Blog Archives

Lipstick Voodoo by Kristi Charish

Kincaid Strange is back.  She’s made a deal with the devil (or is he?) and her best friend is a zombie.  How could things get any “Stranger?”

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title:  Lipstick Voodoo
Author:  Kristi Charish
Series:  Kincaid Strange #2
Publish Date:  January 8, 2019, by Penguin Random House
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
NarratorSusannah Jones
Source:  Author provided ARC/audiobook purchased

Publisher’s Description: Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner, is back in the freshly imagined and hugely entertaining second installment of Kristi Charish’s urban fantasy series.

Kincaid Strange cannot catch a break. After dealing with a spate of paranormal murders, there’s barely time to recuperate—let alone sleep in—before there’s a new problem in Kincaid’s world of paranormal activity. When her roommate, Nathan Cade—the ghost of a grunge-rocker with a pathological lack of self-control—comes home bound to a dead body, it’s up to Kincaid to figure out how to free him, ideally before her new mentor, Gideon, a powerful sorcerer’s ghost, discovers that Nate is trapped in the body he’d coveted for himself.

When Aaron, a Seattle cop on the afterlife beat—and Kincaid’s ex—calls her in to help out with a cold case, she takes the chance to mend fences with the police department. The problem: they want to interview Nate’s ghost, which she can’t produce. Then people from Nate’s past start showing up dead, and what’s killing them doesn’t seem to be human. And the way it’s killing them is especially brutal.

Nate’s hiding something, but he’s Kincaid’s friend and she wants to help him. But she also wants to stay alive…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

The reason I butted heads with most women?  There is only so much I’m able to feed into the circle of bullshit. I think it is disruptive, not for Sarah and Lee—I figure they’re more like me in that regard—but for the ones who rely on group validation. Those kinds of friendships require an awful lot of bullshit, and people don’t like other people pointing out their bullshit, especially when that person ends up being me.

This is a book with zombies, ghosts, and a whole lot of Otherside. There is no graphic gore, no sex, and a conclusion to the book that is satisfying. It was a good ending—not “happy,” but a good, satisfying ending.

I love Kristi Charish’s writing. She first caught me with Kincaid Strange and then encouraged me with Adventures of Owl series. Now, I’m back into Kincaid’s world. I am not hard to please as a reader. If I’m entertained and the writing took me on a ride, then I’m happy. I’m over the moon with this book. I forgot how much I missed Kincaid and Nathan.

What a mess they have found themselves. Nathan is bound in a body making him an accidental zombie. The body was supposed to go to a centuries-old sorcerer’s ghost so he could make himself a zombie. Crap. Tick off a sorcerer and Kincaid might as well write off her right to life.

That’s just the beginning. Yes, that’s right. Just the beginning. Kincaid is out of work because of the police captain’s penchant for non-believing. He is making it his personal goal to wreak havoc on Kincaid’s life because he believes she is fake.

So, lets count it off. 1. Kincaid is in debt with a seriously deranged and evil sorcerer’s ghost. 2. Said ghost is gonna want his debt paid whether it be by her life or whatever he deems. 3. She hasn’t told said ghost that her best friend “accidentally” inhabits the body that was supposed to go to said ghost, which may or may not cause him a gigantic psychopathic break which could result in everybody getting dead. 4. Kincaid has to pay the bills, so she takes on a cold case on the possible promise of a job in the future. 5. The cold case is really quite hot. Oh crap. Kincaid has a LOT on her plate.

I loved this book. It kept me in suspense with no guessing how things would turn out. The situation Kincaid was in just kept getting messier and messier until all of a sudden it became clear. Charish’s narration from Kincaid’s point of view was great. I felt like I was sitting right there with Kincaid as she went through the ups and downs. The race was a close one. Too close to call but this book was a blockbuster for sure. 5 stars all day and all night. Good book – you won’t be disappointed.

Oh, and head’s up:  Voodoo Shanghai, Kincaid Strange #3, will be out next year, same time, same station.  Can’t wait!!

Invested Ivana says…

Lipstick Voodo is as much of an enjoyably wild ride as it’s predecessor! The mystery is so well-crafted in both of the books, and the characters are relatable and likable. The sorcerer’s character defied expectations by being more rational and likable than I expected after the first book–which makes me wonder if he’s putting on an act. I guess we’ll see in future books.

The first scene in the book, which depicts an ordinary job for zombie-whisperer Kincaid Strange, is very well written and touching. It gives the reader a good sense of Kincaid’s relationship with the dead as well as what her typical work is like. This contrasts wildly with the extraordinary experiences that serve as the main plot of the book.

The Kincaid Strange series is an excellent example of urban fantasy at its finest, and I can’t wait to see what further adventures await.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try The Adventures of Owl by Kristi Charish or Eric Carter series by Stephen Blackmoore.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

 

Follow One Book Two on Social Media via:

   Bloglovin_small Feedly_small RSSFeed_small

Advertisements

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

This new series by Charlaine Harris imagines an alternative history for the United States that evokes a dystopian Wild West feel.

