a historical background knowledge that helps them solve the case.  Overall a good read but not the best starting point for a new reader since there are jokes that will be missed studded in the story.



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So the fallout of discovering a counter spell to elfshot causes a political uproar of should the cure be put out in the Faerieworld.  Toby must attend a convocation of the area Kings and Queens along with representatives of other interested parties as they decide with the High King and Queen in attendance to figure out the ramifications of the discovery.  The usual changeling bias works against her but now she seems comfortable claiming that her mother is Firstborn and it helps that the Sea Witch backs her claim.  The majority of the book is a variation on the locked room murder mystery but substitute a locked knowe for a room.  As usual it was a great read and then the bonus story with the POV being Arden was nice as well.



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Don’t read this novelette until you have read Chimes at Midnight.  It would spoil that book for you. The story is from Quentin’s POV and it is great. His parents get to meet Toby and Tybalt and find out that Quentin hasn’t always told them everything in his letters home.  And a decision is made about his blind fostering since now people know who he is and should he be brought back home or stay as Toby’s squire.

I love the stories that she has put up on her website and this one was the first that Daw has published instead of it being self-published and I hope there will be more.


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This is a first in a series of novellas that deal with minor characters from her three series. Lady Preshea Villentia, a Finishing school graduate has buried four husbands and in the process secured a title for herself thanks to her fourth husband and the society title of the Mourning Star.  Of course no one can pin any of the deaths on her but people do gossip. Her current assignment is twofold, the Duke wants her to break up a love match between his daughter and a broke beau and her main assignment that the Duke doesn’t know is to keep him alive and foil an assassination attempt. What Preshea isn’t expecting to find is a romantic entanglement of the kind she has never had before.

What I liked about this was for the most part it works well by itself. You don’t need to know the entire backstory of the other books but it does add some color to this world. This has more of a romance feel to the storyline so some readers may not care for it but I liked it. I’m looking forward to more of these novellas.


missingvolume: (books cats)
The final book in the Parasitology is more of a getting the world to come to grips with the fact that the tapeworms are taking over people and a small percentage of them are actually able to integrate into the human brain and become a hybrid. Sal is constantly either on the run or trying to escape from one group to the next. As the first one that has had their tapeworm take over and become someone who can function in this new world she isn’t understood by most people.  The book has a good ending but I struggled to get through it since there is no super happy ending more of a and now this is how we are going to live with the results of our actions as humans trying to cut corners in science.


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This is set in an alternate world where the New World was inhabited by were creatures and they successfully controlled who arrived and stayed during the colonization.  Now if humans agree to live in Others controlled areas they are a second class citizen and can be forfeit at almost any time.  Meg seeks shelter here while she is being hunted by the humans that want to use her powers of prophecy.  Since she has lived a sheltered life in a near prison it gives the reader time to learn everything about this universe without being full of info dumps.  I really liked the overall plot and I have the next 3 books lined up to read in quick succession.


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A Fantasy Medley 3 by Yanni Kuznia, Jacqueline Carey, Kevin Hearne, Laura Bickle, Aliette de Bodard


This short story collection has three stories set in previously written worlds and one in a new setting.  Kevin Hearne’s story is set in his Iron Druid series and has Atticus telling his apprentice the story of how he met Shakespeare.  So this is a perfectly good sample for the series.  I hadn’t read Laura Bickle before but after reading this story that is also set in a multi book series, it left me wanting to know more about the world and find out about the characters. The Aliette de Bodard story is set as a prequel story that needs no info about the novel’s universe it is set in.  The last story by Jacqueline Carey seems to be a standalone story and the world is fleshed out enough that I would like to see more in this setting to find out how the society came to be.

All in all, a good collection of stories and well worth the time and money to track down and read.  I already have my copy on order.


Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley



missingvolume: (books cats)
I’ve read all the books and I have this one on order from the publisher. I was able to get a review copy of this and for the new reader this isn’t where you want to start.  This is mostly a direct sequel to the events in Forsaken since Malcolm is in it. David Cain has contacted the Pack since someone is hunting his family and killing them while in werewolf form.  Elena decides that even though the mystery group is killing mutts she will take on the problem with the Pack to find out who is targeting the mutts and why.  Malcolm is brought along as part of the group hunting and most of the story is his reintegration back into the pack.

Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley


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