Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Lost Duke of Wyndham (Julia Quinn, Two Dukes of Wyndham #1)

1.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
We start with a highwayman robbing a dowager duchess and her poor, gently bred companion. The dowager duchess is a steely old woman, who instantly (despite the mask, and the darkness of the night) recognizes the robber as her potential (long-lost, never-even-suspected-he-might-exist) grandson. This very far-fetched beginning is probably one of the best parts of the book, which really says something. There’s plenty of witty dialogue and banter, and the clever wordplay that Quinn is famous for (thus the 1.5 star, as opposed to… 0). What it doesn’t have is character development, a romantic journey, and half of the story (more on that later). There were some truly excellent scenes, and the beginning (despite how crazy of a start it is) was actually kind of enjoyable. But… a few chapters in, the scenes started to drag, the story seems to lose its focus, and then, suddenly, the book is over, and tied up with a cute epilogue. Argh.

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Posted in Romance

Monster (A Lee Martinez)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Monster is a strange urban fantasy adventure. There is hunting of supernatural creatures, but it really doesn’t fit into the standard mold of urban fantasy where that is the focus. It feels a bit more like a tour through a weird and deranged shadow world that mirrors our own, the only difference being the inclusion of the magical. I quite liked this book. The characters aren’t exactly relatable or even necessarily likable, but they have a certain sense of rightness in the odd dystopia the author has overlaid on our contemporary reality. Among all the oddities that the author presents, there is an undercurrent of normal everyday life. These are people whose principal ambition isn’t to topple a dark lord or save the world from destruction, but to spend a quiet evening at home drinking a beer and watching TV. I liked this book a great deal, and would heartily recommend it to fans of contemporary fantasy that departs a bit from the standard formula.

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Posted in Sci-Fi/Fantasy