Title: An Easy Death
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Gunnie Rose, Book 01
Publish Date: October 2, 2018, by Saga Press
Genre: Urban fantasy, western fantasy
NarratorEva Kaminsky
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionSet in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma. A world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, especially by a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards to be their local guide and gunnie. For the wizards, Gunnie Rose has already acquired a fearsome reputation and they’re at a desperate crossroad, even if they won’t admit it. They’re searching through the small border towns near Mexico, trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner, Oleg Karkarov. The wizards believe Oleg is a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, and that Oleg’s blood can save the young tsar’s life.

As the trio journey through an altered America, shattered into several countries by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested Ivana says…

I’m never quite sure how I will react to the first book in a new series. Sometimes I adore it, sometimes I feel more cautious. It all depends on how invested I feel in the new world and characters.

With An Easy Death, I feel reserved, though I enjoyed it quite a lot. I was quite invested at the start of the book, where Harris shows us Lisbeth’s day-to-day life. Then that life is taken away from her, introducing the conflict in the story. Maybe that made me a bit gun-shy.

Eli and Pauline, the other two primary characters, aren’t ones I feel easy with. I’m not supposed to, as the reader, as Lisbeth isn’t herself. She’s never sure of their trustworthiness and intentions. But she has to work with them anyway to fulfill her contract and protect herself.

Since the book is told from Lisbeth’s perspective, perhaps I feel reserved because we know very little about Eli’s world, even though it has the potential to affect Lisbeth greatly. It will be interesting to see if future books let Lisbeth explore the world of the Russian wizards, or if she’ll have more adventures in the former southern US.

Though I feel reserved about the start of this series, I am looking forward to seeing where it goes. 4 Stars.

Other recommendations…

The Shadow series by Lila Bowen, The Devil’s West series by Laura Anne Gilman, or the Dark Alchemy/Wildlands series by Laura Bickle.

Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire

After twelve books, or sooner, many series start losing steam or going off in bizarre directions that make readers lose interest. But while reading the latest October Daye tale, I kept thinking that, even though the major plot event was superficially the same as in a previous book, McGuire has a way of building tale upon tale so that every installment is new, fresh, exciting, and leaves me sad the next book is a year away.

Title: Night and Silence
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye
Publish Date: September 4th, 2018, by DAW
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionThings are not okay.

In the aftermath of Amandine’s latest betrayal, October “Toby” Daye’s fragile self-made family is on the verge of coming apart at the seams. Jazz can’t sleep, Sylvester doesn’t want to see her, and worst of all, Tybalt has withdrawn from her entirely, retreating into the Court of Cats as he tries to recover from his abduction. Toby is floundering, unable to help the people she loves most heal. She needs a distraction. She needs a quest.

What she doesn’t need is the abduction of her estranged human daughter, Gillian. What she doesn’t need is to be accused of kidnapping her own child by her ex-boyfriend and his new wife, who seems to be harboring secrets of her own. There’s no question of whether she’ll take the case. The only question is whether she’s emotionally prepared to survive it.

Signs of Faerie’s involvement are everywhere, and it’s going to take all Toby’s nerve and all her allies to get her through this web of old secrets, older hatreds, and new deceits. If she can’t find Gillian before time runs out, her own child will pay the price. One question remains:

Who in Faerie remembered Gillian existed? And what do they stand to gain? No matter how this ends, Toby’s life will never be the same.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested Ivana says…

The best series in book, television, movie, or game form are more than just a string of individual adventures. Each installment builds on the previous one, expanding the world, deepening our understanding of and investment in it, and dealing with the consequences of our characters’ previous actions.

The October Day series is one of the best examples of this type of series. Each book brings us new characters (without ignoring the characters we already know and love), reveals more history, and uncovers more secrets. It’s like the “fog of war” in a video game, but instead of revealing the map, it’s revealing history—history that is connected to actions, characters, and events in previous books.

I kept returning to that thought as I read Night and Silence—at how amazing it is that McGuire keeps calling on what we know of the history of October’s world and experience to inform what happens in each book. And how it never feels old or stale to me. It feels like a natural progression.

Occasionally, a seemingly-random piece of new information is introduced, such as Gillian’s step-mother’s history. But it fits so well into the world that you wonder just how random it is, or if the author planned for it all along. Those are the big surprises that can throw the plot into completely new directions and open up a whole new “can of worms” and the potential for new stories.

I’m very excited by the potential future stories made possible by the end of Night and Silence. We’ll get to see a whole new side of October and invest in a completely new character. I also feel like we’re witnessing the emergence of a “new generation” (in a manner of speaking) of influential persons in Faerie that might be leading toward major societal changes.

Or I could be projecting my own hopes for our world onto October’s.

In any case, Night and Silence is yet another fabulous installment in the October Daye series that pulls on history and consequence to keep me interested and invested. 5 stars.

Other recommendations…

The October Daye series is certainly in the top tier of urban fantasy, along with the Dresden Files, the Iron Druid Chronicles, the Mercy Thompson series, the Otherworld series, the Hollows series, and the Novels of the Others. If you haven’t read any of these series, I’d suggest you do so at the first opportunity.

