Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Urban Fantasy / #1 of 8, Kate Daniels
“It’s a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really.”
Kate Daniels is a mercenary for hire in a sort of alternate-universe Atlanta where residents have to contend with waves of magic that knock out almost all technology in the city. When someone important to Kate is killed, she begins to investigate, and finds a rash of disturbing crimes that point to a larger mystery involving some of the city’s most powerful leaders.
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Review: Iron Night by M. L. Brennan
Urban Fantasy / #2 of 4, Generation V
“Holy shit. You’re going to feed Titus to a troll?” I felt appalled.
“This is why we don’t name or pet the goats.” Chivalry said blandly.
Vampire Fortitude Scott has gained (somewhat) in self-confidence and ability since the end of Generation V. So when someone is maiming and murdering young men around the city, Fort—once again in defiance of his family—teams up with his shapeshifting fox friend Suzume Hollis in an effort to stop the slaughter. Initially expecting to uncover a run-of-the-mill serial killer, he instead finds himself dealing with paranormal forces, including an enormous conspiracy in the elven community and a blood chillingly evil predator… and he has to do it all without alerting his newly suspicious friend, Matt, to the Scott family’s vampirical secret.
I really, really enjoyed Generation V… and Iron Night was even better. We get more insight into the characters, and the plot is a bit more complex and exciting. There’s never really any doubt who is responsible for the crimes committed in Generation V, whereas as Iron Night keeps you in the dark for a bit longer. And while Luca in Generation V was a nasty piece of work, the villains of Iron Night might just be even nastier (which I can hardly even believe is possible)… so it feels like the stakes are higher. Plus, while I was mostly only attached to Fort and Suzume in the first book and was never really worried for the safety of either of them, I am attached to some of the more expendable secondary characters in Iron Night, and that left me feeling a lot more anxious for a lot more of the book.
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Review: Generation V by M. L. Brennan
Urban Fantasy / #1 out of 4 (so far), Generation V
“I stared. ‘That’s horrible.’
Lulu looked surprised, and shot a confused look at Suzume. ‘Are you sure this is a vampire? He sure doesn’t sound like one.’”
Fortitude Scott finished a film theory degree, works at a terrible coffee shop, and tries at all costs to avoid his family… who are, incidentally, vampires. Unfortunately, he is forced to interact with them when a new vamp (Luca) comes to town. Luca is offered hospitality by Fort’s mother—but a horrified Fort suspects that he is committing unspeakable crimes against the human residents of the Scott family territory. This doesn’t particularly perturb the rest of his family, and so it’s up to Fort and his one ally, the powerful but sometimes unreliable kitsune Suzume, to stop Luca however they can.
Generation V is probably the vampire story I’ve most enjoyed since… well, since Buffy was on the air. What it has in common with Buffy, and what most endears it to me, is the way it pokes fun at and undercuts the drama of vampire mythology. Madeline Scott, the feared vampire overlord extraordinaire, wears enormous glasses and grandma sweaters. Chivalry Scott, Fort’s older brother, is exceptionally polite and well-mannered and forever bitter that wearing a cravat is no longer fashionable. And Fort is a vegetarian.
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