The Phoenix Illusion by Lisa Shearin

Another adventure with cast and crew of SPI.  It’s Mac’s birthday and what an unexpected surprise!

Title:  Phoenix Illusion
Author: Lisa Shearin
Series:  SPI Files #6
Publish Date:  November 6, 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Johanna Parker
Source: purchased audio and print by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: The agents of Supernatural Protection & Investigation (SPI) are used to dealing with the weird and the wacky, but even they are stunned when a building from another world suddenly appears on an empty lot in New York. . .

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI, and it’s just my luck that my birthday party is literally crashed by a building from another planet. And it’s not just any building—it’s my goblin boyfriend’s house from his home world. SPI’s mission, to keep the public clueless about the supernatural, has us scrambling to find who did this and why, not to mention how.

The deeper we dig, the more we realize this incident is the opening gambit to a much larger event. Old enemies have combined forces with an even older nemesis to develop the means to kidnap an entire building and everyone in it. But who, or what, is their ultimate target? Finding out and getting to the mark before they do will require all hands on deck, including some extraterrestrial help from the goblin home world. We’re running out of time, and if we can’t get our act together, we’ll have front-row seats for the end of the world as we know it.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

Humans had an unfortunate tendency to go all torchy and pitchforky when they discovered inhumans anywhere in their immediate vicinity.

Lisa Shearin does it again.  Am I surprised? No. Not at all.  She makes it look easy to sit down and put story to paper or computer or whatever.  SPI files is one of my all time favorite series and once a book is released I do my best to get a copy tracked down and in my library as soon as possible.

This story is a puzzle of who and why are buildings disappearing all over the world.  Oh, not many buildings, just 8 – 10 or maybe 15.  Isn’t a big deal, right?  Well, kind of is when one of them is Rake’s house from Regor, the capitol on the goblin home plane, and it’s on fire.  And there is a dead guy inside.  Duh Duh Daaaahhhh! (That’s all we can afford here at One Book Two for special effects.)

That dead guy and Rake’s burning house transported from the goblin capitol is enough to get SPI’s attention.  The story evolves from there to include goblin nazis and crystals that have a lot of power.  The case isn’t difficult once it’s boiled down, but to get to the boiled down version it took a lot of luck and less investigation.  Rake didn’t hide anything like the super spy he is and Mac and Rake’s relationship grew.  I gotta say I enjoy that part, a lot.  I mean really? What girl wouldn’t like to have her significant other be romantic, thoughtful and protective (on occasion)?   I felt like Mac felt like the third wheel during this investigation.  It felt like Ian and Rake were partners instead of Ian and Mac.  That part I was a little sad about.  I really like Mac and she shined toward the end, but it felt like she was somewhat dissed in regard to her experience and knowledge.  I mean she doesn’t know it all, but she should get a little more credit.  She was frustrated about Ian and Rake’s behavior.  I feel like she felt all that was missing was Rake patting her on the head and telling her to go make dinner and let the men handle it. But maybe that’s the way goblins roll?

Like other installments of the SPI Files, there is no sex, no foul language and no graphic gore.  There is wizards (mages, sorry!), goblins, elves, vampires, werewolves and dragons (Oh, my!) The book didn’t take long from start to finish and it was hard to put down.  I’m looking forward to the next one already.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Follow One Book Two on Social Media via:

   Bloglovin_small Feedly_small RSSFeed_small

Spirited Christmas by Gary Jonas

Are you ready for a little Christmas Spirit? Or maybe a little spirit in your Christmas?  Jonathan Shade investigates a haunting and finds more than he’d been paid for…

Title:  Spirited Christmas
Author:  Gary Jonas
Series:  Jonathan Shade (Christmas novelette)
Published: December 1, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy Supernatural Detective
Source: public giveaway

Publisher’s Description:  A ghost is haunting a little girl’s family every Christmas, so she hires me to get rid of it. The hauntings have escalated from mere sightings to full-fledged possession. I figure it’s an open-and-shut exorcism, but the truth is more than I bargained for…

A short novelette that takes place before Modern Sorcery.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a short little story – about an hour’s read.  A little 10 year old hires Jonathan to get rid of a ghost that keeps grabbing and scaring her but only at Christmas.  First clue to the mystery: anyone that reads supernatural detective novels will immediately think of a ghost bound to an object in the Christmas box.  Yep, that’s what it is, but Gary Jonas is not an author that gives us a super simple little exorcism.  Nope.  Jonathan Shade has to put his detective skills to work to figure out this little girl’s hinky family situation.

It was a story that kept me involved for the whole hour I waited in a hospital waiting room.  As a matter of fact, I had already decided that I’d have to finish the story before I could leave said waiting room.  Gladly, I finished the story a few minutes before I was sent on my way.

There is no sex, no gore and no swearing.  This story can be read as a standalone, but it would be helpful to understand all the players by reading Modern Sorcery first.  This little episode adds a whole lot of spirit to Christmas.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try [list series or books, put goodreads links to anything you reference]

Follow One Book Two on Social Media via:

   Bloglovin_small Feedly_small RSSFeed_small

%d bloggers like